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FAQs about the French Angel

Related Articles: Marine Angelfishes, Pomacanthus Angels , French Angel

Related FAQs: Marine Angelfishes In General, Selection, Behavior, Compatibility, Health, Feeding, Disease,  

A beautiful juvenile in captivity.

Angelfishes for  Marine Aquariums
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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

French Angel feeding strike    9/26/17
Hello WWM team,
I have a 5 inch French Angel in a 200 gallon FOWLR aquarium, and I've had him/her for about 2 years now (came in as a juvenile and has now morphed into an adult). The fish has always been very healthy, and typically eats Spectrum pellets, sheets of nori, and frozen food with gusto. But for the last 3 days the fish hasn't eaten anything, and I can't find any other problems with its behavior. It's not breathing hard, hiding, or scratching
on the rocks. It's just not eating all of a sudden.
<Strange... maybe it ingested something that didn't/doesn't agree with it... A Bristleworm? Gravel?>
I know from your French Angel article that these fish can sometimes go on feeding strikes, especially as they get larger, but this seems odd considering that he's been a great eater for about 2 years now. Any ideas you can offer to help get him back on track would be most appreciated.
Thanks,
Danny
<My all-time fave course of action here is to try an open clam or mussel (half the two shells removed); large Angelfishes find bivalves irresistible. If this fish is still not eating, please write me/us in a week re. Bob Fenner>

16 year old French Angel sick      6/3/16
Hi Guys,
<John>
I have a 240 gallon FOWLR with the French angel, 2 clowns, hippo and lemon peel. Nothing new has been introduced in 3+ years, but now my angel is in bad shape. My LFS said it looks to be a tumor and that nothing can be done.
<If so; about right... directly... Some folks have done 'ectomies"; and indirect methods of using supplements (soaking foods, adding directly to water) HUFAs, probiotics, vitamins... iodide, are of use>
His mouth looked irritated at first and now seems to be disappearing...almost like something is eating it away. i can send you a pic. I tried a bacterial medication, but it did not work. He hasn't eaten in 4 weeks, but does still swim a bit and hover in the corner of the tank.
Do you think this is hopeless, or is there something else i can try?
<Can't tell from the lack of data presented... Not eating for a month is a bad sign>
Thank you for any advice you can provide.
Thank you,
John
<Bob Fenner>
Re: 16 year old French Angel sick        6/4/16

Hi Bob,
<Hello again John>
Thanks for the reply. I've attached a picture of his mouth as you can see the skin is pulling away from his mouth. If it is hopeless, should i consider euthanizing him? After 16 years, I'd hate to see him suffer.
<Am a "hold out" where giving up is concerned. Have seen such "sores" from whatever cause/s spontaneously heal. Again, please see WWM re supplements (use the word "Selcon" to find the FAQs files), and iodide/ate. I would
lace foods with these as well as add directly to the water... Marine fishes do drink their environment. BobF>
Thanks again,
John

French Angel Question; moving      6/4/15
Greetings Mister Fenner and or Crew.
<Heya John>
I have been raising a French Angel for the past few years and she is getting very large. She is currently in a 200 gallon corner tank, that is 5 feet across, and though she seems happy it appears she may need more room.
She is currently 1 foot long and maybe 8' tall. Her tank mates are Fairy Wrasses and a Hippo Tang. I have a 400 gallon 8 foot long tank that is lightly stocked. It has a mated pair of 8" Cross Hatch Triggers, 3" Huma Huma Trigger, 8" porcupine puffer, 6" Lunare Wrasse, 6" Purple Tank and a 6" Yellow Tang. I would like your advice on whether to move her or leave
her in her long time home. Thank you in advance for your advice.
<I'd get/use a large (fish box size) 4 mil bag... doubled (ask your local fish store if they can give you these... used and rinsed is fine), and a couple of large nets (and a strong friend); to push the fish into the opened and partly water-filled doubled bag (need thickness to prevent the Angel's opercular spine from puncturing through both) and lift the fish in a few gallons of water from the existing, to (with towels on the floor) new tank. Bob Fenner>

Troubled French Angel   1/20/12
Hi guys,
 <Kels>
i have a 75 gallon tank with approximately 90lbs of live rock.  Currently i am housing a clown anemone and a second small anemone (not liked by my clown), a 2" clown, a 2" yellow tang, a 2" emperor angel,
<Will need much more room>
a 2" regal blue tang, a Lysmata amboinensis shrimp, a hermit crab and a 1" juvenile French angel.
<This too of course>
 i also had a 1" juvenile queen angel who didn't make it after 3-4 weeks in the tank (purchased together with the French).  the water solidity is maintained between 1.023- 1.024, nitrite is 0, ammonia is 0, nitrate is between 5-10ppm, pH is 8.2. 
<Ok>
My French angel seemed to be doing well, swimming throughout the tank, eating off of the yellow tank, emperor angel and the blue tang.
<For browsers, this Pomacanthid is a facultative cleaner when small/young>
 She frequently ate off the live rock but i have rarely noticed her eating at feedings (been in the tank for about 5 weeks).  i feed a mix of tetra marine flakes, omega one small pellets (both with vitamin supplements), red seaweed and frozen brine shrimp.  She has been very anti-social for the past 2 days hiding in her favorite spot in rocks only to come out for an hour or so each day. then this morning i found her seemingly stuck to the outside of the filter.
<?!>
 after helping her free she appeared to have trouble swimming.  she was hardly moving her fins and just drifted with the current.  she then found her way to the bottom of the tank and was leaning up against the rocks hardly moving at all.  the yellow tang, emperor angel and blue tang were paying close attention to her (swimming very closely, backing up into her) i don't know if they were bullying or trying to help. 
she made her way into her favorite hiding spot and i have not seen her since (1 hour).  i desperately want to make sure she is okay.  Can you please give me so insight on what could be going on and how i can help?
thanks a lot,
Kelsey
<Mmmm, I do want to make a comment re "size ranges" for acquiring livestock, and Angels in particular. Akin to "Goldilocks and the Three Bears", the porridge incident; there can be too cold, too hot, and then some moderate temperature of said gruel that is more ideal. In the case of Pomacanthids, one inch specimens are too small... w/ 2-3 inch overall ones for most species being ideal for introduction to captive conditions...
Too-large specimens like too small, frequently ship poorly, refuse captive foods. Likely your one inch specimens have succumbed to too much stress overall, in capture, handling, being moved.
Bob Fenner>

Help needed for XL French Angel    6/22/11
Greetings crew!
I have a crisis. I have a French Angel that is bigger than a dinner plate.
She resides in a 150 gallon aquarium
<Needs more room than this>
with a Tomato Clown and a Heniochus butterfly.
This system is located in an atrium which is not air conditioned and the system has a chiller on it. Wouldn't you know the chiller failed on one of the hottest days we've had so far this year. The tank went up over 90 for 24 hours. One massive water change later, and a new chiller.... temp is 78, ph is 8.3, salinity is 1.019,
<I'd raise this in time... a thousandth per day... to near seawater strength (1.025)>
nitrate is 10, ammonia is 0, nitrite is barely registering.
Everything is back up and running but now I have a problem. My angel's eyes are not looking good. Her right eye is a little cloudy, her left eye is completely cloudy and very swollen.
<Mmm, environmental... which you've fixed... Now just needs time going by>
She is eating like a horse, but it has been almost a week and the eyes seem to be slowly getting worse, not better.
<Yes...>
I'm concerned that trying to remove a fish this size to a QT tank
<Don't do this>
will cause even more trauma to her already swollen eye. Is this from an infection?
<Mmm, no, not likely... the stress... residual>
Is there something I can give her in her food to help clear up her eyes?
<Vitamins and HUFAs will help... see WWM re commercial prep.s... by SeaChem, Micro-Vit, Selcon, others>
She is eating frozen krill,
<Cut back on this... too many issues... Look to a good staple, like Spectrum pellets>
Formula 2, and Ocean Nutrition Very High Protein cubes for fish under stress. She is also nibbling on Nori and Romaine.
Please help.
Wendy
<Best to not panic, try to be patient here. The course of events you list so well are to be expected... What is needed now is stability and sustained good care and nutrition. Bob Fenner>

Mixing a Queen Angelfish and a French Angelfish in a very large aquarium  1/17/11
Hello Mister Fenner, or whomever I get today from the "Crew". I have an established 5" Queen Angelfish as the only Angelfish in a 8 ft x 3 ft x 3ft (acrylic) main display. As a diver, my favorite Caribbean Angelfish is a toss-up between this beauty, and the French Angelfish. I know the Queen is a Holacanthus, and the French a Pomacanthus, so I was wondering in this size system, if I dare try and add a similar sized French Angel here?.
<Mmm, t'were it me/mine, I'd go with one that is decidedly smaller (a couple inches)>
I am adding my current stocking level, and specifications for this system as well. I have a 4" Miniatus Grouper, 4" Red Coris Wrasse, 6" Klunzinger Wrasse, 5" Green Bird Wrasse, 2" Scribbled Rabbitfish, 4" porcupine Pufferfish, three, 2" Yellow Tangs, the 5" Queen Angelfish, and I will be adding the new Australian Harlequin Tusk fish when a good specimen become available. The aquarium has around 350 pounds of live rock and a 6" DSB internally, with around 50 pounds of live rock in the refugium. I am turning the tank over around 10 times an hour with dual Blueline 100HD pumps. I have 8, Koralia (4) Powerheads strategically placed throughout the system for water flow, turning the system internally about 30 times an hour. I have a superb Aquamaxx Cone 3 Protein Skimmer, and a 100 gallon sump, with dual 20 gallon refugiums. I wanted to be thorough here on system specifications, as I know the fish I have get large and are very messy.! As always I would greatly appreciate any advice you may have for me on this issue.
Many thanks,
Howard
<Welcome. BobF, out diving in Cozumel w/ both these TWA Angels>
Re: Mixing a Queen Angelfish and a French Angelfish in a very large aquarium  1/17/11
I was diving at Cozumel 2 years ago...what a fabulous reef.!!! I am with you there in spirit my friend:). Enjoy the dive Mister Fenner and thanks again as always, for the timely advice.!
Many thanks,
Howard
<Welcome from the Iberostar Howard! BobF>

Re: Purchasing an Established Majestic Angel/Also...... update: Eric R. & James (Salty Dog)? 02/21/09 Greetings to you all, <<Hello again April>> Eric Russell requested an update on my situation regarding purchasing an established 8" Majestic Angel from the taco shop. <<Ah yes? Thank you for this>> James (Salty Dog) also replied to my query, so this is to both. <<Will share?>> Thank you kindly for your wise, generous feedback on this issue. <<We are pleased to help>> It proved invaluable. <<Ah!>> I decided not to get the Majestic. <<Oh?>> I fed my brood, and was reminded with all of the fish colors whizzing around that my occupants are a pretty lively bunch at feeding time. I went to the shop to see how the Majestic ate, and saw that he swam like a sea turtle. I'm afraid he wouldn't have a chance at a good meal with my group. <<Hmm?>> He is so used to his cramped quarters; I feel he'd suffer some hunger over here until (if ever) he got the hang of how feeding time works with us. He's in there with a Blue Hippo, a Jawfish, a Yellow Tang, and some Blue Chromis. Getting him out of his established home would be stressful on him as well as the Blue Hippo, would hate to trigger ich. <<I think the Angel would learn to get its share of food? and would also likely become ?king fish? in your system. And yes, fishing the Majestic out of the display would be stressful to all in the short-term? And may well result in the need for some treatment to all re?but it would also measurably improve the environment for those fishes remaining? Assuming the owner of the tank didn't throw another large species in to take the place of the Majestic Angel. But no worries? Is your decision. And it is also possible the Majestic may well already be ?damaged?? Attributed to living/growing up in the too small system (possibly both physiologically and psychologically)>> His home is too small, but I'll just leave him where he is and get a nice 4" French Angel I see at my shop. <<A wonderful aquarium species? And 4? is a great size for introduction to a captive system. These are beautiful fish? a mature adult is even more attractive than the juveniles, in my opinion. This Pomacanthus species does get considerably larger than the Majestic (18? for the French vs. 12? for the Majestic? In the wild), but should do fine in your 300g display if not too crowded (either with too many other fishes and/or too much structure/live rock)>> Bob rates the French pretty high for hardiness, so that's a much better choice. <<Much agreed>> I actually have been feeding my fish those New Life Spectrum pellets for 2 years now along with 5-6 other types of foods. <<Excellent!>> Thanks Eric! My local shop highly recommended them when I was first setting it all up, so it was great to read that you endorse them, as well. <<Indeed I do? and very highly at that! In addition to my fishes being vibrant, VERY colorful, and healthy which, in addition to other elements obviously, I attribute to their acceptance/feeding of this highly palatable and nutritious pelleted food. I also have a ?spawning? pair of Macropharyngodon meleagris that eat the Spectrum pellets with gusto. There is no doubt in my mind that this difficult-to-keep species? social development, indeed their very survival for more than four years now, is due in no small part to the inclusion of the New Life Spectrum pellets in their diet. But enough of the fish food commercial [grin]>> My Coral Beauty and Bi-Color Pygmies are so fat and colorful from that food. <<Ah yes!>> This Majestic's home situation taught me a good lesson about the careful and conscientious stocking decisions Bob and the rest of the Crew teach all the time. <<Though they may sometimes seem harsh, and considering the broad audience and experience levels that view these recommendations/comments are often a bit reserved and leaning to the side of caution, we really do have the best interests of the livestock? And the hobbyists? In mind>> So much more thought and planning must go into your system than just the dazzling looks of a show specimen. <<Indeed? Impulse buying dooms more animals than many can imagine>> Thinking long term is the way to start out. <<Yes? always>> Thanks again for all of your time and attention! <<Is a pleasure to share>> I'm sure this French Angel will work out great. <<Magnificent fish?yes indeed>> April <<All the best my friend. Eric Russell>>

French Angel -- Question, & Petco reminiscences, current issues  8/18/08 Hey, crew! <Jon> I've emailed you guys quite often over the last few years. Just to set the record straight, again, I work at Petco (run the fish department). A lady brought in her French Angel (Pomacanthus paru) for adoption to us today. Her son caught it in Florida sometime last year and he's about 2 inches long. While I originally thought this was quite small, I hadn't checked the Caribbean Angels section on the site until a bit ago when I read that they were extremely slow growers. <Yes> Right now, he's in quarantine. He'll then be going into a 50G tank for the time being until I can find a good home for him and transfer him. Question of the hour: How long can he stay in the 40G as a 1.5/2 inch juvenile? <Months> It's a tank filled with live rock for him to graze on and a refugium filled to the brim with Chaeto just breeding small mysids and others constantly. I would PREFER to keep it for a while until I set up my 180 next fall, but want your input as I'd rather give the fish away or trade it for some frags if this plan does not seem feasible. <This fish should be fine where it is till then> I've read previously on WWM that small juveniles can be kept in a smaller tank for a while before adulthood when they need to be transferred, but I'd rather get more input on this. Cheers, Jonathan <And you, Bob Fenner, who was a consultant/buyer for this mass-merchandiser... for all the aquatics depts. back in 91-94.> -- Jonathan Philpot

French Angel/Compatibility 1/5/08 Hi, <Hi Steve> I have a 180 gallon tank which is a FOWLR at the moment. I would like to convert it into a simple reef some day but my problem is that I have a juvenile French Angelfish. All my other fish are considered reef-safe. I know that the French is not a reef safe specie, but I was wondering if there are any corals noxious enough to deter the French Angel to eat it. <No.> I do not want tons of corals, but a few mushrooms, leathers and such would be nice additions IF I could keep them. <The French Angel is not safe with any corals or sessile invertebrates.> By the way, I do plan on trading-in my French Angel by the time he is 8-10" long. I know that a 180g tank is a bit small for a full grown specimen. <Yes, they can grow to over one foot.> I just hope I can keep him for at least 2 years before exchanging him for another juvenile. Thank you so much for all your help! Keep up the good work guys! <You're welcome and thank you, Steve.> Steve Nantel Ottawa, Ontario Canada

French Angel...Or Gray? - 12/22/05 My French angel is still young, but is turning a gray color.  I am not sure if he is doing ok.  He still eats very well and I have changed his diet to items specifically made for angel fish. <<Firstly, are you sure this is a French Angel?  These fish are generally considered quite hardy, as long as its breathing is not labored and it is alert/interested in its surroundings and is eating well you likely don't have anything of which to be concerned.  Do make sure the food you are feeding is high in vegetable/sponge matter.>> In your picture of the French and Gray it looks more like the Gray in color but started more like the picture of the French.  I hope this makes sense.  Is this normal for a French angel? <<Mmm...I'll ask again, are you sure you have a French Angel?  Pomacanthus paru has a distinctly different/more attractive transition phase than Pomacanthus arcuatus.  Have a look here for comparison: http://www.waterexplorer.com/il_angelfish1.htm >> I notice an adult loses its stripes and has the gold flake look. <<yes>> Will this gray transform to that or should it be showing already.  I can't seem to find a good article on the actual transformation. <<Try keyword searches on 'juvenile' or 'sub-adult' re each specie.>> Sincerely, John J Bailey <<Regards, EricR>>

French angel question?  12/15/05 I have a French angel it was approx 3 inches when purchased. It resides in a 55 gal tank. Water seems to be perfect. That said. The fish started out very black and I know they change when going to adult status. <Correct.> I have had this fish for approx 4 or 5 months. It now appears to be getting lighter in color. <Making the change...> I have a blue back ground and it has been eating Brine shrimp for the most part. It more or less looks gray. I really cannot tell if it is very small white spots like velvet. It is not ich as far as I can tell. It is eating very well, <On the contrary, if it eats mostly brine shrimp, it is eating VERY POORLY. This fish (and basically all others) cannot live healthily on these "potato chips" alone.> not scratching or acting abnormal. <Well that's good.> On the contrary it is acting great. This change in color has me concerned. Is he starting the transition or should I be looking for something? <You should be looking for a better diet and a bigger aquarium.> This is one of my favorite fish as I scuba dive often with them in the Caribbean <So then you know full-well that this fish reaches 16 inches as an adult, and will NOT survive in a 55g aquarium. If you love this animal and want to keep it, start planning that 240g aquarium right about... now. Perhaps start by reading Bob's page on these wonderful animals, and note the section on Feeding.> http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/pomacanthus/paru.htm <Cheers! -Zo>

French Angel/Juvenile Hi...I recently purchased a beautiful little French angel and he seems to be losing his color..??? No other symptoms...eats well ( brine, Omega veggie flake), fins are fine, no parasites. Please advise.  <Yes, they are beautiful, Marc. Here is some reading for you. You should be aware of the requirements of these fish. Vitamin supplements are a must, Selcon for example, along with pristine water quality for these and other angels to show their color to the fullest. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/pomacanthus/paru.htm  James (Salty Dog)> Thanks <You're welcome>

Re: French Angel with cloudy eyes Hey thanks A LOT for the quick response. <No problem, Justin here again.>  I am currently treating my annularis angel in QT with malachite green and formalin. After doing that 25% water change, how much of a dose of malachite green should I throw back into the tank (the dosage is one teaspoon per 10 gal. and I have a 20 gal)? <well its a math equation 2 tsps = 20gallons 20 gallons minus 25% gives you 5 gallons taken out so 1 half teaspoon to add> And lastly, do you think it's safe to say that this is mostly likely not Oodinium? I just purchased him on Monday of this week. Thanks a lot <I cannot hazard a guess on this as I do not know about what the parasites look like. Are you on the WetWebFotos forums as aschobo 11 ? if so I would think it is probably ich just a bad case of it and poor water quality to boot because of the large fish size in that small q/t. I would discontinue the malachite green unless it really is making a difference, formalin is very strong as it is and you may be overmedicating. Keep up those water changes. Justin (Jager)>

French angel or should I say devil!! Hi, <Howdy> I have a French angelfish in my REEF. I know, stupid mistake. I put it in there when it was one half of an inch long thinking it wouldn't touch any corals. Problem: In my 75 gallon reef, there is LOTS of corals and rock. Is there and possible way I could get it out? How? <I made the same mistake a couple of times.  There are a few traps out there that work well.  I have been able to sometimes quickly net them while I feed.  You can also try using a flash light after the lights have been out a while and getting him while he is sleeping.  If these don't work you could get a small barbless hook with some food attached and go fishing! I have performed the last one on large coral beauty and she came out just fine.  Just get creative and you should have him out before long.  Cody> Thanks, Adam

Big Fish...Tough Questions... More of a point of observation than a query this time folks. My recent research into which angel to get for my new tank when it is up and running have led me to ask the question: How big will an angel get in captivity? <Good question...> This question, really, is quite a troubling one. For example, I know an Emperor will get 16" - in the wild!!! But in reality, a juv emperor will not grow on to anywhere near this size in captivity, and typically gets to 9 or 10" .... and at that size it is really quite a good specimen, by average home aquarium standards. <Well, a fish that can reach 16 inches in nature achieving 9 to 10 inches in captivity seems like a stunted animal to me.> The most logical conclusion as to why this is would be that they simply don't get enough of the right nutrition. Most hobbyists simply do not have access to enough of these correct types of food. <Among other things-particularly, space and water quality> This would seem to be true for all but one species of note. The French angel, H. Paru. This species is the only species that I have read about that seems to grow and grow, regardless of the size tank it is kept in .... that is to say, these fish are obviously getting the right stuff to mean they are reaching natural sizes..... <Interesting observation. However, I wonder if this fish seems to adapt better to captive fare than some of the other species...> Hence, based on the idea that they are the only angel that seem to grow naturally in captivity, then would it be fair to say that they are the only angels that are truly healthy? Surely, by any normal standards, others angels, such as Emperor's are not 100% healthy when they are obviously severely stunted. <Again, a good observation. I'm not sure about the statement that they are truly healthy- but the fact that they are growing could be indicative of a variety of factors...> I was of the school of thought, maybe French angels aren't really suitable for captivity, because they get too big !!! But my opinion has matured to think that maybe this very point makes them more suitable for captivity than any other? What is better? Growing a juv French angel on to 15" in a 180, or stunting a 10" Emperor angel to the same tank? Which is the lesser of the two evils? <Well, in my opinion, neither is ideal. Having observed both of these fishes in the wild and in captivity, it seems almost inhumane to keep a fish that's 15 inches in anything short of a 10 foot plus tank. In addition to water quality and food, these fishes have a huge demand for space, in the wild ranging over huge territories. A 15" fish in a 6 foot tank is like you or I spending the rest of our lives in our living rooms. Just not right, IMO> I would be interested in your view point on this subject. Would you agree that a French Angel grown to near natural adult size from a small juv. in say, a 180 must be healthy, and as a result happy? <Well, it's questionable, as outlined above. A relative term...> And in theory will be a healthier, better adjusted animal, both mentally and physically, than a similar species that has reached no where near its natural size? <You bring up a very interesting point, which is really arguable. I guess I take a near heretical opinion that large angels should not be kept in most aquariums. Some of the saddest things I've ever seen were large angels in 6 foot tanks, externally healthy, but no doubt "bored". I guess we have to try to put ourselves in the fish's place when contemplating keeping these animals. I have always been a fan of keeping small fish in large tanks...>   As I say, I'd be really interested in your views on this theory. I know the simple answer is "ah but the 15" French should be in a 500 gal tank". But I am not talking about ideal situations here, but rather reality. <Yep- the reality is probably that most of these fishes should simply not be kept in captivity, regardless of whether or not they are being kept in a 150 gallon or a 700 gallon tank> In any given week, there are dozens of posts to online web forums, such as Reef Central etc., about people getting various angelfish species. The overwhelming majority plan to keep the angels in a tank of 180 gals max, and I think one half are telling half truths because "they feel that their 72x18x24 tank is after all, only 6 inches smaller than a 180". Thus assuming that folks are going to put their angel in a tank that is at max. going to be a 180, and they are going to do this despite they have read a dozen times that a full size angel needs a bigger tank, then what would your position be? <Sounds like the old rationale for doing drugs, etc "everyone's doing it...can't be that bad..."> Would you: (a) Get the French angel, knowing it will get to near natural size - 13", 14", or even 15", but knowing that while your tank is small, your fish is well fed and his diet is adequate, and you are doing everything else right, and the animal is responding by being healthy and growing to it potential. OR (b) Get a different angel, telling yourself that the Emperor will get 16", but knowing that in reality it will not, and that it will be a smaller fish than the French; hence in terms of size be better suited to your 180, but at the same time you know it cannot be 100% healthy because the diet you offer is not even enough to ensure natural growth. <Honestly- none of the above...After being in this hobby for most of my life, and killing many animals out of shear arrogance and ignorance, I can honestly say that I simply "wouldn't go there": I will never keep, or never recommend keeping this animals in captivity. I think that they simply don't do well for the long term, even if the level of care is high...> I won't quote you on this, and this isn't one of those indirect questions cleverly designed to disguise the fact I know I am doing wrong .... you know those questions " my friend has a shark......." instead of just admitting "I have a shark......". This is just a quest for knowledge in my part :-) in an attempt to better understand. Personally, I have a 48" tank - although I will be building a large tank under the stairs in my house.... it will be at least 300 gals ... but I can't start that until the stairs is built :-) <You can quote me on it...I "walk the walk" on this one. I just won't keep these animals. I maintain a large tank (by most standards), but the largest fish I keep is about 6 inches. I really don't believe in keeping large fish in home aquariums...But that's me. Your question is excellent, and does touch on the technical and moral issues of keeping these fishes in captivity> Tanks for reading, and I look forward to your opinions. If it could be forwarded onto a couple of guys on the team, that would be great - just to get a few opinions on it. Regards, Matt <Glad to throw in my two cents here...Will forward on. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Growth of French angel linked? More of a point of observation than a query this time folks. My recent research into which angel to get for my new tank when it is up and running have led me to ask the question: How big will an angel get in captivity? <Depends... mainly on size of system, filtration matters, foods/feeding, tankmates, time...> This question, really, is quite a troubling one. For example, I know an Emperor will get 16" - in the wild!!! But in reality, a juv emperor will not grow on to anywhere near this size in captivity, and typically gets to 9 or 10" .... and at that size it is really quite a good specimen, by average home aquarium standards. <Yes, average maximum in captivity> The most logical conclusion as to why this is would be that they simply don't get enough of the right nutrition. Most hobbyists simply do not have access to enough of these correct types of food. This would seem to be true for all but one species of note. The French angel, H. Paru. <Actually Pomacanthus paru> This species is the only species that I have read about that seems to grow and grow, regardless of the size tank it is kept in .... that is to say, these fish are obviously getting the right stuff to mean they are reaching natural sizes..... <Mmm, interesting assertion. IMO/E this species is growth-limited to about the same degree as other fishes in captive settings> Hence, based on the idea that they are the only angel that seem to grow naturally in captivity, then would it be fair to say that they are the only angels that are truly healthy? Surely, by any normal standards, others angels, such as Emperor's are not 100% healthy when they are obviously severely stunted. <An interesting hypothesis> I was of the school of thought, maybe French angels aren't really suitable for captivity, because they get too big !!! But my opinion has matured to think that maybe this very point makes them more suitable for captivity than any other? What is better? Growing a juv French angel on to 15" in a 180, or stunting a 10" Emperor angel to the same tank? Which is the lesser of the two evils? <This fish is suitable psychologically, but does need large quarters (hundreds of gallons) to fare in the longer term> I would be interested in your view point on this subject. Would you agree that a French angel grown to near natural adult size from a small juv. in say a 180 must be healthy, and as a result happy? And in theory will be a healthier, better adjusted animal, both mentally and physically, than a similar species that has reached no where near its natural size? <Mmm, yes> As I say, I'd be really interested in your views on this theory. I know the simple answer is "ah but the 15" French should be in a 500 gal tank". But I am not talking about ideal situations here, but rather reality. In any given week, there are dozens of posts to online web forums, such as Reef Central etc., about people getting various angelfish species. The overwhelming majority plan to keep the angels in a tank of 180 gals max, and I think one half are telling half truths because "they feel that their 72x18x24 tank is after all, only 6 inches smaller than a 180". Thus assuming that folks are going to put their angel in a tank that is at max. going to be a 180, and they are going to do this despite they have read a dozen times that a full size angel needs a bigger tank, then what would your position be? Would you: <A bigger system is definitely better, is a good part of a/the "happy coefficient" in figuring overall health of aquarium inhabitants> (a) Get the French angel, knowing it will get to near natural size - 13", 14", or even 15", but knowing that while your tank is small, your fish is well fed and his diet is adequate, and you are doing everything else right, and the animal is responding by being healthy and growing to it potential. OR (b) Get a different angel, telling yourself that the Emperor will get 16", but knowing that in reality it will not, and that it will be a smaller fish than the French, hence in terms of size be better suited to your 180, but at the same time you know it cannot be 100% healthy because the diet you offer is not even enough to ensure natural growth. <I would not place even the smaller/est specimens of this species in anything less than a hundred gallons... or plan on keeping it healthy, happy in less than three hundred gallons in the long term (years). Otherwise smaller Pomacanthids or other fish families should be sought> I won't quote you on this, and this isn't one of those indirect questions cleverly designed to disguise the fact I know I am doing wrong .... you know those questions " my friend has a shark......." instead of just admitting "I have a shark......". This is just a quest for knowledge in my part :-) in an attempt to better understand. Personally, I have a 48" tank - although I will be building a large tank under the stairs in my house.... it will be at least 300 gals ... but I can't start that until the stairs is built :-) <You are welcome to quote or paraphrase anything I write> Tanks for reading, and I look forward to your opinions. If it could be forwarded onto a couple of guys on the team, that would be great - just to get a few opinions on it. Regards, Matt <Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

- Wild Pomacanthus paru with HLLE - Hi crew, a few questions for your collective wisdom, please: I have a 7" French angel and a 5" Atlantic blue tang residing in a 180gal fish only system  with several smaller tankmates, to include a 3" queen angel.  All were collected and brought back from the Florida Keys in November of '02; at the time, the French was about 6", the tang 2", the queen 2"; they all eat well, the tang the most; after about a month in the tank, the tang developed, within a couple of weeks, significant HLLE,  a good portion of the face and a couple of sizeable chunks along the lateral line, both sides; the French developed it at the same time, quickly, between the eyes and back around the head to the first stripe, the pitting being obvious but not deep; the queen remained and is fine; water parameters are ok, with ozone in use.  Having never had this problem except long ago with pacific angels, I read through the threads and changed the diet as  follows: DAILY:  Ocean Nutrition angel formula (frozen); formula two pellets; chopped shrimp alternately soaked in vita chem and Selcon; seaweed select green and brown; I  also began adding iodide; to date, all of the tangs lateral line erosion has cleared, as has about 50% of the face; the French looks moderately better, the areas of coverage being the same but the intensity considerably less. Other than this, all three are in great color, fat and happy. My concern is whether there could be something else at work here besides diet, especially considering how quickly it developed; any suggestions as to how I might improve this further might be appreciated. Thanks, Steve. <Well, I think the fact that this fish was wild-collected at size means it was used to a very particular diet which you are not replicating correctly in captivity. Some time in observation of their habits in the wild might give some more clues. I would try at the very least bringing some refugia to bear, producing more of this sponge and vegetable matter live for your fish. You could also cycle more live rock, with some always 'brewing' in a separate vat to be exchanged with rock from the tank when all the fauna has been munched by your angel. Cheers, J -- >

Angel In Distress Hi, <Hi there! Scott F. with you today!> Hoping you guys can help me out once again! <Let's give it a shot!> I bought a 3" French angel on Mar 4th.  On arriving he looked to be in fantastic shape.  I put him in my 40 gallon quarantine tank (has a small amount of lava rock, and cc). <Awesome!> The water parameters have been kept basically perfect.  He soon was eating from my hand a good variety of foods including marine angel mix.  On the 22nd day of quarantine he wasn't eating with quite the same gusto as usual, then that evening he looked like he had a bit of fading on his black and what I would call possibly Amy/velvet??? very tiny whitish spots...not ich.  What I wasn't sure about was the correct diagnosis.  He seemed a bit lethargic and went off his food.  I immediately started copper treatment. <Well, could be Amyloodinium, so rapid intervention is not a bad idea. The fact that this illness manifested itself in day 22 of quarantine just reinforces the value of the quarantine process with new fishes. You simply can't take it for granted that a fish is healthy...good job!> On the 24th day he ate again, but now one eye has popeyed.  I so very badly do not want to lose this fish.  Can you tell me if I should also be adding penicillin or maracyn2?? along with the copper??  I started the copper 24 hours ago. <Well, if the Popeye is just in one eye, I would not utilize any additional medications...It might simply be due to some injury, and could decrease in a few days with continued high water quality and the possible use of Epsom salt in the water to draw out the swelling. Continue monitoring the fish carefully, and do check copper levels regularly to assure that they remain at proper therapeutic levels> Thank you so much, I really really appreciate it. Thanks again. Lynn <I'm sure that your fish will be okay if you follow through with the treatment protocol. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Accommodating a French Angel Hi Bob. <Actually, Scott F. in tonight> First I must thank you for this incredible service that you provide (I can't stop reading!!  So, I ordered your book).  I'm very interested in housing a French Angel (Ahhh, I remember the first time I saw one Diving off Looe Key in Florida).  Anyway, I currently have Hippo and Yellow tangs, a few damsels, a royal Dottyback,  2 clowns, a blue Linckia, and a classic cleanup crew.  The tank is 90 Gal and I will be adding LR next week (rather, I'll begin curing the LR in about a week).  Would the French Angel be a safe addition here? <I have to say that it would be too small a tank for the addition of this fish for the long haul...would really be pushing it, even now, especially with the tangs in residence.> If so, I will buy the size you recommend (3"-5").  At what size/age does this species begin to lose and finish losing their stripes? <Really depends on the individual, can vary drastically between fishes..> What is it's growth rate, inches per year (i.e. generally, how many years before it would be in the 9"+ range)? <Within two-three years, if well fed> Finally, in order to keep my prize fish in tip-top shape, and maximize his growth, can you recommend a feeding schedule including types of food, frequency of feeding, and if you can, specific brands of food.  Thanks again for all your wisdom.   <Large angels should ideally be fed 2-3 times per day, with a wide variety of foods, ranging from the "meatier" seafoods, such as krill, Mysis, chopped crab, squid, etc, to macroalgae, and possible macroalgae "surrogates", such as sushi Nori sheets. Excellent water quality and regular, careful feeding are essential to success with this species. Do consider the "end game" here- the adult size that this fish will achieve. Really, to live out anything close to a normal life span, you'll need to move him to much larger quarters; we're talking 200-300 gallons plus! Large angels can be wonderful fish, and are beautiful and rewarding to keep, but they simply need huge aquariums to truly live in comfort. As humans, we tend to rationalize the desire to keep them in smaller systems, however, IMO these fishes should only be attempted if you know that you'll have the facilities to accommodate them at their adult sizes. Good luck!>

Black spot on juv French angel How do you get black spot off a small French angel living in a reef?? I have a cleaner wrasse and a cleaner shrimp!! Both work on him? Anything else I should do?? Miguel <Hi Miguel, Black spot is caused by a parasitic flatworm and can be treated with freshwater dips and formalin. The cleaners may do it or you may have to catch him and treat him. Best to quarantine all fish before adding to the reef. Craig> 

Juv French angel Okay I get it!! Will the fish on it's own with the cleaner wrasse get rid of the problem cause I paid over a 100$ for this fish and playing with him just does not sound like a great idea. Miguel <Oh, I understand completely Miguel!!! This is going to be your call. If the Goby and cleaners are cleaning him and you see evidence it is being brought under control or is gone, then fine. If, however you are taking a chance of damaging or losing your $100 fish, you will want to treat him, right? Please hop over to WetWebMedia.com, scroll down to the Google search, type in black spot, or parasites, and follow the links for treatment information at the top of the page(s). Follow all treatments exactly. Don't wait for your fish to get worse or unhealthy. This will only make any treatment that much more stressful. I wouldn't introduce new fish (after quarantine) until this is resolved. Craig>

Re: juv French angel my fish was in quarantine for 3 weeks and he still had it so the fish should fine? <Only if he was treated, QT itself doesn't cure anything, it isolates the fish so if a problem develops it can be cured outside of the main tank where it is convenient and harmless to the inhabitants of the main tank. You need to treat your fish. A simple dip works well for this problem.> Is it safe to add a hippo tang in the tank? Miguel <No, you need to resolve your parasite issue before introducing more fish. Be patient and do it right or your fish pay the price. I hope this helps you! Craig>

Spots on French Angel little question I have a little juv French angel doing great in a reef <Keep an eye on him-the reef may become his personal snack bar down the line!> He was 3 weeks in Cooper Safe in a quarantine tank. He still has this little white dots and nobody know what I could be. <Ich, perhaps?> No one else in the tank is affected by this he does not breathe fast. Eating great. And it doesn't look like it affects him at all?? Any idea? Miguel <Well, Miguel, the fact that he is eating is a good sign. Could be ich, could be some other form of parasite. Hard to tell from here. Did the spots show up after he was placed into your main tank, or during quarantine?. Keep a very close eye on him; be prepared to take appropriate action (F/W dip, medication in hospital tank, etc.) should the need arise. Ich is very contagious, and once it gets into you tank, it can be disastrous. Check out the disease resources on wetwebmedia.com for more help in pinning down exactly what you are dealing with, and let us know if we can help you further. Good luck! Scott F.>

hi (Small French Angel question) little question I will soon buy a 1.5'' French angel <Tiny!> and put it in 75 gallon full reef. any reason other then he will outgrow the tang and eat coral? <Any reason "not to"? Not really other than what you mention, with the data you've provided. Bob Fenner> Miguel

French Angel info. What do French Angel fish eat, how big are they, where do they live, what are its personality traits and does it have predators? <Please read starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/gray&fr.htm and the accompanying FAQs files. Bob Fenner>

Necesito informacion de P. paru HOLA, ME DA GUSTO CONOCERLE SOY DE VERACRUZ MEXICO, Y LEI UN TRABAJO SUYO A CERCA DE P.paru, Y ME GUSTARIA OBTENER MAS INFORMACI? RECIENTE SOY ESTUDIANTE DE BIOLOGIA Y ME INTERESARIA CULTIVAR A ESTE ORGANISMO BAJO CONDICIONES CONTROLADAS Y PODER INDUCIR AL DESOVE. <Y yo vive in los Estados Unidos, norte de Tia Juana in Baja Alta. Este informacion esta aqui in Englais: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/gray&fr.htm> ESTOY TRABAJANDO EN EL ACUARIO DE VERACRUZ. <Que bonita ciudad, tienes suerte> OJALA PUEDA RECIBIR ESTA INFORMACION Y CON MUCHO GUSTO LE ENVIARIA LO QUE LLEVO DE MI TRABAJO POR SI LE SIRVE DE ALGO. MI NOMBRE ES LETICIA PLATAS, ESPERO INFORMACION SUYA PRONTO. <Mucho gusto> MUCHAS GRACIAS. P.D. DISCULPE QUE NO LE ESCRIBA EN INGLES, ESPERO LA PROXIMA VEZ QUE LE ESCRIBA LO PUEDA HACER (APENAS ESTOY EMPEZANDO A ENTENDERLE) <Perdoneme Senora/ita, no puedo escriber o entendir mas in Espanol. Nos vemos, Roberto Fenner> COLOR CHANGE (of marine angel) I have a French Angel that is at least 3 years old (I've had her for over 3 years). Fish is currently about 10 to 12 inches including the tail, long streamers and an adult "body shape", appears to be very healthy, but still is predominately in her juvenile coloring. The black area is flecked with yellow like an adult, but the yellow stripes are still very plainly visible. How long is it likely to take to transition to the full adult coloration, or is this likely to be a case where the fish never really makes the transition? <Hmm, interesting question... I would have "guessed" that a three year old individual in the wild or captivity would have transitioned into an adult marking phase by this age or size... This species has been kept for more than twenty years... and I do think/believe it will change color, markings at some point still. Don't know about Pomacanthus paru, but other large Angel species have displayed delayed change in this regard. Bob Fenner>

French angel hi bob, do you believe French angel from BRAZIL are caught with cyanide or other form of drug? <I do hope so... though they are sometimes caught with MS-222/Tricaine in other parts of the tropical West Atlantic...> remember in the past, I e-mailed you about my fish contracted with crypt. Now I had solve the problem and I am worry that my two French. I notice that from side view I can see a little thin back close to the dossal fin, wondering is it showing any form of effect from cyanide.  <Doubt if cyanide is involved... no authenticated cases of this poison used for this purpose here> but from top and front view they are fat. can you advice me. and they eating like a pig. the first French is 4 inch have been kept for 8 month and the other is 8 inch for more than a month was exhibited in 2001 Aquarama. <Wouldn't worry about this for now... but very stressful to keep two French's together of this size... Bob Fenner>

Angel sick with ick Bob, We have a French Angel (juv. changing) that has contracted ick (pretty sure). He's the most expensive fish we have so we don't want to lose him. I have moved him into a 29 gal hospital tank with Copper Safe. Is this the right thing to do? Could I do something better for him? He's eating but he shakes or flickers (guess that goes with the ick). Thanks, Peace and all good, Tony >> Yes, and do manipulate the angels environment in the following ways: 1) Lower the specific gravity to about 1.017, 2) Raise the tank temperature to about 83F. These changes favor the fish/host, disfavor the parasite... After the fish is totally cured, slowly return these values (over a couple of weeks) to your main tanks parameters... and add a cleaner (Lysmata shrimp, Gobiosoma gobies) to the main tank to help fight the entrenched ich problem now in your system. Bob Fenner

Question: Thanks for helping me gain some knowledge in this great hobby. Like most people out there, I have lost a lot of money with the loss of fish from inexperience. Just when I think I have everything working, something else pops up. I purchased a juvenile French Angle about two weeks ago and it started to develop brown spots on its body, It still eats like a pig. I put Maracyn-Two and copper in the tank hoping this will solve the problem. I have had bacterial infections in my tank and I'm thinking that this is my problem. Can you offer any insight? Bob's Answer: Sandy, you're most welcome to my relating facts and opinions. I would hold off on further treatment of the "brown spots" on the French angel, especially if this appearance is not accompanied by aberrant scratching or breathing behavior. It may well be just some form of "stress coloration/markings" that will heal on their own. These fish tend to be very tough as a species, and left alone, fed, and kept under subdued lighting for a week or so, "bounce back".

Angelfishes for  Marine Aquariums
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