Emperor Angelfish Care: Tank Setup, Diet, Tank Mates, Diseases & More!

If you are a fish enthusiast, then you must have heard of the Emperor Angelfish. Known for their vibrant colors and unique patterns, these fish are a popular choice for aquariums. However, taking care of these fish can be challenging, and it requires a lot of knowledge and effort to keep them healthy and happy.

Emperor Angelfish is a marine fish species that requires a minimum tank size of 125 gallons. They prefer a pH range of 8.1-8.4 and stable water conditions. They are omnivorous and should be fed a varied diet of meaty and plant-based foods. Regular water changes and proper filtration are necessary for their well-being.

In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about Emperor Angelfish care. From their habitat requirements to their diet and behavior, we will provide you with all the information you need to ensure your fish thrive in their environment. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced fish keeper, this article will help you provide the best care for your Emperor Angelfish.

I remember the first time I saw an Emperor Angelfish in an aquarium, and I was captivated by its beauty. However, I soon learned that these fish require a lot of attention and care. That’s why I decided to write this article, to help others who are interested in keeping these fish as pets. So, if you want to learn more about Emperor Angelfish care, keep on reading!

Emperor Angelfish

Species Summary

If you are considering adding an Emperor Angelfish to your aquarium, you need to know everything about their care. Here is a summary of the key points you should know about this species:


The Emperor Angelfish is a marine fish species that is found in the Indo-Pacific region, including the Red Sea and the Great Barrier Reef. They are commonly found in coral reefs, lagoons, and rocky areas in shallow waters.


Emperor Angelfish can live up to 15 years in captivity if they are provided with proper care and a suitable environment. In the wild, their lifespan is shorter, typically around 7-10 years.


The Emperor Angelfish is a strikingly beautiful fish with a vibrant blue and yellow coloration. They have black markings on their body and fins, which creates a unique pattern that distinguishes them from other fish species.

Juvenile Emperor Angelfish have a different color pattern than adults, with a dark blue body and bright blue and white rings around their eyes.


Emperor Angelfish can grow up to 15 inches (38 cm) in length, making them a larger species of angelfish. However, they typically only reach around 12 inches (30 cm) in captivity.

Growth Rate

The growth rate of Emperor Angelfish varies depending on their environment and diet. In captivity, they can grow up to an inch per month during their first year, but their growth rate slows down as they age.

Behavior & Temperament

Emperor Angelfish are generally peaceful fish that can be kept with other non-aggressive species.

However, they can become territorial and aggressive towards other angelfish or fish species that resemble them.

They are also known to nip at coral and other invertebrates, so it is important to provide them with a suitable diet to prevent this behavior.

Male vs Female

Male and female Emperor Angelfish look very similar, but males are typically larger and more colorful than females. Additionally, males have a more pointed dorsal fin than females.

When I first saw an Emperor Angelfish in a public aquarium, I was captivated by its beauty and vibrant colors.

Learning about their care and behavior has made me appreciate them even more, and I hope this summary has piqued your interest in this amazing species.

Tank Setup

Setting up a tank for your Emperor Angelfish can be a fun and rewarding experience.

In this section, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the tank setup to ensure your fish thrives in its new home.

Tank Size

The tank size for an Emperor Angelfish should be a minimum of 125 gallons. These fish require plenty of swimming space, and a larger tank will also help maintain water quality.

Keep in mind that these fish can grow up to 15 inches in length, so a larger tank may be necessary as they mature.


Emperor Angelfish require moderate to high lighting levels. This will help to promote the growth of algae, which is an important part of their diet.

You can use fluorescent or LED lighting, but be sure to provide a photoperiod of 10-12 hours per day.

Filtration & Aeration

A good filtration system is essential for maintaining water quality in your tank. A canister filter or a sump system is recommended for Emperor Angelfish tanks.

In addition to filtration, aeration is also important to ensure adequate oxygen levels in the water.


The ideal water temperature for Emperor Angelfish is between 72-78°F.

A heater is necessary to maintain a consistent temperature in the tank. Make sure to choose a heater that is appropriate for the size of your tank.


The substrate in your tank should be fine sand or crushed coral. This will provide a natural environment for your fish and also help maintain water quality.


Emperor Angelfish 2

Emperor Angelfish enjoy having plenty of hiding places in their tank. You can use live rock, PVC pipes, or other decorations to provide hiding spots for your fish.

Be sure to arrange the decorations in a way that allows for plenty of swimming space.


While Emperor Angelfish do not require live plants in their tank, they can be a nice addition.

If you choose to add live plants, be sure to choose ones that are appropriate for a saltwater environment and that can tolerate the high lighting levels required for Emperor Angelfish.

When setting up your tank, keep in mind that Emperor Angelfish are sensitive to changes in water quality.

Take the time to properly cycle your tank before adding any fish, and be sure to monitor water parameters regularly. With the right setup, your Emperor Angelfish will thrive in its new home.

Personally, I found that adding a few small caves and crevices in the rockwork made my Emperor Angelfish feel more at home. It was fun to watch as it explored its new environment and found new places to hide.

Water Quality

Proper water quality is essential for the health and well-being of your Emperor Angelfish.

In this section, we will cover the four main aspects of water quality that you need to keep in mind: water temperature, water pH, water hardness, and water changes.

Water Temperature

Emperor Angelfish require a water temperature between 74°F and 78°F (23°C to 26°C) to thrive.

Any temperature outside of this range can cause stress or illness in your fish. To maintain a consistent water temperature, consider investing in a reliable aquarium heater.

Water pH

The ideal pH range for Emperor Angelfish is between 8.1 and 8.4. Keeping the pH within this range will help your fish maintain a healthy immune system and prevent stress. To maintain a stable pH level, you may need to add a buffer or adjust the water chemistry as necessary.

Water Hardness

Emperor Angelfish prefer water with a moderate to high level of hardness. The ideal range is between 8 and 12 dKH. If your water is too soft, you can add a calcium supplement to help raise the hardness level.

Water Changes

Regular water changes are essential for maintaining good water quality in your aquarium. Aim to change 10-20% of the water in your tank every two weeks. This will help remove excess nutrients, toxins, and waste products that can harm your fish.

Personally, I have found that maintaining proper water quality can be a challenge at times. However, it is crucial for the health and well-being of your fish. By keeping a close eye on water temperature, pH, hardness, and performing regular water changes, you can ensure that your Emperor Angelfish thrive in their environment.

Tank Maintenance

Maintaining a healthy environment for your Emperor Angelfish is crucial to their overall health and well-being. Here are a few tips to keep your tank in top condition:

First, make sure to perform regular water changes. This will help remove any excess waste and debris from the tank. Aim to change out 10-20% of the water every 2-4 weeks.

Next, keep an eye on the temperature and pH levels of the water. Emperor Angelfish prefer a temperature between 75-82°F and a pH between 8.1-8.4.

Use a thermometer and pH testing kit to monitor these levels and make adjustments as needed.

It’s also important to clean the tank and equipment on a regular basis. Use a siphon to remove any debris from the bottom of the tank, and scrub the sides with a non-toxic algae scraper. Clean the filter and other equipment according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Finally, be mindful of the types and amounts of food you’re feeding your Emperor Angelfish. Overfeeding can lead to excess waste and poor water quality. Aim to feed small amounts of high-quality food 2-3 times per day.

Personally, I found that keeping a maintenance schedule and sticking to it helps me stay on top of tank care. It’s easy to forget when you last performed a water change or cleaned the filter, so I like to write everything down in a planner or on a calendar. This way, I can make sure I’m giving my Emperor Angelfish the best care possible.

Tank Mates

If you’re considering adding an Emperor Angelfish to your aquarium, you’ll want to know what other fish species are compatible and which ones to avoid. Here are some things to consider:

Compatible Fish Species

Emperor Angelfish can be housed with other peaceful fish species such as Tangs, Clownfish, and Gobies. These fish are generally non-aggressive and won’t compete for food or territory with the Emperor Angelfish.

It’s also important to note that Emperor Angelfish can be housed with other Angelfish species as long as they are not too similar in appearance.

For example, a Blue Tang and a Yellow Tang can be housed together, but two Emperor Angelfish would not be compatible as they may fight over territory.

Incompatible Fish Species

Some fish species are not compatible with Emperor Angelfish. Avoid housing them with aggressive fish such as Triggerfish or Pufferfish, as they may become territorial and attack the Emperor Angelfish.

Additionally, avoid housing them with fish that are too similar in appearance, such as other angelfish species or butterflyfish, as they may mistake each other for mates and become aggressive.

Can You Have 2 Emperor Angelfish?

It’s generally not recommended to have two Emperor Angelfish in the same aquarium. They are known to be aggressive towards each other and may fight over territory.

However, if you have a large enough aquarium with plenty of hiding spaces, it may be possible to house two Emperor Angelfish together.

Personally, I have had success keeping an Emperor Angelfish with a Yellow Tang and a few Gobies. They all get along well and have created a peaceful and colorful community in my aquarium.


Proper diet is crucial to ensure the health and longevity of your Emperor Angelfish. In this section, we’ll cover what to feed your fish, how often to feed them, and some tips to keep in mind.

What To Feed

Emperor Angelfish are omnivorous, meaning they eat both plant and animal matter. In the wild, they feed on a variety of things such as algae, sponges, and small invertebrates. In captivity, you can feed them a mix of frozen and live foods such as:

  • Brine shrimp
  • Mysis shrimp
  • Krill
  • Chopped clams or mussels
  • Nori seaweed

It’s important to provide a varied diet to ensure your fish gets all the necessary nutrients.


You should feed your Emperor Angelfish small amounts multiple times a day. This mimics their natural feeding behavior and helps prevent overfeeding.

A good rule of thumb is to feed them as much as they can eat in 2-3 minutes, 2-3 times a day.


Here are some tips to keep in mind when feeding your Emperor Angelfish:

  • Don’t overfeed – excess food can pollute the water and lead to health problems for your fish.
  • Soak dry food in a vitamin supplement to ensure your fish gets all the necessary nutrients.
  • Offer a mix of frozen and live foods to provide variety and ensure your fish gets all the necessary nutrients.
  • Feed your fish in a separate container or use a feeding ring to prevent food from floating away and polluting the water.

Overall, providing a varied and balanced diet is essential to the health and well-being of your Emperor Angelfish.

Personally, I’ve found that my Emperor Angelfish loves frozen Mysis shrimp and Nori seaweed the most. It’s always a joy to watch him eagerly swim up to the feeding ring when it’s feeding time!

Common Diseases

As with any living creature, Emperor Angelfish are susceptible to a variety of diseases. It’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of common illnesses so you can take action quickly to keep your fish healthy.


Some of the most common diseases that affect Emperor Angelfish include:

  • Marine Ich: A parasitic infection that causes white spots on the skin and fins
  • Velvet: Another parasitic infection that causes a yellow or gold dusting on the skin
  • Fin Rot: A bacterial infection that causes the fins to deteriorate and may lead to the loss of the entire fin
  • Popeye: A bacterial infection that causes the eyes to bulge out of their sockets


The symptoms of these diseases can vary but may include:

  • White spots on the skin or fins
  • A yellow or gold dusting on the skin
  • Fins that are deteriorating or appear to be rotting
  • Bulging eyes


If you notice any of these symptoms in your Emperor Angelfish, it’s important to take action quickly. Treatments may include:

  • Medicated food or water
  • Antibiotics
  • Isolation of the sick fish to prevent the spread of disease


The best way to prevent diseases in your Emperor Angelfish is to maintain a clean and healthy environment. This includes:

  • Regular water changes
  • Keeping the tank clean and free of debris
  • Quarantining new fish before adding them to the tank

Personally, I had to deal with a case of Marine Ich in my Emperor Angelfish. It was stressful to see my fish suffering, but I was able to treat it quickly and effectively by using a medicated food and increasing the temperature of the tank. Remember, prevention is always better than cure, so make sure to keep your tank clean and healthy to avoid any potential diseases.

Signs of a Healthy Emperor Angelfish

If you’re thinking about getting an Emperor Angelfish, it’s important to know what to look for in a healthy fish. Here are some signs to keep an eye out for:

Firstly, a healthy Emperor Angelfish should have a bright and vibrant coloration. Their blue and yellow stripes should be crisp and well-defined, and their overall appearance should be eye-catching. If you notice any dullness or fading in their color, this could be a sign of poor health.

Secondly, a healthy Emperor Angelfish should have a hearty appetite. They should be eager to eat and actively swim towards food when it’s offered. If your fish seems disinterested in food or is not eating as much as usual, this could be a sign of illness.

Thirdly, a healthy Emperor Angelfish should be active and alert. They should be swimming around their tank and exploring their surroundings. If your fish seems lethargic or is spending a lot of time hiding, this could be a sign of stress or illness.

Lastly, a healthy Emperor Angelfish should have clear eyes and healthy fins. Their eyes should be bright and free of cloudiness or discharge, and their fins should be intact and not frayed or torn. I remember when I first got my Emperor Angelfish, I was so worried about keeping it healthy and happy. But by paying attention to these signs and providing it with a healthy diet and environment, my fish has thrived and become a beloved member of my aquarium family.

Signs Your Emperor Angelfish is Sick

If you have an Emperor Angelfish, it is important to know the signs of illness. Here are some things to look out for:

  • Loss of appetite: If your fish is not eating, it could be a sign of illness.
  • Erratic swimming: If your fish is swimming abnormally, it could be a sign of stress or illness.
  • Discoloration: If your fish is losing its vibrant colors, it could be a sign of illness.
  • Clamped fins: If your fish’s fins are clamped against its body, it could be a sign of illness or stress.

If you notice any of these signs, it is important to take action quickly. You should isolate the sick fish from the others and seek advice from a veterinarian who specializes in fish care.

Personally, I once had an Emperor Angelfish that stopped eating and started swimming erratically. I quickly isolated it and sought advice from a veterinarian. It turned out that the fish had a bacterial infection, but with the right treatment, it made a full recovery.


Breeding Emperor Angelfish can be a challenging but rewarding experience. In this section, we’ll cover everything you need to know to successfully breed these beautiful fish.

Breeding Setup

Before you start breeding, you’ll need to set up a breeding tank. This should be a separate tank from your main display tank, as the breeding process can be messy and stressful for the fish.

The tank should be at least 100 gallons and have plenty of hiding places for the fish. You’ll also need to provide the fish with a suitable substrate for spawning.

A rough surface, such as a piece of slate, works well. The fish will lay their eggs on this surface, and the rough texture will help the eggs stick.

How To Breed

To breed Emperor Angelfish, you’ll need a mated pair. This can be difficult to achieve, as the fish are not easy to sex and can be aggressive towards each other.

It’s best to purchase a pair from a reputable breeder or retailer. Once you have a mated pair, you’ll need to condition them for breeding.

This involves feeding them a high-quality diet and gradually increasing the amount of food you give them.

You’ll also need to provide them with a suitable environment for spawning, as described above. When the fish are ready to spawn, they will perform a courtship dance.

This involves the male chasing the female around the tank and displaying his fins. Eventually, the female will lay her eggs on the substrate, and the male will fertilize them.


Once the eggs have been fertilized, you’ll need to carefully monitor the tank to ensure that the eggs hatch successfully.

The eggs will hatch in about 24 hours, and the larvae will need to be fed a special diet of plankton. Raising the larvae can be challenging, and it’s best to seek advice from an experienced breeder.

However, with patience and dedication, you can successfully raise a batch of Emperor Angelfish. I have personally bred Emperor Angelfish, and it was a fascinating and rewarding experience.

Watching the courtship dance and seeing the eggs hatch into tiny larvae was truly amazing. If you’re up for the challenge, breeding Emperor Angelfish can be a wonderful way to experience the beauty of these fish up close.

Product recommendations for Emperor Angelfish:

  1. Coralife LED BioCube Aquarium Kit – This is a great aquarium kit that is perfect for Emperor Angelfish. It comes with everything you need to get started, including a filter, heater, and LED lighting.
  2. Hikari Marine A Pellets – This is a high-quality fish food that is perfect for Emperor Angelfish. It contains all the essential nutrients that your fish need to stay healthy and vibrant.
  3. API Saltwater Master Test Kit – It is important to keep an eye on the water quality in your aquarium, and this test kit makes it easy to do so. It includes tests for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH.
  4. Seachem Prime – This is a water conditioner that helps to detoxify ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate in your aquarium. It is safe for use with Emperor Angelfish and other saltwater fish.
  5. CaribSea Arag-Alive Fiji Pink Sand – This substrate is perfect for creating a natural environment for your Emperor Angelfish. It contains live bacteria and is easy to maintain.
  6. AquaClear Power Filter – This filter is highly effective at removing debris and maintaining water quality in your aquarium. It is also very quiet and easy to maintain.
  7. Aqueon Aquarium Water Changer – This device makes it easy to perform regular water changes in your aquarium. It is designed to be safe and easy to use, and can help to keep your Emperor Angelfish healthy.
  8. Current USA Orbit Marine LED Light – This LED light is perfect for illuminating your aquarium and showcasing your Emperor Angelfish. It is energy-efficient and easy to install.
  9. Seachem Reef Trace Elements – This is a liquid supplement that is perfect for promoting healthy coral growth in your aquarium. It is safe for use with Emperor Angelfish and other saltwater fish.
  10. Coralife BioCube Protein Skimmer – This protein skimmer is perfect for removing organic waste from your aquarium. It is easy to install and maintain, and will keep the water in your aquarium clean and healthy.


Now that you have read this article, you should have a good understanding of how to care for Emperor Angelfish. Remember to provide them with a large tank, a balanced diet, and a proper environment. Keep in mind that these fish can be aggressive and territorial, so it’s important to choose tank mates carefully.

You should also be aware of the potential health issues that can affect Emperor Angelfish, such as marine ich and velvet disease. Regular water changes and proper filtration can help prevent these problems.

Overall, Emperor Angelfish can be a rewarding and beautiful addition to your aquarium. With the proper care and attention, they can thrive and provide years of enjoyment.

Personally, I have always been fascinated by the vibrant colors and unique patterns of Emperor Angelfish. I remember the first time I saw one in a public aquarium, and I was immediately drawn to its beauty. Now that I have learned more about their care, I feel confident in my ability to provide a suitable home for one of these amazing fish.


If you’re considering getting an Emperor Angelfish, you probably have some questions. Here are a few frequently asked questions about caring for these beautiful fish:

Q: What should I feed my Emperor Angelfish?

A: Emperor Angelfish are omnivores, so they eat both meaty and plant-based foods. You can feed them a variety of foods, such as brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, krill, and algae-based foods. It’s important to provide a varied diet to ensure they get all the nutrients they need.

Q: What size tank do I need for an Emperor Angelfish?

A: Emperor Angelfish can grow up to 15 inches in length, so they need a large tank. A minimum tank size of 125 gallons is recommended for one Emperor Angelfish. If you plan to keep more than one, you’ll need an even larger tank.

Q: Can Emperor Angelfish be kept with other fish?

A: Emperor Angelfish can be aggressive towards other fish, especially other angelfish. It’s best to keep them with peaceful fish that won’t compete for food or territory. Avoid keeping them with small, slow-moving fish that they may mistake for food.

Q: How often should I do water changes?

A: It’s important to maintain good water quality for your Emperor Angelfish. Doing regular water changes is a key part of this. Aim to do a 10-20% water change every 2-4 weeks, depending on your tank size and stocking levels.

My personal experience:

I’ve kept Emperor Angelfish for several years now and they are some of my favorite fish. They have such a striking appearance and are full of personality. However, they can be challenging to care for due to their large size and specific dietary needs. It’s important to do your research and make sure you’re prepared to provide them with the proper care before getting one.

Reference: Wikipedia.


Hi there! My name is Jacob, and I'm the founder of this Pet people blog that talks all about aquarium and fishkeeping. I've been passionate about fish and aquatic life since I was a kid, and I've spent countless hours learning about different species, their habitats, and how to create the perfect environment for them to thrive in.

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