How Much Do Angelfish Cost? Freshwater and Saltwater!

Angelfish can cost between $20 to $ 300 for freshwater and up to $30,000 for rare saltwater angelfish. Freshwater angelfish are much cheaper because they can be commercially raised. In contrast, selected saltwater angelfish can only be found at depths 300 to 400 ft in the ocean. 

Saltwater tanks with angelfish will cost much more to set up, stock, and maintain. Certain species of saltwater angelfish have exceptional lighting and dietary needs. They would need an expert to keep them alive. You’ll need to know what influences the cost to buy the right angelfish.

What Does A Freshwater Angelfish Cost?

Freshwater angelfish have varying prices, and that will depend on several factors you might not have considered, such as –

  • Age
  • Color
  • Markings
  • Breeding maturity

The prices for freshwater angelfish vary significantly, especially if they have a rare color, origin, or markings.

Examples Of Freshwater Angelfish Prices –

Name And OriginJuvenile Mature 
Albino – Tank Reared / USA$5 to $8$12 to $20
Altum – Wild / South America$50 to $70$100 to $170
Peruvian Wild / Peru$90 to $100$100 to $200
Atabapo Altum Wild /Colombia$40 to $120$120 to $600

There is a remarkable price difference between a common Albino angelfish and the rare and sought-after Atapabo Altum angelfish. Most freshwater angelfish need an expert breeder to raise them and mimic their natural habitat.

Striped Angelfish with Rock and Plants in Background

Why Are Some Freshwater Angelfish More Expensive?

Many people don’t know that most angelfish are imported directly from the source. There are freshwater angelfish successfully bred in captivity. Still, some wild-caught fish do not adapt quickly, and the transition may be costly for the importer.

Several companies import the angelfish and put them through an acclimatization period and quarantine to ensure they are disease free. All these processes take time and money for special tanks, medicines, and other utilities like power and water.

When the angelfish are ready for sale, the importer, wholesaler, and retailer must add a profit percentage. Angelfish that are successfully bred in captivity and are less rare, like the albino angelfish, can be sold for much less.

Another factor that increases the price is the rarity, for example, the Clown Angelfish and the Atapabo Altum Angelfish. The Atapabo are only found in the depths of the acidic black water of the Orinoco river in Venezuela and Colombia.

Angelfish reach sexual maturity at 12 months and may breed in captivity under perfect conditions. They can live up to 10 years in captivity. The Taiwanese successfully genetically engineered a breed of angelfish in 2012 called Pink Transgenics or Pink Angels, and they glow in the dark.

What Does A Saltwater Angelfish Cost?

Saltwater angelfish are significantly more expensive than their freshwater counterparts. Their prices vary greatly and can depend on the following –

  • Rarity – some angelfish live up to 400 feet deep
  • Size
  • Age
  • Markings

They also have a different appearance from the freshwater angelfish in that their fins are much shorter, and their colors are more vivid.

Examples Of Saltwater Angelfish Prices –

Name And Origin Juvenile Mature
Clarion Angelfish / Clarion Islands$2,500$5,000
Emperor Angelfish/ Indian and the Pacific Ocean$200$800
Masked Angelfish / Hawaii Islands$ 15,000$20,000
Peppermint Angelfish / Cook Island / Pacific Ocean$20,000$30,000 +

The remarkable price difference between the freshwater Chiclid Angelfish and the different species of marine angelfish like Centropyge boylei, Genicanthus personatus, and Pomacanthus imperator has a few reasons above and beyond the coloring, markings, and age.

Why Are Saltwater Angelfish More Expensive?

Most saltwater angelfish live at depths where humans cannot swim and are caught using special equipment such as submersibles. These underwater machines cost a lot of money and need people with the skill to operate them.

Another reason is that marine angelfish cannot be bred in captivity, and you cannot buy a tank-reared specimen anywhere. Instead, most saltwater angelfish are caught in the ocean and sold once acclimatized.

The process is far more expensive than for freshwater angelfish. A typical extraction of one marine angelfish would look as follows –

  • Deepwater-qualified divers with rebreathing equipment will dive to a depth of 200 to 400ft
  • In as little time as possible, they need to identify and catch a specimen
  • Divers only have 2 to 3 hours below to locate an angelfish
  • Once captured, the slow ascend begins
  • Divers have to decompress themselves, and the angelfish
  • The ascend rate is 30ft per minute
  • Some divers use submersibles to catch specimens
  • Once on the surface, the angelfish must be acclimatized slowly
  • Once the angelfish is eating and adjusted, can it be sold

Which Marine Angelfish Are The Most Expensive?

The three most expensive marine angelfish are the Clarion, Masked, and Peppermint angelfish. They are found in different geographical locations in the ocean, but all are deep ocean fish. This is one reason they are so pricey.

The Clarion Angelfish

The beautiful Clarion angelfish is on the endangered species list and have a striking coloration. They are blue and orange, and one of the only marine angelfish successfully bred in Bali in captivity to increase their dwindling numbers.

The Clarion angelfish can live in captivity for up to 40 years, so it is a lifelong commitment to care for such a unique fish. A juvenile Clarion can cost anything from $2,500 to $5,000 a fish. Please consider that they do better in pairs or in a small school.

The Masked Angelfish

Masked angelfish have a predominantly white body and a masked face. The males have yellow and orange-masked faces with a longer fin on the tail, and the females have black-masked faces making them easy to identify. The males also have a black pinstripe in the lyretail.

The Masked angelfish live at a depth of over 300ft around the Hawaii islands. Again, only specialized divers can go to these depths. There are only 2 fish collected in the wild each year which explains their high value and price tag of $20,000.

There have only been a few successful spawnings of masked angelfish in captivity. Today you can buy a juvenile captive-bred Masked angelfish for $17,000. Masked angelfish can grow to 8 inches and need lots of space, so keeping more than 2 or three is not advised.

The Peppermint Angelfish

As the most expensive marine fish, the elusive and brightly colored Peppermint angelfish is worth every cent. Found at depths of 400ft, it takes a committed diver to locate and capture them. They are much smaller than other marine angelfish and can grow up to 3 inches as adults.

Peppermint angelfish require a low-light tank with cooler water, so the setup can also be expensive. They are picky eaters, and it will take time to adjust. Only experts should attempt to keep these in captivity as they can live to 15 years.

There are a few VIP marine dealers where you can preorder a juvenile for $25,000.


There is a remarkable price difference between keeping freshwater and marine angelfish. Freshwater angelfish are more abundant and easier to manage.

All marine angelfish require an expert hand to keep them alive especially considering their rarity, long life, and cost.