Care Level: Moderate
Reef Compatible: Yes
General Description: The Watanabei Angelfish has a wide distribution across the Indo-Pacific. Members of Genicanthus have the distinction among angelfish of being sexually dimorphic. Males have an iridescent pale blue body with a series of dark horizontal stripes confined to the bottom portion of its body, and a single horizontal orange stripe that extends toward its caudal fin. Females on the other hand also possess an iridescent pale blue body, but have only a few dark markings predominately on their face. Genicanthus are the only true “reef safe” angelfish in the hobby because their diets are predominately made up of zooplankton rather than corals. This angelfish can be kept as a male-female pair, or a male with several females. While females tend to stay smaller, Watanabei angels can reach a size of approximately 6″.
Diet Requirements: In the wild Genicanthus angelfish are zooplanktivores. While this specific food source can be a challenge to replicate in the home aquarium, Watanabei angels will accept a wide variety of prepared foods. Offer a varied diet of high quality algae, pellets, flakes, and especially enriched frozen foods such as spirulina brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, calanus and angel specific mixes for best coloration, immune function and optimal health.
Care Requirements: A minimum 125 gallon aquarium with 12+ inch width is ideal for a single, large Watanabei angel or a smaller pair. The aquarium will need to be upgraded accordingly with more individuals. Genicanthus angelfish are intolerable of nitrite or ammonia spikes. This angelfish enjoys some rock work and crevices to take refuge, but should be provided with ample open swimming space. The Watanabei angel is rather non-confrontational with most tank-mates, including angelfish in other genera (Pomacanthus, Holocanthus, Centropyge). Compatability with other species within Genicanthus is variable; do not house more than one male in the same aquarium. Watanabei angels, like all Genicanthus species, are hermaphrodites; the most dominant female over the course of time will likely change into a male. Watanabei angels have been observed to occasionally chase smaller more docile planktivores such as anthias. Recommended water conditions, 72-78° F, KH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, salinity 1.020-1.025.
Purchase Size: Small: 3″ or less; Medium: 3-1/4″ to 4″; Large: 4-1/4″ to 5″
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase size is approximate.