By Bob Goemans
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Centropyge heraldi

Woods & Schultz, 1953

Herald’s Angelfish, False Lemonpeel Angelfish, Yellow Angelfish

Likely Reef Tank Suitable

Likely Fish-Only Tank Suitable

Range: Western Pacific Ocean: Southern Japan south to the Great Barrier Reef.

Size: 4 inches (10 cm)

Natural Environment: Inhabits lagoon patch reefs and outer reef slopes at depths from 15 – 300 feet (4 – 90 m) and mainly feeds on algae.

General Husbandry: This beautiful dwarf angelfish has an all yellow body and fins, and often is mistaken for that of the Lemonpeel Dwarf Angelfish. Its also an excellent browser of various kinds of algae 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, as it is with the Lemonpeel, to maintaining this species in a healthful condition. Its highly recommended it be added to only well established aquariums containing lots of live rock that will provide it many caves and crevices to explore and/or hide in when feeling threatened. Its also recommended there be only one species from this dwarf angelfish genus in the aquarium, as they develop anger toward other dwarf angelfish species.

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: Reef or fish-only aquarium

Reef Safe: With caution - has a tendency to 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 heraldi (Herald’s Angelfish, False Lemonpeel Angelfish, Yellow Angelfish)
Photo © Bob Fenner
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