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Description
Lamarck's Angelfish
(Genicanthus lamarck)
Quick Care FactsCare Level: Moderate
Temperament: Peaceful
Maximum Size: 8"
Minimum Tank Size: 110 gallons
Water Conditions: 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025
Diet: Omnivore, Planktivore
Origin: Indo-Pacific
Family: Pomacanthidae
Species: Angels (Large)
Aquarium Type: Fish Only
Species Information
Lamarck's Angelfish are a hardy and interesting angelfish species, endemic to the coral reefs of the tropical Indo-Pacific. The Lamarck's Angelfish is notable among other angelfish as one of the few sexually dimorphic fish of the pomacanthidae family (males usually have a bright yellow blotch on the forehead in addition to longer and "sharper" caudal fin edges) as well as being a member of the Genicanthus genus, which are the only genus among angelfish to contain planktivores. Juvenile Lamarck's Angelfish are usually very dark with electric blue markings, but the juvenile color form will lighten and begin to change as they mature (around 5"). The adult coloration of the Lamarck's Angelfish is very similar to its juvenile form as most of the dark areas are generally just replaced with an attractive dark to bright orange coloration.
Lamarck's Angels are relatively peaceful with other tank mates, but they have been known to become territorial (especially towards conspecifics) once they are acclimated and have become established. The more territory and open space provided for them, the less aggressive they will turn out to be. They are quite popular and are sometimes hard to acquire within the hobby, although they are frequently special ordered through local vendors and online auctions/dealers when they aren't available through normal channels.
Aquarium Care
In the wild, Lamarck's Angelfish generally prefer to live in groups of a single male and 2 to 6 females; in an aquarium it would be ideal and generally more realistic to house a small group consisting of a single male and two females in an aquarium of 240+ gallons. A single male should be provided with a 110+ gallon aquarium setup with a live sand substrate and plenty of live rock for grazing, refuge, and territory. They should also be provided with a plenty of open swimming space for when they decide to cruise around. Angelfish can be sensitive to fluctuations in water chemistry and pristine conditions should be sustained by the use of high quality biological and mechanical filtration used in conjunction with a high quality protein skimmer.
Lamarck's Angelfish are members of the pomacanthidae family, specifically named for the presence of lower opercular spines, which are used for defense, but can lead to severe gill damage if they tangled in a net. If specimen collection becomes necessary, they should be coaxed into a collection container with a flattened net that can then be used to cover the top of the container reducing the risk of escape and injury. They are generally peaceful and will coexist well with a wide variety of heterospecific as well as conspecific tank mates, but can become territorial with and occasionally chase other planktivorous species that they perceive to compete with them for food (anthias, wrasse, pseudochromis, basslets, etc.).
Lamarck's Angelfish make excellent reef inhabitants, being planktivores, they completely ignore stony coral species, sessile invertebrates, ornamental shrimp, and the cleaning crew (snails, hermit crabs, sand sifting starfish, urchins, cucumbers, etc.); they also make great candidates for a large FOWLR system.
Feeding & Nutrition
Lamarck's Angelfish are omnivorous planktivores that prefer eating planktonic foods from the water column in their natural habitat. In the aquarium they should be offered a wide selection of live, fresh, or frozen and vitamin-enriched brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, chopped krill, chopped clams, chopped squid, chopped mussels, and quality Spirulina-based flake and prepared foods for angelfish and herbivores. Feed them at least three small meals a day. If a specimen doesn't initially eat during acclimation, they can be enticed with live brine shrimp, ghost shrimp, and freshly chopped seafood items.
Additional Photos