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FAQs about the Flame Angel Systems

Related Articles: Marine Angelfishes, Flame Angels

Related FAQs: Flame Angels 1, Flame Angels 2, Flame Angel Identification, Flame Angel Behavior, Flame Angel Compatibility, Flame Angel Selection, 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,   


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

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)>

Re: How to decide that I need a skimmer, Actually Flame Angel sys. f'     6/8/11
Bob, I write in continuation of our discussion from June 28, 2010, and specifically on the topic of the flame angel in my 34 gallon cube.
I previously observed: "I have a 34 gallon system that is 16 months old (a Solana cube) lit by 150W metal halide with an upgraded Tunze return pump running a little over 600 gallons/hour and a Vortex MP20 on 100% reef crest random mode (that is, random flow between 500 and 2000 gallons per hour, hits maximums and minimums perhaps 2 times in a minute each)."
And, I asked (regarding my flame angel): "What behaviours can I watch for in my angel to determine that she is finding the environment too small?" to which the answer was <<Erratic, repetitive... hiding... death>>."
So I watched my angel with great concern for a few months, and with concern for a few more, but I realized recently as we near the anniversary of this prediction that either (a) I am slowly torturing this poor creature to death without understanding what I'm doing or what harm I'm causing; or (b) for whatever anomalous reason, the angel is OK in my tank.
<About sums up the major possibilities>
I would appreciate all the detail necessary to help me assess whether I'm an evil torturer or a lucky but atypical aquarist. I myself favour the theory that the amount of flow, the complexity of the rockwork, and the lack of inhabitants keeps the angel satisfied (the only other fish are two clownfish; the blenny died, cause unknown).
<I won't make such judgment as to "evilness", but again, this species really "does much better" given a larger world. Have you read my survey piece here:
and the linked files above, particularly "Systems FAQs" for C. loricula?>
If you can stand it and to aid in your analysis of the flame's behaviour, I have put up a 4 minute video on YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3fy3iVc6eU
She's behaving fairly typically here. I would describe her as "lazily cruising about looking for food" which is more ore less her fulltime occupation.
<Oh! This is a very nice, small specimen. It appears very healthy and "happy" in this setting (for now). I'd just plan on larger quarters w/in a year or so...>
Normally she spends a little more time weaving in and out of the rockwork but overall I'd say the video behaviour is very typical. The tank hasn't been fed in several days at this point, though just before the video I did feed a two pinches of pellets. The larger clown gets the lion's share of pellets that enter the tank (about 4:1 versus the angel, and maybe 8:1 versus the small clown).
Thanks for your input, I do value it.
<Glad to share. Bob Fenner>

Flame Angel in a 30    8/11/10
I've read some conflicting information on a few different websites that claim a Flame Angel can be placed in a 30 gal. minimum size tank (which is what I have) and I'm just wondering if this is accurate or not. Most other sites say 55 min.
<I would agree with the 55 gallon minimum.>

2 Dwarf Angels In A 135g Reef? -- 01/29/08 Hello, <<Hi there!>> Just wanted to get your opinion on the likelihood of 2 dwarf angels *eibli* and *loricula *getting along in a 135 gallon (72 x 18 x 24) reef tank. <<Is a possibility. I have kept multiple Centropyge species in about this volume of water with success in the past. Do make sure to have adequate rock/hiding places for these fishes'¦and keep all well fed>> If you think this is a decently "good" idea which should I add first (both at same time)? <<I would add them at the same time>> Also, I have a *loricula* in a 55 gallon reef right now, I was considering adding a purple tang. Will the 55 gallon be too tight for the 2 of them (there are no other fish; the 135 won't be ready for approximately a year)? What are the chances the angel will accept the tang if I introduce a tang of similar size (maybe bigger?)?? <<The 55g tank is really too small for either of these fishes alone, and certainly if combined. I suggest you hold off on the Tang addition until the 135 is ready>> Thank you. <<Happy to share. EricR>>

Multiple (6+) Flame Angels in a Tank   1/22/06 Dear Bob (or whoever is on call from the WWM Crew) <James here but we are all on call> I am in the process of building a slightly unusual tank down in my shed. It will be 14ft long, 1ft wide and around 15" in height (Around 130G). I wanted to keep a shoal of fish in the tank and was wondering if you could tell me if a harem of Flame Angels would shoal, or divide up and create personal territories all over it? <Wouldn't recommend. You will have fighting and they do not shoal.  Do read here for more info. fhttp://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/centropyge/loricula.htmace > I know the biggest problem I am likely to  is getting 1 male and 5+ females and don't want to go through all this if I end up with 3 pairs of fish with close to 5ft of territory each. <If shoaling is what you want, the blue/green Chromis will work, a lot less money also.> Thanks for any information you can give. <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Gary

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.>

Strange behavior of 2 Percs and a dead Flame Angel 7/7/05 Hi, <Hello>         I currently have a 29 gallon setup (soon to be a 55 gallon) with about 35 lbs of good live rock, live sand, power head, a Coralife lighting setup with halides and actinics and a CPR BakPak.  I check my water quality regularly and it always looks very good. (ph hovers around 8.0 to 8.2, ammonia at 0, nitrites at 0 and nitrates around 10, salinity around 1.023) The tank seems to be running great.  Before I set it up, I read "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" by Robert Fenner cover to cover a few times along with many other books and talking to as many knowledgeable people I could find.  Now that is out of way :)...           After the tank cycled for about 3-4 weeks with hermit crabs and 2 blue-green Chromis, I decided to add some clownfish.  I bought 3 Tank Raised ORA clowns. <Good animals> 2 were False Percs and the other was a Maroon Clown. <Oh oh... a Maroon is too mean, aggressive to go in a 29...> They were all about the same size (about an inch and a half) and they got along great the first 2-3 days.  On the third/fourth day, one of the Percs started attacking the Maroon Clown and he would hide in the Bubble Tip Anemone (which I gave away as well since he took to it).  It got so bad that I gave him to a friend.  I figured the Perc was closer to being an adult and the maroon was still a baby and the Perc just flat out didn't want him there.  I read not to mix maroons with other clowns, but they seemed so peaceful in the store's tank.  The maroon was pretty beat up.         Things were going well until the same clown started harassing the other Perc.  It was different because "bad Nemo" would simply bully him and always stop short of actually attacking "good Nemo."  I know it is a territory/dominance issue, but it went on for about 2 weeks until I finally took "bad Nemo" back to the store where I got him.  It was getting to the point where if "good Nemo" came out of hiding at all (I felt bad when I looked in the tank and anytime "gn" would see me and come out just to get bullied by "bn"), he would be harassed and chased all around the tank without quarter, causing heavy breathing and I am sure a lot of stress.  Was it because they were the same size, the tank not big enough for the both of them and/or one was just a particularly mean fish? <Mostly the tank size> I am not about to sit back and watch one fish stress another one out (and possibly kill him in the process).  Does it sound like I did the right thing, or does it sound like I jumped the gun here?  I called my buddy at the shop and he said that was unusual after such a period of time and that I might want to bring one back and exchange him for a smaller one. <A wise move>         Speaking of jumping the gun, that day I bought the 3 clowns, I was at a different store looking for anemone's for my newly acquired clowns and I saw the Flame Angels were half-off in price. <...> Since the Flame was to be the last fish in the tank, I figured why not.   <How many reasons do you want?> (Trust me, I knew better but went along anyway)  The Flame did really well for about 2 weeks, he ate constantly and never bothered a soul, then got a case of Popeye in both eyes.  One eye went back to normal and the other didn't.  I didn't know if it was stress related (with the maroon and Perc fighting constantly) or just new tank syndrome. <All the above and more> I took the Flame back to the good shop that I exclusively deal with now and they hospitalized him for about a week and then he died all of a sudden.  My buddy at the shop said he almost had him eating out of his hand and the next morning he was lying in the sand, barely moving.  I have also read that some Flames mysteriously have been dying after about a month in capture probably due to capture methods like poisoning, etc.  Any thoughts? <This one very likely died from stress, strain...> I will let my new 55 cycle for about 2 months before I transfer any fish over from the 29. <Ahh! Good> Thanks for your time.  Your website is AWESOME! Jeremy <Thank you for sharing your experiences, thoughts, ideas. Bob Fenner>

Flame Angel in a 20 gallon? Thanks for your earlier advice.  Off the top of your head, would you think I could put a Flame Angelfish in this tank (it would be alone in there, except for the small crab)?  Tom >>>Hello again Tom, There are a few factors that determine whether or not a fish is appropriate for a given tank size. Not only the size of the fish comes into play, but it's activity level as well. Flame angels are VERY active fish, and use very inch of a 200 gallon aquarium. For this reason alone I would discourage keeping one in such a small tank. An argi angel (Centropyge argi) or C. acanthops would be much more comfortable in this system. They are also much more reliable in the hardiness department. Good luck! Jim<<< 

Flame Angel Hi, I have had a Flame Angel for about a month in a 30 gallon fish-only tank.  When I got it readily accepted Pygmy Angel Formula. Now I noticed he doesn't  swim around as much. And when he swims he leans toward his right side. Can  you help me? He has no bullies in his tank. Thanks >> Hmm, it may well be that the "bully" in the tank is the Flame Angel (Centropyge loricula) itself... A thirty is too small a system for this species...  Do you have much live rock? This would help to make the system more acceptable and psychologically fit... otherwise, if you can't move the animal to larger quarters, all you can do is wait and hope it adjusts to being in your thirty. Bob Fenner

- Pale Flame Angel - Crew, <Hello, JasonC here...> Thanks for your help a few months ago, really helped. Tank as a whole is doing really well now! I've had a Flame Angel for 8 weeks, main tank for 4 weeks. He has been feeding well and is very active. But in the last week I've started to notice that he is getting a little pale around the eyes and gills. The food is as follows; Frozen Mysis shrimp, Frozen bloodworms, Frozen Emerald Entree, thawed/mixed/refrozen in distilled water in smaller chunks twice a day. Every other day I'll give them some Formula II flakes as a snack. The Flame also eats algae from the rocks constantly. <Ahh good...> I've been reading about Zoe so I got some. I've been soaking the food in it for about 15 minutes since Saturday. I'm sure if this is it, it will take longer then a few doses to fix the problem. I've also been told that garlic will help, by the LFS, is this true? <I don't think so myself... as of late garlic has been touted to fix everything including hair loss, but at best it will just make your skimmer effluent stinky. I think it 'may' be helpful to good health, but it's most certainly not a cure-all.> I thought it was for more anti-bacterial then for deficiencies. Does the course of action seem ok? Should I be trying something else? <No, I think you are on the right track - the foods you are feeding are all vitamin enriched, and feeding a variety is the best route to go... personally, I add vitamins every time I feed and see nothing wrong with you doing the same. As for the coloration on the fish, I wouldn't be super-concerned as long as the behavior is consistent. It can take as long as two to three months for a fish to become adjusted to its new environment.> Also, I've just purchased a Hagen PO test kit. Getting 0.0 to .25 readings, what range am I shooting for? 0? <Ideally, zero, but a trace amount is often transient and not much to be worried about.> Thanks for all your help, Dave Water conditions (tested yesterday): 0 NH4, 0 NO2, 0 NO3, 8.2 PH, 460 Ca, 125 Alk, 79 temp, 1.024 salinity 75 gallon AGA, EuroReef ES5-2, 90lbs LR. <Cheers, J -- >

Flame Angel (8-2-03) Are these fish hard to keep? and would it be appropriate to keep one in a 20 gal w/  a clownfish?<They are pretty easy to keep but I would not advise putting one in anything less than a 30 gal. Cody><A sixty is my minimum. RMF> Nick

Angelfishes for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care
New eBook on Amazon: Available here
New Print Book on Create Space: Available here

by Robert (Bob) Fenner
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