Goldflake Angelfish (Apolemichthys xanthopunctatus)

Goldflake Angelfish (Apolemichthys xanthopunctatus)

Goldflake Angelfish (Apolemichthys xanthopunctatus)

The Goldflake Angelfish (Apolemichthys xanthopunctatus) known to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts as the Golden Spotted Angelfish or Gold-spangled Angelfish is found along the Caroline Islands, and farther east to the Gilbert, Phoenix, Cook, and Line Islands in the Central Pacific.

Goldflake Angelfish are found along boat channels, in lagoons, and along the seaward slopes at depths from 10 feet to over 250 feet where they are observed alone, in pairs, or occasionally in small groups feeding on their preferred diet of sponges and tunicates.

Although Goldflake Angelfish are not common in the aquarium trade, they are not considered rare and are usually available to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts.

Goldflake Angelfish (Apolemichthys xanthopunctatus)

Goldflake Angelfish (Apolemichthys xanthopunctatus)

Goldflake Angelfish are have a yellowish body color with beautiful gold spots all over the body.   The lips and mouth are rimmed in bright blue, and they have a black spot on their forehead that intersects the eye.   The dorsal, caudal, and anal fins are black, edged in bright blue. Other than males being slightly larger than females, both sexes are identical in coloration.

Juvenile Goldflake Angelfish have a black anal fin without blue edging, a black splotch outlined in white at the rear of the dorsal fin, and translucent yellow caudal fins without the startling blue edged markings.

Juvenile Goldflake Angelfish (Apolemichthys xanthopunctatus)

Juvenile Goldflake Angelfish (Apolemichthys xanthopunctatus)

Although Goldflake Angelfish are often regarded as being semi aggressive and best housed alone, they are a good candidate for community aquariums or mixed with other angels in a large tank.

Goldflake Angelfish are frequently kept in well established fish only aquariums with other angelfish of the same genus without incident, and are considered to be one of the least aggressive of the larger angelfish.   Although Apolemichthys xanthopunctatus are usually peaceful with dissimilar species, they will squabble with similarly sized angelfish and others of their own kind.

Goldflake Angelfish are best housed in a mature reef tank of at least 125 gallon capacity with plenty of live rock configured into caves, overhangs, and crevices for them to hide among.   They prefer moderate tidal currents, so at least a couple of powerheads in their tank would be appreciated.   Lighting should be moderately strong to strong in at least one area of the tank to promote the growth of algae.

Apolemichthys xanthopunctatus are generally a safe choice for reef tanks and will not pick on sessile invertebrates, but they will nip on clam mantles, large and small polyped stony (LPS/SPS) corals, and a few soft corals.   They can usually be housed with a wide variety of noxious LPS corals like Torch Corals, Leather Corals, Gorgonians, SPS Corals, shrimp, anemones, and mushrooms without any problems.

Feeding Goldflake Angelfish small portions several times daily will help them quickly acclimate to their surroundings and minimize the nipping on corals.  Once acclimated they will quickly establish a territory and become more outgoing and belligerent.

Although Goldflake Angelfish are believed to be pelagic spawners, little is known about their reproductive behavior.

In their natural environment, Goldflake Angelfish graze on algae, sponges, and tunicates (sea squirts). In an aquarium environment with plenty of aged live rock, they should be fed a varied diet of frozen fortified brine shrimp, Mysis shrimp, sponge matter, Spirulina, marine algae, and commercial angelfish preparations that include sponge and algae as a primary ingredient.  Flake foods containing Spirulina should also be offered and are usually eagerly accepted. Smaller feedings at least twice daily are recommend over a single large feeding.

The Goldflake Angelfish (Apolemichthys xanthopunctatus) was once considered a very rare angelfish to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts however, they have recently become more available in the hobby at relatively lower prices at the approximate purchase sizes: Juv Small: 1-1/4″ to 2″; Juv Medium: 2″ to 2-1/2″; Juv Large: 2-1/2″ to 3″; Small: 2-1/4″; Small/Medium: 2-3/4″ to 3-1/4″; Medium 3-1/4″ to 4-1/4″; Medium/Large: 4-1/4″ to 5-1/4″; and Large: 5-1/4″ to 6″. Prices range online from $479.00 to $700.00.

Goldflake Angelfish (Apolemichthys xanthopunctatus)

Goldflake Angelfish (Apolemichthys xanthopunctatus)








Minimum Tank Size: 125 gallons
Aquarium Type: Mature live rock or Reef
Care Level: Moderate
Temperament: Semi Aggressive
Aquarium Hardiness: Hardy
Water Conditions: 74-82°F, dKH 8 to 12, pH 8.1 – 8.5, sg 1.020-1.026
Max. Size: 10″
Color Form: Black, Blue, Yellow
Diet: Omnivore
Compatibility: Reef w/Caution
Origin: Tropical Central Pacific
Family: Pomacanthidae
Lifespan: 5 years
Aquarist Experience Level: Intermediate


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