Animal Stories - Emperor Angelfish


Animal-World Information about: Emperor Angelfish

The handsome Emperor Angelfish is the best known of all the saltwater angelfish!  Looking at the attached video of a juvenile in a 180 gallon, then the same fish 3 years later as an adult in 400 gallon tank shows how they reward their owners with great coloring in a properly sized tank!
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Rick - 2012-11-08
I bought my Emperor Angelfish about 2 months ago and since day 1 he/she has been happy. Its a 2 inch juvenile that rooms with a coral beauty/Bi-color Angelfish, Yellow tang, 2 clowns, 2 Blennys, and a engineer/Firefish Goby. 150 IBS of live rock with plenty of hiding spots and plenty of flow/filtration with only Rodi water changes. The only downside to this scenario is that while my Juvenile leaves my soft/hard corals alone, its only in a 75 gallon reef tank which I will have to upgrade to 150 Gallon sometime soon! Have tests for everything you could think of, took a while to master keeping levels accurate however the satisfaction of figuring it out shows in my fish and my corals! Just hoping Juvenile still will mature and turn to adult colors in this scenario before I eventually change to 150 Gallon in the next year or so.. Completely love this Emperor, lots of personality already!!

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  • Collecting Clownfish - 2012-11-28
    Glad to know you will be putting him in a larger tank and you are watching water parameters! Good for you! So many people buy these beautiful fish and wonder why they die in only 2 to 4 years. It is all due to stress and small tank size. If you can afford closer to 200 gallons that would be even better but minimum really is 180 gallons.... old literature seems to undersize tanks for these big fish, but you seem to really love your angelfish, so just something to think about! (being big eaters and poopers a larger tank is actually easier to keep balanced too and I am all for that with my own tank!) Oh, the coloring they get as adults is more intense if the tank is very large from what I understand. Have fun!!
  • Rick - 2013-04-20
    I'm asking for trouble! So far everything is still great, my juvenile emperor is as happy per my last e-mail along with another roommate.. lol. Not my fault, friend of mine went crazy and bought a Juvenile Blue angel after only having his set up running for 3 months and his Juvenile Blue angel almost died however I put him in my quarentine tank for about 1 week and he looked good then I got stupid and decided to put him in my main tank and to my surprise there was no aggression towards my Juvenile Emperor (same size) or my Dwarf angels/Yellow Tang, I know in time this will change.. My wife is going to kill me but I must upgrade to a bigger tank very soon instead of a couple years.... ughhhhhhh... I actually run 2 skimmers and a Aquafuge2 refugium on the back of my 75 gallon reef tank and all levels are near perfect! I also do 5 gallon water changes every week.. However that being said, my days are numbered for this beautiful set up I have spent so much time on.
  • Rick - 2013-05-11
    My upgrade is done. I have recently transferred all my livestock over to a 210 Gallon aquarium. My juvenile emperor & Blue angel will be happy now! I also still have a yellow tang, coral beauty, bi-color angel, pygmy angel, neon & orchid dottyback, engineer goby, firefish goby, 2 clown fish and many different corals. Now I need more live rock!!!
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GPC - 2013-03-05
Hello, I just got my Emperor angelfish, I did the complete acclimatation process, but after a few hours, it is breathing very fast and hiding. My parameters are fine. It is an adult around 5 or 6 inches. What can I do? I read that more than 80 gill per minute its a red flag!

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  • Jasmine Brough Hinesley - 2013-03-06
    Hmmm. If you are sure your parameters are fine then maybe your fish simply is used to different water conditions. It may be that he simply needs some time to acclimate to your tank. I would give it some time. Watch for other physical symptoms to determine if he is sick. Also make sure he is eating and swimming normally.
  • Jeremy Roche - 2013-03-06
    What else is in the tank?  Maybve something in there causing stress?  Any way to test the water that it came from to seem if it is all the same or close?  temp change?  When you do you acclimation do you use the drip method?
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warid - 2013-01-03
hi need some advice just got a juvernile 2.5' emperor angelfish in a 310litre (70 gal uk/80 us ga) tank with external canister filter & protien skimmer, how long can i keep him in the tank before i need to upgrade to 125 gal tank was thinking of upgrading in a year time, any thoughts please.

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  • Jeremy Roche - 2013-01-04
    A year should be fine depending on what else you have in the tank.
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Dustin Harders - 2009-05-07
I noticed a lot of people have posted that they have had their emperor angel for years and have had no signs of color change. I bought mine about a year ago as a juvenile and with in a few weeks noticed it start to change. Now almost a year later the change is almost complete. The only thing left is the black mask around the eyes. I don't know that I have done anything special or maybe I bought him right before he would have naturally started his change. I just thought this very interesting and maybe someone would know why mine changed when no one elses is.

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  • laQrisha tyler - 2010-05-20
    well the anglefish can change colors true, due to the simple fact of how their environment is.
  • anthony nolan - 2010-07-24
    Hi Dustin, I've had my juvenile for about 2 1/2 yrs now and he started to change colour about 3 months ago, and seems to be continuing to change, his lower face is getting pale, lots of yellow streaks on the body, tail getting yellower by the day, eye mask getting dark. How long to go??? do you think he may go all the way?? I'm feeding him on frozen artemia and spinach soaked in vitamin fish oil.
    Any comments appreciated.
    I think you must have bought yours just before he would have changed as I assume they would need to be quite settled to start from a natural continuation

    Regards, Anthony
  • roydroll - 2011-04-28
    My emperor angelfish was eating my sting ray.
  • Collecting Clownfish - 2012-11-28
    That means you are doing a great job Dustin! Keep up the good work! Good water quality and tank size and appropriate tank mates go a long way. As for the other person eating the sting ray.... yes that is why large angelfish should not be housed with sessile creatures. Sharks will be picked at as well unless they are constantly swimming. Even then those 'eyes' look an awful lot like LPS to angelfish! EWWWw!
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T Gaul - 2010-05-26
Has anyone tried to put a dwarf angel in a tank with the emperor? My tank is 100 gallon. Thanks for any assistance.

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  • Anonymous - 2012-05-21
    Yes, I have coral beauty with mine. It chases it around abit, not much.
  • Jeremy Roche - 2012-05-21
    Normally the dwarf angels will do ok with larger angels. They are not seen as a threat.
  • Collecting Clownfish - 2012-11-28
    Sorry, hate to say, but 100 gallons is too small for this fish. The dwarf would be okay if it was with this fish in a 180 gallon tank. Both need room to have territories. Maybe return your large angelfish and try several dwarf angels in a 100 gallon tank. Rearrange rockwork before adding more to mess up territories.
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Janell Shank - 2012-03-28
I have a Angel his face started turning white is he changing?

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  • Jeremy Roche - 2012-03-29
    Can be a number of things. I would start with checking all your levels. Also check to make sure there isnt any stray electricity going through your tank. Is it patchy or the entire face?
  • Collecting Clownfish - 2012-11-28
    Check your pH levels and minimum tank size is 1' of fish per 10 gallons. PH should be 8.0 minimum or they start to fade. Also do you have a probe to attract stray electrical currents? That is a huge thing for angelfish.
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Patty&Bill - 2010-05-27
I just bought my first emperor angelfish today. Love it ..One question for whoever reads this, is it a sideways swimmer, cause I'm noticing lots of side swimming in her rather than up straight swimming. Please someone tell me it normal or should I take her back?

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  • Anonymous - 2010-09-01
    Normal for up to 5 weeks in a new tank....
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eddy - 2010-11-05
Hi I just bought my emperor angel last tuesday, currently she is in my holding tank together with my clown trigger fish which I just bought on the same day but besides the tank is a holding tank for new fish it is a quarantine tank as well where currently in the tank is a nasso tang which is sick with an ick, so I place all the fish together in the tank and put a copper medications for the nasso, I don't see any problem with the clown trigger and the emperor both are eating well with brine shrimp, flake, frozen shrimp and even algae and also the nasso has improved a lot, my concern is how long shall I hold the 3 fish in the tank before I place all of them in the display tank? But the emperor angel is an excellent fish I'm training her to eat from my finger which she tries to get closer every feeding time.

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  • David Brough - 2011-03-23
    Depending on the temperature, ich will go through its entire life cycle. Higher temperatures speed this up, lower temp will slow it down. I believe about 78 degrees is average. So if there is no sign of ich, or other obvious problems of course, within two weeks, you should be okay.
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sham - 2011-03-13
I bought an emperor adult angelfish, its not eating at all. Plz help .

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  • David Brough - 2011-03-23
    Keep trying everything you can get your hands on. Especially brine shrimp and bloodworms (preferably live). Also try the frozen foods like angel formula and formula 1 (Ocean Nutrition products). They can go for several days or even weeks before eating especially if they were not fed by the retailer/wholesaler. The difficulty level of the fish is almost entirely based on whether they are easy to feed and what level of effort it takes to get them to eat. He/she should come around in a few days, I sure hope he does!
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primo rosal - 2008-01-27
They say you can't have more than one angel at a time. Well, I do. You must punish the aggressor by separation out side the tank for 15 min., then rearange teritories. The emperor is the best angel in my opinion. primo rosal 01-27-08

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