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FAQs about Marine Angelfishes 1

Related Articles: Marine Angels, The Ultimate Angelfish Aquarium; An amazing and challenging collection of marine angelfishes by Peter Giwojna,  Centropyge,

Related FAQs: Marine Angels 2, Angelfish ID, Marine Angelfish Selection, Behavior, Compatibility, Systems, Health, Feeding, Disease

A Sumireyakko venustus at a wholesaler's.

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

Cleaner shrimp and Queen Angel Bob, This is not a question, but a follow-up to what I asked you last week. I put the cleaner shrimp in my show tank, and watched the reaction of the Queen Angel. Well to make a long story short, the angel went right up to the shrimp, head up and fins flapping. The shrimp jumped on him and proceeded to clean the inside of his mouth and gills. I was amazed at the symbiotic relationship. It is not uncommon for the shrimp to be on the angel six or seven times a day. There has been no parasite outbreak in my tank, so I wonder what the shrimp is finding if anything on the angel. <Necrotic tissue, bits of this and that... that are not discernible to you and I> I have also noticed a change in the Queen. Before the shrimp was added he would bully the other fish if they even got close to his favorite spot in the tank.. He has calmed down a lot and seems to tolerate them in his spot in the tank, unlike before. Thought you would be interested in the outcome. <Yes> Thanks again for all your help. <You are welcome my friend. Be chatting. Bob Fenner>

Hey, Dr. Rob!:0) (Marine angelfish fanatics, unite!) just wanting to ask a favor of you. I am into large adult angel fish, I was wondering if you can connect me with people that have a passion for these beautiful fishes of the oceans of the world! so that we can compare this beautiful species and just hang out and chat about them and trade pics of our tanks with them. thank you for your time and consideration in this matter!  <Don't actually have a mechanism for doing what you ask... I don't/won't retain peoples' e-mail addresses, forward them w/o their specific consent... But I will post yours if you'd like... on WWM daily FAQs, then onto the general Pomacanthid FAQs page... if you'd like. And do post your desire on our Chatforum: http://talk.wetwebfotos.com/ Perhaps Zo there will make a "forum" category for you. Bob Fenner> my e-mail is=marineangelfish@aol.com

Holy Wizard of Oz! Good evening, can angels and dwarfs coexist together? Thanks, Phil <Yes. Bob Fenner>

Angel food Hi, just like to pass on a quick note. I read in the FAQ's I think on Thursday someone asking about what to feed angels that feed primarily on sponges. I've seen at my LFS a prepared frozen cube type by the makers of Formula 1 and 2 ( I think they are Ocean Nutrition) a type specifically for angels that is sponge based in the mixture. Have not used it myself ( no angels in my reef setup) but all my fish seem to really like all the other mixtures that this brand offers so maybe the persons angels will like the sponge mix. <Yes... this is/was a product made by my friend Chris Turk of O.N.... in part at my insistence. Chris sold the co... and you can "make your own" if the need is great for volume, savings. Bob Fenner>

Gray angel (breathing behavior questions, concern) small littlie question how do you know if the gills of the angel were damaged? <Sometimes you can actually see the damage... discoloration, tearing/missing parts...> Miguel cause mine breathe really slowly and quick <Otherwise, indirectly a person might discern such damage from slow, fast, small/large gill movements (compared to some assessed norm for the species, size...). Do know that some fishes do "just breathe oddly"... like one gill opening moving at a time... but that rapid gill movements are often sign of trouble... parasitic, gas saturation, damage... Bob Fenner> thanks Miguel

Maculosus Let me start by saying that your site is the most interesting, complete, informative, and TIME CONSUMING site I have ever visited. <Well put... for sure it is summat like BillyG's products... absorbing any/all resources on my end!> Thank you so much for all the work you put into it. <Thank you for the acknowledgement and writing> Now for my question. I recently lost 3 of my 5 fish to a 3 week battle with Velvet and Ich. I finally put a huge UV sterilizer on the tank and I feel like I've finally won the battle  <Let's settle on "achieved detente" okay?> .....no thanks to "Kick Ich" or "Rally". <What would you do if you had such products in your field of interest, work?> What I have left is a yellow tang and a purple tang that made a miraculous recovery. I've been considering a few different angels to put in my tank when I feel it is safe again (I'm going to wait 2 more weeks). More specifically, I'm looking at a Queen, an Imperator, and a Maculosus.  <All good choices for a large system> All have been in the store for several weeks and are eating everything they see. From what I read on your site the Maculosus is a fabulous angel so I'm leaning that way even though I think I loose a something in the color department.  <Not in the long haul> Here's my concern: The Maculosus is about 6-7in but it's cheap (relatively speaking) at only $135. The reason is because he got it from a tank that he services because it was destroying the tang that was in with it. If I put this fish in my tank, is he going to tear apart my two tangs? <Perhaps... how big a system was it in, how large is yours? Need a few hundred gallons ultimately.> Right now it's in a tank w a Harlequin Tusk, a Lunar Wrasse, and a Bi Color Angel and seems to be leaving them alone. Any ideas? Would I be better off with the Queen which is smaller or the Imperator which is also 6-7in? Thanks so much for your time. Rick <Not much confidence in my guess here... I would at least be interested in "trying out" the Maculosus... with the proviso, promise from the shop that I could return, trade it in if it didn't work out... Bob Fenner>
Re: maculosus
If "Kick Ick" and "Rally" were in my business I would tell people to READ about them first. I did that after I over used them and it was too late. These medications only poison the fish to provoke a defensive reaction that will make the parasites "slide" off.  <This is so> Only problem is they come back 100x more and your fish are weaker due to the poisoning. I think 3 of my fish may have made it if I didn't over medicate with these products. By the way, I don't know what size tank that Maculosus was in but mine is only 75gall. Too small I know but I am gearing up (i.e...getting a real job) to make a significant upgrade towards the end of the summer. <Timely> I do have a good relationship with the store so I will make sure I can trade him in if he becomes the marauder that I've heard he can be. Thanks again.....keep up the great work. Rick <Thank you my friend. Will endeavor to do so. Bob Fenner>

How about an Emperor? Thanks so much for the quick response! One final question... If a 72 gallon tank is too small for the Blueface Angel, could I go with a Annularis Angel or an Emperor Angel? <The Emperor is the best choice, the Annularis not too far a distant second... all get too big for a 72> These are my other two favorites. I will be getting a 150 Gallon in about a year or two to support the fish as they have increased in size. Your thoughts? <You have them. Bob Fenner> - Chris G.

Thank you! Dr. Fenner, On 11/06/01 I poured my frustration out to you about losing angel fish daily. I wanted to thank you. With the medication I obtained and the aeration you suggested, I finally stopped the process. By the time it was complete, I lost close to 30 fish. Anyhow, knowing an expert like you was at my fingertips was such a relief. I don't know if you realized that!!!! Again thank you for being there and have a great Thanksgiving. Jan <Thank you for the news of your success. Life to you my friend. Bob Fenner>

Maculosus Mail Order Dear Robert, I did it, I ordered my first live stock from www.petwarehouse.com for a 2"-3" juvenile Pomacanthus Maculosus on a 2 day air from Dayton, Ohio. I wanted to buy a whole lot more, however, I need to find out first if they shall deliver on time. If the animal that they chose for me is going to be healthy barring that I have never seen it. If they are going to honor their 7-day guarantee just in case anything goes wrong enroute from their place to mine. <Generally so... check with the bb's, chatrooms in the field to glean others' experiences> The 6 Bar Angel I wrote to you about didn't stand a chance since Semi circulatus just won't let up. I added later a Spanish hog fish wrasse (Bodianus Rufus), but Semi circulates won't let up in chasing that the hogfish committed suicide by jumping out. So I switched Semicirculatus over to the 55 gallon tank if I hope to add any more fishes in the 6 foot long tank.  I added a Japanese Swallowtail Angelfish in the 6 ft. long tank. Later, I added a Genicanthus Lamarck, however, the other angel didn't like him. So, the Lamarck is gone. Do you suppose that Swallowtail and Maculosus will get along once I get this fish in my tank?!? <Better to just have one large Angelfish species in these size systems> It seems like they are not similar in size, color or shape. I am hoping that they won't try to kill each other!!! <Don't do this> I never had any problems with Coral Beauty, Flame Angel and Lemon Peel being in the same tank (my 5 ft. long reef tank). So how come Swallowtail didn't accept Lamarck and Semi Circulates killed both Spanish Hog Fish and 6 Bar Angel Fish?!? <Nature, size of these species> Talk about fishes with attitudes. Both Swallowtail and Semi Circulates are incredibly healthy and have ravenous appetites. Do you suppose that the demise of those fishes, were they just merely fragile fishies?!? <Not likely> Once a fish dies, I avoid them like the dickens since that is my conclusion that they are all fragile and not easy to care for fishes.  <Easier, less expensive and traumatic to just study. I list/rate most all Pomacanthid species for aquarium suitability on WWM> So, I am still trying to figure out what will work out and who will get along peacefully. The 2 Anthias I won, Michael won't exchange them and I did not know how to care for them. I even bought them some Caviar since you mentioned that they like fish eggs. Even that one, they refused to eat. Oh well, I tried. They are so darn finicky that I tried Mysis and I tried live brine shrimp with VitaChem and Selcon but alas, to no avail. Anyway, they are gone. Maybe, in the distant future, I'll be able to care for them. But then again, maybe not. <I hope to not be reincarnated as a pet-fish> I'd like to care someday for some butterflies, however, I hear that they only eat corals and have specialized diets that I abandoned all hope of ever acquiring them. <Not so... please read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BFsBestWrst.htm> That is why I am trying my hand on angels. Am I creating a recipe for disaster by placing more than one angel in my (150?) gallon 6 ft. long tank?!? I hope not since in my reef tank, the 3 Angels just got along fine. Sigh!!! <Different size, genus Centropyge, different temperaments... Would you expect an elephant to get along in your house as well as a dog, because they're both mammals?> Well, just wish me luck in this brand new venture of mine and I hope that the Maculosus is not going to prove such a difficult endeavor for me. Have you ever had 2 Angels try and kill each other?!? <Many times in the trade> I just most recently am having luck with longevity among my animals, I didn't anticipate that my fishes are going to try and kill each other!!! I tell you, it is always something. <Study, reflect> I guess, that it is something else for me to learn about. Oh, by the way, I meant to ask you if it is okay for me to purchase a small red lobster and place him in the 6 ft. long tank where my purple lobster is situated at. The purple lobster is still alive as I just saw him yesterday and is getting quite big. I have no clue how large they get. What do you think?!? <See the WWM site. There is no need for you to "experiment". Bob Fenner> Hope to hear a response from you soon. Sincerely yours,  Aleida Ann Graichen

About Pomacanthus Dear Mr. Fenner, can you suggest me some prepared foods for large Pomacanthus species (for example, P. imperator)? For example, I know that Ocean Nutrition created a particular frozen food (made with sponges, etc.) just for Pomacanthus species. What do you think about this food? Did you ever test it? Is there anything else in aquarium trade? <I am one of the people who encouraged Chris Turk to make this food... live rock, refugium organisms (that you can grow yourself), mashes of various sorts that are DIY, almost any meaty foodstuff is fine. Some species of Pomacanthids eat a great deal of sponge, Ascidian, algal material. Some of their particular feeding preferences can be found on the net like fishbase.org by species... and on our site, starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marangel.htm> Tks a lot in advance for your precious help. Regards. <Bob Fenner>

Change of heart (and plans for big-angel tank to reef?) Dear Robert, Once again thanks for putting a link in your website. <A pleasure> I having a change of heart for my 14ft tank project, initially I wanted it to be a home to my Angels and Butterflies, but now I am thinking of filling it with wonderful corals instead. <Quite a project> I have seen many nice reef tanks and would like to jump on the band wagon. But I think angelfishes and corals would be a recipe for disaster. Is it really possible? <Mmm, can be kept together... the larger the system the better... some chance that the Angels will eat some species, individual corals> I remember that I once tried it last year, with a few angle that have been eating pelleted food for a few months, it was quite successful. I do not know about the current batch of angels. <Variable...> Should I try anyway? I have a few large angels; Koran Majestic Maculosus Personifer Queen Emperor Scribbled Asfur <You could try a few of the heartier types, perhaps "cuttings" other hobbyists propagations and see how they all "get on together"> Also how many amps does a 250W halide consume? <Well, volts times amps equal watts... If you are using 110 volt mains power you can divide this number into the 250 (watts)... and get about 2.27 amperes. Actual "draw" does vary... depending on fixturing, lamp age...> I heard that it is higher than the watts of the bulb right? <Possibly, due to the above factors, rating scheme...> My tank will be 2.5ft high and 2.5ft wide can I go with 150W instead? I am thinking like for elegance corals and some of the nice soft corals and possible clams too. <Mmm, I would use at least 250 Watt fixtures with this depth of tank... Bob Fenner> Regards John

Angelfish w/Angelfish Mr. Fenner, I've got a question for you about angelfish. I have a 180g tank w/135lbs of LR and the following fish (in order of introduction): 4" Atlantic blue tang, 4.5" changing emperor angel, 3" pacific double saddle b/f, and a 4" threadfin b/f. All fish are doing well and water readings are great: ammonia-0, nitrite-0, nitrate-0, ph-8.2, sg-1.024, temp-78*, and I do a 10g water change every other week. I am planning on adding another angel soon and would like your take on a course of action. I have a few internet buddies who I keep in contact with and we send each other pics of our tanks and always talk to each other about the hobby.  <Sounds like fun, educational activity> The reason I mention them is because they all keep angels and more than 1 per tank with no problems, and you always state that more than 1 large angel per tank is a recipe for disaster. <Mmm, really? No... please take a read through the numerous FAQs archived here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marangsel.htm To the contrary, or at least to clarify... given enough room, careful selection by species, size at introduction, any number of angels can, and have been kept together... Some species are more inclined to tussle...> There are 3 or 4 guys I know personally that have an adult emperor, majestic, and Blueface in a 180g or smaller tank for one year to up to 4 years. I have heard of a guy that asked a question on your website that has a queen angel and emperor angel together in a 84x18x18 tank (117g) with little problems and he wants to add another angel. Could you suggest of these two fish (Asfur or majestic, considering both will be very healthy and have been QT'd for at least 2 weeks), which will do better in my tank? <The Asfur by the proverbial mile.> Do you know if a smaller specimen or larger specimen will do better (get along, hold his own against the emperor)? <Best to start with one a bit (like an inch) smaller, or much bigger (let's say two inches plus)> One of these buddies has suggested removing the emperor when I get the new angel and let him get used to the tank for a few weeks, and then put the emperor back in after rearranging the LR. <Maybe a good idea... you will be able to tell if it's more prudent to do this by trying them together first...> He said he did this when he added his majestic and it worked like a charm (the emperor did not harass the new majestic). This same guy has a tank full of fish in his 180g that would make any fish hobbyist drool with envy, over 15 fish, 6 angels(5" emperor, 4" majestic, 4" Blueface, 3" grey Poma, 3" Flagfin, and a 2.5" juv Koran), 2 pygmy angels, 6 b/f's, a Foxface, and some other assorted small fish, all for over a year now. <Perhaps dwarfing them in the process... this is too much for the longer haul> The pics he has sent me are unreal and can not believe that there is no problems or disease. I could understand 2, maybe 3 angels in a large tank, but not 5 or 6 along with at least 9 other fish.  <In behavioral sciences sometimes referred to as "The Locker Room Effect"... and done "all the time" with some of the more aggressive African and Neotropical Cichlids... i.e. crowding to the point of apparent non-aggression...> He says that the fish are happy, healthy, and get along fine. He knows that in a few years he might have to upgrade to a much larger tank (220+) if he wants to keep all these fish as full grown adults.  <Agreed> He has raised most of these fish from juv.s and says that most will not grow as large as they will in the wild and hence will not need a huge tank. Your thoughts about my dilemma and these buddy's tanks are well appreciated. Thanks for your time, Dan. <No real dilemma as far as I can see... the addition of the Asfur will likely go fine... and yes, if you intend to crowd more Angels and other fish life into the present system, a good idea to introduce them at about the same time behaviorally. Bob Fenner>

Angels Hello Mr. Fenner, How are you? Life for me has been quite busy. We had some thoughtless person shoot the pipeline and I had to work day and night on the repair team.  <What idiocy eh? Hope this knucklehead wasn't doing this on purpose> The one good thing that happened recently is that my large fish tank showed up. <Ah!> I know I have asked you similar questions before and I keep changing my mind on what angels I want in the tanks. Tell me what your thoughts on this are? 1000 gal system (15'x4' foot print) Emperor Maculosus French Queen 240 Gal (8'x2' foot print) Majestic Annularis I want to set up the 240 with all kinds of corals, specially an anemone. Do you think the annularis will eat them?  <A possibility... as is maybe nibbling on your corals> I feel the majestic will be o.k. since I have seen plenty of them in reef tanks. Finally, if the Annularis is not o.k. in the reef tank, can I move him to the 1000 gal tank with the other four angels? Or do you think 5 is too many? Please give me your opinion. <Should be fine> I already have the Mac and Emperor (both 8 inches). They are in a 240 gal tank each right now. Will I have difficulty mixing them? Should I use a separator for a couple of days so they get used to each other first? <I wouldn't use a divider here... just place them> Tanks you again. It is very exciting planning all this. <I'll bet!> I have also ordered a Neptune controller with all the bells and whistles. I hope it is worth the money (700). And I got the large Knop reactor per your recommendation. <You won't be disappointed. Good gear> Thanks again..... It is very nice to be able to bounce ideas off of someone knowledgeable. Bhaskar. <Be chatting my friend. Bob Fenner>
Re: Angels
Hi! Bob, I talked to a guy from Aquacon who claims a queen will kill the rest of the angels, even in a 1000 gal tank. He also says not to have a French in there. Basically, not to mix the Atlantic and Pacific angels together. What is your take on this? He also says the large angels are mostly o.k. in reef tanks. <I would seek out others opinions, you know mine. Perhaps the bulletin boards, chatforums. They're listed on the WWM links pages> I am going to be spending a lot of money on this project so I want to stack the odds in my favor. Also catching a problem specimen in a 15'x4' tank is not going to be easy. Please advice. I am setting up two tanks.... 1000 gal and 240 gal.... Fish I already have Emperor 8" Maculosus 8" Fish I must have Annularis & majestic Fish I want to have. French Queen or blue face. If these were your tanks and you wanted to have a reef set up in at least the 240 gal, how would you stock your angels? <I wouldn't place any of these species in a two hundred forty gallon reef system... perhaps some smaller Pomacanthid species. Bob Fenner> Thanks.... Bhaskar.

Fish selection Mr. Fenner, I hope you have some ideas or thoughts about what I want to ask you. I want to have the following fish in my 125gwlr tank: emperor angel, Asfur angel, Naso tang, Atlantic blue tang, powder blue or achilles tang, saddleback b/f, and a raccoon or auriga b/f. <Whoa! Just one of the large angels... and it won't be able to live in this size system happily forever... the Powder Blue and Achilles Tangs are hard to keep. Please read: http://wetwebmedia.com/acanthurTngs.htm and the associated FAQs file for the genus> I want 7 fish total, I just want your opinion on which ones might have a better chance of getting along. I have done all the reading I can possibly do,  <What? Do you have a theory, theme re the above selections? Please read through the "Selection" parts of the Marine Index on our site (WetWebMedia)> and have asked numerous people, but none of them are as experienced as yourself, and any question I have had in the past for you, has been answered with amazing accuracy. <Not that amazing my friend. If you had spent as many hours, years studying, writing, presenting in the fields of ornamental aquatics and was as limited, I would be amazed> I want to know if the Pb or achilles will get along better with the other fish I listed. I have read that both achilles and pb's are fairly territorial as far as tangs go and that they should not be kept together your book states this). <Yes> Is getting these two fish to get along together next to impossible or is there a 50/50 shot with good preparation and techniques?  <Good chances in very large (a couple of hundred gallons on up), very well established (lots of live rock, algae) systems> If I have a decent chance of keeping the Pb and achilles together, than I will just have those two and the Naso, and not get the Atlantic blue. If you think it is less than a 50% chance these two fish will get along, then which of the two (Pb or achilles) would get along with the Atlantic blue and Naso?  <Do "practice" with easier (hardier, less disease-prone) tangs... trust me here> And in what order and size should I add them. There is a guy named MR. Salty on Saltwaterfish.com  <Oh, this is likely Dave from Sea Dwelling Creatures... A fine, knowledgeable fellow. Have known him for years... His input is sound, but do understand, he is a very advanced aquarist.> that has the following fish in his 125gwlr tank w/about 50lbs of LR: Flagfin angel, juv emperor, flame angel, coral beauty, Pb tang, achilles tang, Sailfin tang, yellow tang, hippo tang, juv Atlantic blue tang, raccoon b/f, some clownfish, and assorted other small fish. He has told me that they all get along pretty well except for when he added a new tang, some of the other tangs would fight with it for awhile, but then they got along. Is this just dumb luck or can this happen on a somewhat regular basis? <More extreme skill... care in selecting specimens that are small/about the right size for the mix... and being VERY careful on handling/dipping/quarantining the stock before introduction... Being in the wholesale side, he can pick through MANY specimens, picking out ones from locations that you will not likely see (due to cost)...> I know that tangs will fight if they are the similar color, shape, size, or display similar behavior. But I have also heard from many other people and seen their tanks) that as long as the tangs are not the same species, they usually get along, not all the time, but no serious problems occur.  <Hmm, actually... don't like this generalization... and since you make it here... should respond: Some species are outright intolerant of other Surgeonfishes (like the Orange-shoulder), others more so, dependent on apparent niche sharing/resource partitioning... and there is enormous within group differences in many of the larger species of Acanthurids... have seen some absolute terrors...> You and others also have stated that if the Acanthurus tang is the dominant tang, there should be no problem. Others say that the Pb should be the last tang added, others say the achilles should be the last added.  <All these statements are good/useful... and confluent... read through them again.> So as you can see, I am very confused as to what exactly to do when I do try this. And seeing another person that has a Pb and achilles together and getting along makes me wonder. I would like your opinion on what order I should add the fish and in what size compared to the existing inhabitants.  <You have it... I wouldn't add either the Achilles or Leucosternon tang... trouble for you, believe me> I already have the changing 4.5" emperor and the Naso 5.5"(they get along like there best friends for life), and am thinking of adding the b/f's next. Then I kind of have some tuff decisions to make about which fish I should add, and what size it should be. Do you think I should add the Pb first at about 3.5-4" then add the achilles afterwards. And should the achilles be bigger or smaller compared to the Pb? <Neither, none of the above> Just stuff like that will help me a lot on making my decision. One thing though that I have learned from you is to take what you know and devise your own ideas and hypothesis.  <Bingo!> I take your advice in the highest regard, but sometimes you need to decide for yourself. <Not sometimes... Always, each individual must ultimately decide for them self. Remember this> I know you advise that having an emperor and Asfur and a Pb and achilles in a 125g tank is probably not going to work, but I want to try it, but only if I get some encouraging responses. <Why would you allow such a flaw in personal logic? This seems inconsistent.> I mean, I have seen other peoples tanks that have fish that you shouldn't have together and they get along great. I do plan on moving all these fish to a much bigger tank within a couple years (240+g tank), <In the meanwhile, would you be happy living in a relatively little space yourself? Say something similar in dimensions... ten times your length by three times your width? Cruel and foolish> so I am getting smaller or juv fish for now so that they still have swimming room. But I know that they will need a much larger tank in the coming years <Months> to have sustain a healthy long lived life. I know that crowding fish in to small of a tank is asking for it. I have also noticed that people say to add to territorial fish at the same time and that juv or smaller fish tend to get along better than if they were full grown adults. Do you find this to be true?  <Yes, almost always> I am also planning on adding more LR to add to my 100lbs right now to make even more hiding spots, caves, holes, crannies so that the fish feel like they have more of their own territory. I also am going to be adding quite a few rocks that are covered in different types of macroalgae (i.e.. Caulerpa, Halimeda, and possibly some Dictyota) to keep the fish feed at all times and make the tank seem more like home. Also a quick question about the angels, I am going to try to add the Asfur sometime in the future but would like your opinion about what size I should get to lessen the aggression between the emperor and Asfur.  <Just get one or the other> I was told by a very experienced LFS owner in my home time to get the emperor first, then add the Asfur. But I forgot what size Asfur he said I should get. I can't remember if he said to get an Asfur that was smaller or larger than the emperor (which is about 4.5"). <Smaller> Do you know what size the Asfur should be in relation to the emperor to have a better chance of reducing tension? Let me know what you think of all this and what I probably can do, and what is almost surely going to fall. Thank you for your time and answers, Ryan. <Ryan, take diving lessons, and come on a trip with us or on your own... see how much space these animals "enjoy" in the wild... don't cheat yourself (it will be heartbreaking to lose this livestock) or your fishes. Study, and take your time here. Take care. Bob Fenner>

Angelfish ? Hey Bob, Everything has been going good since the loss of my flame angel fish Saturday. (Well in my tank not in the rest of the world but that's another story) Anyways I checked my live rock which I have had cycling for about 2 weeks. The ammonia and nitrates tested 0. So I changed the water and rinsed the rock in salt water to try to get anything which might have come loose off. If the water tests good again can I assume that the rock is cured and ready to be put in the tank? <Yes, I would assume so> Also, eventually I would like to replace my flame angel. Do you think I could put a juvenile queen, blue, emperor angel in my tank for now. In case you forgot (I am sure you cant keep tabs on everyone's system size who writes you) my tank is 54 gallon but a 90+ gallon system should be ready by this time next year.  <A small individual (3-4")of one of these other Angelfish species should go for a few to several months> (I haven't decided on the tank size yet I just want a 90 gallon or larger) Thanks in advance for all your help given in the past and future, Jonathan Pac <You're welcome my friend. Bob Fenner>

Large Tanks, Many Angel Plans Hi! Bob..... <Hello> I hope all is going well in your life. I would first like to thank you for all your advise in the past and also for encouraging me to get my big tank. <A pleasure my friend> It should be here next month. I have a few questions for you. I always keep insisting that you charge for your help because it is hard to find good advise. <Remuneration/recompense comes in many forms... I am sure you'll/'d agree... I have my physical needs met by other work... my mental-emotional "pay" here is more than enough> Well I have bought all the books I can think of. I have over 50 fish books but I am still confused on many fronts and I guess some of the questions can only be answered by years of experience. <These works certainly don't (and should not "agree")... you may be approaching the time to "write your own"...> I just bought a house and I am setting up two fish tanks. One in series with the other. They will share the same sump. One is 240 (8x2x2) and the other is 1000 (15x4x2 high). <Wowzah!> In the 240 I want to keep a majestic, a blue face, a tusker, checker board wrasse, marine beta and two snow flake moray. <Very nice> In the 1000 I want to keep a maculosus, emperor, annularis, seven tangs including a Sohal tang I have had for a while. There will also be five small angels (flame etc, reef friendly wrasse and cardinals). (all small fish except the large angels and tangs). I think 10 large fish is not too many for that size of tank. <Should be spectacular> The big questions I have are. Will this mix work? Will the angels fight?  <Though more crowded than in the wild, this mix of fishes should get along... started at small enough (optimal starting sizes posted on the WWM site)...> I am also going to buy a R/O unit and I want to keep soft corals. Do you think I need a calcium reactor. <I would definitely have, run one on such a volume of water as this... for all the reasons one would use such a device. Alkalinity, biomineral and pH stasis> Can I keep an anemone or will the angels eat them? <Too likely the latter... you can try one months from now if so inclined> I love fish a lot, especially angels but I want to make the tank look as reefy as possible. Please do give me some ideas. I will also have lots of light. MH, VHO and Power compacts. <Hmm, the decor... will you build it, buy and place it? Time to get about, start making big shipments of larger (yes, you can ask for this) pieces of rock to place here> P.S. I am running a six foot and a three foot euro reef skimmer in a 300 gal sump for this system. So I think I should be able to maintain a good quality of water. <Good skimmers> Your advise is priceless and I would appreciate any and everything you could tell me. I am so excited. I am planning on having all this set up in Jan. and the reef thing going all the way by may. I figure do it slowly and plan well. I can't afford to have this venture fail. It costs way more than my car. <I can imagine... keep good notes, perhaps in a permanent notebook, or a backed up diskette... and perhaps a few images... for your own use... and maybe a nice feature article in the hobby press.> Thanks again for everything. I look forward to hearing from you. Also if you have any suggestions for other cool fish I might be able to add. I am all ears. Bhaskar. <We will be chatting my friend. Bob Fenner>

Rapid breathing I have an emperor angel (adult) about 4 inches long and he is breathing really fast but it's only out of his left side gill! His right one looks like it's not even moving! I just got him yesterday but it just concerned me that only one side was doing this-not both. Any ideas? Thank You, Kevin <Not a good sign... perhaps just trauma from moving... should resume normal use in a few days. Patience. Bob Fenner>

Fish Help oh great one (Marine Angel City) Bob, Since you are the savior of all that is on-line fish questioning,  <You've almost gone too far> I go to you to help. I have written to you in the past about my 800 gallon angelfish show tank. It sits in the wall in my kitchen ( it is the wall basically ). Up until two weeks ago it contained 9 large angels: 6 in Conspiculatus, 7 in Asfur, 6 in Scribbled, 6 in Goldflake, fast growing 6 in Annularis, 5 in Majestic, 8 in Blueface, 6 in Griffis, and a 5 in Flagfin. I recently placed the Flagfin in my 500 gallon reed to make room for a new guy or two. That's when I came across the most incredible fish my eyes had ever seen in an aquarium. The king of all angels sitting in a pathetically small (for this fish) 290 gallon at my local fish store. A 14 inch Christmas Island Emperor Angel. I traded some of my newly harvested corals and got it. This thing is a monster. I was surprised how docile it was after watching it dwarf the Chromis in my Quarantine for two weeks. Ok so the other angels don't bother it and aggression has slowed down actually because he intimidates them all. He has brought several problems though. First off he knocks down all the live rock work in search for food. None of my angels act like this. <A wild-caught large angel... you ought to (yes, this is an invite) come diving with us> It like he's a trigger or something. What kind of safe materials/methods can I apply to stop this?  <Mmm, larger rocks> He gets tons of food but he still digs into the rock. I removed about 250 of the 600 lbs of rock, should I continue to reduce? <No... am not joshing. Order larger pieces of rock> The angels still need places to hide. Also he had a bit f Popeye when I got him on his left eye ( I guess that's what it is), how should I go about treating it?  <Leave it alone...> It seems to go down a little. Last questions, should I expect him to get any larger, if so how big? <This is about it> And what other types of food should I feed him to keep his colors up? <Whatever it will eat> I normally feed formulas 1,2, dipped in vitamins supplements, silversides, and finely chopped shrimp. Thanks for everything! <Be chatting my future dive buddy. Bob Fenner>

Mandarins and angels and tangs oh my! Hi Bob, I love your site, you really opened my eyes to some of the horrors that our favourite animals go through at the hands of irresponsible and inexperienced aquarists and collectors alike. I have a bit of a dilemma as far as planning goes. Right now I have a 90 gal. with a trio of clowns working hard to start the nitrogen cycle. The tank has been set up for just over a week now and I have been reading and researching for quite a while. I have decided on a few things that I would like to do with my tank over the next several years. I plan to add a Berlin Turbo skimmer to work alongside my Eheim 2217 and a metal halide lighting setup. I eventually want to swap out the crushed coral gravel substrate for one of live sand and build up to around 50-60lbs of live rock and tons of macro-algae and SPS coral. (Expect to hear back from me asking for tips on how to do this safely) My primary concern is with the compatibility of some of the fishes I want to add. I love the look and hardiness of some of the large angels such as P. Imperator, P. semicirculatus H. ciliaris and tangs such as P. hepatus and A. sohal. However, I am captivated by the beauty of the blue mandarin (P. splendidus.) The thought of one of these creatures being purchased by an ill-prepared aquarist seriously irks me and I would really love to provide a good home for one. Which of the above angels and tangs would make the friendliest tankmates for a mandarin? <Actually, none of those listed... Unfortunately all get too big to do well for too long in a ninety gallon system... and are more active swimmers and food-gatherers than it would be prudent to place with Mandarins. I encourage you to seek out a Dwarf Angel of the genus Centropyge here (they're reviewed on the WWM site) rather than try to raise a smaller Indo-Pacific species that will get way too big, too soon... and to try a Callionymid/mandarin/dragonet in a few months with it. Bob Fenner> If not, are there any nice alternatives? Thanks, Kurt
Re: Mandarins and angels and tangs oh my!
> <Actually, none of those listed... Unfortunately all get too big to do well for too long in a ninety gallon system... and are more active swimmers and food-gatherers than it would be prudent to place with Mandarins. I encourage you to seek out a Dwarf Angel of the genus Centropyge here (they're reviewed on the WWM site) rather than try to raise a smaller Indo-Pacific species that will get way too big, too soon... and to try a > Callionymid/mandarin/dragonet in a few months with it. Bob Fenner> Hey again, How would a few (2-3) of these angels and tangs (P. imperator, P. semicirculatus, H. ciliaris, P. hepatus and A. sohal) do if I were to started them off in my 90 gallon as juveniles and later moved them into a 450 gallon set-up? <In what time frame? If in a year or so, starting with small-enough specimens... sure> Since I'm 17 years old, I'll only be living at home for 2-3 years max and will subsequently move and upgrade my tank as I do so. Do you think it would be feasible to keep these fishes in a fish-only setup for that time? <Hmm, not two, three years> It would be much easier to move them to a 450 gallon tank if I didn't have to move a large amount of live rock and sand as well. Ideally I would like to be able to keep 1 large angel (imperator preferred) and both of those gorgeous tangs as well as a blue mandarin in an extremely well-established 450 gallon reef tank, is this at all possible or should I stick with dwarf angels and the like? <For now the Dwarf Angels my friend. Bob Fenner> Thanks, Kurt
Re: Mandarins and angels and tangs oh my! (large tank, Angel plans)
Alright, So what I'll do is pick up a Centropyge loricula (I love those) and another clown or two. I'll keep my tank running on this light load for the duration of one and a half years. After that I'll gradually add the following juveniles: P. imperator, P. hepatus and A. sohal. I'll add a Red Sea Berlin Turbo XL and a CPR Cyclone CY294, which should provide excellent biological and dissolved-organic-compound filtration and make for an easy transfer to the 450 gallon. Within 6-8 months of purchasing the angel and two tangs I'll be ready to move to the 450 gallon and start building my reef. After the reef has been established for a year with dense concentrations of Caulerpa and various Rhodophyta, harboring tons of crustacean and worm life, I'll add a P. splendidus or two. <Tons?> What sort of lighting setup would you recommend for a 450 gallon? <Please see the sections on lighting on the site... likely Metal Halides...> Would it be possible to get by with a lot of full-spectrum florescent fixtures or is metal halide the necessary evil for this size of setup? I am looking for a full 5 watts/gallon so that I can keep the most demanding of photosynthesizing life-forms. With persistent, eagle-eyed vigilance, (both in choosing specimens and watching for problems) will I care for this tank. <Intransitive case? Impressive> Do you have any suggestions or glaring flaws to make known to me? Thanks, Kurt <None my friend. Keep planning, dreaming. Bob Fenner>

The dreaded e-mail (one angel too much) Dear Mr. Fenner, <Howdy> Before I start with my question let me gush for a minute and tell you how fantastic you are.... you answer questions from frantic people, write books, maintain an OUTSTANDING web site, and so much more. Most importantly you give people like me a place to turn to when we are concerned about our little fishies (my friends make fun of me but I'm really attached to my little guys.) <Ah, what outstanding praise... next time I'm out for a loan, I'm taking a copy with me. Thank you> Anyway....a little background. I have a 35g. hex, with 30 lbs. of live rock that has been running for 7 months now. I have an ocellaris, purple Firefish (I know he should have been with a pair but I bought him when I was gullible and listened to the people at the fish store,) coral beauty, and Sixline wrasse. All of my water parameters are good (meaning 0 ammonia, nitrates, etc.) The coral beauty is new (added about two months ago.) Within the past month he and the wrasse have developed a relationship... they play tag and I swear they kiss (the coral beauty will stop and the wrasse will come up and give him a kiss.) I swear I'm not lying! But I'm afraid they may be bullies. <Perhaps... they all do need a larger system.> My problem is about three weeks ago my Firefish looked like he scraped against some rocks (this has happened before because he sleeps under this one rock.) He didn't look bit or anything. His scrapes cleared up after two days but now he rarely comes out of his rock except to eat. When he is out of his rock he will dart back in when the coral beauty or wrasse swim by (they don't even have to swim toward him and he'll hide.) I'm afraid that maybe they got into a tussle or something. <Yes, likely> Do I have to trade one of these fish in? Is there some way (rearrange rocks?) I can make them friends again? <Hmm, not really... this tank is really too small... for the Dwarf Angel especially... and with all the other dynamics of the other fishes...> I'm a full time grad student and have a full time job so instead of watching TV I watch my tank and it relaxes me.... I'm really attached to them but I don't want them to be unhappy. So.... if this were your tank... what would you do to make everyone be healthy and happy? <Either to find larger quarters or return the Angel...> I'm sorry to make this so long but I wanted you to get all of the facts and understand that they are pretty special guys. So... please let me know what I should do. <I understand.> P.S. Although I go to Arizona State University I'm a Baltimorean... if you go to MACNA and need a tour guide I've got 5 older sisters and lots of friends to help you see the sights! <Ah, great! Thank you for the kind offer... gave a pitch there a couple of years back, but before then... the opening of the new National Aquarium! What, when was that, 1983? Sheesh> Thank you very much for your TIME. I know how precious it is. :-) Ted Rybka <Everyone has the same amount my friend. Thank you for sharing yours. Bob Fenner>

Fish stocking questions (Angels, Semilarvatus B/Fs) Hi! Your site is superb! I just wanted to ask about compatibility of some fish for my tank. Right now I have a 500 gallon reef and a 800 gallon fish only/angelfish tank. <Wowzah, nice, big tanks to work with> In my fish only right now I have the following (mostly adults): Annularis angel 6 in, Imperator 6 in, Asfur 6 in, 7 in Blueface, 5 in Queen, 6 in Goldflake, 4 in Scribbled, 5 in Conspiculatus, 5 in Griffis, 4 in Regal. They all get along pretty well with the occasional quarrel over food and sometimes nipping done by my Asfur but nothing to get in a huff over.  <Good, and this is about the pecking order I'd suspect> I was wondering if I could add a pair of Golden Butterflies or would they have problems with all those angels. The angels have been in the tank depending on the specimen about 2-8 years.  <A tough call... it would have been better if the butterflies could have started first... and there is a worry that they won't be able to get enough food around the Pomacanthids... if you were to try this it would be better if there were three specimens... I would more likely place these in the Reef system> It has reef quality lighting just in case I ever wanted to switch but that was before I got my 500 gallon. There is roughly 700-900 lbs of live rock using the spur and grove design. <Yow, a term used in coral biogeography...> The tank and its holdings were built on site and I use a type of EcoSystem filter with some other misc. items. All the fish get their fair share of food 2-3 times a day. Also for future reference, can more than a pair of Golden's go in one tank? <Yes... for very fortunate and/or wealthy individuals, several, as in many individuals can be kept in a tank... some huge exhibits I have seen have had dozens> I may have been seeing things but I visited a show tank last month and I thought I saw about 7 or 8 of them but I was a good 25 feet away so maybe not. Just wondering, thanks a lot! <Well, then we both must be "seeing things". Bob Fenner>

Angelfish Do Angelfish change from juvenile coloration to adult from age or size? Thanks!!! <Yes... both. Bob Fenner>

Multiple Angels First of all many thanks for both your books and several e mails which have guided me through the beginning aquarist stage including several marine velvet out breaks. You have extreme patience!! <A practiced art> My set up is a 250 gallon (200 net} custom made acrylic with UV, MH lighting, Modufilter, chiller running ozone and an oversized bio ball sump as well as an oversized fluidized bed. (Many thanks for your recommendation to add ozone from your book. Haven't had a single disease outbreak since adding it and water stays crystal clear. Don't know why more folks don't use it.) Regardless of all the "toys" the key is that water parameters stay on target at all times. <Ah, good> Currently the tank has a Regal Angel, Flame Angel, Copper Band, Blackback Butterfly, Banner, Golden, Kole, Powder blue and Purple Tangs. All get along well with no noticeable aggression and I want to keep it that way. I have also attempted to pick fish that I can raise and house to maturity and old age. All look like flying pigs and I will begin reducing food slightly once I know the Regal is OK. It has been in about a month and seems to be doing fine. <Flying pigs...> I have debated adding another Angel probably from the Chaetodontoplus family due there smaller size from some of the bigger angels. <Okay> The question is am I tempting fate by adding another Angel with the Regal? Would I be better off with one of the mild mannered small triggers or am I pretty well stocked as is considering I want room for these fishes to mature? <If it started decidedly smaller and the Regal was firmly established, I'd give you good odds of their getting along> Thanks as always! <You're very welcome my friend. Bob Fenner>

Your help needed  Hi Rob, Was hoping to see you at Aquarama but could only get in on public days. Guess you must have already left on Friday. <Hmm, actually was there on the first public day... Very impressive how many folks are "into" the hobby there> Anyway, I was wondering if I could ask a favor from you. I am trying to do an article for my website, but I have a lack of pictures :( The article showcases some of the rare angels and I was wondering if I can use some of your angel pics. Of course I would indicate in the articles are from you.. so is it possible?? <Absolutely my friend. Anything I have is available for non-profit purposes. If there is something you don't see on the site, please don't hesitate to contact me. This is an important way for me to spiff up my files, work, and help others. Thanks for asking. Bob Fenner> John http://www.angelfire.com/extreme2/Marinefishes/index.htm <Will add your site to our links as well. Very nice.>

Hello I need your help! (too small tank...) I have been through three Emperor Angels. Two I killed do to copper. <Really> The third was defiantly not my doing, It kinda behaved and looked like one of those overly-brightly-colored disoriented specimens from the Philippines and Indonesia.( cyanided and doomed) who knows! I unfortunately to late have been told you can't use copper on Angel fish. So I'm going to try a Pomacanthus annularis  This weekend. <Perhaps a better choice... or another source for a healthier, more Indian Ocean or Red Sea Emperor...> He is extremely healthy for I've had my eye on him for about 3 months at this LFS. Eats, very social! I DON'T WANT TO KILL IT! I looked on your web site for some info and found very little on Annularis. Can you fill me in. <I will try... saw many specimens of this species the last few weeks diving in Malaysia and Indonesia... was the most common species of Angel as a matter of fact> I keep what my test kits say is very clean water! I have 65 gall tank with 40 watt UV and Protein Skimmer. I have a lot of rock and hiding places. Will he beat up my Flamed Angel? The Quarantine tank is an always running 10 gall with a sponge filter and mini Bio Wheel. This fish is not tiny he has already matured and is about $150.00 Can you Help? <Likely I can, but you not be initially happy with my advice: your tank is too small for any of the Pomacanthus Angels... I encourage you to stay with or seek out a different member of the genus Centropyge instead (just one in a sixty five)... all covered on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com.  Bob Fenner>
Hello I need your help! (DARN IT!) (Annularis Angel in a 65)
I wish you replied sooner! <Been out of the country a bit recently> I already bought the Annularis Angel, and already have concerns! This Sunday morning he showed signs of cloudiness in the eyes! He did not like the light on! He hid till we turned the light off. He does explore and pick at things here and there. He likes to follow Huma Huma Trigger, almost to close kind like a shadow. He shows no interest in our flame Angel. Which is a relief but to soon to say. Yesterday and today he is coming out into the light more! He has eaten every day since we bought him. It seems his eye infection is now in just one eye! It looks gross, bit he doesn't seem to mind it! Thanks JET <Do start saving, searching for a larger aquarium... This fish grows to more than a foot in length, needs a few hundred gallons to be happy. Bob Fenner>

Angelfish Loss -=[Gina, I'll be answering "Bob-style" from here on out, to ease transition of these conversations onto the website!]=- <..snip..> Thanks again for all the help...the angel died...but not from Ich...it had no spots on it...just looked blotchy... didn't eat yesterday afternoon...found it dead this morning at 1am... -=[very sad to hear that. probably quite sick before you got it :-( ]=- the hermit crab got caught under a rock for a day and now he is dying...doesn't wander around at all...sheesh... -=[Just because he's staying still doesn't mean he's dying... keep up hope...]=- our 2 blennies are doing fine...2 damsels seem great...and the wrasse although it rubbed against a rock yesterday...seems fine... -=[Wrasses 'flash' quite a bit more than most other fish, natural behaviour]=- we lowered the salinity from .023 1/2 to .022 3/4 last night...raised the temp from 79-80 and will continue a bit more aggressively today...within your guidelines of course...thanks again for your help... you, bob and WetWeb are a blessing to novice aquarists everywhere...and to the fish we try to keep. hugs Gina -=[We (and I definitely speak for Bob here as well) are very, very glad to be of any service to the community and hobby we both love so much... Warmest Regards, Lorenzo]=-

Growth rates of marine angels and Mappa colouration Hello Bob, I was wondering what you consider to be a decent growth rate with marine angels <Slower, steady growth is ideal... animals live longer, healthier lives...> ,I own a Passer which I have had for nearly three years a Maculosus for over two years and a Chrysurus for nearly a year the Chrysurus put on a growth spurt when I first got it and put on a lot of bulk and about an inch quite quickly but has slowed down, but the Passer and Maculosus have only put on about an inch to an inch and a half in all the time I have owned them ,all are in fantastic health and in fact the Maculosus is the richest coloured specimen I have ever seen . So I know there is a lot of variables involved but all things being equal what would you consider to be a good annual growth rate for these and other angels. <Accelerated at first... a few inches in the first year... dropping to about half this every year, and half again in two... water quality, foods, metabolite... limited. Please read over the "Optimized Growth" and related/linked sections on the Marine Index section of our website: www.WetWebMedia.com here.> Also one last quick question if I can ,I have owned two Mappa puffers but the previous one and my current one have a tendency to show quite dark colouration not a bit like the one in your book is this species variable or is this a stress colour? <Both... do change depending on circumstances in their immediate environment and their "mood". No worries in general here. Bob Fenner> Thanks Graham Hannan

Your opinion (re a giant dream of collecting, processing, etailing rare angelfishes) Mr. Fenner, I plan on opening a internet based marine fish store which specializes in only the rarest and hardest to come bye marine angelfish, and I would like your assistance in a few areas. <Not easy to do this business... hope to help you work in the industry first... Have you read over the "Business Index" part of our website: www.WetWebMedia.com? I suggest you look over "The Marine Center" site... link on WWM... as they do the sort of enterprise very well already...> My first question is what are the rarest and hardest to come bye angelfish!?  <Look over the survey pieces on Pomacanthids on the WWM site... and the reference works listed on the Bibliography/Further Reading areas on each article... get and read these over...> I've already decided to get clarion's, Clipperton's, Conspicuous, scribbled, the masked angelfish, West African, the resplendent, the golden pygmy, the red sea angel, Armitage angel, and the Nahacky. I plan to catch most of these my self to ensure the quality and care taken to capture these beauty's. <Wowzah! Lofty goals indeed! Have collected about half of these myself... not easy to get to the areas of most... no realistic way to make "collecting and re-selling" them an economic enterprise... Perhaps your efforts would best be directed into investigating captive breeding?> and when I finally have them in the store they will be quarantined for at least 3 weeks before I sell them and of coarse ill make sure that they eat and are taken care of. And then my second question is what numbers should I maintain of these fish to appease the collectors? <They will tell you in time, turn... just a few initially.> I know that these fish aren't offered in the industry often, so I want to know what type of demand to expect. thank you for any help you offer and it will be greatly appreciated. thank you once again. Michael Camacho <Much more for us to discuss... very enjoyably... do you do much dive travel currently? You are welcome to join us on our regular outings. Very often go to, dive with such collectors around the world. Bob Fenner>

Regal, flame, lemon peel Mr. Fenner, I'm planning on purchasing a regal angel and I was wondering what you thought about my plan of adding it to a live rock tank with a flame and lemon peel already in it. do you think that there might be a problem with the flame and regal? or with the lemon peel? there is also a percula in there I really don't think he would be a problem though. well any advice you could spare would be greatly appreciated thank you Mr. Fenner Michael Camacho <Hmm, could work out if the tank was big enough... at least a 180 to start with... and the Regal is from the Indian Ocean or Red Sea... Please see the Marine Angelfishes coverage on our website: www.WetWebMedia.com for much more. Bob Fenner>

Key Specimen Decision Bob--Hope you made it back safely and had a fabulous trip! <Same to you... in Cabo, a bit rough and cold water... but am hopeful of some nice pix... one dive was incredible... in that I saw and tried to photograph some four or five fishes on my checklist for the area that I did not have images of!> I'm in the planning stages now for stocking the 180 reef. I figured if I thought all this out now, I won't be making any "impulse buys" that usually are negative events from a disease and compatibility standpoint. <Good point, plan> The new tank will have a 30 gallon sump w/in-sump skimmer and a 12-gallon separate refugium overflowing into the sump. (I ran out of room in the sump so now will have separate, and larger, refugium.) <Ah, good> I'll add 100# of LR to the existing 150# for a total of 250#, and will have a 4" DSB (300# of Southdown sand seeded with the LS from my current system after the new LR is cycled). <Good> Current fish livestock includes 2 yellow tangs (3-4"), 1 purple tang (same size--he started out small and has grown lots over the past couple of months!), 3 bicolor Chromis (1 1/2 "), 1 yellow-tailed damsel (1"), 1 banded goby (3"), 1 maroon clown (2 1/2") and the blue-sided fairy wrasse (3"). My plan for the 180 is to add only one larger "show fish" and a school of something else for impact. I've about decided to use green Chromis for the school--perhaps 7 of them or so.  <A good choice> I'm having a little more of a struggle settling on the "show fish." Here's what I'm considering (not all of them--just one!!!): Sailfin Tang Hippo Tang Naso Tang Sohal Tang I'm leaning toward the Sohal, being a fish that is extremely hardy, will get to a good "show" size of around 8", but should never outgrow the system. I was thinking a Hippo would be a little small for the main showpiece, and the Sailfin already looks a lot like the Zebrasomas. And I fear a Naso might outgrow even a 180-gallon system. Would a Sohal get along with the current residents on a long-term basis?  <Hmm, yes... But I encourage you to seek more of a "personality" fish here actually... No interest in a mid-sized Angel... would really like to have you keep an Asfur or Maculosus if you think you might be getting an even larger system in a year or so...> Are they still as hardy as they were when you wrote about them? <Yes... but potentially aggressive... should be the intended alpha fish...> And the final question--after these additions, I feel like the new system would be at a comfortable capacity and I would not be adding any more fish (except perhaps one more banded goby to help in the clean-up effort). I really don't like the idea of adding fish that will eventually outgrow the system, and I hate reading about the Sailfin intentionally added to a 55 gallon system as a "temporary resident" because he will eventually get too big.  <Hmm, me too> I want my system stocked for the long-term, based upon the full-grown size of all the residents. In this size system, will this stocking plan allow me to keep all of these specimens for the long-term without overcrowding?  <Should, yes... by aquarium standards> Would you agree that these final additions would bring this system to capacity (for the fish part) on a long-term basis? <Okay> One other comment--an idea for your website. It would be really neat if you had a page entitled "Species to Avoid" that had links from species names to appropriate articles on your site. For example, the "Cleaner Wrasse" could link to the cleaner wrasse article, etc. It would be a good, quick reference to advise in one place what species are not suitable for a captive marine system, that might apprise people "up front" what NOT to buy for their aquarium.  <Thank you for this... good idea... will add to my burgeoning "to do" list for WWM and for submission to hobby 'zines... hope they will run such and that folks will heed it... Bob Fenner> Anyway, just a thought. Thanks for your thoughts. If you're not back yet, wishing you a safe and happy return. James A. Deets
Re: Key Specimen Decision
Thanks for the quick reply, Bob--I can't wait for you to post some of the new pictures. (It must be difficult to get good pictures on the reef--I have trouble photographing my own fish, and they can only swim away to a degree of four feet. . .) <You're so right... often find myself holding my breath when "doing" aquarium photography...> The reason I haven't considered an angel up to now is that I have always been under the impression that whether they are reef-safe is hit-or-miss. (I will say that I certainly wouldn't mind having one. . .there's nothing like a personality fish--the maroon clown will already eat from my hand.) Would I have potential trouble with P. Maculosus or P. Asfur picking at corals and other sessile inverts?  <Some... the bigger they are... or inversely the smaller the system... the more potential> (I've mostly researched and read up on the Centropyge angels, because I was considering a dwarf in the past for my existing system, but decided instead to go with the wrasse because it wouldn't present a threat of getting "picky" like a Centropyge might.) I noted on WWM that P. Maculosus will sample just about everything. Does that mean they just taste things once and leave them alone, or do they develop a taste for things??  <Both are possible> If they're well-fed with the proper food and always have algae to graze on, is the risk minimal and/or eliminated? <Minimal in a large system> On the larger system--for now, I'm saying this will be it. (But then again, I thought the 115 would be big enough, and that was only six months ago. . .) For now, I want to assume that the 180 will be the final system size and stock the system based on that assumption. The last thing I want to do is back myself into a corner with livestock that might eventually be unsuitable for my current system in a year or so. <I understand... Perhaps a Centropyge or Genicanthus species...> So, with that in mind, just how big do the P. Maculosus and P. Asfur get in captivity? <At least a foot total length> (I noted they are both 18" plus in the wild. . . does that mean 12" in captivity?) You seem to imply that either of these would outgrow the new system. (Whether or not they could remain in the 180 long-term is a question of them being happy and thriving in a tank of that size--not from the standpoint of what the tank could support biologically.) <A three hundred is really about the ideal/minimum for one ultimately...> Thanks for the follow-up! --James D, who loves his tangs and has always been a little uneasy about angels on the reef (but might get over it and try one, with a little encouragement and careful selection) . . . <Or perhaps add a few dive trips to his itinerary and capitulate on the "never say never to an even larger system" oath... Bob Fenner>

Angel fish Hey Bob, I have a relatively new tank (72 gallon Oceanic Bowfront) with about 60 pounds of live rock. Its been up for about a month and a half now. Right now it has: 2 percula clowns 1 regal tang baby 1 Firefish 1 dragon wrasse 1 bicolor Fiji angel 1 coral banded shrimp My problem is with the angel. I have had him about 2 weeks and I haven't seem him eat a thing. I have tried flakes and algae, he just ignores everything. Today he looks like he is barely hanging onto his life. Is there anything I can try? Should I take him back to the fish store and see if they can save him? Id rather give him back then just have it die. I hope you can respond as soon as possible. Thank you very much for your help. -Brandon <There are a few things to try here... you don't mention what species, size, source location... this angel is... Do quickly read through the 'Angelfish' sections of the site: www.WetWebMedia.com and associated "FAQs" files... Perhaps moving this Angel specimen is a good idea... maybe a dip/bath would be of help... if it isn't feeding... Bob Fenner

Re: a Few Q's (mixing angels) Thanks Bob, Right, I sort of feel a bit better about it, knowing I am doing the right thing :-) about the clown trigger So, finally, in your opinion, do you feel my tank is ok for the long term home of my: Emperor angel, blue hippo tang, yellow tang, red sea 4 line cleaner wrasse, and a new flame angel <Umm, yes> *Note: I already have the first 4 fish, sized5",5",3", and 2" respectively ...... angel is sub-adult* The tank is 84"x18"x20" high, with 100 lbs of Fiji LR, and about half that again in ocean rock, which is arranged in two large mounds that the fish can swim around, over, into and through, with about 1200 gals/hr circulation, and two 24"x12"x12" sumps, one filled with Caulerpa, the other housing a Berlin classic skimmer. There is only a thin (0.5 to 1 ") layer of crushed coral sand in the tank. At a later date, say 6 months down the road, I might consider a small (dwarf) puffer or a small lion fish (fuzzy dwarf), or maybe a hardy butterfly like a thread fin, or maybe a banner fish, to add a bit of variety, but I hope my above list will offer enough of that. Any final opinions / thoughts on my plan ??? Thanks for all your input on this ........ I just have made so many silly mistakes, badly thought out, I just want a second opinion on everything to ensure I do not make any more. Cheers, Matt <There is/are no absolute quarantine/s in this life my friend... What you state seems sound... though there is always the possibility of a rogue-temperament individual in all marine species... Bob Fenner>

Marine Angel Compatibility Robert, I have an established fish only 135 gallon tank with a Wet Dry filter, ETS skimmer, and 90 watt UV. Fish in the tank are: Adult Maculosus 7", Power Blue Surgeon 3", Bird Wrasse 7", 4 PJ Cardinals a Tomato Clown and a Coral Beauty. All fish have been around for at least a year and are doing very well. I feed Frozen, flake and Romaine. I would like to add one of the following angels: French, Annularis or a Blue Face. Could you tell me which are compatible and hardy? <All but the Blue Face are hardy aquarium fishes, but I would not add any of these... the Maculosus needs (not wants, needs) this much space, actually a few times this much space to be happy, healthy... You will witness the ill-effects of psychologically crowding a system should you add another large Angel here... Shop for a larger system for your Maculosus and grow out one of these others in the 135... You may read and see my photographs of these species posted on our website: www.WetWebMedia.com. Bob Fenner> Thanks, Jonathan Kocay

Mated angelfish? Bob, China it is! Thank you very much for your assistance on that one, it was getting down to the wire and we had a decision to make. Funny how you can fly to China for about the same price as flying to Cancun in the season. A question: one of your sponsors is selling a pair of Conspiculatus angels and a pair of Emperor angels, and they are "mated." Do these fish even keep a life partner? Did they catch them as a pair, or just find two that won't fight when put together? Basically, what are the reproductive habits of these fish. Thanks. <Yes... at some size the larger Pomacanthids do apparently "mate" and can be found in the wild in what appear to be permanent pairings. Look to the works of Thresher on Reef Fish Reproduction here for definitive observations. Bob Fenner> -Josh P.S. - I cannot afford these, or much at all right now, just curious. <Go see them where they live. Bob Fenner>

Blueface and blue girdle angel hello again Dr. Ron, <Hmm, is Shimek in the house?> have a couple of questions for you. hope you can fill me in. Have you kept a Blueface angel before? <Yes...> or what else do you know about this fish. I've read your article about the Blueface and you said its hard to keep, why is that so?  <My take on the species, whole subgenus (Euxiphipops) is posted on the site: www.WetWebMedia.com, please go there for pix, the gist of my understanding of this animals captive husbandry> any other info you might want to share? <Hmm, "things are not always as they seem, in fact, rarely"> same thing with the blue girdle... which do you think is more beautiful?  <Both handsome species... > I haven't seen an adult blue girdle before. personally I have a Koran juv in my 150g now and planning to add an emperor soon. would there be a problem coz they look alike as juveniles? and probably with the blue face too. <Likely trouble here in the longer run... Need larger quarters to keep together as anything other than small/juveniles.> thanks, Jon <You're welcome. Bob/Ron Fenner>

Angels together, other env. stress, Ich... trouble hi bob, real quick question, I have a queen angel that has been doing great, but has drastically altered its personality in the last 24 hrs, has few spots (don't know if it is ick, its not rapidly multiplying,), and has pretty much kicked the Lymphocystis I wrote you about two weeks ago. Everyone else is great (even a 5 in blue face), except for an har. tusk that has white spots all over, and scales seem to appear different, almost lightly raised, he is eating well. Water is good except trates of 200ppm <Yikes...> , I did a water change to help bring it down some. Is it possible for the trates to stress these fish? <Absolutely... And there is likely added antagonism from these two angels being squeezed together...> Do you think I have ick, or bacteria infect. and should I treat it? Thanks, tom <Hard to say... I would, with what little information provided here, go the sure/safe route and manipulate the treatment environment (spg, temp), and treat with a chelated copper and matched test kit... then later avail myself of biological cleaners... Much as detailed in places on "Marine Disease" on the www.WetWebMedia.com site... and do this NOW! You are definitely in danger of losing all your livestock, and having a permanently infested system... Don't be casual here... this is REAL TROUBLE. Bob Fenner>

Tanks and Angels Hi Bob, Matt Silvester here, using a different email account :-) <Hmm, sneaky> Quick couple of short Q's about my tank. It is 84"x18"x18". I am considering an upgrade, but amongst other things which have to be overcome to achieve this, is convincing the household that a BIGGER tank will be better :-) <Move them out and put in tanks where they used to be!> I would like a 8x2x2' tank, but doesn't really suit the location where it will go, as it is an alcove, only 18" deep (the same place my current tank is). I could easily swing a 96" x 18" wide x 24" tall. There would be no objections to that :-). <You'd be much happier with a wider size/shape... though as you are likely aware, this is almost a stock size... with a few folks making a/the 240 in eight foot by eighteen inches by thirty inches high size> But I wonder, is it worth it??? Would the extra 12" in length, and 6" in height make much of a difference to my fish ??? I know it is an increase of 60 gals to the volume ..... but is it worth doing??? Or could the money be better spent on other things ??? (improved lighting, more LR, more circulation, bigger skimmer, etc). <Only you can tell... How bout having both systems? One mainly soft, the other stony corals?... How bout ditching the couch?> Also, I currently have two angels in my existing tank, an emperor and queen, both sub adult, both about 5 to 6" in size. They are not quarreling directly, but the emperor makes it well known that he is the boss .... clicking and displaying, occasionally chasing the queen .... he doesn't nip here or anything, and it doesn't seem serious, and 95% of the time he doesn't bother her, but is this causing a lot of stress to both fish ???  <Yes, and will only get worse... the Emperor is... the Emperor...> Enough to warrant removing one of them ???  <IMO yes> I would be really disappointed having to move one of these fish along....but better that (one fish) than end up with two disease prone, stunted, stressed short lived fish. <Well put, agreed.> If I were to attempt to re-house one of these fish, I presume I could put the emperor in a smaller tank than I could put the queen in (long term). What would you consider minimum ????  <N, No... both should be in at least one hundred fifty gallon systems now... larger later> If I did do this, it would be very low stocked .... a few damsels or Chromis, a blenny or two, but nothing else "big". I would just like to get a feel for my options. Would reducing my current stock in general help with the aggression between the angels???  <Not really... they still will/would be able to see, smell each other.> I also have a regal tang and Foxface, each 5". I could move them on if would help my angels. I would rather move on everything else rather than one of my angels, but I am not under any illusions .... I know that won't make much difference, and it would be pretty impractical. <Yes to the latter> Thanks for reading yet another of my long winded drawn out posts. Regards Matt PS. Of the more commonly visited diving locations worldwide, which do you feel are the better places to go ??? i.e. GBReef, red sea, Caribbean, Thailand, etc??? <The Red Sea if you've never been there... even just the upper Gulf (of Aden)... Like Sharm el Sheik... Very calm, typically clear water, warm enough year round... good dive et al. services, not expensive (once you're there), safe (problems in Egypt are elsewhere, very beautiful fishes, non-fishes, underwater/above water landscapes, nice people... Take a read over the "Fishes of" parts of the WWM site. Bob Fenner>
Re: tank
Hi again Bob, Thanks for your previous reply. Guess I am going to have to look for new accommodation for one of my angels :-( be it a new tank on my part (doubtful) or passing him back to the LFS. <Perhaps a sale or trade with another local hobbyist> I am now left with the tough choice as to which to give up ??? The queen is a better fish I know, in that she is a hardier, easier to feed, more resilient species. But the emperor has been my long term favourite, although lately there is not a lot in between the two in terms of "favourites". <Maybe another tank...> Perhaps the deciding factor would be compatibility with other stock I hope to keep long term. My next "priority" that I would like to keep long term is my clown trigger, which is currently about 2.5" or so. Would either angel be more suitable ??? <A tough one... I side on choosing the Emperor... For a few personal reasons... found in same areas as the Clown Trigger... Think will look better together... But/and both will need larger quarters as well... sigh> Thanks for your time. Much appreciated. Regards, Matt <Be chatting my friend. Bob Fenner>

Re: last and final chapter to the angel Q's :-) Dear Bob, Thanks again for your reply regarding my angels / trigger. Much appreciated. For the moment I think I agree with you about the emperor looking better with the clown trigger, than the queen would. I spent some time watching them earlier, and the colours etc definitely contrast better. You commented on how both the trigger and the emperor would require a bigger tank eventually. My question here would be how big is bigger ??? Would the proposed 96"x18" x 24" not be suitable ???  <Yes, this would do for a few (2-3) years...> If I was really pushed then I could get the 240 ..... 8x2x2', but would rather the narrower tank for domestic reasons :-) Would either of these tanks be big enough as a long term, final home for these two ...... along with a few others of course, although not as big ... couple of smaller tangs and so on, but nothing else bigger than 5 or 6" ??? <Yes> Second question, when would I "need" to be looking at this new tank, if damaging the long term health / growth / colour is to be avoided ??? i.e. at what size would the fish be needing the new system ??? I am guessing at about 7 or 8", sooner if possible. <2-3 years> Third question. In the mean time, with my present situation with the angels, am I likely to be damaging the long term colour / growth / health by not acting immediately ..... give me a chance to be sure which one to move. Thanks for your replies. Kind regards, Matt <No worries, and no great likelihood on damaging the current, proposed specimens because of the size of the system... more important are water quality and nutrition... Be chatting. Bob Fenner>
Re: last and final chapter to the angel Q's :-)
Hi Bob, Thanks for the reply. I think you may have mis-understood part of my query .... well actually it was the way I worded it, it was not very clear :-). But anyway, I asked "In the mean time, with my present situation with the angels, am I likely to be damaging the long term colour / growth / health by not acting immediately ...." to which you responded "No worries, and no great likelihood on damaging the current, proposed specimens because of the size of the system... ". I meant am I damaging the angels by keeping them together at the moment since the queen and emperor are beginning to show early signs of quarreling....i.e. posturing etc, but nothing serious. By that I mean, am I causing long term harm by not separating them now??? I would like to have a month or two to ponder on my options, and decide where I am going to move the queen to. I think you thought I meant was I damaging them by the size of the tank :-) Sorry for not making myself clear the first time, and wasting your valuable time. regards, Matt <And sorry for not being clearer on my part. Let's try to say this in a slightly different way: "Not much likelihood that there is much long term damage to either/both angel species at this time/place due to the size of the system they are cohabiting"... Certainly, with growth their antagonistic behavior toward each other will escalate, and a much larger system would extend the time frame, alleviate much of the potential for damage... But some aggression is "natural" and desirable... indeed, adds to color, growth, health... You're faced with being a careful observer and intervening if/when real damage does occur. Bob Fenner>
Re: last and final chapter to the angel Q's :-)
Thanks Bob, I have become really conscious of my fishes home lately, and am trying as hard as possible to minimize stress sources etc and getting water into good shape ..... it is quite good anyway .... but better :-) Due to a recent (today) actually change in future financial circumstances (new job), I might be able to afford that new tank sooner than I thought .... the 96"x18"x24" tall ... hopefully anyway :-) <Good for you, and your livestock> If this does come about, I am considering a deep sand bed, as well as a nice big Caulerpa filled, intensely lighted sump for Caulerpa, to help with waste management ....... looking into it for now, in no real hurry, but I am reading up :-) ...just about to log onto WetWeb, and have a look at the Q&A's for today, and look over articles on DSB's and so on. <Ah, sounds good...> For now my mind is at ease, the angels are ok for now, and I am "ready" for WW3, should it break out ...... gives me some time to think about this, the angel situation that is. Thanks for your help, as usual you have done wonders for my sleep :-) Cheers Matt <Very glad my friend> PS. That new jazzed up web site sounds great that was mentioned in your Q&A's the other day. Good luck with it. Also, I have preliminary plans to visit Cairns (barrier reef) at the end of the summer, ..... might try and stop off at the red sea on the way too for a few days :-) <Wowzah, wish I was going with you... both great locations... Make sure and bring snorkeling gear and even those inexpensive "throw away" underwater cameras... With someone like you who knows what to anticipate in appearances, animal behavior, some great photos can be made. Bob Fenner>

Question: Can angels and triggers live in a reef tank without destroying everything? Bob's Answer: Cory, some triggers and angels, as species AND individuals do leave "well enough alone" in different types of reef systems. Obviously all live together in the wild, so my question goes back to you: What makes the difference in captive confines whether there is over-predation, aberrant behavior (maybe) resulting in damage to other organisms...? What do you think? There are species of both families of fishes that historically work out much better. The very smallest of the dwarf (genus Centropyge) angels, and some of the more "easy-going" Balistids, like those of the genus Sufflamen. What other key livestock do you want to keep? This will help you to sort out the other "fishy" livestock per it's likelihood of munching on it.  

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