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FAQs about the Regal Angel Foods/Feeding/Nutrition

Related Articles: Marine Angelfishes, Regal Angel

Related FAQs: Regal Angels 1, Regal Angels 2, &
FAQs on
: Regal Angels Identification, Regal Angels Behavior, Regal Angels Compatibility, Regal Angels Stocking/Selection, Regal Angels Systems, Regal Angels Health, Regal Angels Reproduction, & Marine Angelfishes In General, Angelfish ID, Selection, Behavior, Compatibility, Health, Feeding, Disease,   

In the wild... a good deal of what grows/passes as life on live rock... in captivity? Try NLSpectrum pellets, and lots of good LR

Angelfishes for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Perhaps overlooked. Euxiphipops, Pygoplites fdg.        2/20/14
I thought I would write this for the benefit of your reader's fish and readers. I have had a Majestic Angel, Blueface Angel, Regal Tang for sometime.
<Please do>
 The Majestic and Blueface are about 12 cm.s in length and the Regal Tang is about 6 cm.s. I recently, a few weeks apart added a tiny Regal Angel about 3 cm.s and later a small Emperor Angel about 4 cm.s. Both new additions ate a larger granule food but for reason(s) unknown at the time seemed to go "off" the food after initially eating with vigour. The vigour diminished and then they would only eat one/two granules and then ignore them. I then tried feeding smaller granules which for the fist day they ate a little of, but thereafter ate them with massive interest.

 Now they both chase around the tank looking for food with vigour. I could be wrong but I put this down to the size of the food and with the initial food the fish were too physically close to the larger angels during feeding and became stressed so did not eat so much but the smaller granules spread faster and they felt safe (smaller Emperor and Regal Angel) at a distance from the larger fish. I did think I might lose the Emperor but now he is fine. Anyway I hope this helps some of your reader's fish as I did not think of this straight away.
Kind regards,
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Red Sea Regal Angelfish Problems     10/12/12
Hello WWM crew! I am in need of some help, and I can't think of anyone better to turn to then the WWM crew.
So I have been watching my new red sea regal angel the past few days, and it has been exhibiting some strange behavior.
<Such as?>
My tank is a 187 gallon tank, 60" x 24" x 30" tall. It has a 55 gallon refugium/sump combo, and it has a G2, 200 gallon Skimmer. My ammonia and nitrite are undetectable in the display, and nitrate is between 0 ppm and 5 ppm. I have 250 lbs. of established live rock in the tank. His tankmates are a purple tang and a Sailfin tang, 2 ocellaris clownfish, 2 yellow tailed blue damsels, a blue devil damsel, a melanurus wrasse, a niger triggerfish, a coral beauty angel, and an Amblygobius phalaena. I also have 50 Astraea snails, a dinner plate sized long tentacle anemone (which has been thriving for 3 months now, has doubled in size), and a single neon green Sinularia. There is quite a good amount of flow in the tank (around 15x turnover), and the tank is lit with 2 T5HO fluorescent lights, and 4 NO fluorescent lights.
<The Anemone needs more illumination than this>
Some background on this fish. He is a five inch specimen from the Red Sea (he was brought in with 2 other regals, some 8 line flasher wrasses, some purple tangs, a sohal tang, and some semilarvatus butterflies). He came into the LFS on 10/2/12. He was treated here with Prazi pro and Cupramine.
I purchased him on 10/6/12 and added him to my 75 gallon quarantine, but he was moved from the quarantine tank to the display tank on 10/8/12 after I accidently left some frozen clams in the tank and the ammonia spiked. I treated the display with Prazi pro in case he shows flukes.
So I have been struggling to get this fish to feed. I have managed to get him to eat a bite or two of flake food, a couple bites frozen Mysid, and a few bites of clam in the half shell. As for Nori, he will take a bite and then spits it out. I have tried soaking the food in garlic as well as feeding it plain and there has been no change. He seems to only like eating from the water's surface unless it is the clam. Any suggestions on increasing his appetite?
<Vitamin and HUFA soaking of foods, addition to water... Spectrum... Read
here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/RegalAFdgF.htm
Anyways, as I have been observing this fish, I have noticed some strange behavior. First it began as the fish periodically swimming to the surface of the tank. No big deal, I thought, since nothing was picking on him (he is the largest fish in the tank, and the other fish seem to avoid him). Now he does this quite regularly, and has started turning upside down. He will swim around the water's surface belly up, then turn right side up and swim back to the rocks below like nothing ever happened. Any reason why he would do this?
<Both the non-feeding and this are likely related to the copper exposure... Just time going by should find this fish improving>
Sorry for the long email, but I really could use some help.
Thanks in advance,
Ashton Nietzke.
<Welcome in time. Bob Fenner>

Regal Angel. Feeding     7/21/12
Hi Crew, I have been lucky enough to have an Indian ocean Regal Angel and as I live by many coral reefs in the Indian ocean I wanted to ask what food, sponges, tunicates etc I should get for the fish,
<Mmm, if it's simple to do, I'd collect live rock and let the Angel choose... I don't know the particular species ingested in the wild... But would wean this fish onto a completely nutritious staple... My choice: New Life Spectrum pelleted>
 eventually I want to get the fish on to clams, mussels from the local fish market so should come from it's natural environment. Sharing the tank are two tiny Clown Triggers about 3/4 to an inch, who get on fine as they are tiny, I have more than one tank in case,
<You will need it, likely two more>
 a small Yellow Belly Hepatus Tang about 2inches, Humbug Damsel, Fire Damsel (Bankanensis)
<A fave I've collected in large numbers in N. Fiji>
 Juvenile Emperor Angel about 1 and a half inch. The fish is fine picking at the rocks but I know getting these to eat is a pain, the fish is not timid and seems relaxed enough, having read that it should be the largest in the tank the fish is at about 4inches. Thank you in advance, Adam.
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>
Re: Regal Angel. Fdg.    7/22/12

Hi Bob, Great news, I went to my local sea food market (Indian Ocean) and bought three different types of cockles and the Regal Angel is eating the two types I put in, the third I cannot open at this stage. A point for your readers here is that the Regal did not eat for at least 30 min.s but I feel was stimulated by the other fish eating, so do not place the cockles in the tank and take out after a few min.s if you do not have immediate success.
Also rinse thoroughly before placing in the tank. I have read that the Regal demands very good water quality, so as I added a few fish to a mature aquarium I did not feed for two days and then testing for ammonia, to see if the filtration was handling the excess and the ammonia was zero. I have noticed in different systems that ammonia shows up by this time or even sooner. I have also had success with cockles with Moorish Idols but frankly I think they are better left in the sea. Where I am they are about the most common fish and to catch them and place them in a tank is a 30 min trip, but even then they are very stressed, they seems to stress much more than most fish. The normal 20-30 hours at least in transit to Europe/US etc plus the moving from wholesaler I think is too much for most of these fish.
<I think you're right>
If anyone is going to buy either of these fish watching them eat before purchase is essential and make sure you can supply the same food. Mine took 3 days to start eating although it had been pecking at the rocks from day one. Regals are also easily defeated when attacked so make sure it is a confident fish and ideally the largest in the tank, no similar size angels for sure (Oppositely a previous Regal I had attacked a Copperband I guess because of the vertical strips. My Emperor Angel is about a third of it's size so no worries there. Coming back to your response Bob, which fish have you collected in N. Fiji?
<Mmm, a long list... and the subject of a few talks this year, including at MACNA in TX... if you can, do attend. Otherwise I have generated an article re the experience which I hope to sell into the hobby mag.s or will publish here in WWM, but not likely for another year or so. Are you familiar w/ Fishbase.org? You can search by island/country... though Fiji is lacking about a hundred species to be updated...>
Another of my favourites are tiny Yellow Boxfish (Cubicus) which I saw many at Curtain Reef, QLD, Australia. tiny about 1cms squared.  It fascinated me as I lived up in Cairns previously and did not see any Boxfish at any size and I would have thought that breeding takes place in the warmer tropics rather than the temperate zones. Some drift down to New South Wales but cannot survive the tepid winters so it is strange.
<Ostracion cubicus does have a wide (to semi-tropical) distribution... and Aracana of the boxfish family are outright frigid!>
 I hope this helps some of your readers. Regards, Adam.
<I thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>
Re Regal Angel. fdg.      8/13/12

Hi Crew, Many people will have read how difficult Regal Angel's are to keep and I would only recommend them for the experienced keeper and someone who is prepared to spend time providing excellent conditions for them. I have had for about a month an Indian Ocean Regal
<... historically much hardier than ones from the Indo-Pacific>
of about 4inch. I tried various foods both man-made and natural and the only food he/she will eat are fresh cockles from the fish market.
<Wean this fish onto Spectrum pelleted>
These are local cockles as I live by the Andaman Sea however I don't know if that makes a difference to other cockles around the world as I tried three different types and oyster. He/she would only eat two types and preferred one type which is quite small around 1inch, light brown and has a corrugated shell. Instead of smashing them open I freeze them and then they can be hand opened. He/she is so keen that he/she picks at the cockles sometimes before it hits the sand. I was feeding twice a day but this is a messy way and often clouds the water. They should also be rinsed before placing in the tank, to wash away debris and aid in eliminating protozoa (Whitespot etc) although I hope freezing would have already done so.
<Likely so>>
Having read that the main problem is keeping their body weight mine was still slowly losing weight. What I had noticed is as I removed the cockles none of the fish could seem to eat the central "muscle" which was quite smooth but was about 90% of the meat. So I finely chopped the "muscle" into 2 or 3mm pieces and to my pleasant surprise he/she ate them, even pulling a piece out of a small Clown Trigger's mouth. To some people this might be an obvious thing to do but then then I would not know if he/she would have eaten this when I first got him/her as the first feeding response seemed to be when other fish were picking at the cockle on the sand he was last to feed but is now first, therefore he/she might of acquired a taste for the cockles as I doubt this would have ever been part of his/her diet. What I am hoping now is that I can get more food inside him/her as I can feed more often and also do not run the risk of pieces being picked off and then not being eaten which happened when I fed whole cockles. I will also try and algae into the feeding. I will post in a few weeks hopefully when I have managed to get his/her body weight up. Regards, Adam.

Angel on hunger strike 11/7/10
Hi WWM, I hope you can help my angel.
<Me too>
I found a beautiful blue belly regal angel at my LFS that was eating Mysis and brine aggressively. The store had her in copper treatment and she was still eating so I couldn't resist and put her on hold. I now have her at home in my QT tank, she was twitching so I treated her with Prazipro, she stopped eating so I removed the med, that was 2 days ago and she still won't eat, any suggestions. Thanks for any advice you can give. Tracey
<Mmm, if this fish isn't "too" thin, I'd leave it where it is (in QT) and continue to offer Mysis and other foods, perhaps a piece of live rock... IF it is getting thin, does not eat (much or at all) for a week, I'd cursorily dip/bath it and move it to your main display system. Is this clear, complete to you? Bob Fenner>
Re: Angel on hunger strike
Mr. Fenner, thank you for your help with my regal in QT, she is still nice and plump and comes up as if wanting food but then is not interested in anything I put in the tank. When you say dip/bath do you mean a Prazipro bath or freshwater dip? Tracey
<The latter. Here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm B>

Regal Angelfish Help   2/8/10
<Hello Terry>
I would like to start off by saying I'm a big fan of your web site!!
<It is a marvelous thing indeed!>
My wife and I were in a LFS and came across a 5-6 inch Regal Angel fish, extremely good colors and nice and fat.
<Mmmm, have you researched this animal? A dismal survival record. Where did this fish come from? Does this have a grey chest or a yellow one? These are the important questions here, as only individuals with a yellow chest from the Red Sea should be considered. Please read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/pygoplites/index.htm >
The LFS said its been there for almost three weeks and was eating on sponges like crazy.
<Yes, is one of its main diets in the wild -- but are you able to provide this? I think not.. This fishes primary foods are Sponges & Tunicates -- a diet you cannot replicate.>
My wife fell in love with it <Oh dear - I've been there....> so we bought it home and placed it in our 180 gal.
<Without quarantine? Madness, and the source of many of my most recent queries 'what can I do now I have Crypt in my main system?'>
I can not get it to eat anything.
<Typical. Did you watch it feed in the shop? A golden rule here, especially w/ fishes that are difficult. Make sure you SEE them eat foods that YOU can provide. On top of this, these fishes are sensitive, and easily bullied, put off feeding by aggressive incumbents. They ought to be one of the first fishes placed, if at all. If you do get him feeding I would try to get him to take New Life Spectrum Pellets long term>
I've tried frozen Angel food with sponge, red, green and brown algae strips, flake food with garlic and clam strips. it doesn't seem to be a bit interested in anything.
<Have you got some good live rock in the system? Maybe some in a sump/ refuge you can 'cycle' in and out? If so, is he pecking it at all, does he look 'interested'? Try tempting it w/ some small opened uncooked cockles. Leave them on the sand bed and try to watch the fish w/out it knowing you are there. But you are going to struggle getting it to feed in this setting as I have just spied your stocking list -- some 'brash' feeders in there. >
I have two Clown Fish, 3-4 inch Powder Blue Tang,
<Mmmm.. a feisty fish, this. Watch it w/ your Angel carefully>
3-4 Blonde Naso Tang, 5-6 Magnificent Fox Face and a small Zebra Eel.
<Ok, but you are right on the limit here, if not already over it. Your Angel will not appreciate the potential water quality issues as time goes by either, Zebra Morays get big and messy, to make no mention of the Lituratus. Please capitalise the names of your fishes as well Terry, as I have just gone through all of these correcting them>
My levels are all at zero, <including nitrate?> ph 8.2-8.4 salinity 1.025 and temp 78-80. Any help would be grateful, I have not tried just adding a sponge b/c I'm not sure which ones are safe since most are poisonous and I would rather wing him off eating just sponge.
<This should have been done already for you at the dealer. I am sorry to say that you are facing an uphill struggle trying to get him feeding in this setting. It is a horrible thing to watch, as a beautiful fish like this starves to death in front of you, but I am sorry to say that is the fate of the vast majority of these. Your wife will not be happy either if she is forced to sit and watch while it happens. Even if you can get him to feed, many die anyway because the types of foods are not suitable. I would talk to your dealer, and try to have him take the fish back at least temporarily if nothing else to get him feeding in a more peaceful setting on a food that you can provide. If he can't do this for you then he should offer you a refund on a fish that is questionable to say the least, and unless feeding well and from the Red Sea, quite simply unethical to sell. Simon.>
Re: 07/02/10 Regal Angelfish Help   2/9/10

<Hello Terry>
Thanks for your speedy reply.
<No problem>
While my wife and I were at the LFS we were watching it eat off of just about every piece of coral that was in the same tank and it was already pretty nice and fat.
<Mmm, ok>
I did not do any research before buying the fish, to be honest it was the first time I had seen a Regal Angelfish.
<Buying on impulse is NOT to be recommended>
My wife was in love at first sight.
<Yes, this is a very beautiful fish>
My nitrate levels are also at zero, I have a ASM-G4 series protein skimmer that works great. I am also making a refugium that should be up and running by this weekend.
<Good move>
I contacted the LFS and he said that I could return the fish if it didn't start eating, <ok> he also advised me to go to a local super market and pick up a couple fresh muscle, cut it open and put half in the tank for about three hours and see if he would eat that.
<Yes, or a cockle as recommended - does sometimes work>
As soon as it hit the water the Regal Angel and Powder Blue Tang was all over it. I have also started seeing it pick off the rocks.
<This is good news!>
Maybe there is hope after all.
<Mmm, this fish, even when feeding, typically starves as it is not provided with the 'right stuff'. I would purchase some New Life Spectrum pellet food for this pronto and try to get it to feed on this>
I also picked up some frozen food that consist of muscle. Any further advice would be appreciated.
<Given, plus algae, vitamins. You need to keep the meaty foods to a minimum they are too fatty long term>
I attached a couple of pictures, I hope you do not mind. As you can see I have tons of live rock with a lot of caves and hiding places. The LFS said the fish came from the Red Sea area, but his chest is both yellow and grey so not sure on that.
<This looks like an Indonesian specimen to me>
<No problem Terry, good luck with this fish, and do buy some NLSpectrum foods and update us on your progress>
Re: 08/02/10 Re: Regal Angelfish Update, feeding  -- 02/14/10

<Hello Terry>
The Angelfish is eating more of the rocks. I went and picked up some NLSpectrum fish food, it shows no interest in it at all.
<No, it will need to be 'trained' to eat this - do your other fish eat it? If so, then as long as the fish settles in, it will take a cue from the others and start to sample it>
I bought some ocean nutrition small pellets with garlic and I have observed it eating that every now and then. It mostly eats fresh muscles, which I know it's not healthy with all the fat. I was able to get my refugium up and running last night. My level have remained at zero?
<Which levels?>
& ph at 8.2-8.4, I was wondering if I could place a 7" crosshatch trigger fish in the 180 gal?
<I would not>
I have the 6" Magnificent Fox Face, 4" the Powder Blue tang, 3" Blonde Naso Tang and the 6" Regal Angel with the 12 inch Zebra eel.
<I would wait here Terry, your tank is overstocked, and your priority should be the Angelfish right now. I would concentrate on letting it settle in, and try to get the fish feeding properly on a variety of foodstuffs, including the NLS pellets.>
Tons of live rock, the ASM-G4 skimmer, Coralife UV. The tank recommendations that I've seen online say 55-90gal which I think is way to small for even a single 7" trigger.
<Actually, an uncrowded 90gal would be ok, it is not a particularly large species, and triggerfish do not have the same space requirements as some other fish. I would not place it here with yours however>
Thanks for all your help.
<No prob.s!>
Re: 08/02/10 Re: Regal Angelfish Update, fdg.   2/15/10

<Hello again Terry>
Thanks again for your reply!
<No worries!>
I noticed last night the Angel was eating the frozen mussel & I think I seen it take a bite out of a floating piece of brown algae strip that my Blonde Naso was chasing!
<Positive signs>
I have been noticing at feeding time these last couple days the Angel is more active and seems to be following the other fish, especially the Fox Face at feeding time.
<Yes, hopefully it will start to take the pellets as the others do>
The zero levels I was referring to are nitrite, nitrates <really? this won't last I suspect> and ammonia. I've been keeping a close eye on my levels, making sure that is not the cause of my Angel not eating.
<Well done Terry. Be diligent, and lets hope yours is one of the success stories! Simon.>

Regal Angel Update 2/20/2010
<Hi Terry>
I would like to start off by saying thanks for all your help!!
<No problem>
I wish this update was a positive one. The Angel was starting to eat frozen muscles and was nipping at algae strips, now it refuses to eat anything!
<Oh dear>
All it does is swims to the food and looks at it. I went back to live muscles from the grocery store, since that was the only thing it would eat at first, but now it will not even eat that. I did a water change hoping that would help yesterday (my levels was at zero including nitrates), but it did not.
<I do seem to remember your tank as being quite a busy one.... it WILL have an effect on the fish this, preventing it from settling in, becoming part of the 'pecking order'. The fish should have at least been given time to 'rest up' in quarantine, wean onto some foodstuff before introduction.>
I think the hardest thing to do is to watch a beautiful fish starve to death.
<Yes, a bad choice of fish>
I called the LFS were I bought it from and they refuse to take it back.
<Bad practice, they should never have sold it. Will they not even take it for free, maybe to place in a coral & live rock system as the largest fish?

I'm sure mine would. Otherwise you can purchase a QT system for it and place it by itself with some live rock. Something like a 55-75 gallon. You need a QT anyway, as I seem to remember this fish was introduced without.
See here: http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-10/sp/feature/index.php>
What do you think about me putting a sponge in the tank?
<You can try, but I am not a fan of this... can be toxic, may die quickly, polluting your system, and you would also be introducing the animal w/out QT. If you want to try this it would better in a QT tank as above w/ some live rock>.
Any certain type or color?
<I'm sorry, I have no idea. A random chance>
I been feeding frozen angel food with sponge but it doesn't seem to be interested. The rest of the fish are not having any problem feeding. Would it live if I set it free back into the ocean?
<No! This is the worst thing you can do - never release your animals back into the wild. See here for a prime example of why this is such a bad idea:
Just a thought!
<Please don't do this..>
Thanks, any advice would be appreciated.
<No problem Terry. I do think this fish needs some peace and quiet somewhere with some good live rock, I think it will die where it is. Never buy fishes on impulse.>

Regal Angelfish/Feeding 3/3/09 Hi, <Hello Peter> I am a seasoned aquarists with over 20 years of marine fish keeping experience. My latest encounter is with a Regal Angel (4 inches) from Indonesia. She has been with me for over 3 weeks but refused to eat anything I feed including dry pellets, flake, live frozen seafood and live brine shrimp. However, she looks very healthy and remains brightly colored in my 50g refugium tank. <This tank is too small for keeping a 4 inch Regal, somewhere near 100 gallons or more with plenty of live rock would increase your chances for long term success with this fish.> She currently feeds on only Caulerpa and paid no interests in any food that I tried. Curiously, she continues to thrive and show no signs of disease judging by its appearance and behaviour. My questions are do you think she can survive with only vegetarian foods and what can I do to make her try something else? <Well Peter, you did pick one of the most difficult angelfish to keep and acclimate to prepared foods. You are on the right path by offering a variety of foods as the Regal Angelfish is an omnivore. As for surviving eating only greens, I will ask Bob for his input here. Do read here and related articles/FAQ's to include "feeding". http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/pygoplites / James (Salty Dog)> Regards, Peter
Re Regal Angelfish/Feeding/Now Cyanide Poisoning 3/7/09
Hi James, <Hello Peter> Would you agree that cyanide catching may have impaired her ability to try other foods since she paid no attention to anything that I tried. <Unlikely. Typically, poisoned fish do eat well at first, but gradually lose weight. <<Mmm, no... not usually... Almost any fish "near ground zero" sufficiently cyanide toxified, will refuse eating altogether... and if it does... will then die in short order. RMF>> You have to realize that this is a very difficult fish to acclimate to prepared foods, and to keep for that matter. I've tried a couple of Regal Angelfish in my 35+ year span in the hobby, and I'm thinking one month was the longest I've kept one alive. Best chances for success with this fish are in large systems with plenty of live rock baring benthic algae growth, tunicates, sponges, etc. With natural foods present, a better chance for prepared food acclimation exists.> I am afraid she may not be able to survive for long and I dare not move her to the 400g display tank which is hosting many aggressive tangs and angel fishes. <May very well be demise for sure here. Have you tried a 30% water change in the angel's tank? Sometimes this can trigger an appetite. A sponge encrusted rock may help stimulate feeding also.> My last experience is with a Philippine Regal for 5 years. <Great.> Sadly, I lost her recently in an accident which killed many of my prized fishes and corals. <Not so great.> Therefore, any ideas that would entice my new yellow belly regal (she is really gorgeous) to feed on something else (anything) would be highly appreciated. <Have you read the FAQ's on feeding I gave you in the previous email? See what others have tried, what worked, etc.> Regards, <Good luck my friend. James (Salty Dog)> Peter

Help, Pygoplites... eating, stopped Dear WWM crew, I am Bernard from Malaysia and I really need your assistance. I have just acquired a 5-inch regal angel a month ago. It has been absolutely healthy and eating well, even accepting pellet flake food. But since 4 days ago, the urge to eat declined. It stopped eating completely 2 days ago. Although it still investigates curiously around the food offered, it never eats apart from a few peckings. I have tried offering sea lettuce, boiled green peas, brine shrimps, Mysis shrimps, prawn flesh, vitamin-enriched flake food and have also tried pressing prawn flesh onto dead coral skeletons, to induce eating, but no, he never eats, although it does peck a few times, gaze curiously at it for long enough, before swimming away. He is still healthy looking, except thinner in the belly. So I am worried. Thank you in advance for the assistance rendered. Bernard <I do hope your specimen resumes feeding. Pygoplites (less from the Red Sea for who knows what reason/s) do often show these sorts of feeding strikes... I do hope, trust you have this animal in a very large setting (hundreds of gallons), that there is a good deal of fresh live rock present. I would add more here... with obvious sponge material on it. You have perused the FAQs file on this species here?: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/pygoplites/faqs.htm  and the linked article above I take it. Bob Fenner>

Regal Angel HLLE 3/19/07 Hello Wet Web Crew. I hope all is well. <Quite well, thanks.> I wanted to provide some input (maybe beneficial to some reader out there is the same boat) about a recent experience I had with a Regal Angel and IMO a 'miracle product'. <I usually hate that term but I cheated and read ahead, and am in agreement.> About 6 weeks ago, I obtained a regal angel from a tank at a restaurant that I frequent. The little guy was not looking healthy and had the beginning signs of HLLE. I spoke to the owner of the establishment and provided my observations. I told him that these fish are difficult at best to care for. He explained to me that they have a company come in every two weeks to service that tanks and he would let them know. I went back a week later and the situation was the same. I spoke to the owner and asked if I could take the fish. He agreed and I went the next day (before opening) and got the fish. <Good for you and the owner.>  I brought him home and placed him in QT for 3 weeks. <Good to hear.>  Initially, I could not get him to eat anything (I believe this also to be the problem at the restaurant). I tried Mysis, frozen angel formula, Nori, flakes, Formula products, fresh shrimp, clams, and squid. He would not eat anything. He would pick at LR, but that is about it. I was out of options, until I was cleaning out a cabinet where I store my dry products and came across some New Life Spectrum Marine Formula pellets. I think that these were about a year old, as I had not been feeding them to any of my tanks at the time. I had nothing to lose at this point and dropped a few in the QT tank. I watched them sink to the bottom and the regal was uninterested. I came back a while later, and noticed that they were gone. I dropped a few more in the tank and the regal went nuts. I started feeding him 3 times a day with the pellets. He was doing so well on the pellets, that I started feeding all of my tanks the pellets. He has now been in my 210 gal main display tank for 3 weeks now and is doing awesome. His color has returned, no signs of HLLE, and he is now eating Cyclop-eeze along with his pellets. Aside form that, all of my fish never looked so good.  IMO, the New Life Spectrum line is absolutely amazing stuff. This food should be a staple for anyone who owns a marine tank period. I have also started feeding my sun polyps the small fish formula and they seem to love it also. This stuff is truly incredible. I hope that someone from the New Life Company reads this. They should be proud of this product. Best Regards, Dean Oliver <I agree, I really love this food.  All our tanks, both fresh and salt water get this line.  Makes a great staple food, some even claim to feed it exclusively, although I still won't go quite that far.  But don't minimize your work either, the QTing allowed the fish a chance to start eating which would not have happened if competing with tankmates.  Congratulations on your success with this difficult fish and thanks for sharing your story.> <Chris>

Pygoplites diacanthus/Feeding   1/31/06 Hi y'all. Steve Campbell here from Manchester England. <James here from a similar weather pattern.> Just been following the thread on Regal Angels. I've had one in a 120g for around a year (yellow belly if that's relevant!) I was really pleased he's growing and plump and eating whatever I feed him/her?). That's pellets, krill, Mysis, clam, cockle, angelfish frost foods etc etc, soaked in Kent Zoe  & garlic extract. I've just read on WWM that this is actually an illusion,  and that really, he's going to die within the next 4 years of a nutritional deficiency!? Please, other than feeding him goldfish food(!?) or taking him  back to the Red Sea, what are the chances of him seeing Arnold Schwarzenegger in  the Whitehouse??? Gulp! <Getting a regal from the Red Sea is the first plus and I congratulate you on your success.  Most don't survive a month.  Keep records on feeding/etc and keep us posted as you go.> Great site chaps, keep it up! <Thank you and good luck with your regal.  James (Salty Dog)>

Regal Angel Feeding Strike  11/30/05 Hi Bob, <Actually Adam J with you this evening.> I have recently bought a 3 inch , Red Sea regal angel.  <Beautiful but notoriously short-lived fish.> It looked very healthy, active, full belly, however, it hasn't started feeding yet. I see him picking at the live rock, I had him for about 4 days. <Pretty normal thus far, specimen is likely still adjusting.> I know it is not an easy fish to keep but do you have any suggestions on how to temptate him to eat??? <<No such word as "temptate", let's try "tempt".  Marina>> <Fresh market clam and scallop meat (freeze first to prevent paraotes/bacteria) <<To prevent what..??>> and then soak in nutritional supplement such as Selcon.> My tank is a 150 gal reef tank and up till now, he has been a good citizen and he hasn't touched any of my SPS corals neither the clams.  <No quarantine?> I hope this behavior won't last. <I would not panic just yet.> Thank you . Ramy Ontario, Canada <Welcome, Adam J.> 

Killing another Regal Angel I purchased a Regal angel about a week ago, when I bought it, it was eating but not really attacking the food. I took him home cause for the first time I had seen one as small as him about 4 inches. Now he will not eat and is scratching all the other fish look great. the tank is a 75 gallon with live rock. I talked to a local wholesaler he said I could bring him in to put in one of his large holding tanks would this be the best move at this point.                   
help Ron <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/index.html Use the search tool or indices to look up re Regals, Pygoplites... their care... not easily kept... save yours. Bob Fenner>

Feeding a Regal Angel If I could get the angel to eat a polyp would it be more apt to eat other stuff once it was eating something in captivity?  I'm willing to try if it could work.<With a Regal Angelfish I would be tempted to try just about anything in order to keep it alive. I do not know if this will work or not but its worth a shot. Good luck, IanB>

Regal Angels Bob I have been keeping marine fish for over 30 years I have had my own store. I have always wanted to keep or try to keep regal angels and Platax pinnatus. I just moved my collection of angels to a 210 gal and everybody is happy and doing fine except my regal angel. I have lost three trying to get them to eat. The other angels don't really bother them. I would see them take a little frozen brine but not enough to keep them alive (any ideas?) <Try one from further (west) into the Indian Ocean, if you can from the Red Sea... much more likely to accept foods, live> I am converting their old 80 gal bow front to a reef tank and am wondering if a pinnatus all by its self would survive. <Doubtful... most all refuse food... some positive correlation with starting small (less than hand-size) and force-feeding initially... see articles by Jay Hemdal re> If you have any advise on getting it to eat that would be great! Also after the bat is comfortable and secure and eating could I introduce a regal to that tank (I wouldn't care if eats some coral or picks at my live rock) Its so docile could it mix with the pinnatus? <Not in this small system> Thanks Kirt <Bob Fenner>

My Gray bellied Regal Angel...Greetings Mr. Fenner! <<Greetings, Bob's away diving - JasonC here in his stead.>> It's been a while since I sent my last email. Just FYI my gray bellied Pygoplites diacanthus is still alive and kicking and is getting fatter than ever. <<Glad to hear.>> It has totally weaned itself off of live stuff and now it's staple diet consists of dried brine shrimp plus flakes, freeze-dried brine shrimp sometimes soaked with Selcon, krill (must be hand fed or it won't eat!), and large goldfish pellets.
<<Interesting. I'd love to see you move away from the brine shrimp, even with the Selcon and what not, they still aren't worth much more than potato chips. Think Mysis shrimp!>>
I truly think that the key to keeping a regal is to make sure it recovers from the shipping trauma and that it is not harassed by any fast-moving tankmates during the first 3-4 weeks. Once it shows some interest in food it should survive. <<Not really much different from what we tell anyone who asks. Thanks for sharing.>> Cheers, -Johnson <<And cheers to you, J -- >> And Yes my Regal angel is still "dancing the samba". <glad to hear it... but you have sent 5 messages without asking an intelligent question, and want us to praise you I suppose for being lucky enough to have a Regal angel still breathing on a diet of Goldfish pellets and brine shrimp in your care. I'll ask you again to please re-read the link (slower if you have to... well post tutorial graphics if need be) that says "Ask the Crew a Question" if you intend to send a sixth message about your sheer luck, the Grace of God and the poor fishes in your charge. Don't go away mad, mate... just go away <G>. Signed, and sincerely... the marine Nazi>Re: Regal angel- The fish will die, the thread will not part IV Is everyone at Wet Web like this?   <not at all... one might fairly (if favorably) describe my style as no-nonsense and blunt/straight-shooting... sardonic if not witty on the unfavorable side of the coin <G>. Lucky you. I am also defensively outspoken about intelligent people (you) promoting unconscientious aquarium keeping (still you). No leopard sharks in 200 gallon aquariums, no mandarin dragonets for new aquarists, and no encouragement for the wholesale promotion/purchase/slaughter of obligate coral polyp feeding fishes (ahem... you again). To be clear... I believe the regal angels should be collected for passionate enthusiasts that will responsibly make a concerted effort to keep them (perhaps you... or could be). What I cannot abide by is the flip promotion of them as "easy" to the masses (especially beginners) if you know the "secret"... ironically guarded (non-existent IMO) in this case.> My goodness, this flippant attitude is really insulting. <it sincerely is no one's intent to insult you, John. But do keep all in perspective. After 4 messages and your claims of having the secret (feeding and stocking... your message 3) to keeping obligate coral feeding regal angels... you still have not shared your wisdom/secrets with us. I really haven't the foggiest clue why you wrote in or what/if any your question was. The link you clicked to reach us said "ask the WWM crew a question". Do you have a question about aquaristics that we can help you with? If so, we can have another mentor on this board assist you, as I suspect you would prefer. If instead you simply want somebody to post that your regal angel is over one year old or dances the samba in eager anticipation of feeding time, let me encourage you to direct such expressions to the message boards. Anthony>
Gray Bellied regal angel still going strong
Hello my friends at WetWebMedia, <Salutem dicit> Please kindly post this on the FAQ.  I really hate to see fellow aquarists not knowing how to acclimate Regals and killing them, and all naysayers out there badmouthing this species. <Will do> Would you like to see a video of my regal taking pellets from my hands? <Okay> I firmly believe that the trick to keeping Regals is getting it the right tankmates. It's been over a year I have had my grey bellied Regal (apparently from the Philippines). These days I have been feeding it with only Hikari Cichlid Gold Pellets and "Brine-Shrimp-plus flakes". Only very occasionally do I feed him 1 or 2 pc.s of shrimp. He did not grow in my 55 gal tank but I am able maintain the plumpness of his body. A few months ago I introduced a small 2" P. passer into the tank and I notice that the regal does not like to compete with the small angel for food.  I ended up moving the passer away to the big tank. That said, I think the regal really needs to be the dominant fish, regardless of size, in a tank for it to do well. Cheers, -Johnson <Thank you, Bob Fenner>
Gray Bellied regal angel still going strong?
Would you like to see a video of my regal taking pellets from my hands? cheers,-Johnson Wu <Thanks kindly for sharing, mate. And I certainly do hope the best for you and this traditionally delicate fish. You need to understand, though (as so many aquarists commonly mistake) that the problem with this fish is not that it won't eat in captivity... but that they don't survive on captive diets, Some hang in for a year or more before dying of a slow dietary deficiency despite feeding ravenously! Several species of Angels are on record for living over twenty years in captivity. Your Regal will be a wonder if it even sees five years old, frankly. Forgive me for the buzz kill... again, grateful to see this fish feeds very well for you. But do consider what the real nature of the problem is with this and such delicate captive candidates. What is the test of time in this case? Still alive after 6 months? One year? All pale compared to the potential lifespan of this coral/invert feeding angelfish. Best regards, Anthony>
Re: Regal angel still going strong? The fish will die, the thread will not 5/19/03
Biggest problem I see is that most authors say that it won't feed. No!  This species does feed, and throughout the last 20 years of keeping marine fish I have had much better luck with Regals than with those damn potter's angels! <we have different research/literary and practical experiences then, mate. Just how many angels have (!) you kept in the last 20 years. The implication of your very own statement is that you have kept many/enough to speak with experience and authority. I think you have just proven my point (having had more than a few angels die in your care in 20 years in contrast to their actual captive lifespans... see Frakes 1991 for some amazing/inspiring captive angel longevity records). And you still haven't mentioned the age of your present champion (months I suspect). Aquarium lore and wives tales talk of these fishes not eating. Real world experiences in aquarist however speaks of them slowly dying of a dietary deficiency (they do eat, yes!). I talk of this a bit in my BOCP1 Volume 1 (p 429- chapter: The Responsible Aquarist). I wish you the best of luck nonetheless... only proffer the rest for having seen too many aquarists like yourself, perhaps, mislead themselves and kill animals needlessly in the process. We will not encourage aquarists to keep this fish casually on WWM. We do thank you for your input and perspective though. Regards, Anthony>
Re: Regal angel- The fish will die, the thread will not part III- AKA..."I'm not dead yet" [insert Monty Python "Holy Grail" skit voice HERE]
Anthony, In response to your sarcasm "The fish will die, the thread will not 5/19/03" I am amazed at how judgmental you are as a researcher. <as they say... "If you throw a stone into a crowd of dogs, the one that yelps is the one that got hit." Sounds like you are yelping to me, bubba. Don't shoot me, I'm just the messenger. You are the one promoting coral-feeding regal angels for casual community tanks. And I cannot fairly claim to be a researcher by vocation, BTW> How many Regals have YOU tried to keep other than dumping into holding tanks with other species and let them fade? <Zero... none... zippo... nada... niente. I practice what I preach and have never done such an irresponsible thing.> Have you tried keeping them with the right tank mates and offer them the right food at all? <well, heck... since you have the magic recipe for regal angel food and the magic list of tankmates (bizarre claim BTW... what are you smoking?)... don't be tight... Send us more than that tease of a video. Enlighten us all.> One response to a poster I see that you or your team saying that it is normal for them not to feed.   <neither you, I, nor this website is fixed in time. Do be realistic here. This site is over 300 megs and has thousands (!) of pages. With over 10K unique ISPs every day and hundreds of answered e-mails weekly, it is thankfully in a state of evolution. Things change... things become outdated... and we simply do the best we can. This site, in the opinion of many, serves the overwhelming greater good. Your fixation on one reply of thousands, and acceptance of it as gospel, is indicative to me of narrow focus> I am trying to tell others a method to get these delicate fish to feed, and yes I believe I found the right foods for them.   <and that recipe is...... oh, no... and invitation to part IV> As you can probably see in the video mine has not lost body mass in the past year and a half he's with me. -Johnson <it must be because he's with you. Glad to see you are so passionate about this species. A magnificent fish indeed. Regards, Anthony>

Regal Angels eating Goldfish pellets?!?... and someone hasn't been taking their meds 6/21/03 Could someone please kindly advise Mr. Anthony that his flippant attitude really does your website no good: <I realize that this is your perspective. Duly noted... will post on the dailies for peer review/consideration in the absence yet again (!) of a question from your harassing e-mails> Anthony wrote:     "But do keep all in perspective. After 4 messages and your claims of having the secret (feeding and stocking... your message 3) to keeping obligate coral feeding regal angels... you still have not shared your wisdom/secrets with us. I really haven't the foggiest clue why you wrote in or what/if any your question was. The link you clicked to reach us said "ask the WWM crew a question..." <yes... and I'm still wondering what your question is. I'm long since convinced that you simply lack a dog to kick... very glad for the Canids of the world> The ***secret*** was shared back in 2002 with Mr. JasonC: <and this was not mentioned once in your last tirade of correspondences to us here at WWM... did you expect me/us to have the entire 300 meg of text on the site committed to memory?!?!?>

Marine fish Enquiries <Hi Edwin, PF here this evening> I have recently acquired a Regal Angel (Adult 4 ") and I have noticed that it has not been eating. Instead, it swims vigorously from 1 end of my 5 ft tank to the other end. What can I do to encourage it to show more interest in eating? I feed an assortment of brine shrimp <brine shrimp are pretty much shrimp flavored water, and of little, if any value as food>, lettuce <this is a poor choice of greenery, you want something that comes from the ocean>, pellet food from tetra <a better choice> and Mysis shrimp <a much better choice>. <Well, you've acquired a challenging specimen to keep. Here's the FAQ on these guys, please read and follow the advice. As for veggies, remember "ocean greens" from the LFS are the same thing as sushi Nori from the grocery, only a lot pricier. Here's the link: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/pygoplites/ > Secondly, I have 2 Firefish <These are Planktivores, make sure your food is small enough to be easily eaten. Sweetwater zooplankton, a commercially available marine fortified daphnia mix, is very good, if you can get it.>, a coral banded shrimp and a red sea crab that have been hiding for the past few days <I rarely see any crabs, and the only reason I know my coral banded is around is the occasional glimpse of antennae, have you tried viewing them at night?>. They have not been eating and I have not seen them at all <Well, not seeing and not eating are two different things. I wouldn't be surprised if they were eating after lights off, actually I'm 95% sure they are>. How do I know if they are still alive ( especially for the crab whom I have no idea where he has disappeared to. )? How can I lure them out to feed? <I think your best bet would be to feed shortly before lights out, and then come back in 1/2 an hour or so. Using a flashlight with a red cover over the lens can help too.> I am worried that they may starve to death as they do not come out to eat during feeding. Is their behaviour normal? <Unfortunately, yes.> All the other fishes are extremely excited during feeding with the exception of the Regal Angel and the Firefish. Appreciate your assistance. Regards Edwin <Well, I hoped that helps. Please right back if you have any more questions, PF>

Look Out, Sponge Bob! Could I buy live sponge and cut it up and freeze it then thaw little pieces for feeding for my Regal Angel? <Yikes! I sure wouldn't! First, it would be a shame to slice up a living sponge that basically went through hell just to get to the LFS! Second, some sponges may be toxic, so you'd have a hard time knowing which one to chose. Finally, I think it would just be cost-prohibitive. Much better idea to purchase a supply of a frozen food containing sponge, like Ocean Nutrition's "Angel Formula". It's readily available at most aquarium shops, or can be ordered on line from some of our WWM advertisers> I was thinking of taking the little pieces and placing them in a veggie clip mounted on the side of the tank. Do you think he would feed off it? Would I gain success? Please respond back soon. <Well, I really think that your fish would be better served (no pun intended!) with one of the prepared frozen foods, as mentioned above...You certainly could place it in a clip, but it may be easier just to chop up the cube of food and feed it carefully with a toothpick...> P.S. I am the guy with the Philippine Regal which is already starting to feed on frozen food. Sincerely, Chris Faiola <Ahh, yes- I remember! If this guy is eating frozen food already- then you're almost home free...Definitely, try the "Angel Formula"-I think it's a great food! Bon Apetit! Regards, Scott F>

My Gray bellied Regal Angel... Greetings Mr. Fenner! <<Greetings, Bob's away diving - JasonC here in his stead.>> It's been a while since I sent my last email. Just FYI my gray bellied Pygoplites diacanthus is still alive and kicking and is getting fatter than ever. <<Glad to hear.>> It has totally weaned itself off of live stuff and now it's staple diet consists of dried brine shrimp plus flakes, freeze-dried brine shrimp sometimes soaked with Selcon, krill (must be hand fed or it won't eat!), and large goldfish pellets. <<Interesting. I'd love to see you move away from the brine shrimp, even with the Selcon and what not, they still aren't worth much more than potato chips. Think Mysis shrimp!>> I truly think that the key to keeping a regal is to make sure it recovers from the shipping trauma and that it is not harassed by any fast-moving tankmates during the first 3-4 weeks. Once it shows some interest in food it should survive. <<Not really much different from what we tell anyone who asks. Thanks for sharing.>> Cheers, -Johnson <<And cheers to you, J -- >>
Re: My Gray bellied Regal Angel...
Thanks for the quick reply! <<My pleasure.>> From what I read in the ingredients, brine shrimp plus flakes aren't really brine shrimp but contains quite a bit of fish meat. Anyway my regal no longer eats live brine even when I feed it. It is quite a strange fish in a way that it prefers dried food over live now. I tried frozen Mysis but it only casually eats them, so I am sticking with krill. <<Well, I would still try it from time to time.>> Here's what the manufactures claim re: Brine shrimp plus: INGREDIENTS: Whole Salmon, Halibut, Black Cod, Seafood Mix (including Krill, Plankton, Crab and Clams), Brine Shrimp (Artemia), Whole Herring, Wheat Flour, Mussels, Sea Urchin, Fresh Kelp, Wheat Gluten, Corn Gluten, Hydrolyzed Krill, Dried Kelp, Brewer's Dried Yeast, Soybean Meal, Crayfish Digest, Potato Flour, Wheat Germ, Salmon Egg Oil, Lecithin, Beta Glucan, Potassium Sorbate, Natural Pigments (for color enhancement), Astaxanthin, Beta Carotene, Canthaxanthin, Vitamins, Amino Acids, and Trace Elements. GUARANTEED ANALYSIS: Crude Protein (min) 50.5%, Crude Fat (min) 10.3%, Crude Fiber (max) 2.0%, Ash (max) 8%, Moisture (max) 8%. <<Be that as it may, compare the actual weight per price with the brine-shrimp plus frozen cubes, you are getting raked over the coals when you buy flake foods. On top of that, dried flake foods are still not unlike potato chips regardless of promises and guaranteed analysis on the label - they've been dried out, and much of the actual valuable nutrition went out along with the water. Work with the fish to get it onto frozen foods and a more balanced diet than just one or two things. The hard work will pay off, as keeping a Regal angel healthy is an ongoing challenge. It sounds like you're off to a good start. Cheers, J -- >>
Re: My Gray bellied Regal Angel...
<<Greetings, JasonC here...>> Thanks for the kind advice and encouragement. I'd like to try Oxymonacanthus longirostris again. <<Hope you have a good crop of Acropora for this...>> I just went to Tokyo and saw one in a small tank by itself in the Sunshine city aquarium and it's fat! <<That doesn't speak much to what they were feeding or how long it had been there.>> Somehow my past experience is that they will feed: brine, Hikari marine S, and OSI flakes but they still die after getting emaciated. <<A very common experience.>> Is there really no hope for them at all? <<They only eat Acropora polyps... so in an aquarium without these, they are doomed I'm afraid. Cheers, J -- >>

Regal in Reef, gelatin in foods Bob, I have a 180 gallon reef that is about 4 1/2 years old. I have had a Red Sea Regal Angel in it for almost 8 months. It is outgoing, has not bothered any corals, clams or other inverts and is absolutely beautiful. <The best source for the most beautiful, hardy Pygoplites> Just a couple of questions. I feed it an assortment of frozen foods. These are mostly Ocean Nutrition Formula Foods (One, Two, Angel, VHP) and Prime Reef/Brine Shrimp Plus. My regal absolutely loves all of them. I feed a mixture of chopped cubes and Prime Reef at each feeding and the regal will actually pick the gelatin foods first and then the un-bound foods later. Since the regal and my other fish (Tangs, Pseudochromis, 6 line Wrasse, Hawkfish, Foxface) are in such good health I am reluctant to change anything. What is your opinion? Why does your article recommend foods without gelatin and why are they much better for angels? <The gelatin binder/s can be problematical with maintenance of captive systems, but are not really a major concern in/with systems that ARE maintained "properly"... Regular water changes, vacuuming of substrates, periodic use of chemical filtrants, "good" skimming... and good initial set-up, livestock selection... Taken altogether, gelatin, even the "sugar-based" supplements sold for vital this and that purposes are of minor consequence in such systems. One avenue for major improvement in systems such as yours is the periodic (every six months to a year) addition , supplanting of new live rock and calcareous substrate. I would do these in addition to what you already are doing with such success, and not worry re gelatin. Bob Fenner> Dave Lishness

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