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FAQs on Centropyge Angelfishes 1

Related Articles: Centropyge Angels, C. loricula/Flame Angel, Lemon/y Dwarf Angels, A Couple of Lemons; the True and False/Herald's (nee Woodheadi) Centropyges, Potter's Angels, Reef Safari! Keeping Multibarred Angelfish By Alexander Thomasser,

Related FAQs: Best FAQs on Centropyge, Centropyge Angels 2, Centropyge Angels 3Centropyge Angels 4, Dwarf Angel Identification, Dwarf Angel Selection, Dwarf Angel Compatibility, Dwarf Angel Systems, Dwarf Angel Feeding, Dwarf Angel Disease, Dwarf Angel Reproduction, Flame AngelsMarine Angelfishes In General, Selection, Compatibility, Health, Feeding, Disease.  

Angelfishes for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Eibli Angelfish Bob, <Kevin... Anthony Calfo here filling in for Bob while he is away in Sweden having electrolysis done on his tummy> Just wondering your thought on Eibli angelfish. <a most delicately beautiful and hardy angel when given proper care> I had never heard or seen one before coming across one in a LFS. I loved the colors/markings and purchased one without knowing much about or having done any research. He was very, very shy but after about a week started to show himself. Once he did start showing himself, I could not get him to eat. <so many reasons for it... one is that they are commonly imported from Indonesia where some collectors are trying to make the late Philippine drugged fish collectors look like candy stripers> I tried three types of frozen food; brine shrimp, squid, and emerald entree in addition to Omega1 flake. He would not take any of the foods <not entirely uncommon although shouldn't last long> I added, but did seem to constantly pick off the LR. <excellent and necessary> Anyway he died while I was away on a three-day business trip, I'm "guessing" of starvation. <maybe... but they really can last a while...perhaps other reasons too> My question is because I'd really like to get another one ,but not if I'm going to starve him to death.  <your real problem is that it is inappropriate with other Centropyge like the Coral Beauty you have... even without aggression, the CBs presence with the active and assertive Yellow tang may be too much...Eibli needs a mellow tank. I had a pair court and spawn (no fry reared) in a tank with Banggai cardinals breeding and the Eibli wouldn't even eat the baby cardinals> I just saw in your of your files , where they were listed as an excellent aquarium fish. Do you think I just got a finicky fish or is there something else I could try to feed them or should I just not try another one.  <please consider this delightful fish again in a more appropriate tank> As always thanks very much for your help/advice/knowledge. - Kevin <best of luck to you, Kevin and kudos for doing your information gathering>  90 gal. reef tank, 3 mos. old. about 100 lbs. LR, 9 soft corals, 1 coral beauty, 1 yellow tang, various cleanup crew, all water parameters in check)

Saltwater Question Hello Bob, Very informative website you have and I enjoyed reading many of the articles. <Ah, good> I have a question....I recently purchased a 55 gallon tank from a friend with an emperor 400 filter, Visi-jet protein skimmer and the normal gear. The tank is about 3 weeks old and although I wish I waited, I jumped in and bought 2 fish. 1 is a "half-black" angelfish who has a cloudy eye which I am treating with Melafix and the other was called a "silvertip shark". I have searched high and low for information on this fish with zero luck. Do you know what the real name of this fish is? He is about 3 inches long with a silver body and black fins, he has whiskers like a catfish as well. I appreciate any help you have to offer. <Thank you for writing... with improving water quality, time, perhaps a better skimmer, your dwarf Angel should improve. The "shark" you so well describe is indeed a catfish. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ariidcats.htm Bob Fenner> Regards, Derrick S.

Potter's with an appetite Quickie... After I lost that declivis in quarantine, I picked up a potters angel from the same shipment. Had been at the LFS for two weeks and was eating and so I took a shot. Certainly cheaper than the declivis... Anyway, based on your reading materials I gather these fellas are delicate, <Yes... most don't "make it"... traumatic going from their almost constantly hiding behavior to and through what goes on in getting to the end user, you> need best conditions, beginners need not apply, etc. Well this one I've had for a month and it's got quite the appetite. Very enthusiastic eater and quite active - good friends with the cleaner shrimp in quarantine. <Ah, good> Question is... am I out of the woods with this beastie or is constant diligence the best way to proceed? Recalling previous discussion about well-established Navarchus being relatively solid. <You're about all the way out... a month is a good long time/trial> Danke. <Welcome. Bob Fenner> J --

Another Cloudy Eyed Angel!! Bob, I lost a flame angel about 3 months ago when my return tube started putting out  fine bubbles and probably caused the flame to have an air embolism (a sudden unexpected loss on night) <Yikes. A bummer for both of you> I replaced him with another about 8 weeks ago and his eye got cloudy, bulged and he developed a white blotched appearance on his face and subsequently died. <Time to look into another source, or your source in turn to look into theirs...>  I replaced him with another flame about a week ago. Everything was fine, he was eating OK and this morning I noticed this one developing a cloudy bulging eye. I don't see any white facial blotches yet. He's still eating for the time being. I also have a very listless lemon peel that I put in the tank a couple of months ago. No outward signs on this guy. I have two clowns a small 2 1/2' wrasse, Longnose  hawk, yellow tang, Kole Tang and a hermit crab. Any ideas or suggestions? Nitrites are bit elevated, very slightly. <Nitrites? Should be zero concentration> I have a 90Gallon Salt Fish only tank, Protein skimmer, UV, AMiracle Trickle Filter, Ozonizer with a RedOx controller, S.G. of 1.022 and temperature of 77 degrees. I bleached my Coral about a week ago and can't get the RedOx above 260 at this point?? <Get rid of your wet-dry media, if not the wet-dry itself (can use the "guts" as a sump instead...). Many sources of possible trouble here. Please read over this section: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm of our principal site, and on to where the links, FAQs lead you... Consider the contributing causes that are potentially impacting, impinging on your livestock's health, your success. We'll be chatting. Bob Fenner> Lewis M. Kirschner

Centropyge Angels and Reef Tanks Hi Bob. Your site continues to provide such useful information to us all. Thanks again! <You're welcome. Thank you for the boost... helps during the day while building sites further> I finally was able to catch and remove my beautiful blood red hawk, and return him to my LFS after (sadly) losing a Pseudochromis, a blenny, a small damsel, a Jawfish, and several pieces of fin from several other swimmers. Boy, was he wary, too, but finally entered a clear acrylic trap. Ya Hoo! <Congrats> Anyway, I have been able to introduce a number of pretty new fish, and the stress level throughout the tank is markedly reduced. <yes> My question is this: my tank is a 150 reef, with lots of live rock, and numerous soft corals (Shrooms, encrusting gorgonian, polyps, Zoanthids, xenia, etc.). I also have 3 different macroalgae growing well, and I regularly feed my tangs sheets of the seaweed select. I would really like to add a Flame Angel, and a Coral Beauty. They have some beautiful, eating, healthy, smallish (3"+) specimens at the LFS. They are both in separate tanks with some soft and hard corals. The gentleman with whom I most frequently interact at the LFS has said that they have not been picking at the corals at all that he's noticed (unlike a lemon peel and some other one he had). Do you think these could be added safely to my tank?  <In your size, type (livestock make-up) tank it's a definite good probability that little to no damage will occur> Is there anything that can be done to reduce the risk of them going after my corals? (The other fish in the tank include a couple of tangs, some gobies, a school of Chromis, a handful of clowns, a damsel, and a couple of cardinals. Inverts include crabs, snails, coral banded and cleaner shrimp, and a pretty maxima clam. <Keep them fed otherwise...> Thanks for your advice on this matter. Jim Raub <Be chatting my friend. Bob Fenner>

Questions about Feeding a Lemon peel Angel Jason/Bob, <<Jason here, howdy...>> I've got a question regarding a Lemon peel angelfish. I acquired the fish 5 days ago, and due to the lack of a QT (currently it's occupied by another fish) I introduced the angel directly into my main 55 gallon tank). The tank is currently stocked with 1 yellow tang, 1 maroon clown, and 1 blue damsel. There's no sign of hostility in the tank at this point.  <<that is helpful>>  All water parameters are normal with only the nitrates being 5-10 ppm(?) <<not terrible or impossible to deal with.>>  The problem is that the angel has not touched any food so far with the exception of nipping on algae. I have tried Pygmy angel formula, brine shrimp, and broccoli. The LPS expert(?) claims that it does take a few days for the fish to get used to the new environment (he did not specify how long though). Bottom line, I don't want the fish to starve. Is there anything else that I can try to feed it? This is an established system with some green hairy algae present, and I have read these angels feed on that. <<in my experience, pygmy angels eat A LOT of algae, and if things are going well, you're just not watching long enough. These fish are/stay small and so they hide a lot in the wild - are wary of shadows, new circumstances, etc. - and who could blame them. The guy at the LFS is right, it needs time to adjust. Keep offering the pygmy angel formula when you feed everyone else - all my fish love it [currently no pygmy angel] and eventually you'll see it take a taste. Patience here is the key, although you might have waited for your quarantine to empty before you added another fish to your mix. But hey... it's in the tank, let's hope for the best, and do try to make sure it isn't getting thin... If you never see it eat but it never gets thin, it's eating something [like the hair algae]. I think you will witness this more and more as it gets comfortable in its new surroundings.>> I am running out of ideas on what to do. <<don't do anything, just watch for a day or two and feed everyone like normal.>> Btw, thank you for your previous advise on treating ich etc...D. <<You are welcome. Cheers, J -- >>
Re: Lemonpeel angel
Jason, <<Hello...>> Thanks for replying... <<You are quite welcome.>> The Lemon peel angel is getting thin behind its head not too much) but there's no sign that its belly is shrinking?  <<ok so far... takes some time go gain ground in this department.>>  This is day 6 that I've had him/her.  <<is still early yet>>  I did notice some green hairy algae missing, however he/she hasn't touched any food that I have put in the tank (Mysis shrimp, Spirulina, pygmy formula) or maybe it is when I'm not around.  <<sounds like it's eating.>>  This fish hides a lot, however not to the point that it won't come out at all. <<sounds quite normal.>>  It is still quite active swimming in between rocks or up and down.  <<ahh, good.>>  What I don't understand is why would the LFS claim that they fed the angel brine shrimp when in fact it won't touch them?  <<circumstances are different now, no longer living in a cube.>>  They claimed that the angel ate brine shrimp daily, but it's hard to believe the fish wasn't shy in their store and it is in my tank.  <<Give it time - it needs to adjust to the tank as much as you need to adjust to how these behave. No worries.>> Thanks, D. <<You are quite welcome. Cheers, J -- >>

Stocking Pygmy Angels Bob, <<JasonC here, Bob is away diving/taking pictures.>> I have a 50 gal. corner tank running for 4 months. I have actinic blue/white lighting, 75 gallon canister filter, 40 pounds live sand, 37 pounds live rock, 200 watt submergible heater, powerhead and protein skimmer. Ammonia 0, Nitrate 0, nitrite 0, Ph 8.2, salinity at 1.019 and at 78 degree temp. <<ok>> My live stock contains 1 Banggai cardinal, 3 Firefish, 2 green Chromis, 1 4" Maroon clown and a 2 1/2" flame. With the Maroon and the Flame, the Maroon went after the Flame and immediately set-up camp in the middle of the tank under a nice covering on LR. But the Flame there started to fight back and after a day or so they both were getting along. I just added a nice, from Fiji, Coral Beauty. The Maroon again squared off with the Coral Beauty, but settled down. (An occasional chase here at there, but the Coral stands up for itself). My problem is that the Coral Beauty now seems to be bothering the Flame and chasing him. The Flame now has set-up camp in the corner of the tank, but the Coral seems to be more curious and will chase the Flame if it sees it. (few times will it ignore it) Is there something I can do? Remove the Coral for a few days and then re-introduce? I was told from several shop owners that Angels are compatible, but like people, they can have different behaviors towards one another. Will the Coral eventually settle down. Or is the tank two small to have two dwarf angels. <<in my opinion, this tank is too small for two dwarf angels.>>  I did have a potter and a coral before without any problems. <<suggest you do some reading on pygmy angels: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/centropy.htm >> Thanks <<You are welcome. Cheers, J -- >>

Lemonpeel Angel It's me again. Just a quick question about the Lemonpeel angelfish. How is the survivability of specimens from Tahiti or Fiji (I know they are not cyanide collected)? <Much better. Sure you've read the Centropyge materials stored on WWM? Bob Fenner> Thank you, Kevin

Potter's dwarf angel I would like to ask about this angel....I saw my first one (living) at the LFS yesterday and thought that will be the fish. I have room for just one more and I wanted color and pattern as all the other fish are color or pattern (and some have only interesting behavior) I had a Singapore angel a few months ago and he was cool but the last earthquake killed our well water and that killed him. <Have heard of this link... gasses released by the ground shaking...> The only problem I had was that he hid almost constantly, the only time I saw him was when there was food in the water, and then he was like a shark! So I guess what I would like to know is what the behavior of the potter's is like and if he might survive in my tank. <Unfortunately, of marine angels period, and Centropyge genus ones in particular, the Potter's has amongst the most dismal survival histories... Odds/chances are increased tremendously by having a very under-crowded, larger, very overgrown live rock system... especially of a Hawaiian biotopic make-up... Coverage of this and related species and their aquarium suitability rating can be found on our site here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/centropy.htm> I have a 60 gal that has been up for almost a year. There is about 50lb of live rock in there and the only really dangerous fish is the Anthias, who doesn't always appreciate newcomers. ( I have a royal Gramma in there and it took him about a month before he could show his face and not get beat up, though now the Anthias ignores him completely, the Gramma still keeps an eye on him though!) The potter's at the LFS seemed healthy and he was certainly beautiful, outshining even the flame angel that was in there, but he had only been there for 2 days. And I read on your site that they are not hardy fish, that was said about the Singapore angel and I had no problems with mine until the earthquake. <Actually... you're mistaken: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/chaetodonoplus.htm I rate this Chaetodontoplus angel as a "2" and the Potter's as a "3" in my scheme... very different score... The Singapore is the aquarium-hardiest member of its genus> Should I wait longer to get this fish? Is it really a dismal death sentence to put it in my tank? <Seek others input, opinions. You have seen mine and can revisit them. Bob Fenner> Thank you for all the help (previous and present) Kim

Dwarf angels Bob, I was wondering if I could keep a C. nahackyi, C. loricula, and a P. imperator together in a 150g live rock only system.  <Should go/get along for a good long while, start the Emperor smallish> and I was also curios if I could collect my own C. nahackyi from the wild  <If you're skilled, in the vicinity, have the tools... Please read over the "Marine Livestock Collection" sections: http://wetwebmedia.com/marcoll.htm> and what type of permits I would need to do so.  <Depends on the country... check with the government agency/ies there. Often better to have a collecting company aid you, likely help ship the collected livestock to you, a dealer for your pick-up once back home> its a 150g with a 50g refugium 225pounds of live rock 175 pounds of live sand any info you could give would help thank you Michael Camacho <Bon voyage and hunting my friend. Bob Fenner>

Dwarf Angels Hi Bob, I read your comments with great interest. One comment you have made is to keep only one dwarf Angel (and to avoid Potter's Angel - a sentiment that is shared by many people).  <Hmm, just one Dwarf Angel... likely of the genera Centropyge, Genicanthus... per a given size, type system... large ones can definitely accommodate more species> How does tank size fit in? I have a 300 gal. reef tank with one Flame Angel. I want to add a Coral Beauty and a Fisher's Angel. Do you think the three of them will get along in an 8 foot tank?  <Should be fine... and interesting... they will interact with each other... but very likely with no negative result> How about this -- If I added a giant clam, do you think the clam would survive? <In this size system, very good chances these small Angels will ignore the clam. Bob Fenner> Thanks, Dale M.

Disease or parasite on a Keyhole Angel Hi Bob, I'm hoping you may be able to provide some insight here to my sketchy description. I have a 12 Eclipse tank set up in my office, containing 2 ocellaris clowns, a 6 line wrasse and a keyhole angel, <This tank is too small for this species> a cleaner shrimp, and approximately 10 lbs of live rock. The tank has been set up for approximately 1.5 months. My specific gravity is about 1.24. I do weekly water changes using water from my reef tank at home of 1 gallon per week. All of the fish, aside from the angel are healthy to the eye, and all fish including the angel are active and take food normally. The problem with the angel (I believe we've had him for 4 weeks) seems to be restricted to his mouth. The mouth appears to be "corroded" and white. It does not seem to be cottony. The mouth appears to always be open - I'm not sure if this is normal for a Keyhole angel since I've never kept one before. He does seem to eat normally and does not seem undernourished. I feed the fish OSI marine flake food, and put in a strip of seaweed selects (green) once or twice a week. The condition seems to vary, I honestly can't remember if there was any trace when we got the fish, but last week it seemed to be lessening, while this week it appears to be as bad as ever. <Hmm, this specimen may have some sort of genetic defect... or more likely issues continuing with damage... collecting/shipping or from physical trauma in the tank... with infection waxing/waning> Any ideas as to what may be going on here? And what would you recommend for treatment? Having the shrimp and liverock there, I assume my options will be limited without a hospital tank. Thanks, Rich Scheulen <Really... to trade/return this fish, and pick out something more suitable for your size/shape system. There are many choices... perhaps an Engineer Goby? Comical and intelligent... Bob Fenner>
Re: disease or parasite on a Keyhole Angel
Hi Bob, Thanks for the quick response. I have to take the blame for the fish being in the tank - the guy I share the office with jumped the gun and bought the fish because it looked cool, and I guess I didn't stress not buying things without checking with me first. Anyway, I'm wondering about the possibility of transferring the fish into my tank at home. The problem of course is that I do have a number of corals in the tank and am hesitant to risk the Centropyge/coral problem. Is this particular angel a big risk with corals (some polyps, and slipper coral, a disc coral, and a toadstool)?  <Small risk... maybe 10-20 percent chance of some nibbling in your scenario> And do you think the fish is a disease risk in my tank (75 gallons)? Any treatment if I do go ahead with this idea? <Perhaps a dip/bath in transit. Please read: http://wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm> As long as I've got your ear, I want to run 1 more thing past you. I have a slipper coral in my tank as well as 2 ocellaris clowns (in the 75 gallon tank, that is). Both have been in there for a good 2 years. Recently one or both of the clowns have been picking at the slipper to the point of it being stripped bare on one portion of the coral. I don't have an anemone for the clowns, but they've bonded with a nice sized conch shell that I have in the tank - the coral is fairly close to their shell. I've been thinking of buying a bubble anemone in hopes of distracting the clowns (that's all I can think of). Do you have any possible explanations or suggestions? <I'd move the Fungiid> Thanks a lot, and sorry to take so much of your time.-Rich <No worries my friend. Bob Fenner>

Vertical angelfish Bob, I have a Japanese pygmy angelfish that was until a few weeks ago. The problem is that she swim almost vertically all the time, head up. Her pectoral fish are going like crazy and her tail only moves in small quick wiggles. <Not good... sounds very much like internal problems... maybe from decompression during collection...> Is this a swim bladder problem or something else? She has been eating all the Ocean Nutrition foods but just looks very odd. <I do hope the fish "straightens out". This does happen at times> Do you have any recommendations on what to do with her? The system is fish only with a few invertebrates, all the other fish are fine and eating good, the clams and anemones I have are also doing good. Please let me know what you think, thank you in advance. Dave Wilson <Wish I had more to tell you, but this sort of complaint either solves itself of its own accord or... not. Bob Fenner>

Picture of Centropyge colini Hello, My wife and I are avid reef keepers and big fans of your site, and we couldn't help noticing that you didn't have a picture of the Centropyge colini. After quite a bit of waiting we've managed to get a decent shot of the one that lives in our 230 gallon reef. We're sending it along to you for use on your site, if you like. The only thing we ask in return is credit for the photo. <Ah, certainly. Thank you. Posted> We also have some small 5-second video clips of the colini going about his daily business. (he eats like a pig!!). Let us know if you'd like to see them and we can email them to you. <Someday soon my friend... we will have video> Thanks for all the great work on the site and in your writing! Sincerely, Evan McLaughlin <Thank you for your participation. Bob Fenner>

Adding new fish (Marine selection) I have a purple tang and a tomato clown, I was told that I could add another tang of the genus Acanthurus.  <Hmm, the Purple tang... Zebrasoma xanthurum is not of the genus Acanthurus> I looked at a powder blue tang and an Achilles tang. If they are an acceptable addition what size should I get them. <Both very poor choices. Please read over our site: www.WetWebMedia.com re these species, other Surgeonfishes> Bigger or smaller than the purple tang. the tang is approximately 3 in. I am not looking to get big fish I would like to have more smaller fish in my tank for more activity. if I chose to add dwarf angels how many could I add and of what type would get along. I am leaning toward the flame angel but like the keyhole also. I would appreciate any help being that your info has helped me in the past. Thanks. <Then do read over the WWM site. Bob Fenner>

Rare pygmy angel Jimbo, do you still have H. limbaughi? Or were you in the Mid-Atlantic? At any length do need pix of all three... can I come on by maybe next week? Bob Fenner <Just received four Centropyge joculators last night, truly an uncommon (and expensive ) pygmy angelfish. One will be sold Friday, another on Monday, but I am holding on to two of them for myself. If you would like to see them I will be home most of Sunday afternoon. Drop on by, Jim, Aquarium Design
Re: rare pygmy angel
Bob, < H. limbaughi > ? not sure what that is, but I don't think I have it. <From down south solamente> I plan on keeping two of the C. joculators for myself. at the moment they are all in quarantine tanks, with plans of being moved to a show tank in the house. <Ah how nice) which third one are you referring to ? I lost the C. resplendens last month :( <Oh... that Ascension Island endemic was "it"> let me know what day you wish to come by. evenings are best.....maybe dinner too ? <Capital idea. Will hopefully schedule, see you soon. Bob Fenner> Jim

Centropyge argi... one of my fave little angels I e-mailed you a while back about adding a Coral Beauty angel to my tank, and you told me that it would be a bad idea. Based on your response and my own research, I decided not to add anything to the tank at that time. Now, my LFS has gotten in an absolutely gorgeous little argi angel . . .  <Yikes, one of my faves> The little guy is about 1", and is eating well. Do you think it would be okay to add one of these to my current system? Just to refresh your memory, as I'm sure you get too many e-mails a day to remember any one tank in particular, <Have to look at my own drivers license occasionally...> here are my tank stats again: 30 gallon flat back hex (36" long), established for 8 months with a good growth of various algae and sand-stirring critters, 28 lbs. of LR, 3.5" sand bed, Magnum 350 for occasional carbon filtering and circulation, Prizm skimmer, and a 175 gph powerhead. Water quality readings are ammo/nitrite 0, nitrate ~20 mg/l (tank is slightly overfed), s.g. 1.024, and pH 8.2. Current inhabitants are a 3.5" C. solandri puffer, a 2.5" lawnmower blenny (very fat and happy, he even eats pellets :)), a pitiful little 1" scooter blenny that has finally started eating but still looks like he is starving to death, <Maybe... would be great to add a sump/refugium to your set-up... among other benefits to provide more live food for this fish> a chocolate chip starfish, 2 red leg hermits, 2 blue leg hermits, and a curly q anemone. I do 25% water changes weekly. I am currently feeding the tank only meaty frozen foods and pellets. If I add the angel, should I add flakes or Seaweed Selects to my feeding regimen (that's what he's eating now)? Or can he get enough plant matter grazing? As always, thank you so much for your opinion! Laura <I am melting here... and would likely add this little Cherub myself. And yes to expanding the food/feeding plan. Be chatting. Bob Fenner>
Re: Centropyge argi...
I called my LFS and they are holding the angel for me :). About the scooter blenny, he is eating very well in the tank and I have a good growth of copepods and amphipods, but I bought him out of a tank with no LR where he was being fed only flakes. <No fun... such keepers should have to eat Corn Flakes (which I do like) exclusively (which I would not like)> I've had him for over a month and he is eating every day (he especially likes bits of ghost shrimp that my puffer spits out and vitamin soaked bloodworms). He just won't gain weight, no matter how much he eats. I'm beginning to wonder if he was just too far gone . . . <Perhaps, but don't give up hope. Bob Fenner>
Re: Centropyge argi... (Scooter)
I'm taking the absolute best care of him that I can, and thank you for the encouragement. I just wanted to clarify that I wasn't keeping a fish in an environment where he wasn't getting enough to eat :). <I understand. Thank you. Bob Fenner>

Re: Revised Stock List Thanks for the input, A few questions however: 1) Instead of the Butterflyfish would it be possible to add a flame angel? <To the same forty gallon? No... I wouldn't place one of these Centropyge in anything smaller than a sixty> If I add the angel after the tank is running for a long time (months at least) would there be enough to eat if I also provide supplementary veggies? Would the angel pick on the anemone (probably not with the clownfish) or the soft coral? If yes, would this cause too much damage to worry? Also, would the flame angel become too aggressive with the other fish listed below?  <If this system were larger, probably, maybe, doubtful and not to me> Lots of questions in one. 2) Would you recommend more than one neon goby? <In this size system, no> 3) How would a blackcap Basslet (Gramma melacara) go with the other items below? <The tank is too small... you'd have to leave most everything else out... Bob Fenner> Thanks again, Kevin

Bicolor Angel eats Aiptasia! I will swear on a stack of bibles, I am not lying! My bi-color angelfish is munching on a rock full of glass anemones (Aiptasia), even as we speak. I've never heard or read anything to support this, that's why I'm e-mailing this to you. Have you ever heard or seen this? We kind of thought something was strange because this is the only salt tank in the house that does not have Aiptasia in it, now I think I know why. Let us know what you think!  <Lorenzo Gonzalez here responding for Bob, who is around the world in 14 days, and asked me to keep his many internet friends appeased... To your Aiptasia eating angel, I say: LUCKY YOU! TREAT THAT FISH LIKE A KING! (or queen, as the case may be) You could rent that fish out at the local reefkeepers meeting! ;-) -Lorenzo>

Set up, Centropyge source, selection Hi Bob, Thanks for the "instant" reply! When I read everyone else's emails regarding how fast you respond, I had no idea! "Keying quickly" has got to be the understatement of the year! Well, I have three more questions for you: for a 30l x 30w x 24h tank, would 3/8" acrylic be thick enough?  <Yes... would fit a "top" on to brace the edges, discount much bowing> I know acrylic bows, but I don't want a big bubble aquarium in a few years! Also, I'm requesting a 2" (good size?) <Yes, should be more than sufficient> hole to be drilled on the bottom for the overflow. If this tank sits on a 3' high cabinet, how do you calculate the flow going to the sump to choose an adequate return pump?  <Guesstimate and over sizing is best... though "flow/pressure curves do exist for many pumps...> Or do you just choose the pump with the most flow rate you can afford and put a valve on the return line?  <About so... do look into different brands, sizes... and don't get one that's "too big"...> And finally, I saw that you ranked C. interruptus as one of the better dwarf angels. I know my tank won't be ready for this fish for months, but just doing some research ahead of time. It's a beautiful fish, but I haven't seen many places that have it available. Do you know the approximate price range for this fish?  <Hmm, I don't off hand, but do know where to start looking. Check out the livestock e-tailers on the www.WetWebMedia.com Links Page... especially the Marine Center one... they get many odd fishes and do their best to assure their health and eating... and can likely tell you of this species cost and availability. Bob Fenner> Thanks again for your time.

Lemon peel angelfish Hi, I have a 3 month old 50 gal reef tank. I recently purchased a Lemonpeel angel fish to add to my 3 other clown fish. They all seem to be getting along, however I never see the angel eating the frozen shrimp that is fed to the other fish. I bought some formula one today and it seemed to begin to peck at it. However, the thing that concerns me the most is that the angel has developed black areas around its eyes, and a small red bump right in the middle of his side. <Not good signs...> I will get another water check soon, however my last one indicated that my water is in good condition. My temp is ~79 and salinity is 1.023 at that temp. Any ideas or suggestions? The behaviour of the fish is the same as always, no scratching or anything like that. <Still... I would try expanding the food menu, using some types of algae (live, prepared), add a vitamin prep. directly to the water about once a month. Hopefully this specimen will rally. Please do read through the various FAQs on the genus Centropyge posted on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com... sometimes this species turns around... and is best kept in this sort of setting... though a larger system would be a plus.> Thanks, Deniz <Bob Fenner>

Dwarf Angel, Marine question A few days ago I purchased a Coral Beauty to add to my 50 gal. fish-only tank. To make my other fish (three-striped damsel, yellow-tail damsel, niger trigger, two cleaner wrasses) less territorial, I rearranged the tank at the time of introduction. Since then, the Coral Beauty has tended to hover in about three places in the tank, tilted back (head up) at about a 60 degree angle - when swimming from place to place, it does level out. It has also not eaten readily when I placed veggie flakes or lettuce in the tank. <A very bad sign... likely this specimen was "damaged" in collection, handling, shipping from the wild... And your tank... is too crowded... and likely frightening to the Angel... with the Trigger, two cleaners...> The other fish are not being aggressive towards it and quite often the trigger casually passes right beside or in front of it. The wrasses have picked at the sides of it from time to time. The damsels are much smaller and have left it alone. Should I be concerned about this unusual (to me) hovering angle of the fish - it just looks like it's having to swim harder to stay in one place. <Yes, very concerned... if you had a more aged, live-rock-containing system that this fish could be in by itself that would be ideal... Otherwise, only time will/can tell whether the specimen stays alive, resumes swimming normally. Bob Fenner> Thanks, Shawn

My bicolor angelfish Hello Mr. Fenner! I've written to you several times in the past (I'm the "dog bone in the fish tank" lady). Recently, I added two false percula clownfish, a bi-color angel, and a cleaner shrimp to my tank. Everyone seemed to be doing well, and still is, except for the angelfish. He seemed very healthy, inquisitive about the tank, non-stressed, and gently swimming to and fro, but would not eat any of the food that I put in the tank. I tried, from various recommendations: bloodworms, brine shrimp, macro-algae sheets and flake-food. He wouldn't touch any of it. The only thing that he would pick at was some of the brown algae in my tank, but there's not much of that. Unfortunately, after 5 days in the tank, I came home last night to find him stuck to a powerhead basket. <Yowzah, very sorry to hear/read> My question is, are these particularly difficult angels to keep?  <Hmm, yes... Centropyge bicolor, aka the Oriole (Dwarf) Angel, used to be a very hardy species for the most part... and can still be... coming from certain localities... but most all specimens of this species do languish in some manner as you've described... I would try a generally hardier species next time. Please see our site re the genus here: www.WetWebMedia.com and endeavor to find, pay for specimens from better source locations, as listed> If not, what did I do wrong? The water quality is excellent by all of my tests, the temperature is steady 78F, and none of the other fish are aggressive. Also, all of the other fish in the tank are very healthy. The clownfish are doing well, and the shrimp has already molted once. I read various reviews on these fish, some saying that they are easy, others difficult, and yet others in between. I'd like to replace him, but if I should stay away from the bi-colors, then I'll get something else. <Something else> Any help that you could give would be greatly appreciated. Deborah H. Colella <Bob Fenner>

Well, I think problem is something else.. (Sick Fish... knowledge value...) Well, as I told you last Thursday, my lionfish died. My angelfish (Bicolor Angelfish) seemed alright. I got a coral beauty on Sunday. <Hmm... so soon... and two Centropyge in how large a system?...> Later in the day however, I noticed a small grey sore-looking mark on his back, right in front of the dorsal fin, and above the eyes. Well, its day two now, and it's grown a lot. This white-looking material has spread. I looked it up, and its supposed to be "fungus" or a bacteria. <Supposed to be?...> Anyways, I got Saltwater Maracyn to hopefully cure whatever was inside the tank affecting the coral beauty. Well, it turns out that body-fungus, which is what I suspect my coral beauty has, also has symptoms of "body scratching" which I believe I told you my lionfish did, and also cloudiness of the eyes (another thing my lionfish had). Unfortunately, I wish I could of treated the tank when I first noticed the lionfish acting odd. Also, my Bi-Color angel fish is "scratching" himself along the coral, and the bottom of the tank. <Uh, oh...> I read that low water quality can affect fungus too.. helping it grow.  <Yes, well put> I have 0 nitrites, 0 ammonia.. as for PH however, I'm a little confused. Normal range is between 8.1-8.4 I have 3 saltwater PH test kits. One said my PH is 7.4, another said it was 8.3, and the last said 9.0! <Have someone with a working kit test your water... and test your kits against known pH samples... junk the bad ones... look to the brands mentioned on the piece on pH, test kits and FAQs on the www.WetWebMedia.com site> Well, I'm going with the one that said 7.4 since that's the 'newest' one I got, and it tests for nitrites, ammonia, and nitrates. Well, if my water is really 7.4, I never knew, since my other two PH kits told me different, so I added some buffer to the tank to raise the ph <See above... Don't "go with" a given kit because of its age...> I hear that having crushed coral as a bottom substrate is bad for a saltwater tank, since it's a refuge for fungus to grow. Well, I have roughly 3 inches of crushed coral on the bottom of my entire tank. <What? No... where are you getting this mythinformation?> Basically, I'm hoping the Maracyn can cure whatever is affecting my fish, but I now know (I think anyways) that the lionfish most likely died to whatever is affecting my only two fish right now. Any suggestions you have to help keep a "fungus-clean" tank? I feel like I've done a lot, but maybe something I'm missing. <There is no such thing as a "fungus-free system"... only ones that are more/less optimized to host a minimum of decomposing organisms/populations... You need to find the real cause/s of the apparent problems here... It is entirely likely that the Coral Beauty Angels appearance is due to "stress" in general (shipping, handling...), and little to no value in treating the system with Minocycline (MarII)... Do read over the archives of some of the listservs on the net re disease, environment...> So I'm treating the tank right now, and I plan to do a 30% water change in 3 days when the Maracyn treatment is over with. <The water change will definitely help... as might "environmental manipulation"... lowering spg, raising temp... see the WWM sites "Disease" sections under the Marine area...> And, I'm also removing the crushed coral as a bottom, and putting in normal sand. Any suggestions you have would greatly be appreciated. <What is... "normal" sand? Please read over the "Marine Substrates" area and FAQs on the WWM site as well... I would NOT remove the current substrate while your livestock are having problems... Do you have a sophisticated marine aquarist friend who can come over, look over your shoulder and check your system, maintenance protocol out? Bob Fenner>

Centropyge vroliki in a Reef Mr. Fenner Great web site, but I was still wondering about Centropyge vroliki. I've found in many resources that like all dwarf angels one must take care in adding them to a reef tank. I was wondering if you had any personal experience C. vroliki or know someone who has.  <Have much experience with this Centropyge... a good aquarium species, and as far as Dwarf Angels go, one of the less likely to become "nippy" to invertebrate life...> Also, would the coral nibbling problem be helped by adding the angel before any coral was placed in the tank.  <Hmm, not to my experience, first or other hand... better to have rest of system up and going first> My though is that the angel would be conditioned to take food items offered it and grazing on live rock and then be oblivious to the addition of corals at a later date. Of course an argument against this hypothesis is that being wild caught, coral is already (and permanently) ingrained into their behavior. Matt Erck <Good question... methinks a great deal of "flexibility" (learning) is at work with many fish groups... the Pomacanthids for sure. Bob Fenner>

Coral Beauty not feeding I have a question on the newest member of my reef tank. It is a 3 inch Coral Beauty. I have had him in my Berlin system for about 5 days. When I offer food (frozen or flake) he doesn't seem to go for it. He is not being bothered by any of the other fish, he just swims around exploring his new home. a 125 gal tank. He picks at the live rock and the sand but he just wont go for the food I offer. I always feed a good mixture of different food for them. Is there anything I can do to get him to eat. <Offer live rock, try different live, frozen/defrosted and fresh foods and wait> What is the major food for the coral beauty? <Algae, sponges, ascidians...see this and related Centropyge species gut contents notes on fishbase.org.> I feed mixed clams, shrimp ,algae , marine supreme from PRO SALT. flake food from TETRA. I don't want him to starve to death, that's cruel. Can you help me? <You have helped yourself, now only you can aid this specimen. Bob Fenner>

Coral Beauty Hi Bob, I planning to buy a coral beauty. But I afraid that the reef tank mate might attack it or vice versa. What I afraid is that my Domino will attach the coral Beauty because this Domino is extreme aggressive. My tank contains: 1) one 4 inch yellow tang 2) one 3 inch brown tang 3) One 3 inch flame angel 4) One 2 inch bicolor 5) One 4 inch brown bird fish 6) One 2 inch Domino 7) One 1 1/2 inch Dascyllus 8) One 1 inch Yellow-Tail Blue Damsel Coral 1) Some green star polyps 2) Close and Open Brain 3) Hammer Coral 4) Colt Coral 5) Some Mushroom 6) Sun Coral and Dendrophylliid 7) some Button polyps 8) Leather 9) Frogspawn Coral , tooth coral, torch coral, bubble, 10) Pagoda Coral 11) Elegance Coral 12) two sand anemones and one tube anemones <Mmm... better investigate these a bit further> 13) Some feather duster worms Q1) Do you encourage me to buy this coral beauty ? <Maybe... if this tank is at least a hundred gallons... space enough for two Centropyge species> Q2) My Domino had turn it color from black to partly white one it front portion (head to part of body). What is happen to him ? <This is a natural color change with age/growth... take a look on FishBase or the WWM site under Dascyllus trimaculatus> Q3) Will the Coral Beauty be picking on my coral listed above ? <Hopefully not, but it, and the Flame may someday> Q4) Do you think that my 4 feet about 60 gallon tank is overstocked with coral and fish ? <Yes> Q5) Any other colorful reef fish to recommend ? <None for this system... And I would give the Domino the heave ho... Get rid of it... trade it in... it will cause more trouble as time goes by> Thank you, Danny C <You're welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: Coral Beauty/Domino Bob, You are right. I already wanted to capture the domino in my tank. but I try to catch it with a net but unable to as it run very fast and is very smart. I do not want to remove all my reef setup, is there any suggestion to capture this fish out my tank without disturbing my corals? Regard, Danny C <Please read through the sections on www.WetWebMedia.com re Damsels, Moving Aquariums... Bob Fenner>

Coral Beauty's eye and Naso Tang Bob, this is the first time I am writing you. I have been reading your FAQ on your website and found it very informative.  <Good to hear> I have a couple of questions that I am hoping you can help me out with. I recently upgraded my 50 gallon aquarium to a 125 gallon aquarium. I initially had a Dragon Wrasse, Tomato Clown, Coral Beauty, and a small Blue Angel. Everyone was doing fine after I moved them into the 125 gallon aquarium and after a couple of weeks I went out and bought a small Naso Tang. I started noticing that one of my Coral Beauty's eyes was starting to get cloudy. I didn't want to catch it and put it into a quarantine tank right away because I thought that maybe the Coral Beauty had gotten scratched or something when I netted it and moved it into the 125 so I just left it alone and kept a close eye on it to see if it would just heal on it's own. <Doubt if the Naso introduction had anything to do with the cloudy eye... suspect the cause is what you state... and would have done the same...> I didn't want to stress it out any more especially since I had just gotten done moving it a couple of weeks earlier plus the Coral beauty was swimming around normally and actively eating as usual so I didn't think that it was infected with anything. While I was keeping on eye on the Coral Beauty I was tending to the new Naso Tang and trying to get it to eat. For the first few days it would pretty much hind behind rocks only coming out if I threw in some brine shrimp in there. <Typical... they're actually big algae eaters in the wild> That seemed to be the only thing it was interested in, pretty much ignoring everything else I tried to feed it. After it would eat a little brine shrimp, it would just go back and hide behind some live rock. Initially, I thought it was just shy and not yet accustomed to the tank and was expecting it to become more active when it felt more comfortable. That hasn't happened yet. What I have noticed though is that his fins have started to look like someone has been nipping on them. I have been observing the fish for quite some time and I haven't noticed any signs of any of my other fish being aggressive towards the Tang. <Likely the fraying is from being caught, moved, lack of nutrition...> I have finally moved my Coral Beauty into my hospital tank because it has been about a week and her eye has gotten worse. It is not only cloudy but now has swelled up and gotten very big. I'm not sure what this is and what might have caused it or how to treat it.  <Still believe the root cause is mechanical trauma... a possible infection, secondary.> I have also moved my Naso Tang into a hospital tank because I now think that it might have tail rot or something. I haven't noticed any of my fish picking on him so I don't know what else would cause his fin to look like it has been getting nipped. His lack of swimming around has made me think that it is sick but I am not sure what he has and thus have no idea on how to treat him.  <I would probably have left the Naso in the main/display tank and hoped that it would have "rallied"... otherwise, a percentage don't adapt to captive conditions (more than half)... and the quarantine system is likely compromised by such an active tankmate... and this fish will unlikely (re)sume eating there.> If there is any advice you can give I would greatly appreciate it. I really liked my Coral Beauty and would have to lose her and I had high expectations of seeing the Naso Tang owning the upper part of my 125 gallon aquarium since all my other fish hang out pretty much in the bottom half of the tank. Thank you. Gianluca <I would wait yet another week on the Coral Beauty to see if the eye will resolve and start to show signs of curing (the cloudiness will dissolve first, but the swelling may take several weeks. The Naso... I would likely place it back in the main tank (be careful of the sharp processes on caudal peduncle) and hope for the best (You do have live rock with some algal material growing on it I trust... in both the display and quarantine systems). If the eye continues to dis-improve I would likely daub it with a cotton-swab and a mercury-based medicant (mercurochrome, Merthiolate, Merbromin) that is used on children. I would wait a good week on this decision as I state... and weigh the damage of handling against the hope of repair of the eye. If the eye appears smooth on its surface, wait. Bob Fenner>

Resplendent Dwarf Angel Howdy there Bob, I was on your site and came across the Pygmy Angel page and of course I just had to check them out < s >. I just received a Golden and a Multicolor, and am expecting to get hold of a C. joculator in the near future. I noticed you are in need of a picture for the Resplendent. you are more than welcome to use any of the photos off my Resplendent Page if you wish. the addy is; >>http://www.aquarium-design.com/fish/resplendent.html << so, when are we going back to Hawaii...or any other tropical island in the south pacific < s > ? Jim Stime Aquarium Design <Thanks for the pic off Jim. And am off to southern Japan over Toikeydaze, but/and will venture out anytime you have the resources. Keep in touch. Bob Fenner>

Dwarf angelfish Lately, I have been researching what kind of dwarf angelfish to buy for my reef aquarium. I chose two very carefully and have selected two species: the coral beauty, and the Eibli. both of the Centropyge genus. I can't decide which one to buy! I was just wondering if you had a favorite species or had a suggestion. Thanks! Andrew V. <Have some pertinent notes re most members of the genus (and images) posted on our wetwebmedia.com site... including a cursory statement re seasonal, source location mortality variation... Not a big fan of Coral Beauties from most places... currently not high survival... Eibl's is a much better (though many folks would argue, not as attractive) species in the way of rates of survival... Take a read on the site. Bob Fenner>

Feeding Dwarf Angels If you don't mind, can you tell me how do I feed a bicolor angel? I bought it 5 days ago and don't want to eat anything. Thank you <<Have you tried any live food items? Hopefully you do have live rock in with it... as it does feed on a great deal of filamentous algae and will nibble at different sorts of creatures found in and on the rock. Bob Fenner>>

Centropyge ID I ran across your descriptions of these guys on WetWebMedia while trying to identify my newest acquisition. I have had no luck in my attempt however - and I thought you might shed some light. Unfortunately I don't have a camera/scanner etc. so a good description is all I can offer. This guy is about one inch total length, he is a deep blue color - nearly black, he has an underlying (still shaded by the deep blue color) rusty/orange color on his face, where C. argi would normally be yellow. The eye is where this fades into the deep blue, and the eye shares a little of the orange color, the ring in his eye is orange. The caudal fin is yellow which fades to clear at the edges much like C. acanthops. The pectoral and anal fins have a bright blue band at the bottoms. There are no other markings on the fish (stripes on the rear fins etc.). My guess is that it is some variation on acanthops - but the lack of any brighter color above the eye bothers me. I would say it was argi without question (much darker in the face) if it weren't for the yellow caudal fin. I am perplexed - is it possible that I have a hybrid here? Could this be a juvenile coloration? Or is there some other guy that I haven't found in my research. Also, he was sold to me by a local merchant as a damsel from the damsel tank (2.99 - what a steal)...they were in a Philippine shipment as far as I can tell. I am positive it is an angel, however:) If I can give you any other info to help...let me know. Thanks for your help, and I will continue to recommend your book to beginners at the LFS I work at. Shawna Gunnarson <Huh, interesting... and good description... From the P.I...? Does sound like this may possibly be a juvenile Centropyge flavicauda. Take a look on FishBase for some more images. http://www.fishbase.org/Photos/ThumbnailsSummary.cfm?ID=5664  There are a few damsel (yes the family) possibilities as well... like Pomacentrus chrysurus... but as with heels, and wounding, time will tell. Bob Fenner>
Re: Remember my Mystery Centropyge?
Not such a mystery anymore it seems. After doing some more detailed searching under all of the Centropyge names I came up with a picture of my fish...I first found one in Pablo Tepoot's picture book guide to indo-Pac fishies...and I also found the one I am sending. My fish is more purple and has a brighter orange...but this is definitely him. Identifiers point to him as C. flavicauda, although he bears little resemblance to other pictures I have seen of this fish, including the most commonly cited pic. in Burgess. I would probably have to mutilate the poor little guy to find out for sure, but I'd bet that this guy is a different fish than the flavicauda in Burgess. But now that I have bored you to tears I will end up with the fact that whatever he is he is very happy, and will soon be a resident in my new 135 reef. (more sand I need MORE SAND>>> sorry, the insanity is setting in now. Maybe I'll talk to you later about something that is actually useful to the rest of humanity...:) but until then...happy fishkeeping. Shawna Gunnarson <Ah, not so insane (or you're in good company, and plenty of it at least). And this fish is/can be quite variable... and is a good to great dwarf-dwarf Angel... Be chatting, Bob Fenner>
Re: Centropyge ID
You know...if I have to wait to find out what it is...then I'd rather have it be a juv. C. interruptus if it's all the same to you :) What I don't understand is how anybody could think that an angel is a damsel...he really doesn't look or (more importantly) behave like one at all. I will let you know if he ever changes over...if not, he's still a very interesting little guy...always busy picking at some part of my reef. .. (If you ever find any angel that's "reef safe" I'll eat my sock:) (and no dead ones don't count)) Hope you have a nice Labor Day holiday. Shawna  <Well stated and taken... Embarrassing as it may seem to admit, there are Damsels (yes, family Pomacentridae) with "this and that Dwarf Angel" common names and vice versa... and I have been "on location" only to miss them camera-wise because their behavior and appearance seems so "other family"... Ah well. Good holidays to you as well. Bob Fenner, who is "reef safe", but definitely not an angel.>

Dwarf angels Bob, I would like to ask your opinion... Yesterday I added fish to my 105 gal all fish tank with a 55gal refugium.  The tank contained 2 maroon clowns and 1 royal Gramma.  I added: 1 Coral Beauty 1 Bicolor Angel 2 Cardinals The Coral Beauty is dominating the Bicolor, chasing it away from it's area in the rockwork, but there is no actual nipping and they do frequently swim near each other. Do you think that it is an absolute no-no to add a Flame Angel? Would 3 dwarf angels be better or worse than 2 for diluting aggression (as in Tangs)? Thanks, Sam <Good sized refugium, and good question... Actually, I'm inclined to answer in the negative here. For one the Centropyge loricula that have been coming in this "season" have been marginal in quality (too much time "hanging off" waiting to be shipped from the Marshall's...), and secondly, there is a likelihood that "three would be even more of a crowd". If it were me, I'd stick with the two Dwarf Angels you have for now, and if you find you want a Flame later, remove the Bicolor. Bob Fenner>

Mixing Pygmy Angels Dear Bob, I would like to know if it is possible to mix pygmy angels in a 75gal. tank. I have one in a 30gal. reef but he seems, to be losing weight because I only feed the tank periodically. I also have a 75gal. fish only tank with a flame angel and a pygmy angel and would like to put the other pygmy in the 75gal. where he could be fed more frequently. there's also about 70lbs. of live rock in that tank. with standard lights. if it's possible could I move him in this tank and if necessary to add more pygmies to make a school. if that would work let me know. when I say pygmy's I'm referring to the cherub angel. thanks, Ron from R.I.. <I give you good odds of these Centropyge Angels mixing together okay enough... and definitely would move the Cherub (C. argi) either to this setting or add live rock to its thirty to provide more forage. Bob Fenner>

Lemonpeel Angelfish Hi, I have a Lemonpeel Angelfish that has a white wart looking thing on his anal fin. What kind of disease is this and how should I treat it? Thanks. <I would leave it alone... maybe try a cleaner shrimp (Lysmata species) to clean up this biological blemish. This sounds like either a case of Lymphocystis or a tumor of internal origins... in either case, manipulating the animal, treating it with chemicals won't help, but hurt. Bob Fenner >

Lemonpeel Angel... I recently went from a fish only to a fish/reef tank. I have an 80 Gallon system that houses 1 Lemonpeel angel, 1 Coral beauty angel, 1 Scopas tang, 2 pearly Jawfish, 3 dwarf banana wrasses, 1 6-lined wrasse, 1 orange spot goby, 2 cleaner shrimp, 1 serpent star, 1 brittle star, 1 emerald crab, 1 green starburst coral, 1 Zoanthid (small button) coral, a few mushrooms and I believe a pistol shrimp (I hear him but don't see him). My Lemonpeel has been a problem of late. He is nipping at the Zoanthid. Therefore the Zoanthid is only opening up half and not looking too "happy". I have lots of Caulerpa algae there for the Lemonpeel and the tang to munch on. I feed them 1 time a day and he eats well, and nibbles all day. I have moved my Zoanthid around the tank, I have checked it for vampire snails. The Lemonpeel only nips occasionally so I don't think he is the only problem. I had a xenia (tiny little frag) in my tank for a while, but I got a red algae bloom that covered it up while I was sick and couldn't clean my tank. he didn't touch that, or any of the small Zoanthid frags I have added. The colony he picks at is green, but he ignores every other coral. Any ideas? My wife loves the Lemonpeel so if I have to get rid of anything it would be the Zoanthid, but I am wanting to add more corals and don't want it to end up being a prime buffet for the fish. Also would a clam do well with the fish I have? The tank is lit by 4 - 48" VHO tubes (2blues and a 50/50) thanks. Chris Madsen <Well, you might try adding some more/different live rock... with more sponge material on it... the Fiji premium would be my choice... and feeding the animal a few more times daily might help... but once this "habit" develops (a fish picking on a given invertebrate), it is very hard to change the pattern... And this Lemonpeel might leave other types of corals alone, but maybe not...A giant clam species could be cultured in your system. Bob Fenner>

Dwarf Angels Bob- Would a Potters Angel and a Flame Angel be compatible in a 58 gallon reef? Also in the tank would be a Purple or Sailfin Tang and a Percula Clown, Yellow Tailed Damsel and a yet to be decided Goby/Blenny. Thanks, Rob <Not in my opinion... The Potter's (Centropyge potteri), Hawaiian endemic is hard enough to keep on its own... and though the Flame's (Centropyge loricula) geographic range overlaps the Potter's... they are not found together in the wild... in anything resembling a few hundred gallons of water... and the Potter's would likely be miserable... and perish... This species requires very peaceful/calm surroundings, and non-competitive livestock to do well...  The rest of your fish list can mix together... but would encourage you to read the "Hawai'i" section of my latest book (A Fishwatcher's Guide to the Tropical Marine Aquarium Fishes of the World... A Regional Account of what's... best, available....), stored w/o much image work at the URL: www.wetwebmedia.com to hone your choices. Bob Fenner>

Dwarf angel... you lick it, you bought it... Yesterday, I bought a Half-Black Angel (Centropyge vroliki). I can't find any info on this fish. I have read your book and you rank some of the dwarf angles. Where would you rank my and how big will it get? Another question, should I freshwater dip invertebrate before I put them in the tank? Thanks for your answer. <One of the hardiest Centropyge Angels, the vroliki is not a fabulous looker... I give it a 9 out of ten for toughness though... Grows to a maximum length of about four inches (ten cm.)... No to dipping most all invertebrates... My coverage of the Dwarf Angels, dipping, invertebrates can be found stored at the URL: www.wetwebmedia.com Bob Fenner>

Coral Beauty & Flame Angel Dear Bob: Are the Coral Beauty and Flame Angel reef compatible? I had heard that the Flame Angel will eat Feather Dusters. And will they get along in the same tank? Thanks, Mark <Both are "reef compatible" in my opinion... maybe six or sevens out of a ten possible score... Yes, they both will/do eat live rock components, including the worms that are feather dusters if hungry...  And the two species can get along in the same tank, if they're started small and the tank is large enough (let's say 75 gallons plus). Bob Fenner>

Mixing Pygmy Angels Question: Atlantic Pygmy Angel, African Flameback Angel, Flame Angel and Coral  Beauty, Will they get along in the same tank 135gal.  2nd Question:  African  Flameback and Brazilian Flameback which one is hardier or your choice with  the other two coral and flame angel.   Thank you. <Not happily or healthily in my estimation... the dwarf dwarf and regular size dwarf marine angels are territorial... especially with species that are similar appearing... IMO I'd limit a 135 to just one or two of these... and mix in some non-angels. The Brazilian (Centropyge aurantonotus) is tougher... Bob Fenner>

Centropyge Angels Bob, I am thinking of adding a single Centropyge angel to my 180 gallon reef tank with 220# of M.I. live rock. I would like to find the species that is least likely to cause any damage to my inverts (clams, soft corals, hard corals, etc). I understand that there can be variability within individuals of the same species, and that feeding amount, type, and schedule can make a difference. I also know that many times this genus "samples" the inverts without actually eating them, and that they are "pickers" in general. Based on your experience, could you please rank the following Centropyge species by general likelihood of causing damage to corals? A. Flame (Centropyge loricula) (a nine... about the highest of the genus ranks) B. Flameback (Centropyge acanthops or aurantonotus) (8 to 9 good Dwarf-Dwarf species) C. Pygmy, Atlantic (Centropyge argi) (8-9 as above) D. Coral Beauty (Centropyge bispinosus) (5-6, best from Fiji) E. Fisher's (Centropyge fisheri) (6... not especially attractive this year) Any other good species? Thanks! Jim <Some, see my ratings of the Centropyge genus totally posted in a survey article archived at the URL: www.wetwebmedia.com under the name "Perfect Little Angels, the genus..." I really like these "ratings" sorts of questions. My replies on a scale of 1-10 (ten being the least likely to cause reef troubles), and notes are above. Thanks for asking. Bob Fenner>

Dwarf angels I want to add 3 dwarf angels to my 125 reef. Flame, Atlantic Pygmy and a Multicolor. What order would you recommend adding to the tank or is it better  to add all 3 at the same time? Also will my feather dusters or clams become  snacks for them? <The Atlantic (Cherub, Centropyge argi) should go in first... as the true "dwarf" Dwarf Angel, the Multicolor next and a couple weeks plus later, the Flame. The Feather Dusters will likely be nibbled to distraction if not pieces... With any luck Tridacnid clams should be left alone by these small Angelfishes. Bob Fenner>

Angel Fish We have a 58 gal. tank. What is your opinion of adding Lemonpeel, Flame, and Half Black Angels at one time? <Might work if they're all very small to start (like 2-3 inches), but not knowing what other livestock you have or intend, I'd have no more than two dwarf marine Angels in this size system. Bob Fenner>

Dwarf Angels Bob, I have a 125 gallon reef setup. I would like to add Dwarf Angels. I am not sure  which ones I would want but for sure would like to start with a Flame. What  other Dwarf Angels would you recommend that would be compatible. I was  thinking of getting a total of 3,is that too many? <The genus Centropyge are generally what folks refer to as most of the Dwarf Angels... and there are currently about 32 species... with only about a dozen or so available in the trade ... commonly. You can probably have three (of the same species even... a possibility) in your 125... and I, like everyone else, have my favorites... with the Flame at the top. Look at the Vroliki, Tibicens, Eiblii... and for the smaller, "pygmy" Dwarfs, the African, Cherub and Flameback... These are all top-rated (says me)... and should get along fine with your Flame. Bob Fenner, who has an article on Centropyge posted at www.wetwebmedia.com listing all the known species.>

Lemon Peel Do-Over Hello Bob: Well, it has been a little over a month since the Lemon Peel died an untimely death. My guess is that the Coral Beauty attacked the Lemon Peel. I am seriously considering (much to my wife's chagrin) trying another Lemon Peel. One thing puzzles me: In your valued response to my E-mail of a month age on this, you thought that the Coral Beauty would be, or be forced to be, the sub-dominant animal. By sub-dominant, does this mean that the Lemon Peel would be dominant, and would have attacked the Coral Beauty? And, if so, I would have expected the Lemon Peel to have survived.  If I have totally misunderstood, please correct me.  Thanks, Mitch <Your understanding is exactly what I intended by my statements... given numerous trials (same approximate starting health, size...) a Lemon Peel and Coral Beauty placed together, the former will generally become the dominant animal... occupying the better site(s) and space in the tank... However... starting now with the Coral Beauty, I would either get a much smaller Lemon Peel (Centropyge flavissimus) or a much (an inch or more) smaller individual... And if you can specify the location or origin, from Fiji... this is the current best source for this species. Bob Fenner>

Dwarf Angels Bob, I have a new flame angel and a new keyhole angel. They are in a 55 gal. (36x19x21) set-up with 45 lbs of live rock. The tank has been up for 6.5 to 7 months. So far all they seem interested in is grazing on the rock. They haven't taken any food I've offered (angel formula, brine shrimp). Should I be concerned or just give them some more time to settle in. Maybe I should be offering them some other food choice. Any advice? Thanks, Tony <I'd offer them more live rock as theirs becomes denuded... even switching out the "old" to a sump to have some of the food/organisms regenerate... Not to worry, this is what these Centropyge species "do" in the wild. In all likelihood the foods you're offering are feeding the food the angels are eating. Bob Fenner>

3 Pygmy Angels Bob, In my 120g reef I would like to add 3 angels. flame, resplendent (ascension cherub) and multicolor pygmy. Are they compatible and are any of them difficult to keep alive or have special needs? <These are three of my favorite Centropyge... no real special care... but where are you getting the Resplendent? Am curious... very few make it from the mid-Atlantic to the trade... and then very expensive. With lots of live rock, these should be gorgeous, though reclusive with each other.  Bob Fenner>

Dwarf angel question My question is in regard to how many dwarf angels you can I keep. I have an eibli angel and would like to get a flame and a pygmy. I have a 75 gal with  about 100lbs of live rock. In the tank I have the eibli, a blue tang, and 2 green Chromis. My water checks out perfect. Would it be a problem to add the angels? Thanks for your time and help. <In this size system... with plenty of cover/decor (esp. your live rock) you should be okay with these other dwarf angels... but do keep your eye on them for the first few days they're introduced. I'd give you 90 some percent chance of having no compatibility problems.>

Adding an Angel I have a 55 gallon live rock f/o tank, and wanted to add a half-black angel or a flame angel which would you recommend would work out best? Other planned inhabitants are a pair of false percula clownfish, 2 yellow-tailed damsels, and a yellow tang. I have 20 pounds of live rock and just ordered another 45 pounds from FFExpress a few days ago, I hear that some half-black angels like to pick at live rock is this true? Also what's some good foods for one? Thanks P.S. Loved the Book! <Both Centropyge angels are good choices... lively, hardy... it's a tough call... go with the one you like best color/pattern wise. And yes, all dwarf angels like live rock. A good mix of foods really suits the whole genus (32 species and counting!). Thx for the stroke... I like it too (thank goodness for editors!) Bob Fenner>

Bi-color angel I recently purchased a bi-color angel about 2.5 weeks ago. It's a 29 gallon with some small pieces of live rock in it and many other rocks and decorations. I also have a yellow tang and a small percula clown in it with a hermit crab. The others are eating just fine but the bi-color will not eat anything but the live rock. I have been feeding them formula one, angel formula, formula two, frozen brine, and even live brine and the others love it, but the angel just wont eat. he looks pale on his blue side and I'm very concerned about his health. what should I do about this? I don't want him to die on me because he won't eat. PLEASE HELP!!!! <I share your concern re this dwarf angelfish species (Centropyge bicolor). Currently FFExpress is building out a facility, but up to this point has been more of a selection service, combing the LA wholesalers for the best of what's available... and the wholesalers by and large do not feed their livestock. Your angel will probably start eating on its own, or is getting enough nutriment from the live rock. You might try soaking some live foods (of fresh or marine origin) in a vitamin prep. (some folks use Selcon, others liquid baby vitamins...) This should do the trick. Bob Fenner>

Angelfish compatibility Dear Bob: We have thoroughly researched the various angelfish varieties, but are still wondering which ones would be the most compatible with each other and how many we can put in our 30 gallon tank. Would a Lemonpeel Dwarf Angel, a Flame Dwarf Angel, and a Pygmy Angel get along, or would they be too aggressive? We already have two baby Common Clowns, some live rock and two anemones in the tank. Ideally, we would also like to add a Lawnmower Blenny and a Royal Gramma to make the community tank complete. Do you think this collection would work? Thanks, Bob! We value your advice. Sincerely, Revs. William & Laura Gentry <Thank you for writing... I really do like many of the Dwarf marine angels of the genus Centropyge... but would really only encourage you to have one specimen (of course of one species) in your thirty. Some of the Dwarf Dwarf species like Fisher's, C. argi, C. aurantonotus, C. resplendens... can/do mix rather well in small volumes, but to me it wouldn't be worth the damage and upheaval of constant chasing et al. to mix the ones you list. Yes, there is some possibility that you would find/chance a Flame, Lemon Peel (C. flavissimus) and whatever sp. you're referring to as a Dwarf Angel that would declare a more or less ongoing truce... but not a good enough chance. If it were me, I'd pick one of the three (for me the Flame, C. loricula), and put in the blenny and Gramma at the same time. Be chatting, your friend in fish, Bob Fenner>

Pygmy Compatibility I have purchased 3 different marine fish keeping books, and each of them claim that you can keep more than one angel, or more than one tang, as long as they are a different species, different colors, different body shape. But, my LFS's say that it is not possible. I am VERY fond of the small Centropyge angel species and I would like to keep as many species of this genus as possible. I currently have only one dwarf angel in my tank, a coral beauty. I also have a yellow tang and may want to add another tang some day. Is this possible? <Marshall, this town's big enough for you, me and a variety of marines. Depends on size of system, lots of decor and their individual personalities. Place smaller, easier going species first. But sure, they're found in the same ocean aren't they? Bob Fenner>

Pygmy Angel for Reef What angelfish can be suitable for a reef tank? I am talking a tank with SPS, LPS, and Tridacna clams. I would like to add some diversity to my reef tank and was hoping there was an angel that might do that. <I've got to admit, I've seen more than half of the described (88 and counting) species of angels used in reef tanks around the world; including the largest and most notoriously destructive. This being said, if it were me, I'd shy strongly on the side of "going with the smallest" first and foremost. The diminutive dwarf "dwarf angels" of the genus Centropyge attract me most, C. aurantonotus, C. resplendens, C. acanthops, C. colini, C. fisheri... and for a little larger size, or course, the fabulous C. loricula, the Flame Angel. A specimen from HI if you can find/afford it. But other species/individuals can be "tried". All must have their dietary and psychological needs met (don't laugh you browsers), and most importantly KEPT YOUR EYE ON for excessive nibbling on your pet cnidarians. If they're hungry or curious enough, yes, all angels will "sample" to a degree. Bob Fenner>

Angelfishes for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner
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