The eye catching Eibli’s Angelfish makes an attractive addition to both fish only aquariums and select reef environments!

The Eibli’s Angelfish Centropyge eibli makes a very pretty aquarium fish. It has a unique appearance with its light gray to greenish brown body accented with scribbled orange stripes and adorned with a black tail. It is one of the larger of the dwarf angels typically growing to a length of 4 1/3 inches (11 cm), but a less demanding species with a good attitude.

It is fairly active but tends to retire around the rocks or corals. It will however venture near the surface for foods when it is well acclimated. A great little angelfish that is regularly available and reasonably priced. It is also commonly known as the Red Stripe Angelfish, Blacktail Angelfish, Orangeline Angelfish, Orange Stripe Angelfish, Eibli’s Pygmy Angelfish, and Scribbled Angelfish.

In the wild this species will crossbreed with the Lemonpeel Angelfish Centropyge flavissima and the Pearlscale Angelfish Centropyge vrolik (often referred to as the Halfblack Angelfish by aquarists). These hybrids are sometimes available in the hobby. They resemble their parentage yet may seem more attractive and exotic, but their true identities will be immediately apparent by atrociously high prices. There’s also a close “look-alike”, the Indian Ocean Mimic TangAcanthurus tristis, which is a surgeonfish that mimics C. eibli in both color and behavior when young. However with one being an angelfish and the other a tang, there are subtle differences. The tang, which will ultimately become much larger, has bigger eyes, a longer snout, and the orange bars are spaced wider apart on the body.

This is moderately hardy dwarf angelfish that an intermediate or advanced aquarist will have few problems with. It’s not as demanding as other angelfish and makes a great member of your clean up crew, eating several algae species as well as detritus. It can be kept in a fish only aquarium and possibly in a reef, but as with most of the pygmy angelfish it may harm stony coral polyps. A tank of appropriate size is needed for territory and food supply. It loves to swim and search, and is very protective of the crop of algae in its territory. Thus a longer tank would be better for it than a tall tank one. If it has plenty of places to hide in the rock work, it will eventually relax and then start coming out to greet you.

in an appropriate sized tank it will get along with most fish, just don’t house it with large predatorial fish. In a mixed dwarf angelfish tank, choose only one per species. Make sure they are of a different coloring and size, and add them at the same time into a tank that is large enough to keep everyone fed and happy. A 55 gallon aquarium is the minimum size for one, with another 20-30 gallons needed for each additional dwarf angelfish. The aquarium should be well decorated with rocks/ corals providing many hiding places and it helps if there is enough light to help with natural algae growth. This angel will usually occupy the bottom part of the tank, so if you see it hanging out in a top corner something is wrong, either it is being picked on or it is ill.

This dwarf angel may possibly be kept in a reef setting, but it can damage coral species. This is an individual behavior with each fish having its own tendencies, so keep a close eye on your corals when you first introduce them to see how your fish will behave. Dwarf angelfish have been found to avoid leather corals of certain genera, one coral from the Xenia family, and most mushroom anemones. An anemone that is very well guarded by a resident clownfish can also do fine, but all other corals need to be monitored. Dwarf angelfish will eat the slime of most stony corals, clams, oysters, and scallops, which forces them to close up and eventually die. Some large polyped stony corals (LPS), Zoanthids, and other polyps may also be consumed. Corals that are not native to the Eibli’s natural habitat may work better. On a positive note, crabs, snails, bristle worms, and larger shrimp should be left alone by this fish.

Scientific Classification


Eibli’s Angelfish – Quick Aquarium Care

Aquarist Experience Level:Intermediate
Aquarium Hardiness:Moderately hardy
Minimum Tank Size:55 gal (208 L)
Size of fish – inches4.3 inches (10.92 cm)
Temperature:72.0 to 82.0° F (22.2 to 27.8&deg C)
Range ph:8.0-8.4
Diet Type:Omnivore

Habitat: Distribution / Background

The Eibli’s Angelfish Centropyge eibli was described by a German ichthyologist Wolfgang Klausewitz in 1863. It was first collected by a German biologist Eible-Eibesfeldt in the Nicobar Islands at this time, and this is where the common names Eibli’s Angelfish and Eibl’s Angelfish were derived. The other common names it is known by include Red Stripe Angelfish, Blacktail Angelfish, Orangeline Angelfish, Orange Stripe Angelfish, Eibli’s Pygmy Angelfish, Orange Stripe Angel, Orange Stripe Angelfish, and Scribbled Angelfish.

They are found in the Eastern Indian Ocean to eastern Australia; Maldives, Nicobars, Sri Lanka, Andaman Sea, Thailand, Malaysia, Christmas and Cocos-Keeling Islands, Indonesia (to Flores) and the southern Great Barrier Reef. It is scarce in the Pacific Ocean, only a few records were made from the southern part of the Great Barrier Reef (Steene, 1977). This species is on the IUCN Red List as Least Concern (LC) as this dwarf angelfish has a large population and a wide distribution. There is a some collection for the pet industry, but there are no major threats currently identified.

In the wild this species will cross breed with other dwarf angelfish, an several hybrids have resulted. Here are the current mixes and a few facts about each:

  • Eibli’s Angelfish x Lemonpeel Angelfish (C. eibli x C. flavissimus)
    These two will hybridize in the areas of Christmas Island and the Cocos-Keeling Islands off Western Australia. These hybrids are quite beautifully marked. They are all yellow with bright orange stripes and the tail fin is black with gray to blue stripes and spots, and edged in blue or purple. There will be variations depending on genetic variables passed from the parents. Some fish may or may not have the blue accents of a Lemonpeel, including the blue ring around the eye, and they may or may not have a dusky face.

  • Eibli’s Angelfish x Pearlscale Angelfish or Halfblack Angelfish (C. eibli x C. vrolikii)
    In the areas of Bali and Flores (Indonesia) the Eibli’s Angel is rare to scarce while its close relative the Pearlscale Angelfish is abundant. Still these two fish mix and hybridize there and many hybrids are shipped from Indonesia. One hybrid variation is similar to the Eibli’s, being grayish white with faint orange stripes on the side, but with the the bottom back of the dorsal fin being solid black either half way or a fourth of the way. In other hybrid variations each individual will look either more like the father or like mother; either having stripes or having very faded or no stripes, but all retaining the solid black area of the dorsal fin.

  • There is an unusually colored population (currently undescribed) that occurs at Rowley Shoals off Western Australia, and although it appears to be this species, it may represent a distinct species. Its body is gray to deep gray, gradually becoming black toward caudal peduncle (not abruptly black). There are about 8 vertical, slightly broader, blackish stripes on the side and some of them are orange, especially on the anterior part. The face and head are duskier but the coloration of the fins are similar to C. eibli.
    This population was long thought to be C. eibli by ichthyologists but now several individuals are in study. These specimens are variable in color, but more similar to C. eibli than the C. vrolikii. They might be a descendant of a repeatedly hybridized crossings between C. eibli x C. vrolikii.

These angelfish are found in rich coral areas and rocky habitats of seaward reefs at depths from 3 to 82 feet (1 – 25 m). They feed on benthic algae, benthic weeds and hard coral polyps. They cane be found alone as juveniles or young males, but as adults will be in small groups or harems of 3 – 7 individuals.

  • Scientific Name: Centropyge eibli
  • Social Grouping: Varies – Solitary as juveniles or young males, and as adults are found in small groups or harems of 3 – 7 individuals.
  • IUCN Red List: LC – Least Concern


The Eibli’s Angelfish has the typical shape for dwarf angels, with a small elongated oval shaped body and rounded fins. Adults typically reach 4.3 inches (11 cm) in length, but there are some reports of individuals reaching 5.9 inches (15 cm). Most available specimens are less than 3 inches (8 cm). This Angelfish may live for 5 to 7 years with good care.

This angelfish has a light gray to greenish tan body with 8-10 vertical narrow scribbled orange stripes that run from the top of the fish to the belly and a few in between that are interrupted dashes. The face and head are sometimes slightly duskier and their eyes have an orange ring. The back edges of the dorsal fin are typically black, with the back edges of the dorsal, tail and anal fins being edged in blue. The majority of the dorsal fin and pelvic fins are greenish to gray or yellow coloring, and the pectoral fins are yellow to yellowish gray. Juveniles are similar to adults, but with fewer stripes on side. This fish also cross breeds with other dwarf angelfish in the wild, and the hybrids are described above in the Habitat section above.

Interestingly the juvenile Indian Ocean Mimic Tang Acanthurus tristis looks and behaves very similar to the Eibli’s Angelfish. One of the reasons why this surgeonfish would copy the dwarf angelfish is because the Eibli’s Angelfish is rarely preyed upon. Larger fish realize this angelfish is hard to catch and not a very big reward if caught. Thus imitating it gives the tang some protection when young, and while its caudal “scalpel” spine is still immature. Another reason is because the damselfish that cohabit with the Eibi’s Angelfish will unwittingly allow the juvenile tang access to their food in their defended territories.

  • Size of fish – inches: 4.3 inches (10.92 cm) – Typically it reaches a length of 4.3 inches (11 cm), but there are some reports of individuals reaching 5.9 inches (15 cm) in the wild.
  • Lifespan: 5 years – Dwarf angelfish live 5-7 years in the wild, possibly longer in captivity.

Fish Keeping Difficulty

Eibli’s Angelfish are moderately hardy but will need an established, stable tank that is at least 55 gallons, with plenty of naturally growing algae on live rock to sustain them in the beginning. No special care or technique is needed to maintain this fish in the aquarium, it usually takes foods heartily if it is in a good condition. When you first acquire this fish it will be shy, retiring and darting into holes or under/ behind rocks. Once it is successfully acclimated it will become a hardy fish. Add other more aggressive tank mates after it is acclimated and you’ve confirmed that it is eating well. Housing it with competing algae eating fish would not be wise in a smaller 55 gallon tank, though in larger tanks this should be fine.

When purchasing this dwarf angelfish, look for a specimen that is eating at the store, appears very curious yet cautious about your presence, and has a full body. Also make sure there are no visible sores or lesions. With a varied diet, clean high quality water, and parameters with proper pH levels of at least 8.0, this dwarf angelfish should do well. As a matter of precaution, perform a fresh water dip before adding to the main tank.

  • Aquarium Hardiness: Moderately hardy
  • Aquarist Experience Level: Intermediate

Foods and Feeding

The Eibli’s Angelfish is an omnivore. In the wild it feeds on benthic algae, benthic weeds and hard coral polyps. In the aquarium feed it several times a day and offer a variety of good foods. This is important even with amply algae in the tank. These include meaty foods, dried flakes, mysid shrimp, brine shrimp, prepared foods with marine algae, and frozen prepared diets for sponge and algae eaters. There are several good commercial foods available including Formula II and Angel Formula.

Feed frequently at first with various foods, including algae. Once it is successfully acclimatized it will become a rather hardy pet. Feed on it at least twice a day in a tank with bountiful natural foods but more so in bare tanks. Watch body girth to determine how often. If it is a tiny juvenile provide it with foods three to four times everyday.

It may feed on Green algae like Crunchy Hair Grass of the Boodlea genera, several Green Hair Algae Derbesia species including Derbesia marina, Diatoms, Green String Lettuce, some other hair-like algae including Enteromorpha prolifera, E. linza, E. intestinalis, and E. compressa, and the Sea Lettuces Ulva ridida and Ulva lactuca. According to one source the Eibli Angelfish is known to control some red slime algae including two species of the Oscillatora genera.

  • Diet Type: Omnivore – Feed products that have sponge material and spirulina added.
  • Flake Food: Yes
  • Tablet / Pellet: Occasionally
  • Live foods (fishes, shrimps, worms): Some of Diet – Not necessary, but can be used to illicit a feeding response if they are not eating.
  • Vegetable Food: Half of Diet
  • Meaty Food: Half of Diet
  • Feeding Frequency: Several feedings per day – Feed twice a day or more for adults and up to 4 times a day for a juvenile.

Aquarium Care

The Eibli’s Angelfish is not as touchy as some of the other species of angelfish, but still needs good water. Water changes of 30% a month, or 10 to 15% every 2 weeks is optimal in keeping nitrates lower with fish only. If there are corals in the tank then changing 20% every month; 10% every 2 weeks or 5% a week works great. Keeping up with your water testing will tell you when your tank needs a water change.

Sudden massive water changes can cause trouble. A suggestion when performing your water changes is to clean one side of the tank at one water change, by vacuuming the rock and sand, then during the next water change clean the other side the same way. Keeping the pH at least 8.0 is highly recommended for this angel’s continued good health.

  • Water Changes: Bi-weekly – Water changes of 10 – 15% every 2 weeks, or 20% a month, is optimal in keeping nitrates lower and the water clean.

Aquarium Setup

It is best to introduce the Eibli’s Angelfish as the last inhabitant (unless more aggressive fish will be added afterward) while young into an established tank. The tank should be mature, at least 6 months old or more to provide the best habitat. Plenty of live rock with places to hide are necessary, and naturally encrusting organisms and algae are also helpful. Like all dwarf angelfish, they like to have lots of rubble type areas to pick and feed from and rock work to hide in to feel secure.

A minimum sized tank would be 55 gallons, though a larger tank will be easier to maintain. Like tangs, this fish eats a lot of algae, which will put a large bio-load on the aquarium. A 55 gallon sized tank will require more water changes to keep water quality high. Providing daily algae foods will also be needed to supplement the smaller natural algae growth. A tank that is 75 to 100 gallons has a lot more natural algae growth to sustain the dwarf angelfish as well as a heavier biological support system, resulting in less water changes. Smaller tanks are discouraged as they will invite territorial and aggressive behavior. A dwarf angelfish will feel that it must defend whatever small algae crop the small tank would support.

If keeping it with other dwarf angelfish, provide a tank that is over 75-100 gallons with plenty of places to hide and enough food for all. This would also be the case with a male/female pair or a grouping of community fish. Housing it with competing algae eating fish would not be wise in a smaller 55 gallon tank, though in larger tanks this should be fine. As it may harm polyps of some stony and soft coral species, housing it in a reef-type aquariums needs to be done with care.

  • Minimum Tank Size: 55 gal (208 L)
  • Suitable for Nano Tank: Sometimes – They can only be kept in a large Nano tank as a tiny juvenile, and should be put in a larger tank by the time they reach 1 1/2″ in length.
  • Live Rock Requirement: Typical Plus Hiding Places – Form caves and crevices in multiple areas of the tank, helps to provide plenty of naturally algae growth on the rocks.
  • Substrate Type: Any – They like areas of rubble in which to forage for algae and benthic creatures.
  • Lighting Needs: Moderate – normal lighting – Lighting should to be strong enough to sustain algae growth for their consumption.
  • Temperature: 72.0 to 82.0° F (22.2 to 27.8&deg C)
  • Breeding Temperature: 80.0° F – 80 to 82˚F (27-28˚C)
  • Specific gravity: 1.023-1.025 SG
  • Range ph: 8.0-8.4 – Angelfish will deteriorate quickly under 8.0.
  • Brackish: No
  • Water Movement: Any – Various water flow strengths throughout the bottom areas of the tank are appreciated.
  • Water Region: Bottom – Mostly bottom dwellers, but once comfortable they may also swim in the mid areas of the tank.

Social Behaviors

The Eibli’s Angelfish is semi-aggressive, yet it is still a milder personality than other dwarf angelfish. If kept as a known male/female pair, a minimum tank over 75 gallons with excessive algae growth on large amounts of live rock can work. Closer to 100 gallons would be better for supplying each fish with enough territory to defend, along with plenty of food, resulting in a better temperament. For multiple dwarf angelfish, they should be the last fish added to the tank unless you are also including large angelfish or more aggressive fish, then the dwarfs would be second to last.. Choose one per species (unless known male/female pair), and then opt for different sizes and colors. If they are the same size then add them at the same time, otherwise add them from the smallest size first, in order to the largest size. A 55 gallon aquarium is the minimum size for one, with another 20-30 gallons needed for each additional dwarf angelfish.

This dwarf angelfish should be fine with smaller peaceful fish as well as the smaller semi-aggressive fish, as long as the tank is at least 55 gallons. Smaller tanks will result in aggression toward other fish as this dwarf angelfish will defend its small territory. The aggressive smaller fish like dottybacks, 6-line and 8-line wrasses along with damselfish, can hold their own with a dwarf angelfish. Larger fish will also be fine, but do not house with large predatory fish that can eat your dwarf angelfish!

This dwarf angel is recommended for fish only community aquariums, and a reef with caution. The tank should be well decorated with rocks/ corals with many hiding places even for adults. It is said to be a reef safe fish as it does well in a coral-rich tank with sessile inverts, but it may eat some species of hard and soft corals. Not every fish is going to damage corals, but the behavior of each individual fish will be different. A well fed Eibli’s Angelfish is less likely to bother corals. At times the dwarf angelfish do eat actual polyps, but most of the time they are eating the slime that certain corals and clams exude.

Many have found that these angelfish will fair well with noxious leather corals and tree corals, and certain individuals will not bother gorgonians and green star polyps. Stony corals, zoanthids and clams would probably be picked on. On aquarist stated the Euphillia corals were not bothered. Mushrooms and anemones should be safe. Inverts are usually left alone except possibly a Feather Duster being sampled. Monitor your corals any time you add a new one. In a larger reef, the damage will be minimum since this is a small fish. If you do want to keep it in a reef observe its behavior towards the corals closely, removing it to a fish only tank if it tends to pick at them for any length of time.

  • Venomous: No
  • Temperament: Semi-aggressive – Smaller peaceful and semi-aggressive fish are typically safe with the dwarf angelfish in tanks over 55 gallons, but in smaller tanks they will become aggressive toward peaceful fish.
  • Compatible with:
    • Same species – conspecifics: Sometimes – Male/Female pairs can be kept in a tank of 75-100 gallons.
    • Peaceful fish (gobies, dartfish, assessors, fairy wrasses): Safe – Typically safe in a large enough tank.
    • Semi-Aggressive (anthias, clownfish, dwarf angels): Safe – Typically safe with other dwarf angelfish in tanks over 55 gallons with plenty of rocks for territories and retreat.
    • Safe
    • Large Semi-Aggressive (tangs, large angels, large wrasses): Safe
    • Large Aggressive, Predatory (lionfish, groupers, soapfish): Monitor – Do not house with fish large enough to eat your dwarf angelfish.
    • Threat – Angel fish will out compete slow moving fish for food.
    • Anemones: Monitor – As long as a pugnacious clownfish is guarding the anemone, it should be okay.
    • Mushroom Anemones – Corallimorphs: Monitor – Most mushrooms should be safe, but monitor closely.
    • LPS corals: Threat – Most of the time LPS may be eaten or the slime consumed, both of which will cause corals to close and eventually die. If you want to try to keep with LPS corals, try those that are not from their natural habitat.
    • SPS corals: Monitor – At times SPS may be eaten or the slime consumed, both of which will cause corals to close and eventually die. If you want to try to keep with SPS corals, try those that are not from their natural habitat.
    • Gorgonians, Sea Fans: Threat
    • Leather Corals: Monitor – Safe with most from the Sinularia, Sarcophytom, Cladiella, and Paralemnalia genera, but still monitor for individual preferences.
    • Soft Corals (xenias, tree corals): Monitor – Safe with most from the Effatounaria genus.
    • Star Polyps, Organ Pipe Coral: Monitor – May nip at appendages if the fish is not well fed.
    • Zoanthids – Button Polyps, Sea Mats: Monitor
    • Sponges, Tunicates: Monitor
    • Shrimps, Crabs, Snails: Safe – May pick on tiny shrimp. Only the smallest decorative shrimp may be at risk. Large cleaner shrimp should be left alone.
    • Starfish: Monitor – May nip at appendages if the fish is not well fed.
    • Feather Dusters, Bristle Worms, Flatworms: Monitor – While most worms are safe, feather dusters, Christmas tree worms and others with feathery appendages will be nipped at.
    • Clams, Scallops, Oysters: Threat – They may graze on the slime they exude preventing them from opening fully, which can cause eventual death of the coral.
    • Copepods, Amphipods, Mini Brittle Stars: Safe

Sexual differences

Since all Centropyge angelfish are born as female, as they grow in a group, the larger and more dominant fish will become male and will defend his territory. When the male dies, like other saltwater fish, the next in command in the hierarchy will turn to male, which for dwarf angelfish can happen within 20 days! If a bachelor male is in the area, and he takes over before the dominant female gets a chance to complete the change, he will become the new “man of the house” for the group. Putting a larger and smaller fish together is the best way to get a pair, possibly in about 2 months, but watch behavior and aggression. Color alone does not determine sex.

Breeding / Reproduction

There is no report of reproductive behavior in tanks or in aqua cultivation yet. In their natural habitat, the pygmy angelfish form a harem dominated by one large male with between one and four smaller mature females and up to nine juveniles. At dusk during the lunar month the male will conduct an elaborate mating ritual and then spawn with each of the females individually.

They are pelagic spawners, each pair will rise up several feet above the reef and release the eggs and sperm together directly into the water column. The eggs are fertilized and continue to rise up to the plankton rich surface A deeper tank is needed, along with a stable lighting schedule to encourage spawning in captivity. Copy the proper dusk light cycle in nature for your aquarium by having half the lights go out (brighter lights) then, an hour later, the other half (actinic) go out at a consistent time every day.

The newly fertilized eggs will hatch in just under a day and after hatching, within 2 to 3 days they need microscopic algae for their very small mouths. Obviously, this is where raising the babies becomes difficult and less likely due to expenses incurred for a fish that is plentiful and inexpensive as salt water fish go at this point in time. As time goes on we are certain dedicated aquarists will master captive breeding. For more information see, Marine Fish Breeding: Angelfish.

  • Ease of Breeding: Difficult

Fish Diseases

Providing a dwarf angelfish with plenty of places to hide and clean water is the best way to prevent illness. Calm fish are healthy fish. If not stressed, they will have a stronger immune system to prevent infections. Like other saltwater angelfish, dwarf angelfish can suffer any disease that captive saltwater environments have to offer. Fish problems can be broken into one of (or a combination of) these types: parasites, bacterial and fungal disease, or physical ailments (wounds and injuries). To learn all about fish problems and find specific answers, see Aquarium Fish Diseases and Treatments.

The best and first defense to prevent diseases is a quarantine period before introducing a new fish. Quarantine tanks should be bare with a PVC tube where the fish can hide. Do regular water changes every day or so. Secondly, fresh water dips can also help to kill anything that is on their body that may spread. PH and temperature must be the same (just use baking soda to bring up the PH if you have soft water but use a test). Start with 5 minutes and up to 15 minutes if they are not showing any signs of distress. This is really only needed if you see anything on their body or if the back fin is starting to fray.

Dwarf angelfish diseases and treatments:

  1. Parasitic and Protozoan diseases
    Dwarf angelfish are prone to parasites like White Spot Disease Cryptocaryon irritans, also known as Marine Ich, Saltwater Ich, or Crypt. Another common disease is Marine Velvet or Velvet Disease Oodinium ocellatum, (syn: Amyloodinium ocellatum or Branchiophilus maris), which is a parasitic skin flagellate. These are two of the most common diseases.
    – Symptoms of White Spot Disease are constant scratching and flashing, culminating with numerous white dots all over the body and fins. 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.
    – 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.
    • Treatment of parasites
      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.

      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.

      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.
  2. Bacterial Diseases
    As with all dwarf angels, they are also vulnerable to bacterial and fungal diseases. Bacterial infections are often a secondary infection resulting from damage caused by a parasitic or protozoan disease. One of concern is the Vibrio bacteria, which starts as an internal infection, turns into Dropsy, Popeye, Bleeding or Red Streaks on the skin. It is a very fast acting bacteria that will kill your angelfish in days. One way it typically starts is with an innocently frayed back fin. This disease will quickly spread and kill a fish within 2 days.
    • Treatment of bacterial diseases
      Fresh water dips are an important step to kill anything that is on their body that may spread. PH and temperature must be the same (just use baking soda to bring up the PH if you have soft water but use a test). Start with 5 minutes and up to 15 minutes if they are not showing any signs of distress. This is really only needed if you see anything on their body or if the back fin is starting to fray. Only treat in 1/2 doses any medications containing cleated copper as all angelfish are sensitive to this element in it’s free form.

      For dropsy, popeye, fin/tail rot and septicemia, which are at time secondary infections, another product you can use along with Seachems Metronidazole or alone is Seachems Kanaplex. You still need to use Focus to bond the Kanaplex to the food. Kanaplex, when used with Metronidazole in the same food, would be 2 scoops of Focus, 1 scoop of Kanaplex and 1 scoop of Metronidazole, yet this combination should only be fed once a day for 7 days, since Kanaplex should only be used for 7 days maximum. If you need to continue past 7 days, use only Metronidazole in a separate mixture for further treatment. This product can also be added to the water (without focus) if the fish is not eating.
  3. Physical Ailments
    Physical Ailments are often the result of the environment, either water conditions or incompatible tankmates. Poor quality water conditions can lead to fish gasping, not eating, jumping out of the tank, and more. Dwarf angelfish when very stressed or being picked on will hover in the upper corner of the tank and should be removed if the fish bullying your angelfish is not. Tank mate problems can result in nipped fins and bite wounds..
    • Treatment for physical ailments
      Look for and remove bully fish.
      Products on the market to help include stress relievers like Melafix, Wound Treat, and Bio Bandage.


The Eibli’s Angelfish or Red Stripe Angelfish is commonly available at retailers and on line fairly often, especially in the summer. They are moderately priced, and though not the most expensive dwarf angelfish they are certainly not the cheapest. The specimens that are available rarely exceed 3 1/2 inches (9 cm) in length. If there is only traces of a stripe or an orangish area, it is most likely a hybrid between this species and the Pearlscale Angelfish C. vrolikii.



Featured Image Credit: PAUL ATKINSON, Shutterstock