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Queen Angelfish


queen angelfish

Queen angelfish (Holacanthus ciliaris) are colorful fish from the west Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico. Young fish have blue vertical bands on their bodies that disappear as the fish matures.

It is not a fish for beginning saltwater aquarists. It is aggressive toward its tankmates. It also can't be kept in a tank with another of its own species. They are territorial fish. They are also somewhat sensitive to water conditions and are more difficult to keep and feed so that they remain healthy than some of the other saltwater fish (such as dwarf angelfish, for example).

queen angelfish closeup

In captivity it will accept frozen and meaty foods, and it should also be fed some plant matter. In its natural habitat the queen angelfish eats sponges off the coral reefs. You can find prepared marine angelfish foods that include sponges and you should include these preparations into it's diet to prevent it from becoming malnourished. Young fish also eat algae and the parasites off of other fish.

They reach a size of about 17.7 inches or 45 cm and so you'll need a large tank to house one. In addition, they are likely to harass their tankmates and so you will need to provide plenty of hiding places in the tank. If you keep them in a reef tank they will also bother some of the inhabitants.

They often show some variation in coloration and markings and will sometimes mate with other Holacanthus spp.

Prices range from around 40 to 150 dollars depending on the size of the fish. Smaller fish are less expensive.