Care Level: Moderate
Reef Compatible: No
General Description: The Blue Angelfish is native to the Caribbean Sea and most similar to the Queen Angelfish (Holacanthus ciliaris), but does have some distinguishing attributes. As juveniles, the Blue angelfish have rounded dorsal and pelvic fins, whereas juvenile Queen angelfish have fins that are elongated. The juvenile Blue angelfish also does not have a blue crown or the overall striking blue highlights that juvenile Queen angelfish possess. As adults, Blue angelfish lack blue edging around its whole body, whereas this is characteristic of adult Queen angelfish. Finally, the body of a Blue angelfish is more yellow, while adult Queen angelfish scales have a blue tinge. Given their similarities, Blue angelfish and Queen angelfish are known to hybridize in the wild. As a result, an angelfish referred to as the Townsend Angelfish (Holacanthus townsendi) has characteristics of both Blue and Queen angelfish. Juvenile Blue angelfish have several vertical bar markings that disappear with age as it transitions into an adult, a common trait among many juvenile Holacanthus angelfish. A hardy and large angelfish, the Blue angelfish can reach an approximate size of 15″.
Diet Requirements: In the wild large angelfish are very omnivorous. A varied diet of algae, proteins, pellets, flakes, and enriched frozen foods are important for best coloration and optimal health. Angelfish specific foods that include sponges are highly recommended.
Care Requirements: A minimum 200 gallon aquarium with 18+ inch width is ideal. Juvenile specimens can be temporarily raised in smaller quarters (no less than 75 gallons) as long as it is upgraded accordingly. This angelfish enjoys a variety of rock work and crevices to take refuge, but also should be provided with open swimming space. Typically, Holacanthus species are semi-aggressive and can be territorial in nature. If you are looking to avoid potential rough-housing with other tank-mates, it can help to introduce a more pugnacious fish near last or last. Additionally, Holacanthus often conflict with conspecifics (including other species within the genus). If you want to house multiple types of larger angelfish together, it is best to add them all at once, or closely together at the very least, and as juvenile or sub-adult specimens (which are not nearly as territorial as adults) for the best chance of success. If you want to house a dwarf angel (Centropyge) in an aquarium with a larger angelfish species, the dwarf angelfish absolutely should be added alone first and allowed plenty of time to establish itself. Ultimately, certain larger angelfish do best as the only angelfish species in an aquarium. Blue angelfish are not a good reef dwelling fish given their nature to pick at clam mantles and various coral polyps. Recommended water conditions, 72-78° F, KH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, salinity 1.020-1.025.
Purchase Size: Juvenile – Small 1 1/2″ to 2 1/4″; Medium 2 1/2″ to 3 1/4″; Adult – Small 3″ to 3 1/2″; Medium 4″ to 5″; Large 6″ to 7″
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase sizes are approximate.