Centropyge bispinosus - Coral Beauty Angelfish

Family - Pomacanthidae

Order - Perciformes

Length - Up to 4 inches

Recognition - Dark purple body with bright orange and yellow markings on the sides.

Habitat - Tropical saltwater in shallow reefs

Behavior - Omnivore

Residency - Pacific Ocean

Life Span - Up to 10 years

Of Special Note - The coral beauty angelfish is one of the most popular angelfish kept in aquariums because it is easier to care for and hardier than the other types of angelfish. It requires a tank of at least 30 gallons and plenty of rockwork to hide in. It can be fed algae and meaty marine foods, although it seems to prefer eating wild algae growing in the tank.

The primary drawback of this species is that it is known, in some instances, to nip at corals. It may also nip at clams as well, making it a questionable addition to tanks with expensive clams and coral. In small aquariums, this species can be territorial and aggressive towards tankmates. It should not be kept with other pygmy angelfish unless they are introduced at the same time or a mated pair.

From my own personal experiences with this species (I have one right now), I can tell you that mine is not aggressive and has yet to attack the corals in my tank. It has never attacked a tankmate, but rather seems to enjoy hanging out with the lawnmower blenny and yellow tang. It is rather shy and likes to swim around in rocks, but I'm guessing that they can become less shy over time. It is a great fish for helping to clean the live rock of hair algae.

Some people seem to get worried when they buy this fish and it won't eat prepared foods right away. Mine did not eat prepared fish foods for at least a month, but it was eating plenty of algae from the live rocks during that time. One day, it started darting out to grab pellets and flakes as the floated down the tank and it has been eating them ever since. Don't worry, it is just doing what comes naturally!

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