Please visit our Sponsors

FAQs on Centropyge Angelfishes Stocking/Selection

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 Behavior, Dwarf Angel Compatibility, Dwarf Angel Systems, Dwarf Angel Feeding, Dwarf Angel Disease, Dwarf Angel Reproduction, Marine Angelfishes In General, Selection, Behavior, Compatibility, Systems, Health, Feeding, Disease.  

Given enough space... most angels leave Cnidarians alone


Angelfishes for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

New eBook on Amazon: Available here

New Print Book on Create Space: Available here

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

saltwater fish survival rates. Centropyge (sel. f')    6/7/18
Are there statistics on the average number of specimens of a given saltwater species a hobbyist must purchase before acquiring one that lives beyond a few days?
Brian Waldbaum
<Mmm; there have been such data accumulations. In recent times efforts by Andrew Rhyne, Kevin Erickson... more extensive accounts years back by Tetra (Press Int'l). I (Robert Fenner) give my "general impressions" re such in articles, books I've penned. Do you have a specific fish, group in mind?
Have you searched/read on WWM re? The FAQs on "selection" are a good place to go after reading the general title/subject on a taxon. Bob Fenner>
Re: saltwater fish survival rates    6/7/18

Thanks for the response. I'm interested in Centropyge.
<Oh! Some European public aquariums have kept some species of this genus into the teens of years; a few into twenty some years>
I got into the saltwater side of the hobby after 18 years as a freshwater hobbyist in order to keep a dwarf angel. I read up on saltwater fishkeeping beforehand, and the take-away lessons seemed to be: 1) marine fish are more sensitive than freshwater fish, and 2) marine parasites are much more resilient and virulent than their freshwater counterparts.
<I do agree w/ these general statements. Do take into account that the majority of freshwater fishes are captive produced nowayears, less-exposed to pathogens, more inclined to adapt to captive conditions. In time, likely marines that are aquacultured for successive generations will likewise "harden".>
But even after taking those factors into account, I never succeeded in keeping a dwarf angel alive for more than a month. Many died within 48 hours in the quarantine tank. Since entering the hobby, I've lost 6 loricula, 2 ferrugata, 1 bispinosa, and 1 acanthops. I purchased them from a variety of sources, including online retailers and LFS. Needless to say, I have now left the hobby.
Are my results typical, or am I simply not cut out for the hobby?
<They are not atypical (unfortunately). I have been a part of the ornamental trade for more than half a century; and thus can/will attest that the high incidental mortality of Centropyge spp. are largely a matter
of rough handling, storage, shipping practices... incremental damage, stress from starvation, holding... The few specimens, crosses that have been captive-produced have been much more hardy. There are some "clues" I offer on WWM, elsewhere re picking out more hardy species, specimens... and providing reasonable-optimized settings for dwarf angelfish husbandry>
Brian Waldbaum
<Welcome. 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>

Flame Angel or Half Black Angel       10/1/16
Hi there! I currently have a 80 gallon Aquarium. I would like to add a dwarf angel as my last fish. The tank has been up and running for 3 years. I have learned so much from your site! My local fish store as a 3 1/2 inch half black angel and a 2 1/2 in flame angel in stock. Both look good and healthy and they are eating. I wanting your opinion on which one I should consider. Is one hardier than the other?
<At the sizes stated.... they're about the same>
I know the owner of my fish store well and he told me the flame came from Fiji if that helps.
<It does; and this is the one I'd choose knowing nothing else>
What do you think? I value your time and opinion! Thanks a bunch!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

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>
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>

Keyhole Angel       8/9/14
I am strongly considering purchasing a Keyhole Angel (3.5") for my 75 gallon marine aquarium. Current residents in my tank include a small yellow tang, small maroon clown, and a blue/yellow tail damsel. The tank is operating with an internal wet dry / chemical filter and gets a 10 - 15 gallon water change twice a month. Water parameters are stable at 1.022 specific gravity.
What issues are currently seen with the Keyhole Angel?
<Not much... the current residents are about the same feisty; but there should be room for all here>
I have a 30 gallon tank set up for quarantine. Is this fish a susceptible to ick?
<More so than... about a "seven" on a scale of ten... less than the tang, more than the damsels>
Will he get along with the other three inhabitants?
<As stated>
If not a keyhole angel, what other small angel would you recommend.
<Posted on WWM... Centropyge stocking/selection FAQs>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

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>>

Fish selection for custom size tank. Not these     3/25/13
Hello wet web crew,
I'm going to be making an aquarium of a custom size. It will be 36 inches long, 24 inches tall and 15 inches wide. This comes out to 55 gallons.
<Mmm, ok>
My question is how well a half-black dwarf angel or a black banded Butterflyfish would fare?
<Neither are good choices... the Centropyge and B/F need more room and this species of B/F does poorly in captivity period>
 The butterfly which is found in the west Atlantic was described by your site to be a poor choice. Why is this?
<Just poor adaptivity to being in small spaces likely. Bob Fenner>

Centropyge groups; stkg./sel.       12/10/12
Hello and thank you very much for all the information given on WWM,
<Howdy, welcome>
I am building a 145 gallon reef tank (45"x30"x26") and I am hoping to house 1 or 3 happy/healthy Centropyge fish.  While researching these fish I have decided that the 2 species I like most are bispinosa and loriculus.  I have read that these fish occur naturally in small groups (harems). 
Here is my question:  In a tank the size of mine, would the Centropyge be happier kept singly or in a group of 3 of the same species? 
<You could house three, started less than "full size">
The closest answer I found to this question was that it would probably be tolerable to keep 2 in a tank like mine,  but I would like to know what would be preferable from the stand point of the health and well being of the fish (keeping single vs. keeping in group of 3). 
I will be otherwise stocking quite lightly:
1 yellow watchman goby with pistol shrimp
1 six line wrasse or Hoeven's wrasse (I'm a little afraid that a six line might harass the yellow watchman or filefish so I'm leaning towards the Hoeven's, but I prefer the smaller size of the six line) 
1 matted filefish
Thank you very much.
<Begin either of the stated species at under 3" overall length; they will almost assuredly grow up to form a trio... one male, the others female... and likely reproduce for you toward the evenings. Bob Fenner>

my angel fish keep dying please help me   12/5/12
... hey ... i just started  the saltwater world and i think i am about to go back to the freshwater world because of my tragedies.. for some reason my angel fish keep dying. Here's a rundown of my tank .. I have a 55 gallon long tank. plenty of cured live rock.. 1 sailfin tang,
<Mmm, really needs more room than this; this Zebrasoma gets very large given time; and can be/come quite aggressive toward fish tankmates>>

 1 black clown fish and 2 snails, 1 is a turbo snail, the other a zebra turbo snail. i have a heater that keeps the water around 74-78 degrees, i have 3 power heads, 2 - 275mph and 1 950 mph .. all positioned in different parts of the tank.
My tank has been running for about 2 months now.
<This is actually a very short period of time... the system is only just beginning to stabilize>

algae has been growing on the live rocks and spots around the tank. I have went through 3 angel fish, and they all had the same fate - they come into the tank and die after 3 days of being in there. I did not add all 3 at the same time, i only put one in and when that one died, i get another. i went through 1 coral beauty and 2 flame angels.
<And these Centropyge require more space as well really... A 55 of four foot length is just too narrow to give them "depth"
to feel comfortable. IF you're interested in keeping Pomacanthids in such a size/shape volume, I encourage you to consider the "dwarf dwarf" Centropyge species. Read here
re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dwfdwfangels.htm
I have been going to the fish store out in Latham, ny "Eddie's Aquarium" and they cure their fish and quarantine them (i believe) upon selling them.
The angel fish will usually do the same thing, swim in the tank - go into the castle and wont come out, to eat or anything, may poke its head out every now and then but does not want to come out.
i have a salt water test kit and i have been testing my water before i get them and during the time i will put it in my tank. even the fish store says i am doing well and they can't find out whats wrong. here are my readings always.
ph - 8.2
am - 0
NA - 10
NI - 00
Salinity - 1.024
i don't want to give up but these things are expensive. please help
<Read for now; and let your system age a few more months... Bob Fenner>
Re: my angel fish keep dying please help me   12/5/12

I did notice my sailfin tang being quite aggressive to the new angel fish i would place into the tank. do you think this is the reason why they were dying off quickly because of the stress of the new environment and being chased around time to time?
<Mmm, likely a contributing cause>
 I decided i am going to give in my sailfin tang today and get a dwarf angel .. so it will just be the dwarf angel and the clown fish and the two snails.. i can monitor the tank for now and maybe around or end of January, beginning of February i can add a wrasse? and a fire shrimp? is this okay or too quick for that time frame?
<Keep reading; and using a grammar checker! BobF>

Pairing Multicolor Angel & Misc Stocking Questions     7/6/12
Hello Crew--
I am in the process of upgrading my 46 gallon polyp/softy reef to a 90 gallon.  Because of the size of my 46gal I added a Multi-color (dwarf-dwarf) Angel two years ago.  Now that I'm "upgrading" I would like to add another Multi-color to have a pair, but I'm wondering if this is even possible at this point.
<Can try, but I don't give good odds... a ninety gallon is too small for a harem of this Centropyge>
My current angel is around 3 inches and I'm assuming a male since he has been living alone.  I'm thinking I'd need to look for a smaller fish and hope that the new fish's sex had not been determined yet.  To do the switch between the old and new tanks I have both my quarantine tank (25 gallon), as well as a 30 gallon stand-by.  I was thinking I could quarantine the second fish and then put a divider in the 30 gallon and let the two get to know each other in the 30 gallon before turning both lose in the 90 gallon.
<A good plan>
If you could give me an idea of my chance of success or failure here it would be very much appreciated.
<Have lower levels of confidence than I'd like; but maybe 50:50... worth trying>
Assuming adding a second Multi-color is out, would a Genicanthus angel be able to co-exist with my Multi-color in a 90 gallon?
<This is a bit small for this genus...>
  I realize that the coloring in generally very similar, but since their swimming/feeding patterns were so different I though there might be a chance they might largely ignore each other.
<Not so much a compatibility question as space>
 Assuming this isn't an option is there another dwarf (Centropyge) that would be able to share the 90gal with my Multi-color?
<Not really; no... there are some "dwarf dwarf" species in the genus... see my article/s, FAQs re on WWM>
 (I have had luck keeping a Flame and a Coral Beauty in an 80 gallon years ago, but my Multi-color is "shyer" than either of those two fish ever were.) I'm not terribly wild about this idea, but my husband who has been putting up with my hobby for over 15 years would be thrilled to see a Flame angel in the tank again.
(FWIW- My current fish are a terminal male H. melanurus, a pair of common Firefish and a cleaner goby.  My planned additions for the new tank are a trio of fairy wrasses, and some combination of smaller gobies and blennies).
Many thanks in advance-Tricia
<Thank you for sharing. I would try out your idea/s here. Bob Fenner>

Centropyge Compatibility     2/1/12
Dear Crew,
First off, thanks for running a site so full of fantastic information, as well as for answering endless questions from John Q. Public!
I have yet another Centropyge compatibility question, so here goes.
I have a 90 gallon reef aquarium that I am slowly stocking over the course of a year or so. It currently has 3 fish, a Firefish, a Midas blenny, and a Red Jewel blenny. Future additions will include a White Tail Bristletooth Tang (Ctenochaetus flavicauda), a Chocolate Tang (Acanthurus pyroferus), a pair of Ocellaris clowns, and possibly a Purple Tang (Zebrasoma xanthurum).
<Do start these Surgeons as small... 3-4 inches overall maximum>
The tank currently has 120 lbs of live rock arranged in two rock islands with multiple caves in each one. There is also a small lagoon, approximately 9" x 9" on the right side of the tank. My question is whether you think I would be successful in keeping a Flame Angel and a Coral Beauty Angel in that setup if both were added at the same time as juveniles.
<Mmm, I'd select either one or the other. Too likely to be too stressful to have both here>
They would be added after the Bristletooth and chocolate tangs, but before the clowns and the purple tang. Other inhabitants of the tank include Zoas, several Acan colonies, a pulsing xenia, a candy cane, a pair of peppermint shrimp, a pincushion urchin, and the usual bevy of snails as a clean up crew.
Future coral additions will include 2-3 leathers, a Monti or two, a Birdsnest, a hammer, a frogspawn, and more Zoas.
<Do study re the appropriate acclimation (mixing water back and forth through isolation of new stock...) for these. Please read:
Also, do you have any opinions on the stock list compatibility overall?
<Yes... the very real potential for negative interaction twixt/among the Cnidarians... allelopathy. Hence the need to have you read. Bob Fenner>
I value your insight and am really looking forward to your response!
Re: Centropyge Compatibility     2/1/12

Thank you, sir, for your very prompt response! I appreciate your insight and wisdom. I do plan on adding the tangs as juveniles, probably no more than 3.5 inches long and hopefully close to the 3" side of things, and the purple tang is still on the maybe/maybe not list. I know they have a tendency to be rather pugnacious, especially with other tangs.
As to the angels, I had heard many opinions back and forth on the topic.
Some people have said that it would be just fine, others have said that they would fight to the death. So I decided to ask here, and accept whatever answer I got as the reality of the situation. I shall simply have to decide between the two of them, since I do not want an all out duel to the death in my tank (hence why the purple tang is still being mulled over).
<Mmm, some chance 10-20, that they'd get along well enough... as prev. stated; too much likelihood of too much antagonism in this volume>
I am aware of the potential chemical warfare that leathers and other soft corals can wage on SPS. I have very carefully planned out placement for the SPS, including powerhead placement for minimizing negative interactions.
Ultimately, if I see the SPS being negatively impacted by life with softies, they will be relocated to a smaller tank lacking in softies.
<Do mix the water back and forth...>
Thank you again for your time and your reply. You have given me excellent information, as well as more projects to research!
<Ah, good. Welcome. BobF, who has olde friends, father Joe and son Wade of your family name... here in San Diego>

Coral Beauty or Flame <Angel> 1/5/12
<Hello Jody>
I am looking for a bit of advice on what would be a better choice for my 60 gal tank. I had a coral beauty( which I had for 3 years) who died a couple months ago from what I believe to be a rise in temperature from a defective heater. This problem has been taken care of and I asked the LFS to bring in another one for me. Instead a flame angel arrived. Two weeks later a coral beauty came in and a day after being put in their tank it had a small bulge in the eye. This was a week ago and now the coral beauty has normal eyes,
eats well and swims perfectly. The flame has been healthy from the beginning. So, I have heard flames are much more difficult? Since seeing the flame and worrying that the eye thing in the coral beauty could be a
problem later I am leaning toward trying the flame. What do you think?
Let me know,
<Best to read here, then decide.
<You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>
Re Coral Beauty or Flame <Angel> 1/5/12

Hi James,
I gather from those two articles my best choice as far as best chance for long term survival would be the flame. I have never had one of these and the bright color would be a nice addition.
<Tis a nice addition but if you have corals, tube worms, etc, this species of Centropyge will likely nip at them more so than a Coral Beauty.>
Best regards,
<And you as well.  James (Salty Dog)>
Re Coral Beauty or Flame <Angel> 1/7/12

Hey James,
So, I picked up the Flame and it survived the first night and is swimming around but I noticed this morning that it is being picked on a little by the yellow damsel, who is larger and my large Lunare wrasse chases him a bit.
<Not unusual to have territorial disputes upon introduction.>
 I'm not so worried about the wrasse because he tends to chase anyone who gets in his path. I figure the angel is tougher than the damsel. I have lots of live rock and caves and such. I turned the lights off and that seemed to calm things down--the angel is out front now. I figure the angel will be shy at first and hold his own soon?
any thoughts?
<Low or no light will calm things down.  All you can do now is observe and hope the aggression calms down.  And yes, the Flame Angel can hold it's own once it establishes it's own cranny/territory.  James (Salty Dog)>

Goldflake, Angel?    11/28/11
I bought the Goldflake today. He is really small. Going to leave him in quarantine tank for a very long time. For the price I had to snag him up.
<Ok... Bob Fenner>
Re: Goldflake    11/29/11

Hi there, Very sorry to send you the email. I was excited and tried it to a send it to a friend. Instead I sent it to my favorite crew! I just got a Gold Flake Angel for $50!
<Amazing... this fish/species is VERY hard to catch>
 I bought it off a guy that is trying to start his own aquarium business.
The fish is eating Mysis, but not like a typical Angel. He is in my 55gall Quarantine tank. I was trying to look up some info on your site, but there's not alot <no such word> there for this typical <? maybe you mean particular> fish. I offered him some new life spectrum pellets he followed them down, but has not took the bait yet. I think tomorrow is the day. Any suggestions on this typical fish? 
<Read all that is posted on the genus Centropyge. BobF>

Success Story. Centropyge in a 30   8/15/11
Hey crew!
No question, just a quick thank you and a reference to the ultimate success story. I have been interested in adding a dwarf angel to my small system. Live aquaria lists 30g as their minimum tank size, so I thought I would be okay. My favorite fish store also happened to have the most beautiful coral beauty I've seen AND it was on sale. Was very active, responding, healthy looking and eating. I checked live aquaria's page on my phone and it looked fine. I still managed to hold off and come home to do more research first.
An hour or so of research on your site and I've determined that my tank is not best for dwarf angels. I'll pass!
<Ah good>
Somehow I get just as excited about that as I do getting new fish!
Thanks crew! You help fish and hobbyists everywhere!
<Welcome! Bob Fenner>

Hawaii biotype   4/18/11
Hi all I hoped you could tell me weather my fish list is compatible or not.
My tank is 110gal and will have around 45kl live rock and be lit with 6x 56watt t5s. In order of added first 1x ornate wrasse 1x male flame wrasse 1x chevron tang 1x flame angel 1x potters leopard wrasse.
<A nice mix... these should all get along. I'd have a good part of the habitat as something akin to Porites compressa, maybe half the bottom, and some sand/loose rubble>
Also am I right in thinking there are no lps corals a such in/around Hawaii as I couldn't see any on the Hawaii faqs thanks
<These are rare. Bob Fenner>
Re: Hawaii biotype   4/18/11

Thanks for the reply. I like the sound of a Porites dominated tank. I've got a choice of Fiji live rock or Heliopora witch would you recommend or I could have a mix of the two thanks
<I like the "Acropora" looking rock from Fiji... and a live or not so Pocilloporid as the fill-in for the P. compressa should do nicely. BobF>
Re: Hawaii biotype... Centropyge stkg./sel.    4/19/11

Hi after doing research into flame angels it seems not many are collected from Hawaii.
<This is so nowayears... Much more often from further into the west Pacific>
As I want a biotype as real to life as I can make it. Would a potters angel fit in instead of the flame if I take the potters wrasse of the list and replace with something similar [any ideas ?] thanks
<... Harder to keep and NOT w/ the Macropharyngodon Batesian mimic. Please learn to/use the search tool, indices on WWM... My pieces on these two species:
and http://wetwebmedia.com/pottersangel.htm
"and the linked files above". B>

dwarf angel compatibility 4/13/11
Hi I'll try and keep this short. I was wondering whether or not I would be able to keep a pair of Multibar angels and a golden angel in a 100 gallon tank[4x2x2].
<Mmm, no. The pair by themselves should really be in a fix foot system (nom. 150 gallons). Golds, C. aurantius in hundreds of gallons>
I would arrange the live rock so best for them each to make their own territory. Also I know these are deep water fish so would 4x 54watt t5's be to bright that it would effect acclimatisation thanks Ross
<Keep studying. Bob Fenner>
Re: dwarf angel compatibility 4/13/11
hi bob
Thanks for the reply. I'll stay away from the golden but did have my heart set on the pair of Multibar. They would be two of only four or five fish in the system and would also be the biggest fish in there. If this is still incompatible could I shave it down two one. Thanks for all the advice very much appreciated
<I'd go w/ the one. Too likely to have troubles w/ two in this volume, shape system. BobF>
Re: dwarf angel compatibility. Stkg./sel. f'  -- 4/14/11

Thanks for the advice. I will just go for the one. Also forgot to mention its uk gallons thanks for your time and help
<Welcome. B>

Re: Royal Gramma Question, Flame angel sel. f'  -- 7/14/10
Thanks! I will do just as you advised. That's what I was leaning towards doing. I'm so pleased with the flame angel I received. I'd seen several in stores, and either the store wouldn't feed them, or the one store that was willing to feed in front of me, the fish wasn't interested in eating.
<I do know what you mean... this species used to be "hard as nails"... like the Coral Beauty in the eighties, the Oriole/Bicolor in the sixties... All are now quite "dicey" selection wise>
So I was worried about ordering one online and having it starve but this one is a great eater!
Thanks again, Pam
<Welcome again, BobF>

Which two Centropyges for reef tank?  -- 11/1/09
Thanks so much for such giving such great information on our wonderful
I am putting together a new 120 gal reef tank with about 130lbs of live rock. I will have some hard corals with just a few soft corals. I would like to have two Centropyge angelfishes. The following six are my favorite: C. acanthops, C. aurantonotus, C. bispinosus, C. vroliki. C eibli and C. multicolor. I know there is always some risk with any angles but which two do you think would give the best chance for success?
<The dwarf dwarves (the first two) most likely, next in line, the Multicolor, than Eibl's.. last the Coral Beauty>
I would be happy with any combo of the ones mentioned but have to say I like the C. bispinosus and C. vroliki best. Which two would be the least likely to work? I am guessing that the two least likely to work would be the C. acanthops and the C aurantonotus.
Thanks again.
<There are better than average odds that any two of these would mix though.
Bob Fenner>
Re: Which two Centropyges for reef tank? 11/2/2009

Thanks for the help.
If I went with just one of the six mentioned it would be the C. eibli or the C. vroliki. Between those two which one would give the best chance for success?
Thanks again,
<I judge them to be on par... in actuality these two species are very closely related. BobF>
Re: Which two Centropyges for reef tank? 11/2/2009

Final question.
Of all the Centropyges, which two are your favorite for the reef tank?
Thanks again,
<Likely C. loricula and C. argi. BobF>
Re: Which two Centropyges for reef tank? 11/2/2009

I need to reword that question, which in your opinion are the two that would be the most "reef safe"? Does that change your answer?
Thanks again.
<Please read here re: http://wetwebmedia.com/dwfdwfangels.htm

Re: Yellow Tang... Multicolor dwarf angel sel.  10/24/09
Thanks a lot for responding Bob. Have you ever actually personally kept the Centropyge Multicolor species? Did it fare well for you?
<I have not... but have seen it in other able aquarists, even aquaculturist's systems, care, that I consider this species (to a high degree of confidence) to be amongst the hardiest of its genus. BobF>
Re: Yellow Tang 10/25/09

Ok, but what is aquaculturist's systems?
<Folks who generate aquatic source protein for profit's facilities>
You have this species listed as a (2) on WWM.com, was that a mistake?
<Mmm, no... some specimens are lost easily in transition... through the chain of custody>
And, you never personally kept/cared for this angel?
<I have not, no>
Thanks again, sorry to be a pain
<No worries. BobF>

Pygmy Angelfish Compatibility 9/15/09
Hi there.
<Hello Aly>
A few months back I kept a Coral Beauty and a Potter's Angel in my 144 reef tank with great success.
<Good to hear.>
So much so that the two became buddies and jointly ate away most of my Acans and they had to be removed. I now have an extra tank that has been set up for a year now and I would love to try out these fish and any others that may be compatible. The tank is a 50 gallon corner tank with a corner overflow and a 10 gallon sump.
What pygmy angelfish (if any) are likely to get along, provided lots of live rock is supplied?
<A 50 gallon corner tank doesn't provide quite the space as a 55 long and territorial problems may ensue here.
I would not suggest a Flame Angel being one of the fish, as I believe they are the most territorial/aggressive (toward conspecifics) of all the pygmies.
I presently have a Coral Beauty and a False Lemonpeel in a 60" long tank and they behave quite well, and going on their fourth year in the system.
Will all depend on the personality of the individual fish selected. Plenty of live rock with caves, etc. will definitely help. May want to read here.
Thanks in advance,
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Re: Xenia / Zoanthids: Natural ways to prevent spreading, Centropyge sel./stkg.  9/10/09
1 Cherub Angel
<Not one of the easier pygmies to keep if you are new at this. A Coral Beauty would be a better choice, keeping in mind that they are reef safe, but with caution.>
<<Really James? I find that Centropyge argi is much hardier on average in semi-peaceful settings. RMF>>
I just feel the overall chances for success are better with the Coral Beauty. Not saying the Cherub is difficult to keep, but feel the Coral Beauty is the easier of the two. Just basing on my experience with the two in question.
<Thank you, BobF>

Two SW Angels in 30 Gal     2/20/09 I have a 30 gallon tank with live rocks, cleaning crew (snails, crabs, and a peppermint shrimp), an entertaining goby, a darling baby cardinal, a bicolor angel <Too small a tank.> and a yellow tailed damsel. I want to add a coral beauty. Is this a good idea? <Horrible idea.> If not, what do you suggest? <Research, looking before leaping....your system is too small for the angel already there, muchness the prospect of adding another.> We will eventually add another baby cardinal; as the one we have looks lonely. It constantly stares at its reflection in the glass. Lastly, our bicolor appears to be begging the shrimp for a good cleaning. The shrimp simply ignores/avoids it. Why is that? <No guarantees re behavior here, see http://www.wetwebmedia.com/hipshrpbeh.htm about this.> Thanks in advance for your help. Sonia <Hmmm, welcome, but do help yourself a bit. Some reading, here on WWM or elsewhere will shed some light on all of this. Scott V.>

Dwarf Angels, sel.  - 7/1/08 Hi! <Bryan> Firstly, the praises... where would this hobby be without you guys? By far and away the most extensive source of advice and information available on the net.. how many fish lives have been saved by Wet Web? Who knows, but I bet the figure runs into thousands at least.... <What's that song we used to sing to our aquarium service co-worker Ann? "Hose-Anna, Hose-Anna, let's siphon these tanks out..."> Anyway, my question... I currently have a 2-3" bicolour angel holding in a 20gal tank with a yellow tail damsel. I am so lucky with this fish, I saw him at the LFS and he was bombing around checking things out and pecking at the rocks, so I thought it was a good sign. I asked the shop owner if I could see him eat and was very pleased to see the fish zoom up and eat the flakes from between the shop keepers fingers! <Good!> In the two weeks since arriving in my tank he has been putting on more weight and now has a little belly.. so much so I'm thinking I should cut back the food a bit, put him on a diet! <Me too, or shall I write, I as well> I have a 100gal corner tank currently cycling with live rock and sand, it's going well (3 weeks in) and to be honest with the mature live rock going in with live sand and a mix of new and used water from my 20gal I have not had any spikes at all. <Also good> So, why am I bothering you? I have read your FAQs on dwarf angels and have come away in two minds. I think I would like a second dwarf in the big tank <100 gal.s? Not all that big> along with the bicolour.. I am thinking that if I add it at the same time as the bicolour and assuming they're of suitably different colours (so no Lemonpeel, joculators, heraldis or half-blacks) I may do well. My short list of suspects is Coral Beauty, Flame Angel, Potters, Cherub or Flameback... Would I be right in thinking that two dwarves of different species would probably do better than two dwarves of the same species? <The choice of the last two... the dwarf dwarves... would be mine> Cheers Chris <And you. Bob Fenner>

Re: System Stocking-Trade Offs and Risks! 6/10/07 Hello Scott, <Hi there again!> Just a follow up to your remarks. With my skimmer (Aqua C) I empty it daily. I get coffee-colored skimmate usually, not a light color. And I am anal with my husbandry... That being said I really like the Rusty Angelfish a lot. <Rusty's are great fish, they just tend to reach a size that may be problematic in a fully-stocked system of your size. If you are willing to make stocking concessions, such as moving out other fishes, etc., it is possible- but I still think a larger aquarium is a better call for that species..> I do like the species that you have suggested in the Cherub Angel. <The "African Flameback" angel is even nicer-looking and also similar in size...> As for the Tang, I was going to get a smaller one and then give it up after it outgrows my tank. <Commendable, I know-and the idea sounds good on paper. I just don't like that approach. The reason I am skeptical is that I have heard this literally hundreds of times over the years here on WWM, and I have heard lots of excuses why the exchange never took place. Sometimes, a larger tank that is in the planning phase never comes to fruition, other times the hobbyist feels that the fish has "grown relative to the aquarium size" (and absurdity- I know you don't think that way!). I guess my conservative stocking theory is that you should never purchase a fish that you will not be able to accommodate in your aquarium for its full natural life span. This is why I go nuts when I hear about folks buying juvenile Emperor Angels and placing them in small aquariums until they get that "360 gallon system" that they have been planning. It's like buying a puppy and then giving him or her away when they are an adult...Yuck..! I'm off my soapbox now!> Speaking of Tangs, do you think I could house a Kole Tang? <One of the smallest Tangs generally kept in aquaria, but I have this thing about keeping any Tang in a system less than 5 feet in length...That's just my opinion, of course, but you asked...:) > I might be leaning towards a reef setup soon. I have heard bad things about the Rusty Angels nipping at corals. Is the Cherub the same way? <Any Centropyge is hit or miss. The Rusty is potentially a coral nipper. The smaller Centropyge species are less inclined to nip at corals, in my experience. On the other hand, the smaller the system, the fewer corals you house, so the likelihood of one particular coral being damaged by the Angel is greater. I am a huge Centropyge fan, and keeping one in a reef system is a risk I am willing to take. I like fishes more than the corals, myself, and so I'm willing to take risks or trade-offs. You may be different. You could try a species with a reputation for being less inclined to nip at corals, such as the Coral Beauty. Of course, an individual of a species "reputed" not to munch on corals may develop this habit regardless! On the other hand, I've seen reef systems with Lemonpeel Angels, and even full-size" angels that never develop this habit. It's always a risk. You can hedge your bets by stocking your system with some of the more ichthyotoxic coral species, such as Lobophytum, Sinularia, Cladiella, etc. Regardless, it's your call!> Thanks again! You guys are great!! Brad <Thanks for the kind words, Brad! Good luck! regards, Scott F.>

Stocking a 36 Gallon Tank w/ Dwarf Angels   5/2/07 Hey WWM Crew. <Hello.> After I donated my Flame Angel to my dentist (225 reef tank), <Neat.> I started to consider what I was going to add since I have many options open. <Okay.> The only resident is a Clown Goby, had him for about 4 months or so. I am still in the progress of creating my tank reef, mostly going with low lighted corals. I got purchased a book about all different types of corals and their needs, so I won't  have a problem setting that up. The reason I mentioned this is because I still  like dwarf angels, and was thinking of getting one of the dwarf, dwarf, species,  particularly C. acanthops. I figured it would do better in my tank, figuring it doesn't need as much space as other angels. My tank is 36  gallons with 45 pounds of live rock, and soon to be more. <With a 36 gallon tank the ONLY dwarf angel I would lean toward is; C. argi.> I figured the  environment is good, but wasn't sure about fish compatibility and coral. First,  are there specific types of corals this type of angel likes? I figured he would  go after SPS corals more than others, but that doesn't mean he would try  anything else. Would this species go after coral less? <When these animals do decide to pick at sessile invertebrates they will go after the easiest fair. Ones that will give them the most substance with little effort or risk of injury. The most common problems I see with Centropyges being nippy usually involve Tridacnid clams.> Even though it   depends on the fish itself? <True.> Second, how would aggression work since he would be  the last fish to add. <I wouldn't see much of an issue if this animal and the goby are the only two fish.> I was thinking of something small that would make a big  contribution to the bioload and wouldn't get bullied. I like Firefish, except  their docile temperament might not be able to cope with the angel. <Well I wouldn't get both of these in your size tank but if you do get the Firefish first.> My tank is  getting a lot of rock for hiding places, but I am creating a canyon theme with  the rock, creating two sloping piles on the side of the tank. If this doesn't  work however, it will be a drop of theme with one larger pile of rock on one  side of the tank. I mentioned this because of how the fish would be able to have more cover and privacy. I am open to suggestions also to mix with a clown goby and Flameback angel. <See above.> Thanks <Welcome, 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>

Dwarf angels? Sel.?   4/4/07 First question I have a 72-bow front, live rock with 1 Yellow Tang, a Hippo Tang <Pushing it with the Yellow tang, this tank is far too small for a Hippo Tang> A Coral Beauty an Ocellaris Clown, Engineer goby and Watchman goby and just picked up a Radiant Wrasse. With crabs and snails and do want to get into a reef... do have a white small ball that pops in and out of the live rock? it is white. <…> I do want to get into a reef but not big time, anyway will another dwarf angel be able to be put in the tank? I have heard they should either be put in together or some will not get along thought about a flame angel but maybe a smaller like the cherub. I am thinking NOT but what the heck tell me NO. And how many more fish can I put in? <A flame angel would not be compatible here, too small quarters to share with another Centropyge never mind all the other oversized fish! No more fish to be added here, just removed> I have a skimmer and a 440 Fluval tank is doing good with the exception of my wrasse he is ok but someone didn't like him when first put in the tank next day tail cumped <..Cumped?!..> But found his place and is eating etc fine and just picked up a coral life deluxe lunar AquaLight. <The Halichoeres picked up that heavy light fixture, impressive! Please when you write in again, use a spell check!! - Note the exclamatory. Also read through your email before you hit send, as you would have noticed that this barely made any sense. In total I had to make over 35 corrections to your email, taking over 25 minutes that could have been spent answering more respectful peoples emails! I didn't send it back in the hope it will serve as another reminder to people that spelling and grammar rules must be complied with. On the aquatic side; remove that Hippo Tang now; this tank is far too small. Olly>

Re: tang compatibility, now Centropyges   3/13/07 Hi again Brandon, sorry to keep the emails coming. <Daniel, G'Day mate.> Just a point of clarification from your last email, were you suggesting that a potential tank mate for c. loriculus would be a c. bispinosa? Or that c. bispinosa would make a good substitute instead? <The latter.  C. bispinosa in my experience seems to be more docile, than the C. loriculus.> I would really love to have two angels in there but don't want carnage either. <I have had some success keeping two of the Centropyge genus together, but as a whole it is not recommended.  I also would not recommend it.  If I were going to do it however, I would pick two of the more docile species like C. bispinosa, and C. ferrugatus.  That is not to say that you could not house a C. bispinosa, and a C. loriculus, however.  You have a large enough tank, and the two separate islands of live rock could help a lot.  I wish that I had thought of that at some point in the past.  Perhaps this is a good time to start that test run of breeding these little buggers.  Any how, the hope here would be that they both set up distinct and separate territories at each end of the tank.  I would get both as small as possible.  I would introduce them at the same time, and begin to watch them for about three weeks or so after QT and introduction.  Make sure that there are plenty of places to hide, and don't plan on seeing much of either of them for a few weeks to possibly months.  Mine have become so accustomed to my hands being in the tank (I have Tubastrea to feed,) that I can touch them without spooking them.  With patience they can be trained to take food from your hand as well.  For further reading on their care, and to prevent this from being an exhaustive writing of information already written read here, http://www.wetwebmedia.com/centropyge2.htm.  Follow the links.> Would the chances of success be greater if I were to introduce one of each species at the same time? <Depends.  I wound up having to introduce separately.  I prefer to introduce at the same time, because this will clear up territory disputes that might arise with an already established fish.  I would probably remove the Canthigaster valentini though.  I don't know what the Centropyge run in Australia, but where I am I have had to pay anywhere from $25 USD to $60 USD.  This is a sizeable investment to lose, not to mention the lives of the fish.> I can probably set up two quarantine tanks to make this possible. <A good idea.  Also lastly a correction.  You mentioned a Queen Angel in your first mailing.  I spoke of some Pomacanthid nonsense.  I was thinking Imperator Angel.  The Queen is of the genus Holocanthus.  I apologize for any confusion this might have caused.  I was up kind of late that night.> Dan in Sydney <Good luck with this Dan.  Brandon.>

Marine Aquarium Additions...size issues   2/14/07 Can a regal tang, yellow tang, bi-color angel, and a couple of damsels all live in a 55 gallon setup? <No, too small...furthermore the bi-color is not really a great choice, not a great track record in captivity.>   I have Plenty of live rock, a few live plants and plenty of hiding spots for the guys I already have.   <It's not a care issue (except for the one mentioned above) it's a space, size, issue.> I would like to add the regal tang.   If not is there a nice looking specimen that you could recommend, my wife is getting tired of seeing another yellow fish added to the setup.   <If you're going for "blue" I would suggest a hamlet or Chromis...as for the angel, there are many suitable Centropyge angels that could make just as nice an addition (not the bi-color) as the surgeon in my opinion.>   thanks in advance for your help <No prob, Adam J.>

Filtration, SW, Centropyge sys., sel.   9/2/06 Firstly, I appreciate all of the information available on your site. I may be suffering from a certain degree of volume overload and am trying to determine an optimal set-up for my system. I have a 40g (12" X 48" x 16"h) with 130W PC lighting, 20lbs liverock and a SeaClone150 protein skimmer.  I plan on adding more live rock, and realize that the SeaClone is not an optimal skimmer. The tank has been cycled and currently houses a blue damsel (that is rather submissive and was being abused by a Basslet in my established 20g), ~15 hermit crabs and 15 snails. I would like to add a flame angel, <Mmm, not really enough space for this here> then another compatible fish over time (any suggestions would be welcome), as well as a cleaner shrimp and perhaps a Fromia sp star. The ammonia, nitrate and nitrite are all 0. pH is currently 8.2 and calcium 450. The skimmer produces roughly 10-20 ml of a dark green suspension daily. There has been rather aggressive brown diatom growth, <This will "go" in time> but many of the snails and crabs were recent additions and this seems to be stabilizing (I have also recently decreased the time the light is on).  My reading leads me to conflicting opinions on whether the current set-up will be adequate, whether it might be adequate but I'll have to see how the system works over time, or whether it is obviously insufficient. <For a "full-size" Centropyge species, the latter> I   would appreciate suggestions regarding the current filtration set-up, and stocking plans. Thanks. Scott <Thus far you're doing fine... take your time... "when in doubt, count it out" might be a working philosophy to adopt, adapt... Keep reading, gathering data points. Bob Fenner>

Nano- No-No? Centropyge In a small Tank?   8/14/06 Hi Bob (and WWM Crew), <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> Like most, long time reader, first time poster. Couple of questions I was hoping to get answered in the one mail :-) <Sure...no extra charge!> I am trying to decide on the suitability of dwarf angels in "nano" tanks. There are a many different opinions but I have found consistent quality advice from WWM that has helped me.  Id like to run over relevant specs to see what you think as far as suitability.  I have a 75 ltr (~16gl) (54cm H x 50cm Lx 35cmW). I have a sump which has a refugium with a 5-6" sand bed it contains appx 15-20ltrs more of water.  My sump also has a Tunze nano skimmer (model 9003).  I have approximately 10-15kg of live rock.  I was wondering if the tank has the capacity to house a dwarf angel most likely a Flame/Cherub/Coral Beauty as they are readily available in Australia.    <well...I have to be honest. I think that nano-tanks can be great systems, if managed carefully (and it sounds like yours is!). However, I'd be really hesitant to recommend a Centropyge in such a small system for a few reasons. First, they do need some "territory". Second, they can become highly aggressive towards other fishes in a small tank. Also, all of these guys might simply outgrow the tank, having a greater need for physical space than their diminutive size suggests. I would not keep a Dwarf Angel in anything less than a 40 gallon tank, and then only one of the really "small models", like the aforementioned Cherub or maybe C. fisheri.> Currently the tank has xenia/fluffy Corallimorph/small hammer/zoo's. I have a green BTA which is host to 2x clowns. <Ohh...then I would not even consider the Centropyge.> I try to get the bristleworms that are relatively large in size out of the tank when I can.  I check periodically in the middle of the night for signs of them, and most of the time there usually isn't much night time activity of the worms.  They seem to be most active when I feed the clowns.  I was wondering if there is a long term concern, and a drastic need to eradicate them from my tank as it is relatively small.   <I'm not overly concerned about them, unless you see obvious signs of damage to your inverts. I see them as more beneficial than detrimental, myself. Do keep them in check if you notice problems.> Cheers for any advice you can provide I know my questions are broad :-) Mark. <No problem, Mark. You sound like you're really on top of things in your tank! I would definitely avoid the Centropyge, but keep doing what you're doing otherwise! Much continued success to you! Regards, Scott F.>

Dwarf Angels, sel. sys.  6/29/06 I'm in the process of stocking my 240 marine tank, and would like to add two or three dwarf angels. On some sites, they say you should not do this, on others, they say the dwarf angels will get along in a 75 or larger tank. <Centropyge of all species are better housed in large/r quarters> I like the Coral Beauty, Bicolor, Eibli, Flame, and Half Black. Would two or three of any of these get along in a 240 with lots of caves and hiding places? Teresa <Likely so... though you might not see much of any of them so kept. I would leave out the Eibl's and Half Black myself from this list. Bob Fenner>
Re: Dwarf Angels, sel. sys.   7/2/06
Hello Bob, <Teresa> Thanks for taking the time to write. Disappointed to hear that, so will decide on only one for the tank. Just setting up the tank, so you'll probably get another question or two over the summer. Great website you have, a wealth of information. Teresa <Thank you... and don't be too discouraged. There are many other wonderful choices to consider, sort through. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Centropyge Angels in the Reef - 10/24/05 Hello Guys! <Hello!> I have a 2 year old 55 gallon Reef Tank. I currently have 2 Ocellaris clownfish and 1 bi-color blenny.  <Good variety and nice minimal load.>  All fish are very healthy and getting along well. I also have some mushrooms, Yellow polyps, colonial polyps and xenia. They are doing well also. I have virtually no algae problems thanks to my great quality water, 20% water changes weekly and an Aqua C EV- 120 skimmer. <Good regime, good skimmer.> I have about 50 lbs of live rock in the tank and I use water filtered through my SpectraPure 5 stage filter. <All good.> I wish to buy 2 more fish for my tank and will stop there. I probably will buy a royal Gramma or a small wrasse of some sort. <Six line is a good choice for small wrasse, (Pseudocheilinus hexataenia) but the Royal Gramma (Gramma loreto) is a good choice too..> For my last fish I wanted to buy a "showcase" fish and I was researching the dwarf angels. I like the looks of either the Flame Angel or the Coral Beauty. <Both are gorgeous fish but (this goes for Centropyges in general) have inconsistent records in reef tanks as far as "nipping." Most folks have success with them though, but be warned it is somewhat of a risk to sessile inverts.> Is there a difference in hardiness between these two angels or would either of them work in my tank?  <Well as with any angel these fish should be added to a mature tank, and your tank is at that mark being older than one year. As far as the difference between the two, Flames have a very slight edge with a little bit of a better survival record. It really depends on the source, collection methods. In my experience the Flames are a little bit more "arrogant" and tend to patrol the tank readily put in the open while the Coral Beauties tends to be a little shy.>  I have read conflicting reports about them. <You'll find this to be common with many marine fish, one source will say X is hardy, while the other will say X should be left in the ocean. Really depends on the factors mentioned above.> Any recommendations between the two? <Both tend to be sensitive upon acclimation but once established can make great long-lived pets, be sure to search through the WWM FAQ's, Adam J.> 

Stocking Question - dwarf angels.  9/11/05 Hello again, I have read tons on your site and am grateful for your help online, and also through e-mail. I have some questions about stocking my 75 gallon tank. We have a 75 gallon tank with a 37 gallon sump, and about a 4 gallon upflow refugium. We have about a 2-3" sandbed, and about 70-80 lbs of heavily coralline encrusted live rock. The rock is set up with many caves, and hiding places. This tank has been set up for about 3 1/2 years. All water parameters are good; ammonia, nitrite, at 0, and nitrate usually below readable amounts. Phosphates at 0. About every couple weeks to a month I do about a 15-25% water change. We currently have 1 3" blue hippo tang, a 1 1/2" Perc clown, a skunk shrimp, some hermits and snails, and a couple of coral polyps that came with the rocks. We also have a 3" blue eye tang in quarantine that will be going in this tank. We are looking to add a few more fish and from research online and in talking to some of the pet store employees that we trust. We would like to add a black percula clown, and maybe another small regular percula. One suggestion was that if two juvenile dwarf angels were added at the same time we could do that. From reading online some people have had good success with this, at least for months to a year or so, and others have horror stories. We have been thinking about trying putting 2 juvenile dwarf angels together from; flame angel, coral beauty, eibli, lemon peel, bi-color, and rusty, leaning toward the Eibli and the Lemonpeel. We have also been thinking of doing 1 dwarf instead and an Anthias, possibly the purple queen Anthias. So this would make the fish stocking: 1 3" blue hippo tang 1 3" blue eye tang 2-3 small percula clownfish, one being a black percula 2 dwarf angels added as juveniles at the same time, or 1 dwarf angel and an Anthias like the purple queen. We realize that we might have to sell/trade one or both of the tangs when they get closer to full size, but are wondering if we could get your opinion on our choices. Any other suggestions you might have/be willing to offer would also be appreciated. Thank you in advance, Andrew Morgenegg >>Hellow Andrew, So... I'm not sure whether or not to answer your question in the context of the tangs being present long term. For starters, this tank is small for two tangs. Also, "blue eye" tang is not a proper common name for any Acanthurid that I'm familiar with. Do you have a proper species name? To cut to the chase - your tank is too small to do what you propose, either on the tang front OR the dwarf angel front. Whenever you have only two of something, you're going to have problems. Angels like to pick on each other, and even in a 200 gallon tank I would be leery of adding two different species, or two of the same species that were not pair bonded. I've seen problems in tanks MUCH larger than yours. One always kills the other eventually. Think of a fish that has a territory of many cubic meters in the wild - less than one cubic meter seems pretty small suddenly doesn't it? I would lose one of the tangs and get going on your LONG TERM plan. If you must have a tang in a tank this size, one of the smaller Zebrasoma species, such as the Yellow Tang or the Scopas is a much better choice. They are also much more hardy. However if the Hippo is doing fine, keep it. Most of them die in captivity, so one that acclimates and does well is kind of a rarity! The Percs should be fine, but stick with ONE angel - please! I've been watching these things happen for 20 years! You CAN add a pair or trio of C. argi or C. acanthops though. :) Forget the Bi-color, you'll just have a dead fish almost immediately. The flame CAN be a good choice if you get one that wasn't cyanide collected -  a tall order these days. The coral beauty is a better choice, as is the Eibli. A Lemonpeel should do fine, but you can't ever keep corals or clams with it. Cheers Jim<<<

Peppermint Angel - 08/05/ Dear Bob and friends at WWM, <<EricR here>> What is the likelihood that I could get my hands on a Peppermint Angel here in the States?  I'm well aware that even if I do find one, I'll be sacrificing the down payment on my condo to purchase it- however, I'm still quite curious. <<Assuming you are referring to Centropyge boylei...from what I have been able to ascertain, the likelihood of obtaining one is very small.>> To my knowledge they are rarely imported into the U.S. but I've heard stories of one or two showing up at Quality Marine in LA within the last twenty years- sounds more and more like a long shot. I was also thinking that Mr. Boyle over on the Cook Islands might be able to direct me to a source, or perhaps even help me get one...??...??  I'd like to know your thoughts :) <<A beautiful fish, but unsuited to aquarium keeping from what I have gathered.  A deep water fish (50-120 meters) that rarely feeds in captivity, and when/if it does...whose diet we haven't quite figured out.  Best left in the sea.>> As always, your site continues to amaze me!  I have gained an incredible amount of useful knowledge from WWM and it has become number one on my list of favorites! Thank you much, Nic <<Regards, EricR>>

Tank Raised Flame Angels Hello Bob, <Rich> I only but tank raised livestock mostly because I dive and really hate the thought of yanking these animals out of there natural environment for my hobby.  That being said I love having a aquarium and putting as much color and variety as possible with farm raised fish.  I was very excited about tank raised Flame Angels.  My question is what happened to them???  They where around for a brief  time (I believe raised in Hawaii) and then puff, gone.  My searches have found nothing.  I would appreciate any info.  Thanks. Cheers, Rich <Two things actually... the fellow producing them (Frank Baensch, in Hawai'i) likely found that other species were more profitable (e.g. interruptus), and secondly, the market just wasn't there for loriculas... due to their small size and high prices... Someday... Bob Fenner>

- Stocking Questions - Thank you for keeping your site up and running and so full of useful advice. It is great to read all the emails and comments.  Also, it is great to have expert advice as close as an email away - thank you. I have a 75-gallon tank with a wet/dry, large Excalibur protein skimmer, roughly 45 lbs live rock, 4 inch sand bed (plenum), Coralife Power Compact Dual Strip Light with 10,000K and Actinic.  I've had the tank up and running for about a year. Current stocking: 2 percula clowns 8 Green Chromis (love to watch them school) 1 yellow watchman goby 2 cleaner shrimp 4 Nassarius Snails 10 blue leg crabs I wanted to ask your advise on adding a tang (think Kole or Yellow, but open for suggestions) and Dwarf Angel (leaning towards Flame, open here also).  That would complete my stocking.  My main focus is on Hardy, peaceful community fish.  Hopefully that would add some color that I do not already have and as a bonus keep the algae trimmed.  Please let me know your thoughts on the above or alternative suggestions. <If you're looking for peaceful, I'd go with the Yellow tang over the Kole... and as dwarf angels go, the flame is a real winner so I think you'd be all set with those.> Any chance that you would rank in your opinion the top 5 least aggressive tangs and Dwarf Angels. <Not in this email - please do read through our articles on the same. Tangs and dwarf angels are both well covered on WWM.> Thank you in advance. <Cheers, J -- >

Still wants an angel for a 30 gallon - 6/3/05 Would a pygmy or coral beauty angel be better to have in this size tank? <In my experience and opinion, I would recommend these angels if they were one of maybe two fish in the tank but I really just think it is too cramped in your tank. Take into consideration your bio-load and the animals you have now. I wouldn't take chances on a tank that is working well. Think on a small scale since you are working with a 30 gallon and limited space. Just my opinion. Please, I encourage you to find your opinion by doing research in book and web form. Check out your local reef club and ask some of the other members of their findings. I really would recommend not asking a fish store clerk as they may be biased. At least try not ask them with cash in hand. =) Again just my opinion. ~Paul>

Potter's Angel 3/11/05 Still a relative newbie to things aquatic and need help ASAP w/ a Potter's Angel purchased 4 days ago from reputable LFS.  <hmmm... a difficult angel overall... does poorly in new/young community tanks... and is dearly in need of a proper 4 week QT period before putting into displays to train them to feed strong> My first tank...Have a 46 gallon tank w/ two small percula clowns and a sixline wrasse all who have done beautifully since introduction 6 months ago and continue to thrive.  <careful with that wrasse... very territorial> Have about 35 pounds of nicely encrusted live rock. 2 scarlet hermits and various snails. A modest hang on tank skimmer running that seems to be doing the job w/ my modest bio load. I now know that the Potter's was the wrong choice for a relative beginner such as myself... but I guess I didn't do enough pre purchase research. <it is very difficult indeed. It is unlikely to survive one year if even six months for you. Do take note if this is so (or not) either way. Perhaps a hard lesson.> I seem to have a curse trying to add fish #4. Royal Gramma died within a week of introduction about 4 months ago.  <lack of QT again and a very poor choice mixing Atlantic fishes with Pacific. Asking for an Ich outbreak <G>> Gave it about 6 weeks, added a Firefish and found him half eaten one morning only days after introduction.  <the wrasse likely harassed/killed it at night. Bad mix> (Also lost an Emerald crab about 3 weeks ago.) Waited about 6 weeks, since losing the Firefish and added this Potter's-about 3 inches long. (Water parameters all check out fine including calcium and alkalinity) <please read, understand and apply the use of quarantine tanks> First few days went fine until this morning when I noticed he was not swimming out of the corner and his bright yellow fin on his side is half ripped off!  <*cough*... *wrasse*... *cough*> He is obviously struggling to swim and from my limited knowledge, I think his outlook looks grim. Can it be the little wrasse as the culprit?  <does a bear bring a Reader's Digest into the woods?> I didn't observe any aggressive behavior but if it was disease, wouldn't I see it on the other fin or tail as well? What to do?! <QT, QT, QT please> Can he be saved?  <pull the fish into a spacious isolation tank, add vitamins with B12 (Vita-Chem or the like).. also get some Beta Glucan from GNC, and perhaps vitamin E for food/water> Do I try to catch him? Bring him back to LFS?  <surely will kill it> Once a fin is torn as badly as this is, can it heal?  <easily... with vitamin E and with HUFA/lipid rich foods (Selcon)> Am I seriously cursed?  <bad husbandry... you can learn :)> Should I not be adding any more fish besides these 3 little guys? Help Please. MUCH Thanks... <get thee to QT :) Anthony> 
Help w/ Potters angel-Quick! 3/11/05
Thank you for your quick reply Anthony... got myself a QT and some treatments for it... <ah, great!> ...but woke up to see the poor Potter's had died.  <sorry to read of it my friend> An expensive mistake for me and what's worse, I feel awful about the little guy.  <understood... but the sacrifice is not in vain. I am sure your husbandry will improve for the happening and other creatures will fare better for it> That being said, I have tried earnestly to find species that ARE indeed compatible with the 6 line wrasse (he may be a tough, but he oozes personality and is very beautiful to boot...would hate to trade him in.) A lot of info says they are compatible with quite a few popular species but my wrasse is clearly not typical? <indeed... oddballs and exceptions do occur... they haven't read the books we have to know how they should behave ;)> So the question is please advise on colorful and HARDY species (perhaps only Chromis will do at this point? or are there others?)  <you need active and aggressive community fishes that stay small> I only planned on adding 2 more fish to (have a total of 5) and I will consider the tank well stocked. <many possibilities... all to be supervised closely for that wrasse (Grr). And have that QT ready if needed: options - sunburst Anthias.. tobacco or harlequin Basslet... yellow watchman goby (blue spots)... Chromis damsels perhaps... hamlets... dwarf eel (Hawaii)> My LFS is obviously giving me wrong compatibility info since they sold me the Gramma, Firefish and Potter's! <yes... poor choices for the age/nature of the tank. They would have done best by you to recommend a QT tank before all. Anthony>

Adding An Angel To A Tough Crowd! Dude(s), your website is awesome- its been a great help thanks! <Excellent! Scott F. here today!> I have a 10 wk old 90gal FOWLR. Tank has cycled good and gone thru the obligatory algae blooms. Doing great now. Water parameters all good and measured often. Biweekly 10% water changes. <Outstanding...> Pro Clear Wet dry bioball w/skimmer in sump with a Mag 5 return pump and a small power head in tank for additional circ. Only 10lb LR (so far, . . . it ain't cheap) combined with several coral skeletons and rocks for hiding/decoration.  Inhabitants are- 2" Blue damsel, 2" Clark clown, 4" Kole tang, 3" Yellow tang and 3" Picasso trigger added over time in that order. No, I did not quarantine but just call me lucky (I know, so far). <I have to call you lucky! Do try quarantine in the future. It's a really simple solution that can pay huge dividends down the line.> I am so, so happy that fish are doing well, water quality, clarity is good and that the skimmer is now finally removing a fair amount of dark green/brown "gunk" regularly. <Cool!> A previous setup a few years back did not use a skimmer and I'm sure that is part of why I eventually felt like I had failed, could not maintain the tank and shut it down. <Protein skimmers are so important to a successful marine system, IMO. I simply would not run a tank without one.> My question - I would like to add a 3" flame angel as the last fish after waiting a couple more weeks. Do you see any problems? <Well, I'm always a bit concerned with adding a Centropyge to a tank with a well-established pecking order of somewhat aggressive fishes (in particular, the Damsel and the Trigger). Although you have excellent husbandry habits, you will need to think about the future when the Picasso gets larger (and he will!). These fishes give off a lot of waste, need plenty of space, and can be downright ornery at times. They are absolutely wonderful pets, however, but do have a dark side! A larger tank will be in order. Adding the Flame Angel now is a judgment call on your part. I certainly would not add any more fishes to this tank after the Flame, as you'll be pushing the limits for your tank's carrying capacity. If you go for it, remember to quarantine, and watch the reaction of your resident population. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Fish & Algae Questions Hi!  I have a 110 gallon reef tank that houses many different fish (no angels).  First question, if I introduce simultaneously "Centropyge colini" aka Colini pygmy and "Centropyge aurantius" aka Golden pygmy and also a male and female "Genicanthus watanabei" and a male and female "Genicanthus caudovittatus" aka Red Sea zebra will they all be reef compatible and get along with each other? <Likely reef safe enough, but not happy being crammed in with each other at all... I would stick with just one of the four choices presented... have been out collecting aurantius... they occupy large Acropora stands by themselves or single-species associations... Colin's would be the best choice... the Swallowtail/Genicanthus Angels really need more space...> Second question, I have brown algae growing on sand and some rocks - I think it is a slime type algae - I've done more water changes and also have upgraded to a better skimmer and vacuum the sand off the bottom only to see the next day the brown algae comes back.  The only time it disappears completely is at night.  What do you think is the cause and what can be done to fix this? <Does sound like Cyano... but could possibly be transient diatoms... just keep on with your present improvements... along with having your source water checked for nutrients...>   Do you think I need to shut the lights for a few days to kill this or do you think this will just stress my fish and corals?   <Best to leave your time cycles pretty constant. This is/can be a surprisingly large source of stress> Thanks for you help with these problems. Jim Hoffman <Glad to share. Bob Fenner>

Maximum size of a Centropyge hey bob, I wanted to ask a question about an eibli angel?  everywhere I have read says it's max size is 6 inches, is that true and if so is it likely to grow to it's max size in a 65g tank? thank you, Chris <About this size, yes... and likely an inch or so shorter in a small system. Bob Fenner>
Starting full-size
thanks bob, if I can get a hold of a full size eibli angel maybe five or six inches, will it still do well in captivity? <Not a good idea to start with specimens that are adult size in general... Ship and adapt poorly to captivity. Shoot for one that is 3-4 inches overall length. Bob Fenner>

Rating Eibli Angels I was wondering if someone could help me out with a dwarf angel for my  FOWLR tank.  I wanted to know if the Eibli dwarf angel is easy to keep? The WetWebMedia web site describes them as an excellent aquarium fish. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/centropyge/, In my personal experience they are a fish with a ton of personality and fun to watch in a fish tank. I highly recommend them.>  Does it have a good survival rate in captivity? <I think you'll find they do well, good luck, MacL> thank you

Stocking Question <Hi, MikeD here.> As I'm sure you know, it's difficult to see the behavior of a fish when looking at it crammed in a small tank with 10 other fish at the LFS.<Almost impossible >  Right now I have a 46 gal tank with a maroon clown, a cardinal, a royal Gramma, and a Flame angel.<Nice combination and close to your maximum capacity>  I am looking to add one more fish and I love the way that Flame angels glide about the rocks grazing.  In a perfect world I would want to add a coral beauty or a lemon peel angel, but I've read that dwarf angels aren't too fond of each other.<Homicidally hate each other might be a better choice.>  Which fish would you recommend that my angel would get along with that would be just as active and interesting to watch?<That's a tough question, as there actually are many, but if color is also a condition I think I might consider a Fairy wrasse, usually mild mannered, out often and many are true center pieces in smaller tanks, but that's just my opinion.> Thanks,<You're welcome> Justin

Choosing The Perfect Angel! (Centropyge Selection) Dear Scott, <Hello again!> I have just got back from a holiday up north so I am ready to start putting fish in the tank. After seeing fully grown Pomacanthus semicirculatus and Euxiphipops sexstriatus in the wild again I can understand why it is so cruel to try and cram them in small tanks. <A great way to "learn the lesson"! They are magnificent animals, and, as you can attest, need large territories over which to roam. We just can't provide that in captivity.> I am still a bit unsure about what the best angel for the tank will be. I went to my nearest fish shop the other day, and they have a fairly large selection of Centropyges as well as a few Singapore angels, all fish are quarantined and feeding before going on sale. I really like the Bicolours, Coral Beauties and the Singaporeans, but the Fireballs are too expensive and the rest didn't really "grab" me. <I'm not particularly into the Fireballs myself. They are a great size, though!> Would it be better to keep pairs or groups of these fish or have a selection of dwarves? <Keeping a group of Centropyge in captivity is potentially problematic, despite what species you choose. If the tank is large enough, you can purchase some small specimens, and place them into the same tank together. It's important to have sufficient rockwork to give the fishes both territories and places to hide if things get out of hand. Careful observation and the ability to act quickly to remove a fish in trouble is very important> Do coral Beauties retain their bright colours throughout their lives or do they eventually fade away? <This largely depends on diet and environmental conditions. If you provide a varied diet and stable environmental parameters, you'll have a better chance of having these fish retain their bright colors> Also, in what order should I add the fish, Clowns or angels first? <While angels should not be the first fish added to a new system (yours is not, if I recall), I suppose that I'd rather get the angel(s) in first, to let them establish territories and begin feeding. Be sure to quarantine them first, of course-regardless of the dealer's practices> Do you have any other recommendations for suitable angels to keep in my tank? <Well, I really like the Coral Beauty. Flame Angels are great fish, but can be a bit pricey in some areas. One of my favorites is the Lemonpeel. They do hit a fairly large size for a Centropyge (about 4-5 inches), but they are gorgeous! Bicolors can be hardy and long-lived, if they are net caught and well-handled in the chain of custody from reef to store. Sadly, many are not, which is why I recommend that you exercise caution if choosing one for your tank. There are still others, many of which make fine fish, if carefully selected, quarantined, and acclimated. We have a great section on Centropyge angels on the WWM site> Any information or advice would be greatly appreciated. Yours Sincerely Adam Harbeck <Well, Adam- if it were me, I'd go for a single Lemonpeel and enjoy it's beauty and personality! However, the final call is yours...Study up and go for it! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Centropyge nahackyi Hello, <Hello there> I have seen the Centropyge multicolor offered for around $200 (Drs. Foster & Smith). I have yet, in my limited resources, seen a Centropyge nahackyi for retail. In your general knowledge, is the nahackyi comparable in price. <Mmm, have only seen this species... named in honor of Tony the collector... who lives/collects mainly Dwarf Angels in Fiji... for sale a few times... about this price, but suspect in general it sells for more than the multicolor> Also, in the literature on the site, the nahackyi was given a rating of 1 on the 1-3 angelfish survivability scale. Are there any particulars on the nahackyi you could tell me similar to the description for the multicolor where it says they like subtle lighting. I just want to know if you feel it would be a good aquarium specimen. It seems the multicolor really isn't except for an expert aquarist. Thank you for the wisdom and this incomparable website!!!  Corey <I have never personally kept this species, but am given to understand that it is amongst the hardiest of the dwarf angels... accepts most foods readily, is resistant to parasitic and infectious disease. Bob Fenner>

Flame vs. Coral beauty Good morning Crew,<Hello, Cody here today.> Which is a hardier fish the flame or the Coral angel, I have been reading on your killer web site that people that have Flames have all sorts of problems with the fish, on the other hand I have not read anything bad on the Coral. What do you pros think??? Also I have a pygmy angel in the tank would it get along with either one???<I have had better success with coral beauty but if the flame is eating when you get him he should be fine. Other than making sure the flame is eating they tend to be equally hardy as long as they came from a good source. I couldn't tell you if the two angels would be ok with each other unless I knew how big of tank you have but I would at least have a 125 or larger. Cody> Thank you 

A Perfect Little Angel? Good morning Scott, <Hello again!> I'm sorry I e-mail so much, But you give the BEST advice!!!!! <Thanks for the "props", but I think that some of the other folks on this site have forgotten more than I'll ever know! LOL> Scott, I was looking at the beautiful C. vroliki. My goodness, what a awesome looking fish!!! What do you think about that fish....health wise.....and for my 45g.  Thank you so much <Well, you're definitely a Centropyge fan! C. vroliki is an awesome fish, and it is smaller than the Lemonpeel, usually topping out at around 4 inches. I think that it would be an acceptable choice for your tank. A larger tank would be better, of course, but it could work in your tank. Make sure that the tank is not overcrowded, though! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Lemon Peel In The Mix? Good morning Scott, hope you had a great weekend. Mine was short!!! Scott, I would like to buy a Lemonpeel! <Awesome, my favorite Centropyge Angelfish (ok- except C. hotumatua, but don't start me on that one...LOL)! A great fish!> What do you think about this fish HEALTH WISE?? Are they a little better then a flame? <Well, flames are seemingly more abundant in the hobby, and generally do well. Lemonpeels have a slightly less sterling reputation. A lot of it depends on where the fish was collected from. Try to avoid any Centropyge from the Philippines, IMO. Marshal Island, Australian, etc are better choices. If you get a healthy specimen to begin with, quarantine and handle it well, including providing lots of good food, you'll have a real prize fish!> I've been reading some of the articles and it seems that the flame comes out with a lot of Ich! Do you think a lemon would be a better pick for my 45g??? <Well, the Lemonpeel is one of the largest of the Centropyge species, topping out at around 5 inches, so it may actually be a bit too large for your tank, IMO. They can be a bit feisty, too. The Flame might be a better choice, or still better yet- the C. argi or C. fisheri. Not quite as "sexy" as either the Flame or the Lemonpeel, but better suited for a tank of your size in the long run, IMO!> Thank you so much!!! <You're quite welcome! I love dwarf angels- great fish! Just select well and care for them appropriately! You'll be fin! Regards, Scott F.>

- Livestock Selection, Angel Mix Follow-up - Hi J, One more question. <Ok.> Where would I look for tank raised angels? <Large angels? As of yet, there is no such thing. It's only been in the last year that some of the pygmy angels have given up their secrets and are starting to be tank raised, but the livestock itself is not cheap. It's going to be a little while longer before tank raised, large angels make it on the scene.> I have been hearing lots of rumors about there being more availability? <As I said, I've seen a couple of tank raised pygmies at wholesalers, but they are expensive... time will tell.> Matt <Cheers, J -- >

Cherub Angel (Centropyge argi) Question >I'm back... I recently wrote in asking about compatibility of a six line wrasse with the rest of my inhabitants. I've decided not to go with the wrasse.  Current 29g tank residents include: 2 false Percs, 1 blood shrimp, 1 cleaner shrimp, 1 peppermint shrimp, 3 hermits, and 1 turbo snail. Had a yellowtail damsel who didn't make the transfer from the QTank to the display due to my screw-up of some kind.  Anyway. I plan on getting a strawberry Dottyback to go in the tank also. >>I would say that your system has pretty much hit its max bioload level.  One has to account for ultimate adult sizes of animals held within, and the ocellaris clowns can get around 3", sometimes larger.  The Dottyback can become a wee bit aggressive, too.  Consider instead something that will remain relatively small, neon gobies, perhaps.  However, you've said the magic words, QTank!  Good on ya, and keep it up (30 day minimum, please!). >Kids are upset about the demise of the yellowtail. I wasn't going to replace him but now feel I need to. >>I understand this feeling, but please don't give in, as it may likely simply lead to more deaths, and more "upsetness".  Also, consider that the bulk of these animals are wild caught, and there are very real ethical issues in replacing fish in such a way.  If you can, wait until you get a larger system that will be more stable.   >We were at the LFS today and saw the Cherub Pygmy Dwarf Angel.  I know that they stay small and I was wondering if he would work in my tank?  If yes, should he be added before, after, or at same time as Dottyback?  I also want a yellow tang eventually. (I know my current system is too small for him.) What I want to be able to do is to take the 29g residents and put them in the larger system when I get it. >>Then I strongly suggest you wait until you actually get that system.  It's best not to add too many fish at once, *especially* when you're running such a small setup.  The dwarf is compatible with the clowns, the Dottyback, the tang, and the neon gobies, but will RULE the 29 gallon.  If you take that list of fishes and put them into a 60 gallon, that would be best, adding NO more fish.   >Will the pygmy be able to co-exist with the tang then or not at all? I posted this on the forums but wasn't really getting my question answered.  Was told that my tank should be a year old before I get the pygmy and that it is a touchy fish and I should be worried about new tank syndrome. >>No, this would be among the better of the angels for beginners, but it is PUGNACIOUS, as I said.  That would make him a candidate to be added last.  I think what the folks on the forum may have been trying to convey (without actually reading the posts) is that your system is soon to be overstocked.  Also, consider instead of the Dottyback something more peaceable like a royal Gramma.   >I'm getting so confused now because all I've read about the cherub says it is an excellent hardy angel for a beginner. >>It is.  But please don't place it into a tank of this size, it could very well begin harassing the poor clowns terribly. >I want to know if the Cherub will work in my current tank and later be compatible with a yellow tang. >>In my opinion, if you get the new tank and it's going to be around 75 gallons or more, then absolutely it will get along just fine with the tang, and the tang will be fine in that size tank for quite a while (though they really need horizontal space for swimming room).   >Also, I am considering, do not have at moment, getting some mushrooms or polyps.  Will the cherub destroy these?  If yes, then they are not necessary to have. I'd rather have the fish. >>You know, with angels it tends to be hit or miss.  The real victims tend to be clams, soft corals (not Corallimorphs or Zoanthids), and LPS (large polyp stony) corals. >Thanks for your help! Carla >>I hope you do find my suggestions helpful, I know it's not exactly what you may have been looking to glean.  Marina

Farm-Raised Centropyge loricula 9/10/03 Bob: Since you have a place in Hawaii, I figured I would address this question directly to you.  Do you or anyone you know have any experience with the tank-raised C. loricula out of Hawaii?  I was wondering if anyone has seen what these specimens are looking like.  Do you know how long this species has been tank-raised?  Is it better to wait a longer time for numerous generations before acquiring one?  Any information is greatly appreciated.  Thanks, Rich <Have not seen any cultured Flames for sale as of yet... Think this is a U. of HI project still at this point (i.e. not commercial). Will take a while to grow out ( a few to several months) the young to be anywhere near saleable size. Bob Fenner>
Re: Farm-Raised Centropyge loricula 9/10/03
Bob: Thanks for the blazing fast reply.  Actually, one of your sponsors is claiming to sell these: http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod_Display.cfm?siteid=21&pCatId=1644 and I was hoping you had some more info.   This is the first place I come to (and buy books from) for advice.  Rich <Ahh! Thank you for this notice... eighty dollars for 3/4 to 1 1/4".... Yikes! Dr.s Fosters and Smith, good for them and the interest.> Ps: Hey, when are you coming back to the Northeast? <Mmm, no plans right now... Will be at the next IMAC and MACNA's though. Be seeing you, Bob Fenner>

A Perfect Angel For A Small World! Hello WWM Crew! Want to thank Scott F for the previous advice.  Very helpful.  Today, I assure you, will be a quick question. <Glad that you found it useful- I'm back with you tonight!> My 25 gal tank is cycled with 25 pounds Tonga Live rock, 40 lbs sugar fine live sand.  Eclipse hood filtration, 2 power heads and a CPR skimmer 2r producing 1/2 cup a day tea-coffee colored waste. <You know that I love to hear THAT!>   Current Bio-Load: 1 Lysmata amboinensis 1 Lysmata debelius 1 Mithrax Crab (LR Hitchhiker) 5 Miniature Blue legged Reef hermits. 3 small Red sea snails My initial stocking list included the above and a flame wrasse/flasher wrasse.  Would also adding a small pygmy angel in time be overdoing it?  I want to keep this tank under stocked and healthy as possible. Thanks again! Ryan Bowen San Francisco, CA   <I think that you nailed it, Ryan...You're right about where you'd want to be, in terms of fishes, in this sized tank. As far as the pygmy angel, you could go for the "Cherub Angel"( C. argi), the "Flameback Angel" (C. aurantonotus), or, if you are a Pacific kind of guy, like me- a good small choice would be C. fisheri or C. flavicauda. All of these are small, very adaptable, and have interesting behaviours and color patterns. I'd let the tank become established for a while before adding the angel, as it will need some microfauna and algae to pick at to help supplement it's diet. Other than that- just provide common sense care and you'll enjoy these fish for many years to come! Good luck! ScottF>

The perfect Centropyge angel? Good day to you. <And the same to you.> I was wondering if there is a dwarf angel that is more reef safe than others. <Two words: crap shoot. It's usually 50/50 although every Lemonpeel or golden pygmy angel I've run into has been a nibbler, that's not to say that there are many people which have these fish in their tanks behaving themselves. I've had pretty good luck with flame angels at the shop, and I have one at home who hasn't nibbled for 3+ years. Good luck, and I hope you nab the right one! -Kevin>

-Stocking list for a new 65- Hi.  I'm contemplating an upgrade to a 65 gallon tank (36x18x24) and have been  attempting to complete a stocking plan before purchasing the new tank. <An often overlooked step!> I  currently have a mandarin [fat and happy for 6+ months on frozen as well as  plenty of live copepods/amphipods from the refugium] <One of the few that eats frozen, you're lucky!> and an ocellaris clown and plan to add these two fish to the new tank.  I plan on introducing a second  ocellaris and would like to add a pair of fire gobies and a flame angel and some hardy invertebrates. <Be sure you have somewhere to remove the new clown to just in case the resident clown really beats on it.> I have an Aqua-C Remora Skimmer and refugium on my current tank and would install them on the new tank along with a 6 inch DSB (my  main motivation for purchasing a tall tank).  I've read through the FAQs and several other sources and seen mixed opinions on the tendencies of Centropyge.  Could a flame angel peacefully co-habitate with the aforementioned fish in this size of a system and/or do you think this is too many fish for this tank?  <I think this would be an appropriate stocking list. The Centropyge shouldn't mess with any of the other fish, but it may nip at coral.> Also, I enjoyed the Reef Invertebrates book and look forward to the fishes! <Great! Will pass along. Good luck! -Kevin> Thanks! Christopher

Japanese Dwarfs... (Angels) Hi all, I am currently planning my next setup. This will be a glass 90 gallon tank and I will utilize my current 29 gallon as the sump. I have the hardware lined up and will build the stand and canopy myself to match the furniture in the new house (getting married in March). <Congratulations!> So I have been setting up some outlines of livestock that I would like to build this tank around including SPS corals, Clown pair, Royal Gramma, maybe a Regal Tang if I can hand select a nice specimen (still up in the air on this one due to tank size). I definitely would like to include a Centropyge sp. into the system. So I've been researching a bit and came across the Japanese Angel/Centropyge interruptus. In the article "Perfect Little Angels" it was stated that the C. interruptus was a hardy specimen and suited well for the aquarium. I found a photo on FishBase.org and was blown away at the beauty of this fish. I was wondering if you knew were I could find more information on this fish in aquarium use either online or book/article wise. <I would just hit up the search engines. I got 108 links on Yahoo using Centropyge interruptus.> I also can not find a retailer online or local that carries this fish. I would definitely like to know if this is a highly expensive fish before I get my hopes too high up. I am just at the planning stage and will look towards purchasing in about 6-8 months after building, cycling and....oh yeah marriage (jl of course). So I wasn't sure if these fish are imported "seasonally". < http://www.themarinecenter.com/ specializes in rare fish. I would check them first.> I was also leaning towards the Rusty/Centropyge ferrugata if the Japanese is rare in the trade (definitely one or the other). Additional information on this guy would be nice too. <You can find more on www.WetWebMedia.com> Do either of these fish have an appetite for corals, mainly SPS and LPS? <All Centropyges fall into a gray area in regards to compatibility with corals. They are all known to nip at LPS, soft corals, and clams. Generally, SPS are safe, but no guarantees with any Angelfish.> Do you have an opinion on either of these fish or another Dwarf that is particularly dear to your heart? <My favorites are the Coral Beauty and Flame, Centropyge bispinosus and loriculus, respectively.> What are your experiences with these two in relation to aquariums of the size/type I am planning? <A 90 gallon would be fine for one Centropyge.> I hope to hear from you guys soon. Have a great Holiday Season! <Thank you and you too!> Thanks, Kurt <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Lemon peel angel >Hi Bob, >>Hello, Renee?  No!  It's the ubiquitous WillC!  Marina (a.k.a. "Seamaiden") here. >I am writing you in regard to my lemon peel angel. I have the true lemon peel with the blue markings.  Anyway, I guess I'm one of the lucky ones, I got mine at my local fish store for $20. >>Great deal!  And how's he doing?  Read on... >I brought him home 4 mo.s ago and he has been a riot ever since. He eats like a pig, but only if I hand feed him. If I toss the food in he just ignores it, but as soon as I grab the food he's right there eating it from my hand. >>Cheeky bugger. >He isn't aggressive, as I have an Eiblii angel in with him. He schools with my green Chromis, and even does the goby routine with my pistol shrimp! >>I think you sent a picture in, yeah?  Or you posted it on RDO.. it wasn't very clear, we'd all love to see it, though. >I love this fish and I was just wanting to enlighten you with a successful story of this fish. If you ever need behavior info or some pics let me know I would be happy to share. >>Thank you, more information is ALWAYS of great help. >I was also wondering how big these guys get? I have read up to 6" I'm hoping this is true as mine is already 4 - 4 1/2" and I would hate to think he's at the end of his rope. >>IIRC, 6" is about the max. >Also I was wondering if the 2 pic's were the different species or if that was the difference between male and female? >>I'd have to see the pics, Will, but it should be easy enough to look up "sexual dimorphism in Centropyge flavissimus", yeah? >I noticed in the pic it looked like the anal fins were different, mine looks more like the first pic either way. Thanks for your help. BTW I got your name and website from Seamaiden. I'm not sure her real name but that's here "handle" on reefs.org. >>It's my nick on WetWeb (Sea Maiden there), too. as a matter of fact, I'm Seamaiden everywhere I go.  So, IIRC you *just* got that C. Eiblii, right?  I will suggest you slow down, mostly because I'm concerned that three Centropyge species may be problematic.  The Flame angel is my biggest concern here, they can really get pugnacious and quarrelsome.  Also, I'm assuming that *everyone* is going through q/t as well, so just be ready with introductions.  They may get along just fine being so differently colored, but I'm really wary of the Flame.  Good luck!  Marina.  (See you on RDO!)

Golden Pygmy Angel Please tell me a little about C. aurantius. I love the fish, and am considering putting it in my 75g reef tank. I'd like to get a Pomacanthus because of the color morphing, but I fear my tank is too small for any Pomacanthus. Therefore, I have decided on the golden pygmy. I've read that a properly handled specimen will acclimate, and the dealer I would get it from would be Marine Center, so I wouldn't worry about that. I will make it the first fish in the tank and give it plenty of time to become established. However, I don't want it if it is going to hide all of the time. I've never been able to observe one in person at any LFS.  <You probably won't have a problem as long as you have plenty of live rock and remember to always quarantine.  Also try to get him to eat right away and offer many foods.  Give it a month or two before adding anymore fish after him to make sure he is well established and you should have a pretty outgoing fish.  These are awesome fish and one that you will enjoy.  Cody> Thanks for your help and info!

C. argi or C. acanthops in a Nano Bob: <Steven Pro answering questions at the moment.> I am new to salt water and have set up a 10 gallon nano-reef that is thriving (at the moment). I would love to add a C. argi or C. acanthops to this system (though I realize already that it is very small); the LFS has one of each that are only about 2.5 cm long and of course I am considering moving my little reef to a bigger tank (or simply starting another reef in a bigger tank where the fish could be moved). In general, is one of these species better for a reef tank than the other in terms of personality, aggressiveness, hardiness, or anything else? <They should be about the same. A bit of a roll of the dice as to whether either will eat any inverts you care about. Could only be recommended for your ten gallon tank as the only fish. -Steven Pro Thanks, Steve

Yellowfin Dwarf Angel Hi guys, was hoping to get some info on Centropyge flavipectoralis.  <We have some: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/centropyge/index.htm and fishbase.org: http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?ID=10974 Beautiful fish, though not commonly sold around here. There seems to be very little information out there concerning this species.  <Not a great beauty, much demand... the usual "founder effect"... the species that that folks are already familiar with keep being ordered... new/novel ones ignored all the way back to their sources> Would it be safe to assume its care and diet are similar to the Coral Beauty? <Yes, I believe so> Also- and here's the big one- how reef safe is it compared with other dwarf angels?  <Mmm, well "safer" on a scale of such things... none are absolutely "safe"...> Coral Beauties seem to be some of the most well-behaved of the bunch, with definite exceptions. Thanks for any info you can provide/link me to. Travis <Bob Fenner>
Yellow-fin Dwarf Angel
Thanks Bob, those two links were the only info I could find on the 'net. I see we're consistent! Could you please explain to me the reasoning behind this statement? "... Yellow-fin Pygmy Angel (2), is a good fish for medium aggressive fish-only set-ups." Is this a more aggressive fish than the Coral Beauty or other Centropyge species? Do you mean medium size and aggressive nature, or fishes with a medium amount of aggressiveness? <The latter. Sorry to be so unclear. This is a more outgoing dwarf Angel than most. Bob Fenner> (Sorry to sound like I'm splitting hairs.) Theoretically, this fish would be living in my 46 gal LPS/Softy reef with a pair of ocellaris clowns and a lawnmower blenny. A big "thank you" as always, Travis

Re: Qs on Golden Pygmy Angel Hi Steven (or Bob), Thanks for your prompt response. As of today (4th day), the Golden Pygmy continues to hide and does not show itself most of the time. She is still picking on live rocks. Her colorations remained bright and clear. <Very typical for the species. I have not been out to collect this Centropyge, but have some reasonable second-hand reports on the circling of an area, crushing of Acroporids work it takes to "get it out" in the wild... and friends who have made attempts at forming captive breeding harems> <<A challenging fish that is prone to cyanide capture.>> Are most deepwater species captured illegally in the trade? <No, most are not... necessary or expedient. Many deepwater (more than 130 feet depth let's say) are very easy to approach (I have caught Tinker's Butterflies in Hawai'i with a simple hand net) and poisoning, anesthetizing takes time, money... things dive/collectors don't have much of> Do you know of any LFS that get their live stocks from reliable source, i.e. net-caught specimens?  <Several. For exotic species you might try mail-order e-tailer Marine Center in Texas for instance> Many FS claimed to import from reputable shippers overseas. I have learned that their claims were not true. BTW, I live in the Los Angeles area. I am a frequent visitor to Jeff's Exotics, Aquatic Depot, Marine Depot and Strictly Fish. Do you have any other recommendations? <Are you in the industry? If so, do go by Sea Dwelling Creatures, Quality Marine, Pacific Aquafarms...> <<Frankly, any research should have been completed prior to purchase. If you could not find enough to educate yourself on the proper care of the animal in question, best to leave it at the store...> <Same as most other Centropyge, algae.>> I always based all my purchases after much research. That include purchasing equipment other than live stock. I have kept dwarf angels. I have a Flame Angel in residence for two years now. She is very active, healthy and is constantly in motion. I also thought that the requirements are similar (like all other Centropyge species). I was wrong. I am not sure now. Any final comments? <Mmm, none from me. Steven?> <<Nothing particular that I have heard of research wise.>> That was the reason I wrote: To get some professional advice or suggestions on this unique species, Centropyge aurantius. I am a novice on this subspecies. I have heard that this species feed on sponges besides algae. Please redirect my inquiry to whom you think has much working knowledge with this Bali species. :) Thanks, Kenneth Kon, Redondo Beach, CA <Not much more I know Ken, but can cast about for more info. This is a relatively hardy species for the genus, but one toward the far right of the scale in terms of shyness. It only gets a bit more bold with time in captivity. Bob Fenner>

Qs on Golden Pygmy Angel Hi Bob, I desperately need your advice. I recently bought a Golden Pygmy Angel from a LFS. <A challenging fish that is prone to cyanide capture.> It is now three days in my 85 gal reef tanks. After introducing to my well-established tank, she has been very shy, occasionally showing herself but very carefully. Yesterday, the second day, she was more visible, moving slowly outside the overhead cave. She seems to be searching for food. She always look down or at close range on those live rocks. At times, looking at different spots nearby for a period of time. She does not venture very far and hides most of the time. I always spotted her at the same location in the tank. Very selectively, she would focus and pick on a piece of rock. There is plenty of algae on the side and at the back of the tank if she choose to eat. She is not eating. When I offered frozen brine shrimp, my other fish would eat but not the angel. It seems like the other fishes are not harassing the minute angel at all. She does not appear to care even if the other tank-mates come near her. She minds her own business. I have researched and browsed (the internet) for any information on Golden Pygmy Angels but was not successful. <Frankly, any research should have been completed prior to purchase. If you could not find enough to educate yourself on the proper care of the animal in question, best to leave it at the store. Please see here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/Centropyge/index.htm and look at the bibliography at the bottom for additional sources of information. My quick scan finds at least one article written on this species in particular.> There is not a lot of information written on Centropyge aurantius. Is there much research being done on this species? <Nothing particular that I have heard of research wise.> What kind of food do they prefer, etc? <Same as most other Centropyge, algae.> What kind of setup or environment is best for this species? <Reef tanks> If I do not get the pygmy angel to eat, she may starve. This is my priority and main concern. Otherwise, she appears colorful and healthy. Her eyes are very clear. There are no visible signs of infections or any outbreak of diseases. I think this is a very good specimen. But I do not rule out the possibility of the fish being drugged! What do you think? I really appreciate any advice you can give me. Thanks again, Bob. Please keep us informed. Sincerely yours, Kenneth Kon <Good luck. -Steven Pro>
Fw: Qs on Golden Pygmy Angel
When you asked about research, I assumed you were talking about captive breeding or something other than just basic husbandry. From your brief descriptions, this fish is acting just like it should/will, highly shy, reclusive, and somewhat difficult to get to adjust to aquarium life. There is much written on the subject, if not on the internet, in magazines and books. -Steven Pro <Okay... Bob F>

Dwarf Angel I have a 30x30x30 cube that is skimmer less with a 55 gallon fast-water refuge. Both tanks have DSBs, lots of LR and a good size pod, sponge, and worm population. The 55 is also filled with Caulerpa, racemosa. Originally I had hoped to get a showpiece Tang and display Dwarf angel. Due to space limitations and the docile nature of the rest of the inhabitants I went with a Kole tang. Unfortunately the tang has no interest in macro algae, seeming to prefer detritus. As the Caulerpa gained a foothold in the tank, I decided that I needed a grazer and picked up a "Yellow Rabbitfish" to assist. The Rabbitfish turned out to be a Siganus Corallines. I love the fish and it's blue spots, but now I am worried that I overstocked myself and would be better off adding no more bioload. <agreed> Current inhabitants: Kole tang, blue spotted spine foot, sixline wrasse, 6 green Chromis, 2 pearly Jawfish, 3 neon gobies, and one purple Firefish. The Dwarf Angel was the last in the stocking plan. Beauty and the ability to get along with it's tankmates is of prime import. I have a ZERO fatality rate since I assembled this tank and I want it to stay this way for a while. I am not very concerned with the price of the fish, and would like the fish to be somewhat unique.  <C. multicolor... a magnificent beauty for which pictured do it no justice. Too many females and sub par males imported. Have a nice male cherry picked from LA. They are an incredible palette of color> I was hoping you would be able to recommend the most suitable dwarf angel for this tank, if there is one. <small enough to fit in indeed and actually quite hardy once established. Also eats prepared foods quite agreeably> here is a link to the tank: http://www.users.qwest.net/~broh/Tank/wholethingfront.JPG Thanks for the help, Bill Roh <best regards, Anthony>

Dwarves from TWA! One last question, if I do stick with the 2 dwarf angels, which would be the best match with a flame, the Centropyge argi or a Centropyge aurantonotus? <These two are remarkably similar, no real reason for one over the other.> Thanks, Rich. <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Dwarf angels Bob, I would like to ask your opinion... Yesterday I added fish to my 105 gal all fish tank with a 55gal refugium.  The tank contained 2 maroon clowns and 1 royal Gramma.  I added: 1 Coral Beauty 1 Bicolor Angel 2 Cardinals The Coral Beauty is dominating the Bicolor, chasing it away from it's area in the rockwork, but there is no actual nipping and they do frequently swim near each other. Do you think that it is an absolute no-no to add a Flame Angel? Would 3 dwarf angels be better or worse than 2 for diluting aggression (as in Tangs)? Thanks, Sam <Good sized refugium, and good question... Actually, I'm inclined to answer in the negative here. For one the Centropyge loricula that have been coming in this "season" have been marginal in quality (too much time "hanging off" waiting to be shipped from the Marshall's...), and secondly, there is a likelihood that "three would be even more of a crowd". If it were me, I'd stick with the two Dwarf Angels you have for now, and if you find you want a Flame later, remove the Bicolor. Bob Fenner>

Dwarf angelfish Lately, I have been researching what kind of dwarf angelfish to buy for my reef aquarium. I chose two very carefully and have selected two species: the coral beauty, and the Eibli. both of the Centropyge genus. I can't decide which one to buy! I was just wondering if you had a favorite species or had a suggestion. Thanks! Andrew V. <Have some pertinent notes re most members of the genus (and images) posted on our wetwebmedia.com site... including a cursory statement re seasonal, source location mortality variation... Not a big fan of Coral Beauties from most places... currently not high survival... Eibl's is a much better (though many folks would argue, not as attractive) species in the way of rates of survival... Take a read on the site. Bob Fenner>

My bicolor angelfish Hello Mr. Fenner! I've written to you several times in the past (I'm the "dog bone in the fishtank" lady). Recently, I added two false percula clownfish, a bi-color angel, and a cleaner shrimp to my tank. Everyone seemed to be doing well, and still is, except for the angelfish. He seemed very healthy, inquisitive about the tank, non-stressed, and gently swimming to and fro, but would not eat any of the food that I put in the tank. I tried, from various recommendations: bloodworms, brine shrimp, macro-algae sheets and flake-food. He wouldn't touch any of it. The only thing that he would pick at was some of the brown algae in my tank, but there's not much of that. Unfortunately, after 5 days in the tank, I came home last night to find him stuck to a powerhead basket. <Yowzah, very sorry to hear/read> My question is, are these particularly difficult angels to keep?  <Hmm, yes... Centropyge bicolor, aka the Oriole (Dwarf) Angel, used to be a very hardy species for the most part... and can still be... coming from certain localities... but most all specimens of this species do languish in some manner as you've described... I would try a generally hardier species next time. Please see our site re the genus here: www.WetWebMedia.com and endeavor to find, pay for specimens from better source locations, as listed> If not, what did I do wrong? The water quality is excellent by all of my tests, the temperature is steady 78F, and none of the other fish are aggressive. Also, all of the other fish in the tank are very healthy. The clownfish are doing well, and the shrimp has already molted once. I read various reviews on these fish, some saying that they are easy, others difficult, and yet others in between. I'd like to replace him, but if I should stay away from the bi-colors, then I'll get something else. <Something else> Any help that you could give would be greatly appreciated. Deborah H. Colella <Bob Fenner>

Set up, Centropyge source, selection Hi Bob, Thanks for the "instant" reply! When I read everyone else's emails regarding how fast you respond, I had no idea! "Keying quickly" has gotta be the understatement of the year! Well, I have three more questions for you: for a 30l x 30w x 24h tank, would 3/8" acrylic be thick enough?  <Yes... would fit a "top" on to brace the edges, discount much bowing> I know acrylic bows, but I don't want a big bubble aquarium in a few years! Also, I'm requesting a 2" (good size?) <Yes, should be more than sufficient> hole to be drilled on the bottom for the overflow. If this tank sits on a 3' high cabinet, how do you calculate the flow going to the sump to choose an adequate return pump?  <Guesstimate and over sizing is best... though "flow/pressure curves do exist for many pumps...> Or do you just choose the pump with the most flow rate you can afford and put a valve on the return line?  <About so... do look into different brands, sizes... and don't get one that's "too big"...> And finally, I saw that you ranked C. Interruptus as one of the better dwarf angels. I know my tank won't be ready for this fish for months, but just doing some research ahead of time. It's a beautiful fish, but I haven't seen many places that have it available. Do you know the approximate price range for this fish?  <Hmm, I don't off hand, but do know where to start looking. Check out the livestock e-tailers on the www.WetWebMedia.com Links Page... especially the Marine Center one... they get many odd fishes and do their best to assure their health and eating... and can likely tell you of this species cost and availability. Bob Fenner> Thanks again for your time.

Centropyge argi... one of my fave little angels I e-mailed you a while back about adding a Coral Beauty angel to my tank, and you told me that it would be a bad idea. Based on your response and my own research, I decided not to add anything to the tank at that time. Now, my LFS has gotten in an absolutely gorgeous little argi angel . . .  <Yikes, one of my faves> The little guy is about 1", and is eating well. Do you think it would be okay to add one of these to my current system? Just to refresh your memory, as I'm sure you get too many e-mails a day to remember any one tank in particular, <Have to look at my own drivers license occasionally...> here are my tank stats again: 30 gallon flat back hex (36" long), established for 8 months with a good growth of various algae and sand-stirring critters, 28 lbs. of LR, 3.5" sand bed, Magnum 350 for occasional carbon filtering and circulation, Prizm skimmer, and a 175 gph powerhead. Water quality readings are ammo/nitrite 0, nitrate ~20 mg/l (tank is slightly overfed), sg 1.024, and pH 8.2. Current inhabitants are a 3.5" C. solandri puffer, a 2.5" lawnmower blenny (very fat and happy, he even eats pellets :)), a pitiful little 1" scooter blenny that has finally started eating but still looks like he is starving to death, <Maybe... would be great to add a sump/refugium to your set-up... among other benefits to provide more live food for this fish> a chocolate chip starfish, 2 red leg hermits, 2 blue leg hermits, and a curly q anemone. I do 25% water changes weekly. I am currently feeding the tank only meaty frozen foods and pellets. If I add the angel, should I add flakes or Seaweed Selects to my feeding regimen (that's what he's eating now)? Or can he get enough plant matter grazing? As always, thank you so much for your opinion! Laura <I am melting here... and would likely add this little Cherub myself. And yes to expanding the food/feeding plan. Be chatting. Bob Fenner>
Re: Centropyge argi...
I called my LFS and they are holding the angel for me :). About the scooter blenny, he is eating very well in the tank and I have a good growth of copepods and amphipods, but I bought him out of a tank with no LR where he was being fed only flakes. <No fun... such keepers should have to eat Corn Flakes (which I do like) exclusively (which I would not like)> I've had him for over a month and he is eating every day (he especially likes bits of ghost shrimp that my puffer spits out and vitamin soaked bloodworms). He just won't gain weight, no matter how much he eats. I'm beginning to wonder if he was just too far gone . . . <Perhaps, but don't give up hope. Bob Fenner>
Re: Centropyge argi... (Scooter)
I'm taking the absolute best care of him that I can, and thank you for the encouragement. I just wanted to clarify that I wasn't keeping a fish in an environment where he wasn't getting enough to eat :). <I understand. Thank you. Bob Fenner>

Adding new fish (Marine selection) I have a purple tang and a tomato clown, I was told that I could add another tang of the genus Acanthurus.  <Hmm, the Purple tang... Zebrasoma xanthurum is not of the genus Acanthurus> I looked at a powder blue tang and an Achilles tang. If they are an acceptable addition what size should I get them. <Both very poor choices. Please read over our site: www.WetWebMedia.com re these species, other surgeonfish's> Bigger or smaller than the purple tang. the tang is approximately 3 in. I am not looking to get big fish I would like to have more smaller fish in my tank for more activity. if I chose to add dwarf angels how many could I add and of what type would get along. I am leaning toward the flame angel but like the keyhole also. I would appreciate any help being that your info has helped me in the past. Thanks. <Then do read over the WWM site. Bob Fenner>

Lemonpeel Angel It's me again. Just a quick question about the Lemonpeel angelfish. How is the survivability of specimens from Tahiti or Fiji (I know they are not cyanide collected)? <Much better. Sure you've read the Centropyge materials stored on WWM? Bob Fenner> Thank you, Kevin

Potter's dwarf angel I would like to ask about this angel....I saw my first one (living) at the LFS yesterday and thought that will be the fish. I have room for just one more and I wanted color and pattern as all the other fish are color or pattern (and some have only interesting behavior) I had a Singapore angel a few months ago and he was cool but the last earthquake killed our well water and that killed him. <Have heard of this link... gasses released by the ground shaking...> The only problem I had was that he hid almost constantly, the only time I saw him was when there was food in the water, and then he was like a shark! So I guess what I would like to know is what the behavior of the potter's is like and if he might survive in my tank. <Unfortunately, of marine angels period, and Centropyge genus ones in particular, the Potter's has amongst the most dismal survival histories... Odds/chances are increased tremendously by having a very under-crowded, larger, very overgrown live rock system... especially of a Hawaiian biotopic make-up... Coverage of this and related species and their aquarium suitability rating can be found on our site here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/centropy.htm> I have a 60 gal that has been up for almost a year. There is about 50lb of live rock in there and the only really dangerous fish is the Anthias, who doesn't always appreciate newcomers. ( I have a royal Gramma in there and it took him about a month before he could show his face and not get beat up, though now the Anthias ignores him completely, the Gramma still keeps an eye on him though!) The potter's at the LFS seemed healthy and he was certainly beautiful, outshining even the flame angel that was in there, but he had only been there for 2 days. And I read on your site that they are not hardy fish, that was said about the Singapore angel and I had no problems with mine until the earthquake. <Actually... you're mistaken: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/chaetodonoplus.htm I rate this Chaetodontoplus angel as a "2" and the Potter's as a "3" in my scheme... very different score... The Singapore is the aquarium-hardiest member of its genus> Should I wait longer to get this fish? Is it really a dismal death sentence to put it in my tank? <Seek others input, opinions. You have seen mine and can revisit them. Bob Fenner> Thank you for all the help (previous and present) Kim

Potter's with an appetite Quickie... After I lost that declivis in quarantine, I picked up a potters angel from the same shipment. Had been at the LFS for two weeks and was eating and so I took a shot. Certainly cheaper than the declivis... Anyway, based on your reading materials I gather these fellas are delicate, <Yes... most don't "make it"... traumatic going from their almost constantly hiding behavior to and through what goes on in getting to the end user, you> need best conditions, beginners need not apply, etc. Well this one I've had for a month and it's got quite the appetite. Very enthusiastic eater and quite active - good friends with the cleaner shrimp in quarantine. <Ah, good> Question is... am I out of the woods with this beastie or is constant diligence the best way to proceed? Recalling previous discussion about well-established Navarchus being relatively solid. <You're about all the way out... a month is a good long time/trial> Danke. <Welcome. Bob Fenner> J --

Eibli Angelfish Bob, <Kevin... Anthony Calfo here filling in for Bob while he is away in Sweden having electrolysis done on his tummy> Just wondering your thought on Eibli angelfish. <a most delicately beautiful and hardy angel when given proper care> I had never heard or seen one before coming across one in a LFS. I loved the colors/markings and purchased one without knowing much about or having done any research. He was very, very shy but after about a week started to show himself. Once he did start showing himself, I could not get him to eat. <so many reasons for it... one is that they are commonly imported from Indonesia where some collectors are trying to make the late Philippine drugged fish collectors look like candy stripers> I tried three types of frozen food; brine shrimp, squid, and emerald entree in addition to Omega1 flake. He would not take any of the foods <not entirely uncommon although shouldn't last long> I added, but did seem to constantly pick off the LR. <excellent and necessary> Anyway he died while I was away on a three-day business trip, I'm "guessing" of starvation. <maybe... but they really can last a while...perhaps other reasons too> My question is because I'd really like to get another one ,but not if I'm going to starve him to death.  <your real problem is that it is inappropriate with other Centropyge like the Coral Beauty you have... even without aggression, the CBs presence with the active and assertive Yellow tang may be too much...Eibli needs a mellow tank. I had a pair court and spawn (no fry reared) in a tank with Banggai cardinals breeding and the Eibli wouldn't even eat the baby cardinals> I just saw in your of your files , where they were listed as an excellent aquarium fish. Do you think I just got a finicky fish or is there something else I could try to feed them or should I just not try another one.  <please consider this delightful fish again in a more appropriate tank> As always thanks very much for your help/advice/knowledge. - Kevin <best of luck to you, Kevin and kudos for doing your information gathering>  90 gal. reef tank, 3 mos. old. about 100 lbs. LR, 9 soft corals, 1 coral beauty, 1 yellow tang, various cleanup crew, all water parameters in check)

Pygmy Angel for Reef What angelfish can be suitable for a reef tank? I am talking a tank with SPS, LPS, and Tridacna clams. I would like to add some diversity to my reef tank and was hoping there was an angel that might do that. <I've got to admit, I've seen more than half of the described (88 and counting) species of angels used in reef tanks around the world; including the largest and most notoriously destructive. This being said, if it were me, I'd shy strongly on the side of "going with the smallest" first and foremost. The diminutive dwarf "dwarf angels" of the genus Centropyge attract me most, C. aurantonotus, C. resplendens, C. acanthops, C. colini, C. fisheri... and for a little larger size, or course, the fabulous C. loricula, the Flame Angel. A specimen from HI if you can find/afford it. But other species/individuals can be "tried". All must have their dietary and psychological needs met (don't laugh you browsers), and most importantly KEPT YOUR EYE ON for excessive nibbling on your pet cnidarians. If they're hungry or curious enough, yes, all angels will "sample" to a degree. Bob Fenner>

Angelfishes for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

New eBook on Amazon: Available here

New Print Book on Create Space: Available here

by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: