Dwarf Flame Angelfish
Updated August 2, 2019
Author: Mike - FishLore Admin
The Dwarf Flame Angelfish is perhaps one of the most colorful and attractive of the commonly available marine angelfishes. The dwarf angelfish has a striking red or orange body with vertical black bars in the mid section.
The good news is that this fish only gets to be about 4 inches (10 cm) or so and can be the prize specimen in any tank. The bad news is that they can be fairly expensive, they don't ship very well, and may bully other dwarf angelfishes or smaller tank mates.
This angelfish needs a tank with moderate to high water circulation provided by power heads, better than average water quality (very low or zero nitrates) and plenty of live rock. They will graze on the live rock in between meals and use any hiding places provided by the live rock when they feel threatened.
When it comes to eating, they are not as picky as some other saltwater fish. They seem to really like the frozen marine foods, live and flake foods. Definitely plan on using some dried algae supplements if not enough is present on the live rock in your tank to avoid any nutritional disorders.
Unfortunately, these fish are often shipped with some type of saltwater fish disease and the use a quarantine tank before introducing them into your main tank is a must. Because flame angels can be quite expensive (though not as expensive as some of the larger saltwater angelfish) it is a good idea to ask the fish store to hold them for a couple of weeks before you bring them home.
As far as reef tank compatibility goes, some reefers have kept them with no problems at all and some had to remove them because they were picking at the corals or clams. So in my opinion I would not consider them reef tank safe.
Dwarf Flame Angelfish Care Details
Scientific Name : Centropyge loricula
Common Names : Dwarf Flame Angelfish, Dwarf Angel, Flame Angel
Care Level : Easy to Moderate, acclimate this fish slowly to your tank.
Size : Up to 4 inches (10 cm)
Life span : 5 - 7 years or longer
pH : 8.1 - 8.4
Temperature : 75°F - 80°F (25°C - 27°C)
Specific Gravity : 1.020 - 1.025
Carbonate Hardness (dKH) : 8 - 12°
Origin / Habitat : South Pacific and Western Pacific, Hawaii, Australia, Coral Sea, Great Barrier Reef, Christmas Islands
Temperament / Behavior : May become territorial and aggressive towards other dwarf angelfish and may even bully other, smaller tank mates. You may have better luck introducing them last into the tank.
Breeding : It's very difficult to breed them and there are very few reported sucesses of breeding in an aquarium.
Aquarium Size : 30 gallon (114 liters) minimum for one dwarf angel, much larger if you plan on keeping multiples.
Tank Mates : Avoid keeping them with larger eels, lionfish or any fish large enough to eat them. Keeping them in a reef tank seems to be hit or miss, use caution.
Diet / Foods : Omnivorous, but try to give them a balanced diet of algae and meaty marine foods. They should accept vitamin enriched flake foods, frozen and live foods. Having live rock is a good idea because of the food it can provide in between meals.
Tank Region : All over the tank.
Gender : It can be very difficult to determine any external differences between male and female angelfish. Males might be larger and slightly more colorful.
Photo Credit : Photos copyright JJPhoto.dk
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Dwarf Flame Angelfish Comments and Tips
I just wanted to warn others that they should have a good hood on your aquarium if you plan on keeping a flame angel. I got home from work one day to find my dried and crusty on the floor. I have an open top tank with compact fluorescents mounted about 6 inches above the water surface. So there is about a six inch gap in between the tank top and the lights. It's the first jumper I've had in the several years that this tank has been setup this way... I'm planning on getting another one after I've blocked the gap in between the top and tank top and lights. I just can't resist the beauty of this fish.
I am on my second Flame Angel. The first one didn't aclimate to my system (about 6 months old at the time, a little too early) very well. I bought the second angelfish about 2 weeks ago and it is doing great! It eats well and is full of energy. The only tip I would offer is make sure your water quality is good otherwise, the fish will have trouble. I have had my tank for over 3 years and have expanded from one 30 gallon to 2 30s, a 20, and a 10 gallon (refugium) connected with a sump.
Peter: I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your fish. However, you should always have some sort of cover on your tank. Since you have lights above it, I would suggest either glass (provided it is cleaned regulary to prevent salt buildup) or you can even use screen. Glass will slightly cut down on gass exchange between the water and air, but the screen will not obstruct this. A cover will also help keep the lights clean if there is any splashing. Hope this helps.
More Dwarf Saltwater Angelfish Profiles
The front half and tail is yellow with the mid-section being a royal or deep blue. They get to about 6 inches (15 cm) when fully grown and can get aggressive with other dwarf angelfish.
Coral Beauty Angelfish
Gets to about 4 inches (10 cm) and their colors can vary depending on where they were collected. Overall it usually has a yellow body with purple vertical stripes and purple or blue fins. They can also get aggressive with tank mates and may nip corals.
This is one of the bigger (up to 6 inches) of the dwarf anglefish. They can easily get cryptocaryon so a qt is strongly recommended. They sport some awesome colors and markings so if you're looking for pretty dwarf angel this one may be the ticket.