Characterized by presence of two spines, the coral beauty angelfish (Centropyge bispinosus) is also known as the dusky angel and two-spined angel. It is a dwarf version of marine angelfish, with bright purple head and fins, and yellow or orange stripes on its body. Its vibrant color enhances the aesthetic value of any aquarium setup. Caring for the coral beauty angelfish is not a concern, as it thrives well in a wide range of aquarium conditions.
The natural habitat of the species is the Indo-Pacific ocean. It can be maintained in a regular saltwater aquarium or reef aquarium setup. At maturity, the angelfish grows to about 4 inches in size. So, moderate tank size is not an issue for keeping it as a pet. It is sold in most aquariums and that too, at a relatively low price.
Coral beauty angelfish are hardy compared to other dwarf angelfish. For rearing them, the ideal tank conditions are alkaline water (pH 8.1 - 8.4), moderate temperature (72º - 78ºF), high light intensity, and lots of live rocks. Though they are usually quite peaceful, they can become aggressive to other tank inhabitants at times. If you want to keep these angelfish as pets, you will have to set up a large fish tank―at least 30-gallon tank―to house them. In general, coral beauty angelfish are resistant to diseases.
The best part about their diet is that they are omnivorous in nature and hence, you have a wide variety of foods you can feed them. Spirulina, marine algae, and small live foods are good options. In between, you can supplement their diet with dried seaweeds. Also, various brands of angelfish foods are sold at supply centers. Feeding them 2 - 3 times daily is sufficient.
In a classic case of sexual dimorphism, the males are slightly larger than the females. However, it is hard to differentiate between them, especially when they are kept in groups in fish tanks. Being an egg scattering species, breeding them is very difficult in captivity. Spawning may take place in captivity under dark conditions, but the young ones hardly survive to adulthood.
In the natural habitat, their lifespan is recorded to be 10 - 15 years. Provided that you maintain the optimal water conditions required for this species and feed them healthy diet, they may survive for more than 8 years. However, a life expectancy of 15 years is very unlikely under captive conditions. In order to extend their life expectancy, you will have to maintain the water conditions as they are in their native habitat.
In the aquarium, add lots of live rocks to provide hiding places and a grazing base for them. At times, they disturb the corals; particularly when there is food scarcity, and therefore, they may not be the best choice for keeping together with live corals.