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Tag Archive | "tropical fish keeping"

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

Posted in Angelfish, Dwarf Angelfish, Featured Articles, Saltwater, Tropical Fish Keeping, Tropical Fish SpeciesComments (0)

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

Posted in Angelfish, Dwarf Angelfish, Featured Articles, Saltwater, Tropical Fish Keeping, Tropical Fish SpeciesComments (0)

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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

 

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Majestic Angelfish (Pomacanthus Navarchus)

Majestic Angelfish (Pomacanthus Navarchus)

Majestic Angelfish (Pomacanthus Navarchus)

Majestic Angelfish (Pomacanthus Navarchus)

The Majestic Angelfish (Pomacanthus Navarchus) known to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts as the Blue Girdled Angelfish is common along the coral reefs throughout the tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific.

The Majetic Angelfish‘s range extends from Indonesia and the Philippines to northern and eastern Australia and Micronesia .

Although juvenile Majestic Angelfish are often found in shallow coral rich habitats; adult specimens are normally collected along the outer reef slopes, channels, and coral rich lagoons as deep as 130 feet.   Like many marine angelfish, Pomacanthus Navarchus are territorial and loners, however, they are occasionally found in small groups or in pairs in the demersal zone feeding on small invertebrates, algae, sponges, tunicates, and zooplankton.

Majestic Angelfish (Pomacanthus Navarchus)

Majestic Angelfish (Pomacanthus Navarchus)

Majestic Angelfish are distinctly colored with three main areas that are separated by pale blue bands edged in black.

The funnel shaped front section from just below the eyes to the rear of the pectoral fins and the gill plates is a dark blue.  Just below the eyes to the rear of the pectoral fins is a lemon yellow color.  The mid portion is a reticulated bright yellow with blue dots, and the posterior portion to the base of the caudal fin including the anal fin is deep blue with pale blue/white dots.

The dorsal and caudal fins are bright yellow rimmed with a pale blue border edged in black.  The mouth, lips, and trailing rays of the pectoral and anal fins are blue as well.

Juvenile Majestic Angelfish (Pomacanthus Navarchus)

Juvenile Majestic Angelfish (Pomacanthus Navarchus)

Juveniles are colored a dark blue with curved bluish/white lateral stripes and clear caudal fins.   As they mature, they

Juvenile Majestic Angelfish (Pomacanthus Navarchus)

Juvenile Majestic Angelfish (Pomacanthus Navarchus)

adopt the yellow coloration on the flanks, dorsal, and caudal fins.

Pomacanthus Navarchus are protandric hermaphrodites, that begin their adult lives as females and later change into a male.

Except for large angelfish and conspecifics, the Majestic Angel is shy and mellow by angelfish standards and can be peacefully housed with Clownfish, Tangs, Triggers, Wrasses and other semi-aggressive species.   Yellow Tangs, Harlequin Tusks, Flame Angels and Blue Jaw Triggers are good options.

It’s best to add most or preferably all larger fish simultaneously to reduce territorial aggression.

If the aquarium is large enough, it is possible to house two Majestic Angelfish of the opposite sex in the same tank, however, there is no reliable way to sex them.

Majestic Angelfish are best housed in a large, stable, mature 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.   Blue Girdled Angelfish are not considered to be reef safe and will nip at soft and stony polyp corals, sessile invertebrates, and clam mantles.   They are less likely to consume SPS corals and some may ignore corals entirely.

When first introduced into the tank, Majestic Angelfish are rather shy but with a variety of food offerings will adapt quickly.  They grow very slowly and max out in a tank at around 10″.

Like all marine angelfish, Pomacanthus Navarchus require pristine water quality and good reef lighting to flourish.   A good wet dry reef filtration system with a reliable protein skimmer and regular water changes are necessary to maintain optimum water parameters.

15% bi-weekly or 30% monthly water changes should be considered routine. If there are corals in the tank, change 10% every 2 weeks or 20% every month.

They are intolerant of high nitrates or nitrites.   Nitrites should be kept to 0 ppm while nitrates should be maintained at < 5 ppm.

In the wild they Majestic Angelfish (Pomacanthus Navarchus) will hybridize with the Bluefaced Angelfish or Yellowfaced Angelfish, Pomacanthus xanthometopon. As of this post, there have been no reports of Majestic Angelfish being successfully bred in an aquarium environment.

In the wild, Majestic Angelfish are omnivores that feed on a wide variety of sponges and tunicates.   In an aquarium environment, they should be fed a variety of live, frozen, and prepared formula foods.   Chopped scallops, squid, shrimp, vegetable based food preparations with marine sponges and tunicates should be fed three or more times a day.   Offer finicky eaters gut loaded live brine shrimp, frozen Mysis Shrimp, clams, or red macro algae attached to a piece of live rock until they develop an appetite.

Many tropical fish keeping enthusiasts chop up shrimp, squid, mussels, spinach, etc. and freeze the concoction into small portions for marine angels.

Majestic Angelfish (Pomacanthus Navarchus) are available to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts from fish shops, importers, online auction sites, and a variety of online retail sources at modest prices, usually between $100.00 to $295.00 at approximate purchase sizes.

Juveniles: Small 1-1/4″ to 2″, Medium 2″ to 2-1/2″, Large 2-1/2″ to 3″
Sub Adult: Small 2″ to 2-1/2″, Medium 2-1/2″ to 3″ Large 3″ to 3-1/2″
Adult: Small 1.5″ to 2-3/4″; Small/Medium 2-3/4″ to 3-1/4″ Medium: 3-1/4″ to 4-1/4″; Large: 5-1/4″ to 6-1/4″ X Large 6-1/4″ to 7-1/2″

Majestic Angelfish (Pomacanthus Navarchus)

Majestic Angelfish (Pomacanthus Navarchus)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minimum Tank Size: 125 gallons
Aquarium Type: Deepwater Reef
Care Level: Difficult
Temperament: Semi Aggressive
Aquarium Hardiness: Moderately Hardy when acclimated
Water Conditions: 74-78°F, dKH 8 to 11.5, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.023-1.025
Max. Size: 10″
Color Form: Black, Yellow, Blue
Diet: Omnivore
Compatibility: Not Reef Compatible
Origin: Indo-Pacific Ocean
Family: Pomacanthidae
Lifespan: Up to 21 years
Aquarist Experience Level: Advanced

 

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Xanthurus Cream Angelfish (Apolemichthys xanthurus)

Xanthurus Cream Angelfish (Apolemichthys xanthurus)

Xanthurus Cream Angelfish (Apolemichthys xanthurus)

Xanthurus Cream Angelfish (Apolemichthys xanthurus)

The Xanthurus Cream Angelfish (Apolemichthys xanthurus) is also known to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts as the Cream Angelfish, Indian Yellowtail Angelfish, Smoke Angelfish, or Yellowtail Black Angelfish is found in the Mauritius, Sri Lanka, Maldives, and the east coast of Inda in the Western Indian Ocean.

Xanthurus Cream Angelfish (Apolemichthys xanthurus)

Xanthurus Cream Angelfish (Apolemichthys xanthurus)

Xanthurus Cream Angelfish have a dark brown face, brown to black tipped scales that give it a spotted appearance, and a broad black margin on the dorsal and anal fins that is edged or outlined in a silvery white colored line.    The yellow caudal fin and pectoral fins are edged in white.

Juveniles have a black vertical stripe that starts at the base of the dorsal fin, goes through the eye, and ends at the throat which diminishes with age.

A single Xanthurus Cream Angelfish is best housed in a mature tank of at least 75 gallons with plenty of live rock arranged into overhangs, crevices, and hiding places for them to graze upon and seek refuge. Cream Angelfish will become overly aggressive toward their own kind when kept in a tank that is too small or does not have sufficient live rock hiding places. They are also aggressive to other species that are added to the tank after they have staked out their territory.

Because Xanthurus Cream Angelfish will nip at sessile invertebrates, stony corals, and clam mantles, they are not considered to be reef safe.   Larger crabs, shrimps, and snails are normally safe but small shrimp and all other types of corals will be consumed. Even juvenile Cream Angelfish will pick and eat Xenia, Anthelia, and other soft polyp corals as well as the stony corals and zoanthids.

Although Apolemichthys xanthurus are moderately hardy and one of the easiest of the Apolemichthys genus to keep, they can be picky eaters and difficult to acclimate. A varied diet and lots of mature live rock with lots of algae, sponges, and tunicates goes a long way towards acclimating picky eaters.

Water quality is essential to all marine residents, so regulator water changes are mandatory. In an aquarium of 100 gallons or over, 20% monthly water changes would be considered normal maintenance. Because Xanthurus Cream Angelfish are constant grazers, water changes should NOT include scrubbing algae off of the interior of the aquarium.

Apolemichthys xanthurus are happiest with a moderate amount of water movement and moderate lighting. They are an active species that will hang at all levels of the tank.

Except for males being larger than females of the same age, Xanthurus Cream Angelfish are hermaphroditic and have no distinguishing features that differentiate males from females.

The Xanthurus Cream Angelfish is a broadcast spawner.    Their courtship usually starts just before sunset.    The male will swim above the female, tilt his body with extended fins, and await a response from the female.   When she is ready, the female will swim towards the area that the male has designated as their spawning site.  The pair will swim higher up into the water column as the male nuzzles the female’s belly until both simultaneously release their gametes into the water column for fertilization.

Although Xanthurus Cream Angelfish are classified as omnivores, in their natural habitat they are primarily herbivores that spend their time grazing on algae, sponge material, tunicates, and small amounts of copepods found in the rocks.

Like other marine angelfish, they should have a varied diet that includes Spirulina, marine algae, mysis, frozen shrimp, a high quality commercial angelfish preparation, and a variety of other meaty items.

Many Xanthurus Cream Angelfish (Apolemichthys xanthurus) are collected from Sri Lanka and are available to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts from fish shops, importers, online auction sites, and a variety of online retail sources at modest prices, usually under $100.00 at approximate purchase sizes from 1-1/2″ to 4″.

Xanthurus Cream Angelfish (Apolemichthys xanthurus)

Xanthurus Cream Angelfish (Apolemichthys xanthurus)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minimum Tank Size: 125 gallons
Aquarium Type: Deepwater Reef
Care Level: Easy
Temperament: Highly 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″ – 8″
Color Form: Black, Yellow
Diet: Omnivore
Compatibility: Not Reef Compatible
Origin: Western Indian Ocean
Family: Pomacanthidae
Lifespan: Up to 10 years
Aquarist Experience Level: Advanced

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Horse Nose Cichlid (Eretmodus cyanostictus)

Horse Nose Cichlid (Eretmodus cyanostictus) “Bulu Pt.”

Horse Nose Cichlid (Eretmodus cyanostictus)

Horse Nose Cichlid (Eretmodus cyanostictus)

The Horse Nose Cichlid (Eretmodus cyanostictus) also known to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts as the Striped Gopby Cichlid and Tanganyikan Clown Cichlid is endemic to Lake Tanganyika where it is found in the “surge zone” along the shallow surface layers of the rocky shorelines of Zambia and Tanzania where they scrape algae from the rocks with their specialized teeth.

Along with species from Eretmodus, Spathodus, and Tanganicodus; the Horse Nose Cichlid (Eretmodus cyanostictus) belongs to a group of cichlids commonly referred to as gobies or goby cichlids.

Because Horse Nose Cichlids inhabit very shallow rocky areas with strong currents and breaking waves, they have adapted to these conditions by developing long dorsal fins, a compressed body shape, and a non functional swim bladder that allows them to better cope with navigating the strong currents.

Horse Nose Cichlids have underslung mouths that allows them to remain flat against the rocks as they scrape off algae, and an extremely spiny dorsal fin that affords them some protection from birds and other predators that prey in the shallows.

Horse Nose Cichlid (Eretmodus cyanostictus)

Horse Nose Cichlid (Eretmodus cyanostictus)

Horse Nose Cichlids are sand colored with nine dark vertical bars along their sides.   Several color forms of Eretmodus cyanostictus exist that are dependent on where the specimens were collected.   Individuals collected from Kigoma have more red and orange in their fins than the those collected from the northern part of the lake.

Males and females are identically colored which makes them relatively impossible to sex, however, adult males are generally larger than females and also have slightly longer pelvic fins.

The fry can be reliably sexed up to a couple of days after release with males being a darker brown than females, but the color difference lasts only a few days.

Because Horse Nose Cichlids (Eretmodus cyanostictus) are adapted to living in the highly agitated water along the surge zones in Lake Tanganyika, more carbon dioxide is released into the highly oxygenated water which raises the pH.   These conditions are also required to keep them healthy in an aquarium environment.

Eretmodus cyanostictus are best housed in a brightly lit Lake Tanganyika biotope aquarium setup of at least 55 gallon capacity, with a sandy or extremely fine gravel substrate and plenty of rockwork spaced along the bottom in piles for them to “hop” around.   The rock piles should fill most of the aquarium and be arranged to form caves and crevices all the way to the top of the tank. Strong lighting is necessary to encourage algae growth and a sandy substrate is essential as an aid to digestion for this species.

Because Horse Nose Cichlids are a territorial species, they should not be kept with boisterous fish like Mbuna.   In a community Tanganyikan aquarium, good tankmates include species that inhabit different areas of the aquarium like Cyprichromis, Paracyprichromis, Tropheus, Petrochromis, Simochromis and shell dwellers.

Horse Nose Cichlids can also be kept singly or as a pair.   Once a pair has developed, they will remain together for life. Unless they are housed in a large aquarium, they are somewhat aggressive towards conspecifics.

Because Striped Goby Cichlids need highly oxygenated water to thrive, a good canister or trickle filter, at least a couple of power heads, and a few air stones are required to provide the necessary amount of oxygen.   Regular 20% to 30% water changes are also highly recommended.

Eretmodus cyanostictus are bi parental mouthbrooders that are difficult to breed.   They have a uniquely interesting spawning behavior and have been bred in an aquarium environment.

The best way to breed Eretmodus cyanostictus Gobies is to purchase a group of juveniles and allow them to pair off naturally in a large aquarium.   Because Horse Nose Cichlids mate for life, purchasing an adult male and female does NOT guarantee a pair and will often result in the female being harassed to death.

Once a pair forms, remove the other fish from the tank and place the pair in an aquarium of at least 30 gallon capacity with some flat rocks for them to use as spawning sites. Place the rocks at varying levels in the tank, set the pH between 8.2 and 9.0, keep the temperature between 77 and 80° F, and provide strong oxygenation.

When ready to breed, the female will select a spawning site on one of the rocks and thoroughly clean it.   The pair will then circle the site rubbing their mouths against each other’s stomachs until the female deposits 1 to 2 eggs that she immediately scoops up into her mouth.

The male has egg shaped spots on his anal fin which attracts the female to them.   As the female turns around to scoop up the eggs, the male shakes his body to release sperm that fertilizes the eggs at the precise moment the female scoops them up and tries to add them to the brood in her mouth.   This process is repeated until anywhere from 10 to 30 eggs are laid and fertilized.

The female may carry the eggs in her mouth for over 2 weeks and will not eat during this period.  When the eggs hatch, the female transfers the fry into the mouth of the male. The transfer will usually occur at the spawning site where 1 or 2 fry will be gently blown out of the distended mouth of the female and picked up by the male, one at a time.   At this stage the fry still have their yolk sacs. The male will incubate the fry for 7 to 14 days before releasing them over a period of several hours into different areas of the tank.   During the incubation period, the male will also cease eating.

Horse Nose Cichlid parents will not eat the eggs or the fry, so unless you intend to breed the pair again, there is no need to remove the offspring into a raising tank. Once the male releases the fry into the tank, they are ignored by the parents and left to subsist on their own.

After the egg sacs are absorbed, the fry will eagerly accept powdered or finely crushed spirulina flakes or baby brine shrimp from the first day.   Like many Tanganyikan species, growth is slow.

In their natural habitat, Horse Nose Cichlids are aufwuchs eaters that graze on algae that they scrape from the rocks in the shallows of Lake Tanganyika.   In an aquarium environment, the food of choice for Eretmodus cyanostictus is a good Spirulina flake, vegetable matter such as blanched spinach, and supplements of live and frozen Mysis or Cyclops.   Avoid feeding adults high protein foods such as meat, shellfish, worms, or brine shrimp at all costs.

The Horse Nose Cichlid (Eretmodus cyanostictus) is an overlooked species that due to their specific requirements and sensitivity is not recommended for anyone but advanced tropical fish keeping enthusiasts. They are occasionally available from specialty tropical fish shops and online from a variety of sources at relatively reasonable prices.

Horse Nose Cichlid (Eretmodus cyanostictus)

Horse Nose Cichlid (Eretmodus cyanostictus)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minimum Tank Size: 55 gallons
Care Level: Difficult
Temperament: Aggressive
Aquarium Hardiness: Delicate
Water Conditions: 75-82°F, pH 8.0-9.0, H 10-25°
Max. Size: 3.2″
Color Form: Brown, Blue
Diet: Carnivore
Compatibility: Tanganyikan Community or single species tanks
Origin: Lake Tanganyika, Africa
Family: Cichlidae
Lifespan: 8-10 years
Aquarist Experience Level: Advanced

 

Posted in African Cichlids, Cichlids, Featured Articles, Freshwater Fish, Lake Tanganyika Cichlids, Tropical Fish Keeping, Tropical Fish SpeciesComments (0)

Wantanabe Angel (Genicanthus watanabei) Male

Wantanabe Angel (Genicanthus watanabei)

Wantanabe Angel (Genicanthus watanabei) Male

Wantanabe Angel (Genicanthus watanabei) Male

The Wantanabe Angel (Genicanthus watanabei) known to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts as Watanabe’s Lyretail Angelfish and Blackedged Angel is found within the waters of the Pitcairn and Society Islands; part of Polynesia in the South Pacific Ocean.

Genicanthus are found from Japan to the Philippines, South to New Caledonia and the Austral islands and Melansia, however, they are most often caught and offered to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts from the Phillipines, the Coral Sea, and rarely from Melanesia.

The Wantanabe Angel is the smallest of the so called “Swallowtail” angels that seldom exceeds six inches in length.   As their name implies, Wantanabe Angels have long “swallowtail” like filamentous extensions on both caudal lobes of both sexes.

Males have an iridescent pale blue body color highlighted by eight long, thin, black horizontal stripes starting just behind the gill plate that extend from the mid to lower portion of the body, and one horizontal orange stripe at the rear mid-body that extends toward the tail.   The outer edges of the dorsal, anal, and caudal fins are edged in black.

Wantanabe Angel (Genicanthus watanabei) Female

Wantanabe Angel (Genicanthus watanabei) Female

Females also have an iridescent pale blue body color but lack the stripes found in males.  They have unique black bars on the head that joins the eyes and a black band along the upper and lower edges of the dorsal, anal, and caudal fins.

A unique trait of Watanabe’s Angelfish and all ten members of the Genicanthus genus of Pomacanthidae, is the prominent sexual dichromatism between the sexes that makes them easy to sex.

Like many marine angelfish species, all Genicanthus angels are protogynous hermaphrodites that begin life as females and have the ability to morph into males.   When held in small groups or harems, the dominant female in the group will often transform into a male.   The process will usually take anywhere from 20 to 40 days to accomplish.

The Wantanabe Angel is a peaceful species that is tolerant of conspecifics and other angelfish species.   In an aquarium environment they should be introduced into the tank first before other angelfish who may not tolerate them.

Wantanabe Angelfish can be housed as singles, pairs, or in small harems of a single male and multiple females, provided the tank is large enough.

Genicanthus watanabei are best housed in a mature deep water reef aquarium of at least 125 gallon capacity with a variety of hard and soft corals and plenty of mature algae covered live rock arranged into caves, overhangs, and crevices for them to graze upon and hide among. They are open water swimmers that require plenty of free swimming space and do best in a dimly lit tank that replicates their deep water habitat.

A chiller is needed to maintain the cool 74° F temperature they prefer.   Like other deep water species, Wantanabe Angels require stable water conditions and pristine water quality to thrive.   The Wantanabe Angelfish is perfectly reef safe with Soft and Hard Corals (including Stony Corals) not likely to be harmed.

Wantanabe angelfish can be housed with other peaceful, non threatening tank mates such as Snowflake Clownfish, small wrasses, Anthias, gobies, chromis, blennies, Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp, etc.

The Wantanabe angelfish is now being captive bred, however they are pelagic spawners that are very difficult to breed in an aquarium environment.

The Wantanabe angel feeds almost constantly in their natural environment on planktivores, small crustaceans, and algae.   In an aquarium environment they are easy to feed once acclimated and will accept almost anything floating in the water column.

In addition to having a large quantity of live rock in the aquarium for them to graze upon, a varied diet rich in Mysis shrimp, marine plankton, vitamin enriched brine shrimp, finely chopped crustaceans, Spirulina, marine algae, and a high quality commercial angelfish preparation fed multiple times daily will keep Genicanthus watanabei in good condition.   Frequent small feedings are recommended for this species.

Although the Wantanabe Angel (Genicanthus watanabei) is seldom available to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts, they can be occasionally found in specialty fish shops and ordered online from importers, wholesalers, retailers, and collectors at relatively reasonable prices for deep water species.    There are usually waiting lists for this species at purchases sizes from: Small 1 1/4″ to 2-1/2″ Small/Medium: 2-1/2″ to 3″ Medium 3″ to 4″; Medium/Large: 4-1/4″ to 5-1/4″ Large 5-1/4″ to 6 ” at current prices from $150.00 to $350.00.

Wantanabe Angel (Genicanthus watanabei) Male

Wantanabe Angel (Genicanthus watanabei) Male

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minimum Tank Size: 125 gallons
Aquarium Type: Deep water Reef
Care Level: Moderate
Temperament: Peaceful
Aquarium Hardiness: Difficult to acclimate
Water Conditions: 72-78°F, dKH 8 to 12, pH 8.1 – 8.4, sg 1.020-1.025
Max. Size: 6″
Color Form: Orange, Blue, White
Diet: Omnivore
Compatibility: Reef
Origin: Pitcairn and Society Islands
Family: Pomacanthidae
Lifespan: 2-5 years
Aquarist Experience Level: Expert

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Interruptus Angel (Centropyge interruptus)

Interruptus Angel (Centropyge interruptus)

Interruptus Angel (Centropyge interruptus)

Interruptus Angel (Centropyge interruptus)

The Interruptus Angel (Centropyge interruptus) known to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts as the Japanese Angelfish or Japanese Pygmy Angelfish is another rare species found in relatively large concentrations in Southern and Central Japan, and in the northwestern Hawaiian Islands, Midway and Kure.

The Interruptus Angel is a relatively peaceful species that in nature grows up to 6 inches in length and frequents areas in rocky reefs where boulders covered in heavy algae growth are found at depths ranging anywhere from 25 to over 200 feet.

Interruptus Angels have an orange body color covered with purplish, neon blue spots (more like freckles) that become larger towards the tail, and a bright yellow caudal fin.   The larger blue spots become more purple towards the caudal fin and the upper and lower portion of the body towards the rear of the fish morph into purple .

Juvenile Interruptus Angel (Centropyge interruptus)

Juvenile Interruptus Angel (Centropyge interruptus)

Juvenile Interruptus Angels have a black ocellus on the posterior portion of the dorsal fin margined in blue.

Female Japanese Angelfish have blue speckles across the entire bod; while males predominantly on the face.

The vibrant shades of pink and purple, littered with speckled blue dots make the Japanese Angelfish one of the most visually appealing and sought after species in the aquarium trade.

Centropyge interruptus are protogynous hermaphrodites that are born female.   As they mature, when they are about 5 inches in length, the dominant female will change sex to become a male.   The process usually takes approximately 20 to 40 days.

Although the Interruptus Angel can be relatively peaceful in a community aquarium with no other dwarf angelfish, it is best housed in a well established deepwater reef aquarium of at least a 70 gallon capacity with a variety of large polyp stony corals, a few deepwater Acropora species, and plenty of mature, algae covered live rock arranged into caves, overhangs, and crevices for them to hide and graze upon.

The lighting in the tank should be dimmed to replicate their deepwater habitat and a chiller is required to keep the maximum temperature in the tank under 74° Fahrenheit.   Like other deepwater species Interruptus Angels require very stable water conditions and pristine water quality to thrive.   Once acclimated, at least monthly 20-30% water changes are recommended.

Japanese Angelfish can be housed with other peaceful, non threatening tankmates such as Snowflake Clownfish, small wrasses, anthias, gobies, chromis, blennies, Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp, etc.

Although the Interruptus Angel is not considered reef safe; frequent feeding will keep it from nibbling on stony and soft corals, and have it spending time grazing on bits of algae growing on the live rock in the tank.

Interruptus Angelfish are protogynous hermaphrodites that have been bred in an aquarium environment and are now being captive bred.    They are pelagic spawners that in their natural habitat are typically found in pairs on rocky reefs around rich growths of algae.

Males will usually spawn with individual females at dusk.  The pair rise up into the water column where the male encourages the female to release her eggs. The pair join belly to belly and their eggs and sperm are released into the water column.   The eggs rise toward the surface where they become part of the plankton chain and receive no parental care.

In their natural deepwater habitat, Interruptus Angels graze on algae, bethnic invertebrates, and sponges.   In an aquarium environment they are excellent browsers of microalgae and detritus, but they also require frequent feedings of a variety of meaty frozen foods including Mysis, fortified brine shrimp, etc.   Pellets and flake foods containing Spirulina are also eagerly accepted.

Underfed specimens will begin nipping at clam mantles, sea anemones, LPS corals, and some soft corals such as zoanthids.

The Interruptus Angel (Centropyge interruptus) is a rarely collected species that is seldom encountered by tropical fish keeping enthusiasts however, if you should luck out and find one for sale, expect to pay anywhere from $ 3,000.00 or more.   The prices below are for captive bred Interruptus Angelfish:

Medium: over 1.5-2.5″ = $4,000.00
Large: over 2.5-3.5″ = $4,500.00
X-Large: over 3.5-4″, = $5,500.00

Interruptus Angel (Centropyge interruptus)

Interruptus Angel (Centropyge interruptus)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minimum Tank Size: 70 gallons
Aquarium Type: Deepwater Reef
Care Level: Moderate
Temperament: Semi Aggressive
Aquarium Hardiness: Difficult to acclimate
Water Conditions: 66-74°F, dKH 8 to 12, pH 8.1 – 8.5, sg 1.020-1.025
Max. Size: 6″
Color Form: Orange, Purple, Yellow
Diet: Omnivore
Compatibility: Reef w/Caution
Origin: Southern Japan, Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, Kure and Midway Islands
Family: Pomacanthidae
Lifespan: 2-5 years
Aquarist Experience Level: Expert

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Spotted Angel (Genicanthus takeuchii)

Spotted Angel (Genicanthus takeuchii)

Spotted Angel (Genicanthus takeuchii)

Spotted Angel (Genicanthus takeuchii)

The Spotted Angel (Genicanthus takeuchii) known to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts as Takeuchii’s Swallowtail Angelfish and Takeuchi’s Angelfish is an extremely rare species found only in the Ogasawara Islands at depths below 120 feet, and more recently, the Northern Marian Islands in the Northwest Pacific Ocean at depths between 49 and 65 feet.

Multiple male and female specimens were discovered outside the Ogasawaras, Japan in the nearby Northern Marian Islands by Andrew Gray at shallower depths from 50 to 65 feet.

Second in rarity only to the Ballina angelfish (Chaetodontoplus ballinaehe), the Spotted Angel (Genicanthus takeuchii) is an open water plankton feeder that inhabits the outer reef slopes of deep water coral reefs and prefers swimming around scroll corals at depths mostly below 140 feet.

The Spotted Angel is one of the largest of the “Swallowtail Angels” and in their natural habitat can grow to almost 14 inches in length.   In an aquarium environment, males will seldom exceed 10″ in length.

Juvenile Takeuchii’s Swallowtail Angelfish (below) have a unique spotted honeycomb (leopard like) appearance.

Juvenile Spotted Angel (Genicanthus takeuchii)

Juvenile Spotted Angel (Genicanthus takeuchii)

Adult Spotted Angel (Genicanthus takeuchii)

Adult Spotted Angel (Genicanthus takeuchii)

Adult males have a grayish white body color with six to eight boldly striped black horizontal bars along the body, and large black spots on the dorsal and caudal fin (hence it’s name).

The under body is a pale white color.

 

 

 

Female Spotted Angel (Genicanthus takeuchii)

Female Spotted Angel (Genicanthus takeuchii)

Female Spotted Angels have a grayish white body color with a distinct black, scribbly like pattern on the upper body and tail, giving it a mostly peppered like appearance.

The underbody is a pale white to cream color.

Both sexes have a long tail that tapers into the body giving it the “swallowtail” appearance.

In the wild, Spotted Angels have been known to hybridize with the Japanese Swallowtail Angelfish (Genicanthus semifasciatus).

Spotted Angels are a peaceful species that can be safely housed with other peaceful deep water blennies, gobies, anthias, etc. provided plenty of hiding places are available.

Because of it’s size, the Spotted Angel is best housed in a very large, aged, deep water reef aquarium of at least 150 gallon capacity, with a sandy substrate and a substantial amount of aged live rock for them to hide among.   They are considered to be reef safe and can be housed in either a reef or fish only aquarium.   

If you ever luck out and acquire a Spotted Angel, acclimation and aquarium temperature are primary concerns.

Like other deepwater angelfish, this species  requires pristine water quality and water temperatures between 68 and 72 degrees F.; which means that along with regular water changes, a reef filtration system with a chiller is necessary to maintain water parameters.

To date Genicanthus takeuchii has never been bred in an aquarium environment.

In it’s natural habitat, the Spotted Angel is an open water plankton feeder.   In an aquarium environment, like many others in this genus, they should be fed a varied diet of live or frozen meaty foods that includes fortified brine shrimp, Mysis shrimp, and commercial angelfish preparations.    Small portions should be offered several times daily.

Because the Ogasawara Islands are a Japanese marine reserve and the northernmost Marianas and their outlying Islands are very remote and incredibly difficult to reach; the Spotted Angel (Genicanthus takeuchii) is unlikely to be available to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts in the near future. If you ever find one, expect to pay a hefty sum.

Adult Spotted Angel (Genicanthus takeuchii)

Adult Spotted Angel (Genicanthus takeuchii)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minimum Tank Size: 150 gallons
Aquarium Type: Deepwater Reef
Care Level: Moderate
Temperament: Peaceful
Aquarium Hardiness: Hardy when acclimated
Water Conditions: 68 °F – 73 °F, 8 to 12 dKH , pH 8.0 – 8.5, sg 1.020-1.026
Max. Size: M 9.8″ F 8.7″
Color Form: Gray, Black, White
Diet: Omnivore (Planktivore)
Compatibility: Deepwater Reef, peaceful tankmates
Origin: Marcus Island and the Ogasawara Islands
Family: Pomacanthidae
Lifespan: Unknown
Aquarist Experience Level: Professional

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Blackspot Pygmy Angelfish (Centropyge nigriocella)

Blackspot Pygmy Angelfish (Centropyge nigriocella)

Blackspot Pygmy Angelfish (Centropyge nigriocella)

Blackspot Pygmy Angelfish (Centropyge nigriocella)

The Blackspot Pygmy Angelfish (Centropyge nigriocella) known to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts as the Blackspot Angelfish, Black Spot Angelfish, and Ocellated Angelfish ranges from the Admiralty Islands, Caroline Island, Central Pacific, Wallis Island in French Polynesia, Guam, Johnston Atoll, Fanning Island in Kiribati, Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia, Northern Mariana Islands, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, the Society Islands, and various United States Minor Outlying Islands.

They have also been reported in scattered localities from Holmes Reef in the Coral Sea and the West Central Pacific at depths from 15 to over 50 feet.

Blackspot Pygmy Angelfish are an extremely rare species that frequently inhabit the clear lagoons and outer reefs of their range, usually around areas with a lot of rubble and dead corals where they graze on algae.

Blackspot Pygmy Angelfish (Centropyge nigriocella)

Blackspot Pygmy Angelfish (Centropyge nigriocella)

The Blackspot Pygmy Angelfish is a shy, reclusive, secretive, seldom seen species that has a pale yellow to almost white body color, with a large black spot that covers the base of the pectoral fin and a black, false black eye spot (ocellus) circled in white, on the rear part of the dorsal fin.

Blackspot Pygmy Angelfish are believed to be abundant in their range but because of their cryptic nature, seeing one is a matter of pure luck and capturing one would be like winning the lottery.

In the aquarium trade Centropyge nigriocella are even more rare and expensive than the deepwater Peppermint Angelfish (Paracentropyge boylei).   To date only three specimens have been known to be collected alive, with the latest specimen from Vanuatu being the second one collected from that area.

Blackspot Pygmy Angelfish should be housed in a mature reef aquarium of at least 90 gallon capacity with plenty of live rock and dead corals arranged into caves, overhangs, and crannies for them to graze and hide among.   Being a shallow water species, they can be housed with anthias, gobies, chromis, and other smaller non aggressive species.    Because they live in a reef environment, pristine water quality is mandatory along with regular water changes.

Although nothing is known about the breeding habits of Centropyge nigriocella, they are believed to be egg scatterers and assumed to follow the same breeding habits.

Blackspot Pygmy Angelfish are omnivores that feed mainly on algae.   In an aquarium environment they should be provided with a large quantity of mature live rock as well as feedings of Algae, Brine Shrimp, Frozen Foods, Mysis shrimp, and Angelfish formulas.    Because they are grazers, they should be fed small portions at least 3 to 4 times daily.

Blackspot Pygmy Angelfish (Centropyge nigriocella) are extremely rare in the aquarium trade and exceedingly expensive when offered for sale.   The last 1.7 inch specimen captured from Vanuatu was sold in Japan for a little over $16,000.00.

The reason some fish species fetch exorbitant prices is because of their isolation in distribution, the depths at which they live, or both.   The reason Blackspot Pygmy Angelfish are so expensive is because they are so cryptic and rarely seen in their natural habitat.   Capturing an elusive species this small is simply a matter of luck.

Blackspot Pygmy Angelfish (Centropyge nigriocella)

Blackspot Pygmy Angelfish (Centropyge nigriocella)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minimum Tank Size: 90 gallons
Aquarium Type: Reef with rubble rock
Care Level: Moderate
Temperament: Peaceful
Aquarium Hardiness: Hardy when acclimated
Water Conditions: 77 °F – 82.4 °F, 8 to 12 dKH , pH 8.1 – 8.4, sg 1.020-1.025
Max. Size: 2.36″
Color Form: Yellow, Black
Diet: Omnivore
Compatibility: Single species; peaceful tankmates
Origin: Central Pacific
Family: Pomacanthidae
Lifespan: Unknown
Aquarist Experience Level: Advanced

 

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Narcosis Angelfish (Centropyge narcosis)

Narcosis Angelfish (Centropyge narcosis)

Narcosis Angelfish (Centropyge narcosis)

Narcosis Angelfish (Centropyge narcosis)

The Narcosis Angelfish (Centropyge narcosis) known to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts as the Narc Angelfish or Deep Reef Pygmy Angel is an elusive deepwater species found in the Eastern Central Pacific Ocean of Rarotonga, Cooks Islands and more recently discovered over 700 miles away in the deep waters of Tahiti.

The Narcosis Angelfish is closely related to Colin’s Angelfish (Centropyge colini) in form and behavior, and is found singly or in small groups at depths from 360 to over 420 feet.

Like Colin’s Angelfish, the Narcosis Angelfish is a shy, reclusive species that prefer living among rocky vertical drop offs in caves, overhangs, and crevices where they can easily hide when threatened.   They are frequently observed swimming upside down with their bellies tight to the ceiling of a cave or overhang.

They will often hang in a head down position with their dorsal spines extended to ward off larger predators.   The black dots flanking their sides apparently look like large eyes to fish eating predators.

The first known Narcosis Angelfish ever collected was by Richard Pyle around the Cook Islands at a depth of 330 to 340 feet.

Narcosis Angelfish (Centropyge narcosis)

Narcosis Angelfish (Centropyge narcosis)

Narcosis Angelfish (Centropyge narcosis) have a strikingly bright yellow body color with a single jet black spot on either side of the fish, a tall body profile, and prominent dorsal fin spikes that are quite sharp.   Males are believed to be slightly larger than females and cannot be distinguished by color.

In the unlikely event you are able to acquire a Narcosis Angelfish, they are best housed in a well established deepwater reef aquarium of at least a 70 gallon capacity with a variety of large polyp stony corals, a few deepwater Acropora species, and plenty of live rock arranged into caves, overhangs, and crevices for them to hide and graze upon.

The lighting in the tank should be dimmed to replicate their deepwater habitat and a chiller is required to keep the maximum temperature in the tank under 74° Fahrenheit. These reclusive angelfish require very stable water conditions and pristine water quality.   Once acclimated, at least monthly 20-30% water changes are recommended.

Narcosis Angelfish can be housed with other non threatening tankmates such as Snowflake Clownfish, small wrasses, gobies, blennies, Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp, etc.   As long as they are the dominant fish in the tank and plenty of live rockwork arranged into overhangs and caves is provided, other peaceful deepwater angelfish can also be safely kept with Centropyge narcosis.

Because Narcosis Angelfish have a fondness for sessile corals such as some Fungiids species like Cycloseris and Fungia, and some Chalice Corals like Echinophyllia, Echinopora, and Mycedium; they are not considered reef safe.   However, when well fed, infrequent nipping on healthy Chalice corals is not usually detrimental.   Fungiids however take longer to recover.

Although Narcosis Angelfish have not been bred in an aquarium environment, they are believed to be pelagic spawners that in their

Narcosis Angelfish (Centropyge narcosis)

Narcosis Angelfish (Centropyge narcosis)

natural habitat form pairs or have small harems of 3 to 7 individuals.   Males will usually spawn with individual females at dusk. The pair rise up into the water column where the male encourages the female to release her eggs.   The pair join belly to belly and their eggs and sperm are released into the water column.   The eggs rise toward the surface where they become part of the plankton chain and receive no parental care.

Narcosis Angelfish are omnivores and although their natural diet is unknown, they will accept a wide range of angelfish foods. They need substantial quantities of mature live rock in their tank to graze upon in addition to a variety of fresh and frozen Mysis shrimp, brine shrimp, Krill, Cyclops, meaty crustaceans like clams or shrimp, and commercially prepared foods enriched with marine algae, sponges, and spirulina.

They do well on frozen Angel Formula and Formula II once acclimated and should be fed at least 2 to 3 times a day. The challenge to maintaining this species is to first get the fish acclimated and then keep it interested in eating food.   Keeping the aquarium lighting low during feeding sessions will help avoid startling the fish.

Like all deepwater species, Narcosis Angelfish (Centropyge narcosis) are incredibly rare to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts and when available fetch huge sums of money.   The Narcosis Angelfish is more expensive than the Peppermint Angelfish (Centropyge boylei).   Both of these “twilight” species have sold for five figures or more.   A specimen in 2012 sold for a bargin price of $4,999.00 and was snatched up in seconds.    Most rare deepwater species are sold directly to the Asian market where they realize top dollars from aquariums and rare tropical fish collectors.

Narcosis Angelfish (Centropyge narcosis)

Narcosis Angelfish (Centropyge narcosis)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minimum Tank Size: 70 gallons
Aquarium Type: Deepwater Reef
Care Level: Difficult
Temperament: Peaceful
Aquarium Hardiness: Difficult to acclimate
Water Conditions: 72-74°F, dKH 8 to 12 , pH 8.1 – 8.4, sg 1.023-1.025
Max. Size: 3.5″
Color Form: Yellow, Black
Diet: Omnivore
Compatibility: Reef w/Caution
Origin: Cook Islands, Tahiti
Family: Pomacanthidae
Lifespan: 5-7 years
Aquarist Experience Level: Expert

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Golden Angelfish (Centropyge aurantia),

Golden Angelfish (Centropyge aurantia)

Golden Angelfish (Centropyge aurantia),

Golden Angelfish (Centropyge aurantia),

The Golden Angelfish (Centropyge aurantia), known to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts as the Velvet Dwarf Angelfish, Golden Pygmy Angel, or Aurinatus Angelfish is found in the Pacific Ocean from eastern Indonesia to Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands to Fiji and Samoa. It has also been recorded as far north as Carter Reef off of Queensland, Australia.

Due to their shy, cryptic nature, Golden Angelfish are hard to find and extremely difficult to acquire which is why they are rarely seen by tropical fish keeping enthusiasts.

Golden Angelfish are found in and around the seaward slopes of coral reefs at depths between 10 to 200 feet in areas with heavy live rock outcroppings and crevices that are often surrounded by coral rubble, branching stony corals and heavy sponge growth upon which they graze.   Around northern Sulawesi, they live in stands of Porite coral that have fused columns.

Golden Angelfish are solitary and reclusive and although unconfirmed, are believed to commonly form pairs or harems of 3 to 7 individuals

Golden Angelfish (Centropyge aurantia)

Golden Angelfish (Centropyge aurantia)

Golden Angelfish have a brilliant burnt orange/red velvet looking body color with yellow edging on the scales and thin, broken,

Golden Angelfish (Centropyge aurantia),

Golden Angelfish (Centropyge aurantia),

irregular yellow vertical bars running along each side of the body, and a bluish colored ring that circles the eye.   The yellow edging on the scales give it a golden appearance, hence it’s common name.

Centropyge aurantia collected from Sulawesi and the Solomon islands have a more rust colored reddish brown body with the same yellow orange rippled vertical bars. Males and females from all locations are indistinguishable in color variation.

Golden Angelfish are best housed in a reef aquarium environment with at least a 55 gallon capacity tank with plenty of live rock arranged into caves, overhangs, and crevices for them to hide and graze upon.   These reclusive angelfish require very stable water conditions and pristine water quality.   Once acclimated perform 10-15% bi-weekly water changes in tanks up to 55 gallons.   In larger tanks of 75 gallons or more, monthly 20-30% water changes are recommended.

Because of their aggression towards other angelfish species, Golden Angelfish are best housed as a single species, however, they mix well with other peaceful fish like clownfish, anthias, gobies or blennies, especially when they are introduced as one of the first fish into a well established tank.    Golden Angelfish will nip on SPS, LPS, Xenia and corals as well as Tridacnea clam mantles.

Golden Angelfish are believed to be broadcast spawners but because of their cryptic nature, nothing is known about their breeding habits.    Like most angelfish they are hermaphroditic and difficult to breed.

In their natural habitat, Centropyge aurantia are omnivores that feed on detritus, small invertebrates, algae, and sponges.   In a reef aquarium environment, they will require a large amount of live rock to graze on as well as additional offerings of Spirulina, fresh vegetable matter, nori, live sponges, Mysis shrimp, live or thawed frozen brine shrimp, small fish eggs, Herbivore Angel Formula preparations, etc.

Golden Angelfish are often too shy to venture out of their hiding places to accept food and need patience and pampering to get them to eat.  Once they begin eating, they can live for a long time.   Feed them small amounts 3 or more times daily.

The Golden Angelfish (Centropyge aurantia) is relatively rare, very expensive, and seldom available to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts.   If you do happen upon one, observe it carefully before purchasing it to make sure it is eating and plump.   They are occasionally available online from importers, auctions sites, wholesalers, etc.  Specify “net caught” specimens when ordering your fish.

Golden Angelfish (Centropyge aurantia),

Golden Angelfish (Centropyge aurantia),

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minimum Tank Size: 55 gallons
Aquarium Type: Live Rock Reef
Care Level: Difficult
Temperament: Peaceful
Aquarium Hardiness: Hardy when acclimated
Water Conditions: 73-81°F, dKH 8 to 12 , pH 8.0 – 8.4, sg 1.023-1.025
Max. Size: 3.9″
Color Form: Red, Orange, Yellow
Diet: Omnivore
Compatibility: Reef w/Caution
Origin:
Family: Pomacanthidae
Lifespan: 6 to 10 years
Aquarist Experience Level: Expert

Posted in Dwarf Angelfish, Featured Articles, Saltwater, Tropical Fish Keeping, Tropical Fish SpeciesComments (0)

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