Goldflake Angelfish

If you are looking for a peaceful and beautiful addition to your saltwater aquarium, the Goldflake Angelfish may be the perfect fish!

They are native to the central pacific ocean and can grow up to 10 inches long.

This fish gets its name from the sparkling gold spots covering its entire body. These spots are set against a black background, making a stunning contrast.

This guide will discuss everything you need to know about keeping Goldflake Angelfish in your aquarium!


Scientific NameApolemichthys xanthopunctatus
Domainthe Eukaryota
SpeciesApolemichthys xanthopunctatus
Common NameGold-spangled Angelfish, Goldspotted Angelfish, Gold-Speckled Angelfish, Golden Spotted Angelfish, and Golden-spangled Angelfish.
Care LevelModerate
Experience LevelIntermediate
Size10 inches (25 cm)
Lifespan10 – 15 years
Temperature74.0 to 82.0° F (23.3 to 27.8° C)
Specific Gravity1.023-1.025 SG
OriginCentral Pacific Ocean: the Caroline Islands, and east to the Gilbert, Gilbert, Phoenix, Cook and Line Islands
Tank Size150 gallons
Reef Aquarium CompatibilityNo – will nip clam mantles, large and small polyped stony (LPS/SPS) corals and some soft corals.

Goldflake Angelfish Origin & Habitat

Goldflake Angelfish is a species of Apolemichthys xanthopunctatus belonging to the Pomacanthidae family.

They can be found in the Central-Western Pacific Ocean between the Gilbert and Line Islands, the eastern Caroline Islands, Phoenix Islands, and Christmas Island.

They prefer to reside in deep lagoons and channels, outer reef slopes, and drop-offs, where they may be found at depths of 32 to 213 feet (10 – 65 m).

Juveniles prefer deeper water, with a depth of more than 98 feet (30 m), near ledges and fore-reef habitats.

These species can be seen alone or in pairs or small groups composed of a single male and several females.

Goldflake Angelfish History

Burgess first described the Goldflake Angelfish in 1973. Then they are considered an inhabitant of the Pomacanthidae family of the Apolemichthys genus, which contains only nine known species.

Goldflake Conservation status

This species is Least Concerned (LC) on the IUCN Red List and has a stable population.

Goldflake Angelfish Features

2. Color


The Goldflake angelfish have a yellow head with speckles that get bigger as you get closer to the head.

They have a purple nose and mouth and a black spot on the forehead above the eyes. The black dorsal, anal, and tail fin, with some of the edges being light blue, distinguishes it from other species. And the pectoral and pelvic fins are grayish translucent.


Juveniles look like a young Flagfin Angelfish or Threespot Angelfish, A. trimaculatus. However, they are mostly bright yellow and more spherical than the adults.

The black portion of the anal fin, tail fin, and back section of the dorsal fin are visible.

This black region near the rear of the dorsal fin appears to be a tear dropping into the body region, forming an uneven form.

The finnage on this design is trimmed in yellow at the bottom and sides, with blue at the top edge of the back of the dorsal fins.

The face is divided into two halves by an irregular line between each eye and rises toward the forehead.

As they mature, the young have a black bar on their foreheads, but the connection between each eye is lost.

3. Length

The goldfish angelfish can reach up to 10 inches (25 cm).

4. Lifespan

The lifespan of an angelfish is unknown, but they have an average length of 10 to 15 years.

How to Care for Goldflake Angelfish?

1. Water Parameters

Water Changes

These angelfish are pretty resilient when maintained in excellent water quality.

Water changes of 10 to 15% every two weeks in a 100-gallon tank or 20% in a tank over 175 gallons are suggested to maintain them in good health.

This will help remove toxins, such as nitrates and phosphates, that can build up over time and harm your fish.

Water Temperature

Goldflake angels are native to the Central Pacific Ocean, where the temperature is between 74.0 and 82.0 degrees Fahrenheit (23.3 and 27.8° C).

So, make sure to imitate their natural habitat as closely as possible.

pH Range

Goldflake angelfish prefer 8.0 to 8.4, which is on the alkaline side of pH.

If the pH is too low or too high, it can cause stress and even death in your fish.

Therefore, it’s essential to test your water regularly to ensure the parameters are within the correct ranges.

Ammonia, Nitrite & Nitrate

To keep your fish healthy, you must make sure that you are maintaining good water quality.

And, like all other angelfish, Goldflakes are very sensitive to high ammonia and nitrite levels.

Because of this, you should keep ammonia and nitrite levels at 0 ppm while keeping nitrate levels between 10 and 30ppm.

If these levels are too high, it can cause stress and even kill your fish.

Specific gravity

Since they come from the Western Pacific, it is best to maintain a specific gravity of 1.023-1.025 SG.

2. Tank Setup

Tank Size

Goldflake angelfish are semi-aggressive species that do best in a tank of at least 100 gallons.

However, if you intend to keep them with other tankmates, you should have a tank with 150 gallons.

A large aquarium will provide plenty of room for them to swim around and explore their surroundings.


These species prefer a moderate-lit aquarium. So, utilizing lights that replicate their natural environment will be beneficial.

Hiding Places

It is essential to provide your angelfish with plenty of hiding places in their tank. They are best often kept in a tank with live rock and areas to hide to feel secure, but it’s also essential to provide an open space for the Goldflake Angelfish to swim.

Is Goldflake Angelfish Hardy?

The Goldflake Angelfish is a moderately hardy fish to maintain, so it’s not recommended for beginners. Instead, they are suitable for intermediate-level aquarists.

When it comes to acclimating them to your tank, it’s best to do so slowly, over an hour or two. This will help prevent any stress or shock that could potentially kill your

It’s also better to get a sub-adult specimen since they adapt faster and readily accept a broader range of foods once put in the aquarium.

Goldflake Angelfish Diet

The Goldflake Angelfish is an omnivore that eats benthic algae and weeds, zoobenthos, sponges, and tunicates in the wild.

About two-thirds of these species’ diet consists of plant foods, so it is essential to add live rocks covered in algae.

Also, it would be best if you offered angelfish a varied diet of nutritious foods, including:

  • Cooked formulas
  • Sponges
  • Tunicates
  • Algae sheets
  • Chopped fish and shrimp
  • Enriched mysis brine shrimp
  • Mussels
  • Squid
  • Spinach
  • Zoobenthos

Feeding Frequency

Feed your Goldflake angelfish 2 to 3 times per day, and give them only as much food as they can consume in a few minutes since these fish have small stomachs

Goldflake Angelfish compatibility

The Goldflake Angelfish is a semi-aggressive fish that will attack dangerous tankmates. They will also battle with their species unless they are in a mated pair.

The ideal tank partners are also semi-aggressive and of varied sizes and colors.

However, if you want to add another fish after this one is established, you might need to rearrange the rockwork.

Remember that they should be the only angelfish in the tank unless it is bigger than 150 gallons.

If you want to keep them with other angelfish, follow this guideline:

Keep Your Tank Ready

The tank should be prepared over six months so that the fish can get used to their new surroundings and not feel stressed.

Add Hiding Places

That would be great if you have many hiding places for the Goldflake angelfish.

The more docile angels will avoid the more aggressive ones and feel safe, allowing all angelfish to enjoy peace and solitude.

Be Cautious When Adding New Tankmates

Introduce the first angelfish cautiously. Then, introduce the more aggressive angels last, like those in the Holacanthus group. These angels are more aggressive and need more room to swim.

You can put different juveniles of two different species together. But make sure you don’t put them with other juveniles that look the same.

Before adding a new angelfish to a tank with another angelfish, feed the tank.

Keep an Eye on the Fish’s Behavior

If the new fish is harassed, rearrange the rock work and turn the lights off for some time to rest.

Also, if your angelfish are constantly fighting and resulting in physical injury to each other, you should remove them from the tank.

Here is a table that shows you the compatibility of the Goldflake Angelfish with other fish:

Same species – conspecificsSometimes aggressiveOnly in a large tank over 150 gallons, and add at the same time.
Peaceful fish (gobies, dartfish, assessors, fairy wrasses)Monitor 
Semi-Aggressive (anthias, clownfish, dwarf angels)Safe
Aggressive (dottybacks, 6-line & 8-line wrasse, damselfish)  Safe
Large Semi-Aggressive (tangs, large angels, large wrasses)Safe
Large Aggressive, Predatory (lionfish, groupers, soapfish)MonitorAs long as your angelfish cannot fit into their mouths.
Slow Swimmers & Eaters (seahorses, pipefish, mandarins)Threat Will out-compete slow eaters for food.
Anemones Threat
Mushroom Anemones – CorallimorphsThreat
LPS coralsThreat
Leather Corals Threat
SPS corals  MonitorA well-fed angelfish may leave small polyp stony corals alone although there is no guarantee.
Gorgonians, Sea Fans Threat
Soft Corals (xenias, tree corals)Threat
Star Polyps, Organ Pipe Coral Threat
Zoanthids – Button Polyps, Sea MatsThreat
Sponges, TunicatesThreat
Shrimps, Crabs, SnailsThreat
Shrimps, Crabs, SnailsMaybe aggressive
Copepods, Amphipods, Mini Brittle StarsSafe  Will eat small amounts living within the algae, but this is not enough to impact the copepod population, and it is a good source of meat for them
Feather Dusters, Bristle Worms, FlatwormsThreat
Clams, Scallops, OystersThreat

Is Goldflake Angelfish Reef Safe?

Goldflake angelfish is considered reef safe. However, as with many of the large angelfish, an older individual can cause damage to the corals. Juveniles, on the other hand, maybe kept on a reef.

Goldflake Angelfish Breeding

You may wonder how Goldflake Angelfish reproduces, so here is some information.

This species may be bred in a more spacious public aquarium, and it’s doubtful that excellent breeding can happen in anything less than a large exhibit tank.

It is uncommon to breed them in your home tank because most home aquarists do not have a large tank to induce spawning in this angelfish.

Goldflake angelfish are similar to other Angelfish, which broadcast spawn and release eggs and sperm at the same time at dusk.

They float towards the surface and release their eggs and sperm near the top of the water column.

Females begin extending their fins as they swim next to the male before sunset when spawning begins.

The male crawls underneath the female, nuzzles her belly, and runs down roughly 2.3” to 3.9” (6 to 10 cm).

Then, the female spins around, and both release a white cloud of gametes containing sperm and eggs.

After that, the eggs sink towards the bottom, and the fry hatches in 24 to 36 hours.

The larvae are free-swimming after five days when they start to hunt for zooplankton.

Goldflake Angelfish Diseases & Treatment

Despite being a hardy fish, the Goldflake Angelfish is susceptible to any sickness that a saltwater tank in captivity might provide.

Common diseases include:

Ich (white spot disease)

This parasitic infection causes white spots on the fish’s body. It is highly contagious and can be fatal if left untreated.

Velvet disease

This is another parasitic infection that appears as a velvet-like coating on the fish.

Fin rot

This bacterial infection causes the fins to become frayed and disintegrate.

How to Prevent These Diseases?

The easiest method to prevent illness in an angelfish is to provide it with clean water, set up a suitable decor with places to hide, and feed it regularly.

Always remember that unstressed angelfish are healthy fish. They will have a more muscular immune system if they are not stressed, which would help them avoid illnesses.

Last Words

As you can see, the Goldflake Angelfish is a beautiful and unique fish that can make a great addition to any saltwater aquarium.

They are relatively easy to care for as long as you provide them with clean water, a suitable habitat, and tankmates.

We hope that this guide has been helpful and you feel more confident about caring for your Goldflake Angelfish. If you have any questions, leave a comment below.