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Small Marine Aquariums
Book 1:
Invertebrates, Algae
New Print and eBook on Amazon:
by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Small Marine Aquariums
ook 2:

New Print and eBook on Amazon: by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Small Marine Aquariums
Book 3:

New Print and eBook on Amazon:
by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Angelfishes for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care
New eBook on Amazon: Available here
New Print Book on Create Space: Available here

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Diploastrea Feeding, Centropyge Suitability         3/2/15
Dear Bob (or other Crew),
I was wondering if you might be able to provide your opinion on a couple of questions I have.
<Let's see>
1) I have a Diploastrea, which has been in the tank for 2 months and is showing signs of what I assume is normal behaviour (polyp retraction/extension, light-sensitivity, eating behaviours, growth/polyp budding). However, I have also occasionally noticed it apparently "eating" fragments of various macroalgae pieces that have been floating around my tank.
<Mmm; most such corals... Faviid... now in a sep. family Diploastreidae?
Are nocturnal feeders... on zooplankton principally... can learn, do learn to open during daylight... not cultured as yet as far as I'm aware>
When doing this, the polyp involved appears to hold the algae in its mouth (at the centre of the polyp) in much the same way as it would do to its normal food when I target feed, and this hold appears quite strong as the local current can exceed 15cm/s. I have always assumed such corals are carnivorous, and I have never directly observed any polyp completely ingesting an algal fragment, so it could simply be a case of mistaken identity,
<Sure... there can be chemical cues on what appears to be "solely" algae et al.; that my contain other life>
and the algae is spat out later on, but polyps can sometimes hold onto the algae for at least an hour, which strikes me as rather deliberate behaviour. Is this normal behaviour, do you think, or could my coral be starving and thus desperate to eat
anything it can get its mouths on?
<I don't consider this behavior aberrant... i.e., I'd list it as normal>
2) I previously wrote to you about stocking my tank with a fish, and after hesitating, reading and re-reading what I could find on the subject, I think I have decided on a single Centropyge argi or aurantonotus for my tank. That said, I would like to run my proposal past you one final time, just to make sure my choice is actually suitable. Tank details as follows (apologies if some of it is superfluous):
My system is a stony coral reef tank of volume 240L (60gal) with a 0.5in SSB, and an upstream 80L refugium with a 4in DSB. The main tank (where the fish will reside) has a footprint of 48in*18in. The main tank contains about 25L of LR (estimated by measuring displacement), and I use a Tunze 9006 skimmer for nutrient export, although at 30% efficiency at present. I maintain tank temperature between 26 and 28 deg. C and water chemistry suitable for Scleractinians; from the fish's point of view, this is salinity 35-36ppt, nitrates consistently undetectable
<Cnidarians DO need some NO3>
and phosphates less than 0.03ppm (Salifert kits). Flow in the tank is somewhat chaotic with a total turnover exceeding 12000L/hr (i.e. 50x) provided by powerheads, and lighting is a DIY system sufficiently bright to support Acropora. The other intentional tank inhabitants are six Lysmata spp. shrimp,
<Keep your eyes on these... may be too many, walking over your stony corals>
various snails and a number of Scleractinians (Pocilloporids, Acroporids, Diploastrea and an unidentified, possibly Agariciid), and there will be no other fishes at any time apart from the dwarf angel. I have attempted to arrange the rockwork loosely, with caves and a couple of swim-throughs, but I didn't do it that well,
<Can be re-done; next time you get a hankering>
as most of these are quite cramped and I think will only just admit an adult-sized fish. There is, however, space to swim at the back and sides of the rock mounds. The LR itself was cured on purchase and 3-5 months old; it appears established with a fair amount of macroalgae (at least 20 species of which I hope at least some is edible) and a moderate coverage of sponges in the sheltered areas. The refugium (5 months old) also appears to be producing a fair number of Mysid shrimp in addition to other things and rocks placed in it will grow sponges in a number of weeks, so I can swap them out to provide extra grazing if necessary. I intend to feed the fish with what I feed my corals (DIY recipe, blended/frozen and mostly meaty = 30% fresh oysters, 30% other shellfish, 15% D-D clam/filter feeder powder, 10% reconstituted algae, remainder liquid vitamin mix), a pellet food (probably ON Formula Two) and dried algae sheets. I do not have a quarantine setup (I'm sorry to
say), but plan to dip the fish with freshwater/Methylene blue before introduction.
<Sounds good>
The reason why I would like a fish is primarily to provide some pollution to help feed my corals (I still can't increase nutrient levels above barely detectable despite regular feeding) and to graze some of my macroalgae, which I have only partially controlled in anticipation of it being a necessary food source. I expect the fish will also be interesting to observe, but to be brutally honest, I am more interested in corals/non-vertebrate life than fish, so this is only a secondary consideration. I understand that there is a risk with dwarf angels nipping or even consuming my corals, but I am willing to accept this (and to remove the fish if destructive) assuming the tank is otherwise suitable. The only negative thing I can think of is that the tank is on the smaller end of the acceptable range for small Centropyge species.
<Yes; the smaller-est>
So in total, do you think my tank is a suitable habitat for a C. argi or aurantonotus (or if not, any other dwarf angel species)?
Also, do you think it is reasonable to get one of these fishes mainly for the purposes of converting food/algae to waste in an otherwise low-nutrient reef tank?
<And yes>
If so, is my feeding plan sufficiently diverse for a dwarf angel?
<I do>
Many thanks for your assistance,
<A pleasure to share w/ you. Bob Fenner>

Cherub angelfish distressed/mal-contended   2/23/13
Dear Bob
<Heya Joe>
I have a mature cherub angelfish, who has been resident for several years now, and until recently was ostensibly content.
<Like your adverb choices/use>
Now, though, he spends the majority of his time swimming up and down against the back of the tank, and doing a manic loop of this area through the rockwork etc.  He will only break off from this behaviour to feed, which he still does with gusto.  He is otherwise in good health.
<Mmm, can guess w/ some confidence re what is going on here>
The only thing I can think of, is that this behaviour only began after the rapid and unexplained demise of his female cherub angelfish companion, with whom he had been displaying, and generally cavorting with (you may recall an earlier email regarding my unfounded fears at introducing them).  Do you think it might be the case that, now being a mature fish, he is keen to get on with the business of gene continuation, and is thus looking for the way out of the aquarium, to a place where there will be other cherub angelfish?
<This is doubtless a contributor>
Other fish and invertebrates are not displaying any changes of behaviour or health.  The only water parameters that have changed are higher calcium (445ppm) and alkalinity (9.3dKH), due to increased use of supplements.
Any input you could provide as to the reasons for his manic, unhappy behaviour would, as ever, be most appreciated.
<I fully suspect the one Cherub is interacting w/ its reflection in the side wall of the tank... do tape a piece of paper over one end (you can't see the internal reflection from the outside), and you should soon see a change for the better in its behavior. Bob Fenner>

Cherub angels, pairing/repro.     10/13/12
Hi Bob
I have a mature cherub angel who has been resident for about 3 years. He is about 9cm long,
and a confirmed killer (one incidence - my fault).
My research suggests this species starts female and flips when bigger. I have now seen a 3cm long specimen, and would like to try pairing it with the specimen I have. What are my chances of success?
<If there's enough room... pretty good>
At this small size,
is it safe to assume it is a female?
<Likely so>
Do they pair willingly or is it usually fractious/fatal?
<Usually this species is found in a 5-7 individual harem setting... most all females, one alpha male...>
As the song goes, We don't want no more war It would make me very happy to enrich the life of my current specimen, but not at the cost of risking the life of the little one.
<Do try the trick of catching, holding the extant male in a plastic, floating colander in the system for several days while the new female gets familiar w/ the tank... letting the male out on a day when you can be present to watch their behavior; assure they're not going to fight much>
<And you, Bob Fenner>
Re: Cherub angels, comp. and acclim. f's      10/25/12

Hi Bob, thanks for your response, quick follow up to let you know what happened:
Firstly, 9cm was way off the mark, he's more like 7.5cm!  Got a bit carried away there.
Anyway, after a weeks' worth of attempted trapping, involving baited cola bottles etc, no luck.  Predictably, the angelfish never went anywhere near it!
Helpful LFS guy suggested 24hour black-out technique, so I took the gamble, purchased the female, and cladded up the tank.  24 hours later and blankets off, was impressed at the effect this had on the resident fish - they were confused, wary, uncertain.
I am happy to report that the introduction has been a success - it is marvelous to watch them interact!
I think I will be using the black-out technique again, for new introductions.  As the LFS guy said, it seems to 're-set' the tank temporarily, giving new additions a foothold.
<Yes; better than simply turning the lights off>
Thanks again
<Cheers, Bob Fenner> 

Bicolor Cherub (Angel), hlth.     6/6/12
Hi Guys and Gals, you have helped me in the past and now I just have a quick question for you.  There is a Bicolor Cherub at my LFS and it's beautiful with the exception of it's lips looking almost a little fuzzy. 
It just arrived today and I came home and have been reading about them but haven't found anything about a lip disease or anything that would make it's lips like that.  Do you think it could just be from it eating algae off of a rock??
<More likely rubbing its face on a bag in transit, or on the side of a cubicle...>
  Or is there a lip disease that I haven't found info on??  Thank you sooo much in advance...and I'm sure I'll be asking for your help again ;) -Tina
<I'd leave it at the shop a few days... perhaps put a deposit on it if you're very interested. Bob Fenner>
Re: Bicolor Cherub (Angel) – 6/6/12

Thank you sooo much, I appreciate your quick response!!  You all have a wonderful rest of the week :)
<Thank you Tina. I would just wait on this fish to self-heal.  BobF> 

Centropyge flavicauda tank size 6/27/11
<<Hi Tyler.>>
I have a 14 gallon BioCube mixed reef with LPS and some mushrooms, and I was hoping I could add one Centropyge flavicauda.
I have a few years experience, including experience with a Nano reef.
<<I would not, though 2.5" is still common, this fish can attain 3" and being a Centropyge it needs more live rock and surface area to swim and "browse" in the long term. Even for the smaller Centropyges, I usually recommend against them in anything less than a 40 gallon breeder with as much live rock to forage on and "patrol.">>
In terms of other critters, I only have one other fish: A small and inactive Flametail blenny, one of the few CB flametails from MACNA XXI.
There are also 3 blue leg hermit crabs in the aquarium. Thanks for all the work you do and the excellent advice on your website!
<<Thank you and you are welcome in turn. Good luck.>>
<<Adam J.>>
Centropyge flavicauda Tank Size (Much more than 14g.) -- 06/30/11

<<Hey Tyler>>
I have a 14 gallon BioCube mixed reef with LPS and some mushrooms, and I was hoping I could add one Centropyge flavicauda.
<<Mmm'¦not in 'my' opinion>>
I have a few years experience, including experience with a Nano reef.
<<This system is simply 'too small' for this fish. While being one of the smaller dwarf angels, these fishes still need a minimum volume of 40 gallons in my estimation and experience. These are active fishes that will decline and/or develop abhorrent behaviors in a too small system>>
In terms of other critters, I only have one other fish: A small and inactive Flametail blenny, one of the few CB flametails from MACNA XXI. There are also 3 blue leg hermit crabs in the aquarium.
<<Considering the size of this system, current stocking, and the long-term good health re'¦you are pretty much 'full up' in my opinion>>
Thanks for all the work you do and the excellent advice on your website!
<<Happy to share'¦ EricR>>

Just a quick stocking question. 11/14/10
Hey Crew,
I have a 27 gallon aquarium, Which currently houses one orange spotted shrimp goby, two peppermint shrimp , two scarlet hermit crabs and a couple of blue legged hermits. Along with some pulsing xenia and metallic green star polyps. I wanted to add maybe one or two more fish and be completed with my setup. Aside from corals and more live rock to be added later. But back to my question do you think it would be ok to add a Pygmy angelfish (*Centropyge argi) followed by a Sixline wrasse? *
<I do think the Cherub would be a fab addition, but if you go w/ this Pseudocheilinus species (I would not) DO keep an eye on it... this sp. can be VERY picky, as in picking on other livestock, particularly in small volumes such as yours>
*Thanks in advance for any info!*
*you guys are awesome.*
<Thank you. Bob Fenner>
Re: Just a quick stocking question.
Thanks so much for your quick response! On your advice I won't even try the six line wrasse. Do you think 2 or 3 blue green Chromis would be alright or am I borderline overstocking?
<Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/chromis.htm
and the linked files above. B>
Thanks again,
Re: Just a quick stocking question. 11/14/10
I immediately read your link. Definitely got my answer, I think ill just stick to the angel. Thanks so Much for your input.
<Ah good. B>

Possible tumor on cherub angel?  6/13/10
Hi, thanks for taking the time to read this. I have a 37-gallon marine FOWLR aquarium. I'm in the process of getting it set up as a reef tank but need to replace the skimmer first (I have a SeaClone and it takes constant tinkering to get it to actually produce skimmate on a regular basis). The aquarium has two power heads for circulation (but one now, which I'll get to), a small internal Eheim canister filter (just used as a place to put activated carbon, mostly), a refugium (containing live sand, rubble, and Chaetomorpha), roughly 25 pounds of liverock (mixed with 20 pounds of base rock--most of which is live by now), and a deep sand bed. I grow Ulva sea lettuce (which is weeded out every week since it grows so fast) and some sort of other macroalgae (I don't know the name but it's purple and grows in tufts) among the rock. The temperature is normally kept at 81 degrees Fahrenheit (but in the heat has been higher on certain days lately--up to 84),
<I'd leave the light/s off on those/these hot days during the day>
specific gravity is 1.024, ammonia is 0, nitrite is 0, nitrate is
<5ppm, and pH is 8.3. The tank has a healthy population of various pods, worms, mini stars, etc. and has been set up for about two years (both fish, however, were bought within the last couple of months and the tank had gone a while without any fish after I lost a couple fish in a row and became discouraged...turns out my issue was where I was buying them but that's another story). My tank is stocked as follows:
1 cherub angelfish (Centropyge argi)
1 false percula clownfish
1 feather duster (not sure on the species but I've had it for a while and it seems very healthy)
3 blue-leg hermit crabs
2 bumblebee snails
Unknown amount of small hitchhiker crabs (I've seen two at once but don't know if I keep seeing the same ones) and snails I've been away from home for an internship and have been coming back
once a week to do water changes. In my absence, my brother has been maintaining my aquariums (topping them off, turning lights on/off, and feeding fish pre-measured portions of food). A couple days ago, he mentioned that my angelfish had been hiding a lot (she normally doesn't swim in open water but is usually seen weaving in and out of the rock and grazing). I got home last night to find that she was still hiding. I performed a 10% water change and this morning she came out and has been swimming around normally since then. That was when I noticed a large lump on her side. It's something internal and the scales are raised slightly in that area. She's also not eating as much Mysis shrimp as she normally does (the only prepared foods I've been able to get her to eat are frozen Mysis shrimp, brine shrimp, and plankton) but she's still munching on macroalgae and grazing on the rock, sand, and glass. I saw her scratch the lump against a rock a couple times earlier but she hasn't done it again since (that really concerned me, though). I can't get a picture because going too close to the tank makes her dart into a cave.
Some recent environment changes:
-One of the powerheads died at some point in the past week (and I won't be able to replace it until next week)
-Some of the sea lettuce got loose and clogged the Eheim filter (has since been fixed)
-My brother maintaining the tank, although I don't see much room for error in his instructions
-The heat raising the water temperature
What could it be and what should I do?
<Mmm, first off, I want to comment re your accounting and set up here. Thank you for writing so clearly, completely. Now, as to the "growth"... it really could be one of a few things... an (idiopathic or other) tumour, a resultant "bump" reaction, some sort of subdermal parasite...>
I really, really don't want to lose this fish. At the same time, though, I'm leaving again tomorrow afternoon so I can't do any complicated long-term treatments (technically, I could set up a 10-gallon and take her back with me but the stress will probably do more harm than good). I will be doing another water change tonight, though. Also, any suggestions on getting her to accept pellets and/or flakes?
<Yes... try Spectrum (brand)... mix in w/ other preferred foods for a while... adding more of the Spectrum... This food is highly palatable and completely nutritious (is what I use BTW)>
I've tried pellets and flakes by Ocean Nutrition, Omega One, and Hikari. She had a little interest in the Ocean Nutrition pellets but spit them out. She didn't even go after the other ones and won't touch flakes. If this is a nutritional issue, I want to get her on a healthier diet.
Sorry for writing so much but I wanted to provide as much information as possible.
Thanks in advance,
<Mmm, well... you could try a blitzkrieg sort of approach and add an antiprotozoal (Metronidazole likely) and an Anthelminthic (perhaps Praziquantel) to the food... or maybe even Levamisole directly to the water... Or try bolstering this fish's immune system/strength via nutrition as you allude to... Or, wait and hope that this area resolves by itself...
I don't have a strong feeling as to what route I'd go here. Bob Fenner>

Centropyge flavicauda (Pacific Pygmy) compatibility question  2/10/10
Hope this email finds it's designated WWM crew member doing well this evening.
<Indeed it does, Liz, thank you!>
I've been doing some reading about dwarf angels on the site tonight (since WWM is my absolute favorite research site on the web!) but haven't found any references to my particular angel.
<The care considerations are similar for all, with just a few species specific variances>
I have an approximately 2 year old Pacific Pygmy Angel. I got her about 3 weeks ago from a local reef club member. She's a very healthy and precocious little fish who I assume at 2" in length is fully grown.
<Fishbase has this fish listed at 8 cm, which is just over 3' http://www.fishbase.org/summary/speciessummary.php?id=5664>
Would it be possible to add a second angel to my tank, specifically a Coral Beauty?
<Possible, yes, but I personally would not. I have had two Centropyge in a 180 before and they fought>
I know some of the Centropyge angels mix better than others.
Not sure how to gauge the temperament of mine and info online is minimal.
<You have to ask yourself -- is it worth the risk? Do you know how difficult it is to get one of these fishes back OUT of a six foot tank? If, like me you did, then you would be thinking twice.>
I also keep reading to add the angels together when they are 'small'. Well, my angel is small but mature. Not sure what to make of that advice! I hate to assume that size and not age/maturity is the critical deciding factor.
<Mmmm, the 'critical deciding factor' here is not one you can find in a book or on a webpage. It depends on your fishes and what 'they' decide is going to happen>.
I have a 125g tank with well over 100lbs of very live rock (including some algae growth for my herbivores to nibble on that is declining but still there. I also feed frozen Formula 2 and put dried Nori sheets in the tank every couple days, feed frozen Mysis for the clown which the other fish like as well).
<Yes, this diet is good, I would supplement w/ some vitamins & a pellet, maybe NLSpectrum>
Myriad soft corals and a few LPS and SPS (all of which the angel ignores).
Currently I only have an Ocellaris Clown, a Yellow Tang (2") and the pygmy angel (along with a whole host of your standard CUC critters and a Cleaner Shrimp). I intend to keep the stocking rate relatively light for the health of my fish but do plan to add a couple more inhabitants including a Blue Hippo Tang and another Ocellaris Clown.
<I would stick to your plan sans the second Centropyge here. You have plenty of fishes planned, I would not consider it light at all with the addition of a Paracanthurus -- this is a large and messy fish>
I'm looking forward to input on the feasibility of adding a second angel. So much better to hash these details out ahead of time instead of when the fish is at home waiting to go in the tank....
<Yes, this is definitely a question worth asking before jumping>
Take care and much thanks for the tireless efforts that make the WWM site so great!
<No problem Liz, and thank you as well!>

Pygmy angel fishes harem and marine set up 10/9/09
Hi All,
I have been reading wet web media for the past 2 years. Thanks for the good advice so far!!
I have upgraded recently to a 50 gallon bowfront setup and I am planning on having a LPS reef setup.
Details of setup:
My other reef tanks has been up and running for 3years and 40 pounds of live rock form other established tanks has been added to this tank as biological filtration.
I have a overflow system with a 15 gallon sump. I run active carbon in the first compartment of the sump and also have filter floss in the first compartment which is replace every other week, 6inches of live sand and coral rubble with a plenum (please comment on whether you think this is a good practice)
<I do think so>
in the second compartment and a protein skimmer in the third compartment.
I have 1 150 Watt metal halide bulb 14 000 Kelvin
2 blue T5 bulbs 20 000kelvin Marine Blue (I am uncertain of the wattage, bought this as a unit with the metal halide bulb I'm guessing around 48Watt each)
I have CaribSea dry aragonite - Indo Pacific (Black substrate) Please comment on the use of black substrate pro's and con's, could not find any on wet web media. Also is this safe for burrowing fishes?
<For many types, yes... I sharper than many other rounder, softer sands of aragonitic make... and doesn't have much alkaline or biomineral solubility>
My water parameters is:
Water temperature 29 degrees Celsius (I know this is slightly high, but I live in South Africa and temperatures in summer is around 30degrees and so far all inhabitants adjusted to this, this goes down to 27 degrees Celsius in winter and during the summer nights)
<You might want to add a fan or two... leave the lights off during most of the day>
Specific gravity - 1.025
Ammonia - 0
Nitrite: - 0
Nitrate - 0ppm
PH 8.4
2 Turbo Snails
1 Fire Shrimp
1 Amphiprion Allardi
1 Six line wrasse
1 Feather duster
1 Torch coral
I am busy with a stocking plan and would like to know if it is possible to have a harem (about 3 or 4) of Flameback pygmy angels in my tank. Most of the ones I have seen in South Africa's fish stores are in good health and around 2inches in size and shows no aggression towards other tank mates.
Most of them are collected from the Indian ocean.
<Would be a very nice presentation>
I would like to know how to establish a harem in my 50 gallon setup. As far as I could research this topic, all pygmy angels are sexless when juveniles and if 3 individuals are added together as juveniles they will establish a pecking order and the biggest/highest fish in the hierarchy will become male and the rest will become female.
<I would place all at the same time... as juveniles as you state>
Is this true and how do you establish this harem, just introduce three 2inch Flameback pygmy angels to the tank at the same time?
<Yes... this is about "it">
Also, will there be severe aggression between the 3 pygmy angels before this pecking order is established.
<Not likely... more to be watched re the Clown>
My other concern is aggression towards my clownfish once the harem is formed, will the pygmy angels become a lot more territorial?
<Will likely ignore the clown as it will be larger, was first established>
Stocking plan:
I would like to add one of the following: A six line wrasse or Banggai cardinal or bicolor goby can't make my mind up yet
I will be adding 5 more snails and 2 more fire shrimps this weekend.
I would wait until at least half of the coral is added then add the angel fishes
I would be introducing corals over a couple of months, lets say 1 every 2 weeks until my stocking plan is complete
I want to add a few less aggressive LPS corals first, (Open brain, Blastomussa Merleti, plate coral)
Then a Candy Cane coral
I would like to add another torch coral, will there be aggression between the same species or can 2 torch corals be placed close together?
<Can be>
I also would like to add a rose bubble tip anemone for my clown fish, is this compatible with above more aggressive LPS coral (the Torch and Candy Cane) if given adequate (15inches) space?
<Can be problematical... I'd actually not have both the LPS and the anemone... i.e. I'd have only one or the other. A wild collected (vs. clone) Entacmaea is very likely to "roam" here... with disastrous results>
If not, could the anemone work if there is more non aggressive LPS in the tank.
<Not likely>
Thanks a lot, would love to receive your response.
<Bob Fenner>

Cherub angel and Black and White clown, Aggression 1/4/08 Hi- <Hello> First off, I'm very concerned about my fish health because of a mean cherub, however I love both. I have a 46 gal bow tank and I have had a pink and blue spot goby and the cherub angel for 7 + months. Well recently I added a black and white clown and the cherub will not leave him alone. I've tried all day to catch the angel and I finally have. My question is really if I keep him in qt for a week or so will he lose his dominance or do I have to get rid of him? Thanks, Aly <Sometimes this break will help, sometimes it won't, really depends on the individual fish, but definitely worth a shot. You might also want to try reaquascaping the tank, this can help is some cases as well.> <Chris>

Centropyge aurantonotus, sel.  6/5/08 Hello crew - <Jim> I have been researching various Centropyge species and was hoping for a clarification on your recommendations regarding the C. aurantonotus (Brazilian Flameback angel). In reading The Conscientious Marine Aquarist, Mr. Fenner seemed wary of the species survival rates through the collection and transport processes. Browsing through WWM though has turned up a fair number of recommendations of the C. aurantonotus, with notes of it being a hardy species. Have collection methods changed since publication of the book, making this species a good choice? Or have I misinterpreted what I read in one of the sources? <The survival of this miniature beauty has indeed changed for the better since my penning CMA (now in a new edition... but the first was done 12/95... Seems like a while back now> As background, I would like to purchase 3 juvenile dwarf angels to keep as a trio in our tank. I have read that the Flameback angel is a decent option for this, triggering this query - although I'm not sure I'll have much luck finding juveniles on the market. Thanks for your insight, Jim <Will be a spectacular display am sure... ever active, colorful... Cheers! Bob Fenner>

Cherub Angelfish Question   1/3/08 Good evening WWM Crew, <AM here now... but welcome!> I have a quick stocking question. I am looking to add a Cherub Angel (Centropyge argi ) to my tank, but am a bit concerned about this fish getting along with my current inhabitants. Here is the setup: -55 gallon tank -Aqua C Remora skimmer -about 50 lbs or so Live Rock -Whisper 60 with Carbon and PolyFilter -Assorted Powerheads -10% water change every 1-2 weeks -1 inch sand bed -Lots of Coralline Alg. -Power Compact lighting Livestock: 1) 2.5 inch Salarias ramosus (Starry Blenny) 2) (2) 1.5 inch Amphiprion ocellaris (Ocellaris Clowns) 3) 1 inch Chrysiptera parasema (Yellow Tail Damsel) (who surprisingly has not shown any aggression at all, yet) 4.) 1.5 inch Elacatinus oceanops (Neon Goby) (becoming one of my favorites) 5.) 2.5-3inch Monodactylus argenteus (Mono) ( '¦I realize will outgrow the tank, but this fish has a much larger home awaiting) Inverts: -About 10 Calcinus laevimanus -About 5 Paguristes cadenati -3 Turbo sp. And a few smaller snails -1 Ophiocoma erinaceus -- Black Brittle Star Corals/Polyps: -Caulastrea curvata -Pachyclavularia sp -Protopalythoa sp -Xenia sp. I would also like to add some more LPS (probably Trachyphyllia geoffroy) and also Ricordea florida to my tank eventually. There is a Cherub Angel (looks great, but a bit small at just under 1inch) <Don't get all that much larger...> at the LFS, and I'm looking to add this amazing fish to my setup. With my current Livestock, do you think this will be overcrowded? <The Damsel may go after it initially, but if placed during the earlier AM, I give you/it good chances of getting along fine here> Is there a large probability the fish will nip at/damage my Corals/Polyps/etc? <Very small> I have read much and it seems like this will be fine, however I'm not sure about the last part of my question. Much conflicting opinions on the web (as always, with this hobby) about their being prone to nip. I will keep reading, of course. Thank you kindly for your help! Eric <Thank you for sharing Eric. Bob Fenner>

Re: New Tank Setup and Trigger Selection... Now Centropyge comp., incl. argi  12/29/07 Hi Dr. Fenner, <Ummm, just Bob please. I have no doctorate> Thanks for the info. Your response about the Cherub concerns me. What is your opinion of adding the Cherub to the new 215g tank with a 2.5" Coral Beauty (at the same time)? <This dwarf dwarf Centropyge should be fine in this size setting> I've searched your site but couldn't find this exact match. I've even thought about putting the Cherub in my 65 gallon sump. I really appreciate all the support your team provides online. Thanks in advance, Nancy <Welcome! BobF>

Sick angel... C. argi  10/16/07 HI, I have a 55 gallon tank with two O. clowns, one yellow goby, one royal Gramma, and a cherub angel. About a week ago, the angel stopped eating, and his fins became ragged and frayed looking. <Mmm, maybe the Gramma...> I put him in quarantine, where I noticed one of his eyes was bulging. I have been searching and asking everywhere for help, and a few sources said he has fin and tail rot and to treat him with Maracyn. <Mmm, no> However, I do not think that is what he has. His eye bulged for only one day, but is now back to normal. I am almost certain he is blind, He swims in circles all day long occasionally bumping into things, and he will not eat at all. I have tried holding food right up to him but I get no response. He has not eaten in almost 7 days, and I am really worried about him. Should I use the Maracyn? I don't think it will help, but I just don't know Charlene <Does the system afford sufficient dark areas for this little Centropyge to get out of the light? What foods, supplements have you been offering? If this fish is still feeding, I would try Selcon, and Spectrum pelleted food of sufficiently small diameter. Bob Fenner>

Re: sick angel, blind C. argi  10/16/07 Hi, Thank you for responding to me! I submitted the question about my sick Cherub, who I think is blind. The main system is set up with about 30 pounds of live rock, with some pieces of base rock arranged so there is many crooks, crannies, and caves. The angel really loved swimming through them, and the tank is taller rather then wider. I have been feeding him a variety of Mysis shrimp, pygmy angel formula from ocean nutrition, frozen emerald entree, and ocean nutrition green marine algae, which I would hang on the wall. Now that he is in quarantine, he is not eating at all, at least that I have seen. It has been 13 days now that I have last seen him eat. He swims from one side of the tank to the other almost without stop until the lights go out and then he goes over to one corner and turns almost completely white in color. I have added nothing to the hospital tank but vitamins (vita Chem) and a little bit of Entice to his food (which has no effect) I have also been doing bi-weekly, small water changes to keep the water quality clean. Ph- 8.4, nitrates-o nitrites-o temp 78 SG 1.023 Is there anything else I can do for my little fish? <Mmm, perhaps a deficiency syndrome still...> Thank you, Charlene (do fish ever regain lost eyesight?) <Yes. Do keep trying the supplementation to foods. Bob Fenner>

New Pygmy Angel Question   7/30/07 Hello Everyone, I just picked up a new Pygmy Angel aka Cherub Angel (now named Pilaf Bean) and I noticed something when taking his picture. There are missing scales or dark spots on his side. These are not visible to the naked eye because his color is so dark. Should I do anything to help heal it? Will it heal with time and good care? Thanks, Jessica <I do think this Cherub will heal and be fine. Your images belie its good behavior, curiosity, health here. It likely was "beat" in the process of collection, transport... and will regenerate these scales and shortened fins. Bob Fenner>

Flameback angel... Angels crowded tog. period   5/24/07 Dear Crew I have a question for you all, Firstly I will introduce my stock. 100 gallon, lots of rock, 2years, 3 flame angel, 1 blue face (medium), 1 regal angel (medium) <These Angelfishes need much more room> and 2 clownfish (small) with anemone <Species?> Saturday last week I add 1 Flameback angel (the same size like the flame angel) ... (you can called me crazy if you want), <Not crazy perhaps, but reckless> and  I arrange the rock on the left side, I shut off the light and put it in my aquarium. Note: In the fish shop, the Flameback wants to eat (live shrimp/rebon). After I put the Flameback, I never saw the flame or the other fishes chase the Flameback until now and vice versa, but seems the Flameback did not want to swim (hides a lot) <What this species, C. aurantonotus I take it, does in the wild...> and Tuesday I introduce again the live shrimp, he wants to eat but only a small amount. And then up to now he never show up again So what do you think, the Flameback will survive or not? <There are more important issues going on in this small volume...> Do you think the Flameback is still alive, or should I rip apart my aquarium now to save the Flameback? <Mmm, no need... if it is dead, it will likely dissolve w/o your detection... If it is alive...> (note: I read your article in WWM regarding the pygmy "pygmy angel" and I think those species should be aggressive... ... no?) <Minimally... as befits their diminutive size> Thanks for the advice Best regards Ignatio <Ignatio... you have too many incompatible Angels here... and need at least more space... Bob Fenner>

Cherub Addition...yes, no...maybe?  -- 5/1/07 Hello! <Hi.> I wanted to write because I have been receiving some conflicting information.  <Okay, lets see what I can do.> I have a 35g tank that I have had running for 3 yrs now.  About 6 months ago while I was out of town for an extended period it crashed while a friend was caring for it.  <Not uncommon for an aquarium disaster to happen while it is in the care of another, other than the owner...I've got one myself.> I have been slowly re-stocking it.  <Yes patience is key in this hobby, if you ever find anyone who sells it let me know.> I have a CBS, percula clown, Banggai cardinal, and a flame Hawkfish.  I am pretty sure that I am at capacity.  <For a 35 gallon tank, yes, I'm inclined to agree.> I had originally wanted a cherub as my final addition, but went with the Hawkfish because it was so interesting/entertaining.  My LFS dealer says I still have room for a cherub. <I bet he does...>   Everyone is doing well with very little squabbling...except the CBS seems to be aggressive toward everyone (he was the only organism to survive the original die off).  What do you think. <I think you have a functioning and stable aquarium...and I would leave it that way. Good luck my friend.> Thanks! <Anytime, Adam J.>

African Flameback Angel Aggression. - 2/28/07 <Hey John, JustinN with you today.> I have a 90 gallon tank with 100 lbs of LR, eventually to become a SPS reef tank. <Ok> I have a pair of black onyx Perculas, Mystery Wrasse and a C. lineatus in my tank. <Sounds lovely> I eventually would like to add a Pygmy African Flameback to the tank. Would the Flameback be too aggressive for the other fish I already have? <Mm, I don't think so.. I think the amount of space you provide, along with all of your live rock, will be plenty here.> I also know that there is a small risk of adding a Flameback to a reef tank. <Yes, and as you're aware I'll leave the soapbox at home this time *grin*> Thanks, John <Hope this helps you, John! -JustinN>

Group of 5 Cherub Angelfish (c. argi) in a 225g Potential for Conflict   2/6/07 Hi all, <Hi Rebecca, Mich with you.> I had my LFS order five cherub (c. argi) angelfish for my 225g reef tank.  A good friend and fish guru told me that the argi can be put into a larger display tank as a group without any problem.   <Mmm, don't think I would go so far as to say without a problem.> <<Actually... in such a size volume... have seen more than this number in a group in the wild. RMF>> The LFS called to tell me that the fish arrived and are spectacular but when put in his QT tank, they started fighting with each other.  He had to separate them or they would have killed each other.  The LFS will QT them for me but I am concerned that they may fight in the main tank, once I put them in.  Is the larger display tank going to make the difference so they don't fight?  Any advice or experience on how I can acclimate them into my main display tank so they don't beat each other up and stress out the rest of my fish. <These fish can have quite a bit of attitude.  A male and two or more females can typically be kept as a group as long as they are introduced at the same time to a tank of at least 50 gallons.  However, two males housed in the same aquarium will often fight to the death.  I am unaware of anyway of determining sex by gross examination.> Thanks so much. <You're welcome!  Good luck!  -Mich> Rebecca
Re: Group of 5 Cherub Angelfish (c. argi) in a 225g Potential for Conflict   2/6/07
Mich, thanks for your response. <You're welcome Rebecca.> Does the size of the fish help in determining the sex?   <No, I have found no references of the sort.  Also note, these fish are dioecism.  Meaning that the sexes are separate and will not change as is possible in other fish such as clownfish which are protandry (start as male and can evolve into females ...many possible jokes here!>   Also, you would not suggest having four females with one male?   <No, one male with four females should be fine.  Two males in a tank would likely be a problem.  Let us know how all works out.   -Mich>   Rebecca C. argi System Size Requirements? Hello, <Hi, Ryan with you today> I have tried looking through all of your information but cannot seem to find the answer. <No problem> I was wondering what your opinion is of putting a pair of Cherub Pygmy angels (Centropyge argi)  together in a 55G tank, I have read different information concerning this specific species and introducing them as pairs. <I have had no issues with this combination in the past.  They can, however, be a little nippy with some LPS.  Good luck, Ryan> Thanks for all of your help.  

Centropyge argi in a 20H - 2/26/2006 Would one of these guys be healthy and happy in a 20H?  The only other fish would be a black ocellaris or a true percula.  The tank would have lots of hiding places because of live rock and a little bit of filamentous algae for him to munch on. <<I wouldn't do it.  Too small of a system for adequate grazing, lateral movement, and living room.>> Thanks for the help today and in the past. <<Glad to help.  Lisa.>> Best regards, Travis

Cherub Angel (Centropyge argi) Question >I'm back... I recently wrote in asking about compatibility of a six line wrasse with the rest of my inhabitants. I've decided not to go with the wrasse.  Current 29g tank residents include: 2 false Percs, 1 blood shrimp, 1 cleaner shrimp, 1 peppermint shrimp, 3 hermits, and 1 turbo snail. Had a yellowtail damsel who didn't make the transfer from the QTank to the display due to my screw-up of some kind.  Anyway. I plan on getting a strawberry Dottyback to go in the tank also. >>I would say that your system has pretty much hit its max bioload level.  One has to account for ultimate adult sizes of animals held within, and the ocellaris clowns can get around 3", sometimes larger.  The Dottyback can become a wee bit aggressive, too.  Consider instead something that will remain relatively small, neon gobies, perhaps.  However, you've said the magic words, QTank!  Good on ya, and keep it up (30 day minimum, please!). >Kids are upset about the demise of the yellowtail. I wasn't going to replace him but now feel I need to. >>I understand this feeling, but please don't give in, as it may likely simply lead to more deaths, and more "upsetness".  Also, consider that the bulk of these animals are wild caught, and there are very real ethical issues in replacing fish in such a way.  If you can, wait until you get a larger system that will be more stable.   >We were at the LFS today and saw the Cherub Pygmy Dwarf Angel.  I know that they stay small and I was wondering if he would work in my tank?  If yes, should he be added before, after, or at same time as Dottyback?  I also want a yellow tang eventually. (I know my current system is too small for him.) What I want to be able to do is to take the 29g residents and put them in the larger system when I get it. >>Then I strongly suggest you wait until you actually get that system.  It's best not to add too many fish at once, *especially* when you're running such a small setup.  The dwarf is compatible with the clowns, the Dottyback, the tang, and the neon gobies, but will RULE the 29 gallon.  If you take that list of fishes and put them into a 60 gallon, that would be best, adding NO more fish.   >Will the pygmy be able to co-exist with the tang then or not at all? I posted this on the forums but wasn't really getting my question answered.  Was told that my tank should be a year old before I get the pygmy and that it is a touchy fish and I should be worried about new tank syndrome. >>No, this would be among the better of the angels for beginners, but it is PUGNACIOUS, as I said.  That would make him a candidate to be added last.  I think what the folks on the forum may have been trying to convey (without actually reading the posts) is that your system is soon to be overstocked.  Also, consider instead of the Dottyback something more peaceable like a royal Gramma.   >I'm getting so confused now because all I've read about the cherub says it is an excellent hardy angel for a beginner. >>It is.  But please don't place it into a tank of this size, it could very well begin harassing the poor clowns terribly. >I want to know if the Cherub will work in my current tank and later be compatible with a yellow tang. >>In my opinion, if you get the new tank and it's going to be around 75 gallons or more, then absolutely it will get along just fine with the tang, and the tang will be fine in that size tank for quite a while (though they really need horizontal space for swimming room).   >Also, I am considering, do not have at moment, getting some mushrooms or polyps.  Will the cherub destroy these?  If yes, then they are not necessary to have. I'd rather have the fish. >>You know, with angels it tends to be hit or miss.  The real victims tend to be clams, soft corals (not Corallimorphs or Zoanthids), and LPS (large polyp stony) corals. >Thanks for your help! Carla >>I hope you do find my suggestions helpful, I know it's not exactly what you may have been looking to glean.  Marina

Stocking Order and Territorial Flameback Pygmy Angel 10/11/05 Dear Crew, <Hello> I appreciate that there is much relevant information on your website but I would be most grateful if you could please spell it out for me - apologies in advance for taking up your time. I have a 55 gal FOWLR system, with 66lbs of live rock. I use a Fluval 304 for mechanical filtration, a Red Sea Prizm skimmer and two MaxiJet 600 powerheads for circulation. In the aquarium I currently have 2 mated percula clownfish, 1 mandarin dragonet (who thankfully is happy to eat frozen food) and a Flameback pygmy angel. Unfortunately the pygmy angel has become unsurprisingly territorial. <Mmm, is surprising> I recently tried to add 2 cardinal fish but these were chased by the pygmy angel until I had to return the surviving one to the LFS where I had bought him. I subsequently tried introducing a lemon peel pygmy angel, <This tank is too small for two Centropyge species> taking in part the advice from your site to rearrange the rocks into two distinct piles and removed the Flameback for a couple of days into the QT tank to allow the lemon peel to establish himself but again he did not survive. <Good techniques> My question therefore, is whether there are any fish that you could recommend to me, in particular, fish that will be strong enough to not be affected by the behaviour of the Flameback but at the same time gentle enough not to frighten my dragonet (of whom I am incredibly fond!). I read on the saltwater.about.com website that a yellow and a Naso tang might be possible contenders? <Maybe a smaller Zebrasoma species, not a Naso... your tank is too small> I appreciate that I will in a few years need to buy a larger aquarium to accommodate the Naso. Or do you recommend that I remove the Flameback and return him to the LFS (although he is all but impossible to catch without removing all the LR from the tank). <I would look into other species that are found in this fish's range (use fishbase.org here) that are also available in the ornamental trade... some of the small basses, Hypoplectrus... come to mind, as well as some of the smaller Labrids from the area> Thank you so much for all your help and assistance! Kindest Regards, Tim Kroemer <Bob Fenner>

Cherub pygmy angel  9/17/05 Hi WWM crew.  I have been reading through your site looking for information about the cherub angel, but I cannot find a good answer to my question, so here it goes.  I have a 28 gallon that has a false percula clown, purple Firefish, neon goby, and a shrimp.  I have a Millennium 3,000 running with an AquaC Remora Pro, 20lbs of live sand, and plenty of live rock.  I want to add a small fish that will swim quite a bit (as the Firefish and goby do not) if possible.  I have been unsure of what I can add that will be peaceful and get along with the other fish.  Someone at an LFS told me that the Cherub pygmy would be good, but it seems that they can be very aggressive to other tankmates.  Would this be a good fish to add? <Amongst one of the best for the size, mix you have> Or do you have any suggestions regarding something else that might be better?  Thanks so much for your time and the great website. ~Jocelyn <If anything the Percula might go after the argi... but with lots of rock, spaces... Bob Fenner>

A Perfect Angel For A Small World! Hello WWM Crew! Want to thank Scott F for the previous advice.  Very helpful.  Today, I assure you, will be a quick question. <Glad that you found it useful- I'm back with you tonight!> My 25 gal tank is cycled with 25 pounds Tonga Live rock, 40 lbs sugar fine live sand.  Eclipse hood filtration, 2 power heads and a CPR skimmer 2r producing 1/2 cup a day tea-coffee colored waste. <You know that I love to hear THAT!>   Current Bio-Load: 1 Lysmata amboinensis 1 Lysmata debelius 1 Mithrax Crab (LR Hitchhiker) 5 Miniature Blue legged Reef hermits. 3 small Red sea snails My initial stocking list included the above and a flame wrasse/flasher wrasse.  Would also adding a small pygmy angel in time be overdoing it?  I want to keep this tank under stocked and healthy as possible. Thanks again! Ryan Bowen San Francisco, CA   <I think that you nailed it, Ryan...You're right about where you'd want to be, in terms of fishes, in this sized tank. As far as the pygmy angel, you could go for the "Cherub Angel"( C. argi), the "Flameback Angel" (C. aurantonotus), or, if you are a Pacific kind of guy, like me- a good small choice would be C. fisheri or C. flavicauda. All of these are small, very adaptable, and have interesting behaviours and color patterns. I'd let the tank become established for a while before adding the angel, as it will need some microfauna and algae to pick at to help supplement it's diet. Other than that- just provide common sense care and you'll enjoy these fish for many years to come! Good luck! ScottF>

Centropyge mixing 7/20/03 Crew: I have read that mixing Centropyge species in the same tank is a no-no, but I just have to ask about a specific combination.  I am interested in the Flame Angel (C. loricula) primarily.  In addition to that, I was hoping I could get away with the Cherub Angel (C. argi).  My thinking is that their different sizes and colors would make it okay to have them both in a 55 gallon (48" long).  I appreciate your time.  Rich <with so many beautiful fish in the sea... I wonder/advise - "why tempt fate" by mixing congeners, conspecifics or other fishes likely to fight/compete. In this case, I will admit that you have a better chance of it working than with other Centropyge... but again, why tempt fate? My advice is to select only one. Kind regards, Anthony>
Centropyge mixing Follow-up 7/21/03
Anthony: I appreciate your reply to my Centropyge question.   <always welcome my friend> A summary: you basically said C. loricula and C. argi may work together in my 55, but "why tempt fate" when there are so many other fish in the sea.   <correct :) > A follow-up, if I may: I recently returned my last remaining Damsel, the Azure Demoiselle (Chrysiptera hemicyanea - seen here (my picture) after Bob identified him for me a few weeks ago:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/chrysipterafaqs.htm ) to LFS after 43 weeks(!) in display because he got a little chippy towards others, <heehee... cheeky monkey> maybe when he realized he was the eldest occupant after the other damsel returns (sorry, the damsels were used for cycling before I found your site - none died in my care by the way - please be gentle :D).   <no worries... quite common to do> I was looking at the C. argi as a "blue-to-purple-and-yellow-small-when-grown-up" replacement for that beautiful damsel I had (*sniff*). I have been leafing through my Marine Fishes by Scott W. Michael, but I can't seem to find anything suitable.  I was hoping something would leap to your mind, relating to the fish of course! (hey, I can dream, right?).  Also, can you recommend a marine-fish-suitability reference larger than Mr. Michael's?  Thanks again and again for your guidance, Rich. <absolutely... fishbase.org  It is the largest reference any of us are likely to find, and its free on the web. Search by common name or scientific when know. Or pick a genus that you are favoring and follow the links to all of its species for a browse. Note that there is a link for more pics on each individual page as well as links for diet, reproduction, distribution, etc. Best of luck! Anthony>
Centropyge mixing Follow-up II 7/21/03  
Anthony: Wow, that must be the speed reply record!   <they don't call me Sir Speedy for nothing. Erhhhh... on second thought, don't spread that one around.> I first thought it bounced back. <we do try to reply to all within 24 hours here... some days/weeks(!) are busier than others> As far as the reference goes, I was hoping for a book I could leaf through, as well as proudly display on my bookshelf.  Anything on that order? <nothing so much on all fishes collectively. It would really be a monumental endeavor. Its best to focus on titles that feature families and groups. Helmut Debelius has produced some outstanding books in this manner. Very handsome production. Of course... there is our volume two coming soon ;) Reef Fishes <G>> Thanks, Rich. Ps: Reef Invertebrates book is AWESOME - don't tell me how it ends, I am not done yet ;)! <Ha! Happy reading... and hoping the book makes it out of the lavatory without color changes to the images. Anthony>

Resplendent angel 9/04 hello there, <Howdy> well, it is still unconfirmed but it is believed that Resplendent Angels ( Centropyge ) are being tank raised in Hawaii. <Neat.... wonder if Frank Baensch is involved here?> I just picked up one, about 3/4" long from a local wholesalers on Friday. depending on the availability, and what the market will bear, this fish is still pushing $1,000 see attached picture. note the Clear-For-Life sticker is 2"x2" Jim Stime, Jr. Aquarium Design - www.aquarium-design.com Midwater Systems - www.jellyfishtank.com MyFishTank.com - www.myfishtank.com <Thanks for the note and pic Jim. Bob F>

Re: resplendent angel Bob, >> <Neat.... wonder if Frank Baensch is involved here?> << It was strange, the only info I could get out of Quality was that the fish did come from Hawaii and it was in cubicles right next to similar sized C. interruptus, which are tank raised. So it is assumed that these fish did come from Frank. <Me too. I recall Chris Buerner telling me (while showing us the interruptus in their back area) that those came from him I believe.> Aside from the lack of info from the wholesaler it seemed odd to me that no mention has been made with regards to MAC. I would think this would be something very exciting and beneficial to the advancement of MAC and the industry in general. <The idiots that are the MAC at top are clueless... in their ever-changing BS program they initially intended to absolutely exclude tank produced livestock... because they couldn't "tax" it. Yes> How was Kona ? Did you go to MACNA in Boston ? <Fine... out there most of August, will be out there most of October... a bunch of the shell nut friends to dive with (Marty Beals of Tideline and his wife Angela including... and a new Hash group starting up... And yes to Boston, very nice. Gave a pitch yesterday and ret'd home. Cheers, Bob F> Jim Stime, Jr.
Re: Resplendent angel Bob, I found Franks web site and confirmed what I thought, the Resplendents are tank raised >>> http://www.rcthawaii.com/index.html  <<< Jim Stime, Jr <Ah, yes. Bob Fenner>

Strange Angel Color Change Dear Bob and Crew: <Scott F. with you this evening> I am sad to report that my pygmy angel is losing his  dark blue coloration on his body and the yellow "under color" is showing through.  It's like he is shedding - that's what I'd call it if he were a dog or cat.  We have had him for nine months, got him full grown so I don't know how old he is.  He is eating and swimming as usual and this color thing just started this afternoon.  His tankmates appear to be fine. Water stats: Salinity:  28  (specific gravity 1.0215),Alkalinity 3.2, Ammonia 0,Nitrates 0, Calcium 450 ppm Please let me know if he is sick or what.  He has no spots on him, but as he is from the sea and not tank bred he could have parasites that I don't know about.   Connie Cavan PS =: As I finish this note, his color appears normal again.  What is going on.????  Hope Bob, you can help, he is named after you.!!! <Wow, Connie, any fish named after Bob deserves our best...! I'm a bit curious about this color change; there could be a number of reasons and causes. First, I am assuming that you are referring to Centropyge argi, the "Cherub Angelfish", or Centropyge acanthops, the "Flameback Angelfish" (Do check the wetwebmedia.com site for FAQ's and articles on the genus Centropyge for a firm ID on your fish)? The reason that I ask is that both of these fish are basically dark blue with yellowish "faces", and, in the case of C. acanthops, a yellow dorsal region. As such, these are normal color variations. However, a sudden color change could be anything from a stress reaction to the onset of "Head And Lateral Line Erosion" ("HLLE"), which is thought to be a "disease" brought on by dietary or environmental deficiencies. Without seeing this for myself, I'd have to go out on a limb and say that it's probably some kind of stress or fright reaction, especially when you consider that he was eating well and that the color returned quickly. In the absence of other obvious disease symptoms, I'm going to suggest that you continue to observe him, provide excellent water conditions, and a varied diet rich in vegetable matter. Monitor the environmental factors regularly, and be prepared to act should some more serious disease symptoms arise. Let us know if we can be of any further assistance! Good luck! Scott F>
Angel Shifting Color (Pt. 2)
Hi again Bob and crew: <Scott F. here this afternoon> Bob is a Centropyge argi and when we got him nine months ago we didn't know that he was an adult.  He hasn't grown at all since we got him.  He is swimming and eating today, but is no longer speeding around the tank.  As I don't know how old he is, I can't be sure, but isn't it possible that he is dying from old age? <Always a possibility, but I think that you'd notice a gradual decline in health and activity if this were the case> He has slowed down tremendously in just one day and his mouth is open slightly. He still shows interest in chasing the dithers, but not like before.  Our tank is in prime condition, we have live rock and all sorts of critters that have grown from them.  I do a 10 gallon water change once a week and it's a 60 gallon tank.  I don't see any signs of lateral line disease. However, I feel it's possible that he has parasites, as he is from the sea. <Well, the fact that his mouth is partially agape is of some concern. I think that some type of parasitic infection is possible, but hard to tell from here. I assume that he showed no signs of infection during quarantine?> We have a royal Gramma we got about the same time from the same place and she was also fully-grown, so we have no idea how old "she" is either. I don't want to stress him further by removing him (HA) from his environment, but if you think I should be treating him for that I don't know how to do it except to remove him.  I don't think he is strong enough to weather removal into our "emergency room" 10 gallon tank. Catching him would be something else, but certainly would remove all rocks etc. if you think he should be treated.. <Wow- tough call here. What I would do is pour over the disease FAQs and resources here on wetwebmedia.com and see if there are any pics of a fish with the condition that you've noticed. I certainly don't recommend just throwing medication into the tank (or QT tank, for that matter), so I think that, in the absence of other disease signs (i.e.; rapid breathing, obvious spots, fin tears, etc), I'd observe him a little longer. If these unusual symptoms persist, and the fish appears to be on the decline, you should remove him to your hospital tank for more observation, and possibly treatment for whatever condition you get a positive ID on. I am always concerned for the other fish in a tank where one might be Ill.. sometimes everyone needs to be removed for observation or treatment, as is the case with ich.> You can see our test results of our water in my first note.   I should add that we use ROWAphos, along with 2 carbon filters in our Fluval 404. We >have been using it for 3-4 months and it has really helped the quality of our water. I'd appreciate any comments you have on this. <Not familiar with this product, but your H20 quality seemed high last time> >We also have a CPR skimmer and two powerheads. Am not crazy about the CPR, but aside from wanting to replace it in the future, everything in the tank is fine except Bob.  We have a low bioload and have never had water problems since we got the phosphates  well under control. <It sounds like he may need to be removed for some TLC in the QT tank soon. You'll have to make the call on this one, unfortunately! Sorry to be so long-winded, but nothing has scared him, he is king of the tank, and with his color back he looks fine,  but he really has slowed down. Thanks for your time and effort. Connie Cavan <Thanks for writing, Connie-keep me posted...Wish that there was more I could tell you at this point...Regards,  Scott F.>

Angel Losing Color Dear Scott: It's me again re: Bob.  He seemed to pick up energy as the day went along, but tonight during feeding he lost his color, but it almost immediately came back. This is the second time this has happened (that I have noticed). He was in quarantine for about a month and he was fine.  Several months later I noticed a long white fecal kind of thing coming out of him and he scraped it off on a rock. I have read Fenner's book and picked up from that book that most wild fish do have some kind of parasite. This was several months ago and he has been fine ever since.  His mouth is no longer agape but his color fading and then returning so quickly is really weird.  His tank mates, the royal Gramma, 2 immature clowns and 3 baby Chromis, all seem fine.  The clowns are tank bred but all the others are from the ocean. I guess this will play itself out, but if you or any of the crew have any ideas on this I would appreciate hearing. Thanks much for your concern. Connie Cavan <Well Connie- this certainly is interesting, to say the least! It seems unlikely that a parasite from the wild would still be manifesting itself this far down the line...Not impossible, but unlikely. With regard to the "color loss and return" thing, I still think that there is some sort of stress or mood related color change going on here.  Could even be a day/night color shift...If this is a regular occurrence, you might look for some type of factor here- like harassment from one of the other fishes, a territorial dispute. anything that could trigger some sort of stress reaction in this fish. Again, in the absence of further, or obvious, disease symptoms of some sort, I'd still be inclined to keep an eye on him, with the intent to take immediate action if disease does manifest itself. Hang in there-keep observing! Good luck! Scott F.>

Waskly Wabbits! (Rabbitfishes) I have a 65 gallon reef that needs a good algae eater.  I am told that tangs shouldn't go in a tank this size. <I think that's pretty good advice!> I also understand that Rabbitfish are a very good herbivore.  Is there a Rabbitfish that would be comfortable long term in a 65 gallon tank? Fred <In my opinion, Fred- not really. Pretty much every available Rabbitfish in the hobby reaches a minimum of 7 inches or so- these guys need space just like tangs do. They also are very sensitive to less than optimal water conditions, often being referred to by hobbyists as "ich magnets". I'd stick to some of the less "space-demanding" herbivores, like blennies...For example, the "Lawnmower Blenny", Salarias fasciatus, or the "Redlip Blenny", Ophioblennius atlanticus (a neat fish, but sometimes can nip an occasional coral or clam mantle...never happened in my tanks, however). These guys can do a nice job on algae, and although they can get over 4 inches, they don't have nearly the requirements for space that tangs and Rabbitfishes do. Also, some people use pygmy angelfishes (Centropyge) for herbivores (Now- I don't want every reefer out there to freak out and say that "Scott is suggesting using a Flame Angel for algae control!"). These fishes come with a variety of personalities and tendencies, including a propensity for nipping and eating corals in some cases! However, a large percentage of their diet is comprised of vegetable matter, so I include them here for completeness. In your tank, you'd definitely want the smaller "models", like C. argi, or C. acanthops. Both of these little guys can be feisty, however, so choose tankmates carefully. Use the wetwebmedia.com site for more research into herbivorous fishes. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Cherub Angel and other questions.... Hi WWM crew..... I have a couple of questions concerning the Cherub Angelfish (Centropyge argi)....First of all, would it be o.k. in a 20H tank with 3 other fish? Inhabitants are:2 ocellaris clownfish(1-1.5"),and a Catalina Goby(1"). <I would not place this dwarf angel with two clowns in this small system> I realize this is a coldwater species, but he was in the LFS "tropical "tank for appx.3 mths.. and he's been in mines for 3mths.,so I guess I got a "rare" Catalina goby..... <It's life will be greatly foreshortened> Would a cherub angel pick on any of these fish or make my tank overload? <Likely the other way around> If I can't add a 4th fish, which would you recommend removing, so I can add him? <The clowns> Would it pick on my corals? (xenia, zoo's, mushrooms, bubble coral, candy cane coral, Kenya tree, GSP, sand polyps, or clove polyps) What's the diet? Also how big do these guys get? Any additional info. is appreciated.. BTW, filtration is 2 Skilter 250's if this helps...My tank also contains a lot of LR...... <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/centropyge/index.htm and the FAQs files beyond (linked, in blue, at top) re these questions. Bob Fenner>

C. argi or C. acanthops in a Nano Bob: <Steven Pro answering questions at the moment.> I am new to salt water and have set up a 10 gallon nano-reef that is thriving (at the moment). I would love to add a C. argi or C. acanthops to this system (though I realize already that it is very small); the LFS has one of each that are only about 2.5 cm long and of course I am considering moving my little reef to a bigger tank (or simply starting another reef in a bigger tank where the fish could be moved). In general, is one of these species better for a reef tank than the other in terms of personality, aggressiveness, hardiness, or anything else? <They should be about the same. A bit of a roll of the dice as to whether either will eat any inverts you care about. Could only be recommended for your ten gallon tank as the only fish. -Steven Pro Thanks, Steve

Atlantic Pygmy Angel Hey WWM Crew! You guys have one great site! <Thank you kindly.> I'm having some tank problems and I think you can help. My father is VERY big into marine reef tanks, and at 15 I'm getting in to them also. Sadly my dad had a heart attack and has mild brain damage, forcing him into a rehab for at least 6 months. <I am terribly sorry to hear about your troubles. I wish your father a quick and complete recovery.> I can take care of most of the tanks, but the little 3 gallon mini-tank is bugging me. It is the Eclipse Mini 3 Gallon. It's only resident is a small Atlantic Pygmy Angel, I'm having trouble feeding him. He was bought the day before the "heart attack". I'm feeding him "Ocean Formula Pygmy Angel Formula" and some lettuce on a feeding clip. He just nibbles on his food and goes into his cave. Is this species shy like him or is he still getting used to his new tank. <I am guessing a little bit of both, shy and settling in.> Any help I could use! <Try instead Nori or Seaweed Selects in the clip and frozen Mysis shrimp.> Thanks, Phil <Best of luck to you and your father. -Steven Pro>

Dwarves from TWA! One last question, if I do stick with the 2 dwarf angels, which would be the best match with a flame, the Centropyge argi or a Centropyge aurantonotus? <These two are remarkably similar, no real reason for one over the other.> Thanks, Rich. <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Mixing Pygmy Angels Question: Atlantic Pygmy Angel, African Flameback Angel, Flame Angel and Coral  Beauty, Will they get along in the same tank 135gal.  2nd Question:  African  Flameback and Brazilian Flameback which one is hardier or your choice with  the other two coral and flame angel.   Thank you. <Not happily or healthily in my estimation... the dwarf dwarf and regular size dwarf marine angels are territorial... especially with species that are similar appearing... IMO I'd limit a 135 to just one or two of these... and mix in some non-angels. The Brazilian (Centropyge aurantonotus) is tougher... Bob Fenner>

Resplendent Dwarf Angel Howdy there Bob, I was on your site and came across the Pygmy Angel page and of course I just had to check them out < s >. I just received a Golden and a Multicolor, and am expecting to get hold of a C. joculator in the near future. I noticed you are in need of a picture for the Resplendent. you are more than welcome to use any of the photos off my Resplendent Page if you wish. the addy is; >>http://www.aquarium-design.com/fish/resplendent.html << so, when are we going back to Hawaii...or any other tropical island in the south pacific < s > ? Jim Stime Aquarium Design <Thanks for the pic off Jim. And am off to southern Japan over Toikeydaze, but/and will venture out anytime you have the resources. Keep in touch. Bob Fenner>

Centropyge argi... one of my fave little angels I e-mailed you a while back about adding a Coral Beauty angel to my tank, and you told me that it would be a bad idea. Based on your response and my own research, I decided not to add anything to the tank at that time. Now, my LFS has gotten in an absolutely gorgeous little argi angel . . .  <Yikes, one of my faves> The little guy is about 1", and is eating well. Do you think it would be okay to add one of these to my current system? Just to refresh your memory, as I'm sure you get too many e-mails a day to remember any one tank in particular, <Have to look at my own drivers license occasionally...> here are my tank stats again: 30 gallon flat back hex (36" long), established for 8 months with a good growth of various algae and sand-stirring critters, 28 lbs. of LR, 3.5" sand bed, Magnum 350 for occasional carbon filtering and circulation, Prizm skimmer, and a 175 gph powerhead. Water quality readings are ammo/nitrite 0, nitrate ~20 mg/l (tank is slightly overfed), s.g. 1.024, and pH 8.2. Current inhabitants are a 3.5" C. solandri puffer, a 2.5" lawnmower blenny (very fat and happy, he even eats pellets :)), a pitiful little 1" scooter blenny that has finally started eating but still looks like he is starving to death, <Maybe... would be great to add a sump/refugium to your set-up... among other benefits to provide more live food for this fish> a chocolate chip starfish, 2 red leg hermits, 2 blue leg hermits, and a curly q anemone. I do 25% water changes weekly. I am currently feeding the tank only meaty frozen foods and pellets. If I add the angel, should I add flakes or Seaweed Selects to my feeding regimen (that's what he's eating now)? Or can he get enough plant matter grazing? As always, thank you so much for your opinion! Laura <I am melting here... and would likely add this little Cherub myself. And yes to expanding the food/feeding plan. Be chatting. Bob Fenner>
Re: Centropyge argi...
I called my LFS and they are holding the angel for me :). About the scooter blenny, he is eating very well in the tank and I have a good growth of copepods and amphipods, but I bought him out of a tank with no LR where he was being fed only flakes. <No fun... such keepers should have to eat Corn Flakes (which I do like) exclusively (which I would not like)> I've had him for over a month and he is eating every day (he especially likes bits of ghost shrimp that my puffer spits out and vitamin soaked bloodworms). He just won't gain weight, no matter how much he eats. I'm beginning to wonder if he was just too far gone . . . <Perhaps, but don't give up hope. Bob Fenner>
Re: Centropyge argi... (Scooter)
I'm taking the absolute best care of him that I can, and thank you for the encouragement. I just wanted to clarify that I wasn't keeping a fish in an environment where he wasn't getting enough to eat :). <I understand. Thank you. Bob Fenner>

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