Species Name: Holacanthus bermudensis
Authority: Goode 1876
Common Name: Blue Angelfish, Bermuda Angelfish
Range: Western Atlantic Ocean: Gulf of Mexico, Florida, Bermuda, and the Bahamas
Size: 15 inches (38 cm)
Natural Environment: Inhabits boat channels (juveniles) with adults in shallow coastal rocky reefs at depths of 3 to 300 feet (1 – 90 m) and feeds primarily on sponges.
General Husbandry: Both the juvenile and adult are quite pretty, with the juvenile having a yellowish frontal body that turns brownish yellow midway to the tail, which is a bright yellow, as are its pectoral and pelvic fins. There are several white vertical lines on the body, and its dorsal and anal fins are edged in bright blue. As for the adult, it has a bluish yellowish body, bright yellow face, blue highlighted chest and forehead areas, blue and yellow pectoral fins, and the tail is edged in yellow. It also has blue edged dorsal and anal fins, which have long yellow streamers.
When first introduced into the aquarium, preferably a well-established fish-only aquarium with lots of live rock and cave areas, adults or juveniles should be offered several daily feedings so as to quickly acclimate it to its surroundings. Like many others in this genus, their captive diet should consist of a wide variety of frozen foods including fortified brine shrimp, mysis, and especially those containing sponge matter/angelfish food preparations and continued to be offered several times daily after its acclimated to its surroundings. Furthermore, even though not known to be a browser of algae in the wild, flake foods, and especially those containing Spirulina and/or Nori should be offered occasionally along with fresh broccoli.
Depending upon its tankmates, juveniles may be somewhat shy when first entering the aquarium, and may hide in caves and crevices. But as time passes, will become more outgoing and begin to establish its territory. As for adults, it all depends on aquarium size and tankmates, but keep in mind, those in this genus are thought of as the feistiest/most aggressive of all angelfishes and therefore, its preferable they are the last angelfish to be added to the aquarium.
FYI: The Blue Angel is closely related to the Queen Angelfish as it has the same range and commonly crossbreeds. The Blue is somewhat smaller, being about 15 inches when fully grown, with the Queen at about 18 inches. The two main differences are that the Queen’s entire tail is yellow, whereas the Blue’s is trimmed in yellow, and the Queen has a quite defined blue and black crown on the forehead, which is not present on the Blue. Juveniles in both species have similar coloration.
Keeping more than one genus of angelfishes in the same aquarium is possible, yet depends upon several aspects. The following suggested circumstances are just that, possibilities that when heeded and adjusted to actual aquarium conditions ‘may’ make multiple angelfish collections feasible.
Aquarium size – the larger the better.
Species from the same genus should not be in the same aquarium.
The smallest and most docile genus species should be the first introduced with the largest and most malicious the last to be added.
Do not place similar coloration species in the same aquarium.
Those already in the aquarium should be well fed before adding a newcomer.
Have sufficient hiding places/rocky caves.
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: Fish-only and Reef Aquariums (See Below)
Reef Safe: Juveniles – Yes/Adults - No - will nip clam mantles, large and small polyped stony (LPS/SPS) corals, and also some soft corals and tubeworms.
Minimum Tank Size: 125 gallons
Temperature Range: 70 - 82°F (21 – 27°C)
Specific Gravity: 1.020 - 1.026
pH: 8.0 - 8.5
Photo Credit: Bob Fenner
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