French Angel fish: Characteristics, habitat, care and more…

The French Angel fish (Pomacanthus paru) are one of the largest in the Pomacanthus family and needs a lot of space to swim. These fish, which are really worth learning about, are omnivorous, semi-aggressive creatures from the Caribbean sea.


Phylum: Chordata  Class: Actinopterygii  Order: Perciformes Family: Pomacanthidae  Genus: Pomacanthus  Species: P. paru

The French Angel Fish’ Main Traits

These really beautiful fish have a slender body, with a small mouth and comb-like teeth. During their adulthood French angel fish have a black body with scales bordered golden yellow, excepting the frontal ones, from the nape to the abdomen.

Their face is greyish black with yellow rings around the eyes while their mouth is grayish white.  Juveniles French Angel Fish differ from the adults in the body patterns.

They have a black body with three thick yellow vertical bands. They also have a yellow band that extends across the forehead and around the mouth. We invite you to read our article the anatomy of fish to learn more about such a topic


Their size usually ranges from 25 to 41 cm. 

Feeding French Angel Fish

Juveniles specimens feed on parasites of other fish, algae and debris. Adults feed on sponges and a variety of other elements such as algae, corals, gorgonians, tunics and hydroids.

French angel fish: Gorgonia flabellum

The French Angel Fish’ Behavior

This is one of the most peaceful species of Pomacanthus and can be kept in a community aquarium. Adults can be kept with fish of different temperaments and small sizes.

Life Span

About 10 to 15 years of life.

Where Do French Angel Fish Inhabit?

The French angel fish is native to the Central western Atlantic. They extend from the coral reefs in Brazil to North America, where they can be found on the southern coast of the United States. Most French angels are collected from the Caribbean, or from regions of South America.

How Do French Angel Fish Reproduce?

In the wild, the Pomacanthus mating system (including the French Angel fish) depends on the density of the population in a particular place. In one area they can form permanent bonds, while in other areas they will make up harems.

While reproducing, their courtship is less dramatic than other species. Pairs of males and females gather at the edge of the reef at dusk. Each couple breeds and ascends to the top of the water, swimming together in an ascending circuit of 2 to 3 meters above sea level, and then launch gametes from the apex.

There are records of reproductive behavior with the French Angel fish in aquariums, as well as reports of successful breeding of offspring developed from hormone-induced broodstock. An interesting fact is that these really beautiful fish mate for life and fight to defend their territory against other angelfish pairs. We invite you to read our article Emperor Angel fish to learn about another species of angel fish

French Angel Fish in Captivity

French Angel fish don’t require special care or techniques to be kept successfully in captivity and, in proper condition, will eat very well. Juveniles are somewhat shy at first and in the aquarium they need to have many gaps and recesses to hide, but when acclimated, juveniles and adults will spend most of the day swimming around the aquarium.

This fish is not suitable for a reef aquarium, although he would be delighted to be in an aquarium with many corals and sessile invertebrates. It is better to keep it in a fish-only aquarium, as it pecks at the polyps of hard and soft corals and invertebrates, such as ornamental shrimp.

Since  French Angel Fish  can become somewhat belligerent, they will possibly annoy teir more passive companions, so you have to keep them well-guarded. Some reports have been made about the reproductive behavior of this fish in the aquarium, but their larvae almost never survive.

Scientific Name: Pomacanthus paru

Care Level: Moderate

Size: Up to 15 inches (38 cm)

Life Span: 15 years or longer

pH: 8.1-8.4

Temperature: 72 °f-80 °f (22 ° C-27 °c)

Specific Gravity: 1,020-1,025

Carbonate hardness (dKH): 8-12 °

Let’s watch them


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