Likely Reef Tank Suitable
Likely Fish-Only Tank Suitable
Range: Indo-West Pacific Ocean: East Africa to the Seychelles, west to Tahiti, north to Southern Japan, and south to the Great Barrier Reef.
Size: 4 inches (10 cm)
Natural Environment: Inhabits coastal lagoon coral heads, outer reef slopes, and outer reef faces and found singly or in small aggregations at depths of 10 to 200 feet (3 – 60 m). Diet consists of algae and detritus. Males form small social groups having two to five females.
General Husbandry: This hardy dwarf angelfish is quite beautiful as its body is almost completely a dark bluish-purplish, often with yellow, red or sometimes orange vertical stripes. Quite secretive in the wild and because of its natural shyness its highly recommended it be added to only well established aquariums containing lots of live rock that can provide it many caves and crevices to explore and/or hide in when feeling threatened.
As to diet, an excellent browser of filamentous algae and detritus, yet will also accept a wide variety of frozen foods including fortified brine shrimp, mysis, and flake food, especially Spirulina. Two feedings per day is highly recommended. Its also recommended there be only one species from this dwarf angelfish genus in the aquarium, as they will develop aggression toward other dwarf angelfish, yet usually is quite peaceful with other tankmates.
Not suited for small nano style aquariums, as they will become very aggressive in small surroundings, and furthermore, without numerous feedings per day, be able to find enough food to be maintained long-term.
FYI: All Centropyge species start life as unsexed individuals, but begin their adult life as females. Then, the larger or more dominant individual within small groups will change sex within a few days to a couple of weeks and become a male. Knowing that size is the main difference between the sexes, and not so much its coloration, all one needs to do is place a small and larger specimen together. Within approximately sixty days one of the two fish will have physically changed sex to accommodate the other. A reversal of this sex change is possible if the need arises, but that requires much more time, e.g., weeks to months.
Keep in mind all angels have cheekspines at the edge of their gill cover; therefore use caution when handling and also avoid using a net to capture it, as it may become stuck or tangled in the net and become damaged when removed.
Experience Level: Intermediate
Acclimation Time: 30 minutes+
Aquarium Environment: Reef aquarium (see below) or fish-only aquarium
Reef Safe: With caution – underfed specimens have a tendency to nip clam mantles, and large and small–polyped stony (LPS/SPS) corals.
Minimum Tank Size: 50 gallons
Temperature Range: 70 - 82°F (21 – 27°C).
Specific Gravity: 1.020-1.026
pH: 8.0 - 8.5