Emperor Angelfish Care Guide
Overview and Appearance
The emperor angelfish adds a striking, bold splash of color to any aquarium.
This fish is deep blue and yellow with black and white highlights. Its large, flat body makes it stand out even more among other fish.
The fish’s colors and patterns will shift as it matures. Juvenile Emperor angelfish generally have brighter colors, but adult fish are also often quite vivid in their coloration. Proper Emperor angelfish care will ensure your fish will stay healthy and vibrant.
The Emperor angel an incredibly popular choice for aquariums.
This angelfish can live for over 20 years and can grow to just over a foot long. This, combined with some specific care and shelter requirements, make the fish a good choice for intermediate to experienced aquarium enthusiasts.
These angelfish are active and can often be somewhat aggressive towards other fish. Angelfish are most often aggressive towards other angelfish that have a similar appearance, as they are very territorial.
Because of this, the emperor angelfish should only be kept with other angelfish that have a different shape or color pattern.
According to Aqua.org, the male Emperor angel will defend their living space up to 10,760 square feet.
This angelfish may also be aggressive towards peaceful fish. In addition, the angelfish may eat fish that are too small. For this reason, it is best to house the angelfish with only large fish, similar in size to the angelfish.
It is important to ensure that these fish are not the same shape as the angelfish. Queen angelfish as an example.
When added to an aquarium before other fish, the angelfish may stake out territory and then defend it. Adding the angelfish to the tank last can help to prevent this type of aggression.
When it comes to emperor angelfish care, one of the most important aspects is creating the correct habitat. Angelfish are extremely sensitive to water conditions, so the water must be kept very clean.
The temperature should be between 72 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit and should be slow-moving without too much agitation. The specific gravity of the aquarium should remain between 1.023 and 1.025, while the pH should be between 8.1 and 8.4.
Because of their size and temperament, adult angelfish require between 180 and 220 gallons of water. The more room the fish has the better, as angelfish prefer to have space to swim freely.
In addition, angelfish require live rock to nibble on. This rock can also be formed into caves and hiding places to ensure that the fish feels safe.
In the wild, angelfish are omnivorous and eat a variety of plants, algae, sponges, and small invertebrates. It is best to replicate this diet as closely as possible in the aquarium.
Angelfish should be fed a mixture of Spirulina, spinach, chopped squid, mussels, shrimp, and scallops, as well as a variety of saltwater fish-specific formula foods.
Angelfish can be fed two to three times a day. Only feed what the fish can eat in about five minutes, and remove any waste immediately in order to maintain the water quality.
Because they often eat sponges in the wild, angelfish will sometimes nibble on sponges and corals in the aquarium. For this reason, angelfish should only be kept with hardier coral varieties.
Although determining sex in angelfish is difficult, if a pair is introduced to the aquarium breeding them is relatively easy. Angelfish that are around a year old, have enough space and are fed a varied diet will spawn readily.
Once the eggs have been laid, angelfish parents will take care of them themselves. However, some younger angelfish may eat their first one or two batches of eggs or fry before their natural parenting instincts come into play.
In order to protect the fry, or baby fish, from other adult fish, the eggs and parents can be removed to a separate aquarium until the fry hatch, at which point the parent fish can be moved back to the original aquarium.
Angelfish are prone to Head and Lateral Line Disease. This is a condition in which the fish develops wounds along the lateral line, which is along the sides of the fish, and head. These wounds can lead to other infections and, if left untreated, can cause the fish to become lethargic. Eventually, the condition leads to death.
Head and Lateral Line disease is thought to be caused primarily by poor water quality, poor nutrition, or stress. To treat the condition, aquarium owners should ensure that the fish is receiving a varied diet and that the water quality is pristine. Offering a large enough space with plenty of hiding places can also reduce stress. Antibiotics can be used to help treat secondary infections.
Because they are so popular in the aquarium, angelfish can sometimes be relatively expensive. Juveniles start at around $100. Adult fish can cost about $250 or more.
Larger, healthier fish are generally more expensive than smaller fish. However, because these angelfish are so sensitive and because they do not travel well, it’s often wiser to pay more for a fish that appear to be in better health. Current pricing is available at LiveAquaria.com
Should You Add an Angelfish to Your Aquarium?
Emperor angelfish are a beautiful, interesting addition to the aquarium. They are colorful and active and often have distinct personalities.
However, they can also be territorial, may bully or eat smaller fish, and nip at soft corals and sponges. In addition, they require a large amount of space and very specific, very clean water parameters.
These angelfish make an excellent addition to aquariums with larger saltwater fish or hardier corals.
They are a good option for aquarium owners who are willing to study emperor angelfish care, maintain good water quality, and provide a steady, varied diet for the fish. Angelfish are perfect for intermediate or advanced saltwater aquarium fish owners but are not ideal for the beginner hobbyist.
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