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FAQs on Centropyge Angelfishes Compatibility 2

Related Articles: Centropyge Angels, C. loricula/Flame Angel

Related FAQs: Dwarf Angel Compatibility 1, Best FAQs on Centropyge, Centropyge Angels 1, Centropyge Angels 2Centropyge Angels 3, Centropyge Angels 4, Dwarf Angel Identification, Dwarf Angel Selection, Dwarf Angel Systems, Dwarf Angel Feeding, Dwarf Angel Disease, Dwarf Angel Reproduction, Marine Angelfishes In General, Selection, Behavior, Compatibility, Systems, Health, Feeding, Disease.  

Angelfishes for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Mixing captive bred Centropyge     5/16/17
<Of all things, coincidences Nick... am out this AM in Kona to talk about setting up a culture operation for this genus w/ friends...>
Hi Bob, was hoping to get your advice once again. A while back I had got in touch regarding the possibility of keeping multiple captive bred flame angels in my 90g reef and you advised me that a trio may be possible but
would likely need larger quarters as they grew. For a number of reasons I did not manage to import the flames but a batch of Biota captive bred coral beauty's became available and I ended up adding a single one of these. Fast
forward 6 months and now captive bred flame angels are also available here in the UK! (availability of CB stock seems to have taken a welcome leap forward in the last year). I would love to add one of these but after reading the FAQ's and any other source I can find am concerned about
introducing one to my established coral beauty, which is now around 2" long and has been in the tank for 6 months. I was wondering what you thought the chances are of successfully introducing the flame?
<In a 90 gallon with some habitat... I give good odds. I'd try this>
I had a rough plan of action in mind first of all QT and let it grow for a month or two (I'm assuming purchase size would be around 1"), then place in an acclimation box in the tank for a week or so to let them get used to one
another in a controlled manner and finally re-arrange as much rock as I can before releasing. Realistically I could probably only re-arrange around 1/3 of my rock and am not too sure if that would be enough to break up the
beauty's territory?
I'm presuming that adding a different species may be more of a challenge than adding conspecifics which would naturally form a harem.
<Actually; with captive breds... not so much an issue. How to put this; I suspect they don't as readily recognize their own species>
The tank is 90G (48"x18"x24") with sump, 90lb of rock, soft corals, clean up crew, 1 x Banggai cardinal, 2 x ocellaris clowns, 1 x green mandarin and I have an orchid Dottyback on the way (all fish are captive bred).
Thanks and best regards
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>
Re: Mixing captive bred Centropyge        5/18/17

Thanks Bob, that was good timing, I don't suppose you are at liberty to disclose which species you are planning on working with?
<A few stock species (Japanese and that one Asuncion Is...), and hybrids ala Frank Baensch>
Exciting times for Centropyge breeding at the moment, I know RCT raised a wide variety of species a few years ago but it seems as though this is the first time fish are being produced in commercial numbers with a seemingly
steady stream of flames and coral beauties available.
I have placed my order for a flame so will let you know how they get on, fingers crossed!
Best regards, Nick
<Thank you for sharing Nick. Bob Fenner>
Re: Mixing captive bred Centropyge      10/10/17

Hi Bob,
Hope this finds you well. After a long delay I finally introduced my captive bred flame angel and coral beauty to one another a couple of days ago and was hoping to get your advice once again.
I'm curious to get your opinion as to what constitutes a 'normal' aquarium relationship if there is such a thing between two dwarf angels, are they likely to reach a state of tolerance or indifference to one another or is a
more antagonisitic relationship with occasional bickering be expected?
<Well-worded; and yes re the range of possibilities here... usually accommodation is achieved w/in a few days; or... if it is not going to happen, one fish gets beat, goes into hiding (if there's such habitat)>
Shortly after our last correspondence on the subject I had a persistent bacterial infection in my tank so pulled all my fish out into quarantine, this allowed me to re-introduce the much smaller flame angel several months ahead of the coral beauty so it was well established and much larger than when first purchased but is probably around 1/3 smaller than the coral beauty still. I placed the coral beauty in a fish trap for 48hours to gauge their reactions to one another, re-arranged a bit of rock and released.
Predictably at first there was a lot circling and tail flicking causing some minor fin damage then things largely settled down.
<Ah good>
At the moment they are both out feeding and grazing as normal but the coral beauty has definitely become the dominant fish and occasionally chases the flame into one of its chosen bolt holes, once the coast is clear the flame
pops straight back out and continues grazing.
<Mmm; this is (highly) likely going to be fine>
They seem to have no qualms swimming and feeding near each other when I feed the tank. I introduced the coral beauty around 36 hours ago so I know its still early days and the relationship may change but assuming things
continue as they are do you think it is healthy/normal for them to continue like this long term with some bullying from the coral beauty or should I look at removing one after a week or two if things don't change?
<Again, I believe all will work out>
Re: Mixing captive bred Centropyge      10/13/17

Thanks for the quick response. It seems things have deteriorated in the last couple of days, there are no real issues during the daytime but around 1-2 hours before lights out all hell breaks loose with the coral beauty
constantly chasing and attacking the flame. I guess it may be a natural instinct to defend the best/safest sleeping spot on the reef.
I think I'll give them one more night but it looks as though I may have to remove the coral beauty unless you have any advice to the contrary. It a real shame to get rid of one of them but if it continues this way I don't
think the flame will cope for long.
<I would separate these two; such overt aggression does not usually abate>
Best regards
<And you, Bob Fenner>

Angel and feather duster advice; comp.         5/23/17
<Good afternoon Mike.>
Hi, I have an established saltwater tank containing two Clown fish, one green Chromis, one Coral Beauty, one yellow watchman goby, and four hermit crabs. I wanted to surprise my boyfriend with some Hawaiian feather dusters but was curious whether or not the Coral beauty would bully/eat it. I inquired with the fish store employee and was informed that they should be compatible and went ahead and bought 4. I placed them in the tank and
almost immediately their crowns blossomed. And then the Beauty began nipping at all of them! She hasn't nipped at the crowns yet but she knocked one of the dusters out of its place where I had it secured.
<Not very secured, I have to point out...try wedging it into something so as to prevent its being moved without deliberate human intent.>
After replacing it she nipped at it again. I'm worried she's either going to eat it or stress it to death. Any suggestions? I adore the feather dusters and really don't want to part with them. Will she eventually leave them alone or will I have to remove either her or the dusters?
<You could wait a few days and maybe the fish will become bored with them and move on to bigger and better things. Sometimes they just "sample" things to see if they are palatable and then ignore them. However as you
mentioned, that may be enough to damage them or stress them to death if it keeps up. Personally I would try to quarantine 3 of them or otherwise sequester/remove them and see how it goes with the remaining one. The
trouble and the charm of angelfishes is their unique personalities and intelligence (as fishes go). This means that one of them may be fine with a given tankmate while another of the same size and species will not leave them alone. At any rate it's a gamble for sure and only time will tell. Personally, I'd do as above and test one out for a few days of careful observation. Be prepared to move the dusters as soon as necessary, however and have a plan as to where they'll go if things go poorly. Aquarium club member, a quarantine tank, a second tank in your home, retailer, etc., whoever will give them refuge. Hope this helps. Alternately have a plan to get the angel out of there (takes more planning than one might assume because they are adept at dodging nets.> -Earl>

Mixing captive bred Centropyge     5/16/17
<Of all things, coincidences Nick... am out this AM in Kona to talk about setting up a culture operation for this genus w/ friends...>
Hi Bob, was hoping to get your advice once again. A while back I had got in touch regarding the possibility of keeping multiple captive bred flame angels in my 90g reef and you advised me that a trio may be possible but
would likely need larger quarters as they grew. For a number of reasons I did not manage to import the flames but a batch of Biota captive bred coral beauty's became available and I ended up adding a single one of these. Fast
forward 6 months and now captive bred flame angels are also available here in the UK! (availability of CB stock seems to have taken a welcome leap forward in the last year). I would love to add one of these but after reading the FAQ's and any other source I can find am concerned about
introducing one to my established coral beauty, which is now around 2" long and has been in the tank for 6 months. I was wondering what you thought the chances are of successfully introducing the flame?
<In a 90 gallon with some habitat... I give good odds. I'd try this>
I had a rough plan of action in mind first of all QT and let it grow for a month or two (I'm assuming purchase size would be around 1"), then place in an acclimation box in the tank for a week or so to let them get used to one
another in a controlled manner and finally re-arrange as much rock as I can before releasing. Realistically I could probably only re-arrange around 1/3 of my rock and am not too sure if that would be enough to break up the
beauty's territory?
I'm presuming that adding a different species may be more of a challenge than adding conspecifics which would naturally form a harem.
<Actually; with captive breds... not so much an issue. How to put this; I suspect they don't as readily recognize their own species>
The tank is 90G (48"x18"x24") with sump, 90lb of rock, soft corals, clean up crew, 1 x Banggai cardinal, 2 x ocellaris clowns, 1 x green mandarin and I have an orchid Dottyback on the way (all fish are captive bred).
Thanks and best regards
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>
Re: Mixing captive bred Centropyge        5/18/17

Thanks Bob, that was good timing, I don't suppose you are at liberty to disclose which species you are planning on working with?
<A few stock species (Japanese and that one Asuncion Is...), and hybrids ala Frank Baensch>
Exciting times for Centropyge breeding at the moment, I know RCT raised a wide variety of species a few years ago but it seems as though this is the first time fish are being produced in commercial numbers with a seemingly
steady stream of flames and coral beauties available.
I have placed my order for a flame so will let you know how they get on, fingers crossed!
Best regards, Nick
<Thank you for sharing Nick. Bob Fenner>
Re: Mixing captive bred Centropyge      10/10/17

Hi Bob,
Hope this finds you well. After a long delay I finally introduced my captive bred flame angel and coral beauty to one another a couple of days ago and was hoping to get your advice once again.
I'm curious to get your opinion as to what constitutes a 'normal' aquarium relationship if there is such a thing between two dwarf angels, are they likely to reach a state of tolerance or indifference to one another or is a
more antagonisitic relationship with occasional bickering be expected?
<Well-worded; and yes re the range of possibilities here... usually accommodation is achieved w/in a few days; or... if it is not going to happen, one fish gets beat, goes into hiding (if there's such habitat)>
Shortly after our last correspondence on the subject I had a persistent bacterial infection in my tank so pulled all my fish out into quarantine, this allowed me to re-introduce the much smaller flame angel several months ahead of the coral beauty so it was well established and much larger than when first purchased but is probably around 1/3 smaller than the coral beauty still. I placed the coral beauty in a fish trap for 48hours to gauge their reactions to one another, re-arranged a bit of rock and released.
Predictably at first there was a lot circling and tail flicking causing some minor fin damage then things largely settled down.
<Ah good>
At the moment they are both out feeding and grazing as normal but the coral beauty has definitely become the dominant fish and occasionally chases the flame into one of its chosen bolt holes, once the coast is clear the flame
pops straight back out and continues grazing.
<Mmm; this is (highly) likely going to be fine>
They seem to have no qualms swimming and feeding near each other when I feed the tank. I introduced the coral beauty around 36 hours ago so I know its still early days and the relationship may change but assuming things
continue as they are do you think it is healthy/normal for them to continue like this long term with some bullying from the coral beauty or should I look at removing one after a week or two if things don't change?
<Again, I believe all will work out>

Captive bred flame angel compatibility      8/26/16
Hi Bob and Crew, hope your all well, you were a great help answering several questions for me when I had my old tank a good 10 years ago and I was hoping I could pick your brains once more.
<Not much left; but let's see>
I was wondering if you have any experience with captive bred Centropyge loricula, or other Centropyge species and can offer me some insight in to how, if at all they differ behaviourally from their wild caught counterparts.
<Actually; I do have some first hand and quite a bit second. Know of Frank Baensch' work on the Flame, and the folks next door to Ocean Rider on Kona... have penned a book on Pomacanthids, use in captivity....>
I am currently working on importing some captive bred flames into the UK from Hawaii. I was originally going to get 1 for my 90g soft coral tank (48x24x18 plus 20g sump) and 1 for a friends tank however as you are no doubt aware by the time I have paid all the various import/health check fee’s etc it actually makes little difference to the overall cost if I order more. That got me thinking that I may get a pair, or even a trio of juveniles with a view to one individual becoming the male but I’m a bit concerned that 2 or 3 may be too much for a 90g?
<About the right size; with plenty of decor>
I understand from the breeder that they are raised in high densities so am hoping that some of their territorial aggression may be curbed?
<Starting small, and from captive bred stock, not likely an issue, and yes to one developing into a male for sure>
As a bit of background the tank has been running around 4 months and there are currently no other fish, just corals and CUC. Prior to the flame pair/harem idea I was planning on adding a pair of common clowns and a captive bred orchid Dottyback, I would however happily change these plans to accommodate the angels based upon your feedback. I also do not have live rock opting instead for CaribSea's ‘Life Rock’ as a more sustainable alternative, I’m aware this may play a factor in the suitability of my setup, reduced foraging opportunities etc but am hoping that by feeding a varied diet and seeding the tank with copepods I can compensate for this.
<All fine>
I have also read that captive bred Centropyge are less inclined to pick at corals having never encountered them before.
I find it a little hard to believe that this would be bred out of them given their inquisitive nature and I guess, like anything with fish it all comes down to the individual but do you have any experience of this?
<I do (second hand) and as you state, much less picky; more inclined to accept prepared foods BY FAR>
Apologies for the long email! Thanks in advance
<No worries; thank you for sharing. Please do make it known how your plans unfold. Bob Fenner>

Lemonpeel and Anemone... comp.; not?      4/6/17
Hi Crew! Thanks for all that you do...
<Welcome Cheri>
I recently bought a Lemonpeel Angel. I did so with the understanding that there was quite a good chance it may pick at some corals, but, I was willing to risk it. However, I was not thinking that he would take such a liking to my anemones. I have some really nice rock anemones, and Mr. Nibbles (as the Lemonpeel is affectionately known) has decided to nip each one as he makes his rounds through the tank. The question is, do you think this behavior will eventually aggravate the anemone to death?
<It's possible; yes. I would cover the anemone with an inverted "strawberry" basket or such... >
Right now, it is just an occasional nip, but I certainly do not want to lose the anemones. He has shown zero aggression to the other fish, as a matter of fact, it's almost as if he doesn't even notice them. He goes
about his day picking at the rocks, and is very beautiful and entertaining to watch, other than the anemone nips!
Again, thanks for all your help,
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>

The food chain; missing sm. angels       8/19/16
Hello there. I need some advise for risk managing predatory critters and the food chain in my two tanks.
The problem started a week ago when I introduced a 1" coral beauty to my 55 gallon (after quarantine), and he disappeared the next day. Then, yesterday, my established 2" flame angel completely disappeared too! I've
thoroughly checked everywhere, and am confident someone ate them.
<Mmm; don't give up just yet. Small Centropyges are (of necessity) masters at hiding>
I'm not quite sure exactly who the guilty murderer is:
1. 5-6" marine Betta
2. softball sized white spotted hermit crab
<Yeeikes! Any/All of the above might have consumed the Pomacanthids
Regardless, I moved the marine Betta over to my 180 (with a porcupine puffer, Rabbitfish, and zebra eel). I am still concerned about my 55 gallon because it has two clown fish (about 2" each) and a lawnmower blenny (about 2.5 to 3") in there with the hermit crab.
<Hermits are opportunistic omnivores, like their namesake Decapod cousins>
They have been all been tank mates for a year (including the 2" flame angel that was eaten by someone) with no issues, but someone has decided fish are tasty. So, do you think I alleviated my problem by moving the Betta, or are my clown fish and blenny still at risk of being eaten by the hermit crab?
<The latter... plus other possibilities. Could be that there's a big ole Bristleworm (or dozens); a hiding Stomatopod, Alpheid... and other predators a-hiding in your live rock>
Another consideration, which is probably bad, is to put the huge hermit crab in my 180 gallon, but I'm afraid my porcupine puffer (about 6" at the moment) will harm or eat him. Thoughts?
<Yes it will if it can get it out of its shell, or when the Anomuran is switching>
Maybe move the clowns and blenny to my quarantine 10 gallon?
<Or put the Hermits in a sump? >
Food chain. Argh.
<Keeps things interesting eh? Bob Fenner>

Re: Coral Beauty     1/13/15
Hello Bob,
Bruce here.
I am following up on previous email.
My previous nitrate measurement was incorrect it was around 5.0 I failed to complete my math on it.
It is now slightly under 5 and Phosphates are undetectable.
<Mmm; well chemo-photosynthates need HPO4>

All current fish and corals are doing well.
<Ahh, good>
The lighting fixtures have been move back down.
Me of all people should know, let thinks settle down and then change them slowly.
I have always told others I know just keep things stable otherwise leave things alone as much as possible.
<A worthy approach>
Some of my green corals are now either green and blue, all blue or purple. my purple Acro's are still purple with some red and pink tips.
Everything is doing nicely.
Also I will admit I have heard good and bad about certain inhabitants, but I will now state if your Coral Beauty is picking excessively on your corals, better look at the health of your corals. Since all the corals are doing well it has not touch them.
<Ah yes>

I want to say WetWeb is a great service and thank you guys for all your help and info.
<Thank you for your kind, encouraging words. Bob Fenner>

Hi there Bob

My husband and i have been keeping marine fish for a few years now, we've got a 300 hundred litre system with a mix of common fish species, yellow tang, coral beauty, clowns and so forth.  We'd like to set up another system, but it would have to be smaller to fit into the space in our house.  We'd really like to keep a Vrolikii Angel.  We understand that it might nip corals so we are OK about having a FOWLR system.  What would be the minimum size you'd recommend for the Vrolikii and what would you suggest for tank mates? 

Angela Dickinson, Derbyshire 

            This Centropyge Angelfish is one of my personal favourites Angela; and of the genus, I place it toward the 'more reef safe' end of the spectrum'¦ To put this in another way, given sufficient purposeful feeding and not too much crowding, Vrolikii Angels tend to leave most all corals and relatives alone.

            Now, as to what I'm referring to in size/volume, a good four foot length and as much width (even at the expense of height) is a good minimum for one of these Angels to live singly; yes, about the same as your current 300l. As important as the space is providing caves and swim throughs for the Angel to be able to get out of eye-shot and feel comfortable. So, careful planning, stacking and possibly drilling and pinning of rock-scape are de rigueur.

            Good tankmate possibilities abound, but I'm partial to smaller, not-too active choices. Smaller schooling groups like hardier Cardinalfishes and Fancy Basses (Anthiines) are great'¦ and I'd definitely have something in the way of bottom fishes here; perhaps a Sand Sifting Goby or other Gobioid, Blennioid of choice. I would avoid most all Tangs, as too likely competing for food in the same ecological niche as the Angel; but would definitely look through the many smaller sized Wrasses for a bit of colour and action.

            'Corals' I'd start w/ might include ones less likely to be palatable, like Mushrooms, Zoanthids and Pulsing Soft Corals. Adding others as time goes by as small frags would be the route I'd go.

Lemonpeel Angel Hybrid; in/comp. w/ corals  4/12/14
Hello, Crew! Always great to use your site as a reference guide. I am considering a Lemonpeel/Half Black Angelfish for my 60 gallon reef. How
often does this fish go after coral?
<Less if this were a larger system>
Is there a specific type of coral that it likes to nip?
<More fleshy, more tasty>
How big is the damage to the coral?
<Minor to complete>
I can't find a ton of information on this particular fish. So any advice is appreciated. Thank you!
<Welcome! Bob Fenner>

Bicolor angel and Zoas, comp.    7/3/13
Hi Crew,
Just sent you an email regarding my CBB and now I would like your thoughts on my Bicolor angel.
Quick info, DT: 500g soft coral reef that's been running for 1.5 yrs. All param.s in check. tons of copepods and amphipods living in an ever growing bundle of Chaeto. Fish include regal, yellow tangs and a host of small fish (clowns, damsels, Anthias, a bicolor angel and a flame angel)
The bicolor is one of my oldest fish and is now part of the family. I currently have 3 large Paly colonies (had for a year) that he doesn't even look twice at. So today I added 4 rocks of bright orange Zoanthids. The Zoas are smaller polyps than the Palys and the first thing the angel did was to come up to one rock and completely rip two polyp stalks out. the stalks floated away and settled on another rock and the angel never did anything about them. since then he keeps swimming around looking curiously at one of the new rock colonies but not doing very much. I've seen him nip the top of the colony again twice but he didn't uproot anything. Not sure whats going on here.
<Likely "just" sampling>
 The Zoas remained open through all this.
Question I have is: is it normal for a angel to show interest in some button polyps but not others?
<Anything new is of interest, yes. Think on how you've trained the fish/es to anticipate food/feeding>

why would it uproot the stalks but not eat them? the uprooting has stopped and he didn't nip anything for the rest of the day. Should I be worried?
 was he just sampling them?
 do you think his interest will die eventually? I feed my fish  quite heavily, so I'm hoping this is a phase.
<Welcome. BobF>

Larger Sized Aquarium (96x30x30) – Multiple Centropyge Individuals? …Species? …Both?– 04/10/13
<<Hiya Rick>>
Tank is up and running with a few residents calling it home. In fact, I thought I would have no problem with a Flame Angel (2") and a Coral Beauty (2.5") sharing the 96" x 30" footprint (considering the Coral Beauty is larger and both Dwarfs introduced simultaneously, about a week ago)
<<I would agree…in fact I have had success adding two Flames simultaneously to such a volume>>
, but Mr. Flame is being a bit of a bully (chasing and nipping - not attacking, Coral Beauty's tail is split/torn).
<<The aggression will likely diminish…though there are those exceptions>>
4" Majestic Angel ignores them both.
What are your thoughts on the following?
Adding 2 more Coral Beauty's. Will the Flame feel outnumbered / overwhelmed and leave all three of them alone?
<<Not likely, at least not right away…but it will certainly “spread the love” assuming the CBs get along>>
Will the resident Coral Beauty also feel outnumbered by the 2 new C.B.'s and all 4 live happily ever after ... or am I in for WWIII?
<<Is anybody’s guess really, but I do think there is a “chance” of it working. A better option IMO would have been to introduce a pair of each species (sized one smaller/larger within each species) as this would have given good odds of each becoming a “pairing”>>
Welcome your feedback and Thanks in Advance.
<<Always happy to share mate! EricR>>
Mystery Bichir Disease 4-13-13

Hello WWM,
I'm sorry to take your time, but I have a suggestion regarding the mysterious deaths that many folks seem to be experiencing. <Sure.>
My 2 year old bichir recently passed away in a much similar manner
(strange behaviour, followed by lack of appetite, then a bruised stomach).  I had mostly fed him shrimp pellets (a mistake) 3-4 times a week. I noticed him floating at the top of the tank by the heater, which isn't unusual, but he was passing a whole, undigested shrimp and there appeared to be blood around his anal fin.
<Undigested shrimp or shrimp pellet?>
 From there it took him about a week to die.  I don't have my exact water conditions from the time but all other fish (including a smaller female) were fine and still are. I'm thinking that possibly the shell <exoskeleton> of the shrimp is cutting these animals stomachs or intestines when
they eat them, leading the bruising (or as one person said exploding stomach).  <An interesting theory. If you think that's the case, then perhaps try a different food regularly and see what happens.>
 Again sorry for not really having a question and probably some poor grammar here and there, but I really hate to hear about this happening
<No problem, maybe this will help somebody solve a riddle in their own tank.>
Thanks for your time, AA
<Welcome - Rick>

angels, Centropyge mixing  – 12/03/12
I just picked up a midnight angel
<Centropyge nox I'll take it>
 at my LFS, and I currently have a flame angel in my 75 gal. My lfs advised against putting them together as it would be a fight to the death.
<Mmm, maybe some altercation/s; not likely outright death>
I am currently setting up a 250 gal tank and was wondering what the risks would be of putting them together in there.
<Should be fine in the larger set-up together>
If they were both 'new to the tank' would they still try to kill each other with that much space?
 I am currently keeping the midnight in one of my refugiums to avoid conflict. The flame angel has proven to be not a problem
with corals but I have heard they can be problematic, what are the chances the midnight would be as cooperative with corals?
<Very good>
<Bob Fenner>

Flame and Coral Beauty; comp. in a 110     3/15/12
Simple Question: What are my odds of successfully keeping a Flame and Coral Beauty Angel in a 110 gallon display tank (130 gallon system) with 110 lbs of live rock and a footprint of 60 inches X 22 inches? Same Question (110 lbs live rock and 60X22 footprint) with regards to keeping a Magenta Dottyback and a Sixline Wrasse. Other inhabitants (besides the Wrasse and Coral Beauty) include A Yellow Tang, (1) Ocellaris Clown, (1) Yellowtail Damsel, and a Longnose Hawkfish.
<Mmm, pretty good... 80 plus percent I'd say>
With regards to quarantining, what is the best procedure (especially with the angels, which I believe have elevated sensitivity to copper based medications)? Should I run hypo-salinity (if so how do I maintain pH and such and for how long?) or use a wide spectrum medication for Ich/other parasites (if so, which would you recommend??)
<... read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm
the first tray... Bob Fenner>

Angelfish Compatibility, Centropyges, LPS...  3/7/12
Good Day Wet Web Crew:
<Hello Chris>
Chris K here, all is extremely well, just getting a little antsy.  I have, for the last time I am sure, upgraded my aquarium.  I have gone from a 90 gallon, to a 6 ft long 125 gallon with a 40 gallon sump and 40 gallon refugium, 100+ pounds of live rock set up in balmies <bommies> give or take a small Tonga branch "bridge" here of there for esthetics.
I love it, and everything from my fish, to my LPS, BTA and Gorgonia are thriving under my new LEDs and alternating powerhead currents.  I have come a long way from my first dying clownfish in my 46 gallon bowfront with a canister filter,  and I have to say that more than anything else, it had  to do with the help and expert advice that I received from your website.  I don't think I would have had the confidence to struggle through the trials and errors without knowing that there were experts to turn to.  
<Glad to hear this.>
That being said.....  and I can not say it enough to anyone who will listen........   My question is fairly simple.  I have been trying unsuccessfully for over two years to get my hands on a deep water canary damsel.
<Rarely seen in the trade and expect to pay 60.00+ for one if available. 
Live Aquaria has these occasionally but you need to get on their waiting/alert list. 
I  understand that patience is a requirement for this hobby but I am beginning to think it may never happen.
<It will and has to if you want to be successful.>
My next choice would be a Lemon peel or Heralds angel.   Just wondering if my aquarium is big enough to support one of these angels if I currently have a pretty well established Flame angel?
<May be some compatibility issues between the Lemon peel/Heraldi Angel and the Flame Angel.  I've got a Heraldi that got along great with a Coral Beauty in a five foot tank.  May or may not be risky, your call to make.>
I would be grateful for your advice, with things going as well as they are, I suspect I may be tempting fate.  Perhaps I should continue to cross my fingers for the canary damsel?
<Would be a safer choice.  If yellow is desired, the Yellow Wrasse (Halichoeres chrysus) is a good choice providing you have no feather dusters, tube worms, or small shrimp that may be tempting to this wrasse.>
Thank you,
<You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>
Chris K

Can you assist with a tough choice?!/Centropyge Systems/Compatibility 2/15/12
Good afternoon.
<Hello Carl>
Well, I finally managed to convince the Mrs. to let me upgrade my nano-reef to a 120 L aquarium. I'm really quite chuffed! Although I will be peeling the spuds for weeks to compensate.
<You will eat good as well.>
Anyway, the current occupants are a pair of Orchid Dottyback fish, a couple of cleaner shrimp, 1 blue hermit and a mixed bunch of snails. Lots of live rock. Water parameters are all nice and stable. Some nice corals, Duncan coral, sun coral, Blastomussa species and some mushrooms and Xenia. Some really funky algae too.
So, getting to the point. I'd really appreciate your experienced point of view with regards to the adding of either a multicoloured angel, or a golden angel. I have read as much as I can find about them and I believe that I have enough knowledge to cater for their needs. I realise they'll be quite reclusive but I like that. The Dottybacks come out infrequently and it's a pleasure. Sorry. I digress, I am
Willing to take the risk that either may nip my corals. But, I wondered, if you might be able to advise on the most appropriate choice to live with the Dottybacks?  If appropriate at all. These
Angels are very expensive in the UK. (£155).
<I'd avoid these fishes with your present aquarium size of 30 gallons.  Dwarf angelfish do much better in tanks 50 gallons and up. With the semi-aggressive Dottybacks present, which aggressively defend their hiding places, the Golden Angel is likely not going to come out to feed or find a safe refuge.  The Multicolor Angelfish isn't quite as shy as the Golden Angel and is a little on the aggressive side.  The bright lighting would make matters worse as the Golden Angelfish is a deep water swimmer.>
Also, the lighting is relatively strong, for the coral. There are plenty of shaded caves etc, do you think this would suffice or are there likely to be issues for the angel long term with bright lighting? I know they are deeper dwellers.
I would not be adding anymore fish to the system which is nice and mature with loads of hiding places etc.
Much obliged to you.
<You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>

Adding a Dwarf Angelfish???/Centropyge Compatibility 3/8/2011
<Hi Tommy>
I have read several informational shorts on various Dwarf Angel's, and most say "Reef Safe". Some say, with caution, I stay away from looking at those.
But I am very interested in the "Reef Safe" Angels. I have a 120 gal Reef Tank. With large live rock and caves, several corals I have purchased and some that came on the rock, like xenia and some polyps <polyps>. I also have a beautiful clam and a large Coco worm. Is there an Angel that's worth a try for my tank?
<Of the commonly kept Dwarf Angelfish, I know of none that I would label reef safe. In the wild they are known to feed on algae, zoobenthos, cnidarians, sponges, tunicates, and coral polyps, so there is a risk
present. On the positive side, I as well as other aquarists have kept many species of Dwarf Angelfish in reef tanks with no apparent damage to invertebrates, but the risk is always present. At present, I have a False Lemonpeel and a Coral Beauty who are very well behaved in my reef tank.>
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Tommy D.
Re Adding a Dwarf Angelfish???/Centropyge Compatibility 3/8/2011- 3/9/2011

Do you have the False Lemonpeel & the Coral Beauty together in the same tank?
<Yep, were added at the same time nearly four years ago.>
Also, I have a large Coco Worm & beautiful Clam. I know there's always a "chance" they will nip at them. What do you think?
<Covered that, there is always a risk. It's your call to make but, odds are the worm won't be harmed, odds are the clam will be nipped at.>
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re: Adding a Dwarf Angelfish???/Centropyge Compatibility 3/9/2011
<First, please do not start a new thread on the same subject. Always reply to the original thread.>
What is the difference between a Philippines Coral Beauty and a Vanuatu?
<The Vanuatu is actually a subspecies of Centropyge bispinosa.>
Also there is one that is cheaper in price than those two. Why is that?
<Likely more difficult to find, rarer. Bob, in your many diving experiences?
James (Salty Dog)><<Mmm, yes... the traffic in/out of Vanuatu is MUCH more restricted... i.e., there are more expenses incurred in shipping than the P.I.... and due to re-handling, there is more labour cost. About the same common-ness on reefs. RMF>>

Re: A Flame and Coral Beauty in a 180 Gallon. Centropyge comp./stkg.    1/31/11
Hi There,
I just wanted to give you an update regarding my Flame Angel and Coral Beauty and ask a question. The Coral Beauty and Flame Angel have accepted one another, and their fins have grown back. In the first 1.5 days the Flame was chasing the Coral Beauty pretty relentlessly and took some chunks out of her dorsal fin. It was full speed and intense. Finally, the Coral Beauty learned to evade the Flame. The Coral would dive into a hole, double back, and take a nip out of the Flame's tail fin. In day 2 the Flame still pursued the Coral, but it was half speed, kind of like a scrimmage rather than game day. Now they are like siblings. Most times they ignore one another, but they quarrel on occasion in a sort of affectionate way. All of their fins have grown back, and they no longer nip at one another's fins. I enjoy watching their interactions now. Here's the question. Bob said it was okay to add a Eibli Angel to this mix.
<I would not; no>
He's been in quarantine for about four weeks in a 29 with several pieces of live rock. He is happy, healthy, and eating well, but he seems to be less assertive than the other two angels. Will he likely get heckled (frayed fins) if I add him to the 180 with the Coral Beauty and Flame Angel?
<Centropyge angels are not easily mixed, added to; particularly once one or more have become established in a system. Bob Fenner>

Best Tank for a Kole Tang and Eibli Angel 1/7/11
Dear Crew,
I recently purchased a 3" Kole Tang and an Eibli Angel from a fellow reefer. They are in a quarantine with live rock right now. In your opinion, which placement would be best for each fish?
1. A 180 gallon reef with 30 gallon sump refugium, about 120 pounds of liverock, and a deep sand bed. The system contains the following fish: Regal Tang, One-Spot Foxface, pair of Ocellaris Clowns, Coral Beauty, Flame Angel, Tailspot Blenny, Bicolor Blenny, Pink-Spotted Goby, and a Mandarin.
<I'd place the Centropyge here... but not the Tang... too likely it will face conflicts w/ the present Surgeon and Rabbitfish>
2. A 90 gallon clownfish anemone tank with about 75 pounds of liverock, a 15 gallon sump refugium, and a deep sand bed. It will contain a pair of Black Ocellaris, a pair of Perculas, a pair of Pink Skunks and a few BTA's. I haven't purchased any of the Clowns yet, so I could leave out a pair if you think both fish would be better placed here and if you think the tank would be overstocked with the eight fish.
<And the Tang here>
Thanks for all your help both with my own personal questions and through what I learn from reading about other people's experiences.
<Certainly welcome. Bob Fenner>

A Flame and Coral Beauty in a 180 Gallon 1/3/2011
Hello Crew,
<Hi Casey>
I rarely take "risks" in stocking, but I think I made a mistake. I recently sold my 180 gallon acrylic tank and replaced it with 180 gallon glass tank.
The original tank had been running for over three years with about 120ish pounds of live rock that I kept for the new setup. I had the following fish in my original 180: Regal Tang, pair of Ocellaris Clowns, Pink Spotted Goby, One Spot Foxface, and Mandarin. It was a very peaceful mix. Those fish were all moved to a 90 gallon tank while I set up the new tank. Also, I quarantined a Coral Beauty, Yellow Tang, and Tailspot Blenny in one 30 gallon tank with live rock and in a separate tank, I quarantined a Flame Angel and a Bicolor Blenny for about eight weeks. I moved all the inhabitants to the new tank early yesterday. Everyone is getting along except the blennies and the angels, as expected. The Bicolor and Tailspot seem to have it kind of work out. They mostly reside on separate sides of the tank, but they will occasional heckle one another. No frayed fins and both are eating well. The angels seem to be a different story. I had read on WWM that the chances of the Flame (about 2.5") and a Coral Beauty (about 2") getting along were pretty good provided the following: the tank is large (six feet long), the fish are relatively small when introduced, the aquascaping is broken into two separate territories with plenty of cover, and they are introduced at the same time. Well, I did all of that. However, the Flame keeps chasing the Coral Beauty. The Coral Beauty is still eating and not hiding, but her tail is becoming a little ragged. It's only been a day and a half. My question is if I should attempt to remove either fish at this point. If the advice is to leave them, how long on average does it take to work it out? At what point should I remove one of the angels? I DREAD having to catch one, but I have a 90 gallon tank (sans angels) that whomever I can catch will go into.
<Oh, but remember the word "chances", not always a guarantee. Flames can be a little scrappy with conspecifics and it is possible the aggressiveness may subside/end should the Flame Angel no longer feel threatened. As long as your Coral Beauty isn't getting beat up too bad, and has a safe haven for retreat, I'd give it a couple more days before removing one of the fish and see if the situation calms down.>
Thanks for your help.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Stocking of multiple dwarf angel's  2/24/10
Hello again guys,
I have looked through most of the dwarf angel FAQ's and have found hit and miss what I'm looking for, but wanted to ask it directly. I have a 84" x 36" x 30" SPS/LPS reef. Somewhere between 375 - 500 lbs (I lost count) of
live rock in the tank and the sump/refugium (I swap rock from fuge to DT every once in a while).
<Good practice>
I currently have all SPS and LPS in the tank and plan to keep it that way.
LPS wise it is mainly chalice, Frogspawn, Torch, and Ricordea. SPS is mainly Acroporids and Montipora. I'm not sure if I'll try another clam, I have had bad luck with Maxima, Squamosa, and Crocea in my previous tanks.
The tank has been up and running for a little over a year, Shallow sand bed, 120 gallon fuge connected with 6" DSB. To the point.... Currently the tank houses:
1 Purple Tang
1 Yellow Tang
1 Tomini Tang
2 Banggai Cardinals
1 Bi-color blenny
1 Green Mandarin
1 Christmas Wrasse ( I don't think this is the true species but there are similarities, fish is more dark tealish green and pink than the traditional light green and red I have seen)
<The Halichoeres ornatissimus of this common name doesn't vary "that much"... you might have another species>
I have a Chalk Bass, Pink and Blue Prawn Goby, and Vlamingi tang in QT right now. Fish to be added include:
1 - Hippo Tang
2 - Yellow Wrasse
1 - Butterfly (Copperband, pair of zosters or maybe a pair of Heni's)
2 - Percula Clownfish
2 - Pink Skunk Clownfish
1 - Orchid Dottyback
1 - Goby (species not decided yet)
Possibly a few more smaller fish...
And I would like to try two dwarf angelfish. Looking at a Flame or Eibli with a Bi-color Angelfish. In your experience how compatible would these guys be in a tank together?
<In a system of this size, this much LR, all could... in order of likelihood of errant "nibbling", the Flame is most likely to...>
With the other fish? and the other coral I have listed? Trying to weigh things out and make the best decision regarding these guys and the dream tank that's slowly coming together. THANKS GUYS!
<Is it worth the risk of individual likelihood of Centropyge coral "sampling" here to you? I'd try the Eibl's first... see how you like it.
Bob Fenner>

Centropyge flavicauda (Pacific Pygmy) compatibility question  2/10/10
Hope this email finds it's designated WWM crew member doing well this evening.
<Indeed it does, Liz, thank you!>
I've been doing some reading about dwarf angels on the site tonight (since WWM is my absolute favorite research site on the web!) but haven't found any references to my particular angel.
<The care considerations are similar for all, with just a few species specific variances>
I have an approximately 2 year old Pacific Pygmy Angel. I got her about 3 weeks ago from a local reef club member. She's a very healthy and precocious little fish who I assume at 2" in length is fully grown.
<Fishbase has this fish listed at 8 cm, which is just over 3' http://www.fishbase.org/summary/speciessummary.php?id=5664>
Would it be possible to add a second angel to my tank, specifically a Coral Beauty?
<Possible, yes, but I personally would not. I have had two Centropyge in a 180 before and they fought>
I know some of the Centropyge angels mix better than others.
Not sure how to gauge the temperament of mine and info online is minimal.
<You have to ask yourself -- is it worth the risk? Do you know how difficult it is to get one of these fishes back OUT of a six foot tank? If, like me you did, then you would be thinking twice.>
I also keep reading to add the angels together when they are 'small'. Well, my angel is small but mature. Not sure what to make of that advice! I hate to assume that size and not age/maturity is the critical deciding factor.
<Mmmm, the 'critical deciding factor' here is not one you can find in a book or on a webpage. It depends on your fishes and what 'they' decide is going to happen>.
I have a 125g tank with well over 100lbs of very live rock (including some algae growth for my herbivores to nibble on that is declining but still there. I also feed frozen Formula 2 and put dried Nori sheets in the tank every couple days, feed frozen Mysis for the clown which the other fish like as well).
<Yes, this diet is good, I would supplement w/ some vitamins & a pellet, maybe NLSpectrum>
Myriad soft corals and a few LPS and SPS (all of which the angel ignores).
Currently I only have an Ocellaris Clown, a Yellow Tang (2") and the pygmy angel (along with a whole host of your standard CUC critters and a Cleaner Shrimp). I intend to keep the stocking rate relatively light for the health of my fish but do plan to add a couple more inhabitants including a Blue Hippo Tang and another Ocellaris Clown.
<I would stick to your plan sans the second Centropyge here. You have plenty of fishes planned, I would not consider it light at all with the addition of a Paracanthurus -- this is a large and messy fish>
I'm looking forward to input on the feasibility of adding a second angel. So much better to hash these details out ahead of time instead of when the fish is at home waiting to go in the tank....
<Yes, this is definitely a question worth asking before jumping>
Take care and much thanks for the tireless efforts that make the WWM site so great!
<No problem Liz, and thank you as well!>

Centropyge Compatibility Question  8/13/2009
Good Day to you all - and please let me start by saying how much I enjoy and respect your website, it has helped me on more occasions than I can count!
<Ahhh! Very glad our efforts have been of service to you>
I have had my 46 gallon bowfront for almost two years now and am looking to upgrade. (Which I believe still makes me a novice) I currently have:
2 False Perculas
2 Firefish gobies
2 neon gobies
It is sparse right now due to an isopod problem we weathered many months ago. However, since I know I am upgrading - I have been using this time to research rather than restock.
Initially I was hoping for a 90 gallon with sump and refugium... UNTIL I fell in love with flame angels and herald's angels.
I've been reading your website and I have gathered that the golden rule is to not put dwarf angels together - which seems a cruel injustice of the world to create such beautiful creatures and then expect you to only choose one:)
I did happen to catch that sometimes it is possible to keep two dwarf angels together in a larger aquarium with "islands" of territory if you add them at the same time. Is 90 gallons (48" L) considered large enough by
saltwater standards?
<Mmm, no... there are some smaller (dwarf dwarves) species of angels that this volume/shape system, and even a few on-average larger species that need even more room, but the two Centropyges you mention really need a minimum six foot run (and two bommies or such) to get along well>
Rather than go out an buy a bigger aquarium, my goal now is to design a habitat for the purpose of housing two dwarf angels (with my current fish)
Your input is the best place I can think of to start.
<Mmm, yes. I have an article penned here for your perusal:
Do any of these species attract you?>
Also - I wasn't sure if the temperament of these two specific angels (flame and herald's) figure into the equation in any way....
<Mmm, tropical... mid 70's F. to low 80's>
Thank you so much for any help!
<Certainly welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Centropyge Compatibility Question  8/13/2009

Thank you for your response Bob! I feel honored! Loved the article - (long sigh).... the dwarf dwarf angels are beautiful indeed. So many, and again it seems unfair to have to choose, but the flame angel has captured
my heart. The deeper the red - the more breathtaking - but its hard to come by any that have little or no orange. When paired with a brightly colored yellow, its just stunning.
<Agreed... a fave of mine as well... the variants over its range are also something to see, appreciate...>
Finding compatible tankmates is one of the most interesting aspects of this hobby to me. Thank goodness for your website - it has saved me from more than one "mistake". It is one of, if not THE, most valuable tool out there.
<Getting better all the time>
I was also considering a yellow tang - but I was actually hoping to find a smaller yellow fish... that's when I spied the herald's angel... If you have any suggestions on adding a more reasonable yellow fish to my
<Maybe Assessor flavissimus... or see Galba's Chrysiptera, or the Talbot's Damsel... or...>
yours is a most valued opinion. Also when I do upgrade, whether I end up being limited to the 90 gallon or am able to go for something 6 feet long...would adding a few yellow tail blue damsels create a problem?
<Mmm, no. Likely to help diffuse aggression more than add>
I read that they are less aggressive than most damsels, but tend to get more aggressive as they mature. I am unclear as to whether they become aggressive among themselves or with other tankmates, or both?
<Amongst themselves>
I am so grateful for your assistance - and thank you again for such a terrific website!
<Welcome Christine. BobF>

Joculator Pygmy Angel Nipping At LPS Corals, Please Don't Say "I Told You So!"   2/27/09 Hi Bob, <Hello Laura, James with you today.> First and foremost, your crew and website are, bar none, the greatest educational tool I have encountered in this hobby. <Thank you.> Now for my dilemma, which won't surprise you in the least. One month ago, I purchased a C. Joculator Pygmy Angel for our 85 gallon reef. <Wowsie, are you sure it is a Joculator? Very rare, are only collected from Cocos and Christmas Islands and command a very high price, upwards of $800.00. Is also known as the Cocos Pygmy Angel.> She is beautiful, healthy, eats like crazy, and is virtually the little queen of the tank, basically running the show in there. Her downside? She is nipping at my open brain coral (which I purchased at 4" and has grown to over 8" within a year), and a beautiful multicolor Blastomussa. <No guarantee on pygmy angels being reef safe.> Ironically, I have a Crocea Clam she ignores, as she does most all other LPS and SPS corals in the tank. These are the only two corals that take offense at her occasional, but consistent pecks. She is good most of the morning, after she eats her Spectrum pellet breakfast, but by noon she is starting to pick at the two LPS I mentioned. I truly don't think she is after the corals themselves, but more the slime or detritus she can find on them. I read your site and got a lot of tips on keeping these little guys away from the corals. She is a juvenile, and I have had her one month, so her habits are not set in stone. I started to drop in a few Hikari algae wafers, hoping to keep her busy and full. These she loves, and they definitely keep her occupied for a couple of hours, but by late afternoon, as soon as the wafers are gone, she is back to the two corals in question. There is no doubt that when she is kept occupied with another food/picking source she leaves the brain and Blasto alone. If I keep her busy enough with other things to nibble, the two corals return to normal within a day and show no signs of long term damage. I can't keep babysitting this way (we are going on vacation for a week in March), and I know these corals will eventually begin to suffer from the pecking. <I am sure.> I feed Spectrum pellets twice a day, sheets of Nori clipped onto the glass (she is not big on these, at least not yet), and give the tank a whole concoction of phytoplankton and zooplankton daily for the SPS and LPS, corals and clam I have. We have a 125 lbs of live rock in the tank that she constantly grazes on. I don't know what other tips or tricks you can offer me, but any would be appreciated. If it comes down to a choice between the Joculator and removing two corals, I will choose to remove the corals, <Definitely.> but I am hoping there might be something more I can do to curb this undesirable behavior. I am also fearful that if I do begin to remove corals she is nipping, she will move on to others she has left alone up till now. If you could suggest other corals that are lower risk, please do so. <I'd remove the two corals in question and see if she tries something else on the menu. In good faith, I can not recommend any corals that would be safe, is the personality/eating habits of the fish. The Joculator Angelfish is a good choice/risk for a reef tank with caution, as in all pygmy angels.> I know Pygmy angels are a gamble in a reef tank, but the Joculator seemed like a good calculated risk. <It was.> I have had pygmy angels before, and have been extremely lucky in this regard. Any advice is more than welcome, and thank you in advance!!! <As I mentioned above, remove the two corals and see what happens. You are doing the right thing in keeping the angel well fed to minimize picking at the corals, but.....James (Salty Dog)> Laura Garmizo
Re: Joculator Pygmy Angel Nipping At LPS Corals, Please Don't Say "I Told You..."   2/28/09
Hi James, <Hello Laura> What a fast response and THANK YOU!!! for the advice and reassurance. <You're welcome, and in future queries, please respond to the original thread.> Yes, "Gerty", short for Gertrude, is really a C. Joculator Pygmy Angel. She was my Valentine's Day gift from my husband, <Treat your husband well.> and the price you mentioned is really what it took to get her. <Geez, I think I'd be a nervous wreck having an $800.00 fish swimming in my tank. I'd likely have a security camera watching her.> She is from the Coco's Islands, and she is so beautiful (with a personality to boot!) it is almost hard to be mad at her when she pecks at these two LPS corals. <I can imagine. I'd have a better chance of being hit by lightning before my dear wife would surprise me with such.> If I have to remove two corals to have her, so be it. The best I can do is hope she stops with these and does not move on to anything else. <I will be hoping for this also.> Incidentally, I have discovered these "stick on the glass" Spirulina wafers from both Hagen Nutrafin Max and Sera. They go a long way in keeping this fish entertained and busy and away from the corals. Just thought it might help anyone else out there with a similar dilemma. <Thank you for sharing.> Have a great weekend James, and thank you! <Thank you. My wife wants me to escort her to the casino for her birthday today, so again the lightning strike rules as far as winning any money. James (Salty Dog)> Laura Garmizo

I think the introduction of an Atlantic Anemone Killed my Flame and Pygmy Angelfishes 7/27/08 I have a 28 gallon Nano with metal halide and it has been really great for a year. Prior to yesterday the inhabitants of the tank were: 1. 3 clownfish (perculas) 2. 1 fire fish (goby) 3. 1 Flame Angelfish 4. 1 Pygmy Angelfish 5. 3 snails 6. 1 hermit crab 7. 2 green star polyps 8. 2 mushrooms 9. 1 cleaner shrimp (that just died of I think old age -- was very healthy for a year) <Way too much for this sized tank.> Salinity around 1.025 -- temp stays around 80 degrees with a chiller -- run the metal halide from 7AM to 5PM. Ammonia and all levels of nitrates / nitrites kept really low. <Ammonia and nitrite should be undetectable in a sound setup.> So yesterday I took my daughter to the fish store to replace our cleaner shrimp and decided to add an Atlantic Anemone at the same time. <Bad move, trouble.> So before adding the new fish we decided to take out all the live rock piece by piece and restack it so it is away from the walls of the Nanocube so we can clean the algae in those spots. We did that and any rock with animals on it we rested in a bucket with their own water (removed about 25% of the water in this process and put it back later). <When adding new delicate livestock it is not the time for aquascaping!> We then restacked all the rocks and obviously made the water a little cloudy in that process. We added all the animals on rocks back too. We then put the Atlantic Anemone (Condy?) <Maybe, likely.> on some rocks and it stuck very well immediately. We then added the water back, turned the pumps back on and went to bed. This morning, both my Angelfishes and new cleaner shrimp were dead -- this is really a big mistake on my part because the angelfishes were the star attractions of the tank and expensive ($65 a fish). The water smelled a lot fishier too and the ammonia was up to maybe 1 PPM. <This is to be expected with a small system with such a death, one of the inherent risks in a 'nano'.> I removed the dead fish and immediately did a 50% water change and now have the tank cycling again. The Condy seems healthy and the fire and clown fishes seem to be moving around and checking out the new place but scared or cautious. <You may end up finding a fish or two missing in the future.> The water is still a bit cloudy. The green star polyps and mushroom polyps have not opened back up yet. <They may not for a while.> The water still smells fishier than usual. <Indicative of the death event/water quality.> Can you give me some advice on where to go from here? <Look before you leap, research livestock before purchase.> Should I take the Condy back to the LFS? <I would, nothing but trouble in this size system.> Should I leave it and get the tank back in order? Do you think it killed the Angels and will it kill anything else if I don't remove it? <I doubt it killed the Angels, the unsuitable environment and rapid changes thereof probably did. These fish require stability and larger tanks. But, in time, the Condy will likely consume some of your smaller fish.> Thanks! <Welcome, Scott V.> Re: I think the introduction of an Atlantic Anemone Killed my Flame and Pygmy Angelfishes 7/28/08 Thanks Scott. <Welcome.> I removed the Condy and am going to take it back to the LFS. <Smart move.> Just so you know the Pygmy Angel I had and the Dwarf (Flame) Angel were very healthy in the 28G nano for a year - they were very happy. The pygmy was less than 1 inch in length and the Dwarf was 1.5 inches both at maturity. I know what you are saying about Angels in general but these small ones I believe do fine in smaller tanks. <Some can be maintained in smaller tanks, just a bit much when combined with three Perculas.> I will continue to do water changes until conditions get back to perfect and will not add any new fish until I see the Green Star Polyps and Mushroom Corals back to their normal happy selves either. <Sounds good, Scott V.> Sebastian

Territory Issue'¦Tang vs. Angel -- 06/27/08 Bob, <<Hi Brian'¦Eric here today>> I recently added a Half Black Angel to my FOWLR tank. <<Centropyge vroliki? Neat fish>> The Yellow Tang that has been in that tank seems to be giving him a hard time and keeping him from coming out of hiding. Every time he comes out, the Tang tries to swipe him. <<Not uncommon, Zebrasoma flavescens can be a nasty character. Especially once well established, and more so if in smallish volumes (sub 100g systems)>> How should I handle this so the 2 can co-exist in the same tank? <<Mmm, the tang likely senses/recognizes the angel as a competitor for algal foodstuffs'¦but I think there's a good chance this will resolve itself/things will calm down soon>> Should I separate or let them figure it out on their own (which I've seen work before), or is this just a pair that will never get along? <<The latter is always a possibility'¦but I think the odds are these two will learn to cohabitate>> Any suggestions would be appreciated. <<If the aggression lingers or worsens, removing the tang to another tank for a few days would likely help'¦or maybe just try rearranging the tank decor first, to create some disruption/distraction/disorientation for the established fishes>> Best regards,-Brian <<Cheers, EricR>>

One Too Many? (Adding a Dwarf Angel) -- 05/12/08 Hi Crew, <<Hey, Chris>> We enjoy reading your posts. <<Me too!>> I have a 72 gal bow front FOWLR. Currently the tank is stocked with the following fish: 2 tank-raised Clown Fish (False Percula) 1 Tomato Clown 1 Half blue Damsel 1 Royal Gramma 1 Skunk Shrimp Button Polyps on live rock Nothing has been added to this tank in over two years, and currently I have a Lawnmower Blenny in a QT which will be added. <<Okay>> My question is I also wanted a Coral Beauty for this tank? I read on your post the cubic-inch for 5 gals, I am afraid we might be pushing it with the blenny. I need an expert's advice if the Beauty should be added or not. Thanks in advance! Chris <<This could work'¦ The Dwarf Angel should be pugnacious enough to fit-in with the others 'the trouble will be in finding a specimen of this species in good condition. This Centropyge species generally suffers badly during capture/handling and thus often does not fare well for long in captivity. But if you can find one that is eating and has been adjusted to captivity for a bit, they 'can be' quite hardy and long-lived. I know you already have several red/orange fishes 'but a better and hardier Dwarf Angel species would be my personal fave C. loricula (The Flame Angel). This species handles the stresses of capture/shipping better, and acclimates readily in my experience to captive keeping. Regards, EricR>>

Adding multiple pygmy angels 3/28/08 Hello, <Hi> I was at my LFS last night and was admiring a dwarf angel. I advised the salesmen that I already had a Flame Angel in my tank and as such couldn't add another. The salesmen went on to advise me that if I added another 2, (not 1), and then shut off the lights that the angels would get confused and after a couple of hours give up on any potential fight. <Maybe temporarily, but most likely the aggression would return.> Any truth to this or is it just a sales pitch? <Maybe he has had fish with non-typical behavior before, but most likely a pitch.> I wouldn't mind adding another dwarf but everything I have read indicates that you can only keep 1 per tank. P.S. I have a mixed reef tank, 85 gallons with the following fish: Regal Tang, Sailfin Tang, Flame Angel, Blue Reef Chromis & 2 false clowns. thanks, Frank <I definitely would not add another angel to this tank.> <Chris>

Pygmy angels, comp./sys.  03/19/2008 Hi, <<Hello Marianne, Andrew today>> I'm learning just by searching your site. I checked out the questions on dwarf angels, but didn't get a definite on this. I was told I can have multiple dwarf angels if I introduce them at the same time. I'm thinking (and was told by the shop owner) I could add a flame angel, dusty, and coral beauty if I add at one time. <<I have seen these together in the same system before. Your tank is a good size. All 3 are territorial, so ensure plenty of hiding places / cover is available. Do add them at the same time.?? The flame is about 2 1/4 inches and the other two are closer to 3 inches. I have a 115 G live rock tank (135 lb rock) with a powder brown tang, sailfin, foxface, and 2 fairy wrasses, blennies (1 scooter, 1 lawnmower), 2 starfish, and 2 diamond gobies. Also have a few Zoanthids, 2 anemones, 2 clowns, and 2 small blue green Chromis (original fish from set up--they lived through it all). The angels would be my last addition. Reading your site, I am wondering if I have too many, but I would really like at least 1 or 2 angels (I should say, my husband wants all 3!). What do you think? <<In my opinion, at best, add one. You are very borderline on your stocking levels. Read more here including linked articles and FAQ's http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/centropyge/index.htm>> My husband takes care of the tank. I don't know the numbers, but he said all is where it should be. Filter-wise, we have "mud filter" with protein skimmer ( sits underneath main tank), and extra pump for water circulation, and 10K (2 white, 2 blue) lights, and blue moon lights for night. Marianne <<hope this helps, A Nixon>>

Fine Spotted Fairy Wrasse Lemon Aid? (Dealing with Lemonpeel Angel Aggression) 03/19/2008 Good morning- <Hi there! Scott F. in today!> C. punctatus I believe is the correct name. <No, it's SCOTT F> Heheh, just kidding...Think your reference to a wrasse got cut off?> I have a 55 and the current inhabitants are 1 Lemon Peel, 1 False Perc, 1 Firefish goby and 2 Yellow tail Damsels. The Lemon Peel rules the tank and probably chased the smaller Perc to his carpet surfing death. <That sounds about right, given the typical personality of this species.> I would like to add another Perc and at the same time add a flame hawk and 1 or 2 C. punctatus. Can I add 2 to my 55 if they are not a pair but just 2 individuals or do I need to find a pair or just add a single? <I would limit my fish additions in this aquarium. Maybe the "replacement" Perc and the Hawkfish. The Hawkfish, may be able to better stand up to the nastiness of the Lemonpeel than the Wrasses. Really, adding any new fish to a relatively modest sized aquarium with a known "alpha fish" is a dice roll. Be prepared for possible issues and the need to rescue someone if things get out of hand. You could try the old trick of shuffling the rockwork around to create "new" territories for everyone, but this still may not work. Be forewarned!> I would like to have 2 fairy wrasses so the male will display and stay more comfortable. I want to add them all to the main tank at the same time to spread out the aggression from the Lemon Peel. I would Qt the new arrivals for a month. I would put the LP in the fuge for a week or so until the new fish have been in the main tank and settled down. Thanks again! Walt <Well, Walt, the idea of the "timeout" for the Lemonpeel is a good one! I'm still a bit hesitant to give you the thumbs up for the two Fairy Wrasses. I think that one more fish is really all the system could handle from a bioload perspective, as well as a social one. I can't imagine the Lemonpeel getting any more sociable, but he will ultimately accept (or kill) the other fishes in "his" aquarium. Sounds rather brutal, but this is the reality of stocking dynamics. Proceed with caution! Regards, Scott F.>

Angel Feuds! Combining Marine Angels 2/4/08 'Lo Crew! <Hello> I was (mis?)informed by my LFS that I could keep a Cherub Angel in a tank (29g BioCube) that already has a Coral Beauty. <Yes, and really a 29 is too small for either fish alone.> The Coral Beauty is nearly full grown, and the Cherub is about mid size. <The whole tank is the CB's territory.> I got the Cherub yesterday (along with a Sally Lightfoot crab) and acclimated it smoothly. <Should start QTing your new additions.> However, when I added it to the tank, the coral beauty became aggressive toward it. I immediately turned all the lights off in the tank and the aggression died down. <For the moment, I bet it will return.> This morning, before turning the lights on, I rearranged the live rock (around 45 pounds in the tank with 10 pounds or so in the middle chamber of the filter. This has stopped some of the aggression, but anytime the Cherub goes on the left side of the tank, he is chased away. I turned all the lights out once again, and am planning to leave them off for another day. <A stand-off as you have now is probably the best that can be expected.> I haven't noticed any actual biting, simply chasing around a lot. <Establishing dominance.> Is there anything else I can do to help avoid the injury of either of these fish? <Both would appreciate a bigger tank, but lights off and tank rearrangement is about all you can do, now the fish have to determine if they will tolerate each other or not.> Thanks! <Welcome> <Chris>

Re: Angel Feuds! Combining Marine Angels 2/4/08 Thanks much Chris! <Welcome> My LFS quarantines fish for 3 weeks before they are up for sale, so I have never had to do that (and have never had a problem with their fish before) <Very nice, but I am guessing they are not able to it as thoroughly as necessary, although I commend them for their efforts.> The aggression has died down today, as the Coral beauty established the left side of the tank as his. <Good> He only chases the cherub away when he comes over to his side. Thanks for the help! <Welcome> <Chris>

2 Dwarf Angels In A 135g Reef? -- 01/29/08 Hello, <<Hi there!>> Just wanted to get your opinion on the likelihood of 2 dwarf angels *eibli* and *loricula *getting along in a 135 gallon (72 x 18 x 24) reef tank. <<Is a possibility. I have kept multiple Centropyge species in about this volume of water with success in the past. Do make sure to have adequate rock/hiding places for these fishes 'and keep all well fed>> If you think this is a decently "good" idea which should I add first (both at same time)? <<I would add them at the same time>> Also, I have a *loricula* in a 55 gallon reef right now, I was considering adding a purple tang. Will the 55 gallon be too tight for the 2 of them (there are no other fish; the 135 won't be ready for approximately a year)? What are the chances the angel will accept the tang if I introduce a tang of similar size (maybe bigger?)?? <<The 55g tank is really too small for either of these fishes alone, and certainly if combined. I suggest you hold off on the Tang addition until the 135 is ready>> Thank you. <<Happy to share. EricR>>

Re: New Tank Setup and Trigger Selection... Now Centropyge comp., incl. argi  12/29/07 Hi Dr. Fenner, <Ummm, just Bob please. I have no doctorate> Thanks for the info. Your response about the Cherub concerns me. What is your opinion of adding the Cherub to the new 215g tank with a 2.5" Coral Beauty (at the same time)? <This dwarf dwarf Centropyge should be fine in this size setting> I've searched your site but couldn't find this exact match. I've even thought about putting the Cherub in my 65 gallon sump. I really appreciate all the support your team provides online. Thanks in advance, Nancy <Welcome! BobF>

"Sweet" angel, Centropyge comp.   11/22/07 I'm interested in starting a large marine setup and have been researching fish. I'm absolutely in love with the dwarf/pygmy angels. What I would love is an entire tank of dwarf angels... <... not how they live, w/ the exception of harems... of the same species> ok, I'm dreaming. My question is... 1) are there ANY dwarf/pygmy angels that are NOT considered aggressive? <All is relative here...> 2) How many "aggressive" dwarf/pygmy angels could you acclimate at the same time, as juveniles, hoping that some harem? Thanks for all you guys do... I live in a city without a lot of good marine advice sources and your help is invaluable!! Happy Thanksgiving! <Thanks... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/fishindex3.htm The first tray, under the heading: Centropyge BobF>

Centropyge Eating Coral ...You've Got To Move It, Move It! 11/22/2007 To the WWM Crew <Hello Flavio, Mich with you today.> I just finished, one month ago, the process of joining two 450 l tanks sharing the same 120 l sump. One of the tanks is about 7 years old /established, so I simple add more 450 l of natural salt water, new and very fine sand and "dry" rock and connected all the system. The new animals are a yellow and a veliferum tangs, a loriculus, a bispinosus and a flavissima Centropyge, two tank raised Ocellaris and a Gramma loreto. Also there I put a Trachyphyllia, a hammer (Euphyllia) and a small Sarcophyton. All the fishes and coral are in good condition. The only problem is that the Trachyphyllia is being eaten by the Lemon peel. At this moment about 10% of its tissue is damaged. Removing the coral to the other tank is a good thing to do <Absolutely!> or is the coral lost considering the amount of the injury and the coral species? <If removed from the antagonist the Trachyphyllia will likely recover. I would not give up hope on this coral.> The coral is lying from the first day on the sand bottom and today is not fully expanded. <Likely because of the continued presence of the Lemon Peel.> Thanks is advance for your advice and for your fantastic website. <On behalf of Bob and the crew you're welcome! Mich> Flavio

Multiple Angelfish. Crowding Centropyge   11/6/07 Hi WWM crew, <Pete> I have a 65 gal. that has been running for about 5 months. I have a Red Coris Wrasse, <Will need larger quarters> a Six-line Wrasse, and a Coral Beauty angel, along with some corals. <... some... corals... What species?> My question is at the coral store I go to ( I live in Okinawa ) the tank with angelfish in it had at least three Flames, three Bi-color, and a Half-Black in it and was only 25-30 gal. <Yes... temporary... jammed together...> They all seemed to be fine swimming around in groups, not displaying the behavior I have come to expect from reading countless forums. Any idea how he gets the fish to live peacefully? <They don't... Think of being crowded in a locker room with a bunch of other fellows... tenuous...> I would ask him myself but his English is about as good as my Japanese. Thanks, Pete <Centropyge, other Pomacanthids, other groups of fishes can be housed in such settings for a short while... There is no room for dominance, hierarchy to become established... but it's not healthy, nor sustainable. Bob Fenner>

Mixing Centropyge in a Very Large System 8-27-07 I recently put in a 20 foot long X 8 foot wide X 6 foot tall aquarium (roughly 5,000 gallons). I have a LFS shop that is strictly marine aquariums. I went there this past Saturday to see what they had. They have numerous species of Centropyge (nox, aurantia, potteri, flavissima, ferrugata, eibli, loricula, multispinis, and a few others). I have 6 large piles of coral and various rock structures with lots of nooks and crannies. I want to keep at least 4 nox and 4 aurantia angels in this setup. All of the fish are around 1 1/2 inches to 2 inches. Will they cohabitate in this setup. Your help will be greatly appreciated. <Well as I'm sure you know the mixing of Centropyge angels is usually best avoided in the average system...of course your system isn't average if we factor in size alone. With a tank of this volume your chances are definitely increased though the risk is still there, just much more miniscule than usual. I would say that the territory should be big enough to compensate this animals though I would attempt simultaneous, or close to simultaneous addition of course after proper quarantine. Good luck.> David <Adam J.>

Centropyge Reef Compatible   4/19/07 Hi, <Hey, Joe!> I am in the process of creating my 36 gallon tank reef, when I upgrade my lighting to a 150 watt VHO fixture (24 inches) and shortly after adding a refugium. At the moment I have a Flame Angelfish and a Clown goby. I was told a while ago that my tank was not large enough for my angel, and could not keep him  for the long run. <True.  They need more space, are very active.> Also, since I am adding corals, I don't want him to gobble them up, since in the beginning I might know if he is interested or not, since each individual fish is different. <Also true, but unless you are planning a larger tank in the future, he would be better off in a new home.> I truly do like the fish, <They are one of my favorites also.> and don't know  where else to give him to other than my LFS, who won't give me anything back for him. <Nothing?  Mine will give me half price for a healthy fish, especially one purchased from him.  They should be willing to pay wholesale prices for a local fish that has essentially been quarantined and will not have all the stress of recent capture, acclimation, and shipping of a new import. Hmm. This is a common situation, but I admit it confuses me.  The LFS should be willing to work with you on making room for your future purchases (he could sell the same fish multiple times at 100% markup if he played his cards right).  Sorry, I'll get off my soapbox now.  Maybe try again to reason with him, make sure you are talking to the decision maker.> I am not sure of any Local reef clubs either, since this would be a better option. <There should be a way to get in contact with others aquarists in your area who would be interested. ReefCentral has a huge number of local reef club forums: http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=d527912f59f1d2456a10f8d690f9d360&forumid=80 > Is there a dwarf angel that is more reef compatible and smaller, so it  can thrive in my size tank? <Yes.  The dwarf dwarf angels might be what you need.  I like the Centropyge argi (Cherub Angel).  Much smaller, blue with a yellow face, lots of personality! There are others that are very similar but not as common at my LFS such as C. aurantonotus and C. acanthops.  See FAQ's and linked articles here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dwfangsysfaqs.htm > Thanks again, Joe <Welcome, Alex>

Flame Angel w/pygmy angel?  Mixing Centropyge  - 4/6/07 I have an established flame angel in a 75gl FOWLR tank. This fish is appx 3 1/2 inches long. <A nig for this species...with an attitude to match?> I would love to add a pygmy angel. <I wouldn't do that with the pre-existing angel, especially of one with such size with "meat on his bones".> Any chance I could do this? <There are always chances but this not time not in your/our favor my friend.> I have read that two angels are not ideal (putting it mildly). <Especially those of such similar lineage...same genus.> However, I have also read that with plenty of hiding spots, it may work. <Yes but if one were to chance this I would only recommend it in tank of at least double this size...territorial/psychological crowding issues of concern.> What are your thoughts? <Would enjoy the healthy Centropyge you have now.> Thanks. <Anytime.> Steve <AJ.>

Crazy Flame Angel  3/16/2007 Hello All, <Hello James, Brandon here.> I have a 46 gallon bow front aquarium with 60+ pounds of live rock that I have had set up for a little over 6 months now.  I have several soft corals along with the following fish:  1 Flame Angel, 1 Royal Gramma, and 2 False Percs.  I just re-introduced all 4 fish after being fallow in my aquarium for 6 weeks due to and ich breakout.   <Good idea to let the tank run fallow.> After the re-introduction my nitrates went up to 10, ammonia 0, nitrites 0, Ph8.4, but have been slowly coming back down (I realize this is due to bacteria die-off from having no fish for 6 weeks and then adding a little too much bio-load back).   <This is a possibility.  Nothing to be greatly alarmed about.> My question is, my flame angel has gotten strangely aggressive.   <C. loriculus is one of the more aggressive Centropyge Angels.> He will tip on his side and circle tightly below the clowns forcing them to the top of the water he then proceeds to attack them.   <He is defending territory.> If the clowns attempt to move anywhere near the rock work he does the same thing again.  I do not see any signs of sickness in any of them, they are all eating like pigs, and they have been doing this for 2 weeks now.  What can I do to help curve this aggressive behavior?   <You little fish is all grown up, and sometimes they do this when they mature.  There are several ways to go about this.  First way, move all of the rock work around.  This will break up established territories.  Second way, Take the C. loriculus and put it back in QT for about two weeks.  This will give the other fish time to establish territories.  The hope being when you add the C. loriculus back, it will find somewhere else to reside in your tank.   Third way, catch the C. loriculus, and start over with a new one.  Had I been you in this situation, I would have reintroduced the fish separately, adding the C. loriculus last, as this is the most territorial fish that you have.> Will this behavior ever stop or should I remove the flame angel and get another?   <The behavior could stop, or it could not.  Removing the fish is one option.> Would moving the rocks a little help (hard to move them too much with all the coral)?   <This could work as well, but it would have to be a drastic movement of rock work.  As in a whole new structure.> I read your site all the time and find it to be a valuable resource any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, <You are welcome, and thank you for the kind words,  Brandon.> ~Jim

Mixing Dwarf Angel with Larger Angels.  2/28/07 Hi Crew, <Hi James, Mich here.> Great website, you guys rock. <Thanks!> My question revolves around a pygmy angel that I have in 125gallon fish and live rock tank. I wanted to add another angel (Koran, French or Emperor) down the road. I know you can't mix angels of the same family, but can I get away with this or does Mr. Pygmy have to go back to LFS. <Probably not the best idea to mix these two.> Other fish include small hippo, medium yellow tang, 2 purple fire goby's and a royal Gramma. Thanks, James <Welcome!  -Mich>

Multicolor vs. Flameback for peaceful, reef safe angel    02/17/07 Hi Bob and/or Crew members, <Art> I gave up on Centropyge angelfish when I turned my 55 gallon tank into a reef tank-- but now I am dying to try one in a reef setting. I have been reading everything I can find, and have narrowed my choices down to a couple of fishes. I know the African Flameback is supposed to be one of the most reliably reef safe Centropyge species, <Yes... a fab dwarf-dwarf> but my dilemma is that I have an extremely passive tank of extremely small, and in some cases rare and extremely expensive fish, and I am concerned that the Flameback angel is too aggressive for them (because of it is so similar to the Cherub). The other fishes in my tank are a 2" Diadem Anthias, a 2" Purple Firefish, a 1.75" Green Mandarin, a 1" Yellow Assessor, and a 1" Candy Basslet that cost the equivalent of a house payment. <Am still amazed at how folks capture this genus... I've barely seen them in the wild... always in the back area of caves...> As far as corals are concerned, I have about two dozen that constitute a Centropyge buffet: Goniopora, Open Brain (I think) Pineapple Brain, Maze Brain, an Unidentified Brain, Turbinaria, Star Polyps, Zoanthids, Purple Fungia, Branching Hammers, Candy Cane/Trumpets, Mushrooms, and Hairy Mushrooms, Torch (or Tooth) plus one whose name I can't remember. <A bunch of garden variety for such a small volume...> Alternatively I am considering a Multicolor Angel, mainly because I like it, also but because it is more shy and reclusive and because of this I am hoping that it is more compatible with the fishes, if not the corals. <Is gorgeous as well... and might fit... I do wish your system were larger though> Actually, I haven't been able to find much information regarding the temperament of this fish. What do you think of this fish with my current livestock? <Temperamentally likely okay... just needs more room psychologically than you have> He will be the last fish I add, and I am planning to obtain a small specimen, about 1.25" body length (this applies to either angelfish I select). What I've read about the Multicolor's suitability for a reef tank is not encouraging, but I thought I would test it in quarantine by adding an LPS coral after the fish has been eating to see if he starts noshing on it. Probably not a reliable test, but definitely easier than extracting him from my reef tank. Do you have any more input on experiences with this fish in a reef tank? <Have seen this species in many reef settings...> Whichever angelfish I select, I plan to feed 2-3 times a day, with frozen brine, Cyclop-eeze, Mysis (if he is large enough to eat it), Nori dried seaweed and also incorporate  a Continuous Hatch 'n Feed Brine shrimp feeder in the reef tank, <Neat devices> so live brine shrimp will be continually released into the tank. Basically, offer enough food and enough variety to out compete the coral as a food source. So which one should it be? Any suggestions for success in this endeavor? (besides Genicanthus-- collected too large, and in my experience with a Bellus female, more active and chased smaller fishes). <Also a useful genus... the Swallowtail Angels... for large/r reef settings> Thanks again, as always, Art <Actually... if you had to have a Centropyge, all you have room for is one of the small/er species... I would give a pass to all though myself... and start putting the money away for another (larger if possible) system... I can foresee problems with allelopathy... and your wanting to expand and separate some of your stated animals, fragment some of them perhaps... specialize. Bob Fenner>

A variety of Centropyge questions, and NMA fishes volumes   12/21/06 Hi Crew! <Hi Ed!  Mich here.> Love the site I learn so much each time I come. <Glad to hear you both like and learn.  It is always good to expand one's passions and intellect.>   In an earlier post, Bob said that a 150 gallon tank with lots of live rock could handle  a Coral Beauty and a Flame Angel. <Yes> I have a 90 with a good amount of live rock (100 pounds or so) I was wondering if this is big enough to host the same? <It might be.  Lots of variable come into play none the least include the temperament of the individual fish.> It currently has 2 clowns a royal Gramma some shrimp and serpent stars with oodles of snails. <Well, your system could certain support the added bioload.> An article on your site suggested adding 2 angels simultaneously to reduce territoriality issues. <Yes this would be smart in my opinion.  But if it can't be done I would introduce the Coral Beauty (Centropyge bispinosa) before the Flame Angel (Centropyge loricula)> My problem is that my quarantine is only 29 g and to add them at the same time I would want to purchase/quarantine at the same time. If I stagger them, who should I get first? <Centropyge bispinosa tend to be less aggressive than Flames.> Will they do okay in the 29 for a month with lots of PVC to hide in? <They may, they may not.  The good news is if they fair well, they obviously should be fine in your 90 gallon, If they don't there are mesh type tank dividers that you could install temporarily to keep them separated while in QT.>     I can raid my 'fug for pods and have a dedicated 10g algae tank for fresh red and green macro. Will that help? <Wouldn't hurt!> Lastly, any idea when the "fish book" announced in your reef invertebrate book will come out? <Sorry, I have not hear any rumblings.> <<Mmm, JasonC (if HE finds the time) and I may generate the other volumes... Antoine has seemingly lost all interest... is onto other full-time projects. RMF>> Thanks <Welcome!  -Mich> Ed

Mixing Pygmy Angels - 10/15/06 Hello crew, <Hello.> Your website is invaluable. <Glad you think so.> I have a question regarding pygmy angels and stocking levels. I currently have a 50 gallon "show" tank (30"x18"x24). The only current resident is a 2-2 1/2" coral beauty. I would like to add a flame angel and possibly a hardy wrasse species. I have read accounts where aquarists have had success mixing these species. Do you think this is a "good" idea in a tank this size? <No.> If not is there another species of pygmy angel that may be "more" compatible? <Not really in a tank of this size - they will likely fight to the death.> I haven't been able to narrow my list of wrasse species to an appropriate selection. I really liked the leopard wrasse but read in multiple sources that this species is very difficult to keep in the long run. <Very, very difficult.> Can you recommend a species of wrasse that might be suitable and interesting? <How about the fairy wrasses?> As far as aquascaping there is around 25-30lbs of live rock in the tank and I will be adding another 20-25lbs over the course of the next month. <The more the better, but still won't change the amount of total space you have.> This is my first attempt at a marine environment. I have been keeping brackish tanks for a few years now and am trying something new (and thoroughly enjoying it). If you have any feedback or ideas, I am more than open to suggestions. <Would just keep your eyes open to possibilities... many other fish out there for you to choose from. Cheers, J -- >

<Aqua-C> Skimmer rave and Angel Question  - 09/14/06 Hi Crew: I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for recommending the Aqua-C Remora.  I replaced my Prizm with one and had some trouble getting it to work. I emailed Aqua-C and the quickly responded to me that my fake decor could be the problem. They recommended I remove it and rinse it all 3-4 times for an hour at a time.  Needless to say my skimmer is working like a charm now.  They mentioned that fake coral is notorious for causing issues with the skimmer due to the oils that leech into the water. <Yes... a problem that a couple of friends in the manufacture of this are earnestly endeavoring to fix> For anyone that is considering purchasing an Aqua-C please do! They have amazing service and the difference is unbelievable in the skimmate that they collect.  Now for my question, sorry to go on for so long. My local fish store is very good and separates all of the Angel fish that they have. <A wise move> I noticed that the only exception to this is that they always keep Flame Angels and Lemon Peel Angels in the same tank.  I questioned them and they said that they are the only ones that are compatible together.  Have you ever tried this mix? Would you recommend it? Thanks for everything, <Mmmm, by and large, no... have seen this and other combinations of Centropyge together... with and w/o success/compatibility. I would not give carte blanche to this combo. Bob Fenner>

Bi-color angel vs. flame angel  - 09/01/06 Hello Crew, <Hey, Mike G with you today.> Thank you so much for your help in the past.  You are truly an asset to the aquarium community.  I have spent many hours reading your comments and learning a whole bunch. I ran into a bad situation with a 5 inch bicolor angel.  He fit into the community tank wonderfully for a couple of months and then started to pick on the 5 inch dwarf lionfish to no end.  The active lionfish responded by hiding to the corner of the tank and looking sad.   <Angels have been known to be aggressive, but I have yet to hear of one that actually bullied a lion. Sounds like you've got a particularly nasty fellow.> Although I love them all, I must say that the dwarf lion is like a puppy to me. To calm down the situation, the only thing I can think of was to take the bicolor angel to my LFS that belongs to a national pet retail chain before I go on vacation in order to put him in a kind of fish jail.   <Eek! This is what we call "foreshadowing"> Although the store's policy and their overall setup are less then ideal, I get to know the caretaker of the fish department over time.  Even though I don't really trust the store, I came to know that he is a true fish lover. When I return from vacation to pick up my bi-color angel from the LFS, I was told that an inexperienced associate have mistakenly sold my fish as a very large Damsel though a series of errors.   I was also told that there is not a possibility for them to get it back from whomever they have sold it to.   Needless to say, I was very disappointed, but I do appreciate their honesty. <Ouch! I would be disappointed, as well.>   At the same time, I realized that he was actually doing me a favor by holding it for me against their policy.  I was promised that a replacement will be ordered, only that they won't know for sure when they'll have it in stock.  Although the bicolor angel is not a rare fish, it is hard to find one that would live by eating like a pig as the one I�ve lost.  Meanwhile, I have purchased a flame angle to fills the empty space.  I really needed a red fish in the tank. After about a month, the replacement finally arrived at the store.  The only thing is that it is about the size of an average retail damsel in contrast to the large angel that I used to have.  He told me that they�ll try to get another one that matches in size to the one I've lost if I am welling to wait. Here is my question: I now have a 3 inch flame angel in the tank.  Would a small bicolor fits or rather a larger one would have a better chance in this case? <I'm going to have to say neither. Unless your aquarium is exceptional and your flame angel a pacifist, I wouldn't chance it. Dwarf Angels are notoriously combative with one another, and I don't see any good coming out of such a mix, most especially when one (the flame angel) has a clear advantage in his size. As far as your store credit goes, see if you can put it towards some equipment you need, additives you're running low on, or more compatible livestock. This way, everyone wins.> Thank you for all your help. <You're welcome. Good luck! Mike G> -Hoshing

Bi-polar angels   8/18/06 Hello crew,   I have an interesting story to share with you, and a question to boot! I have a 90 gallon tank which is home to a 3 inch one eyed eibli angel who is an extremely territorial fish. <Some Centropyge individuals can be so...> He even spikes my finger when i feed them. I was keen to place my 3 inch blue ring angel in the same tank <Not a big enough volume...> but after reading several FAQs i thought it would be a bad idea. <Agreed> Anyway i decided to give them a try knowing that i would probably have to remove one or the other shortly after. On the first night they were together old one eye was like an angel straight from hell-relentlessly attacking the poor blue ring all around the tank. That night i tried unsuccessfully to remove one of them, so i turned out all the lights and covered the tank with towels to completely black it out until i had time to have another attempt at catching one. The idea was that if they couldn't see anything, they couldn't kill each other (and I'm certain that if this behaviour had gone on, the blue ring would not have lasted 2 days). So when i removed the towels and turned the lights back on the next day,  the 2 angels were reasonably peaceful toward each other! <Interesting> As a few days have passed now, they have become even more peaceful. They have come within 2cm of each other and hardly noticed! It's amazing; and a nice feeling to be so lucky that these 2 angels can live together. Even feeding time is without incident. So my question is: is this unusual behaviour? why would these fish suddenly become friendly? Thanks! <Perhaps they became "friends through common adversity". Don't know... but a "hint", "bit of advice" I'll pass on to others to try with similar situations. Bob Fenner>

Half moon Centropyge behaving badly ! Incomp. mix period   6/17/06 Hi Bob, Eric or Crew - Thanks for the info. on "lace rock". I now will ask what to do if your half moon angel is going after your clown grouper? <Likely separate them> go figure. My tank is a 135 gallon 72x18.5x25.5 and I have tons of hiding spaces and room for theses guys to swim. The angel is about 4" and the grouper is about 5-6". The angel seems to nip at him a lot and he seems slightly stressed by it. None of my other fish are harassed by the angel. The other fish are sixline grouper, clown trigger <!?> and 2 damsels. Any help? I don't want to get rid of the angel, but will if I have to. I had the grouper first, so he would stay. Thanks - daN <... Likely the Trigger will become an issue... all of a sudden... as well. The Sixline is a Grammistes? You don't want to upset this species even in this seemingly large volume of water... See WWM re the "Systems", Compatibility of all these species. Bob Fenner>

Re: Half moon Centropyge behaving badly ! Still not reading...   6/17/06 Thanks Bob, I had a feeling I would need to separate them. Yes, the sixline is the Soapfish. <I hope you are reading re...> I guess I will be removing the angel since all was well until he arrived. I am disappointed as he is a very beautiful fish. Also, it seems a lot of people tell me the clown trigger will "become" a problem. So far..... for a trigger, he is well behaved. <Your time will come...> For a trigger. What do you mean by "all of a sudden" he will become a problem? Again, thanks in advance - daN <Please read... on WWM re... don't write. BobF>

C. argi addition  - 5/17/2006 Hi there, <Hi.> I have a 50G reef tank containing two A. percula and two G. okinawae.  I would like to add one more fish and I have been thinking about a C. argi. <Good choice.> Have I room?, <I believe so.> would there be compatibility problems? <No way to know for sure with individual personalities but likely yes.> and would it leave my inverts alone. <Most do...but no guarantees.> Inverts are Sarcophyton, Sinularia, polyps, xenia and maybe some other soft corals, with hopefully a clam in the future. <The Xeniids and Tridacnid would probably be the most likely prey if the angel decides to "nip."> Thanks, once again, for your time, <Mmm-hmm.. David <Adam J.>

Mimic Tang/Pygmy Angel Compatibility - 05/13/06 Hi guys - <<Very astute gals here as well>> Love your website and how informative it is.  Quick question: I have a Golden Pygmy Angel (have had for over a year), and am thinking about getting a Yellow Mimic Tang, and am wondering, if since the tang mimics another species of pygmy angel, I will have problems with aggression between the two of them? <<Hmm, I have kept different pygmy angel species together in years past.  Several factors to consider here 'size of the system, size differential between the fish (if any), and of course, individual personalities of the fish themselves.  If these are favorable then yes, there's is a good chance the two will learn to get along>> Thanks advance. Best, Alex <<Regards, EricR>>
Mimic Tang/Pygmy Angel Compatibility II - 05/13/06
Thank you for getting back to me so quickly - and of course I meant 'guys' in the non-gender specific way! <<You're welcome...and understood <grin> >> Keep up the great work. <<Will try, Eric Russell>>

Lionfish help ... Centropyge comp.  - 3/1/2006 Hello Bob <Wayne> I read until my eyes dried out trying to find the answer to my Lionfish question. <Google on WWM, the cached view...> So forgive me if I'm asking a repeat question.  I have a 120 Gal, that I upgraded to from a 55gal, with about 50-60# of live rock, Volitans Lionfish, Snowflake eel, Coral Beauty, 2 Yellowtail Damsels.  I also have 2 Condy Anemones, Devils Hand Leather, Cauliflower Leather.  I'm using a Berlin Skimmer, Orbit 4x96w 10K/Actinic lighting (switched from a Coralife 4x65), a 40 gal refugium with a mag18 pump.  I have a small powerhead that I use to keep circulation going behind the rocks.  So far I've only tested for Nitrates, Nitrites, Ammonia, and PH, which are a 0,0,0,8.2 respectively. <All sounds good thus far> I just added the Berlin (5days ago), and was using a Skilter prior. <Heeee! Some difference now!>   I've had this tank running now for about 7 weeks (upgraded from a 55gal which I had for 1 year).  We've had the Lionfish now for about 7 months. Here's my question/concern.. My Lionfish has recently (past 2 weeks, since we introduced the Coral Beauty) started to be extremely active.  This is just the opposite of what I'm used to.   <Yes... Centropyges can "pick" at Pteroines mercilessly...> He usually hangs out in some "caves" I made for him, and was relatively inactive during the day.  Ever since I got the Coral Beauty, the lionfish no longer goes to the bottom half of the tank and is constantly facing the glass and swimming against the current.  He is eating well (I feed him a combination of frozen shrimp, scallops, and flounder every other day), and his black stripes are now slightly brown.  I noticed one of his eyes looks slightly "cloudy". <Good observation> It's so subtle that I'm questioning whether or not I'm just being paranoid.  Paranoid or not, he is definitely more active than I've ever seen him.  Today, I restructured the "seascape" and made more caves hoping that he'll get back to normal. Should I be concerned about this energetic behavior from my Lionfish, or am I being paranoid.  He has never been this active before. Thanks again for all your help! Wayne <Only time can tell whether the Dwarf Angel is directly pestering your Lion... If so they will have to be separated. Bob Fenner>

Butterflies & angels/Compatibility/McDonalds on the reef   2/14/06 I know that no fish can ever be considered reef safe, but which butterflies are least likely to pick at soft corals? Everything I read tends to lean more towards them munching on worms and LPS corals. <If I were to take the CHANCE, it would be with a Raccoon Butterfly if yellow is what you are after.  Second choice would be the Auriga Butterfly. I want a good bit of yellow for some reason and was also looking at a Lemonpeel angel as well. Do you foresee any great threat? <I have a false Lemonpeel in a reef tank causing no problems. They are easier to acclimate to prepared food than the Lemonpeel.  All you are giving up are the blue eyelids.  Compare to women...Two identical gals, one with blue eyes the other brown.  The brown is much easier on your wallet...choose. James (Salty Dog)>

Mixing Centropyge Angels - Research First!! 01/22/06 Hello Crew, <<Hello Jim. Ted here>> I just purchased a Half Black Angel about 2 inches in length. <<Given that you have a Coral Beauty already in your 75G tank, this was not a wise purchase. Return him if you can. Please read and research before purchasing. For example: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dwfangcompfaqs.htm>> I set up a 10 gallon QT tank and filled it with water from my 75 gallon reef.  I plan on keeping the angel in QT for about two weeks, however, I am concerned about feeding.<<You QT fish for several reasons including stopping the introduction of disease to a healthy tank. The QT period is also a time to acclimate and "fatten" the new purchase. Finally, the QT period also allows for the opportunity to cure a fish of Ich and other diseases. Because of this, the QT period is a month or longer. Please research an read. This will start you off: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QuarMarFishes.htm>> There is no live rock in the QT tank. What would be the best choice for food? <<Please read here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dwfangfdgfaqs.htm>> This is my first attempt at using a QT tank and although I have read info on QT tanks I am still not certain that I am doing what is best. <<What is your concern? Again, the purpose for quarantining is to prevent the introduction of disease and to provide an environment that is stress free for the new purchase. The Coral Beauty will most assuredly harass the new Angel.>> Additionally, I have read conflicting information (or maybe I simply don't understand) regarding Centropyge compatibility and the size tank needed. I currently have a 75 gallon reef with approximately 100 pounds of live rock. The two fish that concern me are the Yellow Tang and Coral Beauty. The Coral Beauty was about 1 inch when purchased and is currently about two inches in length.  The Half Black that I want to add is just slightly smaller than the Coral Beauty.  I really want to add this little guy to my main tank and would appreciate your advice.<<Two Pygmy Angels in 75g is asking for trouble. One will be unhappy is likely to hide all of the time and have a short life. If you keep the fish, QT it to ensure that the fish is as strong and healthy as possible prior to the introduction to the other fish.>> Jim Brown <<Good luck - Ted>>

Betting The Long Odds (Mixing Two Centropyge Angels)   1/22/06 Hello Crew, <Hi there! Scott F. with you today!> I have a 75 gallon tank with approximately 110 lbs. of live rock.  Can I put a Half Black Angel in this tank which currently houses a Coral Beauty. Information on your site suggests that housing a Coral Beauty and a Flame Angel together is a recipe for disaster but I did not find any specific reference for a  Coral Beauty and Half Black.  I live in Pittsburgh and my husband has already named this fish "Steely."   Steely is in the QT tank and we were hoping to put him in the main tank on Superbowl Sunday.  Any chance of a win here? <Well, the line on this match is that you'll probably have a conflict of some sort with these two guys. Just about any two Centropyge Angelfish species will have some problems if housed together in a system of this size. When mixing Centropyge Angels, you'll have a better chance of success if you start with juvenile specimens, added simultaneously. In addition, the tank should have rockscaping arranged in such a way as to avoid a continuous run. Better to have multiple "atolls" or aggregations, which provide each fish a small "territory". Adding a new Centropyge Angel into a system that has an established one is almost always a problem. Sure, you could attempt to mitigate the situation by re-arranging the rockwork in the tank prior to adding the new fish, in the hope that it will put both fishes on a level playing field, but that's a dice roll, IMO. My best advice would be to pass! On the other hand, you could buy another tank...LOL Good luck! Regards, Scott F.> Thanks for time and help. Valerie  

Mixing Centropyges   1/13/06 Hi Bob, <Actually you will be with me, Adam J tonight.> just wondering what your thoughts <Thoughts> are on mixing these two angels. <Okay.> I have a golden angel in a 42 hex with some soft coral; he's been in the tank for about six months and is very hardy. <Be aware that your experience with this animal is opposite to most. The majority of the ones I cared for while working for a large retailer failed to adapt to captivity, most refusing to eat (even live foods) until they were to weak and succumbed to starvation or diseases.  Furthermore, while this animal is relatively small, to increase it's survival chances I recommend keeping it in large aquaria (lots of live rock, and a fishless 'fuge) to increase survival chances.> I also have a 75 gallon fish only  with live rock, skimmer, and refugium, the tank  has a potters angel, yellow tang, solar fairy wrasse, and a twin spot wrasse, my question is can I <I> put the golden angel in this 75 with the potters , <I would not miss to Centropyges in a 75 gallon, especially these two species.> the potters has been in the tank for four months and is very hardy also. <Heehee, see my comments above about the golden 'you can go ahead and mentally paste all of that in --here-.> The reason for the move is i <I> think the 42 hex is just two small for the golden <Me too.> the tank is only 30 inches and it just looks a little tight to me, <Yes.> thanks Ron <Ron, I agree the golden needs new quarters, but not cohabiting with your potters. Adam J.>

Kim's Angels <Centropyge comp.>  12/13/05 Hi guys! Happy Holidays! My Christmas is turning out wonderful! My husband is getting me a new tank,   a 96x24w x20h !! I plan to combine my 2 large tanks, a 125 with a Raccoon,  an Iridis Wrasse, a Candy Hogfish, 2 Ocellaris Clownfish and 2 Argi Angels. And   a 90 with an Arc eye Hawkfish, Salon Fairy Wrasse, a Blue Devil Damsel and a   Coral Beauty Angel. I also have a Acanthurus japonicus [sp?] in qt. I may find my Arc eye a new home, I kind of like my Cleaner shrimp. I also   may find a home for the Salon Fairy Wrasse, <Best to do this ahead of placing in such a large system...> he hates me, but that's a whole other  story. Anyway I would really love to keep all my Angels if possible. I know its  a risk, but I thought since they will be housed in an 8' tank and I will be  placing them in at the same time that it might work. But I never make a move  like this without consulting the 'Great Gods of fish Care'!! So would it be possible? Thanks so much for your help Kim <These dwarves should work out fine in such a large system. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

This Angel Is NO Angel!  11/21/05 Hello, very helpful & informative site. <Glad that you enjoy it! Scott F. here today!> I recently acquired a mature 120 G FOWLR system and added live rock so that now I have about 150lbs. I raised the rock into 2 piles using PVC structures that create cave-like hiding spaces. <Excellent way of aquascaping!> The incumbents were a Porcupine Puffer, Bicolor Angel, Tomato Clown, and Yellow-Eyed Tang, all between 3.5" to 4". They appeared to be getting along well when I saw the tank set up at the former owners. Since I set it up, the Tomato Clown has been hiding in the corners, but the other fish were getting along well and eating. My LFS says the clown is probably stressed from the move and should get more comfortable over time, but that has still not happened after about 1 month. It appears that the Bicolor Angel is harassing him. <Well, the fish can definitely become better acclimated to new surroundings in this period of time, but the harassment from another fish is definitely a factor that can affect it.> I added a 5" Black Damsel (I believe it's a Microspathodon dorsalis) and a smallish Snowflake Moray, my kids' choices with LFS guidance. These fish have fit in fine with the rest so far, and the moray seems to like the rock arrangement, but the clown still has not improved. <It's likely to be a chronic problem if the Bicolor continues to harass him.> I also inherited a Majano anemone problem, so on the advice of the LFS and some web research, I just added a 4" Raccoon Butterfly to control the anemones. The Bicolor Angel almost immediately started harassing the Butterfly, and he is staying away from the rock, which will keep him from doing his job. <An unfortunate, but familiar trend with this angel, huh?> He seems to have befriended the puffer, which works well since the angel stays away from the Puffer, but whenever the Butterfly approaches the rock, the angel shoots out to protect his turf. <"Protect his turf" is a good description! Centropyge angelfish are extremely territorial, and will defend a large area of reef from other fishes. The fact that your tank is a bit crowded doesn't help to reduce this behavior.> I realize 7 fish is too much for this size system, especially since there are a couple of largish species (the Puffer and Damsel), and am thinking that if the angel found a new home (a shame since he's beautiful, very healthy, and a good eater) that might make things better for both the Clown and the Butterfly. What do you think? Where else should I look to reduce my bio-load (except the Puffer, everyone loves him, and the Butterfly, since he has a job to do)? <Unfortunately, removing the angel may be the one definitive thing that you can do to reduce this problem. Personally, I would remove the Damsel as well, but that is a personal opinion. Do consider what the Butterfly will eat when the population of pest anemones is eliminated...Will you be able to get him to eat prepared foods? Although I'm in favor of biological controls for pests, where possible, I don't like using Butterfly fish for this purpose, because they may or may not adapt to a captive diet. Make sure to try and wean yours to prepared foods...> Best Regards, Michael LeBauer <My pleasure, Michael! Do consider removing the offending fishes and re-thinking your bioload...Best of luck! Regards, Scott F.> 
This Angel is NO Angel! (Cont'd.)  11/22/05
Dear Scott: <Hello again!> Thank you for your excellent reply...you basically confirmed what I thought was necessary, but helps to convince 2 very sad boys. They named the Angel "Fairy." I told them it should be called "Demon." He's definitely a fallen Angel. However, he doesn't bother the Damsel or the Tang, both of whom spend a lot of time in the rock caves. Strange how some fish are accepted and others aren't. I wonder why he started picking on the Clown, since he is a long time tank mate. But the Angel is not as aggressive with the clown as with the new Butterfly. <No real single reason; sometimes, the fish just takes a "dislike" to others. Unfortunately, they don't always live up to our behavioral expectations.> As to your question about weaning the Butterfly to prepared foods, he has been eating cubes since I introduced him, but I'm not sure how much he's sampled the anemones. So feeding doesn't appear to be a problem, rather getting him to eat the anemones, his "job", is my concern, with Demon keeping watch over the rock piles. <Agreed...Glad to hear that he's eating. Too many hobbyists use these fishes to solve their anemone issues, then "move 'em out" to a fellow hobbyist's tank. A cruel and inappropriate use, IMO. I'm happy that you're doing it right!> I'll take your advice, and take the Angel to LFS, if I can catch him. He's a fast bugger. I'll probably keep the Damsel, since I'm thinking to set up a 46G bowfront, currently sitting empty, as a reef tank, and could move the clown, leaving the 120G for the coral/invert eaters (Tang, Puffer, Butterfly, Damsel). Then I could get into inverts & a few smaller fish like gobies, and give the clown a proper anemone to play in. <All good!> Best Regards, Michael LeBauer <Good luck, Michael! Regards, Scott F.>  

This Angel is A Holy Terror! (Centropyge in A Reef Tank)  11/9/05 Hi WWM Crew, <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> I've been a long term reader of your website, but never needed to ask a question. You are always very helpful, so hopefully my question can be answered. <We'll try our best!> A little background on my tank: 37 gallon tank that is 30" long, 780GPH return pump, 200 GPH spray bar behind 30 lbs of live rock, and about .5" to 1" of fine sand. I have a couple Acropora colonies, as well as many frags of SPS. I have a Hammer Coral, a Xenia, an Open Brain in the substrate, two Digitata frags, one Acropora tenuis frag, along with some others. <Neat mix for this sized tank..> I introduced a Flame Angelfish into my tank, about 5 days ago. For 4 days it only picked at little bits of hair algae (I solved the growth problem, but the existing ones were not all harvested out), and the algae on the live rock. I fed it some Formula Two food, but it only picked at a couple pieces, it ate some flake, but definitely not too much. I even fed it and my Clownfish some brine shrimp, and it at that too. Problem is, on the 5th day it ate all my SPS. By lunchtime, it had cleaned my Digitata clean, they were only skeletons rather than the usual fuzzy look. My open brain's "mantle" was very chewed up, showing green marks on it's pink/red surface where it got nipped. My Xenia retracted itself, looks like it was harmed. My Zoos were all closed. My Acroporas had maybe one or two polyps each open. My Hammer was untouched. Over $300 worth of damage done. I immediately took strawberry baskets and zip tied them to the top of my tank, submerged of course, putting all my SPS in there. I have to get more baskets to put my LPS and Zoos into. <Yikes...An all-too-familiar story, in my experience...> So my question is: Are my SPS just retracted or were they actually eaten? <Well, in all likelihood, some of the polyps are still intact, "hiding" in the corallites. However, with continued harassment from the Angel, they may not expand regularly, potentially dooming them.> Will this behavior continue to the point where my corals will die or be very unhealthy? Or, will it give up picking at my SPS and LPS and they will still be able to grow? <Gosh.. That's a question that simply has no definite answer. I have personally kept certain Centropyge species in reefs for years with no damage at all, but that does not mean that you or anyone else will have such success. For that matter, 3 years from now, my Angel may start plucking polyps from my corals. Maybe I've been lucky-who knows? It is a calculated risk, IMO. I have a friend that keeps a pair of Goldflake Angels in his 350 gallon reef system with tons of expensive SPS. He's had no problems so far, but I wouldn't be surprised to hear that they started tearing up corals at some point. "Conventional Reef Wisdom" indicates that the smaller Centropyge species, such as the "Cherub" (C. argi), "Fisher's Angel" (C. fisheri), or "Flameback Angel" (C. aurantonotus) are "safer". Even then, thee are no guarantees. Fishes are individuals, and may not conform to our behavioral expectations.> Are all angelfish like this? <Many do nip at corals to a certain degree. Some are simply foraging on mucus and algae associated with the corals and calms. Nonetheless, these are potential risks that you need to consider.> Reading I heard it was 50/50 chance of it being reef safe, and my LFS told me they were definitely 99% reef safe. <Really irresponsible for them to make such an assertion without "qualifying" it by stating that this was THEIR experience with this fish. The Flame is one of the more notorious Centropyge for coral nipping.> I know being reef safe, they will still nip once in awhile. Do you think it was just exploring and will shape up? <So hard to say. You'll just have to wait and see. One thing I have noticed is that hobbyists who have succeeded in keeping Centropyge in reef systems have categorically higher success in larger systems (100 gallons plus). Perhaps this is because these tanks afford greater "grazing" opportunities on live rock. Perhaps it's simply that there are more corals to choose from, and the damage to any one specimen is limited by this variety.> I can't catch it either with a net. Do you have any suggestions? I want to catch it and return it to the LFS unless there is reason that it won't kill my corals. <Again, no guarantees. You can use a "fish trap", but these fishes can be extremely difficult to extricate from an established tank without completely taking the rockwork apart. Work at night, and be prepared for some frustration.> Thank you! Art <My pleasure, Art. Best of luck to you.> 

Cyano Issues, Aggression From Centropyge Towards Tangs  11/01/05 Hi Crew, <Howdy Steve, Ali here...> I hope this query finds you all very well! I have been fighting a bit of Red Cyano lately and have made some progress by picking up more frequent water changes, cut back on feeding, and reducing phosphates. I read in several FAQ's from Anthony to "never allow thawed frozen pack juice" into the tank. I never really thought about what he was saying but maybe you could help me. I feed a large variety of food, however when I thaw my frozen cube food, I typically cut a small chunk of Angel or other "green" omnivore frozen food and also cut a chunk of omnivore frozen cube, in which I place in a small cup with a few drops of Zoe and tank water to thaw. Once thawed, I mix the food, turn off the pumps/power heads and dump the contents into the tank. I believe all of the thawed water, along with the Zoe that is in solution may be adding to my excess nutrient problems, do you concur? <Steve, consider keeping the following items near your feeding station/sink: a water bottle filled with ro/di water, a handheld fine strainer, and some Selcon (vitamin/essential fatty acid drops, MUCH better than Zoe). 1. Simply place the food you desire to feed your fish in the strainer; 2. Hold the strainer underneath the tap until the food is dissolved and excess oils are leached out; 3. Simply squirt ro/di water from the bottle directly over the strainer to 'clean' the food (final rinse); 4. Add few drops of Selcon over food.; 5. Feed fish. I would add Selcon at perhaps every 3rd feeding, however because you are having these excess nutrient issues, you can cut back totally from the Zoe/Selcon for the next month or so.> My fish consist of a 6" Bicolor Rabbitfish, 3.5" Orange Shoulder Tang, 2.5" Chevron Tang, 4" Bicolor Dwarf Angel, 5" Longnose Butterfly, and 30" Zebra Moray eel. These fish reside in a 250 gallon tank with 250 lbs. of Tonga Live rock, live fine Aragonite DSB, TurboFlotor Skimmer (producing lots of skimmate), 50 gallon wet/dry, 40 watt UV sterilizer, and refugium. In the refugium I have crushed live rock substrate, with mini PC (24 hours) on Caulerpa. <Sounds like a decent set-up you have going there Steve. You may consider upgrading the protein skimmer to an even more powerful model. Additionally, I would seriously consider increasing the water circulation and flow within the tank. This will help out tremendously with the red slime as well.> Second issue: My Bicolor Dwarf Angel is a recent addition to the main display tank and he is showing some signs of aggression towards the Chevron and Orange Shoulder tang. At one point he had the Chevron cowering in a cave and he would only come out to take a look and swim back in. Normally this Chevron is grazing off of the live rock non-stop and only hides at night when the lights go off. I know it is hard to say, but should this subside eventually? <Bicolors do have the potential to be somewhat overly aggressive towards tankmates. His aggressive behavior should however, subside shortly. Overall, they are not good choices for aquariums in my opinion. Just too finicky, perhaps improper collection methods.> The Bicolor Angel was in QT to settle in and never really fed well except off of the live rock and is still only grazing off of the live rock. Is the live rock enough to sustain him until he gets into the mix of feeding with the rest of the fish? <Hopefully he will do well. The LR should provide him with enough nutrients until he takes in prepared foods.> Your comments and help are greatly appreciated. Best Wishes, Steven  <No problemo Steven, Good luck with everything! - Ali>  <<No problema.  No hay "problemo".  MH>>

Damsel Pestering Pygmy Angel 11/01/05 Hey Bob or Steve whoever gets this. <Ali here...> I have a 75 reef and for a while there was only a damsel in the tank (my parents took care of the tank this summer for me and that's all that was left) I just recently added a Flameback to the tank and the damsel is going crazy. He is attacking it and showing a lot of aggression. <Typical behavior for a damsel who has had a tank all to himself for a year.> I have the lights turned off now and there is over 100 pounds of rock in the tank. I don't know what else to do if this doesn't stop I think the pygmy will die. I can't trap out the damsel there is too much rock. Would adding another fish calm the damsel down so its just not the two of them? thanks any help will be great. Matt <Matt, you are in a dilemma here. More than likely, the damsel will not stop showing constant aggression towards the angel. Both fish more than likely have very similar body shape/size and diet. A damsel that has 'owned' and dominated the aquarium all by himself can be especially terrorizing towards other small fish.  Generally speaking, the Flameback pygmy angels are an assertive fish that can hold their own with many other species of fish. However a newly added, un-QT'd fish placed within the grasps of a well-established, dominant damsel isn't really the best practice. Please consider removing some rockwork and gently trying to trap or catch either fish. I would not add anymore fish in the aquarium as the next fish you add will most likely suffer the same unnecessary fate as the angel. Good luck. - Ali>

Angelfishes for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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