Care Level: Moderate
Reef Compatible: With Caution
General Description: The West African Angelfish is truly a gem from the west coast of Africa. As a very small juvenile (< 2″), the West African angelfish is deemed a “blue phase” because it is a stunningly vibrant blue color with a yellow tail. As it grows, this blue fades into an orange-yellow to olive green coloration. A hardy, large angelfish, the West African angelfish can reach an approximate size of 15″. Given the location of its natural habitat, the West African angelfish is not frequently offered and therefore considered rare in the hobby.
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, immune function, and optimal health. Angelfish specific foods that include sponges are highly recommended.
Care Requirements: A minimum 125 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. Other compatible tank-mates include species that are semi-aggressive and active in nature, such as various pufferfish, triggerfish, and tangs. While the West African angelfish can be added “with caution” to a reef aquarium, they have been observed to nip at stony and soft corals, and clam mantles, thus making them not a very good candidate. Recommended water conditions, 72-78° F, KH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, salinity 1.020-1.025.
Purchase Size: Juvenile Blue: 1″ to 2″; Changing Small: 1-3/4″ to 2-1/4″; Medium: 2-1/4″ to 3-1/4″; Large: 3-1/4″ to 4-1/2″; Adult: Small/Medium: 2-1/4″ to 3-1/4″; Medium: 3-1/4″ to 4-1/4″; Medium/Large: 4-1/4″ to 5-1/4″; Large: 5-1/4″ to 6-1/4″
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase sizes are approximate.