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FAQs about the Flame Angel Compatibility

Related Articles: Marine Angelfishes, Flame Angels

Related FAQs: Flame Angels 1, Flame Angels 2, Flame Angel Identification, Flame Angel Behavior, Flame Angel Selection, Flame Angel Systems, Flame Angel Feeding, Flame Angel Disease, Flame Angel Reproduction, Best FAQs on Centropyge, Dwarf (Centropyge) AngelsDwarf Angel Identification, Dwarf Angel Selection, Dwarf Angel Compatibility, Dwarf Angel Systems, Dwarf Angel Feeding, Dwarf Angel Disease, Dwarf Angel Reproduction, Marine Angelfishes In General, Selection, Behavior, Compatibility, Systems, Health, Feeding, Disease,   

Will get along with larger angels... as long as all is not too crowded.

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

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

O. Clownfish vs. Flame Angel, 10/3/11
Dear Crew,
First, I would just like to thank you for the great website. It has been very helpful for researching questions I have had over the years.
I have a 90 gallon soft coral tank with a 30 gallon attached refugium. This tank has been running stable for 5 years. I have 5 fish:
1- O. Clown fish
1- Royal Gramma
1- Yellow tang
1- Green Chromis (adopted from a friend)
1- Dragonet (added 1 year after setup)
I wanted to add one final fish, a flame angel. Recently, one came into the LFS and I decided to take the plunge. All went well during the QT period and I added the Flame to the display tank yesterday about 5 hours prior to lights on.
When the lights came on, all the fish went crazy (except the Dragonet) for about 10 minutes after they noticed the Flame. After the brief period of aggression, all the fish went back to normal routines with the exception of my Clown. He has continued to pick fights with the Flame to the point that the Flame has retreated to the rocks. He appears to grazing in the rocks but will not come out. The Clown continues to set right outside the cave waiting. I am concerned that the Flame is not able to get out for feeding.
Also, I am somewhat surprised that Clown (and not the tang or gramma) is this aggressive considering the Flame is so much larger.
<Clowns are damsels, and can be quite aggressive at times.>
At what point should I become concerned about this situation?
<After a few days, if the flame cannot come out into the open then something will need to be done.>
Also, I have considered moving the clown to the refugium section of my sump for a week or so. Would this help the Flame adjust?
<It might, worth a try.>
Would I then have a problem returning the clown to the main tank?
<I doubt it, but it may go back to being a bully.>
Thanks for any advice you can provide.
<Sometimes rearranging the rockwork will help, it breaks up old territories and gives the new fish a chance to grab a little bit for itself.
Unfortunately this does not always work and you could be in a situation where the clown will just not accept a new fish. Adding a second clown for a mate may help as well, the big female will pick on her mate rather than the other fish, which may alleviate some of her aggression.>

Input on Flame Angel Tank/Centropyge Compatibility/Systems 8/19/11
<Hello Lindsey>
I have a friend who is breaking down a 20 gallon and is willing to give me the Flame Angel currently residing in it that I've been admiring.
I would like to put this fish in the 29 gallon Biocube system I have. I know 29 gallons is on the small side for these fish, but as the fish has seemed happy in 20 gallons thus far, I feel it might just work.
Currently my 29 gallon is home to a Lawnmower Blenny and small Ocellaris Clown, Zoanthids, Mushrooms, Yellow Polyps, Clove Polyps, Xenia and a small Chili Coral, Featherduster Worm, Flame Scallop, White Stripe Cleaner Shrimp, and the hermit/snail cleanup crew. The tank has a shallow fine sand bed and about 15 lbs of live rock plus another 5lbs or so in the filter. The tank has been up and running for about 15 months and has been doing really well.
The water parameters are all within recommended ranges. The tank receives a bi-weekly 5 gallon water change.
I would be grateful for any thoughts you have on compatibility here. I'm not overly attached to the Clown or the Blenny and could move them to other tanks if better tank mates could be found for the Flame Angel. I guess what I'm wondering is: if it were your tank, there were no fish in it, and you were to decide what to put in it with the Flame Angel, what would you do?
Thank you in advance for what wisdom you can pass along.
<Your tank volume is a little small as you state, but can work with limited fish stocking.
Problem you may/will have is that Flame Angelfish are prone to nipping at corals, feather dusters, and clam mantles.
The risk is yours to take. Might want to read here.
James (Salty Dog)>
Re Input on Flame Angel Tank/Centropyge Compatibility/Systems 8/19/11- 8/20/11

Thanks for the heads up.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Flame Angel; Centropyge loricula comp. rating w/ Zoanthids       5/19/11
Hey Guys!
<<Hello Chris.>>
Just a quick note to confirm what I think I understand from doing some WWM research.
A fellow aquarist in my area has a beautiful red flame angel that they need to move, and I was considering it. It looks like it would be a good fit in my 65g with 110lbs of established live rock. I would need to some rearranging of the rocks to make it happy as well as the two clowns and Kole tang, every would get along, BUT:
The Flame will likely nip at Zoanthids, correct? And as I really like my Zoas, I should probably pass?
<<Aquarists have housed this and other Centropyge angels in mixed reef aquaria for decades with mixed results, many never report any issues at all and others complain of predation on their sessile invertebrates. In particular with this species tube worms, smaller anemones and the mantles of Tridacnid and Hippopus clams are often nipped at despite their primary diet consisting of benthic algaes, zooplankton, and smaller tunicates and sponges. In short there are no guarantees and there would be a risk even if a small one. Having said that with the volume of water you have I wouldn't add this fish considering the potential size of your surgeon (tang), it has a similar color and behavior...despite their small stature Centropyges are some of the most by sight patrolling territorial fish there are.>>
Many thanks, as always,
<<Good luck.>>
<<Adam Jackson.>>

Compatibility Question    5/12/11
Hi crew..
Nice to be in touch again...
Picked up on another of your excellent opinions and am seeing great results.
As advised, have shifted to Spectrum foods and have been extremely satisfied. Have added formula two form 'Ocean Nutrition' in the diet and the pets seems to like this too (except my yellow tang, which gives a royal ignorance to F2)
<Some do>
Have a new doubt and this relates to stocking option.
My vendor just confirmed procuring a good specimen of a Flame angel fish.
Have been wanting tis one for sometime now.
Also have grown interest in Firefish (Nemateleotris Magnifica) and Mandarins. Tried knowing about these through the net/web.
I have been trying to cultivate pods in the refugium/sump and now can see a lot of them.
Well it seems that I have almost everything to keep it successfully at the same time everything to spoil the party too.
In my 200 Gallon Display tank, I already possess a Koran Angel and now a Flame angel is on its way. I also have a strawberry dotty back in the so called aggressive list.
<Can be... best by far to get/acquire a tank-bred and reared specimen, vs. wild-caught>
NO aggression seen so far from any of these. They have been extremely calm with the tangs/Clowns and chromis's.
But am curious to find out whether the Firefish and Mandarins are likely to put up with these dwarf angels.
<Is possible, but much less likely due to the large size of your system>
Its a 6ft oblong tank with plenty of live rocks and a low-moderate bio load.
Please advice in terms of compatibility.
Srinivas Manian
<Likely will be fine... but no fun to try and catch out if not. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Flame angel and Bicolour 3/11/11
Hi Team
I have asked advice about mixing a bicolour angel and a flame in my 130 gallon 6 foot setup.
The flame is in the tank now with the following :-
Regal tang
Maroon clown
<The alpha fish>
Flashback gramma.
I know there's a lot of debate over mixing Centropyge species. Do you think the tank size is sufficient to allow this pairing to not end in world war 3?
<I give you good odds...>
Plus do you think it's a good idea at-all?
<Likely will be fine in this six foot long space>
Many thanks
<Similarly numbered welcomes. Bob Fenner>
Re: Flame angel and Bicolour 3/11/11

Thanks for the reply. Reading your articles it says bi colours should not be quarantined long. Maximum of one week. Would you advise to do that here?
Thanks Jim
<Ah yes. BobF>

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

15/02/10 flame angel likes to nip  2/15/10
<Hello Marshall!>
I have a quick question.
I have had a Flame Angel for about a year and a half now, lately he seems to be nipping at coral more frequently.
<Yes, this is quite common, it is in this fishes nature to sample>
There has been no change in feeding nor any additional livestock introduced to the tank. Could this be the result of the Flame Angel maturing?
<Mmmm, indirectly yes. Different individuals will sample different things, and as the fish spends more time in the system, there becomes a greater chance of it trying something in particular>
He mostly picks at a couple of "Kenya Tree" soft corals, although I have noticed him picking at my plate corals as well.
There never seems to be any significant damage to the soft corals, and to be honest I've tried on at least two attempts to remove the soft corals from the tank entirely but they keep growing back. So I don't particularly mind him grazing on them.
<Is it causing damage/ distress to these plate corals?>
The most odd thing I've seen him pick at was a sand sifting starfish which was moving across the glass.
<Mmm, a curious one, this>
The Flame Angel made numerous passes by the starfish to take little pecks, eventually the starfish released from the glass and retreated under the sand. Should I be concerned that this behavior will escalate and begin to encompass more of my coral?
<I would just monitor this behaviour for the moment>
My tank is predominantly stocked with Euphyllia, "Bubble" LPS corals and mushrooms.
<It is not likely to pick on Euphyllids, but might try Zoanthids. You don't actually mention what your mushrooms and plate corals are though>
Thank you for your thoughts on the matter.
<I would not be too concerned here Marshall for the minute, just be aware that if the behaviour escalates you may have to make a choice somewhere>
<Cheers, Simon>
Re: 15/02/10 flame angel likes to nip  2/16/10

<Hello Marshall>
Thank you for your prompt response. The 'Plate' corals are Fungia repanda.
The original specimen died due to an unfortunate metal halide issue (the bulb's glass shell cracked open exposing the still functional gas chamber; it took about 3 days for me to see this had happened, by that time much of the livestock on that half of the tank was dead/dying due to radiation)
however the skeleton has spawned at least 30 clones, many of which are now about the size of a nickel.
<Undoubtedly due to your good care>
It was these small Fungiids that had been nipped. Currently, there is no noticeable damage, but I have only observed
one nip from the Flame Angel on the Fungiids.
<Ahh, a sample that it did not like. You will probably be ok here>
Since he is constantly sampling/grazing the live rock, this event alone would not have caused me any concern. It was the repeated nipping at the starfish which prompted my uneasiness. It could be that the starfish had something palatable on his back. Whatever the cause, the starfish did not seem damaged in any way, but neither did he hang around to see what the Flame Angel had in mind.
<I would not worry about this>
The 'mushrooms' are various species of the genus Actinodiscus and Ricordea.
<Corallimorphs. These should be fine>
I have not observed the mushrooms or the LPS corals receive any interest from the Flame Angel.
<No, I would not be too concerned>
One additional question came to mind: regarding the growing Fungiids, what recommendations do you have for how I should proceed with their growth.
<? It seems to me, that whatever you are doing, you are doing it right these are growing already>
My concern is that they are overcrowding each other and some have grown well over the top of others.
<Yes, this is always an issue when your corals are doing well. But, look at it this way - it's a nice problem to have! A bit like having three good strikers when there's only room in the first team for two! Some trimming back here I think, maybe passing some of these onto fellow aquarists>
It was my hope that their growth in height would be equal and the shearing force of their skeletons growing against each other would break them loose, but this has not been the case. However, at my last examination their individual skeletons rise from the base in a tower-like fashion, and have yet to develop a clearly defined stem. I am considering doing my best to remove one of the larger specimens as an experiment.
<Yes, this is what I would do read here: http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2006-12/fotm/index.php>
Even if the removed specimen is damaged and doesn't survive, I figure its absence will at least promote the growth of those around it which have been partially overgrown.
<Yes, but I do think that you will have success here>
Any techniques, experience, thoughts regarding this are very much welcome.
<Read the link, it should give you all the direction you need>
Thank you very much for your time.
<No problem , and thank you for writing so clearly and well. Simon>

Flame Angel aggressive towards Maroon Clown Fish... crowded mess 1/18/09 I am writing because of strange behavior in my 47 gallon reef. The occupants of this well-established tank are: Blue Damsel Flame Angel Maroon Clown Fish Dragon Goby Six Lined Wrasse Frogspawn Coral Montipora Coral Donut Coral Spaghetti Coral Rock Anemone Bubble Tip Anemone Leather Coral Crocea Clam <The mix wont last. See WWM re compatibility.> Lighting is 150 W metal halide/50/50 Power Compact Skimmer is AquaC Remora Fluval 205 50 lbs. Live rock The maroon clown fish is the remaining male of a mating pair of which I lost the female a few months ago. For some reason, the Flame Angel is showing aggression towards the clown fish. It has actually inflicted damage to it. <I bet.> I don't recall ever reading anything regarding Flame Angel's being aggressive, except of course perhaps towards other dwarf angelfish. <Well, they are not always angels!> The clown fish is showing no signs of any parasitic malady. However, this male, as his larger, more aggressive female partner, seems reclusive in the tank, often being the last to come out to feed. <Not usually the case with Maroon clowns.> The Anemone (bubble tipped) is not a large specimen, perhaps quarter sized , and the clown fish is naturally staying with it most of the time. <Quarter size or ¼ full grown size?> I am looking at the tank as I am writing this, and the Flame Angel just initiated another attack on the obviously wounded, fish. <Hmmm, they need to be separated.> I am really curious as to why this may be occurring. Conditions in the tank are pristine. <But it is a small volume for both these fish.> I am going to try to remove the clown fish into a smaller quarantine tank. <A good move.> I would like to know what I can attempt to treat him with as he obviously has some external wounds.. <At this point just quarantine him unless he shows some sign of infection. Finding him a new suitable home is even better.> Your reply will be greatly appreciated. I would like to save this fish. Regards, Jeffrey Castaldo <Welcome, Scott V.>

My Centropyge loricula must go now!!!  8/5/08 Team, <Aaron> I have had a beautiful flame angel for over two years now and he must go. He destroys birds nests, several types of Montipora, clams, pearl bubble coral, open brains, anything fleshy like trumpet or candy cane, etc.. He picks on them right in front of my face all of the time. - Reef safe? Yeah right!!! <Not this one obviously!> I have a very well stocked 75 gallon reef tank filled to the brim with corals, live rock, and a baker's dozen or so other fish. I'm tired of being forced to limit the types of coral I can keep by this bugger. <arrivederci baby> Do you have any suggestions on how to catch him that don't involve draining my water, or removing my live rock and corals? <Mmm, the usual training, baiting/trapping possibilities: http://wetwebmedia.com/marcollf.htm though the draining bit, two nets or four and a friend... might be better> Here is a link to a short video of my tank so you can see my flame and how many potential hiding places he has to work with. The video is a couple months old and I've seen significant growth on many of my corals since the video was shot. - So much so that I'm embarrassed by this video because it pales in comparison to how my tank looks now. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIxuFjM23ko Help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Aaron Chandler <Try the link... reading... training for a few days with a net in the tank... Bob Fenner>

Yellow Tang and Fame Angel Compatibility/Aggression 03/24/08 I have a 72 gallon FOWLR tank. My stocking list looks like this: 2 Ocellaris clowns 1 Blue-green Chromis 1 Royal Gramma 1 Neon goby 1 Yellow tang 1 Scotts fairy wrasse 1 Flame Angel I still have not purchased the wrasse or angel for my tank yet. <<I see>> I have done a lot of research for compatibility and thought I had everything figured out until this weekend where I read some things about the Tang that made me question purchasing the wrasse and angel and I just wanted to check with an expert. <<Am happy to proffer my opinion>> For the wrasse I had read that their constant movement will stress out the tang which could lead to Ich. Is this true? <<Mmm, I do not share this concern here. The Tang is an active fish itself...I am more worried the marginal size of the tank may cause environmentally induced issues with the Tang>> Also for the flame angel I had read that since they are herbivores that eventually the flame and tang will fight for the dwindling algae in the tank. <<This can be easily supplemented>> If this is true would placing a strip of Nori in the tank everyday (which I currently do anyway) help stop the aggression? <<Yes will just keeping all well fed. Along with other environmental factors, aggressive behavior can often be lessened by providing a nutritious and plentiful diet (the days of starving a tank really are passé©). If you aren't doing so now, I very much suggest obtaining/feeding New Life Spectrum pellets along with the algae supplements. This food is very palatable and highly nutritious all around>> One more question since I have you. <<Okay>> Is this tank overstocked or could I add some more fish? <<With what you list, I think this tank is pretty much full-up>> I was thinking of adding a Firefish or even a mandarin when I get my pod population more stable. <<I don't recommend this especially the Mandarin. The very shy Firefish is likely to slowly starve/die from harassment and the Mandarin will not find enough natural foods for its long-term survival, no matter how long you wait (too many competitors in too small an environment)>> I have a 3 gallon CPR HOB refugium. Would this be large enough to keep a pod population that would feed the mandarin and the wrasse? <<Not in my opinion (and more than just the Wrasse to consider)>> Thanks for taking the time to help. Adam <<Happy to share. EricR>>

Adding Flame Angel To 80G Tank 03/19/08 Dear Crew, <<Greetings Michael>> I am thinking of adding a Flame angel to my 80 G reef tank. <<Wonderful little fish and one of my all-time faves>> Currently my fish live stock includes: A Yellow tang A Clownfish (Ocellaris) A Firefish (Decora) A Blenny (Bicolor) A Royal Gramma A Dwarf Angel (Argi) 3 Chromis (Viridis) A Goby (Okinawae) <<A very nice selection for this tank size>> Would it be possible to add a Flame angel? Or would you advice against it? <<Is a roll of the dice, I think. The C. argi will likely protest the inclusion but for me if you are ready/willing to remove one of the other should the situation warrant, I think it is worth the risk>> Thanks for all your hard work. Michael Fick Dragør, Denmark <<A pleasure to share. Eric Russell Columbia, SC>>
Re: Adding Flame Angel To 80G Tank 03/20/08
Hi Eric, <<Hello Michael!>> Thanks for your reply. <<Quite welcome>> My plan is to upgrade to 140g-150g within a years time, maybe I should wait until then. <<Will increase your chances for succeeding with this genus>> Don`t you think that I would have a bigger chance of success with a system like that? <<Ah yes, most certainly. Many folks are misled by the diminutive size (relatively) of the Centropyge spp. of angelfishes. These little beauties do much better ( and may even get along!) in systems of some size>> Even though I suppose that catching one of them in a bigger system will be even more difficult! <<And less likely to be necessary!>> Thanks, Michael Fick <<Always a pleasure. Eric Russell>>

Flame Angel/Compatibility 3/4/08 Hi everyone :) <Hi Ranjith> Very short question Can I have 2 flame angels in a 120 gall with around 160# of live rock? <If you add them at the same time you should be able to pull it off in your size tank. They can be aggressive toward their own kind.> Tank is a bowfront with 4" DSB and soon to be 6". There are 3 individual pillars and one huge mountain on the other side. The structures are positioned such that each of the pillars overlap an inch or 2 and the first pillar overlaps the big structure I earlier mentioned as the "huge mountain" :) I guess this will give them enough breakup of the reef structure so each will have one pile all to his/herself? <Sounds good.> Sadly they are the first and NOT the last fish to put in as I needed to clear up my existing tank which had one Flame Angel. <Mmm, may have problems adding another Flame Angel here.> Will this cause problems with future additions (Regal Tang, Anthias, Comet, <Wouldn't do this guy with ornamental shrimp, etc. Will soon be gone along with any small fish you may add, also prefer lower light levels.> Maroon Clown, <Would not do the Maroon Clown either, will become the dominant fish in this scenario, the Banggais won't fair too well here.> Banggai Cardinal, ornamental shrimp, Fairy Wrasses)? As of now there is only one Bi-Color Blenny and cleaner shrimp in. Plan to have LPS (moon, hammer, disk), SPS (Acropora) and majorly soft corals (Zoa, Shrooms, leather, xenia) as inverts. <The Flame Angels(s) may nip at the corals, reconsider your choices if you wish to have a reef tank.> I have had the flame in my 30 gal for close to 18 months with an anemone, 2 Percs, 1 Bi-Color Blenny. I know it is overcrowded and have seen the effects. Have given the anemone away with the clowns. <Good move, corals and anemones create problems.> The flame was perfectly well behaved with mushrooms, Zoanthids, Palythoa and a cup coral in spite of this obvious overcrowding. <Good.> Can he change some day (I have a feeling you will say "possible") <May be attracted to different corals. I have seen them nip at Moon Coral.> When I added him to the large tank, he was ZERO stressed and 100% calm. Like he did not care at all :) Sad part is, I have seen him once or twice peck the moon coral :(( <Ahh, you've repeated my words above.> Am not sure if he nipped the coral or a small bare patch on it. <I'd bet the coral.> Can behaviors change so fast? <Certainly.> He was not in the tank 10-20 min before I saw him do that. Now to my main question <Main question? Wowsie.> I would like to pair him/her. <Him/her who...are we still talking Flame Angels? If so, I'd just keep the one.> Should I add one or two more? Will it be ok if I added the new one(s) a week after the first one was added? <If you are determined to have two, add them both at the same time.> I read you mentioned to test the new flame by keeping a sample coral for checking if he/she will pick at it. <Not always a bulletproof experiment.> But the likeliness to peck would be based on the coral right? As in he/she might ignore one coral but peck another? <Yes, or may leave all alone. All have different personalities.> In a % possibility, what do you foresee? <I'd keep one Flame Angel. As you add corals and the Flame Angel finds one to his liking, you can always return the coral. Do check with your LFS on returns in this regard.> One thing is sure, I CAN NOT tear my structure down trying to fish the fish out. It is almost all cable tied or drilled and skewered with PVC pipes. <Another reason you need to be sure of what you want to do.> Your opinion is highly highly regarded and has helped me many times. Please let me know your comments. <As above my friend. James (Salty Dog)> Cheers Ranjith

Re: Flame Angel/Compatibility 3/5/08 Hi and thanks for the quick response. <You're welcome.> Waaaa :( to even contemplate trying to catch the flame seems like a nightmare. <Oh yeah.> He does not seem to totally maul the Moon Coral. Just takes a nip or so every couple of hours. <I'd remove this coral, will not survive with daily nipping.> Now, The moon does not put out tentacles even at night. The fleshy extension is there though. Can this be diurnal cycles? <Diurnal means opening during the day and closing at night. Your coral isn't doing that and I'm guessing the Flame Angel isn't helping in this regard providing water conditions and lighting are in the coral's favor.> Will this turn bad or is there a possibility the flame was just checking out the new neighborhood and seeing lots of macro and brown and green algae and ignoring the moon coral? <Time will tell, be observant here.> Another thing I noticed is my cup coral not opening its polyps. Can this also be thanks to the flame? <Is the Flame Angel nipping at this also. If the Cup Coral in question is Turbinaria peltata (Pagoda Coral), they are relatively easy to maintain with medium intensity light and an occasional feeding of micro plankton, same for the Brain Coral.> I had seen this behaviour with the peltata before as well in the prev tank. Putting on new polyps one day and not coming out from the next day. The flame was there with it from many weeks if not months. <How is your water flow? I'd shoot for 8 to 10 times total tank volume per hour.> Can it be that the flame likes only LPS and ignores the rest like softies and Zoanthids?? <All have different personalities. I've had a Flame Angel that nipped everything and he was well fed. I also have seen some that left corals alone. Good idea to research fish before buying and if your research proves there is a chance corals will be nipped, is best not to buy the fish. If problems arise, and as you mention, the fish is almost impossible to net out without removing the rock, which in turn can create additional problems. James (Salty Dog)>

Re: Flame Angel/Compatibility   3/6/08 Aloha James, <Ah, Bob's language> Have been watching the flame bugger for last 2 days. He has almost stopped nipping the moon. MAYBE he half nipped once all day yesterday. The polyps of the moon came out almost normally last night after lights off. <Good to hear.> The cup coral is also showing some sign of recovery. <Great> I doubt the water is not good as other corals (disk, finger leather, Zoas, Shrooms) are nice and fine. <OK> If the flame decides the moon needs to go, then the moon goes. Do you know of any other coral that could be his favourite other than moon coral? Better I not buy that coral in the first place. <I could not safely recommend here.> Will adding a Coral Beauty or other Pygmy Angel keep him distracted so he pays less attention to the moon? <Could for a while. I have a False Lemon Peel and Coral Beauty together and they get along great, and neither one picks at the corals. The corals I have consist of Candy Cane, Acropora, Montipora, and several soft corals. Doesn't mean this will work for you. As I mentioned earlier, all fish have different personalities. It is the chance you would have to take. Feeding the fish small amounts of food 3 or 4 times a day can help in this regard.> Cheers <Have a nice day. James (Salty Dog)> Ranjith

Centropyge loricula Reef Acceptable? (Oh Yes!) 12/27/07 Hey there, <<Justin>> After Christmas I was looking to use some of my cash for some aquarium additions. <<A popular notion>> As I was shopping around the LFS a flame angel caught my eye. <<One of my faves>> I have seen them before, but I have a reef setup and the possibility of "nipping" has always scared me off. <<Is a possibility though worth the risk, in my opinion>> I have been reading about them and continue to see both sides of the story. <<Indeed>> So I was looking for a "personal" answer. My tank is a 75 gallon reef (softies and LPS) with about 90 lbs of live rock under two 250 watt MH. I have a 55 gallon refugium (sand, rock, and macro algae) running on the tank as well. I plan on including a few more corals and some clams. If my main concern is for the destruction of my current livestock or the hindrance of future invert additions, what are the chances that the purchase of a flame angel (which I would make the last of the fish additions due to possible aggressions) would cause me more grief than joy? The flame angel is so beautiful and would really add to my tank. Is this beauty worth the risk? I know that all fish are unique and you are not a fortune teller, but I guess I am looking for advice from some people with more experience observing these fish in similar settings over time. Thanks, Justin <<Well Justin I can tell you that I have personally kept this fish in reef settings of differing types for the past couple decades, and not once have I had an issue with nipping. Maybe I've been lucky but I also think there are a few things the hobbyist can do to lessen this behavior. One is to purchase juvenile fish that may not be quite set in their eating habits yet Another is to not starve your fishes Keeping all well fed will go along way towards keeping them from picking at your inverts. Also, do provide for the psychological as well as their physiological health. Overcrowded, bullied, or overly exposed (no proper cover), etc., fishes can often exhibit behavior abnormalities as a result. Centropyge loricula is a stunning and hardy aquarium addition, and in my opinion, is healthiest/best showcased in a reef setting. Like you mention, each fish is an individual but I definitely think this species is worth a gamble. Good luck! EricR>> <Well-stated. RMF>

Crazy Flame Angel  3/16/2007 Hello All, <Hello James, Brandon here.> I have a 46 gallon bow front aquarium with 60+ pounds of live rock that I have had set up for a little over 6 months now.  I have several soft corals along with the following fish:  1 Flame Angel, 1 Royal Gramma, and 2 False Percs.  I just re-introduced all 4 fish after being fallow in my aquarium for 6 weeks due to and ich breakout.   <Good idea to let the tank run fallow.> After the re-introduction my nitrates went up to 10, ammonia 0, nitrites 0, Ph8.4, but have been slowly coming back down (I realize this is due to bacteria die-off from having no fish for 6 weeks and then adding a little too much bio-load back).   <This is a possibility.  Nothing to be greatly alarmed about.> My question is, my flame angel has gotten strangely aggressive.   <C. loriculus is one of the more aggressive Centropyge Angels.> He will tip on his side and circle tightly below the clowns forcing them to the top of the water he then proceeds to attack them.   <He is defending territory.> If the clowns attempt to move anywhere near the rock work he does the same thing again.  I do not see any signs of sickness in any of them, they are all eating like pigs, and they have been doing this for 2 weeks now.  What can I do to help curve this aggressive behavior?   <You little fish is all grown up, and sometimes they do this when they mature.  There are several ways to go about this.  First way, move all of the rock work around.  This will break up established territories.  Second way, Take the C. loriculus and put it back in QT for about two weeks.  This will give the other fish time to establish territories.  The hope being when you add the C. loriculus back, it will find somewhere else to reside in your tank.   Third way, catch the C. loriculus, and start over with a new one.  Had I been you in this situation, I would have reintroduced the fish separately, adding the C. loriculus last, as this is the most territorial fish that you have.> Will this behavior ever stop or should I remove the flame angel and get another?   <The behavior could stop, or it could not.  Removing the fish is one option.> Would moving the rocks a little help (hard to move them too much with all the coral)?   <This could work as well, but it would have to be a drastic movement of rock work.  As in a whole new structure.> I read your site all the time and find it to be a valuable resource any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, <You are welcome, and thank you for the kind words,  Brandon.> ~Jim
Re: Crazy Flame Angel
  3/19/07 Hello again, <Hello James.  Hope you are doing well.> Just thought I would give a quick update.   <Cool.> I moved the rock around as much as possible and that did the trick.   <Usually does.  You see the same thing in society when there are people acting crazy and territorial about a place.  It's like the neighborhood cleanups that they do in New York and L.A.  You take away the hang out spot, and the problem tends to relax.> The flame angel got confused for a day and that gave the clowns enough time to investigate the tank and find the Bubble Tip Anemone I have.   <Good.> Now when the flame angel gets aggressive the clowns escape to the BTA and wait it out.  The angel also has gotten less aggressive since the rock movement.   <Could be that he has set up a territory.  Once he does this, he should be aggressive in defense of his area (mostly).  I am glad that this worked for you.> Thanks again for the help... <You are most welcome.  Brandon.> ~Jim

Flame Angel & Coral Banded Shrimp   3/3/07 Hey everyone hope all is well in the big old US. <G'day mate! USA checking in!  Mich here freezing in the Pocono Mountains.> I am looking to add one or two coral banded shrimp (Stenopus hispidus) to my 120-gallon reef tank but before I go out and get them I wanted to ask whether or not my flame angel (Centropyge loricula) is likely to make a meal of them. <Unlikely.> I am in the lucky position of being able to collect them directly off the reef (I live in Mackay just south of the Whitsunday Islands) <Oh!  How lucky you are!  I do hope to have the opportunity to dive the GBR!>   as limited collection of certain animals is permitted in certain zones on the reef but I do not want to risk killing an animal just to see what happens if the risk is too high. <I think the risk is low.  Happy collecting!  Wish I were there!> Cheers <And to you!  -Mich> Marc

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

A Gathering of Angels (Flame Angel Group) 8/3/05 I'm planning to remove all of my present fish and run my tank fishless for 1 week. <I'd go for a longer "fallow" period; more like 3-4 weeks, just to make sure that any possible diseases are eliminated as much as possible..> After, I will buy 5 small Flame Angel juveniles and introduce them all at once. Do you think it will work? <Well, a 100 gallon tank might be a bit smaller than you'd want for a group of this size. I think a trio might be better. even though these are juveniles that you are talking about, they still will require space and territory.> You must be think that I'm crazy don't you Thanks Ignatio <Actually- I admire your experimental spirit! I hope that you are successful! Just think of the long-term requirements of the fish, and I'm sure that you'll be successful! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>
A Gathering of (Flame) Angels...
Dear Scott <Scott here, Captain!> Sorry I didn't follow your advice to put only trio, but I put only 4 of them because I cannot resist. But I'm glad everything was Ok .. no chasing between them. Today my tank just only have 4 of them and the problem for me is getting to eat. <They are in quarantine, right? Please remember to quarantine all new fish...> They are nipping at my tank and my live rock constantly, but still they refuse baby brine shrimp, live Mysis shrimp and a rinsed spinach. Should I put a clown fish to teach them to eat or they will eat later on by themselves?? (note: I have a plenty of green micro algae in my display tank, a snails, worms, copepods, Caulerpa, turtle weed). Do you think they can get enough nutrition in my tank if this condition continue for a long time? (to be self feeding like naturally in the ocean). <Well, a tank wit has much foraging as you indicate is very conducive to success with these fishes. I have had a Centropyge species for a very long time that I have never observed eating prepared foods, and the fish is fat and happy. Apparently, they can subsist upon what they forage if you have a well established tank.> One question again: I have also a juvenile Regal Angel that wants to eat everything and very greedy in another tank (actually I'm planning that this tank would be my QT tank). So what do you think if I mix the Regal together with 4 Flame Angels in 100 gallon tank? Do you think it will work without any disturbance? Or is it too small for them? <I see no problem with mixing smaller and larger angels in a system of sufficient size, but I think that this is too much for you system. I'm not completely sure about the 4 Flame Angels at this point...The Regal might push this tank over the breaking point, as far as population is concerned.> And do you think the Flame can breed with the presence of Regal Angel? <I suppose that it is possible, but if you are dead set on breeding Flame Angels, I'd make the tank a dedicated species tank.> Thanks Scott <You're quite welcome!> Kind regards, Ignatio <Best of luck, Ignatio... Keep us posted on your efforts!>
A Gathering of (Flame) Angels (Pt. 3) 8/17/05
Hi Mr. Scott <Hey there!> You are absolutely right, it is peaceful on temporary basis. On the day 3rd the bigger one is chasing the smaller ones, but not too aggressively (the 4 of them are still nibbling on my algae and seems no sign of stress). Do you think this agonistic behaviour can change after several week and behave peacefully among them? <Really hard to say. Factors such as space, tank layout, and the individual personalities of the fishes will all come into play. There are no guarantees one way or another...I'd simply observe carefully and be prepared to remove fishes as necessary to prevent injury!> So I must forget about mixing regal with them. Many thanks Ignatio <My pleasure! Regards, Scott F.>

Centropyge loriculus - 06/28/05 I have read in a book by a very respected individual that flame angels, while posing a threat to clams and LPS, pose little threat to SPS.  In the experience of this group, is this the norm? <<I think you will find a wide range of experience in any group with this (any?) fish.  I have kept these fish with clams and LPS corals with no problem at all...but that's not to say the next one wouldn't munch 'em all.>> I am thinking about adding one to my SPS tank as my wife just adores this fish. <<As do I!  May be worth the risk my friend.>> All of my LPS will be moved to their own tank to meet their own needs. <<As it should be, regardless of fish <G>.>> Thanks. <<Regards, Eric R.>> - Livestock Questions - Hi all. A few questions for you: I have a 25 gallon FOWLR setup (the tank/lighting/filtration system is an eclipse 3 version if you've heard of it) with ~13 lbs of live rock and a few pieces of dead rock with pretty holes to swim through. My current inhabitants are two true percula clowns and a neon goby, plus my cleanup crew of 3 tiny hermits, 3 snails and 1 enormous scarlet hermit who is currently in solitary confinement so he won't eat the others (plan to return him later). What is a good ratio of hermits/snails to gallons? <For a tank like yours, a half-dozen or so.> I plan to add a pair of skunk cleaner shrimp to this setup, but I have heard that they cannot tolerate high nitrate levels. Is my reading of 5ppm considered high? <I wouldn't consider that high... the shrimp should be fine.> Next--Can a flame angelfish be added to this setup without problems? <No... I predict problems.> I read the article on flame angels http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/centropyge/loricula.htm and saw that the should be kept in a larger tank than the one I have. If I got one, <A larger tank?> would he be able to live a natural and healthy life & be able to get along with everyone? <Not in your existing tank.> Also, would I be pushing the bioload with this addition? <Yes.> Next question--I watched my neon goby for about a week at the LFS to make sure he was in good health before buying him, he looked great, actively swimming about, darting away when I came up to him, and eating. The only thing about him was that he did not have the characteristic 'neon' blue on his sides, more of a white color. I followed the advice of a book I read that said not to judge a fish by the color it displays in the LFS tank and bought him, as they are supposed to be much more vibrant after they settle down into a more permanent home. Is this right? <For some fish... with these gobies, sometimes there are hybrids available which are typically crosses of the yellow and blue gobies, and the offspring of these are often pale blue.> Can I expect the goby to live up to his name? <Maybe... give it some time.> Thanks for any answers <Cheers, J -- >

Flame Angel Compatibility Hi again, guys! :) <Hey Jeff, MacL here with you tonight> I have a 70g reef, 90lbs premium live rock (covered in coralline), 60lbs Carib Sea sand ( 4" DSB) with the following livestock: 2 Ocellaris, 1 Chevron Tang (juv), 1 Rainford's Goby, 1 Scooter Blenny (Blenny and Goby are my oldest fish; close to a year) few Emerald Crab's, Fire Shrimp, misc Snails (Turbo, etc), 3 Hermit Crabs and an Archaster Typicus. Corals: 2 Brains (an 'Open' and a 'Closed'), some pulsing Xenia (spreading and pulsing happily) and some Frogspawn. If it matters, I have a bit of Caulerpa mexicana and racemosa in there as well (which I plan on taking out when my refugium is complete; having a custom box built). Water Param.s: Amm/Nitrite/Nitrate - 0, PH: 8.3, Alk/DKH: 3.77/10.6, Phosph: 0.1. Ca: 440, Temp: hi/low 79.4/80.2. Supplementing with ESV products (Ca, Alk, Mg and filter feeder food). I found a very very nice Flame Angel locally. It's about 2.5" in size and has really brilliant colors. It's been QT'd at the vendor's for about 3 weeks and just put into the display (though I would still QT it myself). All of my fish are very passive towards each other and the Rainford, Ocellaris and Tang actually "school" around a bit. It's very cool. :) I'd like to not interrupt the peacefulness of my tank, but would eventually like to add 1 or 2 (max) more fish. I plan on adding a Mandarin Goby after my refugium is in place and I move all of the Caulerpa there (which I've heard is bad to have in your main display for soft corals/LPS's for some reason?). I have excellent copepod production currently and a very fat Dragonet (the two of them cannot keep up with the pods I have!). Do you guys think there'd be any territorial issues or I'd have problems with a Flame Angel nipping at my LPS's/softs? I've read reports from people that have them reflecting both, so it's hard to say for me. <I have heard that flames can be tough on brain corals although I do know quite a few people who do have them successfully in their reef tank. I hate to say it but its a gamble. I personally love them and hope to always be able to have one in my tanks.> Thanks in advance for all of your help! <Good luck Jeff. MacL> Jeff.

- Angel & Hermit Interaction - Hello and thank you in advance, I have had a Flame Angel about a week now, and he has acted quite odd toward the hermit crab I have. The Flame Angel frequently swims up to the crab and presents his side to the crab. It does not appear to be hostile, it really seems to be as an offering. The Flame will nearly lie down on the substrate in front of the hermit crab. It almost appears as if the Flame expects a cleaning or something... but as far as I have read up on this I don't see any reference to this behavior in Angels and other species. Any ideas?  <Not really... does sound like the fish is looking for a cleaning, but honestly it's pretty much impossible to know the true motivations of fish.>  Should I be concerned?  <No more than any other day... always want to observe your tank's occupants, make sure all are in good health, etc.>  The crab hasn't yet, but I worry he'll grab the Angel one day for lunch.  <That's a big thing to take down for a hermit crab... doubt this will happen.>  The Angel seems fine otherwise.  <Good.> Thanks again, Lance <Cheers, J -- > 

Flame Angel with Bi-Color? Good Afternoon Crew, First and foremost, thank you for endless amount of useful information that can be found on your site.  I was wondering if you had a moment and could possibly comment on a proposed stocking question I have? We are currently going to restock our tank after a nasty bout with ich. After quarantining a new addition, and then adding it to the display tank, a few weeks later it came down with ich, and of course spread it like wildfire.  Anyway, to make a long story short, we have 3 fish that have survived and are in a hospital/quarantine tank while the display tank is fallow (currently 7 weeks fallow, shooting for 8 weeks "just to be sure" and more than willing to go longer if you think it advisable).  The 3 remaining fish are a gold strip Maroon Clown (3½"), YT damsel (2") and a Flame Hawkfish (3").  Tank stats: 72g bow, 80-90lbs live rock (from various regions), 50-60lbs live sand, Coralife 4-65W lights, Temp 78-79, SG 1.024, PH 8.3, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 10), 10% weekly water changes, Fluval 404 (using Chemi-pure and PhosBan in the trays). AquaC Remora skimmer, with Maxi Jet 1200, 2 additional MJ 1200 for circulation (in a crisscross pattern), some hairy mushrooms, various other mushrooms, 3 Hawaiian feather dusters, misc. crabs and snails.  We would like to add a dwarf Bi-Color Angel and a dwarf Flame Angel. We are planning on adding these both at the same time (after being quarantined), and are prepared to put one in a separate tank if they get aggressive. The question is, if they do get along with each other, would it be possible to add a couple of small Chromis' specifically - the Black Bar Chromis (Chromis retrofasiata) for color diversity, or are we at a max as far as stocking goes already?? Thank you for your help in advance! Wendy >>>Hi Wendy, Unless you're just looking for a headache, I wouldn't mix a flame with a Bi-color in a tank that size. Even if it works at first, eventually the Flame will kill the Bi-color, and that's if you're lucky enough to get a Bi-color to live that long in the first place. Bi-colors are often cyanide caught which causes them to "crash" after a few days to a few weeks. I would concentrate on finding a nice, healthy Flame that eats well. I'd say at that point you're getting to the point of being stocked pretty well for a tank that size, but you can certainly add 3 Chromis if you want. If you do this I would pull the Yellowtail first. Good luck! Jim<<<

Flame and Coral Beauty angels fighting         -greetings from rainy Chicago! << Greetings from snowy Salt Lake. >> I did a stupid thing and took the advice of a LFS in my area that I've never visited before and now I have a coral beauty and a flame angel in my 54 gallon tank TOGETHER! (yikes). the new flame angel immediately started chasing my poor coral beauty whom I've had for a year and truly care about. << I wouldn't have been too worried about this, so I'm surprised to see such a problem.  Especially caused by the new fish and not the old fish. >> I'm going to try and return him but I strongly have the feeling that they won't take him back and I just don't want to give a $60 fish away, (not that I have anyone to give him to). << Lots of hobbyists and clubs in the Chicago area. >> I also have a blue tang, yellow tang, blue devil damsel (small), and two Percula clowns. do you guys have suggestions or helpful advice to aid my dilemma. I care about my fish and don't want to see any of them die of stress. << Well if you can catch him, then I'd keep him in the tank is something like a breeding trap for a few days.  If you can't easily catch him then I wouldn't do anything.  The more you mess with the tank the more likely you are to stress the other fish. >> the flame angel will chase the coral beauty for a second and then call off the chase but he does do it frequently. the coral beauty doesn't seem distressed but then it's only been a day. I was thinking if I add some more LR for hiding spaces and just watch for a week maybe they'll get used to each other. the flame angel is slightly bigger which is another concern. I've gone through all your FAQ's and didn't find anything to help me in my situation. only advice I found was advice I should of looked for before I bought the fish, (won't make that mistake again)!! please, please, please help. thank you again for your site, I now know where to go for unbiased advice!! << Yeah I really think I would do nothing and just wait it out.  Probably not what you were hoping to hear but that is what I would do. >>         -thanks, heather <<  Blundell  >>

Angel of Destruction, Flame eating Turbos Hey guys, <Howdy> I have a 55 gallon FOWLR with a 3" flame angel, a 2.5" three stripe damsel, and a 2" black percula clown. Contrary to what you might think, this is a peaceful community tank. All of the inhabitants get along and the fish never stray from each other in the day time. However, in the past two days, the flame angel has begun to pick at the fleshy undersides of my turbo snails. She has Nori in the tank that she grazes on and she gets fed with the others each day and eats like a pig. I can't imagine why she would try to eat the snails. Could it be something on their skin she is trying to eat? <Mmm, doubtful... it is the snails themselves. You do have live rock?> I've never heard of Centropyge angels trying to eat snails. Any ideas you had would be great. All water param.s are fine and no deaths at all. Thanks for the help. Nick <Not overly odd... Bob Fenner>  
Re: Angel of Destruction
Thanks for the reply Mr. Fenner. I have about 105 lbs of Fiji LR in the system (I know it's a lot but there's plenty of swimming room). She picks at the rock all the time as well. She doesn't seem to be injuring the snails as they eventually get up and move away, but I'm concerned that there's something I'm not doing right. I also have a 3-4" live sand bed. Any ideas would be great. If it's just one of those things that just happens, then I won't worry about it too much until she starts damaging them. As of now, they only seem annoyed by her attacks. Also, she only does this during the day time and just randomly. She'll just swim by and pick once and move away for ten minutes. It's not like she's consistently going after them. Nick <Sounds like a good system and healthy Flame (one of my fave species BTW)... I would not be overly concerned with this fish's predilection for escargot... Likely a passing phase. Bob Fenner>

Mixing Flames Hi Bob. Just one question. Can there be two Flame angels in a 75 gallon tank? Please advice. Thanks >> Yes, but just... do try to get two females or just one male... Ask the folks who pick them out for you... there are subtle differences in degrees of color, finnage... depending on source. If you can afford it, try to get the Hawaiian ones... otherwise, Marshall Island... Bob Fenner

Dwarf Angels Thank you for having this wonderful service. I have this question, could I place 3 Flame Angles (Centropyge loricula) in a 75 gallons tank w/Longnose and raccoon butterflies; yellow, Naso, Sailfin tangs, Picasso trigger, puffer, and a yellowhead Jawfish. Also, in which order should I place this fish to minimize fights.  Thanx again. >> Wowzah! You can have all these fishes... only if you get a bigger system! I would actually just stock the Dwarf Angels... and maybe the Jawfish... or just one of the Angels, and the other fishes... but not the Picasso Trigger. Some of these Rhinecanthus aculeatus are peaceful... but not a good bet as it gets older/larger... And all will not fit comfortably in a 75... Bob Fenner, who will gladly give you his views on stocking order when you narrow down your choices in livestock.

Flame angel with anemone and/or feather dusters Dear Bob, Yes it's me again. I just re-read the Flame Angel piece prior to shopping for one. <Always a good idea to study up ahead of investing> It sounds like I should not plan on this fish if I am to have an anemone and/or feather dusters. Is this correct? Howard <Like all else, a calculated/able risk... If you have Clownfishes... they would likely guard the Anemone... and larger species of Featherduster Worms in a system with plenty of live rock? The balance of likelihood would then largely sway in your direction. Bob Fenner>

Flame, Angels Hey again, Well the flame started to rip the butterflies up so I moved him into another tank. I am going to add a queen or French angelfish instead because they inhabit the Caribbean like the 4 eyed butterflies and the royal Gramma in my tank do too.  <Sounds like a very good plan> Another problem I am experiencing is that my brown algae has turned into green algae. <No problem here... actually a good sign> The problem is that it is really hard to scrape of the tank sides. Are there any animals I can add to get rid of this algae. <A few... the Ctenochaetus Tangs are my first choice> Also, I have several white "blobs" on my tank sides. they are small and look like a curled up worm. Do you have any idea what this is and can it be harmful to my fish? Thank You, Jonathan Pac <Likely some white blob worms... and not likely harmful... "they too will pass". I'd ignore them for now, and focus on keeping up filtration/aeration/circulation. Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

Fish Hey, To replace my tang I bought three 4 eye butterflies. They are doing well and love to school back in forth in my tank. The only problem is that my flame angel is nipping at them. I tried adding and moving my live rock but he still is aggressive. If it continues I am going to trade him in at the LFS. My question is would another kind of angel be better? I am also thinking that if I got another flame it wouldn't have an established territory so maybe it wouldn't nip. Please send me your thoughts or opinions. Jonathan Pac <How big a system is this? How long has this been going on? Is there any actual evidence of actual damage this Flame Angel is doing? Are these Four Spot Butterflyfishes (Chaetodon quadrimaculatus)? If no real harm is obvious, I wouldn't be overly concerned... but if these are Four Spots you may be in for trouble in trying to maintain them... Bob Fenner, who would not trade in the Flame Angel, or get another species of Pomacanthid.>

Flame Angel Hello Bob. Yet another question from this young reef keeper. I recently added a Flame Angel to my reef tank. He has been in there for a week and is constantly picking at a sebae anemone and a plate coral. Both are starting to look bad in the areas he has picked at. My wife said she also saw him peck at my toadstool mushroom. What a devil. I understand there was this risk with this type of fish. Is there anything I can do to prevent this. <Hmm, some specimens are incorrigible, or become this way it seems... I would try adding some "fresher" live rock that has obvious macro-algae, sponge material, tunicates on it... and continue to make the food offerings wider and more frequent... and culture some other "tasty" varieties of live macro-algae, otherwise offer them directly as fresh or prepared material (Caulerpa, Nori algae... in strips from sheets...)> I have tried feeding a little extra. We he eventually stop or is this a decision of keeping him or corals. Will the plate coral or anemone's destroyed areas recover? <If not too damaged, and your system is otherwise in good shape, yes. Bob Fenner>

Flame Angel Bob, <Steven Pro tonight.> I just bought an Flame Angel, very beautiful. <Agreed> I would like to know what exactly should I feed him? <I hate to knit pick, but this question should have been asked before you purchased him.> Right now he is in my quarantine tank. Is this fish reef safe? <Kind of. It really depends on what you want to keep alive and healthy in your reef display and on this particular fish.> I was told it may nip at my bubble coral. <Possible, any LPS, clams, or particularly Xenia are candidates for a nip. They primarily eat algae, though. Do see www.WetWebMedia.com for additional information.> Thanks <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

2/5/03 - Damsels and the Chain of Command / Future Stocking Creating A Happy Community Hey there groovy guys & groovy gals: <Hey Party person! Scott F Groovin' with you tonight!> Currently, I have a 55gal FOWLR with: 1- Green/Emerald Crab - (Mithrax sculptus) (molted twice in a month); 6- Astraea Snails (w/numerous baby snails - where from?); 1- Black-tailed Humbug - Dascyllus melanurus; 1- Yellow-belly Damsel - Pomacentrus auriventris; 1- Electric Blue Damsel - Chrysiptera cyanea (Had 2 but returned one -incompatible); 1- 3-Spot Domino Damsel - Dascyllus trimaculatus; In Quarantine tank: 1- False Percula Clown - Amphiprion ocellaris I am slowly switching over from crushed coral to DSB, BABY!   <You're gonna LOVE the results of that, dude! Do it right and you'll reap the benefits for a long time!> Sorry, but I am excited because my first section (1/4 of tank-1 month) already has nice life (worms, bugs, etc.)! <Sweeeet!> AAANYWAY, as you can probably guess, Mr. 3-Spot is the boss. Since I want a more docile tank, I will give him back to LFS (all fish are part of the original cycling process, before I knew anything, found your site, or read Bob's book)  Mr. Blue is the next meanest in line, so he will go also. <A bummer...I hate hearing about people having to return these fishes...but it's a bummer dealing with a tank ful of bullies...> Contrary to what I have read, my Humbug is the most docile of all, along with yellow-belly.  My main question (finally) is this: will the others "step-up" their aggressiveness when the boss is gone?   <Excellent thought...In fact- I was gonna warn you about that possibility...These types of hierarchies can result in damselfish communities...> Does there have to be a new boss? <Probably- that's part of the social dynamic of these fishes.... As far as future stocking goes, can you tell me if any/all of these are okay (I have read that they are - individually): *-Pseudochromis fridmani (Orchid Dottyback) or P. aldabraensis (Orange Dotty) or P. porphyreus (Magenta Dotty). <The fridmani is a reasonably peaceful choice. The P. aldabraensis can be a real tough customer...perhaps the perfect foil for your damsels...> *-Gobiosoma oceanops (Neon Goby) *-Archaster typicus (Sand Sifting Star) <I'd pass- their "sifting" activities can disrupt the fauna and processes that you're trying to foster> *- Centropyge loricula (Flame Angel) as the crown jewel If you twisted my arm, I would have to say that the Flame Angel is a must-have.  I am hoping you don't say "then forget everything else", but I will heed your advice.  Thanks for all you do so well, Rich. <Well, Rich- here's my thinking...If you really, really want the Flame Angel, I'd think about re-locating all of the damsels to another tank...They will not take kindly to any newcomers in this tank, especially an angelfish like this. I'd plan the population of my tank around the "must haves", and work from there. I'd go with the Flame Angel, a fridmani , the neon goby, and the false Perc...and that would do it for the fish, IMO. Keep studying the fishes that you are interested in, and make the decision based on their needs. You'll definitely be successful! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

- Adding a Centropyge - Hey wet web media crew! <And hello to you. JasonC here...> I've been in the process of setting up a saltwater community tank for the last 6 months.  It is a 80g with 20g of water in the sump.  It has about 75 lbs of live rock, but I'm constantly adding more.  As far as inverts go, I have a few shrimp, with my cleaner shrimp being my favorite.  The current fish are 4 torpedo Firefish, a breeding pair of Banggai cardinals and a neon goby.  I have a yellow tang in a hospital tank that is just now finishing up copper treatment for ich.  He is about 3 inches long.  Future additions plan on being a sleeper goby of some sort, and possibly purple Firefish (or related species). When initially looking for other fish additions, I passed by the dwarf angels due to their pugnacious behavior (except the cherub angel). However, after reading the Conscientious Marine Aquarist so many times, the idea of a flame angel sounds pretty exciting.  Will this fish be too much of a handful for my tank? <I think it would do fine, but do consider this close to your last addition. It's very important to not overstock.> I understand dominance would be established, but I want to avoid injurious attacks to the tang or even other fish. <I think the group will get along fine.> I've read the web section on flames and the faq, but I'm still not convinced this would be a good addition to the tank. <I am.> I know this is a tricky question and there are no definites, but if you guys could offer any advice from your personal experiences, I would greatly appreciate it. <I'm a big pygmy angel fan. As long as everyone has plenty of places to make a get-away, you'll be fine.> Thanks, David <Cheers, J -- >

Four Flame Angels in an 80 some gallon system? dear sir i would like to ask a question about stocking densities and compatibility have a 80 UK gallon reef tank with 50 kilo of live rock a mixture of hard and soft corals which are doing very well and have excellent growth rates i have had a flame angel for two years and would like to add three more flame angels all at once these would be the only fish in the tank in your opinion is this likely to work thank you for your advice David <I do wish this tank was about twice the volume... I would not try these additional dwarf angels. Too likely there will be too much agonistic behavior, stress. If you can, upgrade the size of tank first. Bob Fenner>

Flame angel and Trachyphyllia Dear WWM Cheers, my friend> In the new year I am thinking of trying a Trachyphyllia brain coral. <very fine, hardy, low light, sand-dwelling (free-living- never place on rock), feed 3-5 times weekly minimum with minced meaty foods... long-lived> I have one that has been reserved at my LFS for 2 weeks. I am going to pick it up in the new year. However I have a flame angel in my tank. He has been resident for about 5-6 months in my tank <hmmm... I see. Very good to hear about the hold on the livestock. Goes a long way for acclimatization into captivity (rather that frequent moves on import)>> I have read that a few other reef keepers have had trouble with this species nipping Trachyphyllia. I also currently have pulsing Xenia, Favia and Caulastrea (candy cane) coral in there. <yes... all are somewhat at risk of dwarf angels in general> These have all been left alone by my flame. Is there a chance he will nip my Trachyphyllia? <no guarantee, alas> Also I might like to add that I feed my angel on granular food in the mornings. <A Very concentrated source of food... good to hear> Its called tetra prima granules (red granules). if you need to wean marine fish onto dried food, this stuff is really excellent (if you guys get it in the USA). <agreed! An excellent staple and color enhancer. I believe that this product has gone through a marketing evolution of changed names over the years. First it was called Discus bits, then color bits... now prima? Perhaps I'm mistaken. Still... Tetra makes some very good dry foods. Thanks for sharing the tip!> Here's a pic of the tank by the way. Cheers for all your help. Regards, Jim <Happy holidays :) Be chatting soon. Anthony>

Flame angel in reef Thanks for the ph meter answer.  Turns out my system was 8.4 not 8.8. The meter needed calibration and cleaning. Coralline algae was covering one of the electrode ports.  Anyway, all is fine.  I have one question though...  the xenia in my tank is my pride and joy.  However, I've wanted to add a flame angel ever since I've been in this hobby.  I've heard mixed opinions on how reef safe they are. <most dwarf angels are a decided risk... some more than others> What are the odds it'll be a problem?  A nip or 2 on my xenia or polyps isn't the end of the world, but a total mauling would not be cool.  Thanks once again. <hard to say, but easy to test... place small specimens of Xenia with the angel in the QT tank during the 4 week isolation period  before adding to the main tank. A month of untouched Xenia in a bare tank is a very good test. Trade or rotate angels until you find a behaved one. Still no long term guarantee, but a good test/trick. Anthony>

Sponge Muncher? Hello, <Hi there! Scott F. with you today!> I have a quick question about my flame angel.  I am interested in buying a piece of live rock with some blue sponge on it (I believe that it is encrusting sponge).  Would my flame angel eat it?  I have included a picture. Thanks so much. Sincerely, Andrew Powell <Well Andrew, it's a really tough call. Just like with corals- the fish may show no interest at all in the sponge, or it may decide to snack on it continuously...Centropyge angels are not heavy sponge eaters, like Pomacanthus and other "full-sized" angels are. They do nibble on some sponge materials, but you're more likely to see them nibble on algae and detritus. You'll just have to make the decision and go for it! Try a small piece of rock first to see if the fish shows any interest in the sponge...It's probably the best way to find out, unfortunately! Good luck with this combination! My personal, gut level feeling? I'll bet that it will work out (but don't hate me if it doesn't!) Regards, Scott F> 

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