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Home > Fish > Koi Angel Fish: Care Guide, Varieties, & Lifespan (With Pictures)

Koi Angel Fish: Care Guide, Varieties, & Lifespan (With Pictures)

Koi Angel Fish

The Koi Angel Fish is a species of Angel Fish that combines its triangular shape with the mottled coloring of Koi. They originate from Ecuador and Peru and their stunning markings have seen them become a popular addition to aquariums. They have the same care requirements as other Angel Fish, so they benefit from a big tank with plenty of natural planting. And if you provide ideal conditions, you can expect the Koi Angel Fish to live as long as 10 years.

However, be aware that Angel Fish will eat virtually anything they can fit in their mouths, so this species should not be kept with small fish species.


Quick Facts about Koi Angel Fish

Species Name: Koi Angel Fish
Family: Cichlidae
Care Level: Low
Temperature: 75°F–82°F
Temperament: Peaceful but will eat small fish
Color Form: Mottled black and white, may have a gold head
Lifespan: 6–10 years
Size: 4”–6”
Diet: Omnivore
Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons
Tank Set-Up: Tall aquarium, plenty of décor
Compatibility: Will get along with most, but avoid very small fish

Koi Angel Fish Overview

The Koi Angel Fish is a species of Angel Fish and not a species of Koi. But it does have typical Koi markings, with black and white mottling. It may also have a gold head or a gold flash on its head, although not always. They are a natural species and are found in several rivers of Northern South America. Although most Koi Angel Fish found in pet and aquarium stores have been captive-bred for several generations, they do still appreciate an aquarium setup that is similar to the environment they would enjoy in the wild.

Angel Fish are elegant, with long flowing fins, and are usually quite placid and slow moving. They are also considered low maintenance and easy to care for. But, while they aren’t usually aggressive, Koi Angel Fish are omnivores and will eat just about anything they can fit in their mouths, which includes smaller fish. So, avoid keeping them in a tank with very small species.

The Koi Angel Fish is a rewarding tank resident that doesn’t require too much attention, will get along with other similarly sized fish, and can fill a tank with beauty and presence for up to 10 years.

How Much Do Koi Angel Fish Cost?

Koi Angel Fish are popular fish and are found in a lot of tanks. This means that there is also a considerable network of breeders, and the abundance of fish means that they are very reasonably priced. The exact price depends primarily on the size of the fish with small to medium Koi Angel Fish costing between $20 and $50. Larger examples can cost $60 or more.

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Typical Behavior & Temperament

Koi Angel Fish are elegant and placid fish. They tend to swim and float calmly and may hide in and around the plants and other décor in the tank. They will get along with other fish and are usually peaceful tank inhabitants. However, they will eat almost anything, and this can include small fish species that they can fit in their mouth.

Koi Angel Fish
Image By: Joan Carlos Juarez, Shutterstock

Appearance & Varieties

With the body shape of an Angel Fish, the Koi Angel has a triangular body with long fins. They can measure up to 6 inches long and up to 8 inches tall, and this height means that the species is best suited to a tall tank environment.

In the wild, Koi Angel Fish have white bodies with black vertical stripes, more akin to the markings of a zebra. However, captive-bred Koi Angel Fish come in many colors and patterns.

The Koi Angel Fish has similar markings to Koi Carp. As such, they have a white body with black, grey, orange, and red mottling or patches. Some have orange patches on their heads.

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How to Take Care of Koi Angel Fish

This species is considered low maintenance and relatively easy to care for, but you do need to provide suitable tank conditions if you want your Angels to thrive.

Habitat, Tank Conditions & Setup

The river-dwelling Koi Angel Fish needs a habitat that closely mimics that of its real-life habitat. And while they are easy to care for, they do benefit from a lot of space, as well as plenty of plants and other decorations.

Tank Size

These tall fish benefit from a tall tank, rather than a long and horizontal one. 30 gallons is the absolute minimum capacity for one or two, and if you have a larger school, you should provide a 50-gallon or larger tank.

Koi in aquarium tank
Image By: soohyun kim, Shutterstock

Water Quality & Conditions

Angel Fish are freshwater fish that need good quality water. Koi Angel Fish need water with a temperature between 75°F and 82°F and a pH between 5.8 and 7. The water should have a slow-moving current.


The ideal substrate is medium gravel. Angel Fish forage for food along the bottom of the tank, so avoid anything too fine or too small to prevent accidental ingestion.

person adding substrate and sand in the tank
Image By: Krysja, Shutterstock


Ensure there are plenty of plants and vegetation for your Angel Fish. They especially enjoy large-leaved plants like the Java fern and Amazon swords. They also appreciate logs, other wood, and rocks.


Good lighting not only benefits your Angel Fish but will also help keep the vegetation healthy and thriving. They will also ensure the colors of your Angel Fish pop so you can enjoy the benefits of their Koi markings. If the tank is kept in a well-lit room, and you can leave those lights on 12 hours a day, you may not need additional tank lights. LED lights are efficient and effective. Incandescent and fluorescent lights may be bright enough for your tank and your fish, too.

square goldfish tank with overhead light
Image By: Karl Muscat, Unsplash


Angelfish need good quality, clean water, which means you do need good tank filtration. You should also conduct weekly 10% water changes to help ensure that your fish have optimal water conditions.

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Are Koi Angel Fish Good Tank Mates?

Koi Angel Fish are generally placid and pleasant fish. They get along well with one another, and these schooling fish do better when kept in a group rather than being kept individually. Try to avoid adding a new fish to an existing group.

Angel Fish will also get along with other fish, but you do need to avoid keeping them with much smaller fish or with fish that might nibble at the Angel Fish’s fins.

Koi Angel Fish
Image By: Joan Carlos Juarez, Shutterstock

What to Feed Your Koi Angel Fish

In the wild, this species of river fish would eat insect larvae, small fish, and also some vegetation.

The omnivorous Koi Angel Fish can be fed a variety of foods including flakes and pellets. You can also provide meaty foods like bone shrimp and bloodworms, and you can also supplement their food with vegetables. Providing variety is good and even if you offer a predominantly flake or pellet-based diet, you should consider giving meat as an occasional treat that your Koi Angels will lap up.

Keeping Your Koi Angel Fish Healthy

Other than good general care, there aren’t any secrets to keeping Koi Angel Fish healthy. Ensure a steady water temperature and pH level. Make sure there is a gentle current and do a partial water change every week (10%) or every fortnight (25%) to keep the water in good condition.

Avoid keeping a single Koi Angel Fish because one alone will not usually thrive. This fish schools in the wild and you should try to replicate this in your tank.

Koi Angel Fish
Image By: JackStar88, Shutterstock


To encourage breeding, ensure water temperature remains stable between 80°F and 85°F and that pH is as close to 6.5 as you can get it.

After schooling as a group, your Koi Angel Fish may partner up. When they do partner up, they can become territorial and defend their territory from other fish. They will then choose a rock, plant, or other spawning site and keep it clean. Once the eggs are laid, the parents will keep them oxygenated, to prevent fungus and if any eggs are found to have fungus, one of the parents will remove them. After 2 days, the eggs will hatch, and the young will remain at the spawning site for up to a week. After a week, the fry will be free swimming and should be fed brine shrimp.


Are Koi Angel Fish Suitable for Your Aquarium?

Koi Angel Fish can make a great addition to an aquarium, as long as there are no tiny fish in the existing stock. They are elegant and colorful, with pretty Koi-like markings, and are considered easy-to-care-for low-maintenance fish. As long as you can maintain the right temperature and pH, and you provide a large enough tank with decent vegetation and decorations, your Angel Fish should thrive. And when they do so, they will likely breed and provide you with a healthy supply of Koi Angel Fish fry.

Featured Image Credit: Galina Savina, Shutterstock

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