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Flagfin Angelfish

(Apolemichthys trimaculatus)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Difficult   • Temperament: Peaceful - except with other large Angels   • Maximum Size: 10"
• Minimum Tank Size: 75 gallons   • Water Conditions: 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, sg 1.020-1.025, pH 8.1-8.4
• Diet: Omnivore   • Origin: Indo-Pacific
• Family: Pomacanthidae   • Species: Angels (Large)   • Aquarium Type: FOWLR

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Native Habitat and Species Information

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

Flagfin Angelfish are usually found in the wild living on reef slopes and rocky drop-offs, but can also be found in shallow reef areas and lagoons. In the wild this species is seen in mated pairs or as a solitary individual. Juveniles generally stay deeper down in the reef and prefer the protection of many rocky crevices and caves, while adults of the species can be found anywhere from around 10 feet to 180 feet of water. Three-spot Angelfish inhabit waters ranging from the Indo-West Pacific, East Africa, and throughout South-east Asia and Micronesia, north to Japan, south to Australia and east to Samoa.

Flagfin Angelfish are moderately sized at ten inches which makes them larger than most dwarf angelfish, but not as large as most full size angelfish. They have a yellow body with bright blue lips and three spots on their head, with the black spot on the forehead being very clear and two more faint spots behind each gill cover. They also have a black and white striped anal fin, which looks a bit like a flag and gives them their common name of Flagfin Angelfish.

Juvenile Flagfin Angelfish are similar to adults, but lack the spots around the head. They have a narrow black band through eye and a series of golden bars on the side.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Flagfin Angelfish in the home aquarium.

The Flagfin Angelfish is a good size for the home aquarium, since its adult length is around 10 inches; however, it can be difficult to keep because of its semi-specialized dietary requirement of sponges. This species has become easier to maintain as high quality angelfish preparations with sponge material have come onto the market, as it is important to provide a varied diet containing sponge material to keep the immune system of this species strong.

This species is best kept in a community fish aquarium with live rock, as it will be destructive to a reef environment as it considers many species living in a reef aquarium as food. 75 gallon or larger aquariums with plenty of live rock, with many caves and crevices will provide the Flagfin Angelfish with an excellent environment. This species should only be kept with others of its own species as a mated pair.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to feed and provide proper nutrition for Flagfin Angelfish.

It is extremely important to replicate the diet of this species to what it would consume in the wild in order to provide it proper nutrition and maintain a healthy immune system. In the wild the Flagfin Angelfish consumes lots of sponge material, algae, sea squirts and other plant material. In the home aquarium it is important to provide a mixed diet of a high quality angelfish preparation including sponge material and vitamin-enriched plant and meaty foods. A combination diet of spirulina algae enriched brine shrimp, mysid shrimp, marine vegetables or seaweed along with plenty of live rock for grazing, will provide the Three-spot Angel with the varied diet that it requires.

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