Reef Safe Angelfish: Are There Any?

reef safe angelfish

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Saltwater angelfish are one of the most beautiful and remarkable fish you’ll ever see.

Elegant, graceful and with beautiful colors the saltwater angelfish is a dream fish for many aquarists. However, it’s not everything ideal as it seems to be. One question always pops up in our heads when we look at these beautiful creatures.

Are there any reef safe angelfish?

In this guide, we’ll look at the most common questions about saltwater angelfish and we will try to answer it one by one.

Are there any reef safe angelfish?

Larger Angelfish are not reef safe and will eat corals or Invertebrates almost every time you put them in a reef tank. Even small angels will pick at corals. However, I’ve heard many success stories about keeping dwarf angelfish in a reef tank.

Many factors come into play when we are talking about reef safe angelfish.

If you want to stay on the safe side, then choosing an angelfish from the genus Genicanthus is your best bet. Other than that, you are playing with fire.

The Angelfish from the genus Genicanthus are beautiful and truly reef safe fish. The most popular angelfish from this genus is the Japanese Swallowtail Angelfish.

Swallowtail Angelfish

The Swallowtail Angelfish (Genicanthus semifasciatus) also known as the Masked Swallowtail Angelfish is a saltwater angelfish native to the northwest Pacific Ocean.

They are one of the rare angelfish that are truly reef safe. These types of saltwater angelfish are peaceful and community fish that will thrive in bigger tanks with enough space for swimming.

Flame Angel, Reef Safe?

The Flame Angelfish (Centropyge loricula) is one of the most popular dwarf angelfish. They are gorgeous fish with beautiful and vibrant red/orange colors.

The Flame Angelfish can reach sizes up to 4 inches and requires at least a 70-gallon tank with lots of live rock for grazing.

Many aquarists want to know if the Flame Angel is reef safe? But the truth is, there is not an exact answer to that question. Flame Angelfish is labeled as reef safe with caution.

That means you are on your own risk. In some cases, they don’t bother the corals. In a different situation they might do the opposite.

If you are willing to take the risk, make sure that you feed your Flame Angel regularly.

Coral Beauty Angelfish, Reef Safe?

The Coral Beauty Angelfish (Centropyge bispinosa) commonly referred to as the Twospined or Dusky Angelfish is one of the easiest saltwater angelfish to care for.

The Coral Beauty Angelfish is primarily found in the Indo Pacific Ocean, where it lives in coral reefs and lagoons.

They are one of the hardiest saltwater angelfish in this hobby. Keep them in 70 gallons tanks or larger. Like any other saltwater fish, the Coral Beauty Angelfish will thrive with a varied diet.

Keeping a saltwater angelfish with corals will always be a risk. The Coral Beauty is no exception. However, the positive side is that there are more success stories than negative experiences.

What’s your experience with this remarkable fish?

Emperor Angelfish, Reef Safe?

The Emperor Angelfish (Pomacanthus imperator) also known as the Imperator Angelfish is one of the most colorful and beautiful saltwater fish. One of the many fascinating things about this fish is that they have different colors as juveniles.

They are large angelfish that can grow up to 1 foot. It requires a minimum tank of 220 gallons with lots of live rock and plenty of hiding places. Their diet should include Spirulina, frozen shrimp and other meaty foods.

Is the Emperor Angelfish reef safe?

Like any other fish on this list, it is labeled as reef safe with caution. Emperor Angelfish is notorious for nipping stony or soft corals.

What’s your experience with this angelfish?

Have you ever had success with it?

Further Reading

Bicolor Angel, Reef Safe?

The Bicolor Angelfish (Centropyge Bicolor) commonly referred to as the Two-colored Angelfish or Oriole Angelfish is a dwarf angelfish easily recognized by it half yellow half deep blue body.

The Bicolor Angelfish can reach sizes up to 6 inches and requires at least a 70 gallons tank. It will thrive in an environment with plenty of live rocks and hiding places. Be careful, they can be aggressive towards other peaceful fish.

Is the Bicolor Angelfish reef safe?

It’s a 50/50 situation. You’ll never know if you don’t try.

However, they are known to nip at corals, sponges, worms and even the mantles of clams.

What’s your experience with this colorful dwarf angel?

Potters Angel, Reef Safe?

The Potters Angelfish (Centropyge potteri) also known as the Potters Pygmy Angelfish is a saltwater angelfish endemic to the Hawaiian Islands area.

It can reach sizes up to 5 inches, and it requires a bare minimum of a 70-gallon tank.

Is Potter’s Angelfish reef safe?

As any other angelfish is labeled as reef safe with caution. Some specimens might behave well most of the time, others never. It’s individual fish to fish.

What’s your experience with this angelfish?

Regal Angelfish, Reef Safe?

Regal Angelfish (Pygoplites diacanthus) commonly referred to as the Royal Angelfish is a saltwater fish easily recognized by its vertical yellow and black-edged white bars on the body.

It requires a minimum tank size of 125 gallons with plenty of hiding places.

Are Regal Angelfish Reef safe?

Keeping Regal Angelfish with corals will always be risky. However, you can say that is safer than the other angelfish I’ve mentioned before.

What’s your experience?

Do you have a Regal Angelfish in your reef tank?

Over to you

Just because someone had success with it, doesn’t mean that it is a reef safe angelfish.

There are always exceptions to the rules.

That’s why most of the saltwater angelfish are reef safe but with caution. In the end, it’s up to you.

Now, I want to hear from you!

Have you ever had success with keeping angelfish in a reef tank?

Let’s discuss it in the comment section.


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