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FAQs about the Imperator Angel Selection

Related Articles: Imperator Angels, Pomacanthus Angels, Marine Angelfishes

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

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

Quick question... using WWM, reading... Pomacanthus stkg.         1/18/15
Hello bob, I found a 300 gallon on craigslist for sale that the guy was selling. Crashed his tank and wanted out, the only thing I paid for was for him to deliver it. I have to get a stand for it, other than that, my sump and skimmer will move to this tank.
<Do see our coverage re stands on WWM... NEEDS to be strong, planar and level>
Having that, I took advantage of this blue angel last night, and he ate instantly. I also got a 4 inch Grey angel, as well as a 3 inch hippo.
I 45 minute drip acclimated them, 4 minute ph and temp adjusted freshwater dip, and left lights off for a few hours. Upon putting the lights on, my asfur was all over the equal size gray, and my domino damsel, was chasing the hippo.
<To be expected>
I had to leave for work, so I turned off lights will attempt to make matters better tonight when I get home.
The domino damsel will be going in my sump until I find a suitable home.
Aggressive indeed he is. That should fix one issue, the other is the asfur and grey. I'm thinking that issue still might happen in the bigger tank once I get it running.
<Yes; the 300 is really just big enough for the Asfur>
I attempted to mix angels, looks like I'm failing, I need to move on.
<Can be over-crowded...>
My question is would it be better , short term to put asfur in my sump, till I can find someone to take gray, or am I better off putting him in my 60 gallon until someone picks him up? The sump has the volume of roughly a 20 long tank.
<The sixty for sure>
Also, any safe, painless way to euthanize a fish, my poor durgeon trigger is suffering with his eye, which went from blown up, (sent pics before) to now zombie colored black and red. He stopped feeding, although he still tries. I work in a vitamin store, so I'm thinking one of the herbs might do the trick to end the misery.
<See Neale's piece here: http://wetwebmedia.com/euthanasia.htm
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Quick question...
Thanks as always bob. My dad, who built my stand for the 60 and 155 claims
he can build it. He builds stands from wood for corvettes and other old cars when he redoes them. (Jigs)
So a short update, I got home from work At ten, and have to be back at 8 am tomorrow, so time was a factor. I ended up trying to catch damsel with net, (damn rock in way, plus that water resistance) made a 5 minute job a 2 hour deal.
<Oh yes... wily (and fast) critters>
I pulled about half my rock (75 lbs or so) and places on towels. I then caught damsel and asfur, and placed in sump for now. The damsel will be given to lfs, or ( life in sump, or euthanized, which is preferred? )
<For me; the sump>
he sure is nasty, and I'm sure who ever acquires him next will be pulling rock out to catch him too.
<Ah yes; see my coverage of Dascyllus on WWM>
How long can rock stay out of water for before bacteria dies off?
<Depending on temp., humidity, several hours to days>
It stays damp, but was in about 65 degree air for an hour or so? Any ammonia concern I should have?
<None really>
Tomorrow I will decide if I want to give asfur away, keep n sump for a week and reintroduce, or hold on to him in my 60, until 300 is ready to roll summer time. He's still relatively small at 3.5 inches.hes the only angel I managed to keep alive greater than 6 months, hate to part, but I am sick of cranky fish.
<I understand; and Pomacanthids are so individualistic, it's impossible to  guess outcomes when mixing them>
My tank is super cloudy from moving rock around, but I can see already that
hippo and gray are out and about, not Pinned in corner or hiding.
I did do a API
<Do get better test kits... Aq. Pharm. are not very accurate nor precise>
liquid test for ammonia and then nitrite, both zero ( an hour after disturbance of rock, detritus etc) but not sure if ammonia
spoke is instantaneous or something that happens later.
All looks well for now, learned a valuable lesson about catching fish, be prepared to waste a night on it.
Thanks again bob, and I will have my father read the wwm regarding building a stand.
<Have him write me if he has any question, concern. Bob Fenner>

Emperor Angel/s dead without apparent cause   7/11/11
Hello WWM crew.
I know that a specific answer for my question is difficult but at least I want to try.
In the last 2 years I have tried to introduce 2 different juvenile emperor angels in my tank, the first a year ago, and the other just recently.
Both have died without warning after a week in the tank. Both did not show any signal of disease and both showed a very good behavior. No disease signs (body in perfect shape), nobody harassing them and eating well, no hiding.
The parameters are good; the food has been very varied (frozen mysis, Cyclops, prepared food, pellets, tlf algae and many small critters in the live rock).
The tank is a FOWLR 135 gal and the other fishes are 2 Firefish, a royal gramma, a flame angel fish, a hippo tang, and a fire and cleaner shrimp.
Most fishes I have introduced had survived with the exception of a couple of cardinal fish (I also have had very bad luck with these guys and I don't plan to get more until captive breed are available in my country).
I am considering the same with the angel imperator, no to try more before I can gain considerable more experience and know more about the possible cause of their dead.
Thank you so much for your time and help.
Juan Carlos
<Mmm, the first explanation that comes to mind is either just "bad luck" w/ the two specimens, or trouble from their origination... bad handling, perhaps collection... I would try another supplier, and make sure of getting a specimen of optimum initial size (3-4" length). The fact that the other fishes you list have done well points to other factor/s than environment, and that the specimens fed well on a variety of foods... Have your supplier look to order your specimen from Quality Marine if you're in the US or TMC in the UK... Oh, eventually (a year or two) you'll need a larger system. Bob Fenner>
Re: Emperor Angel dead without apparent cause   7/11/11
Thank you so much for your answer.
<You're welcome>
I was feeling bad for failing to keep this beautiful fish again.
Now that you mention, all the fishes have been purchased from a Quality Marine supplier with the exception of the hippo tang, the cardinals and the emperor (the last two without any luck). The before mentioned makes me realize that getting the fishes from a reputable source is half of the recipe for success.
<Sometimes 100%>
Unfortunately the only store that imports fishes from Quality Marine to my country does it with very low frequency.
<... .sk, Slovakia? Have them try the London principal location of Tropical Marine Centre:
Comparative... very fine folks, livestock and drygoods>
Thanks Again Bob, your help and advice was very valuable to me.
<Nos vemos mi amigo. BobF>

Emperor Angel Selection  9/21/10
<Hello Don>
Just inquiring for your opinion on an Emperor Angel.
We are considering purchasing one from Fosters and Smith
<I wouldn't purchase this fish online>
they are listed as being from the Maldives.
Should we look at region when we are looking at them because we have seen so many different Emperor Angels, is any one better than the other as far as survival rate?
<Ones from the Red Sea, yes>
The size of the fish is a small juvenile 1 3/4 to 2" is that too small or should we look for a bigger specimen?
<Look for ones at about 4 inches, in adult colouration>
It will be housed in a 75 gal. hospital tank (with a Marine Betta and a White Mouth Moray)
<You mean Gymnothorax meleagris? This animal can get to 4 foot and is a fish eater.. not compatible with what you list, have you read here? A species to avoid http://www.wetwebmedia.com/moraysii.htm?h= >
we do also run copper (SeaCure) in the 75 gal tank,
<You should not use any dyes at all with Moray eels, I would be using quinine here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quinmedfaqs.htm >
how long should this or any other fish be exposed to copper?
<Two weeks max, but in the case of the Moray -- never>
Can it affect them in any way?
<Oh yes, read here on WWM re.>
We plan on having our 210 gal tank up and running soon.
<This is not large enough for an Emperor Angel, you want 300+ for this. As for the Moray I have no idea on a recommended tank size, but I'm pretty confident that a 210g will not be large enough for even just him. Bob or Marco might know more I'm sure one of them will chime in if I am wrong>
We also just recently heard that running activated carbon in a tank can cause some problems with some Angelfish (lateral line erosion) is there any truth to that?
<This is an ongoing debate.. there is no definitive answer to this as far as I am aware>
And is it a good idea purchasing a Emperor Angel online or is it best to be able to see the specimen before you purchase them?
<With these fish you ALWAYS want to see them. How they react, how they feed, swim, index of fitness i.e. thinning of head & body et. Al. These need to be seen before purchase, but an Emperor will outgrow your system in time anyway. Perhaps the smaller-growing and easier Koran would be a better choice. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/pomacanthus/koran.htm?h= http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2008/1/fish
This would still be incompatible with the Gymnothorax though>
But that is hard to do in our area, don't have any real good fish selection from our local fish stores. We love the Red Sea Emperor Angel, is there any way to tell the Emperor Angels apart when they are juveniles.
<Not to my knowledge, no. Adults from the Red Sea do not have the streamers on the top fin, but neither do Emperors from some other locations either>
Thank you ahead for any kind of info you can give us.
<I'm sorry to not have some better news for you, but I do think you need to re-think your strategy here somewhat. Simon>

Maculosus angelfish   8/25/10
just want to share a picture of my Pomacanthus maculosus. It is the white variant instead of the normal yellow one from Taiwan. It's a captive bred specimen and I love it so much. Your article on P. maculosus is right.
Beautiful, hardy and easy to keep.
- Lemon
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Emperor Angel success... hlth., sel.  -- 02/02/10
Hi Crew!
<Hi Jeff>
Tanks <Is this a bad joke, or do you mean 'thanks'?>
in advance for what I know will be the best answer I can get on this issue.
<Let's hope so>
I got a gorgeous 6" Emperor 3 days ago as a birthday gift.
<Oooooh.. a front runner in the 'most beautiful fish' category for sure>
Adult colors directly from Vanuatu. No middle dealer. Very fat, eats good, eyes & fins clear. The local shop dipped him in FW mixed with Methane Blue upon arrival.
He stayed in that solution for 10 minutes. I'm a friend of the official "dipper" guy there. He told me that night what a great specimen that had just come in and that I should consider acquiring it for my 320 FOWLER tank.
<Yes, but I have the controversial viewpoint that these special fishes should be placed in a reef system of size, not fish only. 320 gallons is a nice size tank however>
I was hesitant to do so as I had heard over the years that Emperors from Indo aren't as hardy as the Red Sea or Australian ones.
<This is true for all fishes initially, but once settled in most rate 'about the same'>.
He talked me into coming down to see it, I did, loved it but still did not want such a touchy species.
<Hmm, this is THE fish in my opinion, and the one that I would have chosen over all others>
I was looking to get a Koran
<A great fish and easier than the Emperor>
or Passer.
<A very beautiful fish, but too aggressive in general for me. Neither of these are as beautiful as the Emperor>
The Emperor stayed in QT at the shop for 2 weeks. All QT tanks are supplied a constant low dose of Prazi-Pro.
<Hmm, ok>
My birthday was the next day, and my friend there bought it from the shop owner at a fantastic price as a gift for me.
He brought it over, we set up my 40 gallon tub QT tank I learned about from Bob's book, and he's now been in there with main tank water, 2 pieces of live rock, sponge filters from main sump.
<This will be fine for the short term>
Eats great, eyes, fins still clear. I thanked him but told him I was still unsure about adding the new fish to my tank due to its rating on your site. He said if it got sick, he'd help me with it. That just doesn't bring me comfort. I'm an intermediate fish keeper, <soon to be an expert now> and poured over your article on these fish, and my heart just sank. It was good to see they were hardier than some of the other Angel species, but these from Indo are not high on Bob's list.
<I would not worry too much here -- if he is eating and not hiding then the battle is nearly won. He should be 'interested' in everything including you, and react immediately to any sudden movements but not so much that he tries to hide away. He should move away, but come right back again afterwards. The danger is when they first come in they are spooked>.
My only other inhabitants are a Kole tang and a pair of Raccoon Butterflies.
<Yes, and these will be fine with your Emperor in this sized system. A beautiful group indeed>.
Again I was saving all of that room for a Koran or Passer.
<No, you have made the right choice here for sure>
I plan to add a harem of dithers later.
I read through your FAQ's on these fish. I see a lot of folks are dealing with HLLE, lesions, pimples, mouth tumors and ich.
<Yes, hence my earlier comment re: 'reef' systems for this fish. Emperor Angels WILL show signs with deteriorating water quality, first of all with lighter 'patches' and spots all over the fish, so you should endeavour to keep your FOWLR at so-called 'reef' parameters, particularly with regards to nitrates.>
I wrote down all of your suggestions to combat those issues and have no fear about providing sponge, vitamins and macro-algae
<Yes, he should have all of these. Feed him Nori as well, and not too much meaty fare, this is too fatty>
to the tank for him if he ever makes it over there.
<It sounds like he should make it ok. Watch the Ammonia in the QT>
Bob, if you are reading this one, I also see where you endorse the use of Tropic Marine Center's (in the UK) carbon product for general water quality lesions.
<<I definitely do. A very good product/quality. RMF>>
<Hmm, I know nothing about this particular product, except to say that I would be running carbon in this system -- will place in Bob's folder for his comment here if he has one>
I can give it back, so it's not like I'm stuck. The fish is a kind fella, and eats so well.
I already use those vitamins you suggested with my other fish, and plan to get iodine for him as well.
<No reason for him to 'need' this that I know of>
With so few tank mates, vitamins, iodine, TMC's carbon product, good live rock, sponge, macro-algae, hide spots and careful observation, please, honestly, do you think this beauty from Vanuatu can live well here?
<Yes I do>
You said they have a dismal survival rate from this part of the world. Does that mean they get ich/parasites more than the average fish (like the blue hippo tang I had years ago) and could die from it?
<No, this is more because of the collection techniques in that part of the world. It is the indo-pacific Pygoplites that have this bad rep w/ regard to diet etc.>
Or can they live good healthy lives in the right environment and with great care, but just a short life span of a handful of years?
<Should live 20 years+ in your system with good care>
I cannot handle seeing white spots on fish. Freaks me out. Sleepless nights, nosebleeds, just a general sense of dread and impending doom.
Your article also suggested they stay in QT a full 4 weeks. Your final warning of "trust me" scared me. That would mean another 2 weeks in my QT here, for a total of 4 weeks. Will this 40 gallon stress him out before the 2 weeks are up so much that he could be weakened by it?
<If you are happy that there are no parasites then I would move him after two weeks, as long as he is feeding well, and behaving as stated above>.
I was thinking I could use this time to boost his system up real good with Selcon, Boyd's Vita Chem, iodine and the other vitamins you suggested of C, E, D, and A.
<Yes -- the easiest food to add this to is Nori>
So if/when I add him to the main display he'll be able to fight off any illnesses that may present themselves. I used filtered tap water for 3 years, but have recently switched to RO water 2 months ago.
<Will be necessary here -- do make sure you have the added 'DI' element as well -- very cheap to add>
As such, my nitrates are fluctuating between 20-30 after weekly 60 gallon water changes.
<This is too high. Nitrates want to be below 10 consistently, preferably even lower. You should be able to achieve this with your system and stocking list no problem at all -- have you read here? http://www.wetwebmedia.com/nitratesmar.htm>.
All of the junk from the tap water is embedded into the live rocks, and my friend says it'll take another month or so of clean water changes to dilute the tap water present. 3 fish in a 320 should not produce that high of a reading, so it must be the old water still present.
<I would work on this with gusto -- have you considered that there might be another 'source' such as a filter clogged w/ debris somewhere?>
Well, that's my long winded dilemma. Can this Emperor from Vanuatu really stay colorful and healthy with me doing all I have learned from your site? I respect your opinions, look forward to your input/suggestions.
<Yes he (she?) can. I do think that this whole system should now be geared towards providing for this very special animal. If you do this then you WILL be rewarded in kind many times over>.
Take care, and thanks Jeff.
<No problem Jeff, and good luck to you with your Emperor. Simon>

Mis-placed Imperator Angel  12/12/09
Hi Crew,
Sorry to be a pain, I was chatting to bob recently about my blue faced angle that has sadly past on due to getting stuck in behind a piece of live rock.
Now I am in trouble with his replacement.
8 days ago, I was in my LFS looking for a new feature fish for my reef tank, the sales man sold me a rather large Emperor Angel (about 25cm) in length.
<? Was this fish collected at this size? Or did it grow up in captivity?
Large specimens of most all fishes collected in the wild have difficult time "adjusting" to captive conditions>
We talked it over at length as I was a little concerned that he was a) too big for my tank
<I see below your tank is 4 by 2 by 2 feet. This specimen is WAY too big here>
and b) would nip at my corals
<Might well do so>
and c) had read here that they are not so easy to keep.
<The "orange chested ones" from further into the Indian Ocean, Red Sea can be hardy, the western Pacific ones have a dismal survival history by and large>
The guy assured me all was well and he would be "the perfect feature in my reef tank".
<Take this animal back. Now>
Well "bertha" is the perfect gentleman when it comes to corals and never touches them, he eats the spectrum finicky fish formula that I feed, although he is not a ferocious eater, a little picky. He also seems to love picking at the Sushi sheets I throw in every now and then, and seems to be happy, but he is not looking healthy. He is going blotchy in the black under his belly and his eyes are just a little cloudy, he also spends a lot of time just sort of hanging over the live rock. Due to his size I couldn't put him in my "Q" tank and at first thought he might have ich, but for the life of me I can't see it even though he spends a lot of time with the cleaner shrimp on him.
<A transient infestation. Something is still there>
The water parameters in the tank are pretty much spot on. Ammonia 0, nitrite 0 nitrate 0, SG 1.024, Ph 8.1, KH 250, calcium 480, temp 25 Degrees C (Chiller installed) . Water is crystal clear , I use Ozone. Corals are all flourishing, wide open and fully extended, even my 12 Inch magnifica anemone is looking fantastic.
Other fish are happy and are very bright with no sign
of and ich (even the 2 blue tangs). But I am concerned that this fish has not settled in. I have read over your posts about these angles and saw that they are not considered easy to keep, but I thought that if the tank had good water quality and they were well fed with hiding caves etc they "could" be kept.
<Not in the shape or volume system as yours. A specimen of this size really needs to be in something at least twice the size... eight feet long>
There are several caves for him to hide in as well as he can get behind the live rock up against the back of the tank right out of site. I can't put my finger on why he is like he is. Would it be that he is too big
for a 4ft reef tank?
and that he is stressed at the tank size.
He has heaps of swimming room available. Any guidance would be fantastic. If he is not right for this system I will take him back.
<I would>
In saying that, in store he was in a 1/3rd of the size of mine and was fully coloured, swimming round looking great with about 5 other angels in the same tank.
<Can be thus crowded in short terms>
Setup of my tank
Sump with 5kg Matrix and 1 reef block ( supposed to filter 1000L on its
own), Polyfilter pad and filter wool.
Reef Octopus hurricane skimmer rated to 1000L with Ozone connected
2 x 4000LPH Tunze 6045 Power heads plus 2 x 1000LPH Aqua One power heads.
3500lph return pump on sump
150w 14000k MH x 2 plus 4 x PC Actinic Blue
60Kg Live rock in tank
3 Hammer corals, 2 leather finger corals, 1 Gorgonian fan, 1 Green tree coral and approx 15 mushrooms corals assorted
Tank mates
4 x blue green Chromis
2 x blue tangs ( 2 inches)
2 x 1 Inch long yellow twin spot wrasse
<Is this Coris aygula? If so it will get too large here... approaches 3-4 feet in the wild>
1 x Yellow tang
4 x Nemos, 2 orange, 2 black
1 x Juvi Koran Angel ( 3 inches)
1 x Foxface (2 inches)
<W/o the Emperor, your system is already topped off fish-wise. I would not add more fish life here>
Thanks again for all your help.
Jamie Illistom
<Feel free to show your stockist my comments here. I'd ask that they credit you for the Imperator. Bob Fenner>

Re: Mis-placed Imperator Angel   12/13/09
Done Done Done and thanks again Bob,
<Welcome Jamie>
I went through the first 12 months of Marine keeping without finding your website, hopefully this will be the last question for you.
<I hope not!>
I am about to set up a fish only 350L system, which is currently freshwater.
Hopefully this will be a smooth transition. Thanks to the valued resources on your site, I think I have a huge head start.
P.s. I now really owe you a good time in Sydney. Make sure if you want to dive our temperate waters, you give me a shout.
<I definitely will. Am a very keen diver, U/W photographer... as you'll hopefully see. Cheers from drizzly S. Cal., Bob Fenner>

150 FOWLR Stocking Livestock Selection Tangs and Angels. 9/2/2009
Hi there.
<Hi Josh.>
I have a couple of questions. First off I have a 150 tall and its a FOWLR tank. 150lbs LR, g4 skimmer, Coralife 1720gph pump.
My first question is can you keep a small angel (pygmy) with a Lrg angel (emperor) putting the small in first.
<Yes, but the 150 is not rally large enough for a big Angelfish - they need a longer tank.>
Next question is tangs and angels(Lrg). which go in first. I would like to get a hippo, a yellow, and the emperor.
I have heard two different opinions. One is that tangs go last because there very territorial. The other opinion is the angel goes last cause there more aggressive. Or do I get the scratch to buy all three and put them in all at once? I will be upgrading to a 300 to 500 gallon as all fish grow later on.
<I would add the Angel last, will be the most aggressive of the three.>
Thank Again and p.s. GREAT SITE!!!!!!!!!

200 Gal Stocking\Quarantine\Angels and Wrasses, Lymph... 6/16/2009
Hello, all...
<Hi Thomas>
I was scanning the FAQ regarding Lymphocystis(sp) and am not particularly worried about it, but it is there, nonetheless. I have a 200 gallon tank 6' long filtered by a trickle filter, Fluval FX5 (no foam or media other than ceramic pieces, strictly for circulation) and a Prizm Pro protein filter that produces nasty waste.
<Keep an eye on the canister filter. With ceramic media, it can become a biological filter and thus become a nitrate factory.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marcanistfltfaqs.htm >
<I've personally had better luck using my canister filters for light mechanical and chemical filtration.>
A decision is coming soon regarding the stocking of the tank and removal of some livestock. It has been stocked with A Passer Angel of 6", a yellow tang of 4", a Tomini tang of 4", a Lunare wrasse of 6", Tomato clown, lawnmower blenny and two original damsels.
There is also a colony of Clavulariid (sp) in it as well, which has spread from a frag to a 6 inch in diameter colony.
<Clavulariid is correct: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clavulariids.htm >
I have always wanted to keep an Imperator angel as my primary fish, but acquired the Passer about two years ago and he's been here ever since. I purchased a small Imperator
angel and placed him immediately, no quarantine. He is 3". (The reason for no quarantine is documented well in your FAQ by now, Bob surely remembers lengthy emails regarding a battle with ich that lasted months, killed numerous fish, was treated with formalin and quinine, and was finally bested with... garlic.)
<I hope you still at least used a dip of some sort:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm >
Following the success of introducing the Tomini tang as a test fish with no QT (And I do stress that I am not recommending this... it was more of a theory test for me personally, and for me has worked) and aggressive feeding with Garlic Extreme with no occurrence of Ick, I followed the same procedure with this Imperator.
The fish were watched very closely for the next few days. Realizing that placing two angels together is not advised, I was prepared to remove the Passer if needed. Not to mention I have read that it is not advisable to purchase a specimen quite this small.
<3" is a bit small. Provided the fish was not beaten up in collection, it should be fine.>
After three weeks all fish are doing exceptionally well. There is no quarreling whatsoever. The young Imperator has adjusted extremely well, and all fish co-exist better than possibly imagined. I am going to reduce the stocking on this tank in the very near future, beginning with the Lunare wrasse, which is voracious, active, and has leaped onto the carpet twice during feeding times (and placed back into the tank begins feeding immediately). My best guess as to why the two tangs and two angels get along is probably due to different body types, sizes, and colors.
<Likely so.>
The Imperator developed the Lymphocystis almost immediately... a cotton patch on the end of one fin (Pec fin? On the side...). It does not affect him, other than of course it is not attractive. The Wrasse will eat cleaner shrimp, cleaner gobies. Best course of action, do you think, is to leave it be?
<Yes, it will pass in time.>
Water chemistry is excellent.
I've had no increases in nitrates since the introduction of the Tomini and Imperator.
At some point we may remove the Passer so that he can delight someone else, as the Imperator grows. The Imperator currently follows the blenny around... perhaps they enjoy each others company.

Re: 200 Gal Stocking\Quarantine\Angels and Wrasses, Imperator Angel sel. f'  6/18/2009
<Hi Thomas>
I thought he was a bit small, too. I had been looking for the 'right' Imperator for a while. This one had been at the LFS for 3 weeks, was very active and alert and ate readily at my request to feed, so I took a shot.
<The recommended sizes given are just that, recommendations. I would have no issues with purchasing an angel that small given the same circumstances.>
I'm really surprised at how well the fish are getting along.
<The Passer does not see the juvenile Imperator as a threat.>
There isn't even any posturing between the fish. It's like a community tank.
<Excellent news>
I would imagine at some point we'd have some disagreements as the Imperator grows, but we shall see.
<I would expect some, but as your tank is large, they may be able to partition the space amongst themselves without too much hostility.>
There's been stranger tankmates, I'd guess!
<Indeed there are.>

Emperor Angel, Sel. - 03/10/08 Good Evening Crew, <Steven> I have a question regarding location for Imperator angels. Are the Imperators from the Christmas Islands more desirable than from other locations? <Mmm, yes... than most all other common sources... e.g. the Philippines and Indonesia... though not as desirable by far as the same species out of the Red Sea...> There is about $100 premium being asked for about the same size angel, only one has an orange colored tail and is from Xmas Island. Your thoughts / comments are much appreciated. And as always thanks for what you do. Best regards, Steven <See WWM re this species Selection. Bob Fenner>

Re: Emperor Angel sel.  03/11/2008 Crew (Bob), Thanks for your email. Would you then concur that Xmas Island is more desirable then Central Pacific & Eastern / South Asia. <In general, yes> How would you rate specimens from Xmas Island, Australia and Red Sea? <The Red Sea highest... the other locales about equal... more to do with discerning individual specimens> There is quite a difference in price depending on region and I want my chances to be the best they can if a premium is substantiated based on where collected. Many thanks on your response. Best regards, Steven <Welcome. BobF>

Re: Emperor Angel, sel.   3/12/08 Bob, <Steve a reeno> Many thanks again. One more question.... I promise! I did purchase today a Imperator from Aquacon from the New Caledonia region. From speaking to the folks at Marine Depot Live, Aquacon, and Marine Center, the regions of the Red Sea as well as New Caledonia rarely see any of these angels caught in less than 6" range. The one I bought from Aquacon is quite large, however I spoke to the owner and he indicated they have had this fish in quarantine for a little over a month and the fish is eating well and seems to have acclimated to aquarium life. I have acclimated fish previously using the float, drip, test and if OK then net and release. With this being as large of a fish (much larger than the other fish I have acclimated), I am afraid of the amount of ammonia that will be present, as well as the lowered PH level. Would you recommend a small drop of Amquel+ after floating the bag and then a drip procedure, or stabilize temperature, net and introduce. <Mmm... depends on the apparent health... have you read my pieces on acclimating marines on WWM?> My tank has been established for several years, is 300 gallons (small weekly water changes + refugium) and house 1 moray eel, 1 Blond Naso, 1 Chevron, and 1 Orange shoulder Tang.....no new additions in over one year. Your thoughts on this size of Imperator and acclimation procedure is much appreciated. This guy (or gal) cost a pretty penny, and I want to give this fish the best chance for success. Thanks again, Steven <Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/acclimat.htm Bob Fenner>

Re: Emperor Angel -- Need help ASAP 03/15/2008 Bob (Crew) Sorry, I accidentally hit send before finished. To continue, I received the Emperor and the water was cold and bag punctured. The fish seemed rather stable however, not gilling heavily, and swimming around but not fast, kind of graceful. I acclimated using a drip method after a few drops of Amquel+ trying to get temp. and PH stable. The PH was low (low 7's) so after a while the temp. was warmer and I introduced very gently, very smooth transition no trauma transitioning from holding container to tank. First night with lights off he grazed on the few pieces of live rock in the transition tank and was swimming curiously looking at new surroundings. Water -- no detectable ammonia, nitrites, or nitrates, SG 1.021, PH 8.4. He did not eat, but not unusual for first day. Day two, he still was curiously swimming around picking at live rock. Tonight he darted around very fast and seemed to have squeezed out something from his anus...looks like two large loops of spaghetti (maybe intestines?). One loop looks to have a red crusted something attached to it. Does not look like parasite or worm...too thick I think for this, looks like organ to me. Any suggestions or immediate help is greatly appreciated. <It's probably just poop attached to a hair (inadvertently swallowed) or some other stringy material. But without a picture it's hard to say for sure.> Although he arrived with a punctured bag and rather cold water, he seemed very stable with normal apparent gill movement and grazing on live rock...good color too. I was hoping he would pull through but not sure here. If the situation is futile please let me know how to mercifully handle this situation. <Oy, no need to panic just yet I don't think. Generally, there's an expression used in teaching human doctors about diagnosis, it goes something like "when you hear hooves, think horses, not zebras." The same might apply to fish health too... if the fish seems generally healthy, chances are that anything coming out of its anus is just poop. If it were expelling its organs, I imagine it would not appear to be swimming or breathing normally. But do see if you can get him to eat something.> Hoping for the best. Steven <Best, Sara M.>

Re: Emperor Angel -- Need help ASAP 03/16/08 Sara, Thanks for your very quick reply. I don't want to stress the fish with a camera flash but might take a picture tomorrow AM. I am not sure about this being "poop". There are two loops not strings that came out of the anus. The loops are about the diameter of spaghetti and look exactly the same (symmetrical) in nature. I will be patient and observe, but something tells me these are supposed to be inside this fish. These loops are approx. 1/2" in length, they exit the anus and loop right back in and are a dull white color. <Interesting... but I still can't think of any condition or parasite that would cause a fish to expel organs from its anus (that wouldn't be completely debilitating the fish). To me it still sounds like the fish ate something it couldn't digest. But I suppose, it's conceivable that if the fish had an intestinal worm that died for some reason, it would get expelled this way. But I don't know. I'm sure a picture would help. And I do hope Bob or another crew member has more insight into this...> Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. Regards, Steven <Best, Sara M.>

Re: Emperor Angel -- Need help ASAP 03/16/08 Sara (Crew), Update as of this AM. The two loops were completely expelled. <excellent> The whole time the Emperor seemed to swim normal, continuing to graze on live rock, and peaceful. The two loops that came out are exactly the same length each (approx. 1.5" circles). They sank to the bottom of the tank and were of no interest to the other fish, which told me these may not be organic in nature. My fish tank is quite tall, but I have a long instrument that I could reach the two pieces so I pulled them out. THESE TWO FLEXIBLE CIRCLES ARE RUBBER BANDS!!! It seems they must have been from the shipping bags either in transit to the retailer or in transit to me. <Hehe! I thought it must be something like this. I almost even suggested rubber bands, but I couldn't believe a fish would accidentally eat those. But I guess it happens!> Emergency over. You were correct...something he ingested. <Yep, but I'm much too mature to say "I told you so." ;-)> Thanks again, Steven <I'm happy for you, the fish. I hope all continues to go well. Best, Sara M.>

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: Emperor in Small Setting....Poor English....Cleaned it up as best I could...  4/5/07 It comes out at about 80 gallons <I was close enough...same advice still pertains.> it is staying as a fish only tank have a couple of Chromis at the moment with the emperor its a 4 foot tank by about 2 foot and 2 foot high well like you say maybe <Now I'm not trying to be rude...but that's not a maybe...it's a generally accepted truth when dealing with an animal of this size in captivity.> only short term I'm not to keen on dwarf angels lol <Tons of other options out there...> they <Who is they? (Sorry one of my favorite questions).> say some emperors grow not too fast so really I can't put any thing else in with it if I was to restart without the emperor <I'm sorry I don't get the wording of this question...you can't put anything in with the emperor angel even if you restarted the tank without the emperor...I don't understand?> what about a majestic <Same genus as Emperor...most of the same rules (space wise) would apply...Adam J.> Large (abused) Angel type?  Substrate question?  9/26/06 Hello,   A few quick questions for you if you don't mind.     First,  I am looking to buy a susposive <?> "Imperator" angel from a local guy at a great price.  It's 5"-6" long.    There are two issues.  One is that it looks just like an Imperator but it is missing the black mask.  It's face is all white??? <... Likely the result of an HLLE syndrome... I'd pass>   Any ideas on what or why this is? <History of poor nutrition mostly> The owner has had it two years and said that it changed form it's juvineile <Spell-check, please> color over a year ago.  I don't think that the water quality is so good as he does the water changes every 6 weeks.  Second is that it's top dorsal fin is kinda jagged and torn. <More evidence of poor environment, nutrition>   Is this any think to be concerned about. <Mmm... yes> I am getting the Angel and it's 4 tank mates for $75.  Here are the tank mates: 4" maroon clown, 5" Picasso Trigger, a 4"-5" raccoon butterfly.  The trigger is hand fed I know, I a little concerned about that to) and comes to the top so you can pet him????  They have all been together for 2 years in a 120 gallon.  Do you see any compatibility issues here? <... see WWM re each species...> What is the best substrate for this crew? <Ditto...>   Do you think that I can put my 4"-5" Green wrasse (I think it's a Halichoeres melanurus) with these fish in my 120 gallon?   Can I add a Cole tank to this bunch?     And last,  I have a bunch of 1/4"-3/8" crushed coral.  Is there any way to get this finer?  Maybe down to 1/8"?      Thanks, as always for you contribution to our hobby!!   Randy <Read on my friend, read on. RMF>

Imperator Angel/Selection  9/18/06 Hey crew, <Hey Matt> Just a brief question about P. imperator. Considering getting one. From all the reading I've done, everyone reckons the Red Sea emperors are much better than Indian Ocean etc. My thing is, I have enquired with my dealer, and he tells me it is difficult to get a specimen from his suppliers anything smaller than 6" in adult colour form. I also understand it is generally better to get a juvenile than an adult, from the point of view of adapting to captivity. Hence, my question is - all things being equal, would you consider a small adult (5-6")from the red sea to be a better (more hardy) choice than a large juvenile from elsewhere? <I'd probably go with a 3 to 4" juvenile from the Indo Pacific. Read here and related links above for more info. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/pomacanthus/imperator.htm> Thanks <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Regards, Matt

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.>>

Emperor Acclimation  - 01/09/2006 This is my third emperor in about 4 months.   The  first two were teeny tiny juv.s (about an inch long)   <Too small to start... shame on the collectors> this one is  probably twice that size,  maybe a little more.  I thought a slightly  older one might get over whatever am missing. <Better at 3-4 inches overall length>   Its starting off in a  30 gallon fish only ( yes I know,  please don't hurt me! ) <You will do this yourself>   Its  tankmates are 3 cinnamon clowns and a bi-color blenny. <Too small a volume. I hope they are leaving the angel alone>   The first two  days after getting him home he seemed fine, swimming around picking at the  rocks etc.  But now after a few days, and like the last two he is staying   at the top,   not moving two much.  His breathing seems  normal,   his fins seem fine, coloration gets white and blotchy  occasionally, but from what I've read here,   and what I can see,   probably cause he isn't happy about something.   <Like your grammar> I did probably about a 10%  water change,  maybe a little more.  My readings all "appear "normal,  ammonia and nitrite at 0.0 and my nitrate at 10,  is that normal?   <Mmm, okay, normal> I have to admit that my biggest success at saltwater was a  panther grouper who got to about 6 or 7 inches from 1. <A very hardy aquarium species>   Though I read  they are the Oscars of saltwater fish. <An apt comparison> Back to the angel, ( sorry I have  that a.d.d thing )   <Ahh, I have other shortcomings, not quite so popular> I have halfheartedly attempted feeding him  different things,  but if he isn't well that would be hard to get him to  do? <Yes... or too stressed... I would not place a Pomacanthus angel in such a small system, with other fishes as you list...> Eat I mean.  Right now I have the lights off in the tank and my  fingers crossed.   What have I done? If you can possibly tell from  this incoherent rambling email. <Please take a read re our Emperor Angel materials: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/pomacanthus/imperator.htm and the linked files above. You can avoid mistakes with the knowledge archived there. Bob Fenner>

Emperor Angel for my tank? 3/30/05 Hi, I was thinking of getting an emperor angel. But I need clarification on some things. I heard that they are not very hardy and need sponges in their diet. Is this true?  <Emperors are challenging, but the key is getting a healthy specimen to begin with. I would suggest purchasing a juvenile from the Red Sea (you need to trust your dealer!). Ask your fish store to hold it for a few days and be sure to observe it eating. Be sure to look carefully for signs of disease, malnutrition or odd behavior. The fish should "run" as you approach the tank, but healthy well adjusted specimens will be curious and bold. Avoid any that are excessively "edgy", shy or that hide constantly. A varied diet that is rich in marine algae is important. Sponge may or may not be necessary, but Ocean Nutrition Angel formula is a very convenient source. Mysis shrimp, high quality pellets and other quality frozen foods are all good choices.> I have a 75 gallon tank with 30# of live rock and ~100 pounds of lace rock. Would this be enough to sustain him? I will be getting an Aqua-C remora skimmer. I love these fish and would love to have one in my tank. Thanks  <A higher proportion of live rock may be beneficial (more to graze on), but with a variety of quality food, it should do fine. Do keep in mind that even a juvenile will outgrow your tank in a year or two. Best Regards. AdamC.>

- Emperor Angel Size - Thanks again, One final question, I know this is a bit hit and miss but how big should I expect the emperor to get. Does the fact that I have had him since he was literally 3/4 of an inch make any difference?? <Well, in the wild these fish are honkers... almost 18" - but in your system, and especially because you've had it since it was small, it probably won't get any bigger than 10" or so.> Thanks. <Cheers, J -- >

Emperor Angels I have a 72 gallon tank with 2 damsels and I have kept other angels including Korans, Queens, Coral Beauties and the only ones I couldn't take care of is those Rock beauties. <sometimes Holocanthus tricolor is hardy and other times they die for no apparent reason>I was thinking on trying out a juv 4 inch Emperor Angel. <they are normally pretty hardy fish, but if you have a hard time keeping angelfish alive I strongly recommend you leave these fish at your LFS> So with my experience with those angels do you think that I could take care of one of these? thank you <Probably not, sounds like you are a very inexperienced aquarist, you need to keep hardier fish such as groupers, eels, certain species of wrasses and then graduate to angelfish especially large angelfish such as the Pomacanthus imperator...which grow to around 15"-in the long run this fish will be much too large for your small aquarium, Good luck, IanB>

Imperator Angel Great news! My Auriga butterfly is dong great now after 3 weeks of good treatment and a diverse mix of foods. Redness is almost gone and he eats everything! <Very good!> I just purchased an adult Imperator Angel... not too big, about 6 inches long.  <About my maximum size at purchase for this species.> He is eating a mix of vegetation, algae, seaweed, broccoli, Nori and spinach tied to a rock, but he is not interested in any meaty stuff right now. Very curious... he moves gracefully around the tank, gets picked-on by the Blue Hippo Tang once in a while because they both compete for the same rock with the veg. What concerns me, is a small hole more towards the bottom of his stomach, close to his privates. Looks like something may have bit him or perhaps it may be some kind of bacterial infection in his stomach working it's way out?  <Possibly... but doubtful... maybe a "poke" by the Tang, or a mechanical injury... I wouldn't "treat" for this> Ho do I know if this fish was cyanided/poised when captured?  <Please read through WetWebMedia.com re cyanide collection, livestock selection... color, behavior are best clues... not likely cyanided if eating...> It has been 3 days since introduced , the good thing is he is roaming around and eating pieces of algae but I am very concerned about the hole. What could it be? Another thing out of the norm, the first day he had 2 very long excretions of brown substance, pretty thick light brown, just hung there attached to him for a day. Is this normal if he just ate a lot at the store? I thought there may be an infection? Any feedback would be great. Thanks. <Best to just keep an eye on this specimen, keep up your efforts at optimizing the environment. Bob Fenner>

Adult emperor angel Dear Bob, Hope you are keeping well. Been diving lately ? <Sure... N. Sulawesi last mo., Cozumel the one before...> - going to be doing some Ko Similan diving in the new year, in the Andaman sea :-) !! Can't wait. <Should be great> Anyway, the question in hand concerns P. Imperator. Now bear in mind that I save 3+ years experience, growing a juvenile emperor through its colour change to adult, from 2.5" to 6", and lost him due to a prolonged power cut, in cold miserable old Ireland (i.e. not due to bad care / husbandry / diet), so I have had reasonable success with the species. It has been nearly a year now since I lost him, and I'd dearly love another, but I couldn't go through the whole colour change thing again! Would you be very oppose to me getting a small adult specimen?  <Not at all... you can likely find an adult-colored individual about 5 inches overall... that will be flexible, stable enough to place in captive conditions with little trouble... In fact, you're close enough to the Red Sea that I would look for a specimen collected there> In this part of the world I see lots of folks (in magazines) keeping large imported adults in densely stocked FO tanks - I can attribute this only to the excellent quality of livestock from TMC. <These folks have really "got it together".> Thus I am thinking, that with the little experience I have with the species, and a tank devoted to just one large fish, that my odds are even greater than those large FO heavily stocked tanks I see. <Yes> As I say, livestock comes through TMC, and my dealer is very good with angels etc, so handling of the fish will have been as good as is humanly possible, and I am practically guaranteed a healthy initial specimen. <Good> Tank mates will be a shoal of green Chromis, a blenny or two, a dwarf angel, and a few cleaner shrimp. Decor will be simply a large cave that he can swim into, and around, above and through, and get out of sight (probably build it up on a PVC pipe structure, so there is loads of room inside it). Then a few pieces of rock scattered around the tank to break it up. <Very good> As you can see, I am willing to go to great lengths to ensure that the entire system is built around the emperor, with no competitive or aggressive fish, and aquascaped to suit him. I am also a believer of regular, but small water changes - i.e. 10% weekly. Thanks for reading, kind regards, Matthew <Do document your efforts, including reflection on your previous history with the species... and offer same as an article in PFK, elsewhere... I will help you get placement here in the States... and later post in WWM if you'd like. Bob Fenner>

Re: adult emperor angel Dear Bob, Just to say that it pleases me to think that some-one of your standing would consider publication of my efforts with this wonderful fish. <It is my opinion that your observations, experiences would greatly inform and inspire others in appropriate care, enjoyment...> It is looking very likely that I will go with this little project of mine as the emperor angel is, for me, the embodiment of all the best attributes of large marine angels, indeed marine fish in general. To document the whole process would be rather exciting for me also - I had a flair for creative writing in the past, and would very much like to put it to use, writing about something I love. <Please do begin... and make it known if I/we can be of service (perhaps supplying images, editing...)> I actually have a few pics of my old part changed emperor, which although are not great, would probably be good enough to include. And with my new digital camera, there will be many more pics of my new one. <Very good> Thanks again for your reply, it is most encouraging. Kind regards, Matthew <Be chatting, and writing, my friend. Bob Fenner>

The Emperor's long fins I'm curious as to where the emperor angel comes from with the streamer on its dorsal fin?    i have an adult coloration emperor angel that's a good 7 inches with a streamer at the end of his dorsal fin?     can anybody tell me what part of the world he is from?  and the location? <The elongation of unpaired fins in this (and many other fishes) is mostly a matter of size, age and excellent care, not source locale. You can look up Pomacanthus imperator on fishbase.org for this fish's distribution range>   I've seen some jumbo sized adults without a streamer?  any clues as of why some get the streamers and some don't.     thanks in advance! <Again, the trailing length of dorsal, caudal and sometimes anal fin rays is more a matter of good husbandry. Bob Fenner>

(Too small) juvenile emperor angel Good morning, I have a quick question, I hope.  I bought a juvenile emperor (about 2 inches in length) for my 220g FOWLR tank.  All water parameters are good as my other fish are doing very well.  The angel appeared fine at first, although it did take about a week to start eating (brine shrimp).  The last couple of days it has become completely lifeless, sitting on the gravel and not swimming and picking around at the live rock, also has stopped eating. I removed it last night as I noticed its fins becoming very ragged and its tail almost disappearing over night.  I've watched carefully and do not see any fish picking on it so I'm assuming it must be some type of parasite. <Or collateral "stress" reaction... resultant from capture, holding, shipping... through the chain of custody of the trade to you.> I gave it a fresh water bath for 8 minutes last night and put it into a quarantine tank.  I was going to put it through a copper treatment for a couple of weeks to see if this helps, do you think this is the right thing to do?  Any suggestions?  If I do put copper in this quarantine/sick tank how long should it stay in there.  Thanks <Mmm, please take a read through an old article on this species archived on our site here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/pomacanthus/imperator.htm I encourage folks to acquire this fish at 10-14 cm... Yours was/is likely "too small" to start. I would not copper its water, but would isolate it as you have, place a bit of live rock for comfort, water conditioning, food availability, hope to coddle it back to health. Bob Fenner> Joe

Re: 90 gallon FOWLR Thanks for your response!! Do you think I could get a year and a half to 2 years with the imperator if I started with one that's around 2" in length to start? thanks again <Better to start with a larger specimen (see the www.WetWebMedia.com site re this species), and plan on a larger tank sooner... Bob Fenner>

Pomacanthus imperator and Pomacanthus maculosus Hello bob, my dealer had some show size angel and I fell in love with the 16 to 18 inches imperator and maculosus angel immediately I saw them. do you think at this size ( 16-18inches) are they easy to keep? <Decidedly not as easy to keep as ones collected at "reasonable" (a few inches) in length and raised in captivity... Fishes (actually all animals) collected "large" are less adaptable to captive conditions... like food acceptance, getting along with other "novel" species... And shame on the collectors and retailers for extracting adults... leave these in the seas to reproduce.> at the moment they look great. if you were me which one will you purchase? the maculosus or the imperator angel. and why? <Mmm, neither... as I am morally opposed to their collection in the first place. Bob Fenner>

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

Angelfishes for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care
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