By Bob Goemans
Site Supported in Part by:
Boyd Enterprises 


Centropyge flavissima

(Cuvier, 1831)

Lemonpeel Angelfish

Not Reef Tank Suitable

Likely Fish-Only Tank Suitable

Range: Indo-West Pacific Ocean: Cocos-Keeling and Christmas Islands north to southern Japan and south to New Caledonia and Rapa Islands.

Size: 5.5 inches (14 cm)

Natural Environment: Inhabits shallow coral rich lagoons and exposed seaward reefs and mainly feeds on algae.

General Husbandry: This beautiful dwarf angelfish has a yellow body, often with a blue circle around the eye and blue on the edges of the gill plate, dorsal and anal fins. An excellent browser of filamentous, macroalgae, and microalgae and will also accept a wide variety of frozen foods including fortified brine shrimp, mysis, and flake food, especially Spirulina. Nevertheless, access to large amounts of ‘algae’ is important to maintaining this species in a healthful condition. Its also recommended they not be placed in aquariums with other genus species or docile or more passive species as they can become abusive to less aggressive species, small or larger.

Not suited for small nano style aquariums, as they will not only become very aggressive in these small aquariums, they will, without numerous feedings per day, be able to find enough food to be maintained long-term.


    Order: Perciformes

    Suborder: Percoidei

    Family: Pomacanthidae

    Genus: Centropyge

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

Temperament: Semi-aggressive

Diet: Omnivore

Acclimation Time: 30 minutes+

Aquarium Environment: Fish-only aquarium

Reef Safe: No – will nip clam mantles, sea anemones, large–polyped stony (LPS) corals and some soft corals such as zoanthids.

Minimum Tank Size: 50 gallons

Temperature Range: 72 - 82°F (22 – 27°C).

Specific Gravity: 1.020-1.027

pH: 8.0 - 8.5

 Centropyge flavissima   (Lemonpeel Angelfish)
Photo © Bob Goemans
Site Supported in Part by:
Ocean Nutrition