11 Types of Angelfish Color Variations

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    Koi Angelfish

    Freshwater angelfish, Koi phenotype
    Visa Kopu/ Roxeteer/Wikimedia Commons

    Believe it or not, there are only one primary species of Angelfish sold in the aquarium trade. However, there are many interesting and beautiful color variations of the Angelfish. Some call it the Golden Splash, others call it the Koi Angelfish. Genetically, it is a Gold Marble that has no stripes. No matter what you call it, you can't deny the beauty of this fish. This particular specimen also shows blushing characteristics.

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    Altum Angelfish

    Altum Angelfish in Tank
    Jerry Young/Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images

    The Pterophyllum Altum, or more simply known as the Altum Angelfish, is not commonly seen in the aquarium trade. It is larger, deeper, and flatter than the commonly seen Angelfish species, Pterophyllum Scalare. They are far more sensitive to changes in water conditions, and therefore more challenging to keep in an aquarium, this fish is well worth the extra effort. Expect to pay a little extra for them as well, as they are far and few between in pet shops.

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    Golden Angelfish

    Gold marbled veiltail (Pterophyllum scalare), silver, gold and black angelfish with long fins, side view
    Jerry Young / Getty Images

    In the late 1960s, an Angelfish breeder in Milwaukee was surprised to find an oddly colored fry in a spawning of Black Lace Angels. That single fish eventually resulted in the Naja Gold, which became the first Gold Angelfish in the aquarium trade. Several lines of Gold Angelfish have arisen and died off since then. Currently, Golden Angels are relatively common in the aquarium trade and are cross-bred with other varieties to create many interestingly colored specimens.

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    Zebra Angelfish

    Zebra Angelfish
    Zebra Angelfish

    This interesting variation is known as a Zebra Angelfish. Although the stripes in this specimen are not dark, you can see that there is a total of four stripes. One through the eye, and three more on the body. Silver Angels have a total of only three stripes. Note the red eye in this fish, which is a sign of full maturity and good health. Not all varieties of Angels will develop a red eye.

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    Dusky Blushing Angelfish

    Dusky Blushing Angelfish
    Dusky Blushing Angelfish

    Can you pick out all the variations in this lovely fish? It definitely has veil genes in its makeup, as well as blushing cheeks. The blushing is due to a lack of pigmentation, which allows the redness of the gills to show through. This fish also displays dusky black edges to the fins. Blushing Angelfish are among the most difficult to breed and are very sensitive to water conditions. Their beauty more than makes up for the extra effort required to keep them.

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    Blushing Angelfish

    Blushing Angelfish
    Lucy Arnold

    This photo is also of a Blushing Angelfish. This beautiful Blushing Angel has no dusky markings ​and not even the hint of a stripe, but the cheeks of the fish still appear as if they are flushed and "blushing." 

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  • 07 of 11

    Golden Marble Angelfish

    Golden Marble Angelfish
    Golden Marble Angelfish

    Who wouldn't want this gorgeous pair of Golden Marble Angelfish? Marbled Angels have been around since the late 1960s, and show a wide range of marbled markings. Both of these fish have strong Golden traits with a slight variance; the fish on the left has far more black than the one the right, and the fish on the right shows blushing cheeks. Gold Marbles are often called Koi Angels.

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    Half-Black Angelfish

    Half-Black Angelfish
    Half-Black Angelfish

    Here's an Angelfish variety that you won't see every day. Known as the Half-Black Angelfish, they have been around for well over a half-century. Half-Black Angelfish aren't easy to raise, and because they are not in high demand, they are rarely seen for sale.

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  • 09 of 11

    Silver Angelfish

    Silver Angelfish
    Silver Angelfish

    Silver Angelfish have long been the backbone of the Angelfish trade. All silvers have three stripes, one through the eye, and two more through the body. They are quite hardy and among the easiest of Angelfish to care for.

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    Marble Angelfish

    Marble Angelfish
    Ali B./FOAP/Getty Images

    Here is a classic Marble Angelfish, showing the distinctive marbling on the body coupled with stripes on the fins. This specimen has a dash of gold thrown in, making it particularly attractive.

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  • 11 of 11

    Gold and Silver Angelfish

    Gold and Silver Angelfish
    Gold and Silver Angelfish

    Now here is a classic pair-Gold and Silver Angels. Note that the Silver Angelfish has only two stripes, which is an interesting variation. You can also see the difference in the eyes. Gold Angels will rarely sport red eyes, while Silver Angels usually do.