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FAQs about Marine Angelfish Compatibility 1

Related Articles: Marine Angels

Related FAQs: Angel Compatibility 2, Angelfish ID, Behavior, Marine Angelfishes In General, Marine Angelfish SelectionSystems, Health, Feeding, Disease

Regal Angel in the wild. Best kept one angel to a tank.

Other Cnidarians?
Eat them in the wild if unprotected by Clowns Possibly nibbled... to degrees
Angelfishes for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care
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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Hi Bob, 

I love dwarf angelfish but have never bought one as I am constantly reminded on forums about them generally not being 'reef safe' and my question is are there truly any angelfish who are 'reef safe' or is it simply luck of the draw? The corals I have in my aquarium are as follows:

Caulastrea curvata

Thank you
Brian Redding 

First off Brian I want to make a statement re 'reef-safeness' as an abstract concept. There really is no such thing as an organism being absolutely 'reef safe''¦ All may 'step over the line', with some being much more or less likely to do so. The fact that all marine angelfishes (family Pomacanthidae) actually live on reefs says something re to what extent they're likely to 'sample' organisms found there.  
            So, what can one do to limit their 'nibbling exposure' stocking an Angel? First, 'size matters' as in the overall volume of the system; it makes sense that the bigger the better. A bigger tank grants room for stocking, growth for all; and an enlarged assortment to disperse damage. Also size in terms of the Angel selected. Some 'dwarf dwarf Pomacanthids of the genus Centropyge top out at less than five cm. in total length; whereas some Indo-Pacific species can grow to more than two feet overall. The bigger angels can consume much more than the smaller. 
            Training prospective Angels and keeping them fed is important. Here one wants to employ foods with high palatability (some of the Gamma foods, Spectrum pelleted foods'¦) that are nutritionally complete, to keep their angel satisfied. 

            What you list in the way of soft and stony coral livestock are not particularly super-palatable, and given the size and shape of system (which you do not note), you may well be able to more or less safely stock a small to larger Centropyge, a Genicanthus species, all the way to one of the larger Pomacanthus.

3 Angelfish in a tank - 6/23/08 I know the answer is probably no, but there are 3 angelfish I really like the looks of and I'm hoping with enough rockwork/space they would be able to cohabit the same aquarium. The angelfish in question are the Queen, the Emperor and the Blue Faced. My question is this: Suppose I do keep all three in a 180g tank, which one grows the fastest? <Mmm...just not possible. I would pick your favorite, and just have one> In order to keep the sizes different, I'd like to order them all at different sizes and keep them that way. In other words, get the fastest growing angelfish at 5", the slowest growing one at 3" and the other one at 4". Hopefully this way they would always be different in size. I know 180g tank is somewhat small for 3 angelfish that get large, but I do plan on upgrading to about a 300g tank when the time comes to need it. <My mantra is this: Stock for today, dream for tomorrow. When you get that 300, do think about a couple angels instead of one- but just because you plan to have room later does not mean too little room is okay now.> The only other tank inhabitants besides hermits/snails would be a purple tang and maybe a pair of blue throat triggers although I'm not sure on the triggers, it might just be the tang and 3 angels. <I would stick to one angel, for the health of everyone (yourself included!) Benjamin>

Passer Angel/Queen Angel Compatibility ? 05/16/08 Hello, <<Greetings>> My main tank is around 900 gallons. <<Very nice>> I have a French Angel and a Queen Angel both around 8 inches or so. <<Ah! Two spectacular fishes?>> I spotted a beautiful 2 inch Passer Angel today and wanted to ask if it would be a risk adding it to my system. <<Mmm, considering the size of the system and the difference in size among the established fishes? Is doable, in my opinion>> My fish have a lot of room and grow quite quickly. <<Indeed? must be well fed too>> I never take any risks so just wanted to run it by you. <<Both the French and the Queen get large? but the Passer will only ever be about half their size? Worth a try here I think>> I did read they are aggressive. <<But likely no more than that Queen Angel>> We don't often see them over here in South Africa. <<An opportunity then?>> Also, I go through a lot of Ocean Nutrition seaweed. Is it much better than the Nori you buy in the supermarket. <<It is pretty much the same thing>> Reason I ask is that is 3 times the price. <<I would use the Nori? It will suffice quite well>> Thank you so much, James <<Happy to share, mate. EricR>>

Large angelfishes in 170 gallon tanks   8/19/07 Dear Bob and friends, <Hey there> Thank you for all your previous answers to my questions. I spent so much time reading through. I have two tanks and they are both 170 gallons. I only want to keep two large angelfish in one tank and 7 green Chromis and 2 clownfish in each tank. My question is can I mix one Pomacanthus Asfur with one Pomacanthus Imperator in one 170 gallon tank with 7 Chromis and 2 clownfish. The other 170 gallon tank with one P. Maculosus and a Scribbled Angelfish (Chaetodontoplus duboulayi). There will be no other fishes. I really love to keep only large angelfishes. Thank you and I would really appreciate your answer. It would be so helpful for me. Thank you again. <Mmm, I would not do this... Some folks, companies have very good success actually crowding Pomacanthids (et al. families) together in greater numbers in large marine systems... but in this case... One's company, two's an untenable crowd... I would just go with one large Angel species in such a size tank... and the Red Sea Angels, larger tanks at that. Bob Fenner>

Bleached BTA, Entacmaea quadricolor eats bicolor angel ? 4/15/07 Please help me identify this anemone. <Sure will> I brought it from my local pet store and recently it killed my bicolor angel. His head was sucked in his mouth. <A bicolor angel should not be kept with an anemone.  It is known to nip at them.> Did the anemone sting or just suffocate my angel cause he was hungry or for any other reason. I have been feeding the anemone since I brought it home on a regular basis. <Your anemone was likely defending itself.  What have you been feeding your anemone?  It is hungry.  The short tentacles are a sign that it is not getting enough to eat.> It has a brown base with white chubby tentacles and at times they appear to be thin and pointy like. <Your anemone is a bubble tip anemone, Entacmaea quadricolor.  It is known to have ?chubby? tentacles at times.  Your anemone is also bleached.  This means it has expelled its Zooxanthellae.  Zooxanthellae is an algae the lives inside them.  I suggest feeding meat foods, like silversides, soaked in Selcon daily.  I also suggest portions no bigger than the anemones mouth.> I have attached a couple of photos I took this morning. If it's not too much to ask could you send me a link or some information on his requirement and what if any special precautions I should take. <I recommend researching before you purchase.  Anemones are delicate and difficult to keep creatures with special requirements.  There is a lot of information regarding such on WWM.  Also www.karensroseanemones.net is also a great site.> Thanks in advance for all your help. <You're welcome!  Brenda>


Angelfish Compatibility Question 8/18/05 I currently have a small, juvenile Chrysurus angelfish in my 125G tank along with a Mitratus butterfly and a pair of percula clowns. My question is, I got an email from one of the most respected vendors in the country that my all time prized fish, a juvenile of Apolemichthys xanthopunctatus has come available. They only see maybe one a year. <All fabulous species...> In the opinion of the staff, could these two angelfish, both juveniles co-exist in a 125G with plenty of liverock for hiding spaces? The Chrysurus angel has been in the tank for about 2-3 weeks. Thanks, Brandon <Well, would be more stressful than if just one were housed... but should get along, live fine for months... though I would not keep together in something less than at least twice this gallonage in time. Bob Fenner>

Holocanthus - Centropyge compatibility 7/7/05 If one were so inclined, could one keep a small juvenile Queen angel and a small flame angel in the same large tank? 180G with plenty of rockwork but also plenty of swimming room? <<There shouldn't be any problems in a tank that size.  I've done it in the past.  James (Salty Dog)>> TIA

Angels, not being so I have a 250 gallon tank with lots of rock work. I have a Potter's, Flame and Pygmy living peacefully in the tank... <Lots of room, rock...> I added a Passer and all heck broke loose, the Potters would have no part of it and was relentless in fighting with the Passer. The Passer now is "resting" in the refugium...  any thoughts? <Your system is "full up" with Pomacanthids... One angel too many> I was shocked the Potters went after it with such vengeance. I figured the big angel would hold its own, but not the case. Do you think it would calm down with a little time or is it a done deal? Thanks!  Steve <Worth trying using a clear partition of some sort (perforated acrylic sheet?) for a few weeks, letting them all see, but not get to each other... in an effort to see if some sort of dynamic w/o injury can develop. Bob Fenner> 

Mixing Angels- A Good Idea? HI Bob, <Scott F. in today> Great site. I am in the process of restocking my 75 gal  system. I currently have one fish, a 4" Flagfin angel, which is healthy and eating nicely. <A nice fish with a somewhat spotty survival reputation...Glad yours is doing well!>   I would like to add a pair of Saddleback clowns and  possibly an African Flameback angel.  Would the Flameback and the Flagfin  cohabit?   <Tough call. Generally speaking, it is possible to mix some different genera of Angelfish together in an appropriately-sized system. The African Flameback is one of the smaller Centropyge, and may work with the Flagfin, which is in the genus Apolemichthys. However, your tank is sort of "on the border", in terms of acceptable size for mixing angels, IMO. I guess the bottom line is that it is a potential risk. Even though it's a feisty little fish, the Centropyge may still have some challenges when being introduced into a tank with an established angelfish. I would probably err on the side of caution and not mix multiple angels of any genus in any tank of less than 6' in length, simply because of the well-studied territorial needs of these fishes.> If this is not appropriate I would then like to add a 3-4" Powder  Brown Tang (Japonicus). <This is also a potentially problematic fish...Often offered as the "Powder Brown Tang", Acanthurus nigricans is a fish that generally does not do well in captive systems. The "White Faced Tang", Acanthurus japonicus (often mistakenly labeled the "Powder Brown Tang"!) is a better choice. Do check the Surgeonfish FAQs here on the WWM site for pictures on more information on each. That being said, I would hesitate once again to add this fish; I am not a big fan of Acanthurus or Paracanthurus tangs in any tank less than 6 feet in length. They range over large territories in the wild, and do better with roam to "roam" in captivity. I think that the smaller Zebrasoma flavescens (Yellow Tang) is a much more adaptable choice for this sized aquarium.> This would total 4 fish in a system with 2-4" of  live sand and 20lbs of live rock.  I will be adding more rock in the future  since the holidays($$$) are over. Would this be too big of a  bio-load?  My current water parameters are Ammonia 0, Nitrites 0, Nitrates  20, Ph 8.2, Salinity 1.21, temp 78F.  I am running Marineland Bio wheels  off of an Eheim canister 2215 along with a Sea clone 150 skimmer( it works for  me) and power heads for circulation. I also conduct 10% water changes  weekly.  Any suggestions or info will be appreciated. Thanks. <Your maintenance practices sound great! I would recommend that you stick to adding some smaller fishes instead. Perhaps a Pseudochromis species (careful- some can be rough!) or a Halichoeres species wrasse. Colorful fishes that stay relatively small...Good choices for a medium sized tank like yours. You could probably add two, possibly three smaller fishes to this tank, IMO. Have fun researching the possibilities! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.> HPD

This Coral Beauty Is No Angel! (Aggressive Coral Beauty) Hey gang, <Scott F. here today!> First off, thank you!  My fiancĂ©? and I started a 40gal. FOWLR 'community tank' about six months ago and there is no way it would have been such a success without the invaluable tips we've found on your website. <We're thrilled to have played a role in your success! Thanks!> So here's the problem: for the first few months the only two fish in the tank were a small Percula Clown and a Spotted Mandarin (plus inverts-- Cleaner Shrimp, Fire Shrimp, hermits and snails).  We recently added a Coral Beauty.  They've all been in the tank together for a about a week now (we had to treat the Coral Beauty for Ich in a 10gl. QT before adding it to the main tank). <Good procedure!> The Coral Beauty is doing great, but won't seem to stop nipping at the Mandarin.  Our Mandarin is the most laid-back, mind-your-business fish imaginable, but now he's being harassed. <Unfortunately, a Centropyge Angelfish will sometimes take a particular "dislike" to another fish, and this can go on for some time...> We stock the tank with copepods and supplement the mandarin's diet with live brine (which we fortify with phytoplankton).  The poor fish's appetite has been cut in half, and his anal fin looks like it's being nipped away. <Not good at all> Is there anything we can do to fix the problem without returning the Coral Beauty? <This is a tough problem. It really depends on the fish and it's "willingness" to get along with the other inhabitants. It is certainly possible that the fish will tire of harassing the Mandarin, but it may be too late before this happens. I wouldn't let it go on too much longer without intervening. It may be necessary to return the Coral Beauty in order for the Mandarin to survive! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Angel and dogface... is the angel acting the devil? (10/16/03) Hi there, <Hi! Ananda here tonight...> I have searched your site (which by the way is fantastic!) until my eyes have hurt and I have not seen what I am after so I am just gonna go ahead and ask. <That's what we're here for... thanks for the kind words about the site.> I have a Dogface Puffer, about 5 or so inches in length. I have owned him now for approximately 7 months and have not had a single problem with him. He is in a 150 gallon tank with a Queen Angel and Niger trigger. The tank has been up and running for close to 1 1/2 years. <Cool. I'm glad you've got a good-sized tank for them...you might, eventually, need something bigger for the queen angel and the Niger trigger. The angel can get to 18"; the trigger, 20".> Just 3 days ago I noticed that the Queen was "picking" at the underside of the puffer. I thought this was odd since the puffer is supposed to not taste very good, but I have also heard that the Queen Angel will also act like a cleaner fish and pick at parasites, is this true? <My first reaction was "*blink* Say what?" But I hit the Dailies page, dutifully typed "queen angel" (with quotes) in the Google search box at the bottom of the page... the first hit is the main queen angel page. I read that, then went to the FAQ, did a page search on the word "clean", and found this tidbit from Anthony: "...many such Angels eat parasites (as cleaner fish) as juveniles, mucho algae as subadult and anything they darn well please as grumpy adults...." So now my question is, how big/old is your queen angel? Is it still in the juvenile stage? Or does it have adult coloration? If it's an adult, I'd put this down to aggression rather than cleaning.> Upon closer inspection of my Puffer I noticed a small white spot on his belly, almost like he had rubbed himself on something. The next day when I fed them he did not eat like his normal self and perched on one of the powerheads. <Hmmm. A safer perch, perhaps?> I kept my eyes peeled for any other signs, nothing appeared until yesterday morning when I noticed on the base of his dorsal fin a weird white pattern of spots, very condensed. Then he swam past and showed me his other side and just along his jaw line was about a 1/2 inch long by an 1/8 inch width this same pattern of white spots, again very condensed. The strange thing is that they are indented, not like Ich which looks like someone has "salted" the fish. I have never seen anything like this. <I have seen white, indented spots only twice. Once was from a bite...the other was when I used the wrong water for top-off of my brackish puffer tank. It hadn't been dechlorinated (Doh!) and the puffers had a few spots like this, but scattered around their bodies. (Fortunately I hadn't used much of the tap water, and I caught it fairly quickly!) But if this is only on the puffer, I'm thinking it's more likely a symptom of bites.> I moved him into a 35 gallon hospital tank yesterday morning with a dose of receiver II in it. <That's a product I've not heard of before... what company makes it? All my Google searches are turning up radio and GPS products.> I have yet to treat him with any meds, because I am unable to find any info on what this is or might possibly be. He is not breathing hard, his other tank mates show no signs of illness what so ever. <I would consider using Melafix to prevent any secondary infection...beyond that, it sounds like a wait-and-see situation. Feed him good stuff, preferably soaked in Selcon.> As for the water, all checked out A-OK except for my ph being low (which I began buffering prior to any of the spotting on the Puffer.) and as for food, well they get the best I can afford. On a regular diet of Formula 1&2, frozen; krill, Mysis, silversides, Spectrum Thera+A pellets and then from the fish department at the grocery store they are fed Sea Scallops, Tilapia, Prawns, Clams and Squid and also get an every other daily dose of dried seaweed suction cupped to the side of their tank. <Can I come over for dinner? ;-) > I was thinking vitamin deficiency, but where would that come from??? <If your puffer is eating both the Formula 1 & 2, and the Spectrum, and the veggies, I can't imagine.> I am at a loss, unless perhaps the Queen Angel has been picking on him in a really particular pattern?   <Sounds bizarre, but I can't think of anything else that would make sense.> I am going crazy trying to figure out the best way to help my "Chompers". He is my lil buddy. I hope y'all can help out. Thanks so much. Lindie Montgomery <I do hope this helps, and invite anyone with any more ideas to send us an email! --Ananda>

Receiver #2 (10/26/03) Hi Ananda, <Hi!> I went by my LFS guy and got the ingredients for Receiver #2 and they are as follows: Polymers, salts, Nitrofurazone, Methylene blue & sulfas: Diazine, Methazine & Merazine That is what was listed on the canister of ChemAqua Receiver 2. I hope this helps. :)   <Yup, and thanks. Given the mix of medications already in this stuff, I wouldn't use anything else with it (except Melafix, perhaps).> Chompers is doing great still and he waves a fin at you and a toothy grin your way! Lindie <*waving back* --Ananda>

Gold Pygmy Angel in reef: Centropyge aurantius 10/10/03 I've got a weird problem I want your opinion on.  I recently combined 2 20 gallon mini reefs into a 90 gallon tank and because I had a Centropyge angel in each I need to make a Sophie's Choice-type decision about which of them gets to be in the 90 (I could have kept one of the minis but its too much bloody work with the constant water changes-- I will have to find a home for whoever is not chosen). One of the original tanks had a flame angel with some hard corals in it (Bubble, Frogspawn, Alveopora, Blastomussa) and the other had a Golden Pygmy with Zoanthids, daisy polyps, and soft corals (finger leather, yellow leather).   Now all of the corals are in the 90 and seem happier (maybe the better lighting, water quality and/or circulation)-- no visible evidence of chemical warfare as yet.   <Ahhhh.... OK> Now I am stuck with the angel problem.  I've had them both for about two years, so they're pretty well established. I would rather keep the Golden Pygmy, but am worried it will bother the hard corals (I've never kept it with any hard corals so I have little idea as to the likelihood).   <the risk is present with all Centropyge angels. Rather pot luck> I work at a LFS, but know virtually no one who has kept this fish successfully, let alone in a comparable environment, and can't find anything on the web (message boards, etc).   <hmmm... you need to get out more, my friend. Heehee... seriously. The fish is fairly new to the trade, but not hobbyists. DO visit the local, regional and if possible the national reef conferences like MACNA. All the best cutting edge info to be had there. The Golden angel is actually very hardy and one of the quickest to adapt to prepared foods in captivity among Centropyge. I do speak from experience with this lovely fish> Scott Michael says that large-polyped stonies are the species' most likely target.  I'm guessing that if it does pick, it is most likely to pick at them in this order (from most likely to least): Blastomussa, Alveopora, frogspawn and bubble (I'm basing this guess on how noxious each species seems to be).   <not so predictable... I suspect yours will eat the most expensive first instead <G>> This matters somewhat-- I've had the bubble and the frogspawn for several years, both thrive and are quite large and I actually would part with the other two in order to keep the Golden angel, but not the frogspawn or the bubble. Do you (maybe Anthony or Bob, though basically any of you) have any experience that might be relevant here?   <nipping can be persistent or sporadic with these angels, but never predicted. You best bet is to keep the angel in a small inline vessel (for easy capture later) and test it with some sample corals before releasing it into the display proper> The flame has been with all of the corals without incident, so it is a safe bet, but the Golden is a prize.  Ultimately I could try the Golden and take him out if there were problems, but prefer not to of course and want to go into this with as much knowledge as possible regardless. What would you do in my situation? Best, Derek Milne <I know of 2  C. aurantius in full blown reef tanks <G> that are not harming coral. Still... all are a calculated risk. There is no clear answer here mate. Experiment cautiously with the isolation tank. Anthony>

- Livestock Compatibility - Hi there! Well, I really appreciate your help here.  I know you have helped me out of a jam or two before, so I figure you may have another answer.  Thanks for before by the way.  So, here's the situation.  In my tank, 80 gallon, 80 lbs of live rock, wet-dry filter, and skimmer, I have a purple tang, a juv. emperor angel, and a Moorish idol.  I tried having a long nose butterfly and a Copperband, but the purple tang and Moorish idol have been the two most aggressive fish I have ever had.  I tried quarantining them for a while and moving the rockwork a bit, but they drove both butterflies to an early grave. <Likely the "This tank isn't big enough for the both of us." syndrome. The Moorish Idol and Tang perceive your new additions as competition for the same foods.> So, I have been thinking about a new addition to the tank, but wouldn't want it to be a new victim. I was wondering what you thought about adding an Indian Yellowtail angel. <Because this is a full-size angel, I'd expect some trouble from the Emperor - you need a larger tank to mix these.> I don't know if they would harass it and from the research I've done, it seems to be a little aggressive.  Do you think it could hold it's own? <The new fish in the tank is always at the disadvantage.> I can only quarantine one fish at a time and was thinking I could quarantine the purple tang when adding the angel? <If you can only quarantine one fish at a time, then only add one fish at a time.> Since the emperor seems to be the most passive fish and is still very young, I am not too worried about that. <Then I'd be concerned for the Emperor... if I were you, I'd leave this tank as is and enjoy the tank as-is - under-stocked. Will get much better long-term results this way.> So, I would be interested to hear your take on the whole situation.  Thanks in advance!! Big Al <Cheers, J -- >
- Livestock Compatibility -
HI again and thanks, <My pleasure.> Two short and sweet questions: Flame Angel and the emperor - Sailfin tang and Yellow or blue tang How compatible are these?? <I think the Flame Angel and the Emperor would be fine together given enough places for the Centropyge to hide, get out of sight. Likewise, I think the two tangs would likely get along, although you can expect the larger of the two to attempt to be the boss.> Thanks. <Cheers, J -- >

- Angelfish & Anemones, Compatibility - How do anemones fare with a Queen angel? <Very hard to predict.> Dinner? <Perhaps not dinner exactly, but very likely the anemone will end up picked to death.> I'm planning a 180 for a queen, and have a couple of BTA clones & their clownfish that I'd like to put in the tank with the live rock. <Believe it or not, a 180 is on the small side for an adult Queen Angel - these fish top out at around 18" making a 24" wide tank a bit cramped.> MH lighting with actinic supplementation, good skimmer, lots of flow. <Should be a fine tank otherwise.> I wouldn't mind if the angel ate the xenia or tree corals, (those grow like weeds anyway), but NOT my BTA's! <Hard to predict. Many times Angel fish start off as model reef tank citizens and after a couple of years decide to take a bite, and worse yet, they decide that they like it. May want to consider a separate system for the anemones.> Thanks, Neil <Cheers, J -- >
- Angelfish & Anemones, Follow-up -
Thanks for replying. <My pleasure.> This is pretty much as I suspected.  I know the Queens aren't "reef safe", and they are prone to pick on some corals and even clam mantles, but could find nothing on their appetite for anemones. Honey, I'm gonna need to set up another tank! <There you go! Cheers, J -- >

Peace Among Angels (Angelfish Compatibility And Stocking) Crew-- <Scott F. here today!> I have a quick question that I have not been able to find an answer for anywhere.  I am setting up a 90 gallon reef tank and am thinking about making a Genicanthus angel the showcase/alpha species.  Scott Michael suggests 100 gal. minimum and I know these fish are active, so I was wondering if they are sexually dimorphic. <Many are, particularly the "Swallow Tail" Angels and the "Bellus" angels. Very obvious color and/or finnage differences> I prefer the females for the two species I was considering-- G. melanospilos and G. watanabei. Are the females smaller? <In my experience, they are about the same size...> Is either of these species preferable for this "tight squeeze"? <Well, IMO, it would work with smaller specimens, but they do like a lot of room. A larger system would be better suited for long-term care> Should I forget this plan altogether until a bigger aquarium is a reality? Other planned residents: flame angel, twelve-line wrasse, royal Gramma, radiant wrasse and yellow Coris wrasse. <A nice selection of colorful and interesting fish! If it were me, I'd pass on the Genicanthus as an addition to this tank. They would be better as the "star attraction" in a little population of smaller fishes...> As you can see, wrasses and angels are my preferred families, but I'm not crazy about inter/intra species aggression, so I want to be careful here.  Am I inviting trouble by putting the Centropyge and Genicanthus in a 90 together? <In my experience, this will not be a problem. These species inhabit different "niches" in both the wild and in the aquarium...However, a properly-sized tank is very important> Some sources suggest the possibility and some of my customers (I service tanks) have mixed them without incident, but I'm still leery.  Any other thoughts/suggestions about this combo? <I have not personally had problems with this combination. Which, of course, is not to say that your attempt wouldn't end in disaster! However, I have seen many tanks with this type of angel combination without incident. Again, for ultimate piece of mind, I'd choose one or the other...They are equally spectacular and interesting in their own right!> Best, Derek <Well, Derek- there you have my two cents worth! I'd err on the side of caution...Or, of course- you can always set up another tank! Hey- what a great idea! :)  Good luck! Regards, Scott F> best, Derek Milne

Reef Safe Hi there, Just one question for you. Is rock beauty angel from Caribbean reef safe. Thank you.<I do not consider any angelfish from the genus Centropyge "reef-safe" Good luck, IanB><<Uhh, wrong genus. B>>

Angelfish live together Dear Bob, Sorry if my English is no too good. <Better than my Bahasa> I live in Indonesia and I'm a marine fishkeeper since 1992 and very enthusiast in keeping marine angelfish. I have a 105 gallon F/O tank with 6.5" Blue Face Angelfish, 5.5" Majestic Angelfish and 5.5" Emperor Angelfish with 3 small cardinal and 3 small damsel. <Okay... either of these Angels is too big for your 105...> Yes this is a "very crazy" combination, but fortunately this three "big guy" has been live with me for the last 5 years and they are still with me now. And also luckily again they don't bother each other, they eat greedily all kind of food like flakes, pellet, shrimp, lettuce and even blood worm (not actually earth worm, but in Indonesia this fish food are so popular). <Testament to your good care likely> As time goes by and my economic condition become much more better, so I want to try a new challenge from the red sea and Caribbean angelfishes. 2 months ago I bought a bigger tank with 200 gallon capacity (I put my new tank in my own house, my old tank is in my parents house) and I already fill it with LR decor and 3 small fish to run the nitrogen cycle. 1 months ago I bought 1 juv French angelfish 3" and 1 juv queen angelfish 4". This fish are so expensive in Indonesia, the French cost me US$ 275 and the queen cost me US$ 325, comparing to our local angelfish which will cost you only US$ 24 for adult Blue Face Angelfish (the most expensive one), the Majestic only US$ 11 and the Emperor only US$ 8,5 for juvenile size are much more cheaper. <Yes, it's amazing the difference in costs of livestock per region> I put my French and queen in the same QTank (I take the water from my old tank which no disease fish at all), for 5 days after I bought them, both of them refuses to eat anything I offer to them and both of them are show a rapid breathing, and at day 6 the queen dead with his head become so thin, I don't know what cause this condition, can you help me? <Might be "just" collateral shipping, handling damage here... perhaps an infectious or parasitic component... can't tell from what is presented here> I'm very sad of this lost and I thought I will lost my French too, but amazingly at day 8 the French greedily accept frozen blood worm, and it still eat this food even taken sometimes from my hand. Recently I still searching the beautiful red sea P. asfur or Queen Angelfish. My plan is to move all my angel to my new tank, first I will put my French and either asfur or queen together in the same time, then after1 or 2 weeks I will put together my indo-pacific angelfish. Can I do this? And will you give me some advice, thank you for reading my long email! <You can... but should bear in mind that you will need an even larger system in a year or two with all these angels growing. I do think you are "on the right track" with your quarantine procedure. Terima kasih for writing, Bob Fenner>

Regal Angel in a Reef >Hi Bob/Crew, >>Hello, Marina here tonight. >I just wondered if you could provide some info beyond what I know. I have acquired a 3 inch juvenile Red Sea Pygoplites diacanthus, tip top shape, feeding in the shop on Mysis, and put it in my 120g reef tank (mostly leather, Sinularia, a Fungia, xenia, etc). >>A brave, brave thing you've done, but to have best success with this animal, I think you've provided the best possible of circumstances.  However, do watch some corals.  If you have sponges growing well he'll make good and happy use of them. >Circulation is good I think, about 20000 l/h -2 Tunze 4002 and one stream 6100- and there is plenty of live rock. I have an aragonite sump.  I feed a variety of foods (Mysis, krill, Gammarus, SF bay emerald entree, squid, lobsters eggs, all soaked in Zoe and vitamins every day) and I add my own hand made live phyto every day.  I was just wondering if you have any suggestions beyond what I am doing to make the fish feel ok. >>He should FEEL just fine, but also offer greenery.  If you have anything resembling a refugium in which you can grow your own macro algae, he should wish to make use.  Also, Nori (Japanese sushi algae sheets) is EXCELLENT, both to free-feed and to soak in said supplements (I very much like Selcon). >His tankmates are a 6" majestic - no aggression whatsoever from him at all to the little one, rather the little one seems to have sort of adopted him and never strays far from him... weird hey? - and a regal tang. >>You have definitely broken some rules with the mixing of angels, though they are each a different genus, so I would remain hopeful that no aggression will transpire upon maturation.  I *would* like to see these fish in a larger system, double that size would be a great start. >The regal angel is eating and acting normally and moving about in the rocks.  So, any further dietary or other suggestions? >>Watch, and the tang will greatly appreciate the addition of Nori as well.  I think you should gain best results in this situation, but do watch for nipping of corals by them.  A link: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/pygoplites/ --  and another: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/pomacanthus/euxiphipops.htm >Many thanks, Massimo,  Brighton UK >>Quite welcome, Massimo, and best of luck!  Marina

Aggressive Koran Angel Hi WWM Crew, <Hi, Don with you today> I need some of that knowledgeable advice you guys are so wonderful about giving. I'm just starting out with a newer 55 gallon with 4" of live sand and 75# of live rock. All water parameters are great, Ricordea Mushrooms are thriving and the snails have been happily doing their jobs for about 7 months. The problem is my very aggressive Koran Angel. (He was an impulse buy ? so pretty? and now after doing research I know the tank is to small for long-term ? Hoping he will be OK for a couple of years ? if he makes it?) He was one of four fish added when the water was safe, and is definitely the king of the tank. Mated Ocellaris Clowns, and a strawberry Pseudochromis were his tank mates. The female Clown jumped out after 3 months , and I had to put the Pseudochromis in the quarantine tank for safety as she and the Angel were so hostile towards each other. I rearranged the rocks and added a tiny little Ocellaris Clown (after a month in another 20 g quarantine tank), which the other clown seemed to accept, but was harassed by the Angel. I thought they would adjust, but in the morning the little clown was no where to be found. Besides the Angel, there isn't anything in the tank that could have harmed the little one. Now the Angel is taking shots at the male Clown ? besides the cleaner shrimp and snails, if anything moves in or even goes close to the tank it gets attacked. Seriously, the Angel attacks the glass if anybody sits in front of the tank ? this behavior occurs even after he is feed. When you move back he stops, when you move back up he's biting the glass in front of you. I really do not want to return the Angel, but I can not allow him to misbehave so terribly and he seems to be getting worse. I don't know, maybe he is board and needs some dither fish? Following is the plan to expand my reef and hopefully settle down the Angel, please let me know your thoughts. <It needs more room and fewer other fish in this small of tank> Quarantine Angel for about 6-8 weeks in 20 gallon tank (this should allow enough time for the new members to established territories) Rearrange rocks Add Royal Gramma, False Percula Clown, Flasher Wrasse, Midas Blenny, Purple Tang, Purple Blade Gorgo, Toadstool Leather, Cabbage Leather, Lobophytum Leather, Blue and Red Mushrooms Reintroduce Angel I'm hoping since he hasn't bothered the Ricordeas, the other corals will be fine ? I am really worried about the little fish, although I think the Tang would be OK. I am attached to the little psycho, but if I want other fishes, maybe I just have to cut my losses? After 2 years, if I did wait and set up the 125 ? what other fishes could get along with him? <I understand you position and anguish but I would not reintroduce the angel. I would not introduce the purple tang (or any other tang) for the same reasons as the angel (aggressive and too big for a 55) The rest of the list, with the Pseudochromis, looks good. Personally, I would stop there as there are many benefits to a small load on a system. Hope this helps, Don> Sorry for the length, but I'm really torn - any input would be greatly appreciated.

Angels In A Reef? Hi  WWM crew, <Scott F. your Crew member today!> Not sure if this is a question or an observation, but I have been looking for a Coral Beauty. The ones I see out here don't have much blue on them. I'm thinking this is a regional variation, i.e. the ones caught in NM (just kidding) are more orange and black. Too bad but I like the bluer ones better. <There may be some variation due to locality...However, I have seen "deep water" Coral Beauties that are quite orange...almost pinkish-orange! They are radically different from the "conventional" Coral Beauties, but they are unmistakingly Coral Beauties! That may be what you're seeing. The bluer ones should be more abundant...> Too bad but I have had just lousy luck with ordering fish online from  even good etailer-- i.e. Marine center, Dr Mac and sons, Marine depot. I'm thinking they   are getting stressed by the heat?? <Could be the heat...It's hard to say, but I think that the places that you mention are quite good at shipping specimens...I'd give them another shot.> Ok I do have a question: Anyway, I have heard that CBs have better behavior (on average) around corals than Flames? Is this true? Or just a myth based on the name. I have   mostly an assortment of different types of 'Shrooms (Ricordea, Rhodactis, regular), polyps, xenia, etc.). <Well, this is a super-controversy zone! Personally, I have kept a Coral Beauty in a reef system for years without incident. Was I lucky? Probably. However, I am a huge Centropyge angel fan, and I have tried a number of species in reef-type systems over the years without incident. Coral Beauties seem to be the least "dangerous", in my experience. Does this mean that I recommend these angels for reef tanks? Nope! The possibility exists that they will nibble at, or even eat, corals. The main "victims" seem to be LPS corals, and occasionally, Xenia. You have to be willing to roll the dice and accept the potential destructive consequences. It's not the fish's fault if they do nibble...it's their natural feeding technique. The key to my "success" with Centropyge angels in reef systems is to start with reasonably young specimens, acclimate them carefully, throw in a couple of small pieces of live rock, and get them to eat lots of different frozen foods during the quarantine phase. This has resulted in fishes that seem to be more interested in pursuing their favorite frozen foods and picking at rocks than they are in picking at corals. They still can develop the "taste" for corals, however- so this is no guarantee...It has worked for me, and I'd be remiss if I said that this is the "secret" to keeping these fishes in reefs. I do feel, however, that it has made a difference for me!> And two BTAs who may or may not make it.  (Now I see why I have been telling everyone not to get them :-)), but they are eating anyway. Thanks. <Good luck to you! Let us know how your angel does (when you finally locate that Blue Coral Beauty you are searching for! Regards, Scott F>

A Trio of Angels...? Good evening Scott F, <Hello there!> I hope your having a great weekend so far!!! <So far, so good! Hope your is going well, too?> Scott  I got a ? for you, is it possible to have 3 dwarf's angels together in a 44 gallon tank with a Royal Gramma.....A Lemonpeel, Coral Beauty and a Flame Angel? Well, Alex, I'd have to say no. Unfortunately, Centropyge angels are rather solitary, and tend to be very territorial, particularly in captive situations. Honestly, a 44 gallon tank is really too small to attempt this, particularly with the Lemonpeel, which is one of the largest (can hit 5 inches in length), and potentially most aggressive of the Centropyge angels. In fact, I would only consider the Coral Beauty or Flame for this tank, because of their ultimate size. I'd only try a combination of dwarf angels in a much larger tank (say, 125 gallons and up- and, ideally, 6 feet in length). I have done this, but the key is making sure that all of these fishes are added at the same time, are of similar size, and that plenty of rockwork exists for the fishes to establish territories. Even then, it is a calculated risk, as one of the fishes may ultimately terrorize the others. On an interesting side note, however, the Lemonpeel can be kept in a trio of 2 females and 1 male (again of course, only in a large tank). I have seen this, and it is an amazing sight to behold! Centropyge angelfishes are my personal favorite fishes, so I can certainly understand your desire to keep several...However, in the end, I'm sure you'll agree that it's better for the fishes to hold off on this project until you get a much larger tank. Do enjoy the one angel that you decide to go with (I'd shoot for the Flame Angel, myself). Even with one Centropyge, a larger tank is really a better call. Perhaps you could go with one of the "dwarf dwarfs", such as C. fisheri, C. argi, or C. aurantonotus (these latter two do get a bit feisty, though- despite their small sizes!)...No matter which way you go, do a bit of research about the fish's habits and environmental requirements, configure your tank accordingly, and have FUN!> Thank you so much, I hope you have a great weekend.   <You, too! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>
Multiple dwarf angels in a tank? (06/21/03)
Hello again, <Hi! Ananda here again...> Is it possible to have 2 dwarf angels in a 44 gallon tank?, flame and a coral rock beauty??? <Not recommended at all. Centropyge angels are generally hostile to each other.> Thanks for the 2 links on live kits!!! <You're quite welcome. --Ananda>

Cleaning Behavior? Hi all. <Hi there! Scott F. with you today!> I have a juvenile map angel of about 3 inches that is beginning to go through his color change.  My question is, he seems to nip my lawnmower blenny.  The blenny doesn't move, or seem too bothered, but it looks as if the angel is biting him. Are juvenile map angels sometimes cleaners, or is it really bothering my blenny? Again, the blenny just seems to sit there. Thanks for any help. <Well, these angels, like a number of angel species, are known to engage in "cleaning" activity in the wild during their juvenile phases. I have not personally witnessed this behavior in captivity, but it stands to reason that a fish should perform this function if it desires. If the blenny is not moving when the angel nips at him, than it may be reasonably safe to assume that this is, indeed what's happening. I'd keep a close eye on both fishes, just to make sure that this does not turn in to outright harassment by the angel. Hope this helps! Regards, Scott F>

Big ol' angels in a 55? I know that both Emperor and Queen angels like larger tanks but I have a 55 gallon with only two fish and I would like to get one of the two. I do plan on getting a larger tank (180g) but not for a year or so. <The idea here is buy for what you've got. Who knows what will happen in the next year or so...> Would it be ok if I got one of these fish (about 2-3") and put it into a 55 for a year? <Juveniles can grow pretty quickly, you'd be surprised. I would recommend against it until the new tank is ordered. That way you'd have them for only a few months.> I know large angels can't go together but in a lightly stocked 180 gallon would a queen and a emperor be alright? <Most likely not> My 55 gallons right now has a harlequin tusk (5.5") <Better start worrying about a new home for this critter as well, start saving up for that 180!> and a flame angel (2.5"). Which would be a better choice? <Introducing a small angel in with the flame could result in the newcomer getting pummeled.> How fast do these fish grow (talking about the already adult ones)? <Impossible to say, depends on many things. Assume incredibly fast and base decisions around that.> What would you put into my tank? Hippo tang? Blue tang? Powder blue tang? <I suppose that would be up to you but for now I would say try some gobies, Pseudo's, hawks; stuff that stays small. There's nothing big about a 55.> I just want a colorful tank. <All the more reason to check out all the really cool gobies, wrasses, Dottybacks, grammas, etc.> Sorry for all the question. <No problem! Good luck with this and your future tank, -Kevin> Thanks for your time and help, Andy

Asfury? Hi to all, <Just PF here this AM Steve> I have noticed a new problem in my tank. My three inch Asfur is from time to time chasing (without any contact) my four inch yellow tail Coris wrasse. The wrasse doesn't seem to go out of his way to avoid him so it doesn't appear that he's afraid of him. Is this expected behavior on the angels part? <Well, not knowing how big your tank is, I really can't answer your question. Remember that in the wild, most fish have territories in the yards, even a large tank is a very, very small slice of ocean.> I researched these inhabitants to death before putting them together <Good for you, wish that everyone had your attitude> and I'd hate to think I would have to get rid of one, is this playful behavior or aggression? <Hard to tell, but since the Coris isn't stressing, I'd just keep my eye on them.> The Asfur does chase my Coral Beauty once in a great while as well but leaves everyone else alone. Any thoughts or suggestions, I expect I should keep an eye on things and hope things don't escalate. <Well, if the frequency/intensity of the chasing increases, then you might want to consider relocating one of them, or getting a bigger tank. Hopefully I've given you some things to consider/use. Have a good day, PF>

Sponge Muncher? Hello, <Hi there! Scott F. with you today!> I have a quick question about my flame angel.  I am interested in buying a piece of live rock with some blue sponge on it (I believe that it is encrusting sponge).  Would my flame angel eat it?  I have included a picture. Thanks so much. Sincerely, Andrew Powell <Well Andrew, it's a really tough call. Just like with corals- the fish may show no interest at all in the sponge, or it may decide to snack on it continuously...Centropyge angels are not heavy sponge eaters, like Pomacanthus and other "full-sized" angels are. They do nibble on some sponge materials, but you're more likely to see them nibble on algae and detritus. You'll just have to make the decision and go for it! Try a small piece of rock first to see if the fish shows any interest in the sponge...It's probably the best way to find out, unfortunately! Good luck with this combination! My personal, gut level feeling? I'll bet that it will work out (but don't hate me if it doesn't!) Regards, Scott F>

Mixing similar angels 3/23/03 Hello, I have a quick question about compatibility. I have a 90 gal reef tank with lots of live rock. Only fish are 1 Yellow tang and 2 Scooter Blennies. I would like to add a Flame angel and a Coral Beauty angel. Is this a good idea? I have heard mixed opinions.  Thank You, Mike Orlando FL <although it works for some folks, mixing similar fishes from the same genera is usually risky and rarely recommended. With so many other beautiful and compatible fishes available, why take the chance? If you aren't aware of it already... there is a fine marine aquarium club in your town... I believe they have a forum on Reef Central.com I may be visiting in July (26th). More info on it form Rocky Herman at Coralfragz.com   Hope to see you there :) Anthony>

Pondering About Angels... Hi, I have a 125 gallon reef with mainly soft corals and a few LPS. I would like to add some Tridacna clams.  I have 3 purple Firefish, 3 red Firefish, 1 mandarin, 2 green clown gobies, 1 red head goby, 2 citron gobies, 1 threadfin goby, 4 green Chromis and 2 maroon clowns. <I like the mix of fishes! Small, colorful, and interesting. A nice community!> I would really like to get some dwarf angels.  I especially like the Flameback (acanthops) the golden (aurantia?) and the argi. are these three compatible? <Ahh, the $6 million question! It is possible to keep more than one Centropyge angel together, but there is a definite possibility of violence, too! Those C. acanthops are feisty little guys, and so are C. argi! The key is adding all the angels at the same time, and allowing them to establish territories of their own among the rockwork in the tank. You certainly are better sticking to one species, if you're going to try this. It really is a 50/50 proposition, though. Often times, one of the angels will assert his dominance over the others, and it can have fatal results...Even a 125 may not be large enough. I'd shoot for one really nice specimen, instead. The Golden Dwarf Pygmy is a tough fish to keep, IMO. It's quite shy, and, coming as it does from deeper water, tends to suffer from collection traumas (not to mention the fact that many may still be collected with drugs :( . It seems to have a difficult time adjusting to captive life, in my experience. A gorgeous fish, but not one that I would really recommend. If you are going to try one, purchase one that's properly handled. I'd shell out the extra bucks for one from Marine Center, which has a reputation for providing well-adjusted specimens of rare and "difficult" fishes> I have found the Flameback and golden in local pet stores that have been doing well for some time, over a month.  However, I will have to order C. argi, can I put the Golden and Flameback now. or all three at once or is it simply too many. <Well, I don't think that you should go with the Golden, as mentioned above. I'd add all of the angels at once> Also, am I just asking for trouble to add dwarf angels? A friend of mine thinks I am nuts to mix them with corals and clams. <Well- that's a whole different issue! You certainly do take a calculated risk with angelfish and corals/clams. I suppose that the C. argi is as good a choice as any Centropyge (although my personal favorites for reef tanks are the Coral Beauty and the Flame Angel), but you just cannot be sure! You have to weigh the risks and make your decision. Some people keep angels in reefs for years with no problems, others have trouble right off the bat- and still others have them in reefs for years before they start chomping on corals for no apparent reason, all of the sudden. Which do you like better-corals or fishes? It's a choice you have to make. If the risk is acceptable to you, and you are not morally opposed to exposing your corals to a potential predator, then go for it! I'm a fish nerd first, and a coral nerd second...The choice is clear for me- but you have to make your own call on this one!> Thanks, John <Good luck, John! Regards, Scott F>

Questions about Angel fishes I have some questions about the Emperor Angel. I am trying to get an adult Emperor as small as possible. My questions are: 1. What is the smallest size of the Emperor angel with adult coloration? <About four inches> 2. I heard the Red Sea Emperor angel changes color late comparing with one from other areas, is this correct? <Yes> 3. Where are the best origins of the Emperor besides the Red Sea? There are others from Sri Lanka, Bali, Maldives, Fiji, Micronesian, Christmas Island and Australia. Which areas should be avoid? <The Philippines should be avoided.> Another question is about Regal angel. Is the Regal angel reef safe? I know it eats sponge, does it eat corals? <Not usually, but this is a possibility> Your answers will be appreciated. Marcus <Bob Fenner>

Angel compatibility can you keep a Apolemichthys xanthopunctatus with a blue face angel or a emperor angel if you put them in at the same time or will they still fight <Not a good choice/mix unless the system is very large (300 plus gallons). Bob Fenner>

Angel fish Wars Hi, i have a 50 gal tank housing 1 midas blenny, 1 Fiji damsel, 1 royal Gramma, 2 percula clowns, 1 scooter blenny, 1 juv Koran angel and 1 coral beauty. Today i have acquired a (beautiful) juv red sea angelfish (xanthotis?) labeled cream angelfish in my LFS. <See here to identify: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/rsangels.htm> The Koran angel was inquisitive to the new arrival (as expected) but then persisted in attacking the 'cream angel'. <What? No quarantine? You should be QTing all new arrivals, for their well being as well as you current inhabitant's. See here for more: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm> Will this aggressiveness prevail or will they get along with time? <Probably to continue, likely to the death> This was an impulse buy (sorry...i break easily) and i should really research these things beforehand but is this fish easy enough to keep/feed? and is it possible to keep three angels of different genus together in the size tank that i have? thanks for such a great and informative website. <More bad news Josh, the Koran is a 15" <<? RMF>> fish. Does not belong in a 50. Maybe the LFS would take it back? Good luck with your new angel, Don>

Angel Compatibility - 2/13/03 I have a 3" emperor angel juvenile I've had him for 2 1/2 months and he's great eats out of my fingers and every thing eats any thing that I give him which is a mixture of everything live etc. He's  always calm when I clean the tank he even swims around the cleaning tube. But I really love the blue face angel I really want him he's 4 1/2 inches and already mature colored and beautifully bright seems very shy and hides at the top behind the piping of my local  dealers tank but I've seen him eat and dart back to the spot I have a 90 gallon tank with two caves made out of 16 pounds of live rock each 32 ponds total my tank is 3 months old the only other fish I have in there is a coral beauty 2" he's been in there for 3 months I don't want to add any more fish till I move in a year I'm buying a house then I'll buy two 300 gallon tanks but until then I don't want any other fish should I try him or will they kill each other Emperor & Blue Face thanks a lot for your time. <Your present tank is not big enough and more importantly, they are unlikely to live together peacefully once they reach sexual maturity even in the hopeful big tank. Please don't mix full sized angels. There are so many other beautiful fish to pick from. Anthony>

Cherub Angel and other questions.... Hi WWM crew..... I have a couple of questions concerning the Cherub Angelfish (Centropyge argi)....First of all, would it be o.k. in a 20H tank with 3 other fish? Inhabitants are:2 ocellaris clownfish(1-1.5"),and a Catalina Goby(1"). <I would not place this dwarf angel with two clowns in this small system> I realize this is a coldwater species, but he was in the LFS "tropical "tank for appx.3 mths.. and he's been in mines for 3mths.,so I guess I got a "rare" Catalina goby..... <It's life will be greatly foreshortened> Would a cherub angel pick on any of these fish or make my tank overload? <Likely the other way around> If I can't add a 4th fish, which would you recommend removing, so I can add him? <The clowns> Would it pick on my corals? (xenia, zoo's, mushrooms, bubble coral, candy cane coral, Kenya tree, GSP, sand polyps, or clove polyps) What's the diet? Also how big do these guys get? Any additional info. is appreciated.. BTW, filtration is 2 Skilter 250's if this helps...My tank also contains a lot of lr...... <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/centropyge/index.htm and the FAQs files beyond (linked, in blue, at top) re these questions. Bob Fenner>

Emperor Angel compatibility Hi, I have a question.  I was wondering if it is possible to mix two Emperor Angels in a 209G tank? <Not a good idea> Will they fight, and if not is it better to get a size difference between the two? <Too much likelihood> I currently have a 5 inch one in a Quarantine tank and we have one at the LFS I work at for the past 2 months (the fish has been there).  The other one is around 3.5 inches.  Both have adult coloration.  Also the Imperator I have currently gets Angel Formula, Special Formula VHP (bought her from a guy that didn't realize the angel had a bad case of HLLE), Formula One, Formula Two, dried seaweed by Julian Sprung (green, red, and purple), and live sponges.  Does this sound like a good diet for her?  Her HLLE has gone down drastically and have had her for 3 weeks.  Thanks!  Kim <Do you have much in the way of live rock in this system? Should be okay with this as supplement. Bob Fenner>

Four Flame Angels in an 80 some gallon system? dear sir i would like to ask a question about stocking densities and compatibility have a 80 UK gallon reef tank with 50 kilo of live rock a mixture of hard and soft corals which are doing very well and have excellent growth rates i have had a flame angel for two years and would like to add three more flame angels all at once these would be the only fish in the tank in your opinion is this likely to work thank you for your advice David <I do wish this tank was about twice the volume... I would not try these additional dwarf angels. Too likely there will be too much agonistic behavior, stress. If you can, upgrade the size of tank first. Bob Fenner>

- Angel Compatibility - Hi there <Greetings, JasonC here...> ? I have a 210 gallon tank and have a 3 ?? Queen angel in it (plus a variety of other fish).  I am planning to get a dwarf angel, probably a flame (however, have seen a nice potters and coral beauty at the LFS). <If this tank is relatively new, skip the Potters Angel, they need really healthy live rock.> I had given up the idea of ever getting another large angel due to all the press on not putting more than one large angel and one dwarf in the same tank.  Today, while reading your site to decide on which dwarf, I noted the following two question/answers, which seem to imply that having more than one large angel may be possible.  Would it help if I bought a juvenile of another type (perhaps majestic, blue-face or blue-girdled)? <Hmm... the fact that you've already place the Queen means she will be the ruler of the tank. On top of that, these can get quite large and will quite possibly bully another angel that doesn't get quite as large like a Majestic. The pygmy angels on the other hand are small and quick enough to duck for cover - provided you are supplying it - if the queen decides to be a brute. I'd go for the Coral Beauty.> Thanks for your help!  It is nice to have a non-biased source of advice! <Cheers, J -- >

Reef-Safe Pygmy Angel? (Or-How Much Does Your Xenia Mean To You?) Do you see any problem with the Coral Beauty nipping the Xenia? <Well- I have to say, IN MY EXPERIENCE (!) that I have never experienced a Coral Beauty nipping Xenia. Which is, of course, not to say that your won't totally devour your Xenia colony within 2 days! An equal number of hobbyists will tell you that it's the worst mistake that you could make in a reef tank! Really depends upon the specific fish that you get. My tip when using Centropyge angels in a reef (hasn't failed me yet) is to select young, healthy specimens, and to keep them very well fed on a variety of foods. Not only do they adapt better to captive conditions and food, but there is a good chance that they have not yet developed a "taste" for your corals! Worth a shot!> Did you feed more than once a day to "keep" the coral beauty reef safe? <I feed all of my fishes twice daily, which works fine for me. The angels, in particular, spend a large part of their day foraging for microalgae on the rockwork, which I'm sure supplements the feedings. I guess it's never 100% whether an angel will ignore your desirable inverts, but I'm a fish nerd first (a coral nerd second!), so I developed my priorities a long time ago! :) > Is a 29 gallon QT enough for the angel/gamma or angel/blenny combo? <Oh, yeah- should be more than adequate! Good luck with your new fishes! Regards, Scott F>

Star Destroyer! Hi Wet Web Crew, My Juvenile (1-2") tank raised Map Angel (Pomacanthus maculosus) just tore apart my orange Linckia star, two legs are now missing. <Bummer) Now I have the star in plastic container inside the tank.  They are both in my 80 gal reef and have been together for about a month.  I have noticed the Angel picking at some other corals (leathers) but not doing much damage but now he needs to be moved. <It's just going to get worse, in most cases. Good idea to relocate him before more damage is incurred> I was wondering if I could put him in my 75 gal FOWLR, the current inhabitants are a 2' zebra moray 18" snowflake moray and a 2" fuzzy dwarf lion (Dendrochirus brachypterus).  They have been with smaller fish before and have been fine (1" blue tang).  Thank you for your reply and providing this great website. <I think that he will be okay for a while in that tank. However, this tank is getting to be on the crowded side. The fishes in that tank are messy, voracious eaters that can degrade the water quality in even the best-maintained aquariums in relatively short time. Plus, the size that the angelfish will ultimately attain dictates a much larger aquarium (150gal plus) if you want him to live a long, healthy life. Good luck! regards, Scott F>

Dwarf angel compatibility Hi David. The Bi-color has totally excepted the Coral Beauty. Here's the feedback to my following email.... just thought I'd share it with you. Thanks. <Great! Stranger things have happened IME. I hope the success holds...David Dowless>

Compatibility questions To whom it may concern, I just purchased a 3" Coral Beauty for my 180 Fish and Reef Tank. I have had Bi-Color Angel in there for quite some time now. I knew the Bi-Color being in the same family (of Pygmy Angels) would pick on the Coral Beauty for some time. The Coral Beauty is also about 1/2" smaller than the Bi-Color. Right now the Coral Beauty is hiding behind one of the powerheads. He has been chased around the tank all morning to exhaustion...as I expected. My question... is there a chance that the Bi-Color will eventually except the Coral Beauty as new tank mate? <Always a chance but unlikely> The Fish Store Salesman somehow convinced me that the Bi-Color Angel will eventually give up the chasing and then become compatible with the Coral Beauty. <It will...as soon as the beauty is dead!> Is it worth waiting a few days to see if they can adapt to one another or should I just return him? <Your call. Try it but don't wait more than a week or so...the fish's health will suffer. Frankly, I would carry it back to the salesman and trade it in for either store credits or a new, more compatible fish> I don't want to see him get killed by the Bi-Color. <Me either> Tell me there is some hope here. <Always hope...slim chance of success> Thanks. <You're welcome! David Dowless>

Compatibility To whom it may concern, I just purchased a 3" Coral Beauty for my 180 Fish and Reef Tank. I have had Bi-Color Angel in there for quite some time now. I knew the Bi-Color being in the same family (of Pygmy Angels) would pick on the Coral Beauty for some time. The Coral Beauty is also about 1/2" smaller than the Bi-Color. Right now the Coral Beauty is hiding behind one of the powerheads. He has been chased around the tank all morning to exhaustion... as I expected. My question... is there a chance that the Bi-Color will eventually except the Coral Beauty as new tank mate? <All are individuals with their own minds. If the beauty is accepted, it will be the exception not the rule. Don't count on this happening> The Fish Store Salesman somehow convinced me that the Bi-Color Angel will eventually give up the chasing and then become compatible with the Coral Beauty. Is it worth waiting a few days to see if they can adapt to one another or should I just return him? <The fish man sold a fish didn't he? You can wait a few days to let the fishes adjust to each other but don't let the beauty get too stressed. Its health will suffer> I don't want to see him get killed by the Bi-Color. <Yeah...Your call on this one. But don't wait too long. Trade him back to the guy that sold it to you!> Tell me there is some hope here. <Uhhh...Always hope but don't hold your breath too long> Thanks. <You're welcome! David Dowless>

Flame angel and Trachyphyllia Dear WWM Cheers, my friend> In the new year I am thinking of trying a Trachyphyllia brain coral. <very fine, hardy, low light, sand-dwelling (free-living- never place on rock), feed 3-5 times weekly minimum with minced meaty foods... long-lived> I have one that has been reserved at my LFS for 2 weeks. I am going to pick it up in the new year. However I have a flame angel in my tank. He has been resident for about 5-6 months in my tank <hmmm... I see. Very good to hear about the hold on the livestock. Goes a long way for acclimatization into captivity (rather that frequent moves on import)>> I have read that a few other reef keepers have had trouble with this species nipping Trachyphyllia. I also currently have pulsing Xenia, Favia and Caulastrea (candy cane) coral in there. <yes... all are somewhat at risk of dwarf angels in general> These have all been left alone by my flame. Is there a chance he will nip my Trachyphyllia? <no guarantee, alas> Also I might like to add that I feed my angel on granular food in the mornings. <A Very concentrated source of food... good to hear> Its called tetra prima granules (red granules). if you need to wean marine fish onto dried food, this stuff is really excellent (if you guys get it in the USA). <agreed! An excellent staple and color enhancer. I believe that this product has gone through a marketing evolution of changed names over the years. First it was called Discus bits, then color bits... now prima? Perhaps I'm mistaken. Still... Tetra makes some very good dry foods. Thanks for sharing the tip!> Here's a pic of the tank by the way. Cheers for all your help. Regards, Jim <Happy holidays :) Be chatting soon. Anthony>

Angel In The Mix? Hi Bob, <Scott F. with you this morning!> Back to your site again as usual and thanks for all your help. I have a 60 gallon tank fish\invert only with live rock. I have a small panther grouper, 2 damsels and a small size yellow tang. I'd like to add another fish in there. About 6 months ago or so I added a coral beauty and didn't last few days. Yellow tang was too aggressive and stressed it out. I had to return it. Then I got a bicolor angel and that didn't last as well. I'd love to have an inexpensive angel family fish in my tank. <Well, you have to realize that the tang will probably "inspect" and possibly harass any new additions to this tank. By tang standards, it's a fairly small aquarium, and with the Panther Grouper (which can reach almost a foot in length), it's a potentially crowded one, too. DO think long-term about these fish, particularly the grouper. They can and do grow quickly if well cared for, and they can mess up tanks really fast with their heavy eating habits. He'll need a very large tank to live anything close to a natural life span, and will have to be moved to such a tank in the near future. I'm actually a bit hesitant to recommend adding another fish into this tank, but I suppose for the short run you could try. It may be best to re-arrange the tank's decor to break up the existing territories, perhaps reducing the tang's territorial tendencies a bit. The limited tank size will still be a factor, however, and occasional skirmishes will still occur. Just keep an eye on everyone.> >I get my fish from this place called Aquatic outlet ( http://www.aquaticoutlet.com) in Los Angeles. The reason I'm mentioning the place is because I knew that you were visiting LA's wholesale areas and I'm pretty sure you have probably been there. Great place, clean fish and people are somehow helpful except the owner....or he'll be very helpful if you spend more than $100.00 - $200.00.........hehe <Been there myself a few times. They do get large quantities of pygmy angels from time to time, but you do need to observe potential purchases carefully, and quarantine all> They have told me that the Flame angel would do ok in my tank. But again I didn't want to take my chances so I wanted to check with you. Is that fish aggressive enough to get along with my other fish? If not what kind of fish would you recommend for my setup, especially if I can add another angel family? <On paper, yes- it should mix well with your current inhabitants...but the tank size is going to be a continuing factor in any community dynamic. You may also want to consider the cherub angelfish (Centropyge argi). It's small, but feisty. However, its small size could make it a potential snack for your Panther Grouper when he starts getting larger (can you tell that I think this guy needs to be moved to a larger tank?). >Thanks again and Happy Holidays. Sam... <Keep studying and learning, Sam. I think that you can do well with this mix, but a larger tank has to be in the picture for the very near future. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

What are my chances? (Marine Stocking) What are my chances of combining a French (2"), Koran(2 1/2"), Flame and a Bicolor angel, in a 300 gallon fish only tank with 150 lbs of live rock? <I would put them at rather poor.> My main concern is the Koran vs. the French, <And the Flame against the Bicolor.> will there be a fight to the death?. <This would be an unacceptable level of hostility and increased stress for me. I would go with the Koran and the Flame. I hate to mix Atlantic and Pacific fish. Atlantic fish seem to suffer with many more parasitic diseases, especially when combined with Pacific fish. The Flame Angel is considerably hardier than the Bicolor. On the other hand, you could get the French and also add a Cherub Angelfish.> Thank you, Rick from Oregon <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Harlequin Tusk ,Thalassoma Lunare, Butterfly and Emperor/Queen Angel Hi again Anthony, Thanks for your reply even if it wasn't what I wanted to hear! The reason I picked the Harlequin was because I read at WWM that to quote "most everything leaves a harlequin tusk alone and vice versa" so I thought I was reasonably safe with this <generally true... but beyond tank size issues, mixing two wrasse species (tusk and lunare) is quite risky just like mixing tangs or angels. More often than not there is serious compatibility issues> and they had a lovely one at the LFS! <a gorgeous fish indeed> They also said it would be fine with my existing wrasse and as I hadn't heard back from you then (I think you were lecturing) I bought it and it is now in my QT! <wow... bummer. Hmm... what to do. Since you do have a QT, you can chance the mix after QT, and be prepared to pull them if they scrap. This may mean tearing the rockscape down. No guarantee that the victim will service the stress of it all either. I'm also thinking in the long run.. lunare wrasses have a well deserved reputation for turning out to be satanic once sexually mature. Now I must decide what to do with him! Also I find that the "pearl" butterfly I was asking about is actually a Redback butterfly >according to Bob's book ,what can you tell me about this, is it timid like the pearl or could I get that ? <too timid indeed. In fact, there are very few butterflies that have a prayer with this crowd of active feeders even if they are not aggressive. A Raccoon butterfly may be one of the few with a chance> regarding the Emperor or Queen are you saying never OR just never with this tank size? <I hate to say it... but they are all really dreadful mixes for the long run. These angels are as aggressive or more so than the lunare wrasse after a year or two. And we need to plan for the long run since these fishes live well over 10 years. Its like planning for space with a puppy: no great Danes when living in an apartment. I see this fish dominating a 300 or 400 gallon aquarium in the 5 year plan. Indeed... I have seen quite a few in my lifetime do this very thing. For aggression and your present tank size... no angels in my opinion> I didn't strike very lucky with this list did I? Thanks again - Jenny <alas, no my friend. You have picked many wonderfully hardy fishes... but too many attitudes and too great a size even for the new tank. Best regards, Anthony>

Question on Queen Angelfish Hi Bob, <Steven Pro in this evening.> I just found your web site and have been mesmerized - reading on and on! This is the best information I have found to date. Thank you! <We are glad you have found it educational.> I have a 210 gallon tank. I have the same dilemma that so many people have - I love the Angelfishes and am wondering about compatibility. Current fish are: 3 1/2" Queen Angel, Flame Angel, 2 Yellow Tangs (one large, one small), Snowflake Moray, 3" Hawaiian Lionfish, 3" Huma Huma Trigger, 2 Chromis, 1 Damsel, 3" Spotted (or Freckled) Hawkfish, 2" Tomato Clown, 4" Longnose Butterflyfish, 5 1/2" Red Coris Wrasse, and 5" Green Bird Wrasse. I had ordered the Queen over the internet, and it is smaller than I'd like. I've had her for 2 weeks. Today I saw a beautiful Queen (5 1/2") at my local store, even at a great price - I wish I had waited for this one. Although I know it is better to get the smaller fish, I feel like a bigger one would really be the "showpiece" of the tank. <5 1/2" is an ok size for this species.> I have a few questions. How fast can I expect the smaller Queen to grow? <This depends on diet and water quality to a large extent.> Is there any chance the 2 queens could get along? <Little to none> I have read a bit of confusing info on Queens, saying that females would get along, and that they are often found in pairs. <If you purchased them as a mated pair, that would be one thing, but they are likely to kill each other in your tank.> Is there a way to determine the sex? <Not that I know of and would not be helpful anyway. They would still need time and room to court one anther and that could not happen safely in the confines of an aquarium.> If I forgo the bigger queen now, is there any type of angel that would have a good chance of getting along with the queen? <No. You already have the Queen and the Flame. It is unlikely you could safely house anymore.> One of my options, is to take the smaller queen to the store as a trade in, but I will lose a big chunk of money by doing this. Lastly, the small Queen I have seems to have some pinkish splotches/spots on the sides of the back of it's body. I haven't seen that type of thing before. In general it is doing well - eating well, not fighting. Any ideas on what that could be? <I would double check water quality issues first; pH of 8.2 or higher and under 40 ppm Nitrate. A water change (when properly conducted) is always beneficial.> Thanks for your help! <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Unsure about compatibility Dear Mr. Fenner, <Steven Pro in this morning.> I got a Pygoplites since last year's November. I think about buying a Navarchus now. Do you think they will get along together? <Nope, it is never a good idea to try to force to large Angelfish to cohabitate.> I worry about the territorial behavior. <Bingo!> Yours, Kai Horstmann <Have a nice day! -Steven Pro>

Angelfish I need some advice on angelfish. I currently have a Asfur in my tank, I want to add a 3-4" Juvenile Blueface and a 3-4" Majestic. The Asfur is 4" and in adult colors. Do you have any advice on how to make this peaceful as possible. <My advice is to not attempt this unless your tank is hundreds of gallons, 500 perhaps. -Steven Pro>

Angel Compatibility Hello there folks. A friend of mine has given up this wonderful hobby and I had a 3-4 inch Holacanthus bermudensis from him he had him in his reef tank and said he never bothered anything. Well the reason I had him is because he was going to give it to the LFS (very bad water quality at LFS) so I said I would find him a home. My problem is I am unsure of whether he will be ok in my reef tank. It is 125g with 60kg of live rock (Fiji) it also has a Deltec ap850 skimmer which in my opinion is fantastic and pulls out so much gunk. Well anyway will this wonderful fish be ok in my tank. Its housemates will be 1 emperor tang, 2 red saddleback clowns, 1 flame angel, 1 red spot flame. <I do not know what you are referring to with the common names Emperor Tang and Red Spot Flame. Whenever possible, use the scientific names as common names are not that common. They vary by wholesaler or geographic area.> As yet there are about 50 turbo snails and about 28 hermits (red leg). I have yet to add any corals. The only shrimps I am going to add are cleaner shrimps and possibly some fire shrimps. Is this fish suitable for my tank I could move it too my 150g f/o tank but.... there is a French angel in that tank so I think they will fight. <Definitely better off in the reef tank. The French and the Blue angelfish will fight hard.> Any help will be great, Alex <See notes inserted above. -Steven Pro>
Re: Angel Compatibility
I left original message underneath. <Thank you for that. We get a lot of questions everyday and some people reply without including the original question. It is very hard (actually impossible) to remember all the Q&A's.> One last thing will it be ok (happy) in this size tank (125 gallons). I know it will nip at clams and bits and pieces but if I stock with less tempting things will he be ok, and will my water quality be badly affected as he will get big 12" I reckon from reading up. <Bigger is better in the case of aquariums. The 125 is close to the minimum, but adequate.> at the moment I have everything in sea water range including 0 nitrate, nitrite and ammonia. <Many other parameters to keep an eye on. Temperature, salinity, and pH are a must have. Alkalinity would be nice, too.> I hope he will be fine in this tank, if not what size tank would he be able to thrive in. My aim is to help all my fish thrive not just survive. <A 180 or larger would be nice. Keep that in your 5 year plan since your angel is only 3-4 inches now.> Thank you very much for any advice. ~Alex P.S. emperor tang - Zebrasoma xanthurum red spot - Istiblennius chrysospilos this will be all my stock are these compatible and ok to live space wise and in harmony. <The two above, with your new angelfish and the Flame Angel (Centropyge loriculus) and pair of Saddleback Clownfish (Amphiprion ephippium), you mentioned in your previous email, should do nicely. -Steven Pro>

A Different Angelfish Compatibility Question I have a hundred gallon tank with a juvenile emperor angel and flame angel, along with two percula clowns a yellow and pink wrasse and two yellow tail damsels. Fish get along great but I am interested in adding another angelfish. What kind, if any, can I add not to dangerously throw of harmony. Thanks, Terry <Short and sweet, none. -Steven Pro>

Reef tanks and Angels...the last word! Dear Mr. Bob and Co., <Howdy> Time and time again I find myself needing your expertise....alas here in need again. I have read the articles and Q & A sections regarding "Angelfishes". Although it is clear that you do not recommend any large Angel in a reef set-up, and have steered us toward the pygmies, you guys have stopped short of saying "no way." To my understanding, each species and even individual fish for that matter, will decide on its own whether to taste that Acropora or LPS; and this has much to do with feeding frequency, tank mates, tank size, as well as personality. <Well-stated... Wish I had written thus!> I have had great success in the past at keeping a single Majestic Angel (Navarchus) in a 90 gal reef and have met disaster in the same tank with one C. Argi. Now I have a 135 gallon reef tank that is calling out for a show piece Angel and perhaps a second angel that will be much smaller...Of all the angels of the larger species including Pomacanthus, Euxiphipops, and Holacanthus; what single Angel fish would you put inside this tank if you had to decide blindly. Ill make it even easier...give me your top three. My inverts are mainly Acroporas and clams, plus 2 saddle carpets. <Okay... Pomacanthus annularis, Genicanthus species of any kind you like, Chaetodontoplus mesoleucos... my choices. Bob Fenner> Sincerely, Dennis

Butterflies/tangs Here is a question. I know that tangs either are in a singularly or more than 2 (3 or more).  <In many cases much more than 3 to be successful> Presumably so one dominant species won't attack the one single other one.  <essentially, yes> On a 200 gallon 7 foot tang, does this also hold true for butterflies ? Can you put 3 (or more) golden butterflies together (they are found in groups in the wild). Will this remove some of the territorial issues that are found when only two are present ? <as beautiful as the tank is... it is still too small for schooling or shoaling mid sized fishes. Think of it this way... you are snorkeling in the tropics and you spot the same 3-4 fish pacing within the same 7 foot of reef...bizarre and not going to happen. The quarters are too close for most. There are some Heniochus, however, that might satisfy your desire to keep larger schooling fishes. Do review Bob's work in his Conscientious Marine Aquarist and here in the archives on these fishes> And, another, does this also carry over to angels ?  <mucho aggression with most angels. Only the Genicanthus species are even remotely tolerant of each other (most being quite peaceful and better off in pairs)> Not planning on putting three imperators together, but just curious.  <heehee... no harm in asking. Anthony> Thanks Jim

Large Angels Just curious. At what size tank, do the territoriality of large angels start to loosen a bit ? I saw your response about keeping two large angels to someone else and it piqued my curiosity. Understand that its personality dependent, introduction into tank method dependent, etc, but assuming 4-5" angels of different genus (like a Pomacanthus, and a Holacanthus). At what size tank are they able to survive without incessant fighting? <I have personally witnessed incessant fighting between two angels in system as large as 750 and 1000 gallons.> Probably not a 125, possibly not a 150-180, but how about a 200 or 240? I've seen long established tanks with 5-8 large angels inside, but they are larger (like 400-600 gallons). <I would bet if you watch for a while you will see the harassment, particularly at feeding time. Just not good for the fish. Can encourage disease.> Is that the size threshold? Once you get to a certain length (over 8ft), <The 750 was 16 foot long and housed a Blue Face with a Scribbled. The 1000 was a giant pentagon housing a Gold-Flake and a Navarchus. Both were mature, full-blown reefs.> with proper LR hiding spaces, multiple angels can co-exist peacefully? Thanks, Jim <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Mixing Large Angels hello I decided to take my 4" clown trigger out of my 75gal tank w/LR and put him in my 180 gallon tank with the Vlamingi tang, Emp angel etc. I wanted to know if I could put a 4" Goldflake angel and a 4" majestic angel in the 75 gallon tank <Sorry, but no.> with some blue Chromis and cleaner shrimp, hermit crabs, and snails. There is about 110lb "cured" LR w/out mantis shrimp (compliments of my clown trigger!!!!!). I am only keeping the two angels in their until they get about 5-6" and then put them in my 125gal with my baby Tuskfish and purple tang. <No to two large angels in a 125, too.> Do you think that is a good idea or should I just pick one. I have researched and both angels are pretty mild mannered, I wanted to ask an experts opinion before spending $340 on both of the fish. Thanks for your time and advice. Ian Behnk <Best to pick just one of the larger Angelfish and perhaps consider one of the Centropyges as an alternative. -Steven Pro>

Re: Angels Hi! Bob, Is it possible to catch the MAC angel and clip of his gill spines with nail cutters or is that a bad thing to do? Would that stop him from hurting the other fish. Or will isolation take care of the problem? Please advise. <Is possible. Might result in a secondary infection there, elsewhere due to chasing, netting... the trauma might well "cure" the aggression for a bit to permanently... May not do much on the other hand to alter its behavior. I would just isolate this specimen for a few days. Bob Fenner> Thanks

Angels (compatibility) Hey there! <Hello> So I need some advise on how to make my angels get along. <A formidable task. Many possibilities...> I have a thousand gal tank with four large Angels. (15x4x2) I have a Mac (12") that has been with me for two years Emperor red sea (8") two months Blue face (6") two months Majestic (5") two months. The Mac just terrorizes the Emperor, so I put a divider in the tank now and he terrorizes anything else that is close to him in size (Desjardin tang). I have about 500lb of live rock in the tank. Do you think the problem may go away if I isolated the Mac by himself for a couple of months and upped the live rock to 1000 lb. <Worth a try. Some individuals do "settle down"...> You see the live rock offers restriction to currents and that is part of the reason I don't have the whole tank full of it. Please do advise. I love the Mac who is named after you (BOB) since your book convinced me to purchase it. Are they normally this territorial? <Less nowadays... with folks using "cultured" individuals of the subgenus Arusetta and starting from small size there is less frequent behavioral problems. Bob Fenner> Thanks.

Compatibility & Skimmers I have a juv Imperator and was wondering if I could also add a juv Cortez Angle to the same tank? <No, not safely for the fish. I know a gentleman who has two reef tanks, a 750 and 1000 gallon monster. Each houses two large angelfish. The 750 has a Scribbled and a Blue Face and the 1000 has a Gold-Flake and a Emperor. You can definitely tell the dominant fish as the weaker one is relentlessly harassed. Not to the point of death, but these are extraordinarily large aquariums. For most people, two large angels is not practical.> My system is set up as a reef tank. Also I am presently running a protein skimmer is there any benefit to increasing the size of the skimmer? <There is a benefit to having a properly sized skimmer. One rated for your tank size or just slightly above.> Thanks, Mark <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Fish Compatibility G'day Mates! I have a 125 gallon FOWLR with two occupants thus far, an Odonus Niger and a Rhinecanthus Aculeatus that have grown up together. Both triggers are about 5 inches body length. Soon I am going to be adding to the tank a few fish and wanted your recommendation on whether or not they'll be compatible and what order to introduce them as well. Here's my current wish list: 1. Queen Angel 2. Annularis Angel. I have read that it's possible to keep a Holacanthus with a Pomacanthus, and wanted your opinion on that, too. If recommended against, I'll probably replace the Annularis with some kind of Rabbitfish, more than likely a Foxface or bicolor Foxface. <I would not recommend mixing two large angels. I also would prefer to take out the Queen. I have seen many parasite problems when mixing Atlantic with Pacific species. If you do add the Queen, be sure to quarantine all new additions for one month minimum. A good rule of thumb anyway.> 3. Grouper, Clown or Miniatus or Panther <Miniatus would be my choice.> 4. Wrasse, either Lunare or Harlequin Tusk 5. Zebra Moray Over the years I have found it so much more appealing to get youngens and watch them mature <talking fish still> than adults. So, I'd like to introduce all these as juveniles. Any information is greatly appreciated. Love your site, books, and passion for the hobby. Thanks guys! ~Rob <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Mixing Angels Aquarium room not being a factor (100 gal) could a large angel be kept with a dwarf or would they eventually bicker. More specifically a Imperator and a Flame angel. <Mixing a large angel with one of the dwarf varieties is possible in large tanks. It would be best if your 100 gallon tank is six foot long.> If not, which would be the better tank fish, meaning accept food better and be more hardy to varying conditions (my tank has perfect conditions though, I am just getting the info). I am also considering a Koran. <The Koran is a much better choice than the Emperor are far as hardiness goes.> Thanks for your help. John (Fin) <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Feeding Angels of all Sizes, Stocking Angels of all Sizes <<JasonC here, Bob has gone diving>> My flame angel was not accepting the brine shrimp I offered today, is this a cause for concern, or since he was just added yesterday, is it normal for them to not accept certain foods at first? <<or sometimes ever, but certainly not a cause for concern if the angel is eating other foods>> He did eat the angelfish formula two algae stuff though. <<you might want to try some "pygmy" angel formula as these angels eat a large amount of algae, and not so much the sponges like their larger cousins, the full-sized angels - like a Rock Beauty>> What is, in your opinion, the principal food that a Rock Beauty should be fed in an aquarium set up. I read your article on the Rock Beauty which was very helpful and you listed a variety of foods, and was wondering what would be good to try and give him or grow in the aquarium for a 29 gallon tank. <<and the actual answer is "a variety of foods", there is no "principle" food. To keep your specimens looking good, you should always offer a well-mixed diet, you'll find these fish are open minded about different foods, just make sure they get some of the angel-specific [sponge loaded] foods mixed in>> (In about 6-7 months I will be increasing tank size to a 38 gallon or 55 gallon tank) <<As far as "growing" a fish, as long as you feed, they will grow. If you overfeed, they may grow too fast for these plans. Certainly a Rock Beauty will out-grow a 55. Cheers, J -- >>
More on Feeding Angels, Stocking Angels
Should I try to get live sponges? What kind of sponges should I ask for, is there a specific kind I need to ask for? How many sponges per week/day? Are there any formulas that or sponge loaded or do sponges come frozen? I must say I do not know anything about sponges, except that angels love them. <<don't bother/worry with live sponges. There are plenty of prepared, frozen foods specifically for Marine Angels which contain a good amount of marine sponge - Ocean Nutrition Angel Formula and Hikari Mega-Marine Angel are two that come to mind.>> Do you think the 55 gallon would be good for 3 or 4 years for the rock beauty? <<probably not much more than a year, but will mostly depend on your feeding habits>> [I plan to get one about the same size as the pictured individual (the picture from bob's article on rock beauty that he said was an "about perfect" specimen to start off with) <<perhaps perfect for an aquarium of appropriate size, not always perfect for you...>> or there is one that hasn't taken on its colors and is similar to the one bob said was "Only a little better, a two inch total length individual at a Los Angeles wholesalers. Still, a better, fuller, brighter specimen." Would it be better if I started off with the bigger individual in terms of it being easier to keep alive? or since I am going to have a 55 for a while should I go for the little one?] Thank you for your opinion. <<if you read further in the same article it also says that a 55 is the bare minimum for the smallest specimens and that a 3-4" individual would require 100g or more. Do consider carefully whether or not you have to right facilities for this fish.>> P.S. Jason, both angels were much more docile today, no rubbing against each other, the blue angel seems to have given his new tank mate some respect. <<for now perhaps. Were you planning to put a third angel in this tank? Again, please consider carefully your next move - you will soon have two angels which require 100g per fish... Good luck, J -- >>

More Questions about Stocking Large Angels Bob, <<Not Bob, but JasonC - Bob is away diving until 12/7>> Thank you so much for answering all my questions and steering me in the right direction. I think as soon as I get enough money I am just going to move into a 72 gallon tank, buy a sand canister filter and go from there. I would have the blue angel, the rock beauty, the flame angel, a black Volitans lion, a red volitans lion (I have the lions in my other tank right now), 2 fire shrimp, and a coral banded shrimp. I am hoping it works. I love the rock beauties so much, I will do a lot to try and accommodate one. I am planning to have the Rock Beauty in the 29 gallon for a short time. I hope I can fit a 72 gallon tank in my car when I go to college, as I am a senior in high school. What did you major in at college and where did you go to college? Just questioning, you have a really cool job. <<in an effort to encourage more steering, I would ask you to consider carefully your plan to place all these fish in one tank. Perhaps leave out the lions. You have two angels which can/will grow to 8+" [each individually too big for a 72], you have two "large predators" in the lions [both of which will eat anything that can fit in their large mouths], and then there's everyone else... you are brewing a recipe for disappointment and lost money. You should perhaps take this to our discussion forum where you can get some more opinions. http://talk.wetwebfotos.com/ Additionally, Bob's bio is available here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BobFBio.htm Cheers, J -- >>

Redux on Mixing Multiple Angels and Lionfish It has said that lions will not attack the angels, why leave them out?  <<several reasons: the lions would certainly eat the shrimp and then quite possibly the flame angel, if only because it will become bite-sized. Next reason, well this is two in one - these are venomous fish (one) and (two) they grow up to 18". Combine this with two angels which will grow to 8" each and well, you've got an extremely very crowded tank. How to explain... would you live in a closet with a 6' rattle snake, even if it was friendly? What if you stepped on it accidentally?>> Thanks <<Cheers, J -- >>
More on Lions and Angels what size tank would be good to house all of these fish safely for the next 4 years? <<safely? that part is hard to guarantee as it will always be a risk in a confined system - these fish might never encounter each other in the wild, and they certainly have more room in the wild to get away or steer clear, so it is a hard question to answer. Imagine what happens when everyone gets happy for food... If you were set on mixing these fish, I would say 150-200g minimum, the more, the better. I apologize if that seems extreme, I'm not trying to spend your money for you, but you are driving the bus here by picking these fish. There are reasonable mixes which can last for four years in a 72. I would suggest more reading/research, perhaps visit some of these fish in a public aquarium if there's one close. Cheers, J -- >>
Wrapping up Lions and Angels
A lot of questions here, please bear with me. I appreciate your help very much, Thank you. <<Might I recommend, right off the bat that you spend more time surfing the entire WWM site as many of these questions you ask are Frequently Asked Questions, and as such they are recorded all over the site. The answers you seek are already there in many cases.>> I know, the mixture of the fish is very random, all from different environments, the blue angel and Rock beauty from the Atlantic, the fire shrimp and lion fish from the Indian, and the flame angel from the pacific. I just wanted to put my favorite fish (1. Lionfish, 2. Rock Beauty, 3. Imperator Angel, 4. Flame Angel) all in one tank (besides the Imperator, at least for now). <<of course you do, unfortunately that doesn't make this a wise choice.>> On the FAQ's someone asked about a flame angel - lionfish combo and Bob said that the angel knows what the lion is about and quick to avoid being ingested. <<given enough space to escape, sure.>> I think I may be able to afford and transport to college a 100 g tank, would this be acceptable for these fish, for the time being? <<make sure your college is hip to this, you may find some troubles if this is not allowed in the dorm.>> The flame angel hasn't eaten brine shrimp yet, but he has nipped at algae off of the live rock though, when do you think he will accept brine shrimp and do you think something is wrong? <<I don't think anything is wrong with your flame angel - eating brine shrimp is not a hallmark of success - if the angel is eating, then you are doing just fine.>> Would it be worth putting <<something seems to have fallen out of your email here?>> How can I get macro (or some other type) algae to grow over the live rock? <<add macro algae or live rock with macro algae to the tank>> I have bought pieces of live rock with algae on it, but only brown algae seems to grow in my tank, so I try to keep the light off so this doesn't grow as it makes the tank and crushed coral look dirty. <<if you leave the light off, the macro algae won't grow either>> Should I just leave the light on continuously to get the algae growing and will it eventually start growing green? <<if you've got fish in the tank then no, you shouldn't leave the light on continuously.>> Also, With the three angels (Flame, Blue, Rock Beauty) is there any corals, sponges, or other invertebrates type things that won't harm the fire shrimp and coral banded shrimp, that I really should look into buying? <<much reading/research for you to do...>> What would be a good amount of Fiji live rock to get for a 100 g tank? <<as much as you can afford>> What filters would be best to get for the livestock I am getting for a 100 g tank? <<sump/refugium - depends mostly on what you can afford. Please read over the filtration FAQ's: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marineFiltr.htm >> What lighting would be good for growing algae but would not harm the lionfish. I do not know what kind it is, it came with my "All Glass Aquarium - Deluxe Full Hood" would something like this be good? <<would be fine, would be hard to harm a lionfish with anything but direct contact with a light bulb.>> Thank you again for bearing with me. I am pretty new to all of this, and I am trying to learn as quickly as possible. <<Cheers, J -- >>
More Questions
> Also, With the three angels (Flame, Blue, Rock Beauty) is > there any corals, sponges, or other invertebrates type things that won't > harm the fire shrimp and coral banded shrimp, that I really should look into > buying? <<much reading/research for you to do...>> such as where...? <<other places on the internet, the WetWebDiscussion Forum, Books, the library, your school.>> I read over the invertebrate stuff on the site and it is not helping. There are also no Rock Beauty FAQ's <<this is certainly not the definitive collection - expand your horizons.>> > What filters would be best to get for the livestock I am getting for a 100 g > tank? <<sump/refugium - depends mostly on what you can afford. Please read > over the filtration FAQ's: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marineFiltr.htm >> What type is the best to get Mechanical, Physical & Chemical, Biological, Reef, Algae/Mud for a 100 g tank with some algae growing live rock and some crustaceans? <<you haven't done the research, have you?>> Can you recommend a specific model? <<no, WetWebMedia doesn't do product endorsements, and as such, it's not the proper place for me to suggest a brand. Please, please, please post this question on the discussion forum where you can get a whole bunch of people's honest opinions. http://talk.wetwebfotos.com/ >> I have an AquaClear 300 right now, is that a sump filter? <<no, it is a trickle filter>> (I wouldn't be using just that on a 100 g tank of course, just curious as to what category it was under). I see all sorts of stuff about sump filters but I do not know what they are. What is a refugium filter? <<Have you gone e-shopping? Many online etailers have pictures of such things.>> I look for these answers but I can't seem to find them... I read on the FAQs of filter and protein skimmer in one and all I want to know is what filter(s)/skimmer(s) (a model name would help) I should get for macroalgae growth, some crustaceans, the lions, and the angels on a 100 g tank, that is the cheapest "safe" filter to use. <<see, the way you are asking these questions proves your not reading enough... there is not a "proper filter" specifically for growing algae. They all work to some extent - some better than others - what that means exactly is going to vary from person to person.>> Please also give a good model of a protein skimmer (if you didn't give me a model of a skimmer-filter combo thing) for a 100 gallon tank that is cheap but not crap. <<sigh, many brands - AquaC, AquaMedic, Euro-Reef, Tunze, Precision Marine - these are all excellent skimmers in varying sizes for varying situations. Here's the problem - let's say I use only one brand of skimmer [which is true] and let's also say for the moment that I am also Bill Gates, so money is no object. If I tell you my favorite brand, and you go shopping to find out it is a $1500 skimmer, well - it that the best skimmer? Is that the best skimmer for you? What if I fail to tell you that I have a 1500g tank? Is that detail important - you bet your butt it is. There is a combination of factors which will determine which is right for you. Find a price range - what you can afford - and then go shopping to see just how many different brands skimmers you could get for that price point - then ask more questions on the forum, see if anyone has used the "Mach-Schnell" Skimmer [don't look for that one, I just made it up] and then decide if you still want to buy it. Think...>> If I got the protein and skimmer combo would there be another type of filter to buy? <<the words protein and skimmer are a combo - you are looking for a "protein skimmer">> If you can please do not defer me to the WWM things, I am extremely confused and it is not really helping answering the question, <<why is that? The answers are actually in the site, but I cannot "make" you understand, although I wish I could do a Vulcan-Mind-Meld right about now. I mean, you wouldn't ask me to do your homework for you, would you? You need to do some thinking for yourself - I cannot think for you.>> but it does help to see some of the problems that can happen, <<ahh see... there are some answers there.>> so if you could answer the question and then provide a place to go look at similar problems or just troubleshooting in general that would help. Thanks for putting up with my stupidity. <<I certainly don't think you are stupid, far from it. I'm just convinced at this point that you want a "magic bullet" answer from me which I am incapable of giving - there are many books which cover this scope of material. Marine tank keeping is a living art... and as such it's a lot like other things in life - there are no concrete answers. You must slowly work through the details and the data and make your own decisions. Again, if you want more product-oriented answers, please take those questions to the forum - http://talk.wetwebfotos.com - there are some really friendly people there who will tell you exactly what brand they use. Actually, here's a big pitch: please consider purchasing Bob's book - "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" which is a major foundation for this site. The book is excellent and actually discusses the finer points of the questions you seek. Bob covers in over 400 pages what I cannot cover in a simple email. It's going to be worth your time and money to make this purchase and then commit it to practice. Cheers, J -- >>

Angel compatibility Hi, All, Six months or so ago, Bob and I discussed adding a P. asfur to my reef tank and at that time discussed compatibility with my flame angel and my fisher's angel. He thought they'd all do fine and they did until I lost the flame and fishers in a holding tank while swapping my cracked tank. So, now I just have my juvenile asfur (along with a purple tang, a Halichoeres wrasse, a couple of gobies and some non-aggressive damsels) in a 210G reef tank with lots of hiding places. We've talked recently about adding some clowns, some P. fridmani (which I've decided against), a Longnose butterfly and a few other odds and ends. I'm a bit of an angel nut so I've been considering trying some more angels. The asfur is just starting to get his vertical yellow stripe on his body and is a little less than 4 inches tip to tail. How do you think I'd do with either a potter's or a flame added in now that the asfur is the established angel? <Potter's are hard to keep... but in this setting you have about the best odds one can hope for> Or as another thought, what do you think about a Singapore angel (Chaetodontoplus mesoleucos)? The Singapore was one of the first angels I tried about 15 years ago (shouldn't have; I don't think he lived more than six months.) But I recall it fondly and was curious about it. From what I've read recently, I'd guess the asfur would be too much for it. Probably not I good idea? <It is the best of the genus... and should do fine here. The "new" Asfurs (captive reared) are quite mellow when young, small... A year or two from now... it would be much harder to introduce another Pomacanthid. Bob Fenner> Thanks, Marc

Angelfish (mixing genera in a good sized tank) Hi Bob, <Hello> Here's a question for you: Do you think one angelfish from the genus Genicanthus and another from the genus Centropyge would co-exist peacefully in a 300 gallon tank? <Yes. Definitely. Have seen this. Bob Fenner> Thanks, Dale M.

Marine Angel Hi Bob, Thank-you for creating a great website.  It is tremendously helpful and insightful to me. <Very glad to find it useful, inspiring> I am interested in purchasing a large angel.  The size of the specimen will range between 3-5" (adult or juvenile stage).  I have a couple of questions regarding the Asfur (Arusetta asfur)  Emperor (Pomacanthus imperator), and Goldflake (Apolemichthys xanthopunctatus) angel. 1) Of the three specimens, which one has the best track record in terms of adapting in captivity, hardiness, accepting prepared food, and have an outwardly social disposition? <Likely the Asfur first, the Goldflake second and Imperator last of the three... A comment re this ranking... much has to do with the cost of individuals here... the higher price tag coincides with (I suspect) a greater degree of care, expertise by the purchaser... There are good Imperators from several locations...> 2) Will it be more beneficial to purchase an angel in its adult stage or juvenile stage (assuming it will range between 3-5")? <Juveniles for sure... much more easily adaptable to captive conditions, feeding... More long-lived and healthier overall. BTW Goldflakes don't generally come much larger than this size total.> I have a 150 gal. fish only tank with approximately 100 pounds of live rock. The current tank inhabitants includes: - Scott's fairy (4") - Cuban hog (2.5") - flame wrasse (3") - flame angel (2.5") Thanks. Dan >> <The Asfur would be my first pick... my personal preferences override most any other consideration here. But the other two choices (any one) should be fine with this mix. This is about a minimum sized system for one of the larger species. Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

240gallon I'm in the process of turning my 240gallon into a SW. i have an Aquaclear 500 on right now. i was wondering if i introduced a 3" French and 2" queen, would it be safe to intro. a juv. Imperator? <I give you good odds here.> the tank will have more filtration. like UV and a fluidized bed filter. I want the tank to have a French, queen and imperator, a sohal tang and a goatfish in the end. not all at once of course. they'll probably be in the tank for 5 years. I don't think that the angels will get full grown in that long will they? <Not as in full size in the wild... but they probably will all be about eight inches in length within a few years.> i was told it would take longer. I'll also be getting a protein skimmer. I was also wondering if i only kept 1 angel and maybe a tang or two. would i still need a protein skimmer? or could i just use a SeaClone or something? >> <You definitely want a good skimmer, and something larger/more efficient than the SeaClone (tm) product. Please take a long read through the, converting from fresh to marine, set-up, filtration et al. materials stored on our site: click here: Home Page  Bob Fenner>

Angels: too good to be true? Hi Bob, Sorry to keep asking questions. Today at a LFS, I saw a reef tank with 3 angels in them: flame, coral beauty and Singapore. It's a 100G tank with also 2 blue damsels and a clown. The guy said you could have more than 1 angel as long as they're of different color. Is this correct? What is the sequence of introduction? <Not so much color... but different genera, shapes... definitely sizes... the less mean species of smaller starting and ultimate size go in first> I am kind of hesitant based on the literature I have read. I have a 60G reef with 1 flame and 1 yellow tang. BTW would juv French / Koran bother corals and clams? Thanks X 1 million. Brian <This tank's a bit too small for more than one species of marine Angel... and a French or Koran would likely leave hard corals alone... not necessarily anything else if they were hungry. Bob Fenner>

Stocking I want to thank you to start for your quick responses to my question! I have a 125 g w/ 65lbs of live rock. I plan on it being mainly fish aquarium, maybe a couple of anemones. It has been up and running since 26DEC00. I added a school of 5 green Chromis, a Singapore and potters angel around the 2nd week of Jan and all seems to be well. Water parameters 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 15-20 nitrate, salinity 1.023. I have a magnum 350 pro system including 2 bio wheels and a Bak-pak protein skimmer. There are also 4 power heads circulating in all directions. I guess my question is I am ready to stock now and I am wondering if it would be better to buy all fish at once or gradually. I plan on the following and all will be juv's. Koran angel strawberry Pseudochromis Mandarinfish (dragonets) spotted Hawkfish stars and stripes puffer Kole tang (yellow eye) <Another Angelfish in this 125? I wouldn't... Singapore's are pretty adaptable and hardy... but the Potter's... I would stick with just these two in this size system. The rest of these could be added all at once... I would likely not quarantine the Mandarin... but would the others...> I also have 48 misc crabs and 48 misc snails for clean up. <The Puffer will probably eat these... and the Hawkfish might try some of the Hermits...> Will those overload my biological filter?  <No.> My other worry is the potters is a little aggressive, I tried to introduce a Atlantic pygmy I've had in another aquarium for a year and he almost killed it, had to place back in original aquarium. I'm afraid if I only add a few at a time he will keep singling them help. <Doubtful... just other Dwarf Angels> Thanks as always for your knowledge! Fish enthusiast! Brett Stouder <Be chatting. Bob Fenner, fellow fish enthusiast>

Stocking ?s Hey Bob, Just wanted to give u an update on my tank Last weekend I added that new "live sand" that comes in the bag over top of my old black substrate. It really mage a big improvement. I am going to get the live sand activator package from IPSF to seed the sand.. I also added a 20 lbs piece of slab rock. My fish love swimming over and under it now. I would like to add one more fish to my tank. i currently have 2 clowns, 2 butterflies, a fame angel, and a royal gamma. I am thinking a Purple tang or a juvenile angel (which would be moved into a larger tank in about a year). <How big is this tank?> I am not sure which one I would add though. I am thinking about a half moon, Queen, Emperor, Personifer, or the Passer. Which one would you recommend (if any)?  <None if this tank isn't 125 plus gallons... maybe the Purple Tang...> Also, do you know anything about the Red Sea Prizm? I have been reading about it on the web boards and they seam to get good reviews and I think it would make a good replacement for my Sea Clone since they are hang on and have the same tank size rating. Thanks, Jonathan Pac P.S. Hope to see you in Baltimore this summer! <Will see you there! And have heard a great deal about the new Prizm... it's a good unit for small systems... like forty or so gallons. Bob Fenner>

Re: WOW! That was fast. Marine Angelfish Compatibility You must live at your computer like I have too. That was one fast response concerning the leopard eel. Since you're on a roll, just one more question. What's your opinion on compatibility of an Imperator Angel and a Majestic? I currently have a Majestic and Flame living in complete bliss. The size and coloration differences make that possible. So what is your opinion that an Imperator can be thrown into this mix and all hell not break loose? <If the system is "large enough", plenty of cover (rock work...) I give you better than even odds... needs to be at least a hundred gallons now... and hundreds of gallons later> BTW - Fantastic site ! Today is my first time on it and I will certainly refer you to friends in the hobby. Hope you have enough sponsorship to make it worth your while. <More all the time my friend. Be chatting. Bob Fenner> Robert Ponder

Angelfishes for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care
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