Fish Type: Medium Angel
Scientific Name: Pygoplites diacanthus
Aggressiveness: Caution Needed
Max Size: 10"
Minimum Tank Size: 125 gal
Relative Care: Expert
Photo Courtesy of Live Aquaria
With vivid vertical striations of blue, white, yellow, or orange on the body and pelvic fin, the Regal Angelfish deserves this distinctive name. Regal Angelfish from the Maldives and the Red Sea have a distinctive yellow breast, where their Indo-Pacific, Coral Sea, New Caledonia and Tahitian relatives normally have a blue/gray breast. This coloration is more prevalent in specimens that are more mature and are at least 4″ in length. Juveniles will have a “False Eye Spot” on their dorsal fins that fades and the fish matures.
Regal Angelfish from the Red Sea, Maldives, Coral Sea, Fiji and Tahiti are good shippers and are harvested and handled with care, and normally will adapt more easily than their Indo-Pacific counterparts to the home aquarium.
The Regal Angelfish is more difficult to maintain than other species of angels so it should be introduced first so that it may stake out its territory in advance of other fish. A minimum of a 125 gallon tank with plenty of hiding places and live rock for grazing will offer a good environment. The Regal Angelfish may nip at large-polyped stony corals, an occasional soft coral and clam mantles, but may be kept with small-polyped stony corals and somewhat noxious soft corals.
To entice a Regal Angelfish to eat, use a diet of fresh shrimp and chopped seafood. The diet should also include herbivore preparations which include Spirulina and marine algae, and angelfish preparations containing sponges.