Multibarred Angelfish (Paracentropyge multifasciata)

Multibarred Angelfish (Paracentropyge multifasciata)

Multibarred Angelfish (Paracentropyge multifasciata)

Multibarred Angelfish (Paracentropyge multifasciata) known to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts as Many Banded Angelfish, Barred Angelfish, and Multibar Angelfish are found in the East Indian Ocean, Australia, Indonesia, East Pacific, and Central West Pacific Oceans specifically from the Cocos-Keeling Atoll to the Society Islands, north to the Yaeyama Islands, and south to the Great Barrier Reef.

Multibarred Angelfish are collected from caves and crevices that they inhabit in depths from 60 to 230 feet where they feed on small crustaceans, algae, sponges, tunicates and other benthic inverts.

Multibarred Angelfish (Paracentropyge multifasciata)

Multibarred Angelfish (Paracentropyge multifasciata)

Multibarred Angelfish are deeper bodied than most angelfish and have a white body color with eight full vertical black bars that become a bright yellow toward the lower portion of the body.   The caudal fin is translucent at the edge and between white speckled with black, and the pectoral fins are bright yellow. The white tips of the anterior dorsal fin are pointed to the posterior.

Juvenile specimens have fewer bars and can be identified by a distinctive blue ocellus on the back of their dorsal fin that fades as the mature.

Like most dwarf angelfish, they are Hermaphroditic and can change gender from female to male when necessary.

Paracentropyge multifasciata is a shy, social, reclusive species that is one of the least aggressive members of the genus.

Although Multibarred Angelfish are often housed in a single species reef tank environment; they can be kept in pairs or in larger groups when provided with a large enough aquarium.  They are often housed with surgeonfish, butterfly fish, and other less aggressive tank mates.

A single Multibarred Angelfish requires an aged aquarium of at least 70 gallon capacity, with plenty of hiding places and live rock for grazing.   A well aquascaped reef setting with a large amount of cured live rock arranged into shelters, archways, overhangs, and hiding places will provide enough grazing area for the microalgae growth necessary to maintain the health of this fish.

Multibarred Angelfish are constant grazers that may gradually erode some of the reef structure.   When not fed properly, they may begin feeding on polyps, soft corals, and clam mantles.  This species particularly enjoys nibbling on Tridacna clams and for this reason is not considered to be entirely REEF SAFE.

An “aged aquarium” that is at least 6 months old will normally have a substantial growth of algae to provide the necessary diet to feed your angelfish.

Paracentropyge multifasciata is a deeper water species that is used to dim lighting.   They are very sensitive to transport and difficult to acclimate.

Multibarred Angelfish (Paracentropyge multifasciata)

Multibarred Angelfish (Paracentropyge multifasciata)

Keep the tank lighting very low or dim for several days and gradually increase it when introducing new fish to the reef.

Water quality is essential to all marine residents, so regulator water changes are mandatory.   In an aquarium of 70 gallon capacity, a 10% to 15% bi weekly water change is recommended. Because Multibarred Angelfish are constant grazers, water changes should NOT include scrubbing algae off of the interior of the aquarium.

Multibarred Angelfish are broadcast spawners that live in harems with one dominant male and several females.   After a lengthy mating ritual, they release their fertilized gametes into the water column where they eventually fall to the bottom where they receive no parental care.   The small (0.7mm) eggs hatch out after 16–18 hours and the larvae have a pelagic phase of up to 50 days after which they become benthic and metamorphose into juveniles.   Being a protogynous hermaphrodite, Multibarred Angelfish are born as females and as they grow, the larger the most dominant fish will transform into a male.

In their natural habitat, Multibarred Angelfish graze on algae, small crustaceans, sponges, tunicates, and other benthic inverts.   In an aquarium environment they can be a finicky eaters.   If there is insufficient algae on the live rock, they need to be fed more frequently with algae rich foods.    They can be weaned onto a variety of live, frozen, and prepared algae rich foods like live sponges, Artemia, Mysis, mussels, fresh oysters, and pelleted foods or flakes.  Once acclimated and eating, they lose their shyness and often become somewhat territorial.   Being grazers, they should be fed 2 to 3 times daily.

Although Multibarred Angelfish (Paracentropyge multifasciata) are not considered RARE, they are seldom available to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts. They are difficult to ship and although they arrive in fish shops in relatively good health, they usually are kept in sterile quarantine settings without live rock.   Being finicky eaters, they will not usually accept frozen or prepared foods and will often degrade healthwise.   Because this species requires an increased level of care, they are quite pricey.

Approximate Purchase Size for Paracentropyge multifasciata is: Small 2″ to 3″, Medium 3″ to 4″, Large 4″ to 5″

Multibarred Angelfish (Paracentropyge multifasciata)

Multibarred Angelfish (Paracentropyge multifasciata)









Minimum Tank Size: 70 gallons
Aquarium Type: Cautiously Reef Compatible
Care Level: Difficult
Temperament: Semi-aggressive
Aquarium Hardiness: Semi-Hardy
Water Conditions: 72-78°F, dKH 8 to 12 , pH 8.1 – 8.4, sg 1.020-1.025
Max. Size: 4.7″
Color Form: Black, White, Yellow
Diet: Omnivore
Compatibility: Reef w/Caution
Origin: Indonesia, Marshall Islands
Family: Pomacanthidae
Lifespan: to 8 years
Aquarist Experience Level: Expert

One Response to “Multibarred Angelfish (Paracentropyge multifasciata)”


  1. […] find Blue Back Angelfish (Centropyge colini) sharing their deepwater overhangs and caves with Multibarred Angelfish (Paracentropyge multifasciata), Regal Angelfish (Pygoplites diacanthus) and Yellowhead Angelfish (Centropyge […]

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