As the name rightly suggests, flame angelfish (Centropyge loricula) is bright reddish orange in color. This marine variety of dwarf angelfish belongs to the genus Centropyge and family Pomacanthidae. Most of them have four to five black vertical stripes on both sides. The dorsal and anal fins sport bluish marks and black margins. The tail can be light orange, yellow, or white in color. It has been observed that flame angelfish grows to a maximum length of around four inches. Males are found to be larger and more colorful than females.
Distribution and Habitat
Usually, flame angelfish is found in the Pacific ocean, especially in the tropical waters. This fish is found in regions like, Guam, Tahiti, Hawaii, Marquess Islands, etc. Their habitat includes lagoons and seaward reefs, that provide them with numerous hiding spots. Flame angelfish are mostly found hiding in between rocks and within corals. They live in groups that consist of a single male and a few females.
Flame Angelfish in Aquarium
Though this angelfish can thrive in small marine tanks, it is always better to keep them in a hundred gallon tank with high water flow. The tank must have enough live rocks, so that the fish get plenty of hiding locations. They can also graze on the algae that grow on those rocks. The water temperature has to be maintained between 75 to 80° F and the pH value has to be around 8 to 8.5. The carbonate hardness of the water should be around 8 to 12°. In case of small tanks, you have to minimize the number of fish and keep a check on the water quality. Apart from that, this dwarf angelfish may also bully the smaller fish in the tank. So, at least a 30 gallon tank is required for keeping a single flame angelfish.
What do Flame Angelfish Eat
In their natural habitat, flame angelfish feed on algae, but they are also fond of anemones and feather dusters. So, you can feed them with algae (fresh or dried marine algae, spirulina), algae-based foods, meaty foods (like, brine shrimp and mysid shrimp), etc. You may also use angelfish food, vitamin C pellets, etc. However, it is not advisable to feed them exclusively with any one of the above said options. A combination of all would be the best.
It is also recommended to feed small meals on regular intervals, rather than giving them big meals. As you are including enough live rocks in the tank, these fish can also feed on the algae that grow on the rocks. However, factors like poor water quality or abnormal temperatures may affect their feeding.
In their natural habitat, spawning occurs at dusk, when the eggs and sperms are released to the water surface. These eggs float on the water surface and develop gradually. However, it is difficult to breed flame angelfish in aquariums. This angelfish is said to be hardy and easy to maintain. But it is always better to understand more about the fish, before getting one for your fish tank.