The scientific name of the queen angelfish is Holacanthus ciliaris. Queen angelfish are also referred to with different names such as Queen Angel, Blue Angelfish, Golden Angelfish and Yellow Angelfish. It is the color of this fish which attracts a lot of people to this fish, many of whom opt to have them as aquarium fish at home. These fish are known to grow as big as 45 cm and attain a weight of three and half pounds. The fish gets its name from the blue-ringed black spot on its head, which resembles a crown. Its different hues make this fish a striking beauty. It is mainly electric blue, combined with yellow, light purple, and orange highlights, which makes the fish a sight to behold. Hence, it is also one of the favorites among fish hobbyists.
Facts About Queen Angelfish
The adults of this species differ from the young ones in the looks department. When they are born, they have dark blue bodies and yellow lips, gills and tail. There are light blue or white vertical bars present on the back of their body. However, when these fish grow up, they shed this look and attain their characteristic appearance. They have rounded heads and their mouths have a beak-like structure. Their upper and lower fins stream in a dramatic fashion behind them.
Queen angelfish live in coral reefs. They are commonly found from Florida to South America, and are also seen in the West Indies, the Gulf of Mexico, the Bahamas, etc. In other words, they inhabit the warmer sections of the western Atlantic Ocean.
They primarily rely on sponges, tunicates and algae. However, they may also be seen feeding on sea fans, soft corals and, at times, jellyfish as well. Young queen angelfish are often called 'cleaners', as they feed on parasites and clean the surrounding areas.
Queen angelfish are shy in nature. They are often seen alone. Sometimes they may be spotted in pairs as well―more so when they are mating. However, they are never seen in large groups or colonies.
It is commonly seen that queen angelfish have a monogamous bond. They rise up in the water, bring their bellies closer, and release sperms and eggs. In one spawning cycle, the queen angelfish releases as many as ten million eggs. They take about 15 to 20 hours to hatch into larvae. Unlike most other reef-dwelling fishes, queen angelfish mate with blue angelfish. Therefore, the offspring can have the beautiful combination of colors of both the queen angelfish and blue angelfish. As a matter of fact, they may be the only species which hybridize in the coral reefs.
Caring for queen angelfish is a rather difficult task, and they may not be an easy pet. They require larger sized fish tanks, as they are prone to territorial fights with individuals of their own kind as well as other kinds. They are known to pick fights with new additions to the aquariums, hence it is recommended to keep them in solitary tanks. If you want to keep them with other fish, then they should be the last ones to be added to the fish tank.
It is important to provide them with sufficient amount of hiding places when they are kept in captivity. At the same time, sufficient amount of space for them to move around in the fish tank is necessary. The water temperature should be maintained around 72 to 78 degree Fahrenheit. You will also have to keep an eye on the amount of nitrate and ammonia in the fish tank, since it can be harmful to the fish. It's not advisable to keep angelfish in coral in captivity, since they constantly nibble at it.