Mini reef aquarium guide. Reef aquarium setup for large reef tanks, Nano reef tanks, Pico reef or MIcro reef aquariums with reef tank lighting, filtration, choosing coral reef animals, and problem solving!
If anyone has any type of shark for sale I will buy please write me. william brown
Just wondering were am I able to purchase one of these beautiful fish as I live in Australia? jason
Any body like to buy yellow bar angel fish Pomacanthus maculosus. It is available in dfferent sizes between 15 cm up to 25 cm. for bigger I can search for you. If you are inerested please e-mail me on email@example.com adly
Thank you for the advice sir just one question where
can you buy a zebra Nick
The handsome Emperor Angelfish is the best known of all the saltwater angelfish! Looking at the attached video of a juvenile in a 180 gallon, then the same fish 3 years later as an adult in 400 gallon tank shows how they reward their owners with great coloring in a properly sized tank!
The exotic Emperor Angelfish Pomacanthus imperator, also called the Imperator Angelfish or Imperial Angelfish, is one of the most recognized angelfish in the sea. It is unusually beautiful both as a juvenile and as an adult. Adults are truly regal, being deep bodied and slightly elongated with yellow and royal blue horizontal lines streaming across their frame.
Pictured above is the adult coloration of the Emperor Angelfish. Juveniles looks similar to the Koran Angelfish or Semicircle AngelfishPomacanthus semicirculatus. The pretty juveniles are black with light blue and white curved stripes and a honeycomb pattern on the top and bottom fin and tail made up of black spots edged in blue. The size of these angels when they start to change color is from 3 to 5” (8 - 12 cm). The best sized Emperor Angelfish to obtain for adjusting to life in a captive environment is a juvenile 4 to 6” (10 -14 cm) in length.
The Emperor Angelfish can reach up to 15.7” (40 cm) in the wild. In the aquarium however, they generally only grow to about 12” (30 cm). A minimum 125 gallons (473 l) will be needed for a juvenile, and 180 gallons (681 l) or more for a mated male/ female pair.. Make sure the tank is at least 6 months old, and has plenty of live rock for it to graze on. Several hiding areas will help it feels secure, so shape rocks into cave type formations as places of refuge and comfort.
In the aquarium the Emperor Angelfish are semi-aggressive, though they can be a good community fish with the proper tank mates, especially when young. As they grow, they start becoming contentious towards other angelfish and similarly shaped fish added later on. They should be kept singly as they do not tolerate their same species unless you have a mated male/female pair. Tank mates like cardinalfish, clownfish, and small peaceful fish will more than likely be harassed by an adult Imperial Angelfish. Adding the Imperator Angelfish last is the best choice due to their territorial behavior.
In a reef tank Imperator Angelfish will nip large polyp stony corals (LPS), anemones, zoanthids, clams and some soft corals. If you have a large tank with small polyp stony corals (SPS) and/or some noxious soft corals and the angel is well fed, they may leave them alone. Yet each Angelfish has its own idea of what “dinner” may be, and some may still pick at them.
Nice 400 gallon tank (1500 liters) housing a full grown Emperor Angelfish. This is the follow up video from 3 years ago by jackreef! The good coloring shows this aquarist realized the need for a larger tank and good food, and followed through! The Emperor Angelfish will give you away by lack of color and aggressiveness if you are not providing proper accommodations, this guy says "THANKS!" to his owner by displaying beautiful coloring! House large angelfish in the size tank that they will be in as adults, since "growing them out" in smaller tanks leads to stunted growth and organ and muscular damage, as well as stress, disease and a much shorter life.
This is a smart aquarist who has housed his eventual 16" long Emperor Angelfish in the proper sized tank. "Growing out" tanks are not advised for these fish. This little baby will more than likely obtain all it's adult coloring. This is especially true when the water quality is kept up they are fed a wide variety of good foods too! In fact, this video is from 2009 and there is a newer video for November of 2012 showing the adult Emperor Angelfish... and he has ALL his coloring! Good job jackreef!
The Emperor Angelfish Pomacanthus imperator , is also known as the Imperator Angelfish and Imperial Angelfish. It is from the Pomacanthidae family, and was first described by Bloch in 1787. Until 1933, juvenile Imperator's were thought to be a separate species and called Pomacanthus nicobariensis.
The Imperial Angelfish is found in the Indo Pacific Ocean from the Red Sea and East Africa to the Hawaiian Islands, Line Islands and Tuamoto Islands. They can then be found from Southern Japan then south to the Great Barrier Reef, New Caledonia and Austral Islands. They are absent from the Easter Island, Rapa and Marquesan Islands. It is on the IUCN Red List as Least Concern (LC) with a stable population.
Juveniles inhabit areas under ledges or in holes of semi-protected channels, outer reef flats and outer lagoon patch reefs. The juvenile and sub-adult Emperor Angelfish have been seen cleaning larger fish in the wild. Subadults can be found in reef front holes and in surge channels. Adults are found under ledges and caves where there is plentiful coral, in seaward reefs, channels or clear lagoons.
Adults are generally found singly, but also occurs in pairs, trios, or harems of one male with two or more females. They are found at depths from 3 to 262 feet (1 to 80 m). Sponges, encrusting organisms and tunicates are their main food. As of yet, breeding in captivity is not possible and tank raising these angels has not been successful.
Scientific Name: Pomacanthus imperator
Social Grouping: Varies - Found singly, in pairs, in trios or harems of one male with two or more females.
IUCN Red List: LC - Least Concern - Stable population.
The adult Emperor Angelfish or Imperator Angelfish are deep bodied and slightly elongated. They have yellow and blue horizontal lines throughout their body that start from just behind the gills to the area just before the tail fin which is yellow. Starting at the top of the dorsal fin to the anal fin, it is blue and can have some blue striping. The dorsal fin is trimmed in white.
The mouth and snout area are white, which is sharply cut off by a black mask that covers the eyes. The mask is black, trimmed in blue. There is a yellow vertical bar that extends from the yellow in the head downward. It divides the black mask from a thicker vertical black band that starts about 1/4 of the way down the body and continues down into the pelvic fins. This black band is in the same area of vertical space as the pectoral fins and gills.
Sub-adult looks like the juvenile Emperor, except the tail fin starts to develop yellow in the patterning. Yellow vertical dashes start to appear on the body, blending into the juvenile pattern. The sub adult also becomes more deep bodied and rounder, like the adult.
Don't confuse the Emperor Angelfish with the very similar looking juvenile Koran (Semicircle) Angelfish Pomacanthus semicirculatus. On a Koran juvenile, the very last white stripe makes a crude “C” shape that at times can form a circle. But the Imperator juvenile has a full circle within the “C” shape. The Imperator juvenile also has irregular light blue lined circles in the dorsal and anal fin, where the Koran does not.
The Imperator Angelfish are deep bodied and can grow up to 15.7” (40 cm) in the wild, yet in captivity, they will generally only reach about 12” (30 cm). Angelfish from the Pomacanthus genus have a lifespan of over 21 years in captivity.
Size of fish - inches: 15.7 inches (39.88 cm) - In captivity, they will generally only reach about 12” (30 cm).
Lifespan: 21 years - Pomacanthus can have a lifespan of over 21 years in captivity.
Fish Keeping Difficulty
The Emperor Angelfish are considered moderately hard to advanced in difficulty because of the excellent water quality that is needed. A large tank with numerous caves is also needed to properly house this fish. A tank that is at least 135 gallons (378 l) is needed for a single specimen, but a tank of 180 gallons (681 l) or more can lower stress levels as well as house a male/female pair.
When obtaining your Emperor Angelfish, the best size for adjusting to life in a captive environment is 4” to 6” (10-14 cm) in length. Make sure they are very curious and active in their environment. Although they usually begin to change to their adult coloration from 3 to 5” (8 - 12 cm) in length, this is often delayed in captivity. In the aquarium they also do not always attain the same level of brilliance as specimens found in the wild. Color enhancers in their food may help.
If an Emperor Angelfish is disoriented and excessively bright, that can be a sign that they are victims of cyanide and will die. Also, a gill count of over 80 a minute as they calmly swim around is a red flag. It is very important to direct the fish into a container or bag to capture it, since nets can get snagged on their gill cover spines. This can cause injury which can lead to possible infection and subsequent death.
Aquarium Hardiness: Moderately hardy
Aquarist Experience Level: Intermediate
Foods and Feeding
Emperor Angelfish are omnivores, in the wild they eat a wide variety of sponges and encrusting organisms along with small amounts of algae, tunicates, hydroids, and bryozoans. It is important that you feed angelfish all kinds of live, frozen, and prepared formula foods. Feed vegetable based foods as well as meaty foods like chopped squid, scallop, and shrimp. Prepared foods with marine sponge and tunicates are essential. Foods containing color enhancing qualities may be used as well. A good formula that can be made at home consists of mussels, shrimp, squid, and spinach. Feed 2 to 3 times a day in smaller amounts to keep water quality good.
Diet Type: Omnivore
Flake Food: Yes - With spirulina and sponge material included, and color enhancing foods are also helpful.
Tablet Pellet: Yes - With spirulina and sponge material included.
Live foods (fishes, shrimps, worms): Some of Diet - Brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, as well as other protein sources can be offered occasionally.
Vegetable Food: Some of Diet
Meaty Food: Some of Diet
Feeding Frequency: Several feedings per day - They need 2 to 3 feedings a day that includes vegetable matter, sponge material, and meaty foods.
In general, Pomacanthus angelfish are not as forgiving as many other fish when it comes to water quality. Water quality must be high for the Imperial Angelfish to prevent illness, which can lead to death. Water changes of 30% a month, or 15% every 2 weeks is optimal in keeping nitrates lower. If there are corals in the tank, then 20% every month, 10% every 2 weeks or 5% a week works great.
A large tank is important for this large fish. Because it needs a lot of food, there is a large bio-load on the aquarium and a smaller tank will foul quickly. A suggested guideline is to keep up with your water testing, which will tell you when your tank needs a water change.
Water Changes: Bi-weekly - Water changes of 15% every 2 weeks or 30% a month. If there are corals in the tank, then 10% every 2 weeks or 20% every month.
The Emperor Angelfish, like other large angelfish, needs a stable environment which is at least 6 months old. It is best to introduce it last as a young fish into an established tank. A minimum 125 gallons (473 liters) will be needed for a juvenile, and a of tank of 180 gallons (681 l) or more for a mated male/ female pair.
Like others angelfish, they enjoy large amounts of rock work to graze on and for refuge. Arrange the rockwork in a way that your Imperator Angelfish can “hide” when needed. Provide water parameters of: 72-82° F, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.023-1.025. While seen as brightly colored fish in books and online, it has been stated that they may end up in a more faded version if a juvenile coloration is acquired and raised in captivity. It is possible that this is due to the lack of lighting in a fish only tank. It may be that providing reef lighting as you would for corals, may help. A decent amount of lighting has also been observed to help other Pomacanthus from developing HLLE (Head and Lateral Line Erosion Disease).
Minimum Tank Size: 125 gal (473 L) - A tank that is 180 gallons (681 l) or more is needed to keep a male/female mated pair.
Suitable for Nano Tank: No
Live Rock Requirement: Typical Plus Hiding Places - Hiding places are needed to help reduce stress.
Substrate Type: Any
Lighting Needs: Any - These angelfish also need decent reef-like lighting or they can develop HLLE (Head and Lateral Line Erosion Disease).
Temperature: 72.0 to 82.0° F (22.2 to 27.8° C)
Specific gravity: 1.023-1.025 SG
Range ph: 8.1-8.4
Water Movement: Any - It can tolerate a rather stronger flow but slow-moving water is preferable.
Water Region: All - They will spend time in all parts of the aquarium.
In the wild they are found singly, in pairs, in a trio or harem of one male and two or more females. They are generally peaceful in the aquarium but can be aggressive towards other Emperor Angelfish and other large angelfish species. They will harass smaller fish like gobies, clownfish and blennies. Because they establish territories that they will defend, they should be the last fish you introduce into the tank. An adult may be okay with a juvenile of the same species until the color change, at which time the adult would become intolerant. Slower moving sharks and stingray, especially their eyes, may be picked by larger angelfish.
It has been stated that the blue in front of the eye mask is more blue in male Emperor Angels, and gray blue in females.
Breeding / Reproduction
As of yet, breeding in captivity is not possible and tank raising these angels has not been successful. Successful breeding can only be accomplished in a very large display aquarium. Most home aquarists will not have a tank large enough to encourage spawning with this angelfish.
The Emperor Angelfish pair will spawn once a year. In the Marshall Islands, they spawn August and September. Males will have 2 or more females in their harem, with each female having their own territory. It is possible, like other Pomacanthus , that they ascend in the water column, circle each other and simultaneously release their sperm and eggs at the pinnacle of their accent. The larvae float in a planktonic stage for a few weeks before turning into fry. The males are known to "grunt" as they descend from spawning.
Emperor Angelfish, like other saltwater angelfish, are prone to any disease that captive saltwater environments have to offer. They are most likely to be affected if they are stressed from inappropriate housing or tank mates. This angelfish may suffer from Saltwater Ich or White Spot Disease (Crypt) and other infectious diseases.
White Spot Disease Cryptocaryon irritans, also known as Marine Ich, Saltwater Ich, or Crypt is the most common disease that is generally associated with marine tangs and angelfish. Symptoms of Marine Ick are constant scratching, culminating with lots of white dots. These dots disappear for a few days, only to return with double the number. This results in the fish suffocating from these parasites blocking the gills from providing oxygen.
Another common disease is Marine Velvet or Velvet Disease Oodinium ocellatum, (syn: Amyloodinium ocellatum or Branchiophilus maris), which is a parasitic skin flagellate. Symptoms of Marine Velvet are a peppery coating giving a yellow to light brown "dust" on body, clamped fins, respiratory distress (breathing hard as seen as frequent or quick gill movements), cloudiness of eyes, glancing off decor or substrate, and possible weight loss.
Parasites on marine fish kept with live rock or in any type of reef environment can be extremely difficult to treat. Typical treatments like copper and formalin solutions, as well as quinine based drugs are harmful to other marine creatures. However drugs such as metronidazole provide an effective and safe treatment for several protozoan and anaerobic bacterial diseases. Metronidazole works by ceasing the growth of bacteria and protozoa. Metronidazole is an antibiotic for anaerobic bacteria with anti-protozoal properties. This drug is reef safe, and medications are either added to the water or mixed with the fish food. Some available products that contain metronidazole include Seachem Metronidazole, Seachem AquaZole, Thomas Laboratories' Fish Zole and National Fish Pharmaceutical's Metro-Pro.
For external parasites you can slowly increasing the temperature of your tank to at least 82° F (28° C). That will prevent the parasite from completing its life cycle which includes the attachment to fish. A further combination of the higher temperatures with medicated food will provide timely relief. The Seachem Metronidazole medications works well in combination with another Seachem product called Focus, which is a bonding agent. This treatment can be used in a reef aquarium since the medication is bound to the food, which even if the corals eat, will not hurt them. Mix Focus in a ratio of 5 to 1 with their Metronidazole (5 parts Focus to one part Metro), then mix this with 1 tablespoon of food. Feed the medicated food to the fish 3 times a day for at least a week or until symptoms are gone.
Anonymous - 2014-09-06 Hi I have emperor 3 years ago and it refuse eating suddenly help me please answer what is reason and What I should do to make it eat again
Clarice Brough - 2014-09-07 These beautiful angelfish are omnivores, and eat a wide variety of foods in the wild. Adults in captivity do tend to be a picky, more so than juveniles. Try mixing up its food types, for example, try offering it some live mysis shrimp. Target feeding it may also help.
Rick - 2012-11-08 I bought my Emperor Angelfish about 2 months ago and since day 1 he/she has been happy. Its a 2 inch juvenile that rooms with a coral beauty/Bi-color Angelfish, Yellow tang, 2 clowns, 2 Blennys, and a engineer/Firefish Goby. 150 IBS of live rock with plenty of hiding spots and plenty of flow/filtration with only Rodi water changes. The only downside to this scenario is that while my Juvenile leaves my soft/hard corals alone, its only in a 75 gallon reef tank which I will have to upgrade to 150 Gallon sometime soon! Have tests for everything you could think of, took a while to master keeping levels accurate however the satisfaction of figuring it out shows in my fish and my corals! Just hoping Juvenile still will mature and turn to adult colors in this scenario before I eventually change to 150 Gallon in the next year or so.. Completely love this Emperor, lots of personality already!!
Collecting Clownfish - 2012-11-28 Glad to know you will be putting him in a larger tank and you are watching water parameters! Good for you! So many people buy these beautiful fish and wonder why they die in only 2 to 4 years. It is all due to stress and small tank size. If you can afford closer to 200 gallons that would be even better but minimum really is 180 gallons.... old literature seems to undersize tanks for these big fish, but you seem to really love your angelfish, so just something to think about! (being big eaters and poopers a larger tank is actually easier to keep balanced too and I am all for that with my own tank!) Oh, the coloring they get as adults is more intense if the tank is very large from what I understand. Have fun!!
Rick - 2013-04-20 I'm asking for trouble! So far everything is still great, my juvenile emperor is as happy per my last e-mail along with another roommate.. lol. Not my fault, friend of mine went crazy and bought a Juvenile Blue angel after only having his set up running for 3 months and his Juvenile Blue angel almost died however I put him in my quarentine tank for about 1 week and he looked good then I got stupid and decided to put him in my main tank and to my surprise there was no aggression towards my Juvenile Emperor (same size) or my Dwarf angels/Yellow Tang, I know in time this will change.. My wife is going to kill me but I must upgrade to a bigger tank very soon instead of a couple years.... ughhhhhhh... I actually run 2 skimmers and a Aquafuge2 refugium on the back of my 75 gallon reef tank and all levels are near perfect! I also do 5 gallon water changes every week.. However that being said, my days are numbered for this beautiful set up I have spent so much time on.
Rick - 2013-05-11 My upgrade is done. I have recently transferred all my livestock over to a 210 Gallon aquarium. My juvenile emperor & Blue angel will be happy now! I also still have a yellow tang, coral beauty, bi-color angel, pygmy angel, neon & orchid dottyback, engineer goby, firefish goby, 2 clown fish and many different corals. Now I need more live rock!!!
Rick - 2014-07-07 Back again, my last reply was in 2012 on this blog. I'm just touching base and updating anyone who cares to listen that my Emperor Angel that I purchased almost 2 years ago (as a Juvenile 2 inches) is now almost 6 inches and finally turning into adult colors. For those of you who get this Angel small you better be patient and educate yourself every day about this hobby and your fish. Since my last reply I decided to upgrade to a 210 reef in 2013 and used my 75 gallon as a sump (DIY sump). I then purchased a Calcium Reactor not long after that and last but not least purchased a very strong and capable skimmer (Up to 500 gallons). OMG, I think I stare at my skimmer more then my main display tank, lol.. Anyhow my Emperor is doing great and my Blue Angel (Introduced at same time as Emperor) has already changed over to adult colors and is beautiful! I also have a yellow Tang, 2 clowns, engineer goby, Bi-color angel, Pygmy angel, 6 line wrasse, neon dottyback, and 3 chromis that all live in harmony. Granted my Blue angel and Emperor tend to argue sometimes but nothing to dramatic, lol.. I also have numerous SPS corals growing along with some hammers and birdsnest corals which none of these fish touch. It took over 3 years to accomplish this and it definitely didn't happen over night. I spent a lot of money (Ask my wife) and countless hours googling/educating myself on all factors of this hobby and carma eventually comes around but my god did I have my fair share of issues! I made the mistake of buying a used 210 and tested it with water filled for 48 hours and no signs of a leak then after tank had been active for 3 months I came home from dinner to water leaking out of my 210 an inch every hour! OMG, thank god I didn't start my 75 gallon sump yet.. I was very lucky and never lost any fish or coral and then purchased tank brand new and now its been running over a year now with no issues. Well, that's my story. I hope all of you that take the time to read this and are passionate about this hobby will understand the importance of being patient and letting things work it self out, take care my reef maniacs and until next time enjoy that small bit of the Atlantic/Pacific Ocean we can dream of putting in our home!
GPC - 2013-03-05 Hello, I just got my Emperor angelfish, I did the complete acclimatation process, but after a few hours, it is breathing very fast and hiding. My parameters are fine. It is an adult around 5 or 6 inches. What can I do? I read that more than 80 gill per minute its a red flag!
Jasmine Brough Hinesley - 2013-03-06 Hmmm. If you are sure your parameters are fine then maybe your fish simply is used to different water conditions. It may be that he simply needs some time to acclimate to your tank. I would give it some time. Watch for other physical symptoms to determine if he is sick. Also make sure he is eating and swimming normally.
Jeremy Roche - 2013-03-06 What else is in the tank? Maybve something in there causing stress? Any way to test the water that it came from to seem if it is all the same or close? temp change? When you do you acclimation do you use the drip method?
warid - 2013-01-03 hi need some advice just got a juvernile 2.5' emperor angelfish in a 310litre (70 gal uk/80 us ga) tank with external canister filter & protien skimmer, how long can i keep him in the tank before i need to upgrade to 125 gal tank was thinking of upgrading in a year time, any thoughts please.
Jeremy Roche - 2013-01-04 A year should be fine depending on what else you have in the tank.