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FAQs about the Imperator Angel Compatibility

Related Articles: Imperator Angels, Pomacanthus Angels, Marine Angelfishes

Related FAQs: Emperor Angels 1Emperor Angels 2, Emperor Angels 3, Emperor Angel ID, Emperor Behavior, Emperor Angel Selection, Emperor Angel Systems, Emperor Feeding, Emperor Disease, Marine Angelfishes In General, Selection, Behavior, Compatibility, Health, Feeding, Disease,  

Who gets along with whom is often a matter of size relations.  Anampses twistii.

Angelfishes for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care
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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Question. Emperor Angel beh., hlth.     11/22/14
I've been in the reef hobby for quite a while and have a 210 gallon tank with 75 gallon sump active for over 2.5 years. Plenty of LR, Live
sand, and clean up crew. I have a Skimz SM203, Calcium reactor, 35 gallon refugium (In sump), and great lighting (three 250 watt MH, T8's, and LED's).
As for my tenants, I have flame angel (2 inch), Blue tang (2.5 inch), yellow tang (4.5 inch), 3 Chromis (2.5 inch), pygmy angel (2.5 inch),
Bi-color angel (3 inch), six line wrasse (2.5 inch), 2 clowns (3 inch), neon Dottyback (3 inch), Blue angelfish (6 inch), and Emperor angelfish (5.5 inch).
Now that you have some background on what I have, my question is this:
I've had My Blue and Emperor angelfish over 2 years with no issue's.
Blue angelfish transitioned to full adulthood quite quickly however my emperor took much longer.
<Perhaps delayed/influenced by the Blue>

In fact my emperor is almost 75-80% changed from what I can tell however my question is that I'm seeing some white
blotches on the emperor however his breathing is fine, eating habits are the same (Eats like a horse), eyes seem fine (Can't tell if eyes
are cloudy or just dark from transition to adulthood?) Some days there are more spots and other days there are not a lot? Both angelfish
(Including all others) get along fine. Emperor is the king, Blue angel is the queen, and all others play along. I can't tell if this is an
issue or if its part of the emperor's transition to adulthood.
<Likely a bit of both; more the former that is of concern>
I did recently remove half of my LR and cleaned down and then did the same the following week along with a 40% water change. I usually do much smaller water changes weekly. I don't see any other issue's with any other fish besides emperor. Do you know if this is common for emperor's to get these blotchy spots during transition or do you think he may be stressing? Look forward to your response.
<Is not a part of transition... but as you suggest, stress-related. As long as the fish is otherwise eating, healthy, I would not be concerned to the point of moving one of the large angels. Bob Fenner>
Rick Geaslen
Re: Question     11/22/14

Thank you so much for your fast response. You definitely made me feel much more at ease about situation. I've always been the type of reefer that allows nature to take its course then to medicate.
<A bit of wisdom here>
That being said my emperor always looks much better during day and hardly shows any blotches. This issue has only been going on a few weeks hence exactly the time frame when I did complete clean out.
<Could be related as well>

I'm almost thinking I might have taken a lot of beneficial food from LR per clean down which I'm assuming emperor was probably snacking on. The only reason I cleaned down LR was because (I believe) after so many years
there are going to be a lot of spots you'll never be able to get to per the amount of decay build up. I never really have a lot of
nitrates (20ppm at most) however that's only when I have to go almost a month with no water change but I always catch up eventually. One other thing I forgot to mention was that when I did the complete clean down of LR I also added some phosphate/carbon pads to sump to help ease any nitrate spike when removing LR.
<These can also have adverse effects. You can search, read my cautionary statements re these media on WWM>
I've never used carbon with this tank until then so I'm almost thinking maybe that had something to do with it. I have since removed all pads.
<Ah, good>
Thanks again for your response and happy holidays to you and your family.
Rick Geaslen
<Thank you; and you and yours. BobF>

P. imperator... beh., comp.      5/20/13
Hi guys I have a quick question, I have a 5" emperor angel in my 187 gallon tank ( tank dimensions 60"x30"x24"), I've had him for around 8 months but recently I noticed blotchy white patches all over his body,
<Mmm, such are usually due to "emotional distress"; though can be physiological directly>
 I went to feed my fish today and as usual the emperor & my puffer
<Mmm, what species, size is this puffer?>

 where the first two fish up at the top of the tank but when I fed the fish he sort of picked at the food and didn't seem his bullish self now he has got me a bit worried, the blotchy white patches have appeared and his colour has faded a bit, is this a disease or is the angel still in the process of changing from juvenile to adult coloration?
<Perhaps a bit of the latter>
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
<I'd be keeping my eye on the puffer, other livestock here. Something is not to the Emperor's liking. Bob Fenner>
Re: re:     5/21/13

Thanks for the reply Bob
The puffer is a Stars and Stripes puffer he's around 7 inches,
<Mmm, the principal, a principal culprit>

But I've never seen either the puffer or emperor go near each other in an aggressive manner
<... just the same... could be intimidating the Angel>
 not even when food is in the tank in fact the puffer is the most docile fish in the tank. I know the emperor will get too big for the tank but I don't think he has to compete for space or food at the moment, I should point out that he isn't breathing heavily and is swimming around as normal and he has started to eat again and  be his normal bullish self so I'm pretty happy with that, but I was over in my lfs and they said I should give him a formaldehyde dip
<?! I would NOT do this. Too toxic and traumatizing>

but I don't want to stress him or do a dip just incase it has a negative effect on him, but the white patches are still bothering me so I was just wondering if you think  is it best to do the dip or have the poor fish go through unnecessary stress by catching him and putting him in a bucket if there is nothing wrong with him, I appreciate your input Bob.
<As prev. stated; I'd just stay observant at this point. BobF>

Emperor Angel and Select Softies, incomp.     3/20/13
Hi Bob,
I've read a lot of examples of Emperor angels picking on Zoas and LPS and then some where they touch nothing. I have neither in my tank but do have some leathers. mushrooms and lots of GSP. In your experience have you seen/heard of Emperors picking on GSP, mushrooms or leathers?
Thanks again
<Yes; all>

tankmates. Diminishing aggression through castration, adding fishes to a large occupied system    1/15/12
I would appreciate your advice on two problems before I will do another avoidable mistake (I have less than 2 years of experience). I haven't finished stocking my tanks yet.
1.         I would like to ask you for some thoughts on one issue I couldn't find any information about - fish castration.
<Chemical, or via physics I take it>
I wander if this could help to solve the problem of aggression some fish like triggers or angels develop with age?
<In what way/s?>
I am hoping that castration would cause the same behavioural changes like in dogs and cats but I am not sure if this would be case as I couldn't find any record.
My local reptile vet performed recently surgery on the puffer to remove tumour so I assume that everything could be medically possible (????) J
Please, let me know if others also had similar thoughts/experience as it would let me plan forward stocking in my both tanks with peace and harmony and fish more relaxed.
   <I don't think castration has the same effects on fishes... As a hopefully pertinent example, I'll state what I know re Oscars, Astonotus ocellatus... Since the late 1960's "sport mutations" (red, tiger red, albino, longer-finned varieties... though the same species, ala domestic dogs and cats) have been produced commercially, initially w/ very few reproducing other than in the Asian countries of their origins. The individuals sold were expressly sterilized (reportedly by exposure to high temperature and some chemicals), to prevent their drop in price. These fishes are no less rambunctious, pugilistic than wild-type individuals>
     2.      I have two systems. The second one is a new upgrade running for less than 3 months.
-    First 470L reef with no problem of aggression.
All fish in this tank are small and reef compatible apart from tiny long horned cowfish (about 1.5 '). Eventually it will join FO tank once is slightly larger.
 - Second 6 'x 4' x
2.5'  FO -holding approx. 1600L + two sumps (300- 400L total volume).
 The reason I bought such a wide tank is because it's been always my ambition to keep a stingray although I don't think I am still ready for it. If blue spotted ray is almost impossible
<There are other, even similar species that are historically more aquarium suitable. See WWM re>
to keep in captivity I would consider lemon or other in the future.
<Lemon... as in a lemon shark? Not recommended>
 Tank stocks currently
6 fish + large 4' hermit crab.
-dogface puffer (Daisy)  6'
-porcupine puffer ( E.T.)  5''
-snowflake (String)  8'
-tasseled filefish (Marley)   3.5'
-blue throat trigger (Romeo)  5'
-Emperor angel ( Julius)   5.5'   - Julius 'owns' the tank. Has lots of personality and likes to chase every single fish from time to time (particularly Romeo). He is the main reason why I am afraid to transfer cowfish from another tank just yet and I am worried about it. For obvious reasons I can't have cowfish being chased.
Would it help if I removed Julius from the tank for few days, introduce cowfish and then reintroduce Julius back. Would this change his attitude?
<Mmm, I don't have enough confidence that it would. Likely not>
I was also thinking of adding either female blue throat trigger or very young clown trigger but I am afraid of potential conflicts and won't probably do it unless castration was an option.
<The female Xanthichthys addn. should be fine here. Not the Clown>
Not sure what's the best thing to do and where to compromise.
<Keep reading, searching then>
 I am happy to compromise on every single fish apart from my beloved puffers, cowfish and stingray.
I will greatly appreciate your advice.
All the best
<And you, Bob Fenner>

Stocking Question... red fish, blue...  11/23/10
Hello Crew!
As always many thanks for your loyalty, time, and knowledge. Hobbyist are very fortunate to have your knowledge and dedication.
Here is my "situation". I have a large (300 gal.) FOWLR tank with an additional 50 gal. sump. Currently I have the following fish: (1) 30" Zebra Moray, (1) 5" Orange Shoulder tang, (1) 3" Chevron Tang, (1) 7"
Golden Puffer, (1) 11" Imperator Angel. I was looking at adding one more fish. With the Eel mainly hanging out in the rockwork, and just showing himself every now and then, I have the three other fish swimming around, and it seems there is still lots of empty space. Also the Chevron is now past its juvenile stage, and mainly an olive / brown fish...still interesting, but not much color. The Imperator, and Puffer are extremely nice fish, with the angel from the Red Sea, and the puffer an extremely vivid yellow with a few black dots. I was wanting to get some "red or blue" in the tank, and after reading up quite a bit, added (after Qt) a 7" Australian Harlequin tusk. Very impressive fish, with nice blue / orange markings, and very healthy. After reading Bob's write-up where he states that "Most everything leaves a harlequin tusk alone and vice versa. Though I've seen incorrigible triggers and angels make passing forays at a Tuskfish, they rarely do damage or continue." Well I must have the one angel that won't stop harassing. I have read that large angels may be best added last, and I am worried that may be the case for me, although the Golden puffer was added after the angel, and neither give the other the time of day, with the exception of a "grunt" or two from the angel during feeding.
<You have good hearing>
The tusk ate in QT for the full 4 weeks, although with the angel not allowing the tusk to come out of the rockwork, he is stuck in one place now for 5 days without coming out at all, and not eating either, he is very stressed. I am thinking I am going to have to remove the tusk. Do you agree this would be the only choice at this point?
<I'd take the Angel out for a week or so>
BIG expense to have to have this not work, but such is life in this hobby I guess. I don't want the tusk to die, and at this point I think removal / re-location is the only option.
With all of the above stated, I am still wanting to add some color, preferably "red / orange". Any thoughts of choices that may make it past the angel?
<Perhaps a Rabbitfish, Beryciform (Squirrel, Soldado...), Big-Eye>
I was wondering if maybe going the smaller route, say 3-4 small damsels might work?
I have large, and medium sized fish, and maybe some smaller fish would complete the tank.
<Worth trying... would add motion, interest here>
I have plenty of rockwork for the damsels or smaller fish to hang out in, and maybe they would be too small to be bothered with by the large angel.
I would guess since the Golden Puffer is more of a crustacean eater, that the small fish would not be food for him, is that correct?
<Unless they were very slow, no>
I doubt the Puffer would even come close to catching a small fish, he is quite the slow lumbering around the tank kind of fish.....spectacular fish to watch with lots of personality, but not built for speed for sure. If
you think the small fish route may be feasible, do you have any suggestions, damsels, a few Clowns, or?
<Larger clown species, specimens might go as well... even sturdier Anthiines in a shoal>
Your suggestions and comments are very much appreciated.
Best regards,
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: Stocking Question
, 300 gal. FOWLR, Emperor A comp.   11/23/10
Hello Bob,
<Hey Steven>
Thank you for your reply.
<Certainly welcome>
I read your article on the "Fancy Seabass", and prompted a few more questions. IN the write-up, it states they can be difficult to keep, and "The absence of aggressive fellow tankmates is re-emphasized".. Do you think the mix I have would work with these?
<Some species yes; principally due to the size of your established system.
I would look to Pseudanthias squamipinnis... an exceptional species in a few regards, usually available in the trade... and the most common fish species in the Red Sea. Good co. for that RS Emperor>
I am guessing they will be too small for the Angel or Tangs to bother with?
<Even considered as ditherfish>
Also you state to be careful when stocking more than one individual, and do I need to be careful with male vs. female, or how many would you suggest?
<One determinate male... the rest not...>
Can you clarify what "sturdier Anthiines in a shoal" means? Is there a specific genus that is "sturdier"?
<Mmm, in reference to tougher members of the subfamily Anthiinae in a group>
Sorry for all the questions. Your help / clarification, and guidance is greatly appreciated.
<Clarity is pleasurable. Thank you for helping me be more clear, complete. BobF>
Re: Stocking Question  11/23/10
Hi again Bob.
Should have formed all my questions before I hit send on my last email.
What are some of the larger Clowns you would recommend, Tomato, Maroon, or?
<These, A. chrysopterus, others listed here:
Ones that get over 3-4" in length. B>
Thanks again,

Angel comparability, please need answer by Sunday. 8/28/10
Dear WWM Crew,
My tank is 300 gallons, 42" circular tank with a 125 refuge and a 100 sump.
<Interesting shape>
Right now I have a pair of 7" Crosshatch triggers in the tank, they have been in the tank for 3 weeks. Decided to put them in 1st since I read that they are quite shy at 1st. Yes, they were QTed for 3 weeks.
They look great and quite healthy.
<Ah, good>
I now have a pair of Blueline angelfish (3.5" and 4.5")
<Let's call them two, not a pair at this size>
ready to go in the tank next week. I already bought an 6" Emperor angelfish but I can cancel the order by Sunday night if you think it's too risky to add him with the Bluelines.
<I do>
Will QT him for 4 weeks and also adding a pair of 2.5-3.5" Flame angelfish to be QTed in a 30 gallon tank at the same time as the Emperor. Planning to add them together into the display tank.
<I'd leave out the imperator>
After that I plan to add a 4-6" Regal tang and a 4-5" Yellow tang. They will go in my 55gallon QT together.
<Should be fine>
That will be it for that 300 tank.... maybe a Banana wrasse as a last fish.
<Mmm, I'd add some smaller, fast-moving fishes for interest here myself>
What do you think about my stocking list? My biggest worry is the Emperor and the Blueline pair, will they be compatible?
<Not likely, no>
They are from different genus but have the same yellow tail, same lines kind of and even shape kind of shape. I don't know if I want to chance it since I love my Blueline pair and the Blueline male is somewhat aggressive towards the female in the 55QT tank. He doesn't constantly chases her but he always like " get out of my way" kind of thing and when he is eating, he chases her out of his way big time.
<This might prove to be problematical in time>
Thank you for your time,
You guys are great!!
<Thanks, BobF>
Re: Angel comparability, please need answer by Sunday. 8/28/10

On your advice, I'm canceling the Emperor.... thanks for your quick reply.
You mention adding smaller fast moving fishes..... can you elaborate what species would
you recommend?
Thanks again,
<Perhaps a shoal of Anthiines. B>
Re: Angel comparability, please need answer by Sunday. 8/29/10
Dear Bob,
After reading part 1 and 2 on Anthiines on your site, I don't think I want to tackle such a difficult and demanding species.....
<Some are not "very much" so... Or shall I better state, not much more than what you have planned already>
That been said, which Anthiines genus is the hardiest of them all?
Bartlett's, Bicolor or the Redbar?
<These are all of the same genus... and all amongst the hardier species>
How many would I keep in my system?
<3-5 or so; one male...>
How many can I put all together in my 55 QT?
<The same number>
Or should I bypass QT all together?
<If there's a question as to their hardiness...>
Crosshatches already in the tank, next to be added are the Bluelines angels and then the Anthias. Would that be ok?
<Likely so, but Bill, these are not the only choices (the subfamily Anthiinae)... I encourage you to look/read a bit further... Perhaps here:
the Stocking FAQs files... take your time. BobF>

Puffer ques., incomp. with large angel   12/22/08 HI, I have a 10" Mapp puffer that has been picked on by a juv emp. angel that recently joined him in the tank. <Happens...> The angel used to just pick at him once in a while, but it has gotten drastically worse. <These animals need to be separated. Stat!> The puffer's belly is now riddled with eraser sized bites that look like they are becoming infected. I moved him to the fug' , and he is still eating, but I am worried. I will make up a quarantine tank tomorrow. <Is this larger than the refugium? If not I would not move this fish... too likely to be even more stressful, polluted...> With out looking at the fish, can you give me some insight as to what my next step should be? A dip of some sort? <Mmm yes... and no dip. Just time going by in better circumstances> The display tank is too big to treat and filled with live rock. Because he is eating and not showing any signs of distress, I don't want to treat with anything too severe, I just need a plan of attack, as to divert any chances of this becoming worse. Thanks, Marc <Another happier place. Bob Fenner>

Tank Aggression - Emperor Angel  9/27/08 Hello Bob and Associates. Thank you so much for your service. While I have never posted before, I have benefited greatly by reading your responses to others in the past. <Welcome to more active involvement> Today, I am concerned about my Emperor Angel's aggression. He is a changing juvenile we've had about 6 months. He has always been aggressive, but we recently (2 months ago) moved him and some of his current tank-mates (niger trigger, harlequin Tuskfish, eel) from a 56 gallon tank to a 120 gallon <Will need more room than this... twice or more> tank, along with all water, substrate, live rock and filer media. Thus, the new tank has always been cycled and stable. This upgrade was planned when we purchased this fish and was necessitated now by his development of lateral line disease, which we presumed was due to lack of space. <Indirectly, yes> He has improved and continued (right after the move it seemed immediate, but now it's slowed) in the change process, with yellow lines now showing, but the lateral line facial erosion is not completely gone (the body is still better). <Mmm, I take it you've gone over the HLLE section on WWM> The angel has always been aggressive, which I understand is the reason for its name. We were annoyed about him chasing the harlequin, but he is very fast, seems unfazed and no harm is done. The concern relates to a new addition (4 weeks) of a Naso tang. We love this beautiful new fish, which is about twice the size of the angel, but is not aggressive at all. The emperor is constantly biting at the Naso's underside (especially at feeding time) and we've seen some marks which seem to be the result (although the Naso moves away) and fear injury or undue stress, at the least. We are considering selling the angel, as a result, but would rather not if this may improve in time. <Mmm, not likely in the present circumstance/system size> I suspect that the angel simply needs to be the boss, <Bingo> so if that cannot be true he will not thrive and the lateral line disease will persist. <And worse> So, the question is - will an emperor angel 1) stop tormenting a newcomer in time, <Again, vanishing small chance> 2) become less aggressive with age <Not here> and 3) if this were your tank, what would you do? <Mmm, really... trade it in for something much larger, or... trade in some of the fish... likely the Pomacanthus> Thank you for you help. Carole <Welcome Carole. Bob Fenner>

Tank stocking, Emperor Angel  - 04/1/08 Good morning crew.. Do you think I could add a Juvenile Imperator Angel to this community? I'd add it last. I am also aware that this fish may not be suitable for reef systems. <A 210 gal. will ultimately be too small (a few years), and not very reef "safe" no. B>

Re: The Emperor's New Spots... actually old   11/24/07 Hey, guys, hope you had a good Thanksgiving! <And you> I wrote in a couple of months ago regarding my 7-8" adult emperor angel; he was displaying small spots of discoloration and I couldn't figure out why. Of course, I don't expect you to remember that, so I will refresh. I've had the emperor for about six months, and he's been eating fine the entire time. I feed a very wide variety of food ~3x a day. I supplement this food with vitamins every two to three days. He's in a 265g and tank mates include a juvenile Koran, a flame, a semilarvatus butterfly, a fremblii butterfly, a lawnmower blenny, and a red sea sailfin. The emperor is the largest fish in the tank and nobody bothers him (nobody really bothers anybody for the most part, the sailfin and the fremblii go at it occasionally) so I can't imagine it would be stress. <Mmmm, am not so sure... some specimens are just touchy this way> There is plenty of rock work with a lot of caves and tunnels he can and does utilize. Tank parameters are and have been as follows: temp 78-80, pH 8.1-8.3, nitrite undetectable, ammonia undetectable, NO3, PO4-undetectable, dKH 9-11, Ca-380-420, Mg-1400-1500. Everything is good but the Mg, and I don't know how to get that down. <Might be your test kit/s, possibly the brand of salt mix, supplements...> I do water changes and keep the salinity at 1.024-5. I only dose Ca and buffer. <Look at the make-up of the buffer> The emperor and the Koran have been fighting intestinal worms. The only reason I knew they had them is because I could see them hanging out of their vents. Neither of them is acting at all symptomatic. I finished dosing with gel-Tek about a week ago and it seems the emperor has gotten rid of them. I don't think it's HLLE that's causing <Actually... got to interject... HLLE is not a cause... but a result...> the discoloration because it is not concentrated at all on the head or lateral line. The other day he had what appeared to be ulcerations on his belly. They were white, not red, and were shedding mucus. They have since cleared up, but in there place is more of the discoloration. I have never noticed any mucus shedding at any other time. Any ideas....? <Something still amiss... Doesn't read as environmental, nutritional... Am still thinking it's social... If you could remove each fish in turn... I think you'd find it was either the Koran or the Zebrasoma here...> Thanks in Advance Ben <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: The Emperor's New Spots  11/24/07 Now that you mention it, that Zebrasoma is probably the most rambunctious fish in the tank (along with the fremblii). <It is the alpha animal here, little doubt... and I do hope to make some 1080 images with my new UW digital video rig of the Hawaiian endemic BF... am just out in HI now> I am not attached to him at all, so I will go ahead and move him to another tank and see how it goes from there! <Ahh, good... Should be telling> Thanks again Ben <Cheers, BobF>

Bahamas, Emperor A. comp.   10/11/07 Hi Mr. Fenner, <Hello Kamal> Wish I was there too, I'm planning on going to the red sea sometime next year!!! <Very nice! We should be there in May> My clown is stable again, don't know what happened. things have really settled down since using the Parazoryne. I'm getting the feeling that the raccoon was being bullied by my large emperor angel. I'm going to trade in the raccoon for a smaller fish as I won't risk putting him back into the main tank. <Ok> I have done some research on your brilliant web site and I have figured out what them white dots are all over my tank. they are tiny feather dusters which have hitch hiked into my aquarium. <I see> A quick question - will I be able to put any corals into my aquarium with my two emperor angels in their? if so which ones? <May nibble on most any soft or stony species> thank you my friend and hope you enjoy your stay at the Bahamas <Am just back in Freeport after the week. Very nice this time out. BobF>

Who Assassinated the Emperor?, Marine comp.   5/9/07 Great website. <Thank you.> I have found lots of information there I wish I would have known earlier. <I know the feeling.> I have one question.   <Okay.> I have a 90 gal tank with live rock.  I had an juv. Emp. Angel which I considered my "show" fish.  Although the other day I noticed that it was in really bad shape.  It looked like it had been attacked and died in my QT tank a day later.  My question is, what fish might have done this.  I don't have many fish in the tank now, but the 2 I suspect is a Lunar Wrasse or a Cuban Hogfish.  Did I make a costly mistake with mixing either of these fish with the Angel? <Well first I'd be interested to know the size comparison of the other tankmates to the new angel.  From the details you have provided I can only assume the fish did go through some sort of physical trauma. As far "who done it," I'm very skeptical about the hogfish and suspicious about the lunar wrasse; which can be quite predatory on smaller denizens in my experience. DO you have any large crustaceans or green brittle stars in the tank by any chance? And just for the record; what's your water chemistry like?> Thanks, <Welcome, Adam J.>

Angel compatibility and a not so happy purple Firefish   5/9/07 Good day/night to whomever may reply to this enquiry from sunny Wales in the UK, <Good morrow to you from more than sunny S. Cal. where we are experiencing a delightful multi-day Santa Ana (the winds reversed from their typical offshore direction, coming instead from inland, over the desert... warm and very dry> I shall begin with my new system setup and parameters for you so it may give you an insight into what maybe going on, I have three tanks co-joined into one. My main display is a 6ftx2ftx2ft with 80kgs of Fiji live rock and a 3" sand bed of CaribSea Aragamax, it overflows into a 3ftx2ftx2ft sump which contains 7kgs of live rock rubble and 10kgs further of Fijian rock and is also host to a AquaMedic TurboFlotor multi SL 1000 and TMC Vecton 600 UV unit. <A very nice unit> The third tank is 2ft cubed and has a 4" sand bed of CaribSea Fiji live pink sand and 12kgs of live rock and plays host to some nicely growing Caulerpa, 2 x Lysmata amboinensis, 1 Centropyge flavicauda and a Nemateleotris decora whom I'll get back to in a minute. All results of these tests were taken this afternoon at 3 p.m. using Salifert test kits and a refractometer and Tunze monitoring equipment. S.G. - 1.025 Calcium - 380ppm P.H. - 8.13 Nitrate - 5-10ppm Temp - 26.3 dKH 6.4 (has been a consistent 8.2 - 8.6 before last weekend's first water change since the setup) Phosphate - between 0.00 and 0.1(very difficult to tell with this test kit) it shows very minimal blue colouration in the vial. <Ah, yes... and this is fine> Ammonia - 0 Nitrite - 0 I set this up from an old 40 UK gallon system that I have had for a year, from which I have spent the last four months transferring the rock, water and eventually the inhabitants from, and is now maturing in another room to start transferring the inhabitants of another tank into but that's another story. Livestock in the main display include - 1) 4"dia. Zebrasoma xanthurum. 2) 1 1/2" Zebrasoma veliferum. 3) 1 1/2" Paracanthurus hepatus. 4) 2" Siganus (Lo) vulpinis. 5) 3" Centropyge flavissimus. 6) 4" Calloplesiops altivelis. 7) 4x 1 1/2" Chromis viridis. 8) 4 1/2" Amphiprion frenatus. 9) 2" Orange tailed Chrysiptera cyanea. 10) 3x 1 1/2" female Pseudanthias squampinnis. <One will become male...> 11) 10" Echidna nebulosa. 12) 2" Synchiropus picturatus who was my 1st fish bought just over a year ago and survived in the old 40 gallon tank with a few of the above mentioned fish. 13) 2" Anampses meleagrides (I know enough said, although on a good note he does feed on frozen Mysid and brine shrimp and has been with me for five months now, crossed fingers). <Congrats> All have been added at intervals dependant on shape, colour and size and I have not seen any aggression whilst feeding and all have nice niches in the tank at night. No disease has been treated for and all feed extremely well on various food stuffs which include Cyclop-eeze, Formula one and two, frozen mysis,squid,krill,plankton <Spacing of words...> and San Francisco Bay Brands Marine Cuisine and Angel and Butterfly frozen cubes which i alternate every three days between meaty items and algae items and then a mixture of the two. Other additives include Liquid Life USA' product BioPlankton and Kent marine Garlic extreme and also once a week I add 14 drops of  Warner Marine Research's Lugol's plus Iodine solution. I use RO/DI water for top off and add Tropic Marin's Re-mineral marine and triple buffer to it, and apart from that I do not add anything else. My last two investments are going to be a calcium reactor, however I am receiving mixed opinions for their use and am seeing some super quick growth with my SPS and also a chiller as I am forever fighting a battle to cool the tank down due to the intensity of the lighting and some really hot weather. I hope I haven't blabbed on too much but I think it may help lead towards a more informative message from my part so without further adieu i shall ask My first question is regarding a juvenile Imperator angel who is about an 1 1/2" dia. and has been kept for me at my LFS for 4 weeks now and is feeding great and looking excellent. I based the building of this tank on the notion of keeping this fish and my only concern is my Lemonpeel angel who is quite timid in his temperament but is quite larger than the Imperator, should I or should I not attempt to give it a try? <Mmm, I give you good odds of all working out here... the Pomacanthus is so small it will likely be looked over/accepted... and grow soon enough to become the alpha/dominant animal here> My second is to do with a very poorly Firefish whom I moved from an existing setup 2 weeks ago from another room along with his/her partner, and have had these 2 together for several months now. I placed them both in the same time in the 2ft cubed tank, a fortnight after the angel and the 2 cleaner shrimp went in. Sadly one of the two died while I was on holidays last week and on my return I found the other is now at the front of the tank constantly just treading water in the lower corner. He/She has not eaten at all since my return which is now 5 days, He/She shows no sign of skin related infection or fin decomposition, the colour on the tail end of the body does appear more darkened than the front. I am getting worried now and am reluctant to move him/her back to the original home which will induce more stress. <I would do so... along with adding another individual at the time> A big thanks goes to your time and effort to respond to this and the many countless aquarists who face these end of the world type scenarios like myself, without you and this site most of what I have achieved in the last 15 months would certainly not be possible. May I one day greet you all and express my deepest gratitude personally Jason. <I look forward to this. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

P. imperator in 8x2x2. Mixing Pomacanthus sp.  4/5/07 Hi Bob / Crew, <*Best Tom Leykis impression;* Hellooooo Matt!> Well I am finally setting up my 8x2x2 tank <Awesome.> - it will be a reef tank or sorts with LR, shallow 'sugar fine' sand bed, good flow and aggressive skimming (large Deltec skimmer). <Sounds good so far...> Corals will be chosen to suit fish, contrary to the usual 'visa versa' practice. <Nothing wrong with that as long as it planned ahead and thought out, as you are doing.> The concept being two large "hollow" mounds (islands) standing 12"-15" or so high, with a couple of branching sps corals growing on top, allowing plenty of swimming space in-between, around and under the islands/corals. <Okay.> The pivotal species will be Pomacanthus imperator. <Amazing and long lived when provided the right environment...needed space.> My hope is to get a 3" juv. (preferably red sea) and grow him on to a decent sized adult (12"+). Rather than the usual practice of trying to squeeze in half a dozen triggers, wrasse, tangs, and groupers, I would much rather just have a couple other medium to large tank mates, along with a few low impact species like gobies, damsels and Hawkfish to "fill in the gaps". <...And by doing so you (and your pets) will be much happier in the long-term.> The two tankmates I had in mind were P. navarchus (majestic angel) and Acanthurus leucosternon (powder blue tang). <*Personally* I would rather leave out the first choice.  I've rarely seen two different species from this genus (Pomacanthus) work out together long, cohabitating without violent aggression in even the largest tanks. As for the surgeon, this species (and Acanthurus in general) are prone to protozoan illness, Cryptocaryon and the like.  Attain a healthy specimen that is readily eating...bright, alert of surroundings and quarantine it for no less than one month.> The plan would be to introduce the two angels simultaneously after first quarantining in a 48"x12"x12" with a clear divider for 6 weeks, each angel at about 2-3" (at this size the navarchus would probably be adult colours and slightly bigger), and introduce the powder blue 6-8 weeks later (after suitable quarantine). MY hope would be that is this low stocking environment that the emperor and majestic would grow together and live in harmony, the emperor slowly outgrowing the majestic, then the powder blue, such that I would end up with a 12"emperor, 8-10" majestic, and 6-8" powder blue.  Does this sound a feasible plan? <It is surely planned out and very thoughtful, I have to give you that.  I have seen this attempted in much less suitable environments. You would have an increased chance in succeeding with such a plan...and it would probably work short-term, however I feel in the long-term as their personalities emerged that there would be some issues.> Am I being over cautious with the stocking plan - would I get away with adding a couple of other small-medium sized fish i.e. maybe a yellow tang or yellow long nose Bfly or a flame angel ..... a couple of fish that sort of size. <In a tank of this size, there would be more physical room...yes, the territorial/psychological crowding is the issue.  If you are going to go for the two Pomacanthus angels, I would avoid any other angels all together (even the flame....Centropyge/dwarfs). But I much preferred the above options you mentioned instead....smaller Gobioids and such.> Or is my conservative approach with the 3 aforementioned species much better? <Conservative, as far as livestock goes is always better in my experience.> Your thoughts / comments are as always appreciated. Regards, <To you as well.> Matt <Adam J.> Re: Mixing Pomacanthus sp.  - 04/16/07 Thanks for your previous reply - I've gone, sulked a little, and given my brain a chance to realize what I already knew :-) <Sorry, but I'd rather you hear it from me than to learn the hard way through a painful experience with dead fish...that's never fun.> Just to recap, the tank is 8x2x2 - and I was proposing a navarchus imperator / powder blue as the only "big" or territorial inhabitants. <I remember....didn't...still don't recommend mixing the angels.> Having decided against the angel combo, I am leaning toward a more traditional approach rather than trying to reinvent the wheel. So, I am going to go for the single Pomacanthus - still undecided if that should be imperator or navarchus.... but for the purpose of this discussion I'll assume I go with the bigger imperator........tankmates: P. imperator Pink tail trigger Purple Tang Regal Tang yellow Longnose butterfly <Better, as far as the tangs, add the Paracanthurus (Regal Tang) before the Zebrasoma (Purple Tang) or at least simultaneous addition.> To add a splash of "red" I was considering including a trio of fairy/flasher wrasse - or maybe a half dozen lyre tail Anthias. Does this sound like a more feasible plan for long term success. <Yes much better than the last, but do be sure to research the needs, go slow and quarantine.> Cheers, Matt <Adam J.>

Imperator Angel in a Reef tank  2/19/07 Dear WWM, <Adam> I have been reading your FAQ's and have come to discover that a Imperator Angel may eat the brown pest anemones that have taken over my tank (identified as Anemonia majano). <Possibly> Sadly I have also noticed that this fish may enjoy eating my Clams, SPS (not likely), LPSs (primarily a Favites brain), and softies (Zoas) <Mmm, Zoanthids are not Alcyonaceans> and I was also wondering how they are with sand sifting cucumbers, starfish, shrimp and crabs. <Variable... mostly depending on regular feeding, training... the size of the system... larger the better by far>   I was planning on getting a small juvenile of appx. 2-3 inches, placing him/her in quarantine with some live rock covered with these little devil anemones in hopes of training the angel before introducing him to my main tank (also attempting to avoid harassment after his trip to my house). <Ooh, good technique>   Obviously this is a risk to my inverts, but if the angel doesn't kill my animals.. Eventually these little anemones will... :(  What kind of a risk does this little bugger pose to my inverts and which ones are the most likely meal?  Thanks, Adam    <Mmm, a useful trial... Bob Fenner>

Your article on Emperor angelfish, comp.   - 09/03/06 Howdy Bob: <Don>   Just got home from a successful day  at the races at Del Mar  (a pastime of mine years ago, daughter treated me today) <Heee! We used to go... with a "fish box" of ice and beer! And sit out front on the tar...>   Got the mail and there was your article.  I've had the imperator now for almost 5 months and it is doing well. Will soon be moving it to the 125 when I have it up and established along with the big lion.  I have a gorgeous 8" niger I recently acquired along (tremendous lyre tail and great color)  with a 5.5 undulatus, probably will not be moving one of them in with them, although i have a nice 4.5 inch titan that might work. <Yikes... gets very big... and mean!>   Am sure the panther grouper would be okay and maybe a clown trigger. Any of the smaller anglers might work, but they would have to be big enough not to be eaten by the larger fish.  Any ideas? <In your good care, likely all these would fit... I'd place the Angel first>   Have looked at a couple of large 5.5" diameter sail fin tangs but still looking at them along with a large green bird wrasse.  (have not had much luck with the harlequin tusks)  And large butterflies well possibly.  Your suggestions are greatly appreciated.   Regards  Don <You have many good specimens that could be placed... I would put together a list and after the Emperor has been in the new tank a few weeks, move all the rest at once in this case. Bob Fenner>

Pondering Purchase of Imperator Angel - 4/14/2006 Hi WWM staff! <<Hi Chris.>> First, I would like to thank all of you at WWM for your time, effort, and advice. I have learned much from just browsing through the many topics available here. <<You are quite welcome.>> My question is this: I am considering adding an Imperator Angel to my established reef tank. The tank is a 120-gallon system that has been up and running for around 9-10 years. <<Must be full of life!  I personally don't' think a 120-gallon tank can, or should house this fish long-term.  I would opt for double this volume.>> Of course, I have modified and changed things over that period of time, but basically, it has grown and done well. From what I have read, the main things I will put at risk would be my Zoanthids, mushrooms, button polyps, LPS corals, and my clams. <<I would worry most for my clams.>> I am moving the tank in the direction of mainly an SPS tank and also have several SPS frags in place and growing well.  Most seem to agree the angel will leave the SPS corals alone. <<It is really up to the Angel, but SPS are in the least amount of danger.>> Really, of those things listed, my only concern would be my clams. I have 2 4-5 inch Croceas and a large football size derasa that I have grown for about 7-8 years now. <<Must be lovely.>> My LPS corals consist of an open brain, small candy cane, and Favia. <<I would worry about these too.>> Soft corals include Zoanthids, sea mat, button polyps, mushrooms, star polyps, yellow polyps, Sinularia, and Lobophytum. If the Imperator would bother any of these except for the large derasa, I would be more than willing to relocate them to a friend's tank. <<Always good to have a back up plan.>> I think my main concern is tank size. My existing fish are a Powder Blue Tang, 2 Spot Bristletooth, Pyjama Cardinal, 3 clown gobies, and a lawnmower blenny. <<I would not add this large angel into this system.>> I've had my eye on the angel at a local LFS now for 2 weeks. It's approximately 3-4", great color, actively eating a good variety of foods including pellets, Mysis, & brine shrimp and has very bold behaviour. I really believe it is as good a specimen as I could find anywhere and do not want to let it get away if it would be possible to keep it in my system. I would be very interested to get your opinion on adding this guy to my tank with the knowledge that it would be the last fish added even if I would eventually lose one of the others. <<I really cannot recommend this fish for your tank.  Have you thought of upgrading the tank size, giving you more stocking freedom?  A Centropyge angel would work as well.>> One other question while I'm thinking about it, what is your opinion on how clown gobies interact with SPS corals? I've noticed that they tend to "perch" in the branches of corals. <<Indeed they do.>> I've not noticed any detrimental effects other than the corals seem to keep their polyps retracted when the gobies are there. Could this possibly harm the corals or cause them undue stress? <<Highly unlikely.  This is a perfectly natural behaviour.  Enjoy it!>> Thank you! Chris <<Glad to help.  Lisa.>>

Imperator angel? Ok, I plan on getting a Juv. Imperator angel eventually.  Right now, I've seem to come across a couple of Majano anemone.  And have seen that Imperators do eat them on this site as well as many coral polyps. <Sometimes> Question is, my main plans were to have a variety of Zoanthus, and xenia, maybe a few other corals sparsely in tank.  The article on Aiptasia and majano removal mentions the Imperator eats these as well as Most LPS and softies,  Which Softies are able to be kept in same tank as Imperator. <Is this a question?> Plan on feeding Nori and Ocean Nutrition Angel formula as well as Chaeto from refugium, along with marine pellets for other fish that normally don't have appetite for algae.  I expect though that xenia will not be able to cohabitate with the imperator. <... usually do leave mainly alone... What size system? Please do read over the Emperor angel article, FAQs files... on WWM, re this species. Bob Fenner>> Mixing an adult and Juvenile Emperor Angel? Greetings.  I have a 300 gallon setup, with lots of live rock.  Inhabitants include 3 tangs --- sohal, blonde Naso, and hepatus blue; 2 damsels; a solorensis and a Scott's velvet wrasse; a Melichthys niger trigger, and a juvenile imperator angelfish.  The sohal and trigger are large, and the rest are all small to medium, the juvenile imperator being about 2-1/2 inches.  I also have hermit crabs, and 2 skunk cleaner shrimp.  The tank --- even the sohal and trigger --- is very peaceful.  The LFS got a large (6-7 inch) adult imperator in about a month ago, and it is doing well there.  Any opinions on whether I can safely mix this large adult and the small juvenile imperators in this 300 gallon setup?  Is this just wishful thinking?  Thanks in advance, Elliot >>>Hey Elliot, The short answer is DON'T DO IT. I have long, hard-earned experience with these fish, and my advice is to be happy that you have a healthy, growing juvenile established in your system, and leave well enough alone. 300 gallons is a TINY tank to be considering such a thing, especially if you value your charges! While the difference in size and color pattern will in theory minimize problems, this isn't always the case in a closed system. Also, what do you think is going to happen as they grow? You do realize you're talking about a fish that reaches a fairly large size yes? My advice, given what you already have, don't add anymore fish. If you really MUST add another large angel then consider a Maculosus, Navarchus, Annularis, or better yet a small Passer or Queen. For size considerations, the Navarchus is the best choice, but they are shy and don't do well when introduced into a system with other somewhat aggressive inhabitants. Passers are aggressive, but hardy as all heck. In the short term, this would be the best choice, although me may grow to be a problem for you. French and Grey angels are very hardy, and not very aggressive (at least not like a Holocanthus species) but grow VERY large, very fast. They need tons of room. Consider a dwarf species like a flame angel, or even a pair or trio of argi or acanthops. Cheers Jim<<<

-Tossin' in an Imperator- hello, My LFS has a very healthy 5" adult Imperator Angel in stock now.  They have had it for 3 weeks now.  I am wondering how you think it would do in my tank.  I have: 3-4" Harlequin Tusk 3-4" Naso Tang 2-3" Yellow Eye Kole 2-3" Blue Cheek Trigger They are all housed in a 180 gallon tank.  I have about 200lbs of rock in the system, about 120lbs in the tank.  Any input would be great, even if you believe it is possible by removing one of the other fish. <I think it should work out, so long as neither the Naso or the trigger have become too aggressive. I would suggest a month or longer quarantine and fattening up before adding the angel. Be sure it's eating before you buy it!!! Good luck. -Kevin> Thanks, Jesse

P. imperator in Reef tank 1/26/04 HI guys......got a question for ya.....currently I have a reef tank with an imperator angel in it (a deadly but awesome combination of course) <Not necessarily.  I have the same and have had next to no problems (it has only bothered Zoanthids), although mine is still a juvi.> and I am  wondering what kind of corals you would recommend to keep with him that he will leave alone.  Currently I have a couple of small leather corals, assorted small mushroom rocks and a star polyp rock.  I am going to rule out SPS altogether assuming these will be picked at, along with most LPS corals as well. <Actually, I would consider SPS to be the safest.  Zoanthids and Xeniids are probably pretty risky as are non-aggressive LPS like Trachyphyllia, Lobophyllia, Blastomussa.  Aggressive LPS like Catalaphyllia and Euphyllia are probably moderate risk.  Most softies are probably 50/50.  The fish will look for the most meat with the least work and least sting.> I want to keep the tank as stocked as possible without buying the imperator a 40 dollar meal.  I bought a flower pot coral today, but I am taking him back tomorrow..........I know, kick me in the butt, impulse buys are the worst, this beauty is better of where he belongs.....in the  ocean...........Thanks for the help.............Jonathan <A good choice to return the Goniopora, not only for it's lack of suitability in captivity in general, but moderate risk with your emperor.  Best regards!  Adam>

Friends of the Emperor Thank you in advance.  <you are welcome, unanswered yet <G>> I have a 150gal F.O. running for approx 2 years. I have a Eheim 2228 canister filter w/approx 70lbs of live rock with excellent water conditions. I have 1 Niger trigger, 1 Picasso trigger and 1 hippo tang. My question is I would like to add a emperor angel and possibly a small school of fish to complete my tank. Green Chromis? Yellowtail? blue reef? or possibly a mix of those. Which fish would be best for a small (5-8) school? Thanks a lot . Your website is great.  <Hmmm... Emperors are notoriously grumpy and get more aggressive with age. Chromis will school the best from your list but all are just to peaceful for the Emperor to be compatible in the long run. Simply not recommended. Leave room for the Emperor and tankmates to grow. The two trigger and the tang all grow quite large and with the angel will eventually overstock the tank. Best regards, Anthony>

Imperator eating soft corals Bob, <Anthony Calfo in your service> Any advise or suggestion on how I can get my Imperator Angel to stop eating my soft corals? <for some, it is literally like asking a bird not to fly, or a dog to stop licking... Erhhhh,... never mind. You get the point. When young, many Imperator angels are well behaved enough to live in a reef aquarium. As you may know, they even behave as cleaner fish when small. But as they mature, their dietary preference changes and your tank is a buffet. Only natural my friend. You will need to remove this fish. That's OK... it's a good excuse to set up another aquarium...<wink>. Kind regards, Anthony> Thanks, Mark Johnson

Tusk and Angel Thanks Anthony, I trust your judgment as your advice has proved time and time again to be the truth.  <experience is the best teacher to my chagrin sometimes <smile>> Well Yesterday was day 3 and when I came home from work at about 6:30, there was a pretty nice chunk taken from the tusks back fin and he seemed to be losing his resolve.  <I would too...heehee> I killed the lights and covered the tank this morning so it will be pitch black all day. The violence seems significantly less in the dark.  <maybe we should try that in the Middle east?> Bottom line is that this can't go till tomorrow. I'm milling a few options over now: 1) Return the Tusk tonight......use the credit to get something else this weekend......problem is I think at this point the Emperor just won't tolerate anyone new.  <nope...too stressful on an already stressed fish. It may kill him and what a shame it would be to lose this living jewel> 2) Bring the Emperor in and have my LFS guy hold him for a week or two and then bring him back.....I noticed that fish that were in my tank before him were basically OK.  <nope... the angel is what it is> 3) Bring the Emperor back and get a new smaller angel that has nice color as well (Majestic.....I can handle it)........ <not my vote either... rather pot luck to do so> Problem here is that this Emperor is SPECTACULAR, eats out of my hand, but is he just too big and mean for this tank now?  <but magnificent I'm sure... I'd hate to part with him too> 4) Bring back the Tusk and don't add anything (this is the one you'll say I'm sure)...... <surprise... nope again. Moving this tusk would be my absolute last choice> just a bit depressing to think I can never add another fish until I get a bigger tank,  <how about a smaller/mid sized tank that you can use as a larger QT for just such emergencies... perhaps a 30long? That's my vote for at least the 3 to six month picture to stabilize the tusk and give the poor fella a fighting chance to service having made it all this way from collection> not to mention the fact that I moved 2 fish out in preparing for the tusk so it'll be more empty. What do you think friend? Any of those options you like BESIDES #4? <yes... definitely a bigger QT/isolation tank for the angel or tusk (assuming they fit comfortably alone in say a 30long. A simply sponge filter and some live rock would be just fine with twice monthly small water changes most likely. Really a lot less expensive than watching either fish die or you getting hosed on a stressful trade in (for you and the fish <wink>)> Thanks. Rick Best of luck, my friend, Anthony>

Incorrigible Emperor and Tusk Update Hey guys, <Cheers, mate... Anthony> I guess my emails didn't get through while you were away so here goes. <Ahhh...yes, we have had our share of e-mail troubles for a few weeks. Thank you for re-trying> This is not so much a question as it is a testimonial for FAQ readers. <excellent! very much appreciated!> For those who remember I had taken my Emperor out of my tank and brought it to my LFS for a little while so that the new Harlequin Tusk he was chasing would have a chance to recover and establish. My "guru" Anthony and the "Tuskman" Jason C both suggested that this move would not likely work. They both said that the fish probably just "was what it was". I went ahead with the plan anyway (partly because I had no other choice in fairness to myself). Well it didn't work!! When I reintroduced the Emperor it was like it had never left. He immediately started pounding the Tusk again. And this Tusk was doing great....practically eating krill out of my hand! Speaking of eating out of my hand.....I was shocked that my Emperor was tearing Seaweed Selects out of my hand literally 2 min.s after being reintroduced. Anyway, moral of the story is that these guys are just about ALWAYS right on target.  <heehee.. you haven't heard my stock picks yet!> I had to bring back the tusk. Seeing as I practically emptied my tank to make room for the tusk  <still... I'm glad to hear the tusk had a few weeks to stabilize and recover in your tank after the initial import. It may very well have spared its life for fear of being moved yet again after import> I still had to try one more fish so I exchanged the tusk for a Sohal tang. It seems to be a great mix actually! They don't like each other by any means and the Emperor "barks" once in a while but he's not nearly as aggressive with the tang and the tang is not as intimidated as the tusk. Live and learn ..........Thanks guys.......readers you've been warned! <thanks for the testimonial, my friend> Rick PS...I do have one quick one.....Do all members of the genus Thalassoma fight with each other or is it just within species? <to generalize, yes.... they are rather territorial with all like family members. A good rule for most reef fishes: avoid similar shapes, colors and feeding preferences when making a community tank>

Emperor Angel and Porcupine Puffer As always you guys are doing an AWESOME job! (I know it's clich?here, but its true) <awwwhhh, shucks! Thanks kindly <smile>> Anyway, two quick questions: 1. I recently purchased a young Emperor Angel and he was eating as soon as I got him home, aware of his surroundings, etc… BUT he seems to swim slowly on one side or the other. Is this normal behavior for this species, or a sick fish? <hmmm... symptomatically called "listing"...indeed not normal or healthy but not indicative necessarily of a specific condition to treat. Continue to feed well until it improves or betrays an addressable symptom (spots, fin erosion, etc) 2. My Trigger and Puffer had an accident. While feeding they went for the same target, but the trigger missed and caught the puffer between his eyes. The trigger took my puffer (the first time I've seen him puff up) for a spin before realizing what he had done. When he let go the puffer had a mark on the side of his eye where he had been bitten. That mark has turned white like scar tissue over the last two days. Is that white possibly infection, or new skin?  <hmmm hard to say, but infections get ugly real fast. My guess is raw skin and healing. Do watch closely though and review disease section here on WWM for injury treatments and medicants if necessary> Will it heal and return normal color?  <very likely> Do I need to worry about infection, do anything to help it heal? <be prepared with a good QT tank if necessary for either fish> Thanks a million, Mark <best regards, Anthony>

Pomacanthus question Hey Bob, <<Actually, it's JasonC today.>> I've got a pal who has a huge tank (like 10ft). <<A fortunate friend.>> Anyhow, he has two Pomacanthus angels in there (Emperor and Blueface I believe). Anyhow the Emperor will chase the Blueface every once in awhile. <<not a surprise.>> Nothing major, just a small 2 ft flash, and the Blueface jumps into a hole. Looks like the smaller fish can fit into holes the larger fish can't. Anyhow, it doesn't appear bad at all (as I've seen with tangs, etc). Anyhow, he was wondering (as am I), if putting another Pomacanthus like a grey, annularis, or French of about similar size would perhaps detract some of that aggressiveness. <<Doubt it - it might cut it in half, as in half the time spent chasing the new fish, and the other half spent on the Blueface. Given some time though... the Grey and French angels grow much larger than the Imperator.>> Sort of like tangs of the same species, but of the same genus ? <<Well, Angels are also enjoy being "in charge" of the tank.>> I've seen tanks that have successfully done this (Wayne Shang's comes to mind, as does some of your FAQ writers) but the tanks are large. <<Yes, this is the only way. This question is most often asked by people with less than 100 gallons so... one has to clarify, "No, I meant REALLY BIG.">> This guys tank is quite large as well as its like 750 gallons - just wondering if it would work, help, or make it worse. <<That is 'really big', and has better chances than other tanks. Provided enough cover and places to take a break from the aggression, your friend could likely add another angel. Do make sure he researches the adult size as any one he chooses will likely reach this size in a 750g tank.>> Obviously there will be some acclimation issues (keep tank dark, re-arrange a bit, etc), but looking for your insight. thanks Jim <<Cheers, J -- >>

Angels Fighting Hi, I have a 240 gallon fish tank, with a 5 inch Blue Ring Angelfish. Yesterday I added a 6 inch Emperor Angelfish, and the Blue Ring always goes after the Emperor. <It is a natural behavior for the one to protect its home range.> Now the Emperor always hides, and whenever he comes out the Blue Ring chases him back in the cave. <Typical> I already rearranged the rock and that didn't work. Can you suggest any way to keep them not fighting? <Take one out.> Besides getting rid of one of them. <Ahh, you got me. Nothing much else can be done. These fish are merely behaving normally in an abnormal situation. In the ocean, the Blue Ring would drive the Emperor out and the Emperor would eventually settle somewhere no one else was. In the confines of an aquarium, there is nowhere for the Emperor to escape to. More than likely, the Emperor will be constantly tormented until it succumbs to the stress.> Thanks! <Please see here, http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/angelcompafaq.htm, for many other instances of Angelfish not getting along. It is, unfortunately, a well documented situation. -Steven Pro>

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

Shredded Emperor Hi guys, haven't had to talk to you for a while <Drop by more often! Scott F. here today!> My Imperator has one fin that appears to be ragged and fraying and am starting to believe that it is one of it's co-inhabitants (trigger or snow flake that may be causing this. <Well, it certainly may be one of the other inhabitants, but it may also be caused by random contact with rock or coral, or even environmental factors> Any suggestions on how I can correct ? <Well, unfortunately, if it is caused by another fish "picking" on the Emperor, you're probably going to have to separate or remove the offending party! As a "supplemental" suggestion, keep an eye on the fish to make sure that the fins do not become infected. Keep the water quality high and the feedings plentiful and of good quality> These animals are currently housed in a 110 gallon sparsely furnished tank...Maybe if I add some rock/hiding places might do the trick. <That would certainly be a good idea if you suspect that someone is getting "frisky" in there. I'd try that before removing one of the animals. By creating more defined "territories" within the tank, you may be able to reduce the possibility of this happening on a continuous basis> Let me know what you think Thanks. Chris <I think that you have the right idea, Chris! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Emperor alone Hi Bob, I would just like to ask you one quick question, if that is ok ? <Sure> Basically, I run a 84"x18"x20" FO system. One of the occupants is an emperor angel. He is about 6", and almost full adult colors. I am about to embark on a long trip to south east Asia, and will not be back for at least 6 months. As a result, I am forced to strip down my FO system, as my Mother would not be able to handle it for me. However, I have suggested to her that if I were to sell on all other occupants, and just keep the emperor angel, that the system as a whole would be lower maintenance, and easier to manage. She has agreed to this. <Hmm> However, I am left to wonder, would the angel be "bored" in a system, by himself ??? The only tankmate I would let in the system would be a four line wrasse. Decor is simple Tufa rock. <I see> Would the angel be happy (happier???) if left to his own devices in such a system ??? By the time I return, and get the system back up to full potential again, it would be at least 9 months to a year. <I appreciate your concern... Is the system in an area where there is much, any "outside stimulation... e.g. your mother going by, change of lighting from the sun... If so, I suspect the Emperor Angel would be fine... and considering what its fate might be elsewhere, would be/am inclined to leave it where it is. One last comment. As it is obvious the fish and aquarium are important to you, I sense that they might form a bridge, link between your mother and you, your absence... a living link. Bob Fenner> Thanks Matt

Re: emperor alone Cheers Bob, thanks for the reply. Was considering when I return the other fish, that I might get a couple of "bread and butter" fish, like a couple of blue damsels. These would serve a few purposes ......... (1) Provide additional stimulation for the emperor ..... something for him to chase and compete with etc, and interact with. <Yes> ....... (2) Feeding the emperor, there are bound to be small morsels of food that he wouldn't bother with, yet something like a damsel would relish ..... <Okay> (3) again on a note of feeding, there are bound to be small crevices that the emperor would not be able to get too, so any food in such crevices might be a problem. <Possibly> Hence, with this sort of thing in mind, do you feel it would be a good idea to put in a few small damsels ...... would a couple be sufficient ??? <Likely so, a good idea> I had considered a few hermits or the like ..... but I want to keep the system strictly FO, so that if any unforeseen problems should arise, all my mother need do is treat the tank with a copper based medication ....... <All good reasons. Bob Fenner> Thanks again. Cheers Matt

Stress/Fright Pattern on Emperor Hey Bob (and Co.) <and strange company he keeps, indeed! Anthony Calfo in your service> As I told you last time, my Emperor's white discolorations disappeared after a simple water change and some vitamins in his food. I've only used the vitamins 3 times so I think it's the water change and refreshed carbon that did the trick. I noticed last night he was just starting to get them again. It's been about a week since my last water change so I'll do another tonight. It seems that my Emperors colors are a direct reflection of water quality and that they can change within a day. <precarious water quality if so. Maybe you are short in stature like me and dipping your armpits laced with aluminum infused deodorant is affecting the water quality so...hehe. Just a theory (with some truth in it! regarding toxicity!)> So it seems my water deteriorates to a point where his color is affected in about 6 days. My question is: Is this normal?  <not by any stretch of the imagination> I don't think so. Perhaps I have too much of a biological load on the tank?  <agreed...a very common and likely scenario confirmed with water tests> I'm considering removing one of my large tangs as they seem to produce a massive amount of waste. What do you think is going on here? <agreed on the tang... and also beneficial that the tangs intimidating presence (even if not aggressive) is removed (by virtue of his size if nothing else. Kindly, Anthony> Rick

Stressed Emperor Thanks Anthony. <quite welcome, my friend> I'll get rid of a tang this weekend. One of them does challenge the Emperor once in a while but the Emperor puts him in his place every time.  <yes...but the constant threat and stress to do so takes a toll> The emperor actually makes a LOUD barking sound at the purple tang. <very cool. Hopeful not much longer though <smile> Anthony> Rick

Emperor Angel If you don't mind Anthony, one last follow up. <no trouble at all...it is an honor that anyone should care to know one's opinion> If I hear you, I should get rid of both of my tangs (purple/yellow). <not necessary...but it would be nice. There are much less stressful tankmates> The tank is 75gall. I have no problem moving the tangs as I just love this angel and would be happy with him as the only big fish. <admirable> However, I would like to put something else (smaller obviously) to keep the tank active.  <considering the angels adult size...the next fish will have to be small if you add anything at all in replacement> Any suggestions ( I know you guys don't like to do this) I already have a maroon clown and a Levi Angel. <there are so many choices...but your goal should be to find something that is dissimilar in shape, size, and/or color and most importantly... a different feeding mode. For example, there are a lot of exciting wrasses (like fairies) that are colorful, active and not at all competitive with the angel. Choose carefully...some are incredibly hardy and others near impossible to keep alive. Look through some pictures and follow up with a short list if you want a second opinion> Thanks....for the last time I PROMISE. <no worries at all> Rick...overlooking ground zero in NY. <Ahhh...It actually brought a tear to my eye to watch the Budweiser commercial (during the super bowl) with the Clydesdale horses trekking to NY to bow at the Statue of Liberty...seriously. And I'm not even a beer drinker. Kind regards, Anthony

Imperator angelfish questions Hi.  I two questions.  First, I have an opportunity to purchase a P. Imperator that was collected in or around Japan. The catch is that I will not be able to see the fish before I commit to purchasing it. I know that there are color variations in P. imperator based upon geography and have been told that specimens from Japan are uniquely colored.  The problem is, after combing through books and searching online, I can't find anything that discusses this variant.   Do you know how they are different and/or can you direct me to a picture of one?   <Mmm, no. I have read (fishbase.org among other places) that the species ranges to S. Japan, the Ogasawaras... but have never seen it imported (to the west) from there> This fish would be the only angelfish in a 180 gallon LRFO system.  Finally, I have purchased fish in this manner before and, with rare exception, most all have thrived.  Second question.  I also have the opportunity to purchase a pair of, or at least one, C. interruptus and also one C. Multicolor.  The fish, if I do purchase them, would go into a 110 reef tank that already has a C. aurantius.  I have read the FAQ's on keeping more than one Centropyge per tank and know that generally its a bad idea.  Not wanting to miss out on these rare and beautiful fish I'm trying to cover all my bases before making a decision. I'm wondering if you think that size of my tank would allow me a greater likelihood of keeping an additional Centropyge species and, if so, which between the C. Interruptus and C. Multicolor would be less likely to cause a problem with my C. Aurantius.   <Likely the Interruptus, being a bit smaller... but Goldens are used to a good amount of space to themselves (thousands of gallons in the wild). Bob Fenner> Your help and opinions are much appreciated.  Michael Jacobs

BALANCE OF POWER (Emperor Angel, dominance hierarchies) Morning gentlemen, I've emailed Anthony a couple of times regarding the removal of a yellow tang from my 75. I replaced the tang with a Paddlefin Wrasse which I figured would not fight with my purple. I also have an Emperor who runs the tank. I know I know, I need a bigger tank! I plan on getting one but now it seems I may have to do it much sooner then I thought. Before I had a problem with the two tang fighting. Since I've removed the yellow which I perceived to be the instigator of most of the violence, my tank has become like the wild west!!! My Emperor has become absolutely domineering. He's chasing everything he sees. My tiny jewel damsel is chasing my new wrasse, my new wrasse is about to kill my Luther (?) Goby, and to top it all off my Levi Angel who was eating and PERFECT 2 days ago is dead! I've had marine fish for 2 years now and I still can't figure them out. I had cichlids for about 12 years before I switched and even though they were nasty at least I could predict what they would do. I think my problem is that I'm caught somewhere between a fish only, and wanting some of the cute little reef type fish. That and the fact that my Emperor has become a monster. Well I didn't listen last time, but I'll heed Anthony's advice this time......I'm NOT REPLACING any fish that die or get moved out as a result of this "chemistry" problem. I guess this isn't so much a question as it is a warning to all those who are reading this FAQ. I'm not getting rid of my Emperor, I'd rather have only him, but I will be looking for a bigger tank much sooner then I planned. Realistically guys, how much is a 300gall fish only tank (done right) set up going to set me back? Thanks gents. Rick <Thank you for the ends up/warning to others. As you eluded to, it is sometimes very difficult to predict how certain fish will react in any situation. As far as your 300 gallon tank, it will easily be several thousand dollars, probably a minimum of $3000. A big difference in price will be the choice of material for the tank, acrylic or glass. But expect $3000 to $5000 regardless. -Steven Pro>

BALANCE OF POWER (Anthony's turn) Morning gentlemen, <for me at least at 2PM...hehe. Anthony Calfo in your service again> I've emailed Anthony a couple of times regarding the removal of a yellow tang from my 75. I replaced the tang with a Paddlefin Wrasse which I figured would not fight with my purple.  <yes... a reasonably safe choice indeed> I also have an Emperor who runs the tank.  <not a surprise... characteristic for the bigger angels on a reef> I know I know, I need a bigger tank!  <I knew I liked you...<G>> I plan on getting one but now it seems I may have to do it much sooner then I thought.  <Ahhh... the fish are forcing the hand. Do they own us or do we own them? I suppose that I don't mind being owned by such beautiful companions. Like Hugh Hefner of the Fish Geeks, I suppose> Before I had a problem with the two tang fighting. Since I've removed the yellow which I perceived to be the instigator of most of the violence, my tank has become like the wild west!!!  <still, it was a good move and likely to have helped. It didn't! But you were correct to play the odds> My Emperor has become absolutely domineering. He's chasing everything he sees. My tiny jewel damsel is chasing my new wrasse,  <that's funny...sort of. Are they named Stan and Ollie?> my new wrasse is about to kill my Luther (?) Goby, and to top it all off my Levi Angel who was eating and PERFECT 2 days ago is dead!  <that's because you jinxed yourself a couple of weeks ago by saying that your dwarf angel was an exception in hanging with the big boys <wink>> I've had marine fish for 2 years now and I still can't figure them out.  <isn't there a joke about women in there somewhere?> I had cichlids for about 12 years before I switched and even though they were nasty at least I could predict what they would do. I think my problem is that I'm caught somewhere between a fish only, and wanting some of the cute little reef type fish.  <a very common situation, my friend. But your fish are VERY fish only/non-reef personnel> That and the fact that my Emperor has become a monster. <but a beautiful monster at that> Well I didn't listen last time, but I'll heed Anthony's advice this time......I'm NOT REPLACING any fish that die or get moved out as a result of this "chemistry" problem. I guess this isn't so much a question as it is a warning to all those who are reading this FAQ. I'm not getting rid of my Emperor, I'd rather have only him,  <very cool... I totally agree and respect you working the tank around its needs> but I will be looking for a bigger tank much sooner then I planned. Realistically guys, how much is a 300gall fish only tank (done right) set up going to set me back? Thanks gents. Rick <a tough estimate to make, depends on regional market, glass vs. acrylic, re-using equipment, etc. But assuming some worst case scenarios, this should still be able to be done for under $2K. If you are a little handy (stand/canopy) and are reusing equipment/live rock... this could really be a lot closer to one thousand bills. Best of luck with the dream tank, bud. Anthony>

Angelfishes for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care
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