Tag Archive | "Asfur Angelfish (Pomacanthus asfur)"

Asfur Angelfish (Pomacanthus asfur)

Asfur Angelfish (Pomacanthus asfur)

Asfur Angelfish (Pomacanthus asfur)

Asfur Angelfish (Pomacanthus asfur)

Asfur Angelfish (Pomacanthus asfur) known to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts as Arabian or Crescent Angelfish are found in the western Indian Ocean in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, and the coast of eastern Africa.

Asfur Angelfish are a shy, solitary species that are found among heavy growths of hard and soft corals in sheltered inshore reefs and lagoons at depths between 10 and 320 feet where they feed on sponges, zooplankton, copepods, euphausiids ( krill ), algae, and pelagic tunicates.

Locally known as Arabian Angelfish, Pomacanthus asfur are often found in pairs near caves and in crevices making them difficult to approach and collect.

Asfur Angelfish (Pomacanthus asfur)

Asfur Angelfish (Pomacanthus asfur)

Adult Asfur Angelfish have a dark blue to purple body color with a black face, a bright yellow caudal fin thinly edged with blue, and a broad crescent shaped yellow band that vertically bisects the flanks.

Juvenile specimens have a blue body color marked with pale blue and white stripes, and as they mature into adulthood, they develop yellow markings on their dorsal and caudal fins.

Many tropical fish keeping enthusiasts confuse the Asfur Angelfish with Maculosus Angelfish (Pomacanthus maculosus) which is similar in appearance.   Asfur Angelfish have a bright yellow tail while Maculosus Angelfish have a translucent pale yellow to white tail.

Like most marine angels, Asfur Angelfish are protogynous hermaphrodites that begin their adult life as females and within a few days to a couple of weeks, the larger or more dominant individual within a small group will change sex and become a male.

Asfur Angelfish are a large growing species that is best housed in a mature aquarium of at least 200 gallon capacity for a single specimen, up to 300 gallon capacity for a community.  They need plenty of swimming room and mature live rock arranged into caves, overhangs, and crevices for them to hide and graze among, and a few powerheads to provide a moderate amount of water movement.

Asfur angelfish are relatively aggressive towards other angelfish, but in larger aquariums with enough tankmates, they become more hospitable.   If you plan to keep them in an aquarium smaller than 200 gallons, purchase at least three angels of the same species.

When housed in smaller tanks, Asfur Angelfish usually become territorial and may fight with each other.

In a reef setting, Asfur Angelfish will nip at stony and soft corals (sessile invertebrates) and clam mantles  but can be kept with noxious soft corals and small polyped stony corals with caution.

In their natural environment Arabian Angelfish can grow to over 30″ in length, however in an aquarium environment, they seldom exceed 16″.

Asfur angelfish have been bred commercially for the fish keeping hobby but not in an aquarium environment.

In their natural environment, Pomacanthus asfur feed on algae, sponges, krill, zooplankton, and copepods. In an aquarium environment with plenty of mature live rock, they should be fed a varied diet of algae, seaweed, sponges, mollusks, crustaceans, and commercial angelfish preparations.   Because this species needs a lot of algae in their diet,  frequent feedings are recommended.

Although not common, wild Asfur Angelfish (Pomacanthus asfur) are available to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts from a variety of sources online and from local tropical fish shops.   Captively bred specimens are hardier, easier to acclimate, less expensive, and more readily available.

Prices for wild caught Red Sea specimens range from $500.00 for a 3.25 – 4.25  inch specimen to $1200.00 for a 7 – 9 inch fish.   Medium size captive bred specimens 1-1/2″ to 2″ in size start at $250.00.

Asfur Angelfish (Pomacanthus asfur)

Minimum Tank Size: 200 gal
Aquarium Type: Reef compatible with caution
Care Level: Moderate
Temperament: Semi Aggressive
Aquarium Hardiness: Hardy
Water Conditions: 72 to 79°F, dKH 7.5-10, dH 8-25, sg 1.020-1.025, pH 8.1-8.4,
Max. Size: 16″
Color Form: Blue, Yellow
Diet: Omnivore
Compatibility: Reef compatible with caution
Origin: western Indian Ocean
Family: Pomacanthidae
Lifespan: 15-20 years
Aquarist Experience Level: Intermediate

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