Dwarf angelfish are native to the Amazon River in South America.
The dwarf angelfish is a freshwater aquarium fish of the genus Pterophyllum, which is often confused with small varieties of saltwater angelfish of the genus Centropyge. They originate from just three freshwater river regions in South America, including the Amazon River. The Pterophyllum leopoldi, or Leopold angelfish, is the smallest variety of the genus and grows up to 4 inches (10 centimeters) in size.
Fox-faced rabbitfish make good tank mates for angelfish.
Freshwater angelfish are considered a good choice for those just starting out with the practice of having an aquarium at home. They are popular fish species in pet stores, so they are easy to find and one of the most colorful and aesthetically beautiful freshwater fish in general. Dwarf angelfish also tend to have strong personalities and will interact with people trying to get their attention when they are near the aquarium. The three species of tropical freshwater angelfish available for addition to aquariums are Pterophyllum leopoldi, Pterophyllum altum, and Pterophyllum scalare, in a wide variety of colors and markings.
The coral beauty angelfish is considered a dwarf angelfish.
The genus in general has a very flattened, triangular body with large decorative dorsal and ventral fins that make them immediately recognizable. The most common coloration for the dwarf angelfish is a silver body with vertical black stripes, but species such as the leopoldi are golden with silver stripes and the altars are golden with black stripes. They can also have a marble effect where there are spirals of black and silver on the body, or be solid black, pearly gold, or red with white spots similar to the colors of goldfish and carp.
A freshwater angelfish tank should be quite tall as dwarf dwarfs like to swim vertically in the tank and if the tank is big enough they will not exhibit territorial or aggressive behavior. Other fish that can complement a tank with dwarf dwarf fish should be those also found in South America, such as cories or bristlenose catfish, but the common tetras and plecos found in pet stores are also a good choice. A good rule of thumb for tank size is at least 11 gallons (40 liters) per dwarf angelfish and a minimum height of 20 inches (50 centimeters), but the more space and height for the tank, the better.
Angelfish are generally peaceful if bought and raised together in groups of six or more. They can be aggressive and territorial within the group, however, and leopolds tend to exhibit these traits more, so the aquarium environment for them must be more precisely controlled. They are a social fish in general and tend to stick together in a group. When spawning, there can be rivalries within the group, and the spawning pair will have to be separated from the rest of the tank. A single spawn can produce up to 1,000 eggs, which hatch in just a few days, so preparations must be made in advance, such as getting enough brine shrimp to feed the young.