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Emperor Angelfish

(Pomacanthus imperator)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Moderate   • Temperament: Semi-aggressive   • Maximum Size: 16"
• Minimum Tank Size: 110 gallons   • Water Conditions: 72-79° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025
• Diet: Omnivore   • Origin: Indo-Pacific, Red Sea
• Family: Pomacanthidae   • Species: Angels (Large)   • Aquarium Type: Reef Compatible

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Native Habitat and Species Information

Emperor Angelfish native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

The Emperor Angel is a very impressive looking fish that boasts incredible color differences between the juvenile and adult specimens and its ultimate combination of bright coloration and exotic pattern. Juveniles of this species have white concentric rings on a dark blue body, while adults have alternating blue and yellowish blue/green lines on the body, a yellow tail a black eye mask, white face and a black band around the pectoral fins. Transforming individuals (sometimes referred to as teenagers) are occasionally seen in the aquarium trade as well.

Juveniles and small adults are good aquarium inhabitants;however, larger specimens can require expert care and large areas for both swimming and grazing. Provide this species with plenty of unencumbered swimming room as well as several suitable places to take shelter when threatened. Do not keep with other full size angels of the same or different species.

The adult Emperor Angelfish has a bold, blue body covered with bright yellow horizontal stripes culminating in a bright yellow to orange caudal fin. A striking blue-black mask covers the eyes and a similarly-colored vertical band extends from the pectoral fin two-thirds of the way up the body. This band is highlighted in a sapphire-blue in front, bright yellow, caudally and the mouth is white.

The juvenile Emperor Angelfish is black with circular white and blue stripes starting at the tail. Supplementing the diet with vitamins and color-enhancing foods as suggested to help the color transition from juvenile to adult, in the aquarium environment.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Emperor Angelfish in the home aquarium.

The Emperor Angel requires a fairly large aquarium to accommodate its large size, usually 90 gallons or larger. They do well in large aquariums that provide both lots of swimming room and plenty of grazing algae that grows on live rock. They should not be kept with other full size angels and only should be kept singularly, as they will fight with others of their own kind. Because of their large size they can be destructive to corals and invertebrates, but in a large tank with plenty of live rock this can be minimized. Again due to their large size, one might not want to keep them with very shy or sensitive fish species.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to feed and provide proper nutrition for Emperor Angelfish.

The diet of the Emperor Angel should include sponge matter, spirulina, marine algae, nori, romaine lettuce, high-quality angelfish preparations, clams or frozen shrimp and other meaty items such as brine or krill. This species should be fed two to three times daily what the fish will consume within a minute or two. Being an omnivore it is important to provide a balanced diet of greens and meats to provide all the necessary vitamins and nutritional needs of the Emperor Angel.

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