Care Level: Moderate
Reef Compatible: Yes
General Description: The Zebra Angelfish, also referred to as the Zebra Lyretail, Lyretail or Swallowtail Angelfish, is distributed across the Red Sea in Africa and the Maldives. The name Zebra Angelfish is in regard specifically to the male’s appearance, as Genicanthus have the distinction among angelfish of being sexually dimorphic. Males have a silvery-gray body with vertical stripes that can appear dark or reddish in coloration, with accents of blue in its face, a lyre caudal (tail) fin, and a dark black band and yellow marking within the dorsal fin. These last two characters about the dorsal fin are the only marks that can typically distinguish male Zebra Lyretail angelfish from the nearly identical, but more common, male Swallowtail / Spotbreast angelfish (G. melanospilos). Female Zebra angelfish are a stunning gray-white color overall, with an even bolder white dorsal fin, black mask across the eyes, and black edging on the top and bottom of the caudal (tail) fin. 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, Zebra angels can reach a size of approximately 8″. Note: This species is infrequently available.
Diet Requirements: In the wild Genicanthus angelfish are zooplanktivores. While this specific food source can be a challenge to replicate in the home aquarium, Zebra 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 Zebra 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 Zebra 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. Zebra angels, like all Genicanthus species, are hermaphrodites; the most dominant female over the course of time will likely change into a male. Zebra 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.