Stuff In My Tank – Coral Beauty Angelfish

Image from Wet Web Media's article on the Centropyge Angelfish

Image from Wet Web Media's article on the Centropyge Angelfish. These fish tend to photograph worse than drunks on prom night and look a lot nicer in person.

Livestock Type – Angelfish, or Centropyge bispinosus

Common Name – Coral Beauty Angelfish.  Can be confused with the Rusty or Potter’s Angelfish due to size, shape, similar patterns on the torso, and variation in coloring and markings.  As the Rusty and the Potter’s Angelfish are more expensive, anyone selling them are unlikely to label them as a Coral Beauty (although the opposite may be true).

Care Level – Easy.  Mine has been happy and healthy in the 30g reef tank for going on three years.  Caution should be taken during acclimation, but that’s true of any fish.

Environmental Impact -Medium. Angelfish are now being aquacultured, particularly the smaller reef-friendly Centropyge species, but odds are extremely good that any Coral Beauty in your LFS will be wild-caught.  Coral Beauty Angels are a common fish found throughout the Pacific Ocean and adjacent seas, and are not listed as a protected species under the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

Should I Put It In My Tank? – Depends.  Adding a Centropyge angelfish is a judgment call, as they have an unpredictable streak.  Rumor has it that they start out sweet and reef-compatible, then evolve into mean, nasty coral-devouring satanists who will keep you up at all hours with their chicken sacrifices.  Midnight rooster slaughter aside, I’ve never had a problem with mine.  She doesn’t touch the coral, the crabs, or anything other than food (although there was that tube worm that mysteriously disappeared…).

What Do I Need To Know? – Most Centropyge angelfish require adequate swimming room and have to be kept in tanks of 25 gallons or more.  The older they get, the more room they require: a large Coral Beauty will be five to six inches in length and will be actively swimming in open water as long as the lights are on.  Angelfish tend to do better in reef tanks with plenty of live rock, and they will supplement their diet by grazing at the algae and other biological matter on the rock.  At night, they hide in the rock.

Does It Play Well With Others? – Depends on the personality of the fish and on its tankmates.  Unless your aquarium is huge – we’re talking 100-plus gallons – only one Centropyge angelfish can be kept in it at a time or they will fight over territory.  Centropyge angelfish are fairly docile otherwise, and are often bullied by more dominant species.  All angelfish have been known to pick at soft biological matter including algae, fresh SPS coral growth, soft coral, some worms, and the mantle on clams, but the degree to which they do so varies widely among members of the same species.  Similarly, the degree of damage caused by nipping needs to be addressed: if a fish nips at these every third day, the damage is minimal; if the fish continuously picks at the soft tissue, it is likely that the affected organism will die.  Word-of-Internets suggests that an angelfish who is a continuous nipper cannot be rehabilitated and must be removed from the tank.

How Will This Species Piss Me Off? – If you are lucky enough to get a reef-safe Coral Beauty, she’ll never cause you a moment of worry.  If you aren’t, then you have to remove the fish from the tank.  Some angelfish are reported to be shy and never leave the shelter of the live rock (goodbye money!), but I have not noticed this with mine or with any Coral Beauty I’ve observed.

What Can I Expect To Spend? – As one of the more common angelfish, the Coral Beauty will run you anywhere between $19.99 to $35 at a decent LFS.  Anything higher than this does not reflect the market value of the fish.

Where Can I Buy It? – Your LFS will either have one in stock or can order one for you.  Buy it local so you can make sure that you get a young one (under 2.5 inches) and that the fish is healthy with bright markings.  Coral Beauties can develop deeper coloring as they mature but their basic patterns will not change, so make sure the one you buy will be the one you still want in five years.

Any Health Hazards? – None, not even nipping at a hand in the tank.

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~ by KBSpangler on August 31, 2009.

6 Responses to “Stuff In My Tank – Coral Beauty Angelfish”

  1. I want to live in your closet, and stare at your fish….hehe

    Seriously though, we have 4 lfs’s, and only one has salt anything…and I wouldn’t buy from them if I had lost everything I owned. The others are not much better, 1 big box, 1 scum hole, and the last is run by an idiot.

    • I have Wal-Mart. That’s it for like… 50 miles all around. FEEL MY PAIN!

      • Pets you with sympathetic hands….

        I do feel the pain, believe me:( Can you believe that one of my criteria for a new city, is excellent aquarium stores? I refuse to consider a city without them. Oh, and decent work opps as well.

    • My closet is a terrifying hellhole! Don’t hide – watching the tank is always better in a comfy chair with tea.

      • Tea……yum!And your aquarium is truly lovely 🙂

        I need a teabox, Tardis, and a Time Lord. Course, if I had those, you’d never get me out of the house.

  2. I didn’t really have a choice, sadly. A new pet place just opened up, but the owner (who has huge fish selections in his other stores) feels that aquariums are a dying hobby. Despite many protests and emails and even the manager of the fish in Wal-Mart coming in and saying he needed to sell fish.

    If I had choices, I would definitely add good quality pet stores to my living requirements. For now I can just cross my fingers.

    Otter- That Coral Beauty is gorgeous! I’m glad yours has worked out well.

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