Friday Fish Facts - The Emperor Angelfish
The Emperor Angelfish (Pomacanthus imperator) is perhaps one of the most widely recognized saltwater and marine aquarium fish because of it's vibrant and dazzling coloration. The Emperor Angelfish hails from the Indo-Pacific region and can grow to a maximum size of 15" inches, however most in the aquarium hobby tend to be between 4" inches - 8" inches.
The Emperor Angelfish requires a minimum tank size of 135 gallons or larger, and must be fed 3 times per day. It feeds on a varied diet of marine algae and spirulina, mysid shrimp, brine shrimp and prepared Angelfish feeding block which generally are made up of all of the above items plus the addition of marine sponges. This angelfish will nip at LPS corals, some soft corals (xenia), the mantles of tridacnid clams and sponges. While generally considered to be not reef safe, this most royal of the angelfishes can be kept with SPS corals and most soft corals.
The Emperor Angelfish is a fantastic aquarium fish and is sure to be the centerpiece of any FOWLR, Marine or Reef aquarium. Coloration in captivity may not be as vivid as wild Emperors, and as they age they are prone to parasites and HLLE (Head and Lateral Line Erosion). Soaking their food in garlic and amino acid preparations prior to feeding can help prevent color loss and HLLE. The Juvenile version of the Emperor Angelfish is often mistaken for the Koran Angelfish due to the similar scrawling white lines on a solid navy blue body. As the Juvenile matures, the iconic coloration and markings of the Emperor Angelfish will become evident.