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Centropyge – Dwarf Angelfish

Centropyge – Dwarf Angelfish

The genus centropyge has within its family some of the most popular marine fishes in the aquarium hobby today. They are commonly known as the dwarf angelfish family. It has 34 members and they are generally a lot smaller than their larger cousins like the french or emperor angelfish.

They come in a variety of colors and sizes and some of them are exceptionally popular among enthusiasts. Sizes range anywhere to the tiny 3 inch cherub angelfish to the 7 inch giants of the family, namely the Japanese pygmy angelfish and the Keyhole angelfish.

While they differ in size with their much larger cousins, their diets are very similar. They are omnivores in the wild that will graze on algae, copepods and consume even detritus. While they are also known to nip on corals and clams, they are generally safer to house with corals than a Queen or French angelfish.

They are found throughout the worlds tropical oceans and can be found anywhere from 20 feet to up to two hundred feet plus in depth. Deeper dwelling species such as the highly prized Centropyge Boylei can cost up to $20000 per specimen. No that wasn’t a typing error. That small three inch fish can cost as much as a brand new car.

Fortunately for most of us, the vast majority of dwarf angelfish are within reach. Some of the more popular selling species include the famous flame angelfish, lemonpeel angel and the cherub angelfish.

The flame angelfish is bar far the most popular within the genus centropyge. It isn’t hard to see why. Its entire body is a bright flame-like orange to red coloration. This beauty hails from the Christmas and Marshall islands.

As a whole, most centropyge species do well in captivity. Those that don’t are usually deeper water species that require low lighting conditions and are generally shy. An exception to this rule is the Centropyge Multicolor, an aggressive and boisterous dwarf angelfish.

Because of their small sizes, centropyge make excellent additions to smaller tanks. However, once established, they can start to dominate and bully their tank mates.