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FAQs about the Paracentropyge Angels

Related Articles: Marine Angelfishes, Paracentropyge

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

Angelfishes for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Paracentropyge harem/small group       6/7/17
Hi crew! Many thanks for your ongoing efforts, I am an avid reader and this is my first time writing in. I am looking to get a few opinions as to some of my stocking plans.
First off, I am trying to form a small group of Paracentropyge multifasciatus.
<Beautiful species; not easily kept at times>
In my 5'x2'x2' 160 gallon, I now have a larger male and a smaller female.
This is a rubble zone tank with two large rock towers on the left and right of the tank, extensive number of dark caves and hiding spaces, and a rubble zone in the middle with small caves and nooks for fish to hide in.
I have had the pair for a year now, and in this current tank for 3 months.
Other than a short chase here and there, where the male reminds the female of the pecking order, there is no serious aggression. The chase doesn't end in any physical harm or even physical contact. In the evenings before lights off I have also witnessed courting and mating behavior.
<I would set up an egg collector (overflow type); and try your hand at rearing... reading re culture of food organisms>
The male will nuzzle the female's abdomen repeatedly, and she will curl her tail or turn on her side. This is all close to the surface of the water, and there will be some swimming around together. I haven't yet witnessed any eggs released, however.
<They're small, transparent... likely there, floating, getting sucked up in filtration, skimming>
This tank is pretty sparsely stocked, and I don't want to have too many more fish. Centropyge/Paracentropyge are the final desired future additions. The only other inhabitants are two S. picturatus (had them 1.5 years, spawn regularly), two S. splendidus (had them 1 year, also spawn regularly), and 2 small gobies.
So, I am planning on adding two more P. multifasciatus,
<Mmm; I'd just add one more female>

similar in size to the smaller female of the pair now. I am planning on a six week plus quarantine where the new ones would be fattened up and introduced to feeding, treated for flukes, tank transfer method if necessary. Most importantly I want to make sure I am introducing strong, comfortable, and confident fish to the DT.
<Good moves, philosophy>
My question is in your opinion, will this group be OK in terms of aggression?
<I think two males here would/will be unhappy>
I am thinking to place the established pair (or at least the male) in an acclimation box, or even a separate tank, when the new ones eventually get introduced. Then, monitor group dynamics and release the established ones
when the new ones are comfortable.
<Good S.O.P.; still.... not what I would do>
Also, I was also thinking of adding two small C. multicolor at the same time (also properly QT'd, conditioned). In your opinion, would the group dynamics work out peacefully between these two species?
<Better than more than one male per species>
Thank you so much!
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner, who may open up a "Perfect Little Angels" ornamental aquaculture facility someday, including these Centropyge spp.>
Re: Paracentropyge harem/small group       6/7/17

Dear Bob,
Thank you for your valuable feedback.
<Glad to share>
Regarding collection of the eggs, indeed that is in the works. I have reared S. picturatus to 4 months, but I that realize with Centropyge the difficulty is on another level. I will happily write back when that project is underway.
<Please do>
I had a follow up question, if you would please indulge me. As you had mentioned, two males would definitely be a problem. The two individuals I am planning on adding would hopefully be females (based on the size). Would it be an issue in this case to add the two?
<Likely not an issue if smaller, female>
For C. multicolor, my plan is to slowly introduce two individuals with a size difference to each other, as this is how I established my Multibar pair. So, I am aiming to create a male/female pair. I am anticipating that since the Multibars will have their group dynamics preoccupying them, the Multicolors would be more or less ignored. Is this realistic and worth a shot at trying out?
<In a system this size or larger, more and more worthwhile>
Thank you!
<Welcome. BobF>

Need ID please,,, Centropyge... cross?      2/1/16
Hi Bob,
Is this a Venustus Pygmy Angelfish?
<At least partly I believe. Have shared on FB, looking for others input>
We aren't sure because of the markings
on the anal fin. What say you?
<It's gorgeous... don't know if it's simply an aberrant Venustus or a cross. Thank you for sharing.
Will hold onto this email and report if there is further input. Bob Fenner>

From FB:      2/1/16
Lemon Tyk, others; what do you make of this Venustus Angel pic? Just an aberrant individual? A cross you've come across?
Lemon Tyk      2/1/16
Hi Bob Fenner. Not a venusta (although the nape and posterior dorsal markings are highly reminiscent). I was just discussing this with Brian D. Greene about a week back. We know this fish is definitely Centropyge heraldi, but aberration or hybrid, we're not sure. Some literature suggests C. heraldi x C. nox, and I can kind of understand see that happening. The body profile is slightly taller in this fish (very elongate in heraldi). The convoluted squiggling on the anal fin is also unusual. While C. heraldi has this, it is usually quite nascent and difficult to see. The weird thing is, this phenotype has the ability to lose the black almost completely. While not all of them do, it certainly is possible. So the question of hybrid vs. aberrant is somewhat equivocal (?) perhaps? All guesswork without molecular analysis.
Like · Reply · Just now
Bob Fenner      2/1/16

Wow! And to think years back there was discussion that C. heraldi was a nullum nudum! Thank you for this. JanL note.
Lemon Tyk      2/1/16
FTR, both nox and heraldi have very similar fin counts. I tried comparing this against the two and found nothing really conclusive....
Re: Need ID please      2/1/16

Thank you, Bob. Feel free to share...
<Ah; thank you Jan. I see you've seen Lemon's comments. Surprised to find this labeled as a Herald's. Shades of Earl S.!
Re: Need ID please      2/1/16

Yes. Thank you for your help. LOL!!
<Welcome. B>
Re: Need ID please      2/1/16

<I still think this might be a cross. B>
Re: Need ID please      2/1/16

I don't discount it being a cross especially when we see fish like mandarin cross breeding because of over fishing.... Nature still gifts us for our greed...
<Thus far... B>

Paracentropyge boylei, the Peppermint Angelfish... culture, avail.  -- 02/04/11
<Hi there>
I know a lot of people love this fish, but I was wondering if anyone is breeding of trying to breed these little guys,
<Not as far as I'm aware, no>
Maybe the place in Hawaii that has been doing so well with breeding Angelfish?
<Frank Baensch? Not this genus, species>
Do you see these ever making it to the trade or will any that make it go to the high bidders in Japan....
<Have heard rumors of sales in the west, but have never seen this fish personally>
And how come they go to Japan before the United States?
<"To the highest bidders">
Do you know of any in the united states or a public Aquarium?
<I do not>
Thank you for the time.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner> 

Paracentropyge multifasciata pics for you 8/23/10
here are a few pics of Paracentropyge multifasciata I took that you can have if you want. Thanks for the helpful site.
-tom guilz
<Thank you for sharing Tom. Will post w/ credit to you. Bob Fenner>

Venustus angel rating Mr. Fenner how are you?  My name is Jason and I wanted to get your  opinion on a specific angel that I really like.  I swear by your book and  follow it through everything I do but I don't see anything about this angel in  there.   The Sumireyakko venustus:  how do you feel about this  particular angel? Does it fare well in the home aquarium?  Will it live a  long life?   Thanks a lot, Jason <Unfortunately this beautiful angelfish has a dismal survival history. Most live less than a week in captivity. For hardiness, look to some of the Centropyge dwarf angels... my and many others input is archived on our website: www.WetWebMedia.com Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

Multi-barred Angel - Paracentropyge multifsciata Hello crew- <Michael) I recently saw one of these fish in my LFS, and went on the hunt for information before purchase.  Unfortunately, there isn't a lot out there.   From what I've been able to find, they get to about 4 inches, and are a deepwater species. <Relatively, yes>   I have also been told that the biggest problem with these fish is getting them to feed.  Scott Michael's book gives them a 2 for aquarium suitability for this reason. <I give this species the middle of three levels of rating. Most  live about three months in captivity> I emailed the Marine Center about these guys, and was told that they definitely need a reef system, to pick on the rocks for supplemental feedings. <Agreed>   I have a 1.5 year old 90 gallon reef tank with over 95 lbs. of live rock.  I was wondering if you may have any additional information on feeding and behavior, as well as what to look for when purchasing an individual. <Nowadays, the few individuals of this species that are imported come in initially in good health... I would skip quarantine, but do a dip/bath for several minutes, and place immediately in your reef system>   Additionally, if anyone has kept one of them, that would be great to know as well!  Thanks for you time and help. Mike <More first hand information might be obtained from posting your query on BB's like reefs.org. Do record and volunteer accounts of your experience for others edification. Bob Fenner>

Re: Multi-barred Angel - Paracentropyge multifsciata Thank you for the response.  I did purchase it after I saw it picking at the rock in its tank at the store.  I  placed it directly in the tank based on the Marine Center's information.  It quickly found a dark place to hide, but popped out the next day to pick at the rocks.  I have seen it pick at Formula 2 flakes off the rocks as well, so I'm encouraged. <Me too. Great!>   Still acting very shy, especially when it sees me coming by.  No problem with aggression, and I haven't seen it pick at any of my corals (mostly leathers and Shrooms with a frogspawn and open brain), although it has only been a couple of days. <Only time will tell...> Also, I didn't think that my message got through (my computer crashed as I hit send), so I sent another one from my work address with the same subject.   Sorry for the inconvenience. Mike <No worries. Thanks for the input. Bob Fenner>

-Paracentropyge multifasciata: the Multi-Barred Angel- Hi WWM crew! First of all : thanks for all your support and sharing your knowledge. I'm reading Bob's and Anthony's books almost every day again&again and still finding something new and interesting. Now to my question: I was enjoying pics of Paracentropyge multifasciata in the marine books and was sure I will never see it in my LFS, all the books say, this angel is very rare and not imported. <A spectacular fish, unfortunately very difficult to feed.> What was my surprise when I've found it in LFS in Vienna last week. The specimen was looking good, healthy and alert, the price was good , so who could resist? <If it wasn't eating I would find it very easy to resist> It is hard to find any more information regarding this angel. Now I have 3" Multi-barred in my 110g reef , my other fishies are: 3" yellow tang 3" maroon clown 2" Yellowtail damsel 1,5" Allen's damsel 2" dimidiatus cleaner 2" bicolor blenny approx 30 soft corals, some LPS , one Montipora. Water parameters are OK. So far , the angel is doing well, I dipped him in freshwater dip, bathed twice in aquarium water to wash all parasites and powered on the 15W UV sterilizer. He looks good, not hiding too much and he is discovering holes and caves in the rocks. My questions are: 1: what should be his meal plan, so far he is sampling the LR and sand, will 110g provide enough food or should I try something to feed? yes there are some algae , but not too much , the tang lives mostly on spinach and lettuce. <You will most definitely need to feed it. Try all sorts of frozen foods like Mysis shrimp, clam, shrimp, etc. You must also incorporate plenty of algae into its diet as well. I would suggest halting the spinach and lettuce in favor of dried seaweeds. Good luck getting it to eat, they can be very tricky. You may need to try garlic and vitamin supplements in the food as potential attractants.> 2: would it be OK to add one more tang (hepatus) and one more angel (flame) in the future ? <You should be fine with a hepatus tang, but I'd skip the flame since you already have an angel.> thanks for your help, Roman from Slovakia <Good luck Roman! -Kevin>

Rare Angel I've been seeing a lot of these around the LFS.  Are the easy to keep ? What are the causes for their untimely death? <The Multibar Angel (Paracentropyge multifasciata) IS a neat fish, but most people have a very difficult time with them for the simple reason that they cannot get these guys to eat. Since they are from deeper water, they often suffer from various collection traumas, and in many cases, are doomed before ever arriving at the LFS. If you can get a specimen that is eating, provide it with a more dimly lit tank and few competitors, this fish can be maintained successfully. I think the whole key with these fishes, and with some of the more rare Centropyge angelfishes, is to get a specimen that has been eating prepared foods. Quarantine is an absolute must! Not only will it give you a chance to make sure that the fish is healthy, but it will "toughen up" this fish for captive life. The rest is just a matter of common sense, providing an appropriate level of care, an environment suited to their needs. Take a tip from WWM's David Dowless, who practically camps out in his LFS before buying a fish! This is a great strategy! You need to observe this fish for a good long time to ascertain its health. Ask the LFS personnel to feed th fish- not once- but a couple of times or more...see how it feeds, watch it's general behaviour. You may even want to place a deposit on the fish and see if it's still eating and healthy for a week or so before you bring it home. Good luck with this beautiful fish, if you do get one, and let us know how things turn out! Regards, Scott F>

Rare Angel (Cont'd) Thanks for the info:  My next question is whether or not the Multi-Barred Angel can be kept in a 378 gallon tank with a Coral Beauty and a Lemon Peel,  or a Coral Beauty and a Flame ? <Well, in a sizeable tank like that, it's certainly possible if there is enough rockwork to create defined "territories" for each angel. It's tough to generalize how each individual will react to the presence of other Centropyge species, but your chances are certainly increased in a spacious aquarium. In my experience, Lemonpeels seem to be among the more belligerent pygmy angels, so you may want to introduce the Lemonpeel last. Flame Angels can be quite aggressive to other Centropyge angels, too. Coral Beauties seem to be quite sociable most of the time, so this fish might be a good choice. Finally, if you are going to introduce the Multi-Barred Angel, I'd get this fish in the tank first; let it establish a "routine" and a territory. It tends to be somewhat shy, so by letting it settle in, it will probably be better off when the other angels arrive. Good Luck to you! Regards, Scott F>

Angelfishes for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

New eBook on Amazon: Available here
New Print Book on Create Space: Available here

by Robert (Bob) Fenner
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