Blueline Angelfish, Blue-lined AngelfishFamily: PomacanthidaeChaetodontoplus septentrionalisPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy David Brough
The distinct patterning of the Blue-striped Angelfish makes it an easily distinguishable fish.
The adult coloration of this species makes it truly a very beautiful fish. You can fall in love with the distinctly colored Blue-striped Angelfish and it can be kept in a community aquarium. But it may pick at some live corals so is not recommended for reef aquariums. Blueline Angelfish are also rather shy at first, but will become bolder as they become comfortable.
Generally a Blue-lined Angelfish will do well with other angelfish members and also with smaller non-aggressive species, but an established adult can become moody and aggressive. They do well in captivity once they are feeding and can live for a long period if properly cared for. You will do best obtaining a juvenile or sub-adult because large adults, more than 6 inches (15 cm) long, might not accept any food.
For more Information on keeping saltwater fish see:
Marine Aquarium Basics: Guide to a Healthy Saltwater Aquarium
Blue-Striped Angelfish (Chaetodontoplus septentrionalis)
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Blueline Angel feeding at Aquahome Aquatics Blue-Striped Angelfish (Chaetodontoplus septentrionalis)
This is an adult coloration of a Blue-Striped Angelfish. The angel is eating and alert, which is very important for long term success. Some are being captive-raised, though not sure about this particular one. They will need a tank of at least 75 to 100 gallons, do quite well in captivity and will grow to just under 10" in the wild.
Described by Temminck and Schlegel in 1844, the Blue-striped Angelfish or Blue-lined Angelfish is found in southern Japan, southern Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Vietnam. This species is commonly seen on rocky shores at depths between 16 to 197 feet (5 - 60 meters) in southern Japan from the Izu Islands southward, but is scarce in the Ogasawara Islands (Bonins) and also is very curiously absent from the Ryukyu Islands (around Okinawa).
It is very mysterious that the Blue-striped Angelfish is completely absent from the sea around Okinawa. No diver or collector has observed or collected any specimen at all, but many records of collection of this angelfish were made from Taiwan. It is also abundant at the large Kyushu Island of Japan.
The Blue-striped Angelfish lives in its natural habitat singly or in a small group. They are often observed by divers around southern Japanese waters at the depth of 10 meters or so, but when it is a juvenile will be in waters less than 5 meters . One of my friends, a collector, encounters and catches juveniles with a hand net on rare occasions in southern Miyazaki, Kyushu.
A distinct variation is known from Vietnam that has a more complicated color pattern especially on the head and face, similar in appearance to the Orangeface Angelfish C. chrysocephalus from Indonesia. All of the large adults from Vietnam have such a color pattern though the pattern varies between individuals.
This species is closely related to the very similar Maze Angelfish C. cephalareticulatus (Shen & Lim, 1975) and the Blue Vermiculate Angelfish C. chrysocephalus (Bleeker, 1854). In southern Japan the Maze Angelfish will co-occur and mix with the Blue-striped Angelfish.
These fish are not listed on the IUCN Red List.
Juvenile Blue-striped Angelfish are fairly easily maintained in the aquarium but almost all of the large individuals need special care. Also those obtained large often refuse any food except some live corals, sponges, and small invertebrates.
The water quality of the aquarium must be well maintained. Chaetodontoplus members can suffer from ‘ich' (white spot disease) or other diseases. They can be treated successfully with medicine or copper drugs, but they have a weakness for drugs or sudden changes in water conditions. In the wild a cleaner wrasse (Labroides spp.) will pick parasites off the body.
Diseases that marine angelfish are susceptible to:
Marine Ich (white spot disease), Marine Velvet, and Lymphocystis (a viral infection).
|Dr. Jungle says, "Here's Hiroyuki's experiences in keeping a Vietnamese adult!...thanks for sharing!"|
|"I got an adult from Vietnam but it was too large to acclimate in the tank; it twice accepted two kinds of foods but did not swallow them, and since that time it ignored any food offered and starved to death. It was getting well along with other species of fishes, including five Blue Devils, one Flame Angel, wrasses of two Cirrhilabrus and a Paracheilinus, and one Black-backed Butterflyfish. It was active fish there, patrolling slowly and gracefully the full length of the tank, and sometimes went through the large crevice among the rocks.
"I kept the water temperature of around 24 degrees in C., for it came from the warmer waters of Vietnam." ...Hiroyuki Tanaka
The Blue-striped Angelfish or Blue-lined Angelfish are omnivores, in the wild they eat primarily sponges and tunicates, but have also been observed nibbling on macroalgae, black corals, and sea whips. Provide a varied diet. Juveniles often accept dried flakes, meaty foods, frozen prepared diets for sponge and algae eaters, frozen shrimps, and may also feed on tablets. Feed these fish at least twice or three times everyday.
Normal water changes at 10% biweekly or 20% monthly is fine for juveniles, but large specimens need small but frequent water changes especially if the tank is not large.
For more information see, Marine Aquarium Basics: Maintenance
This fish needs lots of open space for free swimming for large specimens and some crevices for juveniles to hide. No need for a sand bed.
Minimum Tank Length/Size:
A minimum 50 gallon (189 liters) or larger. A male and female may be housed together as long as they are introduced at the same time and the tank is quite large, 125 gallons or more.
Light: Recommended light levels
Can be kept in sunlight conditions, but prefers to be kept in a dim-light tank.
This species dwells in subtropical to temperate areas. Temperatures between 65 - 75° F (18 - 24° C) will serve them well, but temperatures higher than 82° F (28° C) or below 60° F (16° C) would not be good.
Water Movement: Weak, Moderate, Strong
No special requirements, but it needs the flow slow enough so that it can feed.
Water Region: Top, Middle, Bottom
They will spend time in all parts of the aquarium.
The Blue-striped Angelfish is not a reef safe fish as it will feed on some corals and sessile inverts, so will do best in a community tank. The Chaetodontoplus angels are slightly less aggressive some of the other angelfish, though that can vary from one individual to another. An adult and a juvenile can co-habitat fine but not two juveniles together. A pair may also be okay together if the aquarium is very large and there are crevices for retreat, but the pair must be introduced to the aquarium at the same time. Larger and territorial angelfishes like Pomacanthus are not recommended as tank mates.
Smaller and non-aggressive fish like cardinalfish, gobies, tilefish, damselfish, butterflyfish, fairy basslets, wrasses, etc. will be good tank mates. Very territorial fishes such as dottybacks or meat-feeders like big Basses, etc. are not recommended as tank mates.
No sexual differences are known, but it is often reported by divers in southern Japan that the species is seen swimming in pairs.
Not yet bred in captivity. In their natural habitat they have been observed in pairs. In captivity they have been reported to court and spawn, with a known spawning in at least one public aquarium. In courtship the male displays in front of the female with fins erect, and sometimes will lay down on his side on the substrate. Like other angelfish, in the final stages before actual spawning the male exhibits a "soaring" display.
For more information see, Marine Fish Breeding
The Blue-striped Angelfish or Blue-lined Angelfish will appear at retailers on occasion. Young specimens adapt to captivity best so when you see a juvenile it is a good opportunity to get one.
Most specimens from Japan will be obtainable at a prices starting around $50.00 USD and up, but those shipped from Vietnam (all of which are too large to acclimate well) command a high price of around $200.00 USD or more, and specimens from Vietnam are rare.
- Animal-World References: Marine and Reef
- Helmut Debelius, Rudie H. Kuiter, World Atlas of Marine Fishes, Hollywood Import & Export, Inc., 2006
- Scott W. Michael, Angelfishes & Butterflyfishes: Reef Fishes Series , Microcosm Ltd, 2004
- Mark Allen, Roger Steene, Gerald R. Allen, Guide to Angelfishes and Butterflyfishes, Odyssey Publishing, 1998
- Dr. Warren E. Burgess, Dr. Herbert R. Axelrod, Raymond E. Hunziker III, Dr. Burgess's Atlas of Marine Aquarium Fishes, T.F.H Publications inc., 1990
- Dr. Gerald R. Allen, Butterfly and Angelfishes of the World Volume 2, Aquarium Systems; 3rd edition,1985
- H. Debelius, H. Tanaka and R. Kuiter, Angelfishes, A Comprehensive Guide to Pomacanthidae, TMC-Publishing, UK, 2003
- Frank Schneidewind, Kaiserfische, (in German) 1999