There are 9 separate genera that made up this family; with the wild native species widely scattered and distributed among the shallow oceans reefs from the Pacific stretched until the Atlantic including Indian Oceans. Most angelfish are best kept in a single-species aquarium mainly because not all of them can be compatible with each other as they originate from different geographical locality. Some can be quite destructive towards corals and reefs in particular sponges, due to their nature of actively grazing for foods looking for algae, destroying and tearing apart the soft tissue in the process. Thus if your objective is to create a living marine reef tank, be sure to select the correct species to go along with it. Because of the rich diversity and sometimes close resemblance to each other, identifying which specimen an angelfish belongs to into which group can prove to be quite difficult. And unless you are a prominent marine biologist with vast experience and knowledge, attempts to properly segregate them can prove to be a real challenging task.
Centropyge resplendens (Common name: Resplendent Angelfish)
Behavior: Somehow unpredictable
Colors and Appearance: Bluish purple with a yellow band starting from its mouth region extending until the top of its head, then running in a parallel, covering the dorsal fin until the end of its tail fin.
Reef Compatibility: Will readily destroy coral reefs if it’s underfed
Compatibility with other fish: Intolerant of its own species and can sometimes pester fish multiple times bigger than its own.
Centropyge loricula (Flame Angelfish)
Behavior: Typical of a normal angelfish whereby it appears to be quite active and fast swimmer.
Colors and Appearance: Bright orangery red in color with vertical stripes on its body. The fins are bluish at the tip. The elongated shape is quite distinct compared to the other angelfish species.
Reef Compatibility: Less destructive and if there is large area of reef population, the growth and regeneration might be able to sustain itself to support the angelfish nipping behavior.
Compatibility with other fish: Generally peaceful and can co-exist with the other fish species but care must be taken especially when the tank becomes too congested. Can group together to form a number of active breeding pairs.
Centropyge tibicen (Keyhole Angelfish)
Behavior: New addition will appear shy and often goes into hiding. However, upon acclimatization, it can get agitated easily and chase after the other fish
Colors and Appearance: Almost covered in black except for a white patch appearing right in the middle of the body. The size and shape of the white patch resembles a key opening, exactly how it was named as keyhole in the first place. Fins on the underside of the body are yellowish though.
Centropyge aurantia (Golden Angelfish)
Behavior: Can be a quite shy and often goes into hiding especially when there is presence of other fish family. Otherwise, if it is left alone, they should return to their normal behavior, curiously swimming around looking for foods.
Colors and Appearance: Maroon to reddish coupled with wavy golden pattern formed at the center of its body
Compatibility with other fish: They are commonly seen appearing among groups of clown fish and it is a norm seeing all of them living together even in captivity.
Centropyge vroliki (Pearl-Scale/Half-Black Angelfish)
Behavior: Highly active and healthy species will often dash across the tank. During feeding, it is often seen grazing at the reef surface, going about non-stop.
Colors and Appearance: The fish changes color from solid black in the rear, then transition to brownish color and then finally to white at the front.
Reef Compatibility: Can be very destructive as its constant nipping behavior can easily tear apart soft coral tissues.
Compatibility with other fish: Most aquarists experienced success when introducing the fish as the final addition to the tank after the other tank mates have already settled in. It is advisable to mix them with other saltwater fish species which is more or less similar size with them.
Centropyge flavissimus (Lemonpeel Yellow Angelfish)
Behavior: Can often be seen swimming non-stop around the tank
Colors and Appearance: Whole body appears in almost full lemon yellow color except the region encircling the eyes and the gills area which are somehow bluish.
Reef Compatibility: It is best to confine them to barren tank setup and supplement their diet with algae and chopped shrimps. A single fish is known to be able to destroy a colony of clams. (More information can be found by following the link above to understand more about their general requirements and diet)
Centropyge argi (Cherubfish)
Behavior: Can be highly territorial especially during breeding season otherwise they are fine and able to mix with the other fish species
Colors and appearance: Looks almost similar to the bicolor angelfish as both of them share similar solid blue and yellow color combination. However, the cherubfish are smaller in size while the blue color occupies and cover most of the body area. Reef compatibility: Despite their miniature appearance, they have an unpredictable nature of sometimes destroying the corals and eating other invertebrates.
Moving on to next page » Some of the rarest and exotic angelfish from the Centropyge Family