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FAQs about Genus Apolemichthys Angelfishes

Related Articles: Apolemichthys Angels

Related FAQs: Marine Angelfishes In General, Selection, Behavior, Compatibility, Health, Feeding, Disease

An adult Three Spotted Angel, Apolemichthys trimaculatus, in the Maldives.

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

Skin issue ID       1/18/19
Good morning all (here in Thailand) Our tank is a 1800 Lt L shape with currently only fish and life rock. The system is about 9 months old now and had cycled around 4 months before we added any fish (cycle only took 2 weeks as we used treated fresh ocean water and added bacteria from the start). All fish went through a 3 weeks Cupramine treatment in a QT tank before being added to the system. Since fish were added all fish eating well and seem very healthy eating both dry food regular Nori sheets added and every other day we add a freshly made frozen mix with garlic added to it.
Since a day or 2 now we have start seeing a condition on the Goldflake skin. It does not look like Ich or Velvet to me but rather a loss of slime coat and scales look burned or getting loose or something not really sure what to make of it....maybe you guys can help ID with the pictures attached (bad camera though) The fish itself is showing no effects at all still being super active not shy at all (eats out of our hand) eating well (being one of the more aggressive eaters in the tank even)
<Not protozoan, I agree...>
Water parameters look as good as possible to us with the following readings API test water shows 0 Nitrates 0
<How are NO3 rendered thus?>
Phosphates 0 Ammonia Salt levels 1.025 temp 26C Ph 8.0-8.2
So not sure what is going on with the Goldflake here hope you guys can help ID this condition.....Other fish in the tank are Black Tang, Purple Tang, Achilles Tang, 3 Yellow Tang, Powder blue tang, Blue Tang, Foxface, Flame Angel, several Blue Green Chromis, quit a large cleanup crew with a mix of
crabs, Hermits, snails and 4 cleaner shrimp.
<IF this fish was new; added a few days back, I'd say it had been dropped (on the floor) while being handled, moved. I would do nothing medicine wise; just leave the fish in place. As you state it is feeding, it will likely heal on its own. Bob Fenner>

Bandit angels Prazipro quarantine    2/21/18
Hi Crew,
<Hey Keith>
I've 2 bandit angels in quarantine tank. One of the bandit show signs of fluke, which I then administer Prazipro through the recommended dosage.
After 4 days there were still showing symptoms of fluke.
<I'd now (and would have done enroute on buying, moving these fish) pH adjusted freshwater dip/bath these Angels, with formalin/formaldehyde and aeration as gone over on WWM>
I then did a major water change and administered the second dosage. (75% of the recommended dosage). Immediately 1 day after the second treatment, One of the bandit ceased to eat, however, still showed interest in the food. This got me worried and I did another major water change. The other bandit is still eating like a pig. Did the treatment caused one of the bandit to cease eating?
<It's possible, yes>

How Long later should I begin to worry if the bandit continue not to accept prepared food. Both were eating fine prior to treatment. Is it normal for Prazipro to suppress the appetite of the angel fish?
<As stated, can do so... who knows the mechanism here? Killing worms in the lumen? >
What will be my next course of action, if any.
<As stated; the reading on WWM re dips/baths, additions therein>
Thank you
<Welcome. Do write back if your course of action isn't clear. Flukes are VERY common on w/ wild-collected Pomacanthids. Bob Fenner>
Re: Bandit angels Prazipro quarantine    2/21/18

Hi Bob
Thank you for the reply. through observation earlier, the bandit is still yawning/twitching. I'm assuming the 2nd dose of Prazipro would've knocked most of the flukes off and the bandit may just be irritated by it.
<Again; a possibility definitely. A./P. arcuatus is a fave; and know that they do twitch quite a bit naturally>
Given that I've done two dosage of Prazipro, will it be too early to commence the dip now/soon?
<Not too soon if the fish is in good shape)>
The fish seems very interested in food but just wouldn't swallow them down. Also, could it be a possibility that there may be an ulcer/growth inside the mouth (since I've caught him yawning several times)?
If this is the case, will dip still be the way to go or alternatively can I perform Mxyazin treatment for 5 days.
<.... I'd do the dip/bath>
The plus point is there's still some weight on the fish and at least he's responsive to food being thrown into the QT :)
Thank you
<W. BobF>
Re: Bandit angels Prazipro quarantine     2/22/18

Hi Bob
Just performed a fw dip. Couldn't see much after the dip,
<Carefully decant the dip liquid... look for translucent small worms at the bottom>
perhaps was the double dosage of Prazi. Fish started eating again less than an hour after dip. It's gobbling down nls pallets. Thank you!!!

<Ah, welcome. B> 

Xanthurus Cream Angelfish      1/17/16
Hi there.....first off I want to say I love your site...and also love Bob Fenner's Angelfish book....such a wealth of info.
<Ahh! Thank you for your kind, encouraging words>
My question for you all is this....what do you know about the Xanthurus Cream Angelfish?
<A bit>
Is it hardy....too aggressive etc.
....Thanks for any info!
<I give this fish a six out of ten rating for hardiness; the best for its genus; and consider it tough enough for most fish only to full blown reef arrangements. It is not aggressive as far as Pomacanthids go. More on the scale of most Butterflyfishes than an Angel>
I have searched the web..but I haven't found much. I found one on Live Aquaria that I am considering.
<An excellent source. Am familiar in turn with where they buy from and the collectors in turn who service this wholesaler>
Thanks again!!!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

bandit angelfish care      1/8/14
Hi Bob. I have a 350gal Fowlr aquarium for a year now and currently is keeping a mix angelfish, butterfly fish, tangs and some wrasses. But i had no luck with the fish i like the most: bandit angelfish.
<Not an easily kept species Lai>
So i wonder if u could shed some light on the proper care of this species. I live in Malaysia and  got my fish supply from Singapore. My tank is 25°c, dKH 8, calcium 450ppm, magnesium 1000ppm,
<Out of balance w/ Ca, but likely okay for FOWLR>
 ammonia 0, nitrate 40ppm
<I'd keep under 20 ppm>
 and ph 8.2.
<What little I know (have collected only  two specimens over the years, though have likely seen fifty or so in the wild), is posted on WetWebMedia.com   
Use the search tool (on every page) by the common or scientific name. Bob Fenner>

Bandit angel, slight damage        12/12/12
Hello guys :)
have another sick fish that would love to know your thoughts :)
so recently I got a beautiful 3.5" bandit angel ....
<Not an easy species to keep... needs a large (hundreds of gallons) space w/ lots of life on a good deal of rock... to supply foods>
he started eating algae from the QT, I then harvested hair algae, and bubble algae and grape algae from other tanks and fed him, loved them ! he also nips on Nori but that's about it ! he has been with me in QT since Thursday and now Tuesday. still not tooo worried.
when I got him, he had a bump under his mouth, I didn't think of it much, but I see its still there and well started thinking the worse, maybe its fungus .... and thought Id see what you think. I have below links to his pictures.
the tank he is in [QT attached to my main SPS tank with UV in line] is at 77-78 now.  I have lowered it from 81. during this week until the weekend I will drop another temp or two and will get to 74-75 range by the weekend.
thank you as always and have a good rest of the day :)
Regards, Ata,
<This looks like a typical collection, handling damage/trauma spot. No treatment necessary or advised. Do see WWM re this species (search under the common and scientific name). Bob Fenner>
Re: Bandit angel       12/12/12

Hello Bob,     always a pressure
<And pleasure?>
 getting your reply :)
me and my LFS and friends and RC ppl were thinking in live of virus, bacteria or ...
<Not primary... perhaps secondary>
but you have just made me feel much better, I too hope its just some scar from the shipment or ... but this morning it is getting a bit bigger ! I have dropped temp more and will up the feeding.
he is going in a 250 Gallon matured SPS tank eventually.
thank you again sir.
Regards, Ata
<Again, not atypical w/ such sores... and trouble w/ this genus, species.
Keep reading. Bob Fenner>

Angelfish Nipping Anemone    4/7/12
Hi there,
I have had a Cream Angel (Apolemichthys xanthurus) for well over a year now. The specimen was 2" long when obtained and is now a nice 4" and has developed a wonderful personality and eats from my hand. Contrary to what I have read the specimen I have is very peaceful and doesn't bother anyone at all. About five months ago I introduced a sea anemone (H. sebae), which has grown very well in the last few months and only a few days ago I was observing how the colour in the centre had become very intense and the outer tentacles which had been bleached were slowly regaining their colour.
Both the anemone and the Cream Angel have co-existed peacefully until three days ago.
I came home to find the anemone closed. After observation I found that the angelfish is nipping at it.
I am rather attached to the angelfish and do not want to get rid of it and I love anemones. I have taken out my autofeeder in an attempt to keep the specimen well fed through out the day.
Is there anything else I can do short from removing one of the two?
<You might try covering the anemone (with something with perforations, that's chemically inert... for a few days... Or add a Clownfish or two that will protect the anemone from the Angel>
 The anemone opens up in the night when the angel is asleep and is open for a large part of the morning also but suddenly I find it closed and the angel in the vicinity.
<Otherwise they'll have to be separated. Bob Fenner>
Re: Angelfish Nipping Anemone    4/7/12

Hi Bob,
Thanks for the great idea. Tomorrow I shall cover it with a perforated plastic container. I hope it stops. Otherwise I am considering setting up a 20 - 25g cube as a dedicated Anemone Tank which will be plumbed into the sump of the 55g display. Sad.
<Ahh... or the poss. of adding a Clownfish or two... for protection>
Went snorkeling today and saw some lovely fish. Fantastic.
<Wish I was out there w/ you>
Anyway thanks... And warm regards.
<And you, BobF>
Re: Angelfish Nipping Anemone, Apolemichthys    4/9/12

Just to let you know that I installed my automated feeder and it now feeds four times during the 9 hour photoperiod and this seems to have solved the problem.
 The angel has stopped being so focused on the anemone as it spends a lot of time waiting near the area where the food falls in from the feeder. I did notice the anemone closed once today but it has more or less been open.
If things get better then that's great otherwise will try your perforated container idea.
<Thank you for this further input. BobF>

Bandit angelfish suddenly stops eating    5/29/11
Sent from my iPad
Dear WetWeb media crew,
Hello! I have a question regarding my bandit angelfish. I have had him for about 9 months now, and from the day I got him, he was eating like a pig. I feed him new life spectrum pellets, Julian Sprung's seaweed flakes, ocean nutrition large angelfish formula, and some fresh chopped shrimps or clams. I soak the foods in Selcon and Boyd's vita Chem marine formula, and add some Vibrance powder. He is housed in a 130gallon aquarium with the following fishes:
Flame angel
Rock beauty
<Mmm, may not get along>
Cuban hogfish
Hawaiian yellow tang
A pair of true percale <Not the sheets, Percula> clowns
My question is that the bandit angelfish has suddenly stopped eating two weeks ago.
<Mmm, way too common for "Holos", Bandit Angels>
He's still very active, swims up to me to ask for food. Seems to be looking for food along the live rocks and substrate, but I haven't seen him actually take in anything. I'm very worried as he's starting to get thin.
My tank's temperature is at 27c, nitrites - 0, nitrates - less than 1, ammonia -0, salinity 1.024. There are no signs of any disease, and the other fishes are doing perfectly fine. I hope you can give me some advice as I really do not want to lose this fish. Thanks very much for your time and help.
Sincerely yours,
<First, I'd remove the Rock Beauty to elsewhere... just for the chance/likelihood that it's presence is a factor.... I'd add any "very fresh" live rock I could find... with live sponge material on it... And keep offering the listed foods. Bob Fenner>
Re: Bandit angelfish suddenly stops eating    5/29/11
Hi Mr. Fenner,
Wow, thanks so much for your quick reply. I will try to catch the rock beauty and move it to a quarantine tank temporarily. Although, the bandit is mostly the aggressor , he chases the rock beauty around most of the time.
<Yes... still stressful>
I will also try to find some live rocks with sponge growing on them.......just don't know if I would be able to find any here in the Philippines.
<Assuredly you will... I have collected Bandits (in Hawaii) and worked in the trade in the PI (back in the 60's)...>
Thanks again!
Sincerely yours,
<Welcome! BobF>
Re: Bandit angelfish suddenly stops eating   5/29/11

Dear Mr. Fenner,
Thanks so much , again. I will update you as to how my bandit is doing after I take out the rock beauty.
<Thank you... I don't want to leave w/ a negative bent, so I'd like to state that the recent years have seen quite a few folks getting very small specimens, and a few of these that I'm aware have been in captivity for
years. Larger (10 cm., 4" overall specimens have had long histories of poor survival in captivity... That you've had yours for nine months is laudable>
<Bob Fenner>

Holo-Holo Tax Question 6/10/07 Hi Bob (and crew,) hope all is well with you. I have a taxonomic question regarding the Holo-Holo or Bandit Angel. As far as I can tell you are the only source that places this beauty in Holacanthus (Fenner 2007). The most recent genetic study that I'm aware of confirmed that it should be listed in Apolemichthys (Allen and others 1998). FishBase also lists A arcuatus as valid (FishBase 2007), which you mentioned. And other sites report the same as well as specifically listing H arcuatus as "invalid" (ITIS 2007). My question is... What supports your belief that the Holo-Holo belongs in Holacanthus? I am by no means a biologist, (just a curious hobbyist,) so please don't think that I, personally, am challenging your conclusion. Thanks for your time, and as always, thank you and the WWM crew for your dedication to the enrichment of aquatic hobbies. -Tyler <Mmm, really just dragging my feet here... as the older pet-fish literature lists this species in the genus... A matter of trying to help folks find it here. Bob Fenner> Non-WWM Citations: Allen G. R., Steene R, Allen M. 1998. A Guide To Angelfishes & Butterflyfishes. Perth (WA): Odyssey Publishing/Tropical Reef Research. 31 p. Frische J. 1999. Marine Angelfishes. Neptune (NJ): TFH Publications. 36 p. [ITIS] Integrated Taxonomic Information System. 2007 May. ITIS home page. <http://www.itis.gov>. Accessed 2007 Jun 4 Froese R. Froese D. Pauly. Editors. FishBase. 2007 Apr. FishBase home page. <http://www.fishbase.org> Accessed 2007 Jun 4

Marine three spot angel system  - 05/13/2006 Picked up a Flagfin angel two months ago he's very hardy, <Thank goodness... most "just die"> the tank is a 75 gallon with refugium and live rock , he's about four inches long should he be ok for one year. want to get a 110 gallon five foot tank or a 120 four foot which would be best or does it matter. Ron <Mmm, the bigger the better... regardless of length. Bob Fenner>

Goldflake Angel Dead in a Day, Apolemichthys in gen. sel.   4/18/06 Greetings to the WWM Crew.  I have been a long-time fan/reader.  I am stumped by the sudden death of a Goldflake Angel 1 day after I placed him in my 260 gallon system.  Let me first give you the background. <Best> In January of this year I set up a new 260 gallon aquarium:  1-1/2 inch sand bed; 150 - 200 lbs. of live rock from 2 of my other tanks.  From my start-up time through present, parameters have consistently tested at <3 ppm nitrates, 1.24 specific gravity, 8.1-8.2 ph.  Livestock for the past 6 weeks have included 3 Lyretail Anthias (I male, 2 females), 1 Foxface (Siganus vulpinis), 1 leather coral, 1 torch coral, some mushrooms and cleaner crew critters.  All 4 of the above fish are in the 2-1/2 - 3 Inch range.  All of the above inhabitants have been doing quite well in all respects.  Two weeks ago I added an orange-spotted goby (v. puellaris); he has been a great sand-sifter and has also done very well.  This Thursday I added a cleaner shrimp, which has seemed to thrive, albeit he does not clean the fish as much as they seem to want. In my 12 years in the hobby I have always wanted to obtain a Goldflake Angel, and I splurged and ordered one online from a reputable dealer.  The dealer told me they had the fish for a month and that it was doing well. The Goldflake arrived this past Friday morning looking well, and after a 2-hour acclimation process I placed him in my tank.  (I long ago gave up the practice of keeping a quarantine tank for new arrivals, coming to the conclusion, rightfully or otherwise, that there is less stress to the new fish placing it directly in my main tank as opposed to a quarantine tank regimen.) <A gamble... but a better one to skip for some species, purposes> The Goldflake from the start seemed fine, exploring his new environment without any signs of stress, distress, or bother from his new tankmates.  He barely ate at that evening's feeding, but that is not unusual for a new arrival.  Saturday morning (yesterday) the Goldflake again just picked a little at feeding time (a gumbo of Mysis, brine, plankton and blood worms) and seemed to hide more than the first day, but otherwise he seemed fine: no signs of distress, etc.  I spent all afternoon doing spring cleaning/yard work, and when I returned to the tank at 6:00 p.m., the Goldflake was dead at the bottom of my tank.  He had several, wide bright red bands up and down each of his sides --- appears to be internal bleeding --- but no external signs of injury or damage.  I placed him in my freezer and plan on calling the dealer Monday.  I don't know that their guarantee will apply, but I am concerned nonetheless before trying to add other new fish. <In these cases, you want to call immediately... leave a message, e-mail... within 24 hours... a pic if possible...> I have checked and re-checked all my parameters --- even checked the test kits I am using (Marine enterprises and Tetra), and all check out as posted above.  All the other tank inhabitants are still in excellent health. So I am stumped as to what could possibly have caused this fish's quick demise.  Any insights  you can share will be tremendously appreciated. Thank you. <Only can guess here, but will tell you I've been out with collectors of this species... They broke up an inordinate amount of Acroporid coral to extract... very stressful to all (including me)... And this species, genus does often "just die mysteriously", particularly just after being moved. May have been some sort of internal "time bomb" here... Perhaps the Siganid poked it but good? At any length, nothing "jumps out" here in the way of definitive or probable cause. Sorry for the loss. Bob Fenner> Elliot
Re: Goldflake Angel Dead in a Day  - 04/19/06
Thanks for your reply.  Through the process of elimination, the only thing I could come up with myself is the possibility, as you mention, that the Foxface may have "poked it but good".  There is a large, sheltered cave-like area under much of the rock where some of the fish retreat at night. <And likely stay put> Perhaps the Foxface was claiming territory.  Question: I realize the venomous quality of the Foxface, but could a poke from it actually do in the Goldflake like this (internal bleeding and all)? <Yes, assuredly> If so I may want to move the Foxface from this tank (to another) before attempting to add any new fish. Elliot <Life to you my friend. Bob Fenner>

Apolemichthys trimaculatus (three spot angel) odd behavior and possible fin rot  12/04/05 Hello, <Hi Katja.> I have a problem with a three spot angel. <I'm sorry to hear that.> I've had it for about two years. Over the last week it started swimming oddly, on the side, making loops. <Yes this is troublesome behavior. Is it limited to this specimen (how is the behavior of the tank mates)? Any sudden changes in environment, how is the diet?> Before he was swimming around the whole day, while now it makes a short round and retreats to the cave, where it is dark. He hovers a little above the sand turned on his side. He breaths quite quickly <Possibly a sign of trauma or even gill flukes? Have there been nay new additions to the tank and could they be subjecting the angel to aggression or perhaps an illness even?> and the other thing I noticed is that it seems as if its tail is getting smaller (as being eaten away) and slightly coloured red. The other day I noticed something like a very tiny white thread (about 1 cm long) hanging from his tail. It later disappeared. The fish still eats. I suspect fin rot, but I would like your opinion on this, before I start medicating it. <Was the deterioration rapid, as in overnight or did it happen slowly? Hard to say without seeing, even so go ahead and search WWM re: marine angel disease and fin rot.> The water parameters are fine, with the exception of some nitrates. Other fish are also ok. <How much nitrates? Please be specific this is important.> Thanks in advance for your help! Katja <Adam J.> 

Apolemichthys guezei  9/24/05 Hi Bob. I recently had the pleasure to speak with you at MACNA, and I forgot to mention this fish I have. <How nice!> I am nowhere near certain on any ID, but based on the 2 fishes I've seen and currently house, I am trying to narrow my searches down. The first time I was able to see this fish was at ERI in Los Angeles. I did not buy the fish, but I remember them asking $200+ for the fish. <About right> At first glance I thought it was an A. armitagei, but after looking I realized I was mistaken. The fish was a good 5.5-6". After getting back from Tonga, I noticed my local wholesaler received the same fish, at a much smaller size of 3.5". I jumped on the opportunity to buy the fish. At this point I was thinking it is just a Hybrid Centropyge, possibly between nox and flavissimus/heraldi. I've had this fish now for 4 weeks, nursing it back from an internal parasite. It is very shy, so I have not been able to get a good photo. The coloration on the edges & fins of the fish is black. The inside forms an oval, and is a dusky yellow color. The anal fin has an "X" squiggled along it. I have searched FishBase, Google, etc., and have come across a photo of the Reunion Angelfish (Es. guezei). I also noticed that Randall had gone diving for this fish over the course of several weeks and did not see a single specimen. Is it possible that this fish is the same? <Yes> Unfortunately I do not know much about the origins of the fish, other than the probability that it came from the Philippines or Indonesia. <I would ask Rob Miller/ERI re... he will know> Does this pattern on the anal fin that both fish shared help any with identification? <Not me... unfortunately I have not seen this species either... in the wild nor captivity> Due to the size of the fish in LA, I'm hesitant to think they are Centropyge sp. due to the adult size of both C. nox & flavissimus. Basically, I'm stumped :) Thanks for any input, Joe Russo <I don't think this is a Centropyge cross... as you state re size... and their body shapes (of the two genera) are rather distinct. Please do send along images when you can. Cheers, Bob Fenner>  

Re: Apolemichthys guezei  9/27/05 Bob, please find attached a decent picture of the fish. Best I could get. You can kinda make out some markings on the fins. Thanks, Joe Russo <... very interesting... I do see the resemblance to the genus Centropyge you mentioned... does appear to be a cross... between genera? Strange. Bob Fenner>

Xanthotis angel availability Hey guys, I have a question regarding the Xanthotis, yellow ear or red sea angel?  It's not in stock on any of the websites and I never see it at my LFS, are these too rare?  More rare than the Goldflake?  Where can I get a hold of one? Thanks, Jason <Kind of rare here due to cost, hauling from the Red Sea... more common in Western European markets... not considered a great beauty (I like it though). Same sites to try: Marine Center, Dr.s Foster & Smith, Marine Depot (.coms). Bob Fenner>

Goldflake Angels Thanks Bob.  Are Goldflake Angels that hard to come across and where can I find one, that would be my second choice? Thanks, Jeff <Jeff, MikeB here, I find that Goldflake Angels can be affordable (found less than $100) but that depends on your budget.  You can try your local fish store (they could order one if they don't have one in stock) or you could try online from one of the WetWebMedia sponsors.  Good Luck. MikeB.>
Re: Goldflake Angels
Thanks Mike B.  I found an online fish place (saltwaterfish.com) that is offering a four inch Goldflake for $149.  Do you think that's overpriced or about right?  Second, I never saw this fish in person, only over the internet, in your opinion, is it really as beautiful in person as they say or no? Thanks again, Jeff <Jeff, $149 isn't that bad of a deal if you can get a healthy fish.  I did some searching and found that that is about the going price.  I feel that it might be a good idea to buy livestock that you can see.  I never liked buying a fish that someone else picked out for me.  Also, there are many other dwarf angels that are not as rare and affordable that might be a good fit for your tank.  Good Luck. MikeB.>

Looking for Goldflake Angels Thanks Bob.  Are Goldflake Angels that hard to come across and where can I find one, that would be my second choice? Thanks, Jeff <Not that hard to come by all year long... but not easy to collect in the wild (requires breaking up considerable amounts of Acropora)... Try Drs.Foster&Smith and Marine Center (.coms). Bob Fenner>

Flagfin angel Hello,  I bought a 4-5 inch Flagfin angel last weekend. <Not a very aquarium-hardy species>   Did a 5 minute freshwater bath and put it into my quarantine tank.  I noticed slight redness near it's pectoral fin but the fish has been active and eating.   Today the redness appears slightly more spread, almost from the head area along the lateral line of the body.  Is this fish in big trouble or as long as it is eating will it fight off whatever is bothering it.  Looking for some advice to ensure it is healthy before putting it in my main system.  Thanks Joe <I do hope your specimen rallies, though most who start to slide, continue to do so. I encourage you to read over the materials archived on www.WetWebMedia.com re angelfish systems, disease... I would supplement this fish's nutrition by soaking its foods in Selcon or similar. Bob Fenner>

Apolemichthys easy to keep? hey Bob, I had a question for u.  U have a photo of the Flagfin angel  as being a desirable species for the marine aquarium but don't have any in depth  info on it. <Depth? Maybe see fishbase.org re> I was wondering, is it a high maintenance fish or  is it easy to  keep? and same with the rock beauty. <Not easy to keep. Gets about the lowest survival ranking from me, most other sources. Every now and then a specimen will come in nicely, adapt well and live for several months... the vast majority "die mysteriously". Bob Fenner> thanks Bob, Jason

We met many months ago... Goldflake Angel   Hi Bob, we met many months ago in NC at Fish World, you might remember a guy that told you that, that `s all you brought with you a beginners books? And I said that it is a very great beginners book at that. Anyway for the reason why I'm emailing you is this.........    This day, Fish World had a fish sale and i driving there to see if i would be interested in anything, i was a brown tang and red sea Sailfin, but also with that Jeff the owner of fish world said to me that he like that i took this Goldflake Angelfish, now he had a very badly biting eye and much not give much for his chances and he would cost $295.00 if he wasn't in his condition.  So I put him in my 180 reef tank, I had few other reef tanks, but they had some mean tangs in them that would give him chase. Now today was his first day and i only knew what side the tank he was on and I wanted to be sure of his exact spot of location so that I may anchor for him broccoli and romaine lettuce right at his spot in hope he will gain much strength to do well for his better health situation. What I would like from you if you any ideas, what other things I could offer him in best for his survival?   Maybe this would help you know who i am, i think i told you i have a pair dragon moray eels.  Hope to hear from you   .  Bye     Lionel    ><{{{{"> <Ahh, yes Lionel. Glad to hear from you. This species of marine angel is surprisingly tough and you likely are going to save its life from simply having moved it to the 180 reef... I would soak whatever foods you offer in a supplement like Selcon for ten, fifteen minutes before offering and leave the fish be for a few months (not add much other livestock to the system). You won't see it much as they are very shy, but patience will pay off here. Bob Fenner>

Banded Angel Bob, Zo say's your going to Hawaii in a few days. Must be nice, I have to stay home and shovel the snow. <Forget that!> If by any chance you see a 3 inch or small Banded angel, feel free to bring it back and send it to me. <Those holo holo's don't live in captivity> Old Town Aquarium had one last summer, but I didn't find till the fall. Another day too late and a $350 dollars too short........... Do you know any fish collector in Hawaii that may be able to help in this life long quest? <John... come visit them in their habitat... deepwater though. This species really is bunk in aquariums> Have fun on your trip, John "drugs saved my life" Dawe <Thanks. Be seeing you pharmacist type. Bob Fenner>

Goldflake Angel 2/5/03 http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?ID=10938&genusname=Apolemichthys&speciesname=xanthopunctatus Food items: http://www.fishbase.org/TrophicEco/FoodItems.cfm?ID=10938&GenusName=Apolemichthys&SpeciesName=xanthopunctatus Dear Bob, <Anthony Calfo in your service> I have recently been given a 4" Goldflake out of a friends 7000 Ltr System. <wow... buy that man a beer! Make is a good pint too!> At the moment he is in a 100 Gallon tank with about 15kg LR and a single strawberry Dottyback...skimmed etc etc. Feeding very well and looking stunning. <excellent to hear. This fish needs just a little pampering for its hardiness (strict diet and precarious health without it). Its not as durable as, say... a Blue Caribbean angel or a Red Sea P. maculosus> My question is I would like to move him into my 200 G reef tank which has 100Kg Fiji and is1.5 years old. <Yikes... you did say reef? Hmmm... a small calculated Rick here (eating desirable invertebrates. If not nibbling coral... then certainly sponge, tunicates, etc)> It currently houses a 'Vlamingi' Tang, Yellow Eye Tang, Sailfin Tang, Pair Maroon Clowns (Goldstripe) and 5 Chromis plus two six spot gobies and numerous SPS and LPSs corals. The tank is very peaceful with the odd minor quarrel but no fighting. Will the Goldflake mix with the others or is it likely I am asking for trouble. <definitely asking for trouble. I'm assuming that the tank is peaceful now because the tangs are both not much more than 6" (15cm) yet and the maroons are young (less than 3yrs old). In time your angel might not eat coral because it is too afraid to eat at all in this tough crowd! Do consider too that this tank is even too small for the Vlamingii in the long term (even if it only grows to half of its 60 cm (2 feet long). Vlamingi: http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?ID=6024&genusname=Naso&speciesname=vlamingii > These fish are very expensive here in the UK  (about 450.00 US) and I don't want to put him in jeopardy. Look forward to your reply. Steve. <agreed, my friend. My advice is to leave this angel right where it is... do enjoy the safe bet. Best regards from across the pond. Anthony>
Re: Goldflake Angel 2/6/03
Many Thanks for the reply on the Goldflake Angel Fish. <our great pleasure, my friend> If he stays right where he is, what other fish could I mix him with that would also look good and cause little by way of conflict. <many possibilities here. Our goal would be to select something likely smaller, innocuous and non-threatening to this angel's territorial instinct. Do seek more planktivorous fishes so the angel does not fear direct competition (on algae, and benthic inverts for food). The list of options would be pages long. Having seen and kept so many species... I'm now inclined toward oddballs and not necessarily colorful fishes. If you like, do browse the atlas' and our WWM archives and beyond... make a short list (say, a half to a dozen candidates) and pass it back to us if you'd care to hear an opinion on best bets.> Regards, Steve Tope <kindly, Anthony>

Apolemichthys arcuatus, the Bandit Angelfish Hello Mr. Fenner, <Howdy Peter? Just a quick compliment to you and all the others contributing to this website. The information is invaluable! <Much good help here... with folks like you!> I was looking over the articles, specifically Genus Apolemichthys Angelfishes, and noticed that not only didn't you have a picture of the Bandit Angelfish, <All the pix (aquarium) I have the animals are "about to go the route" at wholesalers...> but in that space, you wrote something about waiting for a deep dive to get the picture. Well, of the very few fishes I was able to photograph while snorkeling in Kauai in 1995, Apolemichthys arcuatus, the Bandit Angelfish, was one of them.  <Wow... this is shallow water...> It couldn't have been in more than twelve feet of water, since anything much deeper and the disposable underwater camera I was using would not have worked. (And believe me, I tried with plate sized pairs of Saddleback and Ornate Butterflies further down!!). It was very shy, and in fact I had to turn a large rock over and snap the picture without even looking through the viewfinder (hence a bit out of focus). So anyways, just thought I'd share this note about seeing it in shallow water and immediately off shore. Here is the pic, by the way. Feel free to use it if you like. <Thanks much... will be posting. Bob Fenner> Thanking you and your colleagues again for this website, <A pleasure>

Re: Red Mangrove Plants for nutrient reduction (actually, feeding a Flagfin Angel) Thanks. What is the best diet for the Apolemichthys trimaculatus in the long run? <the very widely diet that you are offering already is quite impressive to me. Be sure to simply mix up as many rich greens and plankton like substitutes (krill, mysids, Gammarus, etc). Also some sponge from Angel Formula and the rotation of live rock for nibbling periodically. Do consider a home made fish food recipe like found in Bob's Conscientious Marine Aquarist, here on Wet Web Media.com and beyond. A homemade recipe could be the most nutritious with a rich mixture of high protein crustacea and plant matter. Best regards, Anthony>

Goldflake angelfish hello, I have been keeping angelfish for a number of years now and I still haven't found any in-depth information on Goldflake angelfish. All I know is that you rank them a (1) which must mean they are pretty hardy.  <My highest rating of three> The owner of the LFS that I shop at told me that they are not that hardy of fish and that is why he rarely picks them up from the wholesaler in Tampa bay fl.  <Okay> I don't know which information is true. Even though he is selling him to me for a discounted price- $175 that is still a lot of money to waste so I wanted to get an experts opinion on the hardiness and . <For such a person with a professed in-depth interest in Pomacanthids, am surprised you don't have Allen, Allen and Steene's latest book on the group: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BookMatters/GidBF,As.htm They give the species a "medium" rating/ranking... You should own and study this book> I have a 125gallon tank that has been cycled for about 6 months now with plenty of (cured) Fiji LR, I just moved the past inhabitants to the new 180gal so I hopefully want to get a Goldflake for that tank. Should I add the Goldflake angel first? And what type of tank inhabitants should I get?  <Up to you> I was thinking towards semi-peaceful fish such as sunburst Anthias, pictillus Anthias, gold-stripe maroon clown, flame Hawkfish, and maybe a flame angel -2" (very small) and a small purple tang-2". Could you refer me to a book/website that will give me some more information on this beautiful species of fish. <WetWebMedia.com, Fishbase.org... Bob Fenner> thank you for your time and advice.

Angel injury (reddish opercular spine, bacterial involvement?) I have a 7" angel (Goldflake) that appears to have injured itself. I gently caught it and placed it in a 55 gallon for now and am watching it. It looks like on one side, it has injured the 'spine' on the lower side of the cheek. you know, the one that only angels have, but butterflies don't. <Yes, almost all> It appears to have a shade of pink on that side in there. Not that large an area though, so I'm not sure if its from the injury itself, or if there is an infection of some sort. <Very common... likely due to a physical trauma... running/swimming into something in the tank, net damage, collateral shipping if the animal is newer.> I only noticed it when it was no longer eating after two days. Anyhow, after putting it in the 55, its just swimming back and forth (not too fast, not too slow) and that's when I noticed the spine injury. Anyhow, should I just watch it or should I put an anti-biotic in there. Or perhaps a light anti-biotic like Melafix ?  <Not an antibiotic product... I would try to boost the animal's health nutritionally, add a cleaner organism... at this point.> I know that these bacterial infections can work quickly, but not sure if it'll recover without anti-biotics or not. Also, how apparent is a bacterial infection ? is it just a vague light pink redness or is it pretty obvious and just red underneath the skin ? I see only a light pink in the area and not sure if its just from the injury or what. Thanks for any help. Jim <Only way to judge is through culture and staining, microscopic observation... Outside the realm of pet-fishing by and large in terms of use/applicability... Sometimes, while already manipulating such animals (not worth re-netting damage, stress), a topical anti-microbial can be applied (like with a Q-tip (tm)) onto the affected area... Bob Fenner>

Re: Apolemichthys xanthotis "Gia sou" again Anthony! <Gia Sou, Thanassis!> Finally I took the Niger back and I bought the Apolemichthys Xanthotis.  <yes... a very wonderful and unique fish> It is a fish that I have been watching for three weeks. It was in very good shape and eating even flake food.  <good... continue to feed it a wide variety including a lot of fresh frozen foods> Its length is 3 inches. When I took it home I first put it in a separate room in my aquarium (glass separator with holes + air-stone in it for better air oxygenation). It stayed there for 6 hours and everything was o.k. I offered it some dry flake food and it ate them all!  <very good> In the mean time he had the opportunity to see and to be seen by the other tank mates. So after six hours I thought it was the right time to take the separator out . So I did , after I turned the lights off, and I left only a small light in the room. The Xanthotis ran at once under a big coral , which happens to be the "home" of the my Acanthurus Lineatus (3 ? inches). They started to fight at once and there was nothing I could do but watch them. I can understand that why Lineatus won the fight and the Angelfish ran out of the coral with some strange swimming moves. This hole fight lasted about 30 seconds. After this the Xanthotis found another coral to hide, so everything was calm again. Next morning I saw two swollen areas, one smaller (about 1 cm) on the one side and one larger (1,5 cm) on the other side of the Xanthotis. In the middle of these swollen areas there was something like a "cut". I was sure that the Angel was wounded by the "Knives" of Lineatus during their fight. <yes... agreed> But it seemed that everything was over, because the Xanthotis was moving very comfortable in the tank and he ate very well together with al the other tank mates. I took the following steps for the problem of Xanthotis: - first I put AquaSafe to the water of the tank in order to help its membrane. <I nice thought, but doubtful to help much> - On the second day I started treatment with Myxazin, in order to prevent any secondary infection, which I continued today (third day). The swollen areas are still there, but the "cuts" seem to look a little better. Have I done the right things?  <yes, the preventative antibiotics in this case were necessary and helpful. Good job!> Is there anything else I should do? <for now, no. There is always the concern of doing too much too fast. Just feed well and maintain good water quality otherwise. As long as the fish looks stable or better each day, please do not do anything else> As I told you before, except from the first fight there is now no aggressiveness, the Angel is moving around and eating , facing no problem with Lineatus or the other tank mates. This is why I did not quarantine it. <although I prefer quarantine in a separate tank, I trust your judgment having been able to observe the fish for the past three weeks. I wish you the very best of luck with this beautiful fish! Kindly, Anthony> So, bye for the present. Thanassis

Flagfin sick Hi Bob, This is my first time for a question however I have read quite a bit on this site and it is so informational. I have had a 6in. Flagfin for about a week. I did a 10% water change and vacuum on my tank this past weekend and since then the Flagfin has been acting strange. All test show good and water is crystal clear. I noticed him having problems going to the bathroom or so it looked that way and he is not eating however seems he wants to. After reading the FAQs about constipation I did go the Epsom salt routine. See some change but not much. He is swimming around the tank but a little slower than normal. He does have a red mark on the left side of his head next to the indent and this may be due to netting at the LFS. Tonight I am noticing a definition of black between the eyes and the indents on either side are also darker. It has only been two days since not eating so am lightening up to give him a break.  <Good idea... if you have "enough" "healthy" live rock this animal is probably eating some of this... and likely there is no real need to worry> The tank is a 60 gal. ( I know, it needs to be bigger). I am in the process of looking for a 125 or 150 however until that time I am doing what I can. Can you offer any help or suggest medication to help him. Also in this species, are the blue lips supposed to constantly be moving? He is still a beautiful fish and would sure hate to lose him. Thank you so much for your information on this site. Thanks Linda from the Midwest. <The coloration you mention, except for the apparent net damage is fine, natural. Moving the animal to a larger system is indicated. Bob Fenner>

Sick Angel Hi Bob, hope all is well with you.  <greeting, Mark. Anthony Calfo up at bat for Bob> My question today is about this Flagfin angel I've had for about a year now.  <a magnificent fish> All was fine until a few weeks ago, eating very well, etc. I've noticed her getting fatter and fatter. I thought maybe just a very eager eater, I put lettuce/seaweed in the tank every other day. She is so round it appears she is having a hard time staying down, fins are always moving, no more graceful swimming, etc. I first thought maybe she was constipated? <if ever suspected, add 1 Tsp Epsom Salt (magnesium sulfate) to the tank per five gallons of water one time as a laxative. Usually only occurs with fast feeding fish gulping pellets./dry food> But then I saw her defecating small amounts. Something is definitely not right, she looks unusual. 90 gallon fish only, water perimeters great, no harassment going on in the tank, etc., etc. Could it be a swim bladder disorder and is any of this curable? <maybe, but not likely after this time. More than a few things... general symptom. Could be internal parasites that have perforated internal walls, bacterial infection and more. If the fish will eat medicated food... ride it for an observation period of three to five days. If no stabilization or improvement... move to quarantine for prophylactic medication regime for 2-4 weeks> Thanks for any help. Mark <best to you and your beautiful fish. Anthony>

Three-Spot Angelfish Mr. Fenner, I was looking into your book and site and notice the Three-Spot Angelfish. Is this angel hardy, hardy and would it be alright to add this fish with a juvenile Red Sea Emperor?  <Mmm, not "that" hardy... about "middle rated"... Other Red Sea species would be better to consider: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/redseafwgv1.htm> I know that sometimes it might not work, but some have been able to mix angels. I have been enjoying your book, nice pictures! <Thank you. Be chatting. Bob Fenner> Thanks, Ron

Apolemichthys trimaculatus can u give me any knowledge u have on this fish (Apolemichthys trimaculatus, Flagfin angel)  <On our site, here: http://wetwebmedia.com/apolemichthys.htm> like size I have heard so many different versions from 5 - 10 inches, I believe somewhere in the middle. <To ten inches or so maximum length in the wild... about half this in captivity...> I have seen 1 which is about 3-4 inches maybe a little bigger in my LFS it is for sale for ?55 and looks lovely I was just wondering what size tank u think would be best  <At least a hundred gallons> as I have a few and if it would be ok with a French angel <Better to have the Flagfin as the only angel, with established live rock in abundance... especially tunicate and sponge life in good quantities> is there anything I should watch out keeping it with I don't have inverts or any coral so its just fish.  <Hmm, well, this is actually not an "easy" angel to keep... Would you please read through the coverage on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com re this group? There is a posted rating system, many FAQs... Start here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marangel.htm> thanks for any help you may give and well done on such an excellent site. <Good to chat with you. Cheers. Bob Fenner> be talking to u Alex

Dear Bob, I have a tri-spotted angel that recently developed a ulcerated looking lesion  on only one side of his body ,near its gills. it is a dry looking lesion about 4-5 mm and appears superficial with a center depression. I also noticed him rubbing himself along the sand otherwise he is acting fine and eating well.. There are no other lesions on him. How do I treat this? ( I do not have a hospital tank). Thank you for your time. Bob >> Hmm, I would first and foremost try a Cleaner Shrimp (my fave choice of species, Lysmata amboinensis from the Pacific). If the fish is in duress, it will recognize the Cleaner for what it is and avail itself of its services... If this doesn't remedy the situation in a few weeks, write me back, and we'll escalate the effort. Bob Fenner

Fish disease I have a 54gallon reef tank. I have a Goldflake angel and a 6 line wrasse as the only fish in the tank. the angel has only been in the tank for 6 weeks.  it developed a cloudy eye after two weeks. . I treated this with Greenex. it went away only to return the next week on the other eye. I continues to return, alternating eyes. both have never been affected at the same time and the fish continues to eat well. do you have any ideas as to what it is?  >> Yes... just environmental stress... leave the animal alone (don't put Greenex in your system... malachite and formaldehyde... the ingredients... are a very bad idea in a reef tank. Emphasize improved water quality and this fish will cure up and be fine... it should have been placed a few to several months after the tank had been up and cycled... Just be patient. Bob Fenner

Flagfin angel I noted with interest your recommendation of Flagfin angels for large reef tanks (mine is 120 gallons). I recently saw this fish in a store. My wife loved it, but I said we couldn't purchase one, as Scott Michael, in his Guide to Over 500 Marine Fish, rates it as difficult to keep and does not recommend it for a reef tank. I realize that fish vary by individual, but wonder if you have good experience with this fish in captivity in general and in reef tanks in particular. The only corals I have in my tank are SPS corals, along with 3 cleaner shrimp, 2 tangs (chevron and powder blue), a dragon goby (Amblygobius phaelana), many snails and small hermit crabs. Thanks for your advice. Corey Raffel >> All this may become a/the prime example of letting other people write your caption material... Am not a big fan of this angel species... Rate it a two out of three... Do look into a smaller, hardier angelfish for this system...  Bob Fenner

Will a Flagfin angel eat coral and what is a tunicate? >> If it is hungry enough yes... but not generally. A tunicate is also known as an Ascidian, or sea squirt... it is a member of the chordates (the same phylum as us, the Chordata)... Bob Fenner

Thanks for the info. I just have to say, I have received so much valuable information via the archives on FFE. I hope you know how important it is for the hobbyist to have practical, real life feedback/input with what's going on in the average marine aquarium. Not all of us have biology/science backgrounds that greatly assist the fishkeeper with respect to truly understanding the dynamics in marine aquariums. <I agree, and am glad to "be here" to offer assistance, points of view> If it is not too much trouble, I do have one more question. Given the parameters I've discussed regarding my tank, given your experience (and my dedication to husbandry), what would be an acceptable fish load in my 90 gal tank. <Four or five "medium" fishes... twice that of "smaller" ones...> Furthermore, are you familiar with the Three Spot Angel. I haven't found much literature on it. I read your book (EXCELLENT!), but there was just a passing note on this fish. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. <Do know this fish, Apolemichthys trimaculatus... some are good, some not so... If you can find one that is in initially good shape, and eating, it may well live for years... and yes, have seen them kept in reef tanks... as have you from reading your message below> Thanks, Rich Heisen PS I've had some great discussions over the past few months with a LFS owner John at Neptune's Reef in Torrance. He's a great guy who had great things to say about you!  >> Yes, have been to the store (as it was being re-built from moving) and met the gentleman. Very nice folks, dedicated... my fave sort of retailers. Bob Fenner

I know this is going to sound dumb but do you think you could put a Flagfin angel in a reef tank >> Have seen the Flagfin (Apolemichthys trimaculatus) successfully kept in large reef settings (they're best there, rather than fish only). I give them a good to medium rating... one of the better for medium size angelfishes... And would do my best to avoid getting one out of the Philippines (the species is also gathered from the Indian Ocean, Fiji, Maldives, Coral Sea...  

Angelfishes for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care
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