July 5

Sarah Robertson

Are Black Lace Angelfish Easy to Care For?

The angelic and peaceful-looking freshwater angelfish is a popular addition to any home aquarium. They are known for their beautiful fins and calming presence. Surprisingly, these gentle creatures come from a family of fish that includes some of the most beautiful and rarest fish in the world, such as the Black lace angelfish.

The Black Lace Angelfish, as its name would lead you to believe, is slightly darker than charcoal but not quite black. The wild type stripes are still visible and the tail and fins have a lacy pattern. However, the stripes might fade or darken depending on the mood of the fish - much like a silver angelfish.

These angelfish are semi-aggressive, so they should not be kept with other angelfish. They are best kept with fish that are similar in size and temperament. If you have a peaceful community aquarium, these angelfish can be a great addition as long as there is plenty of hiding places for them to retreat to if needed.

In this article, we will go over everything you need to know about Black lace angelfish care, such as diet, habitat, tank mates, and more.

Quick Facts About Black Lace Angelfish Care

  • Scientific Name: Pterophyllum scalare
  • Common Name: Black Lace Angelfish
  • Origin: Amazon and Orinoco River Basins, South America
  • Family: Cichlidae
  • Diet: Omnivore
  • Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons
  • Temperature: Between 78° and 84° F
  • PH Range: 6.5 – 6.9
  • Lifespan: 10-15 years
  • Water Type: Hard
  • Breed Type: Egg Layer
  • Care Level: Easy- Moderate
  • Temperament: Semi-aggressive
  • Aquarium Hardiness: Hardy
  • Max Size: 6 inches
  • Compatibility: Community Tanks
  • Aquarist Experience Level: Beginner

Black Lace Angelfish Size

The Black Lace angelfish is a mesmerizing creature not only because of its beautiful colors, but also due to its size. They can grow relatively large for an aquarium fish, reaching up to six inches in length. Even though they're small compared to other aquatic creatures, they still need plenty of space to swim and explore their environment.

There are many things that can affect the size of a fish, such as water quality and food amount. Make sure they also have enough space to swim around andexplore, along with plenty of hiding places.

Black Lace Angelfish Lifespan

The lifespan of a Black Lace angelfish is 10 to 15 years, which is relatively long for an aquarium fish. They can live even longer if they are given the proper care and diet.

To ensure your angelfish has a long and healthy life, it's important to provide them with a clean and stress-free environment. This means having the correct water parameters, plenty of hiding places, and the right tank mates.

Black Lace Angelfish Care

Black Lace Angelfish Appearance

The Black Lace angelfish is a beautiful and unique fish that will add personality and color to any aquarium. As their name suggests, they are mostly charcoal black with lace-like patterns on their fins. Their bodies are elongated and oval-shaped, similar to other angelfish species. Their dorsal and anal fins are long and pointed, and they have a large, round pectoral fin.

The color of the Black Lace angelfish can vary depending on their mood and environment. In some cases, they may be mostly black, while in others they may have more of a silver or gray coloration. The wild-type stripes are usually still visible, regardless of their coloration.

Gender difference

Males and females are both about 6 inches long when fully matured. The primary difference between genders include:

  • Males tend to be more slender than females and have longer fins. Females, on the other hand, are rounder in shape and have shorter fins.
  • Male angelfish have a tube that is pointy and narrow; it might look like the tip of a pencil. On the other hand, female angelfish have a rounder tube with a cylindrical shape.
  • Males also tend to be more aggressive than females.

Black Lace Angelfish Behavior

The Black Lace angelfish is a semi-aggressive species that should not be kept with other angelfish. They are best kept with fish that are similar in size and temperament. If you have a peaceful community aquarium, these angelfish can be a great addition as long as there is plenty of hiding places for them to retreat to when they feel threatened.

Black Lace Angelfish are also known to be jumpers, so it's important to have a tight-fitting lid on your aquarium.

Black Lace Angelfish Care

If you're just getting into fishkeeping, the Black Lace angelfish is a great choice. They are hardy and can tolerate many different water conditions. However, there are still a few things you should know about their care before bringing them home.

Tank Size

The most important thing to remember is that they need plenty of space to swim and explore. They also need hiding places, as they can be easily stressed by too much activity in the tank. A good rule of thumb is to have a tank that is at least 30 gallons.

There are many benefits to having a larger tank. Not only will your fish have more space to swim, but you will also have more room to add other fish and plants.

Water Conditions

The Black Lace angelfish is relatively versatile and can withstand different water conditions. Nevertheless, it's important to have stability in the environment. Abrupt changes in temperature or pH levels can be overwhelming for the fish and result in illness.

The best water temperature for a Black Lace angelfish is 78° to 84° F. Its optimal pH level is between 6.5 and 6.9, and it should have as few nitrates and ammonia in the water as possible.

Not only is it important to have a quality filter, but you should also do regular water changes. By taking these measures, you ensure that the water stays clean and the environment stable.

Tank Decor

Black Lace angelfish require numerous veiled areas. This can be done by adding caves, rocks, and greenery to their tank.

  • Plants are not only aesthetically pleasing, but they also play an important role in water quality and stability. Creating a more natural environment for your fish is crucial to their health and live plants are the best way to achieve this. Some good options for plants include java fern, hornwort, and Anubias
  • Rocks and driftwood- This can be used to create hiding places and an increasingly natural look for the tank. When selecting rocks, guarantee that they are smooth without any rough edges.

Also, if you're considering artificial decorations, double check that they are made of safe materials before adding them into the water (you don't want toxic leaching). Overall, clean all new additions before putting them into the tank.


The Black Lace angelfish is not picky when it comes to substrates. You can use gravel, sand, or a mix of both. Just make sure that the substrate is non-toxic and won't affect the water quality.

If you're unsure about what substrate to choose, we recommend using dark-colored gravel. Not only does it look good, but it also makes it easier to see the fish against a dark background.


The Black Lace angelfish is not a messy fish, but they still need a quality filter to remove waste and toxins from the water. A good rule of thumb is to have a filter that can turn over at least 10 times the amount of water in your tank per hour.

As we mentioned before, it's important to have a stable environment for your fish. A quality filter helps to ensure this by keeping the water clean and free of toxins.


Black Lace angelfish are not fussy fish when it comes to lighting. However, they do prefer dimmer conditions. If you have live plants in the tank, then you will need to provide them with enough light to photosynthesize.

Lighting is not only important for the plants but also for the overall look of the tank. We recommend using LED lights because they are energy-efficient and emit very little heat.

Tank Maintenance

It is important to do regular water changes and tank maintenance. This will help to keep the water clean and the environment stable.

Water changes should be done every 2-4 weeks, or as needed. The amount of water that you remove will depend on the size of your tank. A general rule of thumb is to remove 10-15% of the water.

After you have removed the water, you will need to add fresh water that is the same temperature and chemistry as the tank.

Tank maintenance also includes cleaning the filter and other equipment, as well as removing any algae or debris from the tank.

Note: Condition the new water before adding it to the tank. This can be done by adding a water conditioner or by letting the water sit for 24 hours.

Black Lace Angelfish Tank Mates

The Black Lace angelfish is a semi-aggressive fish, which means that they are not afraid to defend their territory from other fish. They are also known to be nippy, so it is important to make sure that they kept with other fish that can hold their own in order to create a balanced and harmonious environment.

The Black Lace angelfish is best accompanied by the following fish:

  • Boesemani Rainbow Fish
  • Corydoras Catfish
  • Dwarf Gourami
  • Zebra Loaches
  • Platies
  • Mollies
  • Kribensis
  • Bushynose Pleco
  • Ram Cichlids

You should avoid fish that can be seen as prey by other, larger fish, as well those with similar temperament and aggression levels. Examples of such fish are:

  • Neon Tetras
  • Guppies
  • Bettas
  • Goldfish
  • Barbs

Black Lace angelfish are best kept in groups of juveniles if you plan on keeping more than one together. This will reduce aggression and fighting behaviors. If you put them in a tank with other fish, observe their behavior to ensure they all get along peacefully. Should any fights break out, you may need to remove the aggressor or re-home them.

Black Lace Angelfish Diet

The Black Lace angelfish is an omnivore, which means that it will eat both plants and animals. In the wild, their diet consists of algae, small crustaceans, and insects. In captivity, their diet should consist of a variety of fresh and frozen foods, as well as dry food. The following are some examples of food that you can feed your Black Lace angelfish:

 Pellets: A good quality pellet food will provide the Black Lace angelfish with all the nutrients they need. You need to soak the pellets in water for a few minutes before feeding them to your fish.

Flakes: Flakes are a good option for smaller fish, but should be avoided with larger fish as they can cause them to choke. Sometimes, flakes can also cloud the water. Therefore, it is important to only feed your fish as much as they can eat in one sitting.

Frozen food: Frozen food is a great option for Black Lace angelfish because it is packed with nutrients and easy to store. Some examples of frozen food include bloodworms, brine shrimp, and daphnia.

Vegetables: You can also supplement their diet with vegetables such as zucchini, spinach, and peas. Be sure to cook the vegetables before feeding them to your fish.

Live food: Live food is a great option for Black Lace angelfish because it provides them with mental stimulation and enrichment. Some examples of live food include crickets, earthworms, and mealworms. However, you should only feed them live food occasionally as it can introduce parasites into the tank.

A healthy diet for your Black Lace angelfish includes variety to make sure it gets all the nutrients needed. This will help keep the fish disease-free and overall healthier.

Feeding Tips 

When feeding the Black Lace angelfish, it is important to keep a few things in mind:

  • Only feed them as much as they can eat in one sitting. This will prevent them from becoming overweight and will also help keep the water clean.
  • Avoid overfeeding them as this can lead to health problems such as digestive issues and swim bladder disease.
  • Feed them multiple times a day, but only give them enough food that they can eat in a few minutes.
Black Lace Angelfish

Black Lace Angelfish Disease

The Black Lace angelfish, similar to other fish, can contract various diseases. The most prevalent are:

  • Ich: Also known as White Spot Disease, Ich appears on fish bodies as tiny white dots. The most frequent cause of ich among angelfish is typically a sudden temperature change in the water or stress. Yet, placing plants or other protozoa-carrying fish into an inadequate tank can pollute all the angelfish and result in Ich. If left untreated, this disease stands a high chance of fatalities among affected fish, so taking immediate action is key.
  • Fin Rot: Fin rot is a bacterial infection of a fish's fins, most typically induced by unclean water conditions, such as high ammonia or nitrite levels. Additionally, fin rot can result from physical damage to the fins if the fish are kept with other fishes that nibble. If unattended, fin rot spread to the fish's body and will be deadly.
  • Dropsy: Dropsy is a condition characterized by swelling in fish due to excess fluid in the body. It is caused most often by kidney failure, but can also be caused by infection or tumor growth. Antibiotics may provide treatment, but often the fish will not recover and will need to be euthanized.
  • Velvet Disease: Velvet disease is a parasitic infection that causes fish to develop a velvet-like coating on their bodies. It is most often caused by poor water conditions, but can also be introduced by new fish or plants.
  • Angelfish Hexamita: Hexamita, better known as Hole-in-the-Head disease, is caused by the rapid multiplication of a parasite. This disease can be deadly to your angelfish if it goes untreated and quickly spreads throughout freshwater aquariums. To quarantine infected fish, raising water temperatures gradually until it reaches 90°F –9 or treating the aquarium with salt– are two viable remedies.


The most common symptoms of disease in Black Lace angelfish include:

  • The loss of appetite
  • Clamped fins
  • Gasping for air at the surface of the water
  • Scratching against objects in the tank
  • White spots on the body or fins
  • Reddened fins or body
  • Swelling
  • Trouble swimming

If you notice any of these symptoms in your Black Lace angelfish, it is important to take them to a vet as soon as possible for treatment.


The best way to treat a sick Black Lace angelfish is to take them to a vet that specializes in fish. They will be able to properly diagnose the disease and provide you with the necessary medication.

You can also try to treat the fish yourself, but this is not recommended unless you are experienced in treating fish diseases.

If you do decide to treat the fish yourself, make sure to quarantine them in a separate tank from the rest of your fish. This will prevent the disease from spreading and will also make it easier to monitor the fish.

When treating a sick fish, it is important to follow the directions on the medication exactly. This will ensure that the fish gets the proper dosage and will also prevent you from harming them.


The best way to prevent your Black Lace angelfish from getting sick is to maintain a clean and healthy aquarium.

Make sure to do regular water changes and test the water for ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates.

You should also quarantine new fish before adding them to your tank. This will allow you to watch them for signs of disease and will also give them time to adjust to their new environment.

Lastly, avoid overfeeding your fish, and make sure to feed them a variety of foods. A healthy diet will help to boost their immune system and will make them less likely to get sick.

Black Lace Angelfish Breeding 

A few things to keep in mind if you want to successfully breed Angelfish: a healthy diet and letting them pick their mate. Oftentimes it's tricky to know the sex of an Angelfish, so giving them that agency might be ideal. Another way to tell males and females apart is that female's eggs will cause her abdomen area to swell when they're close to hatching.

Before they mate, both parents work together to clean a proposed site - this could be anything from a leaf to slate. Once the female is ready to lay her fertilized eggs, she does so in rows. To improve their chances of survival, both parents take turns cleaning off any dirt or rot that might threaten the health of the eggs.

Parents usually keep their young children close by until they learn how to fend for themselves. Similarly, Black Lace angelfish mate for life and work together raising their fry; however, this isn't always the case. Black Lace Angelfish breeding pairs usually consume eggs and any nearby small fish when under stress--which has caused some commercial breeders to adapt their methods. If you would like your eggs to hatch, take the leaf or slate on which they were spawned and place it in a container with water from the original tank. Then, add an air stone so that there is a stream of bubbles for circulation and cleaning. Even though this might leave the eggs open to fungal infections, adding fungicide will kill any fungus present.

It's crucial to keep an eye on fry (new born fish), as they are more vulnerable to being preyed upon. Many breeders will place fry in a tank with plenty of hiding spots for protection.

Black Lace Angelfish Fry Care

Caring for Black Lace Angelfish fry is easy, but there are a couple of actions you should take to make sure they're healthy and happy. They need lots of places to hide; this can be live plants or pieces of driftwood. Secondly, feeding them a nutritious diet is key; live brine shrimp or daphnia works well for Black Lace Angelfish fry. Besides, you have to frequently change the water and remove any ammonia or nitrates to keep the water clean. Another necessity is patience; Angelfish can take up to 12 months before they're fully-grown, so don't give up hope if their growth rate seems slow.

Black Lace Angelfish

Frequent Questions

Are black lace angelfish rare?

They are rare compared to other angelfish, but they are not the rarest. The black lace angelfish is a beautiful fish that is native to the Amazon basin.

What do black lace angelfish eat?

Black lace angelfish are omnivores, so they will eat a variety of foods. In the wild, their diet consists of algae, small insects, and crustaceans. In captivity, they can be fed a variety of foods, including pellets, flakes, live food, and frozen food.

Do black lace angelfish need a filter?

Yes, black lace angelfish need a filter to remove waste and toxins from the water. A good rule of thumb is to choose a filter that is rated for double the size of your tank.

Do black lace angelfish need a heater?

No, black lace angelfish do not need a heater. They are tropical fish and prefer water that is between 75-82 degrees Fahrenheit.

How big do black lace angelfish get?

In the wild, black lace angelfish can grow up to 6 inches long. In captivity, they can reach a maximum size of 6-8 inches.

What fish can live with black angelfish?

Black lace angelfish are peaceful fish, so they can be kept with a variety of tank mates. Some good choices include other peaceful angelfish, tetras, gouramis, and danios.

Can you keep just one Black Lace angelfish?

No, Black Lace angelfish are social creatures and need to be kept in pairs. They can be kept with other peaceful fish, but should not be kept with aggressive fish.

Summing Up

The Black Lace angelfish is a beautiful, peaceful freshwater fish that makes a great addition to any aquarium. They require a diet of both plant and animal matter and prefer to stay near the bottom of the tank. A 10-gallon tank is the standard size for one Black Lace angelfish, but you will need to include hiding places in the tank if you want your fish to feel comfortable. These fish are not difficult to care for and can live for up to 10 years with proper care. These fish prefer to be in pairs, so make sure you buy two Black Lace angelfish if you are planning on keeping them in your aquarium. They love to eat live food, but will also accept pellets and flakes. Overall, the Black Lace angelfish is a great choice for any beginner or experienced aquarium owner. Thanks for reading!

Sarah Robertson

I am a passionate blogger who also happens to be a fish keeping enthusiast. Writing about my hobby is something that I absolutely love to do, and it's no secret that my chosen topic is always centered around fish keeping.

Sarah Robertson

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