July 20

Sarah Robertson

Elegant And Beautiful, The Smokey Angelfish Is Perfect for Your Aquarium

The Smokey angelfish is a freshwater species that is considered to be beautiful by many aquarium enthusiasts. They are bred in various forms, but all have almost the same basic shape and size. The Smokey angelfish is one such variety.

The Smokey Angelfish (Pterophyllum scalare) is a very elegant and beautiful angelfish variety. They are indigenous to several river systems in Northern South America, but virtually all specimens in the aquarium hobby have been tank-bred for generations. These beautiful fish are known for their smoky gray coloring and their graceful fluttering fins.

When it comes to care, the Smokey angelfish is considered to be relatively easy going, making them a great choice for beginner aquarists. This species should be kept in larger tanks with plenty of swimming space and lots of hiding places. They are peaceful fish that do well in community tanks with other non-aggressive tank mates such as small tetras and catfish.

Quick Facts About Smokey Angelfish Care 

  • Scientific Name: Pterophyllum sp
  • Common Name: Smokey 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

Smokey Angelfish Size

Although Smokey Angelfish only grow to be about 6 inches, they need to reside in a tank that is a minimum of 30 gallons. The main reason for this requirement is because they are semi-aggressive and need the opportunity to swim around and explore their territory. In addition to having plenty of space, these fish also benefit from Having various hiding spots available will allow them act more naturally. Some examples include plants, rocks or driftwood items.

Smokey Angelfish Lifespan

The average lifespan of a Smokey angelfish is 10-15 years, but with dedicated care they can live even longer. A commitment to their well-being includes a well-maintained tank, healthy diet, and regular water changes.

Smokey Angelfish

Smokey Angelfish Appearance

Smokey Angelfish are some of the most beautiful fish in the aquarium world. They have an elongated body shape with a tapered head and pointed snout. They are usually a dark gray or smoky color, with white dots or stripes across their body. The fins are elegant and long, fluttering gracefully in the water.

All fish have two different types of fins- the pectoral and pelvic. The first and largest pair, the pectoral, is located near the gills on either side of their body. Their second much smaller pair, the pelvic fins are located towards the back on the underside of them. In addition to these paired fins, they also have a long anal fin that extends along their entire length as well as a large dorsal round one on their back.

Angelfish are also known to change their coloration depending on their mood or stress level. For example, if they are happy and healthy, their colors will be more vibrant. If they are stressed or sick, their colors will be duller.

The smokey angelfish comes in several variations, including:

  • Blue smokey chocolate angel fish
  • Black smokey angelfish
  • Smoky green angelfish

Gender Differences

There are a few ways to tell the difference between a male and female Smokey angelfish. The first is by looking at their body shape. Male angelfish tend to be thinner and longer than females. Females, on the other hand, are shorter and stockier.

Another way to tell the difference between the two genders is by looking at their fins. The male angelfish will have longer and sharper fins than the female. The female’s fins will be shorter and rounder.

The last way to tell if your angelfish is male or female is by looking at their breeding tubes. These are located on the underside of their body near their pelvic fins. The male’s breeding tube will be longer and thinner than the female’s.

Smokey Angelfish Behavior

The Smokey Angelfish is a semi-aggressive fish that needs plenty of space to swim, and is known to be nippy. Because of this, it is important to provide them with plenty of hiding spots and places to explore in their tank. It is also important to keep a tight-fitting lid on the tank since these fish are jumpers.

Although compatible with most other fish, it's best to not put Smokey angelfish with smaller fish as they may view them as a meal. Also, steer clear of putting them in the same tank as fish with long fins, as the Smokey angelfish is prone to nipping.

Smokey Angelfish Care

Smokey Angelfish are relatively easy to care for as long as you know what they need. These beautiful fish are known to live a long life if properly cared for. It is a must to provide them with the right tank, diet, and water conditions.

Here are some easy guidelines for anyone starting out in Smokey angelfish care:

Tank Setup

Setting up the perfect tank for your Smokey angelfish can be easy if you remember a few key points. You should know the size of your fish, the number of fish you want to keep, and what other kinds of fish you want to keep with them.

Read on for more information about setting up the perfect tank for your Smokey angelfish including tank size, water type, and more.

Tank Size

The first thing you need to do is set up their tank. It is important to have a spacious tank that is at least 30 gallons. These fish need plenty of space to swim and explore, so a smaller tank will not suffice. Along with a spacious tank, you will also need to provide plenty of hiding spots and places to explore.

There are many benefits in having a large tank. Not only do they have more space to swim, but a larger tank also provides more stability for the water quality. This is important because even a small change in water quality can stress these fish out and make them sick.

Water Quality 

Another important aspect of Smokey angelfish care is maintaining high water quality. These fish are very sensitive to changes in their environment, so it is important to keep a close eye on the water parameters.

Some things you will need to keep an eye on are the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels. Ammonia and nitrite should always be at 0 ppm, and nitrate should be below 20 ppm. It is also important to keep the pH between 6.5 and 6.9.

To help maintain high water quality, it is important to do weekly water changes. A good rule of thumb is to change out 30% of the water each week.

Another way to help maintain high water quality is to use a filter. A good filter will help to remove waste and toxins from the water. It is important to choose a filter that is the appropriate size for your tank.

It is also a good idea to use a protein skimmer. This is a device that helps to remove organic waste from the water before it has a chance to break down and release toxins.


The last thing you need to keep an eye on is the temperature of the water. These fish prefer water that is between 76 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. It is important to use a reliable aquarium heater to maintain a consistent temperature. Sudden changes in temperature can be hazardous to these fish, so it is crucial to introduce any change gradually over time. This can be done by raising the temperature a few degrees each day until you reach the desired level.

Tank Decor

When it comes to decorating their tank, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. The first is that these fish need plenty of hiding spots. This can be achieved by using live plants, caves, and other decorations.

Some good choices for easy-to-care live plants that provide shelter for your fish include java fern, anubias, java moss, hornwort, and water sprite. In addition to providing hiding spots, they also help support the local ecosystem by filling the water with oxygen. If you don't want to use live plants, plastic ones can work just as well. However, clean them regularly to prevent them from leaching toxins into the water.

Another thing you need to keep in mind is that these fish like to swim on all levels of the tank. This means that you need to provide decorations that extend from the bottom to the top of the tank. Some good choices include driftwood, rocks, and caves. It is important to avoid using any decorations that are sharp or have rough edges. These can injure your fish.

The last thing you need to consider is the substrate. The best choice for a Smokey angelfish tank is a sandy substrate. This will help to keep their delicate fins from getting damaged.

When it comes to lighting, these fish do best in a dimly lit tank. This can be achieved by using an aquarium hood with a low-wattage bulb. You can also use floating plants to help diffuse the light.

Tank Maintenance

Maintaining a healthy tank is not difficult, but it does require some effort. There are things you need to do on a daily basis as well as things that need to be done on a weekly, monthly, and yearly basis.

Daily Basis:

  • Check the temperature of the water and make sure it is within the desired range
  • Check the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels and make sure they are all at 0 ppm
  • Remove uneaten food from the tank

Weekly Basis:

  • Do a water change of 30%
  • Clean the filter and protein skimmer
  • Clean the decorations and substrate

Note: Condition the new water before adding it to the tank by letting it sit out overnight or using a water conditioner.

Monthly Basis:

  • Disable and clean the filter
  • Deep clean the protein skimmer
  • Transfer the fish to a temporary tank while you deep clean the main tank

Note: These fish are very sensitive to changes in their environment. It is important to make sure that the new water is at the same temperature and has the same pH as the old water.

Yearly Basis:

  • Completely empty and clean the tank
  • Replace the substrate and artificial plants
  • Check the tank for leaks

As you can see, keeping a Smokey angelfish tank is not difficult, but it does require some effort. By following these simple tips, you can be sure that your fish will stay healthy and happy for many years to come.

Smokey Angelfish

Smokey Angelfish Diet

Smokey Angelfish are omnivores, which means that they will eat both plants and meat. In the wild, their diet consists of small insects, crustaceans, and algae. In the aquarium, their diet can be supplemented with the following:

Pellets and Flakes: There are many different types of pellets and flakes that are made specifically for angelfish. These contain all the nutrients and vitamins that your fish needs to stay healthy.

Vegetables: You can also supplement their diet with vegetables such as zucchini, spinach, and peas. It is important to blanch or cook the vegetables before feeding them to your fish as they will have a hard time digesting them otherwise.

Live foods: Live food such as brine shrimp, bloodworms, and daphnia are a great way to add some variety to their diet. However, it is important to only feed them live food a couple of times a week as too much can lead to health problems. Live food is also a great way to get them to breed.

Frozen Foods: You can also feed them frozen foods such as brine shrimp, bloodworms, and daphnia. These are a great source of protein and are easy to find at most pet stores

It is important to provide them with a varied diet as this will help them stay healthy and avoid nutritional deficiencies. A good rule of thumb is to offer them a variety of foods and see what they like to eat the most. Make sure to remove any uneaten food as this can pollute the water.

When it comes to feeding live foods, it is important to only feed them food that is small enough for them to eat. This means avoiding food that is too large as it could choke them. It is also important to avoid feeding them food that is too small as it could escape and pollute the water.

The best way to feed live foods is to culture them yourself. This can be done by setting up a simple aquarium with a few fish or shrimp. Once the live food is established, you can then add it to your Smokey angelfish tank.

Smokey Angelfish Diseases

Smokey Angelfish are susceptible to the same diseases as other angelfish. The most common diseases that they are prone to are:

  • Ich: Ich, also known as White Spot Disease, is a protozoan that appears on fish in the form of white dots. The most common cause of ich among angelfish is typically a sudden temperature change in the water or stress caused by other fishes. However, placing plants or other similar fish into an inadequate tank can pollute all the angelfish and result in Ich. If left untreated, this disease has a high chance of causing fatalities among affected fish, so taking immediate action is key.
  • Fin Rot: Fin rot is a bacterial infection of a fish's fins that most often occurs in 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 left untreated, fin rot will spread to the fish's body and be deadly.
  • Dropsy: Characterized by swelling due to excess fluid, Dropsy is a condition common in fish. While often caused by kidney failure, it can also arise from infection or tumor growth. Antibiotics may help the fish recover; however, sometimes Dropsy causes too much damage and euthanasia becomes necessary.
  • Velvet Disease: Velvet disease is a parasitic infection that causes fish to develop a velvet-like coating on their bodies. It can be caused by poor water conditions, new fish, or plants. This can be treated by quarantining the fish and treating them with copper sulfate.
  • Angelfish Hexamita: The disease Hexamita, more commonly known as Hole-in-the-Head Disease, is caused by a parasite that multiplies rapidly. If left untreated, this disease can kill your angelfish and quickly spread to other fish in freshwater aquariums. To quarantine infected fish, you can raise the water temperature gradually until it reaches 90°F –9 or treats the aquarium with salt.

Symptoms of Disease in Angelfish

When it comes to diseases, there are a few key symptoms to look out for in your angelfish. These include:

  • White spots on the body
  • Sores or ulcers on the body
  • Redness or inflammation
  • Frayed fins
  • Missing fins
  • Excessive mucus production
  • Loss of appetite
  • lethargy or swimming irregularly

If you notice any of these symptoms in your angelfish, it is important to take action immediately. The sooner you catch the disease, the better the chances are of successfully treating it.

How to Prevent Disease in Angelfish?

The following are a few tips to help you prevent disease in your angelfish:

  • Quarantine new fish before adding them to your tank.
  • Keep your tank clean and free of debris.
  • Do not overfeed your fish.
  • Monitor the water parameters closely.
  • Remove any sick or dead fish from the tank immediately.


If you notice any of the above symptoms in your angelfish, it is important to take action immediately. The sooner you catch the disease, the better the chances are of successfully treating it.

There are a few different treatment options available for diseases that affect angelfish. These include:

  • Quarantine: One of the best ways to treat a sick fish is to quarantine it in its own tank. This will help to prevent the disease from spreading to other fish and allow you to monitor the fish's condition.
  • Antibiotics: Antibiotics are often used to treat bacterial infections in fish. They can be administered through food or water, or they can be injected directly into the fish.
  • Copper Sulfate: Copper sulfate can be used to treat Velvet disease. It is typically added to the quarantine tank at a concentration of 0.15-0.20 ppm.
  • Salt: Salt can be used to treat Hexamita and other parasitic infections. It is typically added to the quarantine tank at a concentration of 0.3%.
  • Raising the Temperature: Raising the temperature of the water can help to treat Hexamita and other parasitic infections. The water temperature should be raised gradually until it reaches 90°F-9°C.
  • Euthanasia: In some cases, the best course of action may be to euthanize the fish. This is typically done when the disease is too far progressed or when the fish is suffering and there is no hope for recovery.
Smokey Angelfish

Smokey Angelfish Breeding

In order to successfully breed Angelfish, here are a few things you should keep in mind: ensuring they have a healthy diet and letting them pick their mate. Oftentimes it's tricky to determine the sex of an Angelfish, so giving them that power might be ideal. Another way to tell males and females apart is female's eggs will cause her abdomen area to swell when they're close to hatching time.

It is very important to condition your angelfish prior to breeding. Conditioning your angelfish means preparing them for breeding by providing them with the proper diet and environment. This process can take anywhere from 4-8 weeks. Some things you will need to do to condition your angelfish include providing them with a high-quality diet that is rich in proteins and live foods. You will also need to make sure the water parameters in their tank are ideal for breeding.

Parents work together before they mate 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.

Just like parents take care of their children until they're old enough to fend for themselves, Smokey Angelfish mate for life and work together to raise their fry. However, this instinctual parenting method isn't always carried out-sometimes under stress, breeding pairs will consume eggs as well as any small fish nearby. Because of this exception to the rule, some commercial breeders have had to adjust their methods. To hatch your eggs, place the leaf or slate on which they were spawned 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.

Smokey Angelfish Fry Care 

Although it is easy to care for Smokey Angelfish fry, there are a couple of steps you should take to ensure their well-being. Hiding places are crucial for them; live plants or pieces of driftwood work great. In addition, feeding them a healthy diet is essential; live brine shrimp or daphnia works well for Smokey Angelfish fry. In addition, you'll need to change the water regularly and remove any ammonia or nitrates to keep the habitat clean. Patience is also key; Angelfish can take up to 12 months before they're fully grown, so don't get discouraged if their growth rate seems slow.

Frequent Questions

What is a Smokey angelfish?

Smokey angelfish are a type of freshwater fish that originate from South America. They are known for their unique smokey pattern and can grow to be up to six inches in length.

Do Smokey angelfish need sand or gravel?

Smokey angelfish do not need sand or gravel, but it is recommended that they have a substrate of some kind in order to help keep their environment stable and clean. Rocks, plants, and driftwood are great options for Smokey angelfish aquariums.

How long do Smokey angelfish live?

Smokey angelfish are known to live for up to 10 years, provided they are given the proper care and environment.

Do Smokey angelfish need a heater?

Yes, Smokey angelfish need a heater in order to maintain their optimal water temperature. The ideal temperature range is 75-80°F (24-27°C).

Are Smokey angelfish aggressive?

No, Smokey angelfish are not generally known to be aggressive. They will typically get along with other peaceful fish species in their tank. However, they may become territorial when breeding, so it's important to provide plenty of space for them.

Summing Up

Smokey Angelfish are beautiful fish that make great pets. They are easy to care for and can live for 5-10 years with proper care. These fish need a clean environment, plenty of hiding places, and a healthy diet. These fish are known for their vibrant smokey coloration and peaceful demeanor. The Smokey gene makes these fish susceptible to disease, so it is important to provide them with a clean and healthy environment. Smokey angelfish can be fed pellets, flakes, or live foods. However, it is best to give them a variety of foods so that they get all the nutrients they need. Feed them only what they can eat in 2-3 minutes, and remove any uneaten food so that it does not pollute the water. These fish are also sensitive to changes in their environment, so it is important to change the water regularly and remove any ammonia or nitrates to keep the habitat clean. Patience is also key; Angelfish can take up to 12 months before they're fully grown, so don't get discouraged if their growth rate seems slow. So what are you waiting for? Go out and get yourself a Smokey angelfish today!

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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