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FAQs on Centropyge Angelfishes Feeding

Related Articles: Centropyge Angels, C. loricula/Flame Angel, Lemon/y Dwarf Angels, A Couple of Lemons; the True and False/Herald's (nee Woodheadi) Centropyges, Potter's Angels, Reef Safari! Keeping Multibarred Angelfish By Alexander Thomasser,

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

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Centropyge deborae Feeding Problems 11/9/12
I have a bit of a complicated situation at hand presently with a dwarf angel I acquired back in September from NY Aquatic. It arrived in good health, with a nice body size to it at about 3". The fish (C. deborae, commonly called the Fijian Midnight Blue Angelfish) had a healthy body weight to it, so it was obviously eating for the retailer. After about a week of being with me, the angel refused everything I offered: frozen Hikari Mysis, clam on the half shell, brine shrimp, herbivore blend, Ocean Nutrition Angel Formula, Ocean Nutrition Formula 1 and Formula 2 flakes, NLS pellets (smallest size), Nutramar Ova, homemade blend (contains scallops, chopped table shrimp, Mysis shrimp, brine shrimp, cod, Selcon, garlic, shredded Nori, and various veggies), live Mysids, and a type of live sponge aside from the kinds I had on the 30-40lbs of live rock in the QT tank (40 breeder). After going through all of those foods, even soaking various offerings in garlic or Selcon, I gave NY Aquatic a call to see what they were successfully feeding the C. deborae prior to me ordering it.
Oddly enough, they replied with Hikari Mysis and Spirulina flakes. Both of which were taken aggressively. The whole time in my care the fish remained skittish of anyone in the room where the tank is set up, but I knew this was going to happen any ways.
The offerings of these foods continued. About the second week I went out and found some Sea Veggies (the stuff I had went missing). To feed this I simply rubber banded it to a cleaned out clam shell and placed near the small cave area of live rock it never seemed to leave in my presence. Soon after I began to notice a patch of white forming on the left eye of the fish. At the advice of some local reefers, I treated with PraziPro as the possibility of it being flukes or similar was there. I also proceeded to do a freshwater dip. It was ended early because the angel stressed out after 2 minutes. Checked that off my list of possibilities and began my search for Maracyn and Maracyn 2, but couldn't find the saltwater versions (now I know the freshwater version can be used of course). I went with my next best choice of Furan 2 after 2 weeks of looking (at about the 4-5 week mark). I also ordered some Seachem Kanaplex to add to the spectrum of bacteria that would be affected by the medications. The treatment was successful (ended early last week) and the eye cleared up. I continued my food offerings, but with less frequency with the antibiotics in use.
After the treatment was finished, I started my offerings again. Though, there was still no success with anything. My angel was still as, if not more, reclusive than it was prior to treatment. I went out on a limb and decided to get it a fish companion. This companion turned out to be a McCosker's flasher wrasse, which I got on Monday from a local fish store.
The idea was to make the angelfish less reclusive, which worked right away on Tuesday (yesterday) and worked today as well. My Deborae will still swim to its safe spot, but come out after a minute or two. The wrasse eats well, taking pretty much anything I offer. My hope is that the angel will catch on to this, but I'm not going to hold my breath on it. My question is, what do I do now?
<"Keep on keeping on">
Nearly 2 months and it refuses to eat the foods I offer, <Likely is nibbling on some items... the live rock; else it would be very thin, have perished by now>
and I believe there are some symptoms of HLLE starting to show from the lack of food. Do I risk force feeding the fish and hope for a recovery?
<I would not>
Go out and buy other foods? If so, what do you recommend I try? Any advice you have to offer on helping me with this beautiful fish is greatly appreciated.
<I was out in Fiji, collecting this fish (named after Walt's wife, Deb) when it was discovered... It is a more reclusive member of the genus (Centropyge), but will "come out" in time. I agree w/ your addition of the "dither fish"... I urge patience, continuing offering of a mix of foods.
Bob Fenner> 

An observation regarding Centropyge bicolor feeding   8/15/11
Hi :)
<Hello Borja>
Congratulations on your great website.
<Thank you>
I'd like to share a hopefully useful observation regarding Centropyge bicolor and prepared foods.
<Please do>
I added one to my tank two weeks ago. Everything went well, I even saw it eating frozen food at the store, and it was in really perfect condition.
The first days it even ate pellets, both Formula 2 by Ocean Nutrition and Finicky feeder small pellets from New Life Spectrum. It also nibbled sometimes on frozen Mysis and krill Pacifica, but it's been losing interest on them and prefers to just pick at the bottom (the tank has a productive deep sand bed, refugium and live rock).
What I have observed is that, probably due to the availability of live food, it selects what it eats. But actually there's a way for it to pick some pellets from the bottom: when it sees the pellets moving.
So, the conclusion is: in case a Centropyge bicolor refuses to eat pellets from the water column, maybe pointing a stream pump to the bottom, so that a slight current keeps the pellets moving, will help.
I've also found something it finds irresistible, eating like crazy from the water column: frozen lobster eggs.
Best regards,
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Dwarf Angelfish/Centropyge Feeding 2/10/11
Hi Crew,
<Hello Sam>
On this website http://www.centropyge.net/coralbeauty.html  I found this comment:
"As with all Centropyge it will feed on flake foods but will do much better on a variety of small bite-size frozen foods, such as Mysis shrimp."
<Sam, you know better not to stray away from WWM. :-) >
I could not tell who made the comment. In any case I thought that these fish are omnivores and that being the case they would need something green besides Mysis which I would feed to carnivores.
<Not entirely wrong, Sam. It does state "variety". Well acclimated individuals will accept all forms of prepared and fresh foods; however they should be offered some green foods especially on a daily basis and Live Rock is also beneficial to them.
Hopefully you are not considering one of these for your 24 gallon tank...not enough room.
James (Salty Dog)>
Re Dwarf Angelfish/Centropyge Feeding 2/10/11- 2/11/11
Hi James,
Almost like having a direct line to you.
<Your number came up.>
Well, I actually was considering it because someone local here is giving one away free and I find that hard to resist.
<Does happen.>
He doesn't even know what it is other than small and brown with some blue on the fins. He is getting rid of it because he says it is eating his clams. I would be taking a chance that he would nip my LPS.
<Very well could, some do, some do not.>
But as you say, there really is not enough room for him.
<Yes, a 24 gallon tank would be pushing it.>
I was hoping someone would pick it up by now so I wouldn't be tempted any longer.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Bicolor Angelfish/Feeding 6/23/09
Hi Crew,
<Hello Cameron>
Thanks for your advice regarding my Blue Linckia back in May last year.
<You're welcome.>
I took some other advice from your website and a little over 1 year ago I invested in a refugium (CPR hang-on) and a protein skimmer (Remora Pro hang-on).
<Good move.>
I also emptied my canister filter (which now just circulates water) and increased the amount of live rock.
Despite all of this I still record moderate nitrate levels similar to when I operated the canister, but my gut feeling is that the new set up has improved the water stability and qualify.
In fact the Blue Linckia that I mentioned in my email from last May (13 months ago) is alive, well and active. It looked doomed shortly after my last email and developed several legions, but I think the refugium, skimmer etc may have helped bring it back from the brink and it's been healthy ever since. A good news story!
<Yes, indeed.>
On a different note, I have purchased a Bi-Color Angel and I read the section at http://www.wetwebmedia.com/c_bicolor.htm, which has some great information about this species. I'm concerned about quarantining this species for a long time because your website notes that they don't eat flakes, pellets or frozen food but rather need a good amount of live rock and living substrate. If I take a couple of rocks from my display tank and put them in the quarantine tank, will that be enough for the bi-color angel to live off for a 3 to 4 week quarantine?
<In the wild, the Bicolor Angelfish feeds on algae, small crustaceans and worms close to the bottom, so try feeding your Bicolor Angelfish small amounts of live, frozen, and prepared formula foods, you may be one of the lucky ones in getting this fish to eat prepared foods. Ocean Nutrition's Formula II and Angel Formula would be my first choice. Do keep in mind that these fish can be difficult to acclimate to prepared foods. As Bob mentions in the above article, keeping a good amount of healthy live rock in your display system is essential. I would also do as you suggest and place quality live rock in the QT. Rotating the live rock from the main display every five days or so would be beneficial to the fish.>
Best regards,
<Ditto. James (Salty Dog)>

Bi-colour angel problem, feeding mostly    7/2/07 Hi First things first, here are the stats of my aquarium: 55 gallon 25KG live rock Pair tomato clown 1 copperband butterfly <Needs more room> 1 damsel 1 green coral goby 1 bi-colour blenny 3 assorted soft corals 2 hermits and a few shrimps Yesterday I added a bi-colour angel to my tank. <Quarantined? This Centropyge is very prone to parasitic issues...> He started eating immediately, even ate flakes. But today, I placed live brine, Mysis and frozen brine into my aquarium, and he didn't eat anything. He would look at the food and just swim away, he didn't even try to eat. I live in Australia, and we cannot buy feeding inducers such as Selcon here. Any recommendations? <Mmm, yes... Live rock, and lots of it... an almost sure-fire means of nourishing Centropyges fresh from the wild> There is no aggression in the tank, my other fish don't bother him at all. Much appreciated, Albany <Bob Fenner>

Lemon Peel not eating   2/13/07 Dear Crew: <Tom> I have a 40 gallon saltwater tank with a variety of fish who are all healthy.  My problem is that I purchased a lemon peel angel <Needs more room than this... and lots of stable, healthy live rock and what it provides there as well> who has not  eaten a thing yet and just hides behind rocks all day long.   <Natural behavior> Occasionally  he comes out but it's not for very long.  He looks thin but he is certainly  not emaciated.   Visually, the only problem I can discern is that his lips  appear "pursed" as if he's trying to kiss.  Is this a sign of  disease? <Possibly> I would appreciate any helpful comments. Thanks, Tom <Have you read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/centropyge/index.htm and the linked files above? Bob Fenner>

Lemonpeel Angel and veggie clip  12/28/06 Hello, <Hello> will a Lemonpeel angel eat from a veggie clip or will it only eat off of live rocks? Thanks much <Depends on the individual, but with time and comfort with its surroundings most likely will eat off the clip.> <Chris>

Re: Centropyge eibli  - 10/22/06 Thanks for your reply. < Most welcome. > He is eating some angel formula as I type. < Very good. > One more quick question.  Sorry you guys are just so full of knowledge.  I put red algae on a clip for him, but he doesn't seem to go eat it.  Will he eat off it in time? < Your Eibli will probably devour the Nori once it realizes it is a food item. It may take a while, but may never happen (unlikely). Offer it daily during a routine feeding to associate it with food. > Thanks < You're welcome and best wishes - Emerson >

Feeding Potter Angel 9/12/06 Hi WetWebMedia Crew, <Hi> Good morning. <Good evening now> I acquired a 1.5 inch potter 3 weeks ago, he is in QT now and is eating flake and pellets. Of late, I have been trying to wean him over to Mysis shrimp but the guy won't touch it. Tried starving him for a day but he still won't touch the Mysis. <Unusual, the problem is more often getting them to eat pellets and flakes and more "natural" foods like Mysid are easier.> I want him to feed strong and on all kinds of food before I transfer him to the display tank. <Good procedure.> Any idea to make the transition to frozen food less painful? Thanks and the team has been very helpful in the past!    <Have you tried soaking the food in either Selcon or garlic extract.  For me I find garlic's only benefit is it does seem to stimulate the feeding response, although I prefer using Selcon since it also adds some nutritional benefit.  Otherwise fast him for 2-3 days and then try feeding, as long as he is otherwise healthy this length of time will not hurt him and may help encourage feeding.> <Chris>

Finicky Coral Beauty - 08/07/06 Hi, <<Hello!>> I recently purchased a Coral Beauty to add to the tank.  It's a 240, with assorted Chromis, two Damsels, a Bicolor Pseudochromis, two Neon Gobies, two Maroon Clowns, and one Neon Dottyback.  He is by far, at two or so inches, the largest fish in the tank. <<Okay>> I do not have any live rock in the tank. <<...?  Is this a "fish only" setup?  Even so, a few pieces of live rock can be very beneficial (bio-filtration/diversity/foodstuffs>> It has had fish in it for a couple of months, and has ugly brown diatom algae all over the rocks. <<A new system?  Likely algal succession>> I'm hoping this will lead into some green algae eventually, although the two little Queen Conchs love this diatom, and can strip a rock in a day or so. <<Indeed>> In the meantime, this poor fish does not like the diatom algae covered rocks. <<No>> He also doesn't like the dried seaweed I put in the tank with a clip.  He doesn't like flake food, freeze dried, or most frozen kinds, although he likes a product called Zooplankton. <<Then I would keep feeding this along with trying some frozen glass worms (mosquito larvae) and some New Life Spectrum pelleted food>> I was hoping that feeding with this pack of voracious fish would give him the same idea, but no luck. <<Sometimes works...sometimes not...>> Should I buy a couple of algae covered rocks just to give him something to graze on? <<A few pieces of live rock would be my suggestion. the algae will come>> Also, I've been reading everywhere that lettuce and spinach won't do them any good, but I recently saw a frozen marine fish food which listed spinach as one of the ingredients. <<Mmm, yes...depends on the type lettuce...and lettuce and spinach in their "raw" state is difficult for the fish to digest/draw nutrition from due to the cellulose they contain.  Though blanching or freezing them will break down the cellulose, making them more digestible...okay as a supplement/partial ingredient, but better to stick with marine base vegetation in my opinion>> What can I offer this fish so he will have some variety to eat? <<Give my previous suggestions a try, if you haven't already...and add some "live" rock to the display (replacing existing rock if necessary)>> I hate to buy live brine shrimp, because of possible disease, but will do if that will start him feeding well. <<Mmm...little chance for disease in my experience...but even less chance for any real nutritive value unless you can "gut load" them before feeding to your fish>> Regards, Terri <<Good luck, EricR>>

BF spot, Dottyback color loss, Centropyge feeding in QT   7/12/06 Thanks for your prompt reply, <Please include prev. corr...> I have done as you said and given my copperband with a freshwater dip mixed with M/Green. He has a parasite attached to his front left fin, I hope it will come off after a few more dips. But he is looking much better after the first dip, the itch has receded significantly. And he's eating well as usual. <Mmm, a parasite? Might just be a "spot" from bumping into something... I'd try a purposeful cleaner organism... perhaps a Lysmata sp. shrimp... Gobiosoma goby...> Now onto my Dottyback. He has lost a lot of colour, when I got him he was a bright magenta and yellow, now he's faded to a dull purple and yellow. I have been told this is due to him not being the dominant fish in the aquarium, as the Anthias don't seem to like him too much and chase him sometimes. <Possibly a/the factor here> I feed him Mysid shrimp, brine, algae flakes, angel fish mix, ocean plankton, pretty much whatever I can get my hands on, and he is still showing no signs of his original colour. Any suggestions? <Spectrum pelleted food/s> My final question is about my eibli angel, which is refusing to eat Mysid shrimp, marine algae, brine shrimp and flakes. He is in my QT tank atm, and I'm worried that he hasn't eaten for 2 days. I am not treating the tank with any medication so I am thinking of buying a small piece of live rock for him to nibble on. Would you suggest Nori too? <Do add a good deal of ready-cured live rock with obvious algal growth> I'll just like to add that you guys provide a valuable service and your advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks. Albany <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Flame angel stopped feeding    4/8/06 Hi WWM Crew, <Kan> Good evening (GMT +8) :) I searched your faq's looking for answers but found none and hope you can help. My flame angel, acquired for almost 6 months, suddenly refused food. No sign of white spots or Oodinium. <Does happen... food strikes in Centropyge are quite common> He kept swimming towards the food but somehow cannot locate the food in the beginning but it has progressed to total refusal of food now. He stays at the bottom of the tank, not swimming around the whole time and seem to be pecking at the algae on my bare bottom tank. I fed him food that he was eating before like Mysis, tetra flake, ocean nutrition pellets and he shows no interest at all. The fish have been behaving like this for 2 weeks and he is not going to make it if he continues to refuse food. Please help Thanks Kan Tun-Yee Singapore <Mmm, if you don't have another established system to move this fish to, changing good quantities of water (25%), adding some new/fresh live rock (for filtration as well as food stuffs), and vitamin/supplementation to the water (Selcon, Microvit et al.) is recommended. Bob Fenner>

Centropyge Feeding Issues...and Defiance or Maybe ...   3/29/06 Hi, <Hey Joe, Adam J with you tonight.> I have had a coral beauty for about two weeks now, and it has not eaten anything. <Not uncommon with new specimens.>   I saw it feed vigorously in the fish store.   <A good sign 'it is at least willing to eat captive fair.> It tries to eat Mysis shrimp that I throw in the tank, but for some reason spits it out after a few seconds. <Look at the positive though'¦..it is showing interest, maybe offer a better variety, try some krill, squid, fresh clam/scallop meat, ocean nutrition Centropyge (pygmy-angel) formula'¦.and consider soaking any of this fair in a nutritional supplement such as Selcon.> Other then his lack of appetite, he behaves  completely normally and has no visible ailments (except a pinched stomach).   <Is this specimen in quarantine or in the display competing with other livestock for food?> I have also tried feeding him dried algae and Caulerpa, which he shows no interest in.  All other fish are well and eating.  He is behavior clearly tells me he is not being intimidated by any other fish.   <Ahhh, I have my answer 'no quarantine.> Any ideas?? <I would continue to offer food, different foods'¦.and just wait for the time being'¦..since s/he is in display I surmise there is some live rock as well for the animal to graze upon, no?> Thanks Much, <Anytime.> Joe Marano <Adam Jackson>

Coral Beauty not Eating (6-3-05) Hello, <Hi there, Leslie here this evening.> I'd like to commend you guys on a phenomenal job with the website and info. <Thank you for the kind words!> I live in India and have just purchased a 1.5 inch Coral Beauty. He's in a 40gal fish only set up with a 2 inch Auriga, 2 inch Wimplefish and an inch long Yellow Tail Damsel for company. I also have a 125 gal tank where the butterflies will be moved later. The trouble is the Coral Beauty refuses to eat. I have a minimal amount of green algae in the tank,  which he nibbles on occasionally. He looks to be completely fit, no signs of disease etc. Could you please recommend a good diet for him or is it worth removing his tank mates and causing him stress in the process? He seems disinterested in all the foods I have tried including Nori, Spirulina flakes, pellets, shrimp. <They eat Algae, sponges, ascidians'¦'¦.. continue to offer a variety of foods'¦'¦ live rock, different types of live, frozen/defrosted and other fresh foods like live brine shrimp, frozen enriched brine shrimp, Mysis and just give him some time to adjust to his new living situation. > Thank you, I really appreciate your help! Adriel    <Your most welcome. Best of luck with your new fish! Leslie>

Coral Beauty Feeding Hi WWM crew, I'll make this short. I have a Coral Beauty and was looking on your sight for a page of what it eats (not fish food like algae /whatever). Could you please send me a link? <Coral Beauties will pretty much eat anything my friend, but algae is probably a good part of their diet. Better to have lots of live rock in the tank as they do like to pick. Here is a link for you. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/centropyge/ James (Salty Dog)> 
More Coral Beauty Food
Hi WWM crew, I've been wondering if a Coral Beauty will eat good Coralline Algae and or mushrooms, and thank you.  <Pygmy angels do not eat coralline and should be pretty safe with mushrooms. James (Salty Dog)> 

Skinny Eibl's Centropyge Hey Bob. <Hey Jay, MacL here with you tonight, Bob I'm sure is diving and I'm envious lol>  I have an eibli angel and he's doing great in my tank but he's not eating enough and his stomach is sunken in a little. <Do you have Mysis? and other types of frozen pods to feed him? that usually brings them around> The other fish in the tank get the food before he does and when he does get it, it's not  enough.  I even put to seaweed clips in the tank on each side and he only  looks at them and doesn't eat the algae.  Do you have any  suggestions?  Is there a helpful hint or pointer you can give me to make  him eat before he dies of malnutrition? <Do you have live rock in the tank that he can eat from?> I really love this angel and I'd  rather not get rid of him or see him die and I have no other tank to put him in,  please help!!! <They usually aren't very difficult to get to eat in my experience but if you need to use live brine that you feed a vitamin enriched supplement to.  Brine alone isn't very nutritious. MacL> Thanks, Jeff
Eibli angel
hey MacL, I just purchased frozen angel food for him is that good? <I've had a lot of success with it, mostly for the large angels because it has sponge in it.>  and yes I feed frozen brine shrimp. <Make sure with the brine shrimp it has vitamins already added or be sure and add some to it.>  I have 75lbs. of live rock that the angel picks off of all day long and it doesn't seem to prevent his stomach from  being sunken in. <You know I am beginning to suspect something more, perhaps some type of parasite? How long have you had him.  I remember way back in the cyanide days when a fish would eat or try to eat and still get that pinched look and then die, I'M NOT saying your fish was cyanided just that it sounds similar. Did you quarantine him? (sorry if you told me that already, way to many of these questions to answer. Do you know, can you tell is he eating the algae off the rocks as well? Is it just his belly getting pinched or are there other areas on his body that are starting to look thin? Please let me know. MacL>
Eibli angel part two
also in response to your email MacL, my eibli angel goes nuts over all the food I put in the tank and then all the sudden gives up like he's full or something when I know he's not. <Do you have anyway to isolate him and the food, so he's not being perhaps over competed? I've seen people use specimen cups and even spaghetti colanders to keep them separated while they eat.> So he is eating, he's just not  persistent.  Does that mean he's just going to  fail? <You'd be amazed at the ideas out there, lets not give up yet. Keep the faith. MacL>
Eibli Angel
you know what Mac, just today I found out that the angel formula is working great and he's eating a lot more he's stomach is actually less sunken in and thin  but not 100% back to normal. <Jay that's wonderful news, sometimes they just have to become more comfortable in a situation and they will start to compete for the food more.> What can I do besides separating him from another tank to make this sunken in stomach go away? any medicated foods u recommend? <I used to love the old tetra medicated foods but I think they discontinued them.> or anything else? garlic? <Seachem makes a supplement that's supposed to aid in hunger for fish, I've not tried it but I love SeaChem's products.>  I wanna resolve this in the tank if possible, and once again, thanks A LOT for helping me out.  Your really  making this workout for me. <I'm glad I am able to help you, I think at this point if you have him eating more its all about getting some vitamins in him. You might try Selcon or Zo? To soak the food in before he's eating.  I love Selcon personally but haven't tried Zo? The idea is to get GOOD quality foods in him and fill him up. I'm sooo happy this is going better. MacL>
Eibli Angel
He's eating algae off of the rocks yes, and there are no other areas that look thin at all. <That's honestly great news Jay, he can come back from a thin stomach much easier than if his lost body muscle.>  I didn't quarantine, I had a bad experience with my ammonia spiking and killing the two fish I had in the QT tank and I won't QT  again,<I remember now many apologies You know I have a friend that uses a sponge filter and has amazing success with it for quarantine. I personally just set up a tank that I use only for that.> I did fresh water dip him though for 6 min.  And what do u recommend I do if it is a parasite or some type of bacterial infection, considering I don't  have a hospital tank anymore? <Well based on your last post I think its not going to be necessary, I think you've got him on the way back, you can always try garlic, many people do swear by it, and use it on their tanks at least periodically.  I hate to use medicines unless they are for sure called for in a tank. Melafix is the least hurtful to a tank as I understand it but there are many others.  I think though that you wouldn't want to use anything at this point. Please let me know how he does MacL>

-Flame angel not eating- Dear Bob, <Kevin here in his stead> Bless your heart for your knowledge on marine livestock and inverts and making it available to novices like us :) <You're very welcome, will pass along!> I have a  question on my recently acquired flame...I'm trying to get him to eat (Mysis, brine, greens, etc) but all he does is pick at the live rocks... <My first instinct on this is to simply wait a bit and he'll start eating, since most of them do. In the event that he does not start eating offered foods (keeping in mind that they can sustain themselves for a long time on just rock nibblings) then I would suggest trying live brine shrimp to try and entice a feeding response. Since this fish was 'recently acquired' which could mean you got it yesterday, I wouldn't expect it to eat immediately, since they need some time to feel comfortable in their new surroundings after the stresses of fish store capture and transport.> (he is an absolutely beauty though). Any clue on how I can improve this condition? I have seen suggestions on angels prepared foods (ocean nutrition) but I thought they should be at least interested in greens? <The pygmy you have is not as interested in the sponge (the base for Ocean Nutrition's angel formula) as they are in marine greenery (the base for Ocean Nutrition's pygmy angel formula, ironically enough with a picture of a flame angel on the package). I would start by tying some dried seaweeds to the live rock in hopes that he will pick that way and start getting used to it.> This flame is housed in my 70 gal display tank along with a Copperband butterfly and a clown... <Go figure that the flame would have an eating problem and the Copperband doesn't! -Kevin> Thanks for your time in this... Steve Jen.

Bicolor Angelfish I have a bicolor Angelfish that has a little white scrap and is breathing rapidly.  All the water parameters are excellent Ammonia 0, Nitrate 1 ppm, nitrite 0, and ph is 8.2.  There is live rock in the tank and there is a skimmer.  And we haven't seen him eat but he picks at the bottom of the tank.  Do you think he is eating.   Kenneth Thanks. <Jambo my friend. If this fish is not thin, it is very likely eating... bits of the live rock, that which issues from it and the substrate. Have you had this fish long? Are other livestock acting oddly?  Bob Fenner>

Feeding a Flame (Angel) Thanks for your reply Graham. I do plan to upgrade to over 150 gallons, I was thinking like 200 or in that area as my puffer will grow to 19 inches long. I have had my tank set up since the beginning of august now. I have only had 1 casualty and that was the Rock Beauty Angel which died for unknown reasons. That was into the third month my tank was set up. I will go and get my water tested today and if everything works out fine and well, then I will get the flame angel. One quick question though, do I need to feed this angel sponge foods, I had fed my old angel sponge foods as directed by my one local fish store then the other one said it was not necessary but I did it anyways just to be safe. So do I need it or not? Thanks <The flame angel will pick at algae and encrusting sponges growing on the rockwork. While this isn't its main diet, it will benefit the angel to continuously pick at these sources on the rockwork or aquarium glass. I wouldn't bother trying to specially feed the angel sponge based foods if you have liverock already in your system. I would although look into feeding your angel small pieces of squid, shrimp, blood worms, brine, krill, Mysid shrimp, and possibly any Nori based foods on a regular basis. Soaking the food in garlic may also benefit the angelfish.> Take Care, Graham Stephan

Feeding A Finicky Angel Crew: A quick update to see if you have any other thoughts.  Once it got to about 5 days or so without observing the Annularis eating - I resorted to advice I received from the LFS and I saw it in Bob's book - Mussels. The Annularis eats them like crazy.  I have to wait until the lights have been out in the tank for an hour or so and all the others have settled in and I pry open one and drop it in the back of the tank and he goes to town.  Each night I wedge in something different - either in the crook of the shell or under some of the mussels bands - like Angel Formula or Ocean Nutrition Clams or seaweed - but I can't really tell if he is consuming that. I guess my question is - can he subsist on Mussels alone? <While these are certainly a nutritious food, no one food-no matter how good- can serve as an entire diet...Variety is very important...> He still doesn't join the regulars in the morning meal at all - though the harassment from the tang has settled down considerably -He doesn't move too far from his cave spot or the back of the tank - he looks OK - and he tears into the Mussels in a very aggressive fashion. Appreciate any thoughts - Thank you, David <Well, David- the fact that he is eating is a great sign...Just keep trying to work a variety of foods into his diet. When he's comfortable, willing, and able- he'll eat different things...Just give him time and continued good care! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

- Rusty Angelfish - Good day WWM crew I have a quick question what do rusty dwarf angels eat? <All kinds of stuff - I'd say just about anything, although they do follow the diet of most pygmy angels.> I bought it thinking it would solve my algae problem because I heard they graze on it like mad. <They graze on some algae but not indiscriminately - many of the 'problem' algae are unpalatable to most fish that might consume them.> But I haven't seen much grazing although he loves the formula 2 flakes a lot. <Give it some time, it may decide differently in time.> Also do you think its possible to add a lemon peel angel or are these from the same genus if not what angels will get along with the rusty I have a 75 gallon reef. <I wouldn't add a second pygmy angel in a tank of this size.> Thanks JM <Cheers, J -- >

Feeding a Coral Beauty (11-3-03) Hi there,<Howdy, Cody here today.> What is the best things to feed a coral beauty? Mines currently in a F/O tank without live rock, however there's always algae growing on the back wall and a large coral skeleton I have, the lighting is on of those blue lights. Is things like marine flakes / brine shrimp a good idea for these guys?<I would add some live rock as it helps in a number of ways from providing a natural food source to aiding in filtration.  The brine shrimp is almost useless as far as nutrition goes, try Mysis shrimp as a good alternative.  Flakes can be a good source, some of the best IMO are ocean nutrition's which also make a frozen food formula for pygmy angels.  Cody> Nick

Fussy Feeders-Or Fat Foragers? Hi, Hope things are going well for all of you there.   <They sure are! Scott F. with you today!> I have several questions I need to ask.  I have a 75 gallon F/O tank with no live rock. The first two fish I put in after the tank was cycled were a pair of false percula clowns.  This was about 7 months ago.  About 2 months ago I added a pair of Lemon Butterfly fish.  Then a month ago I added a coral beauty angel.  They all seemed to get along well.  Then several days ago I noticed one of my Butterflyfish quit eating.  Yesterday I noticed that his tail fin looked ragged and he seemed weak and had problems swimming.  I found him dead this morning.  Could this have been caused by the coral beauty?  I never noticed the angel bothering any of the others. <Well, it's hard to say. The fact that there was evidence of fin damage could mean that the cause was either harassment by another fish, or it could be a sign of deteriorating water quality, or even a bacterial infection of some sort. If the basic water quality parameters (i.e.; ammonia, nitrite, pH alkalinity, nitrate) look good, then you may be looking at a disease issue...> Also, ever since I got the angel he has yet to come to the top to eat with the others.  He is always grazing the rocks and substrate.  Looks like he is eating diatoms.  Is this normal behavior? <Quite normal. In fact, the majority of Centropyge species get most of their nutrition from algal sources, and such grazing is quite common...> Will he ever accept food?  And last, is it necessary to replace the dead butterfly with another or will one be content without a partner? <I'm sure that the angel will eventually come around and eat prepared foods. However, many of these fishes will derive a considerable portion of their nutrition from such foraging for algae and detritus. In fact, I have seen many Yellow Tangs that have never eaten prepared foods, simply happy to pick algae from the rocks in their tanks. They've always been fat and happy. As long as the fish appears otherwise healthy, I wouldn't be overly concerned...> Thank you for all of your help.  James <My pleasure, James...Keep on observing your fishes carefully, and let us know if you have any more questions! Regards, Scott F.> James Hall

Gravel vacuuming, feeding Centropyge Hi, I have 2 non-related questions.  First, this is my first attempt at saltwater fishkeeping (about 8 months now).  I have crushed coral for substrate.<that is what I use>  I would like to know how deep I should clean the substrate.<I clean mine every time I do a water change, which is every 2 weeks> Do I just vacuum the surface or do I go deeper?<I vacuum most of the substrate in my aquarium. not very thoroughly, just spots where I see some detritus or crud lol>  The substrate is about 1 1/2 inches deep.  Also, I have had a coral beauty angel for about a week now.  He has yet to come to the top to eat with the other fish.<angelfish from the genus Centropyge generally eat foodstuff off of the liverock for about a month and then they begin to come and eat from the surface..> Instead he just seems to pick off the bottom (maybe the diatoms?)<or leftover food??>  Is this normal for this type of fish?<yes, it is exactly what my golden pygmy did and still does but now he comes to the top of the aquarium and eats right out of my hand!!! be patient my friend, IanB>   Thanks for your help, James

-Paracentropyge multifasciata: the Multi-Barred Angel- Hi WWM crew! First of all : thanks for all your support and sharing your knowledge. I'm reading Bob's and Anthony's books almost every day again&again and still finding something new and interesting. Now to my question: I was enjoying pics of Paracentropyge multifasciata in the marine books and was sure I will never see it in my LFS, all the books say, this angel is very rare and not imported. <A spectacular fish, unfortunately very difficult to feed.> What was my surprise when I've found it in LFS in Vienna last week. The specimen was looking good, healthy and alert, the price was good , so who could resist? <If it wasn't eating I would find it very easy to resist> It is hard to find any more information regarding this angel. Now I have 3" Multi-barred in my 110g reef , my other fishies are: 3" yellow tang 3" maroon clown 2" Yellowtail damsel 1,5" Allen's damsel 2" dimidiatus cleaner 2" bicolor blenny approx 30 soft corals, some LPS , one Montipora. Water parameters are OK. So far , the angel is doing well, I dipped him in freshwater dip, bathed twice in aquarium water to wash all parasites and powered on the 15W UV sterilizer. He looks good, not hiding too much and he is discovering holes and caves in the rocks. My questions are: 1: what should be his meal plan, so far he is sampling the LR and sand, will 110g provide enough food or should I try something to feed? yes there are some algae , but not too much , the tang lives mostly on spinach and lettuce. <You will most definitely need to feed it. Try all sorts of frozen foods like Mysis shrimp, clam, shrimp, etc. You must also incorporate plenty of algae into its diet as well. I would suggest halting the spinach and lettuce in favor of dried seaweeds. Good luck getting it to eat, they can be very tricky. You may need to try garlic and vitamin supplements in the food as potential attractants.> 2: would it be OK to add one more tang (hepatus) and one more angel (flame) in the future ? <You should be fine with a hepatus tang, but I'd skip the flame since you already have an angel.> thanks for your help, Roman from Slovakia <Good luck Roman! -Kevin>
Re: Multi-barred Angel - Paracentropyge multifsciata
Hey Bob- <Mike> Just wanted to give you an update on my angel, after writing to you in the beginning of the year.  It has been over 6 and a half months now, and my fish is doing great.  In the early stages, it got all its nutrition from picking at the rocks.  I started small feedings throughout the day of everything that I could get my hands on (flake food, Formula 1 & 2, Prime Reef, pygmy angel formula, bloodworms, Mysis shrimp, Cyclop-eeze, etc.).   After a while, it started to eat frozen brine, which I soaked in Selcon.  It then began nipping at the Mysis, and I started to phase out the brine.  I continued continual, small feedings (I think that I overfed the tank, actually), but eventually it started eating all the prepared foods that I offered.  It is currently fat and happy, and no longer shy at all.  My only problem is that it killed most of my LPS, so now the tank is mainly leathers and Shrooms. I have heard from a few other people who have tried to keep this fish, and I only know of 2 or 3 who have been successful.  It did take a good amount of work to get it to eat, but once it did, it was worth it.  I don't know if I would recommend these guys due to the high mortality rate in the home aquarium, but I'm very happy with mine.  Thanks for your input at the beginning of this little adventure. Mike <Thank you for the update. Very valuable information to share with all. Bob Fenner>

Bicolor Angel Question Hello Mr. Bob Fenner, <<Hi Long, Craig here today>> I've been reading on the website and do appreciate all the help you've given everyone. Just reading everyone's questions and answers helps a great deal since I'm a beginner. I've read that the Bicolor Angel tend to eat mainly from liverock. I have a 40 gallon aquarium with 45 lbs of liverock. Other fishes I have: 1 Mandarin Dragonet, 1 Percula Clown, 1 Chalk Basslet, 1 Peppermint shrimp, 1 Coral Banded Shrimp. The one thing I wanted to ask you was whether I should get any hermit crabs and snails. I only have about 4 snails right now and 1 small hermit crab. I have quite a bit of algae on the rocks and was wanting to get more creatures to help clean it. I was concerned that if I got too many they would eat all the algae and the Bicolor wouldn't have anything to pick on. What would you suggest on this matter. Thanks in advance. Long <<I think you have some stocking issues here Long. You Mandarin needs a minimum of 75 lbs of LR to have a sufficient pod population to survive unless he is fed. This is difficult. I would look into getting him to eat Mysis shrimp, grow pods in a refugium, etc. He will slowly starve if he doesn't get enough food. Maybe return him to the store or sell him to someone who has the space and rock to support him. Your coral banded shrimp, if not well fed, will help himself to your peppermint when it molts. In a 40 your bi-color angel will need to be fed anyway as there isn't enough space or rock. He will assist in cleaning rock, glass etc. but can't rely on this for sustenance. The snails etc. do depend on this for their sole source of food. You can add snails if yours appear to not keep up. This runs in cycles so stock carefully. Hermits are a personal choice. Do check out the additional info on stocking at WWM and perhaps search for additional info on your angel and Basslet so you have all the information you need to successfully keep them. Lot's to do! Craig>>
Re: Bicolor Angel Question
Thanks for the info. I was wondering if you could give me more information on how the pods that you mentioned. Where would I go to purchase the seeds and how long does it usually take to develop. <<Hi Tran, Please search WWM for "Amphipods". These are small marine animals used for food by such fish as your Mandarin. You need a large enough aquarium to hold 75 lbs of live rock, or you need to have a refugium where these can reproduce and grow. You need to either feed your fish another kind of nutritional food like Mysis shrimp and see if he will eat them, or give him enough live rock to foster the population of amphipods needed to maintain their population and your mandarin to feed himself. Please see WWM and search for amphipods and refugiums, there is much excellent info there. Craig>>

Coral Beauty Chow...? Hey guys, <Scott F. da guy tonight!> I was wondering what to feed my coral beauty. He picks off the rocks all day and gobbles up brine but won't touch the frozen pygmy angel formula I bought for him. I know angels require a special diet and I was wondering if you have any suggestions as to what to try? Thanks, Rob <Well, Rob- like most Centropyge angels, the Coral Beauty derives a good percentage of its nutrition from algae material. As you have observed, the fish will spend a good part of its day picking detritus and algae from the live rock in your system. You may want to try a variety of foods, such as Mysis shrimp, finely chopped seafoods (squid, clams, etc), and an algae based frozen food, such as Ocean Nutrition's Formula II, or perhaps Nori sheets or other macroalgae, such as Gracilaria. Another thing that you can do is place some small live rocks in a brightly lit aquarium, where you can encourage green algae growth. Then, place the rocks in your tank for the fish to pick at. If you keep trying a variety of foods, you should have no problems keeping this fish in prime condition. Good luck!  Scott F.>

- Bicolor Angel Woes - I first want to thank you in advance for your help!!!!! <Well... let's both hope that I actually can help then...> My Bicolor Angel has not eaten in a week. I just bought him a week ago and he is so shy and will not eat. I am trying to feed him flake food and Brine Shrimp and he will not eat?? What can I do to get him to eat? Its one of the most beautiful fish I have ever seen! <First, I would suggest you read up on these fish here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/centropyge/index.htm Then, I will just quickly paraphrase and say that these fish are among the more difficult of the pygmy angels to keep. You've picked yourself a good challenge. Your best bet would be to obtain [if you don't have it already] some really healthy live rock with a good crop of micro- and macro algae that this fish can pick at. Most all pygmy angels constantly pick at these food-stuffs in the wild, and bringing in similar fauna will promote your success. If things don't turn around very soon, or if you can't get the live rock, try taking a frozen food like Pygmy Angel Formula - thaw it out, and then press small chunks of it into a piece of rock or smooth [dead] coral. This will simulate their natural food source and likewise their natural method for feeding. You can prepare several rocks in one sitting and re-freeze the ones you don't use immediately. Cheers, J -- >
- Re: Bicolor Angel Woes -
Thanks for the quick response! <My pleasure.> I will go out tomorrow and get some healthy live rock. When you say "similar fauna" what do you mean... <Micro and macro algae> I'm sorry for asking so many questions. <No worries.> In the mean time I could do as you said and get the frozen food and put it in some of the rock that I have. You are a life saver and thank you for your time!!!!! Merry Xmas to you and yours!!!! <And you as well. Cheers, J -- >

Waskly Wabbits! (Rabbitfishes) I have a 65 gallon reef that needs a good algae eater.  I am told that tangs shouldn't go in a tank this size. <I think that's pretty good advice!> I also understand that Rabbitfish are a very good herbivore.  Is there a Rabbitfish that would be comfortable long term in a 65 gallon tank? Fred <In my opinion, Fred- not really. Pretty much every available Rabbitfish in the hobby reaches a minimum of 7 inches or so- these guys need space just like tangs do. They also are very sensitive to less than optimal water conditions, often being referred to by hobbyists as "Ich magnets". I'd stick to some of the less "space-demanding" herbivores, like blennies...For example, the "Lawnmower Blenny", Salarias fasciatus, or the "Redlip Blenny", Ophioblennius atlanticus (a neat fish, but sometimes can nip an occasional coral or clam mantle...never happened in my tanks, however). These guys can do a nice job on algae, and although they can get over 4 inches, they don't have nearly the requirements for space that tangs and Rabbitfishes do. Also, some people use pygmy angelfishes (Centropyge) for herbivores (Now- I don't want every reefer out there to freak out and say that "Scott is suggesting using a Flame Angel for algae control!"). These fishes come with a variety of personalities and tendencies, including a propensity for nipping and eating corals in some cases! However, a large percentage of their diet is comprised of vegetable matter, so I include them here for completeness. In your tank, you'd definitely want the smaller "models", like C. argi, or C. acanthops. Both of these little guys can be feisty, however, so choose tankmates carefully. Use the wetwebmedia.com site for more research into herbivorous fishes. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

- Big Macs all the Time - Hello WWM, <Hi, JasonC here...> I was hoping you can help me out again, your previous advice proved to be useful! I have had a flame angelfish for about 2 weeks now, he is in a 55 gallon with a small percula clown and blue fin damsel. They all get along fine but I never see the angelfish eat! When I feed them the angel swims out to the food but at most only eats a very small piece of flake and swims away. He seems fine, good color and he hasn't lost any weight as far as I can tell but I don't really have that much algae growing in my aquarium, just some purple and green stuff on the live rock. I feed them formula 2 flake, any ideas on this guy? thanks! <I would at least start by trying some other foods, and non-flake ones at that. Try the frozen Formula One in addition to Pygmy Angel Formula and Mysis Shrimp. There are two secrets to success with these fish. One is a varied diet... this is key for a number of reasons, most importantly that no one food is good for you if it's the only thing one eats. Second, in the wild these fish constantly pick at micro and macro algae growing on the rock. Your best bet is to try an simulate this with a healthy crop of live rock. You can read up more on pygmy angels here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/centropyge/index.htm Cheers, J -- >

Angel On The Rocks? (Or In The Rocks?) We have a  small bicolor angel in our tank with live rock.  We have had it for two weeks.  I never see it eat except for when it is nipping at the rocks.  It is pretty shy and stays in the rock area. <This is fairly common behavior for Centropyge species, especially when new to captive life. They tend to hide and are very wary of disturbances in their immediate surroundings. In time, the fish will probably become more and more bold> We feed the rest of the fish in the tank pellets, Spirulina, and krill. Is it possibly getting some of that even though I don't see it eating? <Possible...As these fish tend to forage and pick at detritus and other items, they may get what the other guys miss. However, you may want to try to target feed this fish if possible> We have a 125 gallon tank with various kinds of fish ......... one of the damsels was bugging it the first few days, but seems to have laid off the past week after a time out or two in a separate container:) <It's amazing what the "time out" can do, huh?> Thanks <and thank you for stopping by! Regards, Scott F>

Rusty Dwarf Angel Hi Bob, <Anthony Calfo in your service> I was wondering - My tank cycled and I got good readings, after 8 weeks I decided to added fish. I bought a Rusty Dwarf Angel and a Bi-color blenny.  <both reasonably hardy> I also bought one more piece of LR (3 lb)  <the more the better!> and added 10 pounds of LS (put on top of the coral shell bed. I didn't really think this was a good idea to add all together, but the guy at the LFS said it would be OK since the sand is advertised as "instant cycling". (?) <what a pile of crap... I agree with you and your first instincts> Anyway, my blenny has been OK since I got him (3 days ago) but the Rusty angel hasn't eaten anything yet.  <some dwarf angels are shy grazers and a little slow at first> I tried flake food, then I tried a frozen cube (which was a red one). Thinking the angel would prefer greens, I scoop out the red cube and thawed, dropped in, the green cube.  <a good food but not one that is warmed up to quickly> This didn't get him to eat. Then I went to the fish store and asked what to feed. I was told a pellet, that I had them feed the other rusty that came in the same time my did. That one ate it with vigor, but when I got home and tried it, my wouldn't touch it. I just put in a piece of spinach but still with no luck.  <buy local or mail order a product called Sweetwater plankton (comes in a glass jar and needs refrigerated)... everything eats this!!! Great food for small and medium reef fishes (helps keep many Anthias species wonderfully) Now my bad news, my tank shot up in numbers (ammonia, nitrite and nitrate all rose) after the above-mentioned additions. Do you think that the rusty angel is not eating due to the bad water?  <sure the accumulated food would contribute or cause> I have a 20 gal and did a 3 gallon change yesterday and then again today. <very wise... continue as necessary> Today's water change was made and put in 3 hours later. My thinking was that it was better to change the water ASAP rather than the cons of not letting the water sit. Correct?  <Ehhh...sort of. It doesn't seem so dire that you needed to impose the stress of a raw sea mix to the gills/eyes> Any ideas to get this rusty eating again? He actually is pretty plump, doesn't look like he is hurting yet.  <they can go quite a while without food. Some live rock added with plant should at least keep him browsing else look for a pathogen> And finally, with all your knowledge, at what point (how many days) will a fish who has not eaten start to eat again if he is going to. <no rule of thumb, but more than a week is unusual> THANK YOU SOOO MUCH for all the help you provide. Debra <best regards, Anthony>

Bicolor Angelfish Got A Bicolor Angel fish. Have now (after buying it) read that they are difficult to keep and especially to get them to eat. <Are you pulling Bob the Fishman's fins here? Why would you do such a thing?> Have you ever owned a bicolor angel and if so what did you feed it.... <Used to collect this species in the Philippines in the sixties... "Oriole Angels" used to be a sturdy species...> I have been offering flake and frozen brine... he seems to ignore the flakes entirely and nibbles on the brine (doesn't eat to much maybe one or two)... he mostly just munches on the live rock all day and I'm not sure how much algae I have on them that's left. I only have like 9-10 pounds of live rock. <Do yourself and your livestock a favor, study what it takes for simple husbandry IN ADVANCE of purchasing life. Do at least read over the materials archived on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com ahead of writing. Bob Fenner>
Bicolor Angelfish, parable about folks not studying history repeating mistakes...
So should I take him back? or try different food? What sort of dwarf angel would you recommend (flame, coral beauty, etc..) for a small reef tank? <You should study, read where you've been sent to repeatedly: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ Go there, use the many detailed experiences of others to help yourself. Bob Fenner>

Atlantic Pygmy Angel Hey WWM Crew! You guys have one great site! <Thank you kindly.> I'm having some tank problems and I think you can help. My father is VERY big into marine reef tanks, and at 15 I'm getting in to them also. Sadly my dad had a heart attack and has mild brain damage, forcing him into a rehab for at least 6 months. <I am terribly sorry to hear about your troubles. I wish your father a quick and complete recovery.> I can take care of most of the tanks, but the little 3 gallon mini-tank is bugging me. It is the Eclipse Mini 3 Gallon. It's only resident is a small Atlantic Pygmy Angel, I'm having trouble feeding him. He was bought the day before the "heart attack". I'm feeding him "Ocean Formula Pygmy Angel Formula" and some lettuce on a feeding clip. He just nibbles on his food and goes into his cave. Is this species shy like him or is he still getting used to his new tank. <I am guessing a little bit of both, shy and settling in.> Any help I could use! <Try instead Nori or Seaweed Selects in the clip and frozen Mysis shrimp.> Thanks, Phil <Best of luck to you and your father. -Steven Pro>

Feeding Planktivores Thanks for your reply. I decided to go with the Centropyge ferrugata and the Cirrhilabrus scottorum. In fact they are in their new home. Of course the wrasse is in the back hiding. Since I do not have an upstream refugium at this time, what would be your suggestions on feeding my wrasse and Sunburst? <thawed frozen mysids, Gammarus and Pacifica plankton can be the staple. Supplement with any dry food possibly/taken. Also offer Sweetwater Plankton (incredible jar food for Anthiines).> Doug <best regards, Anthony>

Bi-color angel I recently purchased a bi-color angel about 2.5 weeks ago. It's a 29 gallon with some small pieces of live rock in it and many other rocks and decorations. I also have a yellow tang and a small percula clown in it with a hermit crab. The others are eating just fine but the bi-color will not eat anything but the live rock. I have been feeding them formula one, angel formula, formula two, frozen brine, and even live brine and the others love it, but the angel just wont eat. he looks pale on his blue side and I'm very concerned about his health. what should I do about this? I don't want him to die on me because he won't eat. PLEASE HELP!!!! <I share your concern re this dwarf angelfish species (Centropyge bicolor). Currently FFExpress is building out a facility, but up to this point has been more of a selection service, combing the LA wholesalers for the best of what's available... and the wholesalers by and large do not feed their livestock. Your angel will probably start eating on its own, or is getting enough nutriment from the live rock. You might try soaking some live foods (of fresh or marine origin) in a vitamin prep. (some folks use Selcon, others liquid baby vitamins...) This should do the trick. Bob Fenner>

Dwarf Angels Bob, I have a new flame angel and a new keyhole angel. They are in a 55 gal. (36x19x21) set-up with 45 lbs of live rock. The tank has been up for 6.5 to 7 months. So far all they seem interested in is grazing on the rock. They haven't taken any food I've offered (angel formula, brine shrimp). Should I be concerned or just give them some more time to settle in. Maybe I should be offering them some other food choice. Any advice? Thanks, Tony <I'd offer them more live rock as theirs becomes denuded... even switching out the "old" to a sump to have some of the food/organisms regenerate... Not to worry, this is what these Centropyge species "do" in the wild. In all likelihood the foods you're offering are feeding the food the angels are eating. Bob Fenner>

Feeding Dwarf Angels If you don't mind, can you tell me how do I feed a bicolor angel? I bought it 5 days ago and don't want to eat anything. Thank you <<Have you tried any live food items? Hopefully you do have live rock in with it... as it does feed on a great deal of filamentous algae and will nibble at different sorts of creatures found in and on the rock. Bob Fenner>>

Coral Beauty not feeding I have a question on the newest member of my reef tank. It is a 3 inch Coral Beauty. I have had him in my Berlin system for about 5 days. When I offer food (frozen or flake) he doesn't seem to go for it. He is not being bothered by any of the other fish, he just swims around exploring his new home. a 125 gal tank. He picks at the live rock and the sand but he just wont go for the food I offer. I always feed a good mixture of different food for them. Is there anything I can do to get him to eat. <Offer live rock, try different live, frozen/defrosted and fresh foods and wait> What is the major food for the coral beauty? <Algae, sponges, ascidians...see this and related Centropyge species gut contents notes on fishbase.org.> I feed mixed clams, shrimp ,algae , marine supreme from PRO SALT. flake food from TETRA. I don't want him to starve to death, that's cruel. Can you help me? <You have helped yourself, now only you can aid this specimen. Bob Fenner>

Bicolor Angel eats Aiptasia! I will swear on a stack of bibles, I am not lying! My bi-color angelfish is munching on a rock full of glass anemones (Aiptasia), even as we speak. I've never heard or read anything to support this, that's why I'm e-mailing this to you. Have you ever heard or seen this? We kind of thought something was strange because this is the only salt tank in the house that does not have Aiptasia in it, now I think I know why. Let us know what you think!  <Lorenzo Gonzalez here responding for Bob, who is around the world in 14 days, and asked me to keep his many internet friends appeased... To your Aiptasia eating angel, I say: LUCKY YOU! TREAT THAT FISH LIKE A KING! (or queen, as the case may be) You could rent that fish out at the local reefkeepers meeting! ;-) -Lorenzo>

Questions about Feeding a Lemon peel Angel Jason/Bob, <<Jason here, howdy...>> I've got a question regarding a Lemon peel angelfish. I acquired the fish 5 days ago, and due to the lack of a QT (currently it's occupied by another fish) I introduced the angel directly into my main 55 gallon tank). The tank is currently stocked with 1 yellow tang, 1 maroon clown, and 1 blue damsel. There's no sign of hostility in the tank at this point.  <<that is helpful>>  All water parameters are normal with only the nitrates being 5-10 ppm(?) <<not terrible or impossible to deal with.>>  The problem is that the angel has not touched any food so far with the exception of nipping on algae. I have tried Pygmy angel formula, brine shrimp, and broccoli. The LPS expert(?) claims that it does take a few days for the fish to get used to the new environment (he did not specify how long though). Bottom line, I don't want the fish to starve. Is there anything else that I can try to feed it? This is an established system with some green hairy algae present, and I have read these angels feed on that. <<in my experience, pygmy angels eat A LOT of algae, and if things are going well, you're just not watching long enough. These fish are/stay small and so they hide a lot in the wild - are wary of shadows, new circumstances, etc. - and who could blame them. The guy at the LFS is right, it needs time to adjust. Keep offering the pygmy angel formula when you feed everyone else - all my fish love it [currently no pygmy angel] and eventually you'll see it take a taste. Patience here is the key, although you might have waited for your quarantine to empty before you added another fish to your mix. But hey... it's in the tank, let's hope for the best, and do try to make sure it isn't getting thin... If you never see it eat but it never gets thin, it's eating something [like the hair algae]. I think you will witness this more and more as it gets comfortable in its new surroundings.>> I am running out of ideas on what to do. <<don't do anything, just watch for a day or two and feed everyone like normal.>> Btw, thank you for your previous advise on treating Ich etc...D. <<You are welcome. Cheers, J -- >>
Re: Lemonpeel angel
Jason, <<Hello...>> Thanks for replying... <<You are quite welcome.>> The Lemon peel angel is getting thin behind its head not too much) but there's no sign that its belly is shrinking?  <<ok so far... takes some time go gain ground in this department.>>  This is day 6 that I've had him/her.  <<is still early yet>>  I did notice some green hairy algae missing, however he/she hasn't touched any food that I have put in the tank (Mysis shrimp, Spirulina, pygmy formula) or maybe it is when I'm not around.  <<sounds like it's eating.>>  This fish hides a lot, however not to the point that it won't come out at all. <<sounds quite normal.>>  It is still quite active swimming in between rocks or up and down.  <<ahh, good.>>  What I don't understand is why would the LFS claim that they fed the angel brine shrimp when in fact it won't touch them?  <<circumstances are different now, no longer living in a cube.>>  They claimed that the angel ate brine shrimp daily, but it's hard to believe the fish wasn't shy in their store and it is in my tank.  <<Give it time - it needs to adjust to the tank as much as you need to adjust to how these behave. No worries.>> Thanks, D. <<You are quite welcome. Cheers, J -->

Angelfishes for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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