Tag Archive | "tropical fish keeping"

Griffis Angelfish (Apolemichthys griffisi)

Griffis Angelfish (Apolemichthys griffisi)

Griffis Angelfish (Apolemichthys griffisi)

Griffis Angelfish (Apolemichthys griffisi)

The Griffis Angelfish (Apolemichthys griffisi) known to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts as Griffis’ angelfish is a unique species that was originally discovered in the middle of the North Pacific Ocean in the area of the Gilbert Islands south of the Marshall Islands, and about half way between Papua New Guinea and the Hawaiin Islands.

It’s range appears to extend to several areas of Micronesia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and various locations of Oceania like the Caroline Islands, Solomon Islands, Nauru, and Kiribati, which seems to be the eastern limit for the species.

Griffis Angelfish are usually found living in the deeper waters of the steep outer reef slopes at depths around 130 to 295 feet where they have been observed feeding on sponges, sea squirts, and tunicates alone, in pairs, and very rarely in small groups with one male controlling a small territory and a harem.

Although Apolemichthys griffisi are unique and rare in the aquarium trade, they are occasionally available to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts.

Griffis Angelfish (Apolemichthys griffisi)

Griffis Angelfish (Apolemichthys griffisi)

Juvenile Griffis Angelfish have a white body with a single black stripe on the upper half of the fish. As they turn into adults, the colors on the upper half of the fish darken and a white stripe forms.

Griffis Angelfish (Apolemichthys griffisi)

Griffis Angelfish (Apolemichthys griffisi)

Adult Griffis Angelfish have a grayish to almost tan lower body color with a net like pattern of white spots and three bold black and white stripes along the upper half of the body.   They have a wedge shaped black marking that travels through the eye, a black splotch on the forehead, and a bluish color towards the snout.   Like all marine angelfish, they are hermaphroditic, with no visible distinguishing features between males from females.

The only other marine angelfish that has similar bold black and white patterning is the Bandit angelfish (Apolemichthys arcuatus) from Hawaii.

Griffis Angelfish adapt readily to an aquarium environment and are considered to be one of the least aggressive of the larger angelfish.

Although Apolemichthys griffisi may eat some species of hard and soft corals and are not considered to be reef safe, they do well in a large, coral rich tank reef tank of at least 125 gallon capacity with sessile inverts and plenty of mature live rock to graze on and configured into caves, overhangs, nooks, and crevices for them to hide among.

Of all the large angels, Griffis Angelfish are considered to be one of the safer choices for reef aquariums and has been proven not to pick on sessile invertebrates.

Griffis Angelfish are a great addition to large reef tanks but because they are known to nip at large polyp stony corals, some soft corals, and tridacnid clam mantles; most tropical fish keeping enthusiasts find that they are best housed in a fish only environment.  Because they are not a fast swimming species, they should be provided with lots of free swimming space.

Griffis Angelfish 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.

Griffis Angelfish have not been bred in an aquarium environment.  Like all Pomacanthidae, the mating ritual occurs during the late evening hours when the predation of eggs is less likely. When the female is ready to lay her eggs, coupling occurs and the eggs are fertilized by the male in the water column. The eggs rise to the surface and drift with the currents without any additional care from the parents.

In their natural environment, Griffis Angelfish are omnivores that feed primarily on tunicates; sponges, ascidians, and betnthic algae.   In an aquarium environment, they can be difficult to feed but their diet should include Spirulina, marine algae, a high quality angelfish preparation that includes sponges, mysis or frozen shrimp, and other meaty items. Because they are grazers, feeding small portions 3 times a day is preferred to only one large daily feeding.

Because of the depths that they are collected and the locations in the Central Pacific Ocean where they are found, Griffis Angelfish (Apolemichthys griffisi) are truly a unique acquisition for any lucky tropical fish keeping enthusiast.   They are only occasionally available from online importers at the following purchase sizes at prices that can put a dent into your pocketbook.

Size: 1.5 – 2.25 inches $974.99; 2.25 – 3.25 inches $1049.99; 3.25 – 4.25 inches $1087.99;
4.25 – 5.25 inches $1499.99; 5.25 – 6.25 inches $1499.99; 6.25 – 7.5 inches $1499.99

Griffis Angelfish (Apolemichthys griffisi)

Griffis Angelfish (Apolemichthys griffisi)

 

 

 

 

 

Minimum Tank Size: 125 gallons
Aquarium Type: Mature live rock or Reef
Care Level: Very Difficult
Temperament: Semi Aggressive
Aquarium Hardiness: Hardy once established
Water Conditions: 73.4 °F – 82.4 °F, dKH 8 to 12, pH 8.1 – 8.4, sg 1.020-1.025
Max. Size: 10″
Color Form: Black, White
Diet: Omnivore
Compatibility: Reef w/Caution
Origin: Central Pacific; Caroline Island, Indonesia, Kiribati, Line Islands, Marschall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Phoenix Islands, Solomon Islands, Sulawesi
Family: Pomacanthidae
Lifespan: 5 years
Aquarist Experience Level: Expert Only

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Bluespotted Angelfish (Chaetodontoplus caeruleopunctatus)

Bluespotted Angelfish (Chaetodontoplus caeruleopunctatus)

Bluespotted Angelfish (Chaetodontoplus caeruleopunctatus) known to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts as the Blue Spangled Angelfish or Yellowtail Poma Angel is a seldom encountered species endemic to the Phillipine Archipelago.

Bluespotted Angelfish are found along the deeper rocky areas of reefs around rich growths of sponges and algae at depths between 40 to 140 feet.  Although they are occasionally seen alone feeding on sponges and tunicates, they are seldom seem in pairs or smaller groups.

Bluespotted Angelfish (Chaetodontoplus caeruleopunctatus)

Bluespotted Angelfish (Chaetodontoplus caeruleopunctatus)

The Bluespotted Angelfish is colored an orange brown on the face, head, and anterior portions of the body, with the remainder colored a dark dusky brown to bluish black.  Dense small blue spots cover the entire body except for the face.  The dorsal and anal fins are dark brown to black with blue margins and the caudal fin is a stunning, bright yellow color.  Males and females cannot be differentiated by size or color and like other marine angelfish, Chaetodontoplus caeruleopunctatus are protogynous hermaphrodites, with all individuals initially starting life as females until the dominant female in a group change into a male.

Juveniles have a dark brown to almost black body color with yellow stripes on the anterior portion of the back, on the head, and around the dorsal fin.  The caudal fin on juvenile specimens is colored yellow and white.

Bluespotted Angelfish do best in a mature. well established fish only (FOLR) aquarium of at least 125 gallons with plenty of live rock arranged into caves, overhangs, and crevices for them to graze and hide among.  Bluespotted Angelfish are relatively non-aggressive and should be kept with other peaceful tankmates.  Aquarium tank mates with calm demeanors include tangs, clownfish, damsels, gobies, blennies, butterflies and other similar species.

To avoid territorial conflicts, other angelfish should not be housed with Chaetodontoplus caeruleopunctatus unless the tank is a large one with plenty of live rock.

Bluespotted Angelfish are not considered reef safe and will nip at stony corals, soft corals, and Tridacnid Clam mantles.  They do eat filamentous algae with gusto.

Although Bluespotted Angelfish have been successfully bred commercially, no reports of successful breeding in an aquarium environment have been reported.

Like other marine angelfish, Chaetodontoplus caeruleopunctatus lay pelagic eggs and have pelagic larvae.   Their spawning ritual occurs during the evening or at night where a spiraling dance is performed until the eggs and sperm are released into the water column.   After spawning, the eggs are left to float in the water column.

In the wild, the diet of the Bluespotted Angelfish is primarily composed of sponges, diatoms, and tunicates.  In an aquarium environment, they will graze and pick on the live rock, filamentous algae, sponges, diatoms, etc. and should be provided fresh, frozen, or freeze dried Spirulina, marine algae, Mysis or frozen shrimp, and other meaty items along with a high quality angelfish preparation at least three times a day.

Although Bluespotted Angelfish (Chaetodontoplus caeruleopunctatus) are rarely exported to the aquarium trade, tropical fish keeping enthusiasts can occasionally obtain them online from a few specialty transhippers at these approximate purchase sizes:  Small: 2″ to 3″; Medium: 3-1/2″ to 5″; Large: 5″ to 7″.    Costs for Indo Pacific specimens vary from $89.99 to $195.00 depending on size.

CAUTION:  Although shipments from Cebu are relatively frequent, specimens usually die at some point in holding tanks, probably due to the collectors use of cyanide.

Bluespotted Angelfish (Chaetodontoplus caeruleopunctatus)

Minimum Tank Size: 125 gal
Aquarium Type: FOLR
Care Level: Difficult
Temperament: Semi Aggressive
Aquarium Hardiness: Hardy when acclimated
Water Conditions: pH 8.1-8.4, 72° to 82°F, dKH 8 – 12°, SG 1.021-1.025
Max. Size: 8″
Color Form: Yellow, Blue, Brown
Diet: Omnivore
Compatibility: Peaceful Community
Origin: Indo-Pacific Ocean
Family: Pomacanthidae
Lifespan: 10-15 years
Aquarist Experience Level: Advanced

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Regal Angelfish (Pygoplites diacanthus)

Regal Angelfish (Pygoplites diacanthus)

Regal Angelfish (Pygoplites diacanthus)

Regal Angelfish (Pygoplites diacanthus)

The Regal Angelfish (Pygoplites diacanthus) known to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts as the Royal Angelfish is widely distributed throughout the Indo Pacific and is collected from the Red Sea and Indian Ocean around East Africa and the Maldives, to the Tuamoto Islands, New Caledonia, and in northern Australia, the Great Barrier Reef. It’s northernmost range ends in the southern area of the East China Sea around Taiwan and the Ryukyu and Ogasawara Islands of Japan.

Regal Angelfish can be found in protected shallow inner reefs, lagoons, bays, and outer reef slopes of their range at depths exceeding 260 feet, where they are frequently seen alone, in pairs, or smaller groups feeding on sponges and tunicates that are located in the reefs and underwater caves.

Juvenile Regal Angelfish are an extremely shy, secretive species that are frequently found sheltering under rocky ledges, in crevices, and swimming upside down on cave ceilings.

Regal Angelfish (Pygoplites diacanthus)

Regal Angelfish (Pygoplites diacanthus)

Regal Angelfish fish have a bright yellow body color with alternating backward angled white and orange vertical stripes that are outlined in royal blue.  The rear portion of the dorsal fin is dark blue or black with closely set blue dots and the rear portion of the anal fin has alternating yellow and blue bands running parallel to the contour of the body.  The caudal fin is a bright yellow color.

There are no external differences between males and females.

Juvenile Regal Angelfish are a bright copperish yellow color with white vertical stripes outlined in dark blue with a large, bright, dark spot outlined in white on the rear portion of the soft dorsal fin.

Juvenile Regal Angelfish (Pygoplites diacanthus)

Juvenile Regal Angelfish (Pygoplites diacanthus)

Although regional color differences of Regal Angelfish occur in the Red Sea, Indian Ocean, and South Pacific Oceans, the general description given above remains constant.

Regal Angelfish can be housed in a peaceful community aquarium with plenty of hiding places or in a reef environment however, large angelfish, triggerfish, puffers, surgeonfish, and overly aggressive clownfish should be avoided.

Tropical fish keeping enthusiasts find Regal Angelfish one of the most popular species however, they are difficult to acclimate and feed, especially in a community environment.  It is important that they are introduced into the system first so they can establish their own territory and give them the best opportunity of survival.   Juveniles are peaceful but large adults are considered to be semi aggressive.   Adults will usually get along well with dwarf angelfish but are territorial with other larger angelfish species.

Adult Regal Angelfish do best in a mature reef aquarium of at least 125 gallons with plenty of live rock arranged into caves, overhangs, and crevices for them to hide among.   They do best with SPS corals and other unpalatable coral species and although Regal Angelfish collected in the wild may nip at LPS corals, soft corals, and clam mantles; they will generally ignore ornamental inverts and corals.

Although commercially bred for the aquarium trade, as of this date no successful breeding of Regal Angelfish in an aquarium environment has been reported.

Like other angelfish species, Pygoplites diacanthus lay pelagic eggs and has pelagic larvae.   The spawning ritual occurs at dusk or at night where a spiraling dance is performed before the eggs and sperm are released into the water column.   After spawning, the eggs are left to float in the water column.

In their natural environment, Regal Angelfish are primarily carnivores that feed on sponges and tunicates.  In an aquarium environment, they should be fed a varied diet of meaty foods including raw shrimp, squid, clams, mussels, krill, and occasionally some type of herbivore diet that includes spirulina and sponges. Pygoplites diacanthus are notoriously difficult to feed and require patience with a wide range of fresh and frozen foods to jump start their appetite.

A healthy specimen housed in the right environment will usually begin feeding within days when offered a variety of live, frozen, and flake or freeze-dried foods however, a hostile aquarium environment will directly counter your acclimation and feeding efforts.

Once they begin feeding, many tropical fish keeping enthusiasts offer Regal Angelfish a high quality marine carnivore pellet, frozen Mysis, Spirulina, frozen brine shrimp, and a frozen sponge fortified angelfish formula, which usually maintains their attention.

Regal Angelfish (Pygoplites diacanthus) are not common in the aquarium trade but are available to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts from a variety of sources online and from local tropical fish shops. Commercially raised specimens are periodically available from farms at prices from $169.99 for a 2.5 ” Indo Pacific Juvenile to $249.99 for a 3-4″ specimen.   Larger adult specimens can run over $400.00.

Regal Angelfish (Pygoplites diacanthus)

Regal Angelfish (Pygoplites diacanthus)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minimum Tank Size: 125 gal
Aquarium Type: Reef compatible
Care Level: Very Difficult
Temperament: Semi Aggressive
Aquarium Hardiness: Hardy when acclimated
Water Conditions: pH 8.1-8.4, 72° to 80°F, dKH 8 – 12°, SG 1.020-1.025
Max. Size: 10″
Color Form: Yellow, Blue, White
Diet: Omnivore
Compatibility: Peaceful Community
Origin: Indo-Pacific Ocean
Family: Pomacanthidae
Lifespan: 15 years
Aquarist Experience Level: Expert ONLY

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Maculosus Angelfish (Pomacanthus maculosus)

Maculosus Angelfish (Pomacanthus maculosus)

Maculosus Angelfish (Pomacanthus maculosus)

Maculosus Angelfish (Pomacanthus maculosus)

Maculosus Angelfish (Pomacanthus maculosus) known to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts as Halfmoon Angelfish, Yellowband Angelfish, Yellowbar Angelfish, Yellow Blotch Angelfish, Map Angelfish, Blue Moon Angelfish, and Yellow Marked Angelfish are found throughout the Persian Gulf, the northwestern Indian Ocean, Gulf of Oman, and Red Sea.

Maculosus Angelfish have been more recently observed in south Florida waters off Boynton Beach, Pompano Beach, West Palm Beach, and Juno Beach as well as southern Brazil in the southwest Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea; due to probable aquarium releases.

Maculosus Angelfish are a curious species found in shallow to moderate depths of 3 to 60 feet in silty bottom areas with rocky rubble and among heavy growths of hard and soft corals found along the sheltered inshore reefs and lagoons where they feed on sponges, algae, zooplankton, copepods, euphausiids, and pelagic tunicates.

Unlike the shy Asfur Angelfish (Pomacanthus asfur) which are often found in pairs near caves and in crevices making them difficult to approach and collect, Maculosus Angelfish are not shy around divers.

Maculosus Angelfish (Pomacanthus maculosus)

Maculosus Angelfish (Pomacanthus maculosus)

Adult Pomacanthus maculosus have a deep blue body color with a single yellow vertical band (sometimes resembling a map) that bisects the flanks. They have black edged scales (that resemble freckles) along the head and face and pale light blue to white caudal fins that distinguish them from Pomacanthus asfur, which have brilliant yellow caudal fins.

Juvenile Maculosus Angelfish begin life with a dark blue to black body color and alternate blue, white,

Juvenile Maculosus Angelfish (Pomacanthus maculosus)

Juvenile Maculosus Angelfish (Pomacanthus maculosus)

and black vertical bands that disappear as they grow into adulthood.

Like most marine angels, Maculosus 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.

Maculosus Angelfish are a large growing species that is best housed in a mature aquarium of at least 250 gallon capacity for a single adult specimen or small community.   They require plenty of swimming room and an abundance of mature live rock arranged into caves, overhangs, and crevices for them to hide and graze among.

Maculosus Angels will thrive in a large fish only tank with plenty of aged live rock among other peaceful to semi aggressive species.   They should not be kept with other angelfish unless housed in a very large tank, then; house only one Pomacanthus maculosus per tank.

Maculosus Angels are not considered to be reef safe and will also nip at hard corals, invertebrates, and clam mantles. If you want to house them in a reef tank, proceed with caution.

To date Maculosus Angelfish have not been bred in an aquarium environment.

In their natural habitat, Maculosus Angelfish feed on algae, sponges, tunicates, zooplankton, and copepods.    In an aquarium environment with plenty of mature live rock, they should be fed a varied diet of algae, sponges, and other meaty foods.

Algae, Mysis shrimp, brine shrimp, spirulina, seaweed, sponges, mollusks, crustaceans, and quality frozen commercial angelfish preparations will keep your Maculosus Angelfish healthy.   Because this species needs a lot of algae in their diet, frequent feedings are recommended.

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

Prices for juvenile captive bred specimens range in the area of $190.00 to $250.00.

maculosus-angelfish-pomacanthus-maculosus33

maculosus-angelfish-pomacanthus-maculosus

 

 

 

 

 

Minimum Tank Size: 250 gal
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: 19.7″
Color Form: Blue, Yellow, White
Diet: Omnivore
Compatibility: FOLR, Reef compatible with caution
Origin: Red Sea, Africa
Family: Pomacanthidae
Lifespan: 36 years
Aquarist Experience Level: Intermediate

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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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African Flameback Angelfish (Centropyge acanthops)

African Flameback Angelfish (Centropyge acanthops)

African Flameback Angelfish (Centropyge acanthops)

African Flameback Angelfish (Centropyge acanthops)

The African Flameback Angelfish (Centropyge acanthops) known to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts as the Orangeback Pygmy Angelfish, African Pygmy Angelfish, or Fireball Pygmy Angelfish occurs from East and South Africa and the Arabian Gulf in the Western Indian Ocean.

African Flameback Angelfish are a shy dwarf species that are found at depths between 35 and 135 feet along rock and coral rubble areas of the reef where they feed primarily on algae and sponges. They are commonly found around heavy growths of algae alone or in small groups of one male with three or more females, and often several juveniles.

African Flameback Angelfish (Centropyge acanthops) are similar in color and shape to the Brazalian Flameback Angelfish (Centropyge aurantonotus) and the Cherub Pygmy Angel (Centropyge argi); the most obvious difference being the caudal fin which is yellow and somewhat transparent. The Brazilian Flameback Angelfish or Fireball Angelfish has a blue caudal fin.

African Flameback Angelfish (Centropyge acanthops)

African Flameback Angelfish (Centropyge acanthops)

African Flameback Angelfish aka Orangeback Angelfish have an oval, laterally compressed body with a short snout and a small mouth. They have a dark blue body with a broad bright orange to golden yellow swatch that proceeds from the face, along the back to the tip of the dorsal area.   The eyes are circled in blue .

Visual determination of sex is not possible based on coloration but since Centropyge acanthops are protygenous hermaphrodites, larger individuals are presumed to be males.

All Centropyge species 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. When two fish are placed together, in approximately sixty days one of the two fish will physically changed their sex to accommodate the other. If need arises, a reversal is possible but it takes weeks to months to transpire.

Although African Flameback Angelfish are suited for reef tanks and may occasionally nip clam mantles, sea anemones, large polyp stony (LPS) corals, and some soft corals such as zoanthids, they normally do not bother non-sessile invertebrates like crabs or shrimp.

African Flameback Angelfish are best housed in a mature reef or fish only aquarium of at least 55 gallon capacity with plenty of live rock for grazing on microalgae, diatoms, and accumulations of detritus; arranged into caves, crevices, and overhangs for them to hide among.   A shy species, they require multiple hiding spaces until they establish a territory and feel secure enough to come out into the open areas of the tank.

No successful breeding’s of the African Flameback Angelfish in an aquarium environment have been reported.

Like other angelfish species, Centropyge acanthops lays pelagic eggs and has pelagic larvae. The spawning ritual occurs at dusk and the eggs are left to float in the water column.

In the wild, African Flameback Angelfish feed on algae, sponges, accumulations of detritus, etc.   They are excellent browsers of filamentous algae and the tiny organisms that live in the algae.  In an aquarium environment, their diet should include a variety of meaty foods including Spirulina, marine algae, a high quality commercial angelfish preparation, and Mysis or frozen shrimp. Spirulina flakes or pellets are also accepted.   This species should be fed small amounts three times or more a day, even with natural foods present.

Although not common, African Flameback Angelfish (Centropyge acanthops) are available to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts from a variety of sources online and from local tropical fish shops.   Although they are a captively bred species and are less expensive and more readily available than Brazilian Flameback Angelfish, they are rarely available in the aquarium trade.

African Flameback Angelfish (Centropyge acanthops) in the 1.25″-2.5″ size will cost about $120.00 vs $300.00 for the same size Brazalian Flameback.

African Flameback Angelfish (Centropyge acanthops)

African Flameback Angelfish (Centropyge acanthops)

 

 

 

 

 

Minimum Tank Size: 55 gal
Aquarium Type: Reef compatible with caution
Care Level: Moderate
Temperament: Semi Aggressive
Aquarium Hardiness: Hardy
Water Conditions: 72 to 78°F, dGH 8-12, sg 1.023-1.025, pH 8.1-8.4,
Max. Size: 3″
Color Form: Blue, Orange
Diet: Omnivore
Compatibility: Reef compatible with caution
Origin: Africa
Family: Pomacanthidae
Lifespan: 5-8 years
Aquarist Experience Level: Intermediate

 

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Brazalian Flameback Angelfish (Centropyge aurantonotus)

Brazalian Flameback Angelfish (Centropyge aurantonotus)

Brazalian Flameback Angelfish (Centropyge aurantonotus)

Brazalian Flameback Angelfish (Centropyge aurantonotus)

The Brazalian Flameback Angelfish (Centropyge aurantonotus) known to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts as the Flameback Angelfish, Flameback Pygmy Angelfish, Caribbean Flameback Angelfish, or Fireball Angelfish occurs from the lesser Antilles and Curacao in the Netherlands Antilles, and the northern coast of South America from Venezuela to southern Brazil.

Brazalian Flameback Angelfish are a shy dwarf species that can be found at depths between 50 and 985 feet along rock and rubble strewn areas of the reef where they feed on algae and sponges. They are commonly found around isolated patches of staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis) in small groups or swimming alone.

The Brazalian Flameback Angelfish (Centropyge aurantonotus) are similar in color and shape to the African Flameback Angelfish (Centropyge acanthops), the most obvious difference being the dark blue caudal fin that Centropyge acantihops lacks.

Brazalian Flameback Angelfish (Centropyge aurantonotus)

Brazalian Flameback Angelfish (Centropyge aurantonotus)

Brazalian Flameback Angelfish have an oval, laterally compressed body with a short snout and a small mouth. They have a blue body with bright golden yellow markings over the head and dorsal area, and a blue ring around the eyes. Visual determination of sex is not possible based on coloration but since Centropyge aurantonotus are protygenous hemaphrodites, larger individuals are considered to be males.

Although Brazalian Flameback Angelfish are ideally suited for reef tanks and may occasionally pick at meaty corals like Cynarina spp. or Trachyphyllia spp., they normally do not bother non-sessile invertebrates like crabs or shrimp, and will leave clam mantles alone.

Brazalian Flameback Angelfish are best housed in a mature reef aquarium of at least 30 gallon capacity with plenty of live rock for grazing on microalgae and diatoms; arranged into caves, crevices, and overhangs for them to hide among.   A shy species, they require multiple hiding spaces until they establish a territory and feel secure enough to come out into the open areas of the tank.

No successful breeding’s of the Brazalian Flameback Angelfish in an aquarium environment have been reported.

Like other angelfish species, Centropyge aurantonotus lays pelagic eggs and has pelagic larvae. The spawning ritual usually occurs at dusk and the eggs are left to float in the water column. At St. Helena Island, the Brazalian Flameback Angelfish (Centropyge aurantonotus) naturally hybridizes with Resplendent Angelfish (Centropyge resplendens) where it appears that an established hybrid population of the Brazilian Flameback and resplendent angelfish has developed into a very unique fish; the Resplendent Fireball Angelfish.

In the wild, the Brazalian Flameback Angelfish feeds mainly on algae and sponges, however, it also eats the tiny organisms that live in the algae. In an aquarium environment, their diet should include a variety of meaty foods including Spirulina, marine algae, a high quality commercial angelfish preparation, and Mysis or frozen shrimp. The will also accept algae flakes or pellets and should be fed small amounts three times or more a day, even with natural foods present.

Although not common, Brazalian Flameback Angelfish (Centropyge aurantonotus) are available to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts from a variety of sources online and from local tropical fish shops.  The lack of demand for Brazilian Flameback Angelfish can be partially attributed to the widespread availability of the African Flameback Angelfish which is considerably cheaper, much more common, and considered by some to be more “reef safe”.

Brazilian Flameback Angelfish in the 1″-2.5″ size will cost about $300.00 vs $99.00 for the same size African Flameback.

Brazalian Flameback Angelfish (Centropyge aurantonotus)

Brazalian Flameback Angelfish (Centropyge aurantonotus)

 

 

 

 

 

Minimum Tank Size: 30 gal
Aquarium Type: Reef compatible with caution
Care Level: Easy
Temperament: Semi Aggressive
Aquarium Hardiness: Hardy when acclimated
Water Conditions: 68 to 82°F, SG 1.020-1.027, pH 8.0-8.5, sg 1.020-1.027
Max. Size: 3″
Color Form: Blue, Orange
Diet: Omnivore
Compatibility: Community
Origin: Caribbean, Brazil
Family: Pomacanthidae
Lifespan: 15 years
Aquarist Experience Level: Intermediate

 

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Kyoga Flameback (Xystichromis “Kyoga Flameback”) pair

Kyoga Flameback (Xystichromis “Kyoga Flameback”)

Kyoga Flameback (Xystichromis “Kyoga Flameback”)

Kyoga Flameback (Xystichromis “Kyoga Flameback”)

The Kyoga Flameback (Xystichromis “Kyoga Flameback”) is an endangered species found in Lake Nawampassa, a lake north of Lake Victoria that is part of the Kyoga Basin/ Victorian Nile drainage system.

Unfortunately, due to pollution and the introduction of the Nile Perch in it’s waters, the Kyoga Flameback like many other Lake Victoria species is a difficult acquisition for tropical fish keeping enthusiasts.

Kyoga Flameback (Xystichromis “Kyoga Flameback”)

Kyoga Flameback (Xystichromis “Kyoga Flameback”)

Male Kyoga Flamebacks acquire beautiful colors when fully mature.   Brilliantly colored with a mixture of yellow, lime green, and red; they have a broken lateral line and bars on their head and face that disappear and re-appear as their mood changes.

Female Kyonga Flamebacks also have a broken lateral line and bars on their head and face, but like most females of the species, have a plain silver to gold body color.

Although Kyonga Flamebacks are considered only mildly aggressive and are not a community fish, they can be housed with other less aggressive Cichlids.   Do not house them with Pundamilla or Mbuna type cichlids as these guys are way to aggressive for Kyoga’s.

A small colony of Kyonga Flamebacks can be housed in at least a 40 gallon aquarium with a sand or fine gravel substrate and several stacked rocks configured into caves, overhangs, and other hiding places.   Although plants are not necessary in this type of rocky Victorian type setup, Kyonga Flamebacks appreciate a couple of pieces of African Driftwood in their tank.   A wet/dry trickle filter or canister type filtration system along with a small power head and regular water changes is recommended to maintain the necessary water quality for this species.

Kyonga Flameback Cichlids are polygamous maternal mouth brooders that like most African Cichlids will readily breed in an aquarium environment with good water parameters.

Males will smooth out a spot for the female to drop her eggs and then try to entice ripe females to the spot by flashing their brilliant breeding colors and shaking their bodies.   When the eggs are deposited, the male fertilizes them as the female picks them up into her mouth.   She will hold the fertilized eggs in her mouth until the fry have developed and are ready to be released; typically a couple of weeks.    The fry are fully developed when released and are able to eat very finely crushed flake food.

In their natural habitat, Kyoga Flamebacks are omnivores that feed on vegetable matter and a variety of meats that they come across.   In an aquarium environment, they will eat just about anything, but a combination of Spirulina flakes, frozen foods, and a good quality African cichlid pellet will keep them healthy.

Like most omnivores, they should be fed a good balance of meaty foods with vegetable matter like fresh spinach, romaine lettuce, and fresh, frozen, or freeze dried brine shrimp fed as a “treat”.

Because of their endangered status, the Kyoga Flameback (Xystichromis “Kyoga Flameback”) is not common in the aquarium trade. Tropical fish keeping enthusiasts may acquire them from breeders, through on line cichlid forums, and specialty fish shops at a variety of prices.

Kyoga Flameback (Xystichromis “Kyoga Flameback”)

Minimum Tank Size: 40 gallons
Care Level: Mildly Difficult
Temperament: Mildly Aggressive
Aquarium Hardiness: Hardy
Water Conditions: 74-79°F, Gh 200 ppm, pH 7.5-8.6
Max. Size: 5″
Color Form: Red, Green, Yellow
Diet: Omnivore
Compatibility: Single species or Victoria community
Origin: Lake Nawampassa, Africa
Family: Cichlidae
Lifespan: 4 -10 years
Aquarist Experience Level: Advanced

Posted in Cichlids, Featured Articles, Freshwater Fish, Lake Victoria, West Africa and Madagascar, Tropical Fish Keeping, Tropical Fish SpeciesComments (0)

Annularis Angelfish (Pomacanthus annularis)

Annularis Angelfish (Pomacanthus annularis)

Annularis Angelfish (Pomacanthus annularis)

Annularis Angelfish (Pomacanthus annularis) known to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts as the Blue Ring Angelfish or Blue King Angelfish is found throughout the Indo West Pacific which includes East Africa (north of Natal), Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Indonesia east to New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, and north to southern Japan.

Annularis Angelfish are found on coastal reefs at depths to 200 feet where they feed on zooplankton, tunicates, and sponges in singles or in pairs.

Annularis Angelfish (Pomacanthus annularis)

Annularis Angelfish have a dark blue to black body color with thin alternately spaced white and light baby blue, well spaced curved strips on their sides and a transparent caudal fin. The backward curved stripes resemble shallow crescents.

Adult Annularis Angelfish are a golden brown color with sapphire blue horizontal stripes radiating from the base area of the pectoral fin along the sides towards the posterior portion of the dorsal fin.  The brilliant blue stripes along the flanks are well spaced and curve slightly towards the belly.   Two blue stripes run horizontally across the face with one running from above the snout to the edge of the operculum, directly through the eye.

The brilliant blue stripes continue through the the dorsal and anal fins. A distinct blue ring is situated behind and slightly above the edge of the operculum (hence it’s name) and the caudal fin is white with a bright yellow margin.

Juvenile Queen Angelfish (Holacanthus ciliaris) and Blue Angelfish (Holacanthus bermudensis) both have similar vertical blue body bars.   No other Atlantic angelfish has blue body markings.

Because Blue Ring Angelfish are hermaphroditic, it is not visually possible to differentiate males from females.

Annularis Angelfish are a relatively large, semi aggressive species that should be housed in a tank of at least 220 gallon capacity with an abundance of live rock for grazing; arranged into caves, overhangs, and crevices for them to hide among.   Unless you plan to try to breed a pair, only one Annularis Angelfish should be housed per tank.

Some tropical fish keeping enthusiasts have managed to keep Annularis Angelfish in a reef setting, but because they will will nip at sessile invertebrates such as nudibranchs, tridacnid clams, and SPS corals; Pomacanthus annularis are not considered reef safe.   The safest corals to keep with this species is bubble corals, disc anemone, hammer corals, star polyps, and small polyped stony corals.

Compatible tank mates include Blennies, Damselfish, Cardinals, Hawkfish, Tangs, and Wrasses.

Annularis Angelfish are pelagic egg scatterers that  form monogamous pairs but to date have not been bred in an aquarium environment.  They are commercially bred for sale to the aquarium trade in Sri Lanka and Indonesia.

In their natural environment, Blue Ring Angelfish are omnivores that graze on algae, sponges, zooplankton, and tunicates.   In an aquarium environment, they require a mixed diet of vegetables, meats, and commercial angel food preparations that must include sponges. Initially, they should be offered live brine shrimp or freshly chopped fish, squid, or shrimp until they become aggressive eaters.

Both adult and juvenile Annularis Angelfish (Pomacanthus annularis) are available to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts from a variety of sources online and from local tropical fish shops in various sizes.   Always request hand netted specimens rather than those collected using chemicals and make sure that your supplier provides a survival guarantee before you purchase one.

The approximate purchase size for Blue Ring Angelfish are: Juvenile Small: 1″ to 1 3/4″; Medium: 1 3/4″ to 2″; Large: 2″ to 2 3/4″; Sub Adult/Changing: Small; 2″ to 2-3/4″; Medium: 2 3/4″ to 3″; Medium/Large: 3″ to 3-1/2″; Large: 3-1/2″ to 4″; Adult Small: 3″ to 3 1/2″; Medium: 3 1/2″ to 4″; Medium/Large: 4″ to 5″; Large: 5″ to 6″; X Large: 6″ to 7″; Show Size: 8″ to 9″.

Annularis Angelfish (Pomacanthus annularis)

 

 

 

 

 

Minimum Tank Size: 220 gal
Aquarium Type: Reef Compatible with caution
Care Level: Moderate
Temperament: Semi Aggressive
Aquarium Hardiness: Hardy when acclimated
Water Conditions: 72-78°F, dKH 8 to 12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025
Max. Size: 17.5″
Color Form: Blue, Tan, White
Diet: Omnivore
Compatibility: Community
Origin: Indonesia, Sri Lanka (captive bred)
Family: Pomacanthidae
Lifespan: 15 to 20 years
Aquarist Experience Level: Intermediate

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Bicolor Angelfish (Centropyge bicolor)

Bicolor Angelfish (Centropyge bicolor)

The Bicolor Angelfish (Centropyge bicolor) known to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts as the Oriole Angelfish, Blue and Gold Angel, Pacific Rock Beauty, Two Colored Angel, and the Dwarf Oriole Angel is a dwarf Indo Pacific species found in New Caledonia, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Micronesia, and surrounding area reefs.

Bicolor Angelfish (Centropyge bicolor) are one of the less aggressive dwarf angelfish species that are safe to house with other peaceful fish.    In their natural habitat Bicolor Angelfish are most often seen in pairs or small aggregations in brackish lagoon waters and along the reef slopes at depths ranging from 10 to over 80 feet.

Like most angelfish species, they will not tolerate each other in the small confines of a marine aquarium and should never be housed with other dwarf angelfish or similar looking species unless an extremely large tank is provided with plenty of hiding places.

Many tropical fish keeping enthusiasts consider them an excellent addition to mixed species tanks and even some reef aquariums, however, they will nip on large polyped stony corals, smaller corals, sessile invertebrates, and the mantles of clams and are not considered reef safe.

Bicolor Angelfish (Centropyge bicolor)

The Bicolor Angelfish (Centropyge bicolor) has a a vibrant yellow anterior body color that ends just behind the pelvic fins where it splits into a deep blue at the mid point, to end at the posterior at the base of the yellow tail.   A small purple to royal blue splash runs from one eye over the top of the forehead down through the other eye.

There are no distinguishable differences in size or color between males and females.

Because of their mild temperament, striking coloration, ease of care, and availability to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts, the Bicolor Angelfish is regarded as the most popular Angelfish species in the aquarium trade.

Depending on the amount of tank inhabitants, a single Bicolor Angelfish can be housed in a community tank of at least 70 gallon capacity with an abundance of mature live rock for grazing that is arranged into caves, overhangs, and crevices for them to hide among.    Adult Centropyge bicolors spend most of their time grazing on the naturally occurring algae that grows on live rocks which makes an abundance of cured mature live rock mandatory for keeping this species healthy.   Also, a well feed angelfish is far less likely to nibble on a coral or crustacean in a reef tank.

Unless you plan to try breeding a pair, only one dwarf Centropyge bicolor should be housed per tank.   Examples of other compatible tank mates are Blennies, Damselfish, Cardinals, Hawkfish, Tangs, and Wrasses.   Avoid keeping them with larger Basses, Groupers, Lionfish, or Triggers that may harass or eat smaller species.

Although Bicolor Angelfish are not considered to be reef safe and are prone to nipping on soft and stony corals, clam mantles, feather dusters, and anemones; they are less likely to consume SPS corals and will often ignore these corals entirely if mature live rock is present

Like many Angelfish, Bicolor Angelfish are protogynous synchronous hermaphrodites and regarded as difficult to breed in an aquarium environment.   All juvenile fish will initially develop into females.   When conditions exist that promote prorogation of the species, the largest and most dominant female will transform into a male.   The introduction of several juveniles together into an aquarium will eventually result in a single male and a harem of females.

Although Centropyge bicolor have been successfully bred in captivity, reported incidents are extremely rare.

In their natural environment, juvenile Bicolor Angelfish feed on plankton.   As they mature and become adults, they graze on marine algae, worms, small crustaceans, and clams.   In an aquarium environment that includes large quantities of cured live rock, they should be fed a frozen marine angelfish preparation as a staple; augmented with Mysis shrimp, brine shrimp, fresh chopped mollusks, crustaceans, dried spirulina or frozen algae, and “treats” of zucchini, spinach, or yellow squash. Feeding small quantities 2 or 3 times daily is recommended.

Bicolor Angelfish (Centropyge bicolor) have a reputation as being difficult to keep and not being very hardy.   This can be attributed to the location where the fish are collected from, especially the Philippines, and how they have been acclimated.  Some fish collectors employ questionable collecting practices. Always request hand netted specimens rather than those collected using chemicals and make sure that your supplier provides a survival guarantee before you purchase one.  Bicolor Angelfish should only be added to well established tanks that have been setup up for at least 6 months.

Bicolor Angelfish (Centropyge bicolor) are readily available to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts from a variety of sources online and from local tropical fish shops at reasonable prices at the following approximate purchase sizes: Small: 1″ to 1-3/4″; Medium: 1-3/4″ to 2-1/2″; Large: 2-1/2″ to 4-1/2″.

Bicolor Angelfish (Centropyge bicolor)

Bicolor Angelfish (Centropyge bicolor)

 

 

 

 

 

Minimum Tank Size: 70 gallons
Aquarium Type: Reef Compatible with caution
Care Level: Moderate
Temperament: Semi-aggressive
Aquarium Hardiness: Hardy when acclimated
Water Conditions: 72-78°F, dKH 8 to 12 , pH 8.1 – 8.4, sg 1.020-1.025
Max. Size: 6″
Color Form: Blue, Yellow
Diet: Omnivore
Compatibility: Single species
Origin: Fiji, Indonesia, Melanesia
Family: Pomacanthidae
Lifespan: 12 years
Aquarist Experience Level: Intermediate

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Coral Beauty Angelfish (Centropyge bispinosa)

Coral Beauty Angelfish (Centropyge bispinosa)

Coral Beauty Angelfish (Centropyge bispinosa)

Coral Beauty Angelfish (Centropyge bispinosa)

The Coral Beauty Angelfish (Centropyge bispinosa) known to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts as the Two Spined Angelfish, Bluefin Angelfish, or Dusky Angelfish is found in the Indo-Pacific and is abundantly common on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

Coral Beauty Angelfish are usually found on the outer reef slopes to depths of around 165 feet alone or in small harems.

Coral Beauty Angelfish (Centropyge bispinosa)

Coral Beauty Angelfish (Centropyge bispinosa)

The head and fins of the Coral Beauty Angelfish is a stunning deep royal blue color.   The body is an iridescent orange to almost yellow color, overlaid with dark vertical stripes and two pronounced vertical stripes just behind the gills.   The royal blue dorsal, caudal, and anal fins are edged in a lighter almost baby blue color that adds a striking contrast in adults.   Deep water specimens are generally more faded than those collected in shallower waters.

The Coral Beauty is often confused with the Dusky or Bluefin Angelfish (Centropyge

Bluefin Angelfish (Centropyge multispinis)

Bluefin Angelfish (Centropyge multispinis)

multispinis), which has a dusky body color, a dark blue to black splotch to the rear of the eye behind the gills, and a multiple spined dorsal fin.

The most common variety of Centropyge bispinosa sold in most tropical fish shops have more orange colored bodies.

Because of their mild temperament, beautiful coloring, ease of care, and adaptability to the aquarium environment, Coral Beauty Angelfish are a favorite of tropical fish keeping enthusiasts.

Depending on the amount of inhabitants, Coral Beauty Angelfish can be housed in a mature community tank of at least 70 gallon capacity with an abundance of live rock for grazing arranged into caves, overhangs, and crevices for them to hide among.

Unless you plan to breed a pair, only one dwarf Coral Beauty Angelfish should be housed per tank.   Other compatible tank mates are Blennies, Damselfish, Cardinals, Hawkfish, Tangs, and Wrasses. The Coral Beauty Angelfish is shy and should be among the last fish introduced into a community tank. Avoid introducing larger Basses, Groupers, Lionfish, or Triggers that may harass or eat smaller species.

Although Centropyge bispinosa are not considered reef safe and are known to feed on soft and stony corals, and nip at clam mantles, feather dusters, and anemones; they are less likely to consume SPS corals and will often ignore many corals entirely.  The safest corals to keep with this species is bubble corals, disc anemone, hammer corals, star polyps, and small polyped stony corals.

The Coral Beauty Angelfish has been successfully bred in an aquarium environment.   A single male will oversee a small harem of several females.   Spawning usually occur at dusk and the eggs are left to float in the water column.

In their natural environment, Centropyge bispinosa mainly feed on algae, small crustaceans, soft and stony corals, and some sponges.   In an aquarium environment, they will graze on algae living on live rock, mysis shrimp, frozen shrimp, dried seaweed, spirulina flakes, and quality commercial angelfish food preparations.   Feeding small portions 2 to 3 times per day is recommended.

Coral Beauty Angelfish (Centropyge bispinosa) are commonly available to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts from a variety of sources online and from local tropical fish shops.   The main problem with this species is that they do not survive well during shipping, especially those collected from the Philippines.     Always request hand netted specimens rather than those collected using chemicals and make sure that your supplier provides a survival guarantee before you purchase one.

The approximate purchase sizes for Coral Beauty Angelfish are: Small: 1″ to 1-3/4″; Medium: 1-3/4″ to 2-1/2″; Large: 2-1/2″ to 4″.

Coral Beauty Angelfish (Centropyge bispinosa)

Coral Beauty Angelfish (Centropyge bispinosa)

 

 

 

 

 

Minimum Tank Size: 70 gal to 100 gal
Aquarium Type: Reef compatible with caution
Care Level: Easy
Temperament: Semi Aggressive
Aquarium Hardiness: Hardy when acclimated
Water Conditions: 75-82°F, dKH 8 to 12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025
Max. Size: 4″
Color Form: Blue, Orange, Yellow
Diet: Omnivore
Compatibility: Community
Origin: Fiji, Indonesia, Melanesia, Philippines
Family: Pomacanthidae
Lifespan: Up to 15 years
Aquarist Experience Level: Intermediate

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Goldflake Angelfish (Apolemichthys xanthopunctatus)

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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Caramel Nudibranch (Glossodoris rufomarginata)11

Caramel Nudibranch (Glossodoris rufomarginata)

Caramel Nudibranch (Glossodoris rufomarginata)11

Caramel Nudibranch (Glossodoris rufomarginata)11

Caramel Nudibranch (Glossodoris rufomarginata) known to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts as the White Margin Sea Slug is found in tropical Indo Pacific waters from localities as far apart as Tanzania in Africa and Mayotte in the Indian Ocean.

From Sri Lanka to Polynesia, the Caramel Nudibranch is considered to be a relatively common species. They are abundant in Hawaii, but are less common and rarely observed in the Marshall Islands.

Glossodoris rufomarginata is mostly found on sheltered reefs, among rocky areas, and exposed shady environments.   They are active during daylight hours but avoid bright sunlight and have a decided preference for shaded areas.

Caramel Nudibranch (Glossodoris rufomarginata)11

Caramel Nudibranch (Glossodoris rufomarginata)11

The Caramel Nudibranch (Glossodoris rufomarginata) has an off white body color with the surface of the dorsal and foot densely speckled with a coat of tiny red to orange brown dots that at first glance gives the nudibranch a light brown look.

The well developed wavy mantle edge has a broad white band with a red to orange brown outer border, and the foot has a white outer margin.   The retractable branchial plume and rhinophores are red to orange brown with a white median line on the rhinophores and a white highlight on the gill axis.

In the Marshall Islands, Caramel Nudibranch frequent caves and ledges of the windward seaward reef’s groove and spur system where they feed on dark gray clumping sponges of the family Thorectidae.

For the majority of the year, this zone (where the seaward slope meets the intertidal reef) is pounded non-stop by heavy waves and intense water surges making diving the area quite dangerous.   The heavy pounding often dislodges or tears off pieces of the sponge when it grows too large and washes it across the intertidal reef into the lagoon’s sandy slopes where Glossodoris rufomarginata are often still attached.   In the Marshall Islands, Glossodoris rufomarginata grow to almost 2 inches in length.

Unfortunately, sponges of the family Thorectidae which are the the sole prey of the Caramel Nudibranch, do not normally live in this area.   Once the sponge has been completely eaten and the Carmel Nudibranch cannot find another sponge colony washed up from the seaward side to feed on, the nudibranch may starve to death.

Fortunately, piles of rock that have washed all the way across the reef from the seaward groove and spur zone often have algae, sponges, and corals attached to them that are generally found only in that area.   Specimens are often collected on the back sides of gray sponges buried in the piles of rocks.

The Caramel Nudibranch is one of the most commonly observed species in Hawaii.   Specimens here grow to a max length of around .75 inch and inhabit relatively shallow reefs where their sole food source, a dark gray sponge named Cacospongia, thrives on the ledges and in the caves.

Because of their specialized feeding habits,  the Caramel Nudibranch has a relatively short life expectancy in an aquarium environment.    They are voracious eaters of sponges and are best housed in an established reef tank of at least 55 gallon capacity with plenty of mature live rock, a sandy substrate, and obviously plenty of sponge growth specific to the territory they were collected from.

Carmel Nudibranch require a good amount of water movement, so at least one or more powerheads are recommended in the reef system to keep them happy.  Like most invertebrates, Glossodoris rufomarginata is very sensitive to rapid changes in water quality and requires stable water conditions.

They are especially sensitive to higher levels of nitrates and cannot tolerate any amount of copper in the system.    When acquired, they should be slowly drip acclimated with the lights off or under dimly lit conditions when introduced into a new reef system.

In established reef aquariums, regular spawnings are common when Glossodoris rufomarginata are maintained together.

Glossodoris rufomarginata is a specialty feeder that requires plenty of live sponges of the family Thorectidae to thrive.   Lacking a steady supply of live sponges in their diet, they will usually not eat enough of anything else to thrive and will slowly starve.

Because of this and their short life span, only expert tropical fish keeping enthusiasts should attempt to maintain this species.

The Caramel Nudibranch (Glossodoris rufomarginata) is occasionally available to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts from specialty shops, Nudibranch forums,  and online from a variety of sources.

Caramel Nudibranch (Glossodoris rufomarginata)11

Caramel Nudibranch (Glossodoris rufomarginata)11

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minimum Tank Size: 55 gallons
Aquarium Type: Established Reef
Care Level: Moderate
Temperament: Peaceful
Aquarium Hardiness: Relatively hardy
Water Conditions: 72-78°F, dKH 8 to 12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.023-1.025
Max. Size:  2″
Color Form: Yellow, White, Brown, Red
Diet: Specialty Carnivore
Compatibility: Reef Compatible
Origin: Tropical Indo Pacific Oceans
Family: Chromodorididae
Lifespan: Unkonwn
Aquarist Experience Level: Expert Only

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Glossodoris sibogae pair

Glossodoris sibogae

Glossodoris sibogae

Glossodoris sibogae

Glossodoris sibogae is a less common species of sea slug found in the tropical Pacific Ocean that is known in Indonesia, Fiji, and more commonly in French Polynesia.

Similar in shape and coloration to Glossodoris atromarginata, there is no sure way to differentiate the two species without dissection of the animals to examine their teeth.   The radular teeth of Glossodoris sibogae are about half the size of Glossodoris atromarginata’s.

Glossodoris sibogae

Glossodoris sibogae

Glossodoris sibogae has a distinctly intense bright yellow color in the mantle and foot.   The thin black edge that borders the sinuous mantle is always separated from the bright yellow to brownish yellow body of the back by a wide, bright white line.

Like Glossodoris atromarginata, Glossodoris sibogae is a peaceful species that spends it’s waking hours searching out and feeding on sponges.

Glossodoris sibogae is found in depths of 10 feet, to over 60 feet where they have been seen feeding on a variety of colored sponges on the shallow seaward reefs.

Although Glossodoris sibogae is found primarily in rocky coastal coral reef areas with substantial growths of sponges, hard and soft corals, they have also been seen in areas with sandy, silty bottoms.

Glossodoris sibogae like many sea slugs, are believed to secrete trace amounts of poisonous toxins as a defense mechanism when threatened, and caution should used not be house them with aggressive predators that could see them as a meal.

Glossodoris sibogae is a relatively large sea slug that can reach almost 4 inches in length.   They have a have a radula about half the size of Glossodoris atromarginata and a long oral tube that allows them to probe deep into partly buried sponge colonies that are partly buried under other growths, so they can feed.

Because of their specialized feeding habits, they have a relatively short life expectancy in an aquarium environment.    They are apparently voracious eaters of sponges and are best housed in an established reef tank of at least 55 gallon capacity with plenty of mature live rock, a sandy substrate, and obviously plenty of sponge growth.

Glossodoris sibogae need a moderate amount of water movement and at least one powerhead is recommended in the system to keep them happy.  Like most invertebrates, Glossodoris sibogae is very sensitive to rapid changes in water quality and requires stable water conditions.

They are especially sensitive to higher levels of nitrates and cannot tolerate any amount of copper in the system.    When purchased they should be slowly drip acclimated with the lights off when introduced into a new reef system.

In established reef aquariums, regular spawnings often occur when Glossodoris sibogae are maintained together.

Glossodoris sibogae is a specialty feeder that requires live sponges in order to thrive.   Lacking a steady supply of live sponges in their diet, they will usually not eat enough of anything else to thrive and will slowly starve.

Because of this and their short life span, only expert tropical fish keeping enthusiasts should attempt to maintain this species.

Glossodoris sibogae is occasionally available to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts from specialty shops, Nudibranch forums,  and online from a variety of sources.

Glossodoris sibogae

Glossodoris sibogae

 

 

 

 

 

Minimum Tank Size: 55 gallons
Aquarium Type: Established Reef
Care Level: Moderate
Temperament: Peaceful
Aquarium Hardiness: Relatively hardy
Water Conditions: 72-78°F, dKH 8 to 12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.023-1.025
Max. Size:  3.9″
Color Form: Yellow, White, Brown, Black
Diet: Specialty Carnivore
Compatibility: Reef Compatible
Origin:  Tropical Pacific Ocean
Family: Chromodorididae
Lifespan: Unkonwn
Aquarist Experience Level: Expert Only

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Glossodoris atromarginata

Glossodoris atromarginata

Glossodoris atromarginata

Glossodoris atromarginata

Glossodoris atromarginata  known to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts as the Dark Margin Glossodoris is found in Australia, Thailand, Japan, and most of the other tropical and subtropical Pacific and Indian Oceans throughout the world.

Synonymous with Doriprismatica atromarginata, Glossodoris atromarginata is a peaceful species that spends all of its waking hours searching out and feeding on a variety of sponges.

Glossodoris atromarginata is found in rocky coastal reefs, coral reef areas with substantial growths of sponges, hard and soft corals, and areas with sandy, silty bottoms with sea pens, sponges, gorgonians, ascidians, soft corals, hydroids, and seaweed.

The Dark Margin Glossodoris has been seen at depths from 6 to over 30 feet feeding on sponge colonies partly buried under growths.

Glossodoris atromarginata like many sea slugs, are known to secrete trace amounts of poisonous toxins as a defense mechanism when threatened, and should not be housed with aggressive predators that may view them as a meal.

Glossodoris atromarginata

Glossodoris atromarginata

Glossodoris atromarginata range in color from a creamy white, to a pale brown.   A thin black  line borders the very sinuous mantle edge, the black edge to the rhinophore pockets, the black rhinophore clubs and the black edging to the simple gills.   Their beautiful gills wave rhythmically as they crawl along the sandy bottom.

In the ocean near Japan, many individuals have a bright yellow and white colors as well as milky white and light brown solids with black borders.  There are also many solids with strong brown in the southern sea of Japan with the tip of the antennae and the secondary gills colored black, with a white base.

Glossodoris atromarginata is a relatively large sea slug that can reach 4 inches in length.   They have a have quite a small radula and a long oral tube which extends as a long thin tube rather than the big inflated bulb seen in species of Hypselodoris.    The thin oral tube allows them to probe deep into partly buried sponge colonies partly buried under other growths to feed.

Although Glossodoris atromarginata is the most common species of the group, there are a number of almost identically colored species that are very difficult to externally separate from Glossodoris atromarginata.

Because of their specialized feeding habits and relatively short life expectancy in an aquarium environment, Glossodoris atromarginata are recommended only for advanced aquarists.    They are apparently voracious eaters of a variety of sponges  and are best housed in an established reef tank of at least 55 gallon capacity with plenty of mature live rock, a sandy substrate, and plenty of sponges.

Because they need a moderate amount of water movement, at least one powerhead is recommended in the system and like most invertebrates, Glossodoris atromarginata is very sensitive to rapid changes in water conditions and requires stable water quality.

They are especially sensitive to higher levels of nitrates and cannot tolerate any amount of copper in the system.  When purchased they should be slowly drip acclimated with the lights off when introduced into the tank.

In established reef aquariums, regular spawning often occur when Glossodoris atromarginata are maintained together, however, there has not been a great success rate reported by aquarists in raising the larvae.

Glossodoris atromarginata is a specialty feeder that requires live sponges as their primary diet to thrive.   Lacking a steady diet of sponges in their diet, they will usually not eat enough of anything else to thrive and will slowly starve without their primary food source.

Because of this and their short life span, only expert tropical fish keeping enthusiasts should attempt to maintain this species.

Glossodoris atromarginata is occasionally available to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts from specialty shops, Nudibranch forums,  and online from a variety of sources at an approximate purchase size of 1″ to 2″ at reasonable prices.

Glossodoris atromarginata

Glossodoris atromarginata

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minimum Tank Size: 55 gallons
Aquarium Type: Established Reef
Care Level: Moderate
Temperament: Peaceful
Aquarium Hardiness: Relatively hardy
Water Conditions: 72-78°F, dKH 8 to 12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.023-1.025
Max. Size:  4″
Color Form: White, Brown, Black
Diet: Specialty Carnivore
Compatibility: Reef Compatible
Origin:  Subtropical Pacific, Indian Ocean
Family: Chromodorididae
Lifespan: Unkonwn
Aquarist Experience Level: Expert Only

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Fisher’s Angelfish (Centropyge fisheri)

Fisher’s Angelfish (Centropyge fisheri)

Fisher’s Angelfish (Centropyge fisheri)

Fisher’s Angelfish (Centropyge fisheri)

The Fisher’s Angelfish (Centropyge fisheri) known to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts as the Orange Angelfish, Fisher’s Dwarf Angelfish, and Fisher’s Pygmy Angelfish is endemic to the Hawaiian Islands and Johnston Atoll in the Central Pacific Ocean.

Fisher’s Angelfish are collected around coral rubble on seaward slopes at depths between 30 and over 250 feet where they graze on algae, small worms, and crustaceans.

Fisher’s Angelfish are one of the smallest Centropyge species and are sought after by tropical fish keeping enthusiasts for integration into small tanks and nano style systems.

Fisher’s Angelfish (Centropyge fisheri)

Fisher’s Angelfish (Centropyge fisheri)

Although they are closely related to the mostly blue Pacific Whitetail Angelfish (Centropyge flavicauda) and have been artificially hybridized with them; Fisher’s Angelfish are a golden orange brown color with black flecks on the upper half of the body and subtle vivid blue markings on the outside edges of the dorsal, anal, pelvic, and caudal fins.   A black spot accents the body just above the pectoral fins.

Like all Centropyge species, Centropyge fisheri begin life as unsexed individuals, but as they grow they start their adult life as females. The larger or more dominant individual within a small group will change sex within a few days to several weeks and become a male.

Sexing Fisher’s Angelfish cannot be done by color.   The main difference between sexes is size.

To obtain a pair, place two different sized specimens into a tank and within 60 days or so, one of the fish will physically change it’s sex to accommodate the other.

Fisher’s Angelfish are quite social and get along well with a variety of species of the same size and demeanor.   They do best in an aged, well established aquarium of at least 30 gallon capacity with an abundance of live rock arranged into small crevices, overhangs, and caves for them to explore and hide among with they feel threatened.   They do exceptionally well in a reef tank but have a tendency to mess with clam mantles, sea anemones, large and small–polyped stony (LPS/SPS) corals, and small crustaceans, when underfed.

Although Centropyge fisheri do well in a “community” type setup, like all Pygmy Angelfish, they can be aggressive and intolerant of their own species or any other fish of similar color or shape.  You can count on them becoming aggressive when housed with other dwarf angelfish species.

Fisher’s Angelfish have not successfully been bred in an aquarium environment but have been hybridized with Centropyge flavicauda.

In their natural environment, Fisher’s Angelfish feed on microalgae, diatoms, worms and small crustaceans.   In an aquarium environment containing copious amounts of live rock, it is important that they are fed a varied diet of Spirulina, marine algae, brine shrimp, mysis, any one of the many commercial high quality angelfish preparations containing sponges, and other meaty foods.   This species does best when fed several times a day.

Fisher’s Angelfish (Centropyge fisheri) are available to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts from a variety of sources online at reasonable prices at approximate purchase sizes of: Small: 3/4 inch to 1 inch, Medium: 1 inch to 2 inch, Large: 2 inch to 3 inch

 

Fisher’s Angelfish (Centropyge fisheri)

Fisher’s Angelfish (Centropyge fisheri)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons
Aquarium Type: Community or Reef with caution
Care Level: Moderate
Temperament: Semi-aggressive
Aquarium Hardiness: Very Hardy
Water Conditions: 68-79° F, 8 to 12 dGH , pH 8.0 – 8.5, sg 1.020-1.026
Max. Size: 2.5″
Color Form: Brown, Blue, Orange
Diet: Omnivore
Compatibility: Single species
Origin: Indo-Pacific as far north as the Hawaiian Islands
Family: Pomacanthidae
Lifespan: 5-7 years
Aquarist Experience Level: Intermediate

 

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Scribbled Angelfish (Chaetodontoplus duboulayi)

Scribbled Angelfish (Chaetodontoplus duboulayi)

Scribbled Angelfish (Chaetodontoplus duboulayi)

Scribbled Angelfish (Chaetodontoplus duboulayi)

Scribbled Angelfish (Chaetodontoplus duboulayi) known to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts as Duboulayi Angelfish, are found in the Indo-West Pacific from Western Australia, Queensland, the Northern Territory, southward to Lord Howe Island, southern New Guinea, and in the Aru Islands of Indonesia.

Scribbled Angelfish are a semi aggressive species that are found at depths between 3 to 65 feet, usually alone, but occasionally in pairs and in small groups. Scribbled Angelfish have been collected on the shallow coastal and inner reefs over rocky or sandy bottoms with little to no coral growth.   They are sometimes found around pier pilings but more frequently among seawhips, sponges, corals, and rocks on soft bottoms, rubble, or on open flat bottoms where they graze on algae, sponges and tunicates.

Scribbled Angelfish (Chaetodontoplus duboulayi)

Scribbled Angelfish (Chaetodontoplus duboulayi)

Scribbled Angelfish get their name from the distinctive “scribbled” patterning on their mostly dark blue to black body.   Their broad, long dorsal and anal fins are edged in light blue and also have the distinctive “scribbled” pattern with dark and light blue lines.   They have dull pale yellow lips with a broad blue black vertical band that runs through the eye to the throat, followed by another broad yellow and white band that separates the body from the head.   At the front of the fish, attached to the yellow band just below the dorsal fin, a narrow horizontal yellow stripe begins and gradually widens until it reaches the yellow tail.

Male Scribbled Angelfish are almost indistinguishable from females, but may have a small white patch on the gill cover.   They also have a brighter blue body with more prominent and defined horizontal blue scrawling down their sides and there is no interruption of the narrow yellow band that runs from the front of the fish back into the yellow tail.   Finally, males have a longer body than fameless.

Female Scribbled Angelfish have an interrupted yellow band that runs from the front into the back of the yellow tail and the dark blue pattern on the sides of the female has more dots, dashes, and random scrawling than males.   They also have black dots at the base of the tail fin that interrupt the flow of the continuous yellow line along the back.

Although they are not considered to be “reef safe”, Scribbled Angelfish can be housed in a selective reef tank with few if any hard corals.   They coexist with mushroom corals, sea anemones, and soft corals from the Sinularia, Lobophytum, Lemnalia, and Cladiella genra.   Except for tridacnid clams, scallops, oysters, tubeworms, and possibly a leg or two from severed from a starfish; most invertebrates are usually ignored, and crabs, shrimp, and snails are generally left alone.

Scribbled Angelfish need plenty of swimming space and copious amounts of mature live rock to thrive in an aquarium environment.    Juvenile Chaetodontoplus duboulayi can be housed in a 55 or 60 gallon aquarium to start, but a single adult needs a tank of at least 100 gallon capacity or more.

A male and female Scribbled Angelfish can be housed in a larger tank of at least 125 gallon capacity provided they are introduced at the same time.   A much larger tank of 250 to 300 gallons or more is needed if you plan to keep them with others of the same genus.

Chaetodontoplus duboulayi do well in a community aquarium with other peaceful to semi aggressive species.   They do not do well with Holacanthus and Pomacanthus angelfish which are too aggressive, dottybacks and other similarly aggressive species, and angelfish with similar coloring.

In general, Scribbled Angelfish need a large mature aquarium with plenty of aged live rock with algae growth for them to graze on and arranged so they have plenty of free swimming space.   The live rock should be arranged into caves, overhangs, and crevices for them to hide among when they feel threatened, especially for juveniles.   They prefer strong 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.

Scribbled Angelfish are very sensitive to poor water quality.   Keeping the nitrates under 20 ppm and the pH between 7.8 and 8.4 is necessary to keep the fish healthy.   Normal reef maintenance with regular water changes should be considered the norm.

Although captive breeding has not yet been successfully accomplished in an aquarium environment, they have been observed mating.   The male’s rapidly swimming courtship behavior begins about an hour before sunset or before the lights are turned off and continues for about an hour afterwards.    The male swims rapidly around the female with his body inclined to one side but does not engage in the soaring behavior that wild pairs exhibit.   The female ignores the male until she is ready to spawn.   The female swims to the mating site and as the pair rises in the water column , the male nuzzles the abdomen of the female until spawning occurs.    The male then chases the female back to the reef or rocks.    Fertilized eggs hatch in about 24 hours and the small .94 to 1.02 inch larvae receive no parental care.   Additional spawning sometimes occur during the same evening.

In their natural environment, Scribbled Angelfish feed primarily on algae, sponges, and tunicates.   In an aquarium environment they should be fed a varied diet of fresh, frozen, and freeze dried Spirulina, marine algae, Mysis or frozen shrimp, chopped clam, squid, octopus, and other meaty items. Feeding small portions twice a day is recommended.

Scribbled Angelfish (Chaetodontoplus duboulayi) are occasionally available to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts in stores and online at a variety of sites and are usually quite expensive.   When purchasing a Scribbled Angelfish its best to acquire a large juvenile or small adult.    Mature adults have a much harder time acclimating to captivity.

Approximate purchase sizes: Female: Small: 1-1/2″ to 2″; Small/Medium: 2″ to 3″ Medium: 3″ to 4″; Medium/Large: 4″ to 5″; Large: 5″ to 6″; XLarge: 6″ to 7″; Male: Large 5″ to 6″ XLarge 6″ to 7″ XXLarge 7″ to 9″ Show Size 9″ to 11″.

Scribbled Angelfish (Chaetodontoplus duboulayi)

Scribbled Angelfish (Chaetodontoplus duboulayi)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minimum Tank Size: 60 gallons for juveniles, 180 gallons for adults
Aquarium Type: Fish only tank
Care Level: Moderate
Temperament: Semi Aggressive
Aquarium Hardiness: Very hardy
Water Conditions: 72-80°F, dKH 8 to 12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.023-1.025
Max. Size: 11″
Color Form: Black, Yellow, Blue
Diet: Omnivore
Compatibility: Compatible with caution
Origin: Australia
Family: Pomacanthidae
Lifespan: Up to 20 years
Aquarist Experience Level: Intermediate

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False Personifer (Chaetodontoplus meredithi)

False Personifer Angelfish (Chaetodontoplus meredithi)

Juvenile False Personifer (Chaetodontoplus meredithi)

Juvenile False Personifer (Chaetodontoplus meredithi)

The False Personifer Angelfish (Chaetodontoplus meredithi) known as Meredithi’s Angelfish, Queensland Yellowtail Angelfish, Yellow-finned Angelfish, or Bluemask Angelfish to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts is found in the western Indian and Pacific Oceans and ranges from Queensland Australia to New South Wales, and the Lord Howe Islands.

False Personifer angelfish live on the coastal and inner reefs in sponge and sea whip habitats in depths from 20 to over 150 feet where they are usually seen in pairs or in small groups or harems feeding on sponges, algae, tunicates, and crustaceans..

Although Juvenile Chaetodontoplus meredithi are often found in shallow harbors and bays, adults frequent the deeper reefs, faces, and slopes at depths over 90 feet.

False Personifer (Chaetodontoplus meredithi)

The False Personifer Angelfish has a mostly blue green head speckled with numerous yellow to white spots.   A splotch of yellow adorns the crown of the forehead, a pale blue to white band separates the head from the bluish black body, and the breast, pectoral, and caudal fins are a bright yellow.   The upper dorsal, anal, and ventral fins are edged in white to bluish white.   The pectoral fins are mostly black, edged with a bluish yellow border.

Adult males have a slightly longer body than females and like all the members of this genus, they are protogynous hermaphrodites that change their sex from female to male.

Juvenile False Personifer angelfish are mostly black with a yellow tail and ventral fins, and a white head band behind the eye.

Because of it’s penchant for nipping clam mantles, large and small polyped stony (LPS/SPS) corals, and some soft corals; the False Personifer is not considered reef safe, however, this species does well in a fish only tank with plenty of mature live rock.

False Personifer angelfish can be housed in a “fish only” community aquarium of at least 180 gallon capacity with large quantities of mature live rock arranged into caves, crevices, and overhangs for them to hide.   Keeping more than one genus of angelfishes in the same aquarium is possible as long as species from the same genus are not housed together.

When stocking the tank, introduce the smallest and most docile species first and the largest a most aggressive fish last.   Do not place similar colored species in the same tank and make sure the existing fish in the tank are well fed before introducing any newcomers.   Species in the genus Apolemichthys are usually very good tankmates for False Personifer angelfish and considered the least aggressive in the family.

False Personifer anglefish are usually shy when first introduced into the aquarium and normally hide in caves and crevices, however; in time the fish will begin to establish it’s territory in the tank and become more outgoing.   Several daily feedings will aid in quickly acclimating it to its surroundings.

In Australia, Chaetodontoplus meredithi have been captive bred in an aquarium environment.

In their natural habitat False Personifer angelfish feed primarily on sessile invertebrates, algae, tunicates, small crustaceans, and sponges that comprise the bulk of their diet.

In an aquarium environment they do well on a varied diet of fresh and frozen foods that include fortified brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, chopped clams, commercial angelfish preparations with a high content of sponge matter, freeze dried marine algae, and Spirulina or Nori. Once fully acclimated, feeding twice daily is recommended for this species.

Captive bred False Personifer Angelfish (Chaetodontoplus meredithi) are occasionally available to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts in approximate Purchase Sizes: Small: 2″ to 3″; Small/Medium: 3″ to 4″ Medium: 4″ to 5″; Large: 5″ to 6″; X Large: 6″ to 7 1/2″ Male: Large 5″ to 6″ X Large 6″ to 7″ Show Size 7″ to 9″.   Prices start at around $600.00 USD.

False Personifer (Chaetodontoplus meredithi)

False Personifer (Chaetodontoplus meredithi)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minimum Tank Size: 150 gallons
Aquarium Type: Fish only tank
Care Level: Moderate
Temperament: Semi Aggressive
Aquarium Hardiness: Very hardy
Water Conditions: 72-78°F, dKH 8 to 12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025
Max. Size: 14″
Color Form: Black, Yellow, Blue
Diet: Omnivore
Compatibility: Not reef safe
Origin: Australia, Lord Howe Islands
Family: Pomacanthidae
Lifespan: Up to 20 years
Aquarist Experience Level: Intermediate

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Emperor Angelfish (Pomacanthus imperator)

Emperor Angelfish (Pomacanthus imperator)

Emperor Angelfish (Pomacanthus imperator)

Emperor Angelfish (Pomacanthus imperator)

The Emperor Angelfish (Pomacanthus imperator) known to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts as Imperial Angelfish or Imperator Angelfish is found in the Indo and Central Pacific Oceans from the coasts of East African and the Red Sea to the Tuamotu, Line Island chain and infrequently around the Hawaiian Islands southward to New Caledonia, and north to southern Japan to the Great Barrier Reef.

Being indigenous to both the Indian and Pacific Oceans, the Emperor Angelfish is prized for it’s regal electric royal blue and bright yellow colors however, they are not considered reef safe.

Although juvenile Emperor Angelfish are normally solitary, adults are gregarious and often found in small harems around coral rich tropical reefs and patch reefs at depths from 60 to over 200 feet, where they spend their time grazing on on algae, sponges and tunicates.

Juvenile Emperor Angelfish (Pomacanthus imperator)

Juvenile Emperor Angelfish (Pomacanthus imperator)

Juvenile Pomacanthus imperator have a deep blue black base color with white concentric circles, a white dorsal fin margin, and a transparent caudal fin.

Adult Emperor Angelfish have thin yellow and blue alternating stripes along the flanks that start behind the gills and end at the base of the caudal fin, a greenish yellow nape, a dark black mask over the eyes outlined in bright blue, and a light bluish white snout.   The dorsal fin is edged in white, the caudal fin is a bright yellow, and the anal fin has light blue stripes along a dark blue background edged in bright baby blue.

Juveniles begin to transform into their adult colors when they are around 3 to 5 inches in length.   At this stage they

Sub Adult Emperor Angelfish (Pomacanthus imperator)

Sub Adult Emperor Angelfish (Pomacanthus imperator)

are sometimes misidentified as juvenile queen angelfish (Holacanthus ciliaris) and blue angelfish (Holacanthus bermudensis) which have bright blue body bars.    Juvenile French angelfish (Holacanthus paru) and gray angelfish (Holacanthus arcuatus) have bright yellow body bars on a black body background.

Juvenile Emperor Angelfish should be housed in a large stable mature reef aquarium of at least 125 gallon capacity with plenty of live rock with algae and sponge growth for them to graze upon and arranged into overhangs, caves, and large crevices for them to hide amongst. If you plan on keeping a pair, increase the tank volume to at least 180 gallons.

Although Pomacanthus imperator are known to feed on soft and stony corals and nip at clam mantles, they are less likely to consume SPS corals and will often ignore many corals entirely.    The safest corals to keep with this species is bubble corals, disc anemone, hammer corals, star polyps, and small polyped stony corals.

Plenty of mature live rock, preferably with a lot of sponge growth as a food source, is essential for Emperor Angelfish; as is pristine water quality for them to thrive.   Because they produce a large amount of waste, a strong filtration system and regular water changes is needed for the tank.

Although Emperor Angelfish will tolerate pretty much any water flow, they do better in slower moving currents.   Strong reef lighting is recommended for this species not only to display their coloration, but because they are prone to parasitic infestations, to avoid diseases.

A single adult Emperor Angelfish should be housed in a mature reef aquarium of at least a 250 gallon capacity, with plenty of live rock for grazing.   The rockwork should be arranged into caves, overhangs, and crevices for hiding places,  yet with plenty of free swimming space.

Adult Emperor Angelfish are extremely territorial towards members of their own species and tend to bully and eat smaller fish of any species.   They can be housed with other similarly natured larger species, with care.

Emperor Angelfish are omnivores that in their natural habitat feed on small crustaceans, algae, soft and stony corals, and sponges.

In an aquarium environment, they will eat live, frozen, and freeze dried marine foods, vitamin enriched brine shrimp, Krill, Spirulina, marine algae, OSI flakes, mysis or frozen shrimp, fresh chopped shrimp, squid, octopus, and mollusks.

Because sponge is a primary nutrient source for this species in nature; a varied diet that includes frozen a prepared food for marine angelfish that include sponges is highly recommended, especially for juveniles raised in captivity that often display unidentified nutritional deficiencies.

These angels are not recommended for the amateur saltwater aquarist.

The Emperor Angelfish (Pomacanthus imperator) is one of the more expensive saltwater species and tropical fish keeping enthusiasts can expect to pay anywhere from $85 to over $325 dollars for a specimen depending on size and level of maturity.

Emperor Angelfish (Pomacanthus imperator)

 

Minimum Tank Size: 125 gal to 250 gal
Aquarium Type: Deepwater Reef
Care Level: Moderate to Difficult
Temperament: Moderately Aggressive
Aquarium Hardiness: Hardy when acclimated
Water Conditions: 72-82°F, dKH 8 to 12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025
Max. Size: 15″
Color Form: Black, Yellow, Blue, White
Diet: Omnivore
Compatibility: Reef Compatible with caution
Origin: Africa, Fiji, Indonesia, Maldives, Sri Lanka
Family: Pomacanthidae
Lifespan: Up to 20 years
Aquarist Experience Level: Advanced

Posted in Angelfish, Featured Articles, Saltwater, Tropical Fish KeepingComments (0)

Boesman's Tetra (Hemigrammus boesemani)

Boesman’s Tetra (Hemigrammus boesemani)

Boesman's Tetra (Hemigrammus boesemani)

Boesman’s Tetra (Hemigrammus boesemani)

Boesman’s Tetra (Hemigrammus boesemani) known to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts as the Suriname Green Line Scissors Lamp is an extremely rare species found in Suriname, French Guiana, and Peru however, because of misidentification it may exist in several other countries.

Boesman’s Tetra are a peaceful shoaling species that are found in the still, sluggish moving, tannin stained waters that exists in some of the rivers and tributaries of their range where they form up into small groups in the middle to upper layers of the water column.

Boesman's Tetra (Hemigrammus boesemani)

Boesman’s Tetra (Hemigrammus boesemani)

The Suriname Green Line Scissors Lamp is a small, slender species that has a clear translucent body with green and bright emerald green lines on the sides and a large black splotch at the base of the caudal fin. The fish has round tail spots and faint black markings on the upper and lower edges of the caudal fin.

Males can be distinguished by the swim bladder that is visible through the translucent skin of the fish. In males the bladder tapers to a point whereas in females, it is rounded.

Adult Boesman’s Tetra grow to just under 2″ in length making them perfect candidates for a blackwater biotope setup with at least 6 or more of their own kind.   They are best housed in at least a 20 gallon tank with a sandy or very fine gravel substrate, some driftwood branches, and several handfuls of dried, crushed, Indian Almond, Beech, or Oak leaves to replicate their natural waters.

A peat bag added to the filtration system can alternately be used to replicate the weak tea colored waters that they are found in.   Allow the driftwood and leaves to stain the water the color of weak tea and remove the old broken down leaves from the tank every few weeks to prevent the water from fouling.   As an alternate, peat bags can also be added to the aquarium filter to create blackwater conditions.

Although submerged plants can be included in this type setup, they are optional.

Because Boesman’s Tetra prefer dimly lit conditions, many tropical fish keeping enthusiasts add small floating plants like duckweed to diffuse the overhead lighting.

Boesman’s Tetras also do well in an aged densely planted tank, but because most Hemigrammus boesemani available for sale are caught in the wild, a biotope setup is much more suitable.

Lastly, Boesman’s Tetras can be housed in a community tank environment with other small, peaceful, South American species like pencil fish, Apistogramma dwarf cichlids, other Hemigrammus or Hyphessobryncon species, small Loricariids, and Corydoras.

Because Boesman’s Tetras are a shoaling species, always buy at least 6 or preferably a dozen specimens at one time. They will do much better and look their best in a small shoal when housed in this manner.

Boesman’s Tetra have been bred in an aquarium environment in a way similar to other species in the genus.

Place a group in a dimly lit 10 gallon tank with soft, acidic water with a pH of 5.5 to 6.5, a temperature between 80 and 84°F, and clumps of java moss, other fine leaved plants, or spawning mops to give the fish somewhere to deposit their eggs. Some breeders cover the base of a bare bottom tank with mesh small enough to allow the eggs to fall through and prevent the adults from getting to the eggs.

Regardless of the method, you should set up a separate rearing tank if you plan to raise a decent amount of fry. An aged corner type sponge air filter is all that is necessary for filtration. A number of successful breeders prefer RO water filtered through bags of peat to maintain optimum conditions for breeding.

Hemigrammus boesemani spawn in groups or pairs, so select half a dozen or so specimens of each sex and condition them with live baby brine shrimp, daphnia, etc. until the females are full of eggs and the males are in their best color.   Select the fattest female and best looking male an place them in the breeding tank. Spawning usually occurs the following morning and the eggs will hatch 24 to 36 hours.

The fry are free swimming in 3 to 4 days and can be fed infusoria for the first few days until baby brine shrimp and microworms can be accepted.  Both the eggs and fry are light sensitive and should remain in darkness for the first couple of weeks of life.

Boesman’s Tetra are omnivores and can be fed a mixed diet of live, frozen, or freeze dried flake foods, small pellets, brine shrimp, daphnia, microworms, bloodworms, etc. They are easy to feed and will eat just about any tetra fare.

Boesman’s Tetra (Hemigrammus boesemani) are extremely rare and not particularly common in their natural range.   They are seldom available to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts and when seen should be scarfed up as quickly as possible regardless of price.    Occasionally, online sites will have limited availabilities.

 

Boesman's Tetra (Hemigrammus boesemani)

Boesman’s Tetra (Hemigrammus boesemani)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons
Care Level: Moderate
Temperament: Peaceful
Aquarium Hardiness: Hardy once acclimated
Water Conditions: 74 to 79 °F , dH 2-16, pH 5.5-7.4
Max. Size: 1.8″
Color Form: Silver, Yellow, Green
Diet: Omnivore
Compatibility: Peaceful, keep with other small tetras
Origin: Suriname, French Guiana, and Peru
Family: Characidae
Lifespan: 5-10 years
Aquarist Experience Level: Advanced

 

Posted in Featured Articles, Tetras, Tropical Fish Keeping, Tropical Fish SpeciesComments (0)

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