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Old 03/26/2020, 07:59 AM   #1
Zionas
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Contest of the Dwarf Angels: Which One to Choose?

So, Iím in the late stages of my stocking plan and so far Iíve decided Iím going to go with an Ocellaris pair / Black Ocellaris (captive bred), a basslet (most likely Royal Gramma because itís too hard to find a Swissguard in China, some dealers sell the Swales for about a similar price so maybe thatís an option too, Yellow Assessors are too hard to come by), a Yellow Watchman Goby and Pistol Shrimp, a Talbotís Damsel / Azure Damsel, and a dwarf angel.

Whatís causing me the most headache by far is getting the dwarf angel. I canít really make up my mind about which one to get. Iíve had a look at some species that would probably work in a 3-foot, 36Ēx24Ēx24Ē tank, and I have narrowed it down to the following species:

1. Coral Beauty-By far the cheapest out of all the dwarf angels. Many people say theyíre among the easiest if not the easiest to care for, but 1 or 2 have mentioned that those from the Philippines or Indonesia warrant caution. I donít know where my CB will be from but itíll be wild caught from Southeast Asia.



2. Flame Angel-I think itís got stunning colors, but many people have said itís not quite as hardy (though still one of the hardier ones?) as the CB and that specimens collected from certain place tend to shop very poorly.


3. African Flameback / Atlantic Cherub / Brazilian Flameback-From what Iíve heard theyíre just as hardy as the CB and they only get to 3Ē.

4. Multicolor Angelfish-By far the priciest out of all the options Iím considering, but I think itís beautiful and from what Iíve read itís fairly hardy too.


5. Half Black Angelfish-Not too pricey, and from what Iíve heard one of the hardier ones too.



6. Rusty Angelfish-Its color scheme is so so, but again Iíve heard itís one of the easier ones.



I know that no matter which one I choose, itíll have a semi-aggressive temperament. However, Iím really looking for the hardiest one that can deal with a new system thatís not fully established yet.

Of course, Iím also looking at compatibility with the other fish I plan to include. My plan is for the angelfish to go after the basslet, but before the Talbotís / Azure Damsel.

I would appreciate suggestions on which one to pick for my first angelfish, you can even suggest something I havenít mentioned. Thanks.

Another thing I really like about angels is their long lifespan. If I choose CB, Flame, one of the Pygmies, Half Black, or the Rusty, I will have more control over the size of the fish because some dealers put the size of their fish while others donít. If I pick the Multicolor I wonít know how big it is (though I may be able to request them to give me one as small as possible).

Iíll buy them as small as possibly (4-7cm) because I want to see them grow and live long. Preferably 4-5cm.



*Edit: Make that two Chrysiptera damsels. Either two Azure or two Talbotís. I will be introducing them at the same time. However, I am worried theyíll fight with my Clownfish pair which will be established by then.


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Old 03/26/2020, 10:20 AM   #2
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If I was going to have only 1 dwarf angel and had to choose from your list above, it would be the Flame. Brilliantly colored, and not too bad of a coral nipper. Only a Coral Beauty would probably go easier on corals, but no where near as pretty as a Flame.


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Old 03/26/2020, 11:14 AM   #3
Zionas
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What about hardiness? I can’t wait to add a dwarf angel but I would prefer one that can do


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Old 03/26/2020, 11:15 AM   #4
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what about hardiness? Maybe someone could give a ranking? I want one that can do well in a new system. Flames, I’ve heard divided by opinions on them. Some seem to have ones that live for very long, others just have bad luck with them.


Also, how long can we expect the 4” dwarf angels to live for? What about the 3” pygmies? Do they live shorter lives?



Last edited by Zionas; 03/26/2020 at 12:02 PM.
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Old 03/26/2020, 03:56 PM   #5
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Easiest to most difficult IMO:

1. Coral Beauty
2. Half Black
3. Rusty
4. Flameback
5. Flame
6. Multicolor

Coral Beauties are the hardiest, #2-4 are relatively easy, a Flame isn't difficult per se but sometimes intolerant of copper in QT, and Multicolors don't always ship well or adapt to captivity.


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Old 03/26/2020, 04:50 PM   #6
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I agree with a flame.
Quarantine in a 10G with algae covered LR for 2 weeks to be sure he's eating.


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Old 03/26/2020, 08:30 PM   #7
Zionas
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I came across two new species, the Fisher’s and the Pacific Pygmy.. Fisher’s is quite expensive but the Pacific Pygmy is the cheapest. I wonder how hardy / adaptable these two species are.

Are all Centropyge, even the pygmies, capable of doing 10+ years?


Which ones would be the most suitable for a newly established system?


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Old 03/27/2020, 01:40 AM   #8
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None are suitable to a new tank.
You need well established LR that has algae and microorganisms, pods, sponges, etc..
Hence my advice to QT in a small tank with good LR and offer foods until you know what it will eat. Vacuum out all uneaten food after 15 minutes and top off with fresh SW.


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Old 03/27/2020, 02:08 AM   #9
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Before my LR is well-established enough, can feeding them food with algae and copepods and even vegetables such as lettuce or cabbage be a substitute?

How long should the QT be?


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Old 03/27/2020, 07:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zionas View Post
How long should the QT be?
Read this: https://humble.fish/quarantine/


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Old 03/27/2020, 08:47 AM   #11
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Flames and flame back are the most colorful and best personalities in my experience. I got a flame a few months back that was the size of my thumb nail. I was worried the little girl would die or be lost in my 625g but she has doubled in size and is very inquisitive


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Old 03/27/2020, 11:31 AM   #12
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My vote is for the flame.


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Old 03/28/2020, 09:32 AM   #13
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Iím in agreement with wrott, flame angels get stressed easily, and will flat out starve to death over 2 weeks. You should wait until the tank is established, and even then make sure itís eating at the LFS before purchasing.

I just had black and white Ocellaris eggs hatch last night, if the make it I can help you out with one.


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Old 03/28/2020, 10:27 AM   #14
Zionas
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Originally Posted by Four drachma View Post
Iím in agreement with wrott, flame angels get stressed easily, and will flat out starve to death over 2 weeks. You should wait until the tank is established, and even then make sure itís eating at the LFS before purchasing.

I just had black and white Ocellaris eggs hatch last night, if the make it I can help you out with one.


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Aww thanks! Thatís so kind of you. Unfortunately I live on the other side of the world in China. If only we lived close to each other.....

Which species of dwarf angel then would you personally recommend for a first angel?

And Iím not saying Iíll be putting one in early on. Iím giving 3 months minimum, maybe 4-5.


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Old 03/28/2020, 10:40 AM   #15
Four drachma
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One of the reasons I got into the reefing hobby, was when I saw my dirt Flame Angel swimming in a large reef tank, I was immediately hooked. I now have a 600 gallon system, and so my favorite will always be a flame angel. I bought and lost 5 before I got one that survived. I was impatient, and then got a few that just wouldnít eat. It was very heartbreaking.

One other angel you should consider though, is a gold flake...theyíre very expensive, about $500. But gorgeous..I canít over emphasize how important it is to be patient and enjoy some common less expensive fish until your tank is stable.


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Old 03/28/2020, 01:54 PM   #16
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The plan is to put in some other fish first, that’s what I’ll do even if it’s due to the temperament. The other fish I have in mind are a pair of Ocellaris or Black and White Ocellaris clowns, a Royal Gramma (or maybe Yellow / McNeill’s / Randall’s Assessors), YWG, even some Azure or Talbot’s damsels, or maybe even a Hawkfish.

@Four drachma In your opinion which are the easy ones? And do you know anything about their lifespan? Can a dwarf or even a Pygmy angel easily push 10 years or more?


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Old 03/29/2020, 09:02 AM   #17
Four drachma
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I have a coral beauty, thatís about 8 years old..most things Iíve read say 5 years, but I think if you feed them a variety of healthy foods they live longer.

I also have a flame angel. I have a 400 gallon tank though, and they chased each other around for about two weeks, now they tolerate each other.

Iíd still like to have a gold flake angel some day.


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Old 03/29/2020, 10:12 AM   #18
Zionas
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What should I feed them to ensure they have a healthy and varied diet? I’d love for them to live 10 years or more. My tank will only be 3 foot long, does that bar me from the large room 4” dwarf angels?

Also, would you recommend adding any to a newer system or should I give it 4-6 months before adding any dwarf angel (even the Coral Beauty)? I heard they’re algae grazers but I wonder if I can give them algae-based food to maintain optimal health before my tank’s LR is mature enough to grow lots of algae.


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Old 03/29/2020, 10:51 AM   #19
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You could have a Coral Beauty, but if possible Iíd get the biggest tank possible to start with. You can definitely feed it, and that is recommended.

Donít skimp on support equipment. Youíll need a water filter system, reverse osmosis, preferably a 3 or 5 stage..Get a good slightly oversized protein skimmer, I use Reef Octopus, but there are many good ones. That will get you started.

Youíll need to test your water regularly, but around the 5 to 6 month timeframe, Iíd add a coral beauty. Have the person in the fish store put some food in and watch it, make sure itís eating. If it isnít donít get it.

As far as feeding, there are some good frozen foods formulated for angels. I also add a few drops of liquid fish vitamins to the frozen food as it thaws in a cup mixed with tank water.


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Old 03/29/2020, 10:59 AM   #20
Zionas
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What do you think of the other dwarf angels (in terms of suitability / hardiness and swimming space required) like the Flame, Rusty, Midnight, Half Black, or any of the pygmies / Fisher’s?

I also plan to get a bit creative and feed them some chopped live seafood every once in a while. That’s means taking a trip to the seafood market and buying some clams, mussels, small fish, and small shrimp, maybe scallops. What do you think?

And then of course there’s the typical flake and pellet food, both plant based and meaty. Frozen foods that I plan to feed will include the formulated frozen food for angels and butterflies, as well as brine shrimp and mysis shrimp pastes / sticks / eggs / whatever I can find. Maybe even some freeze dried bloodworms.


Fish I’ll be adding before the dwarf angel (not finalized): a pair of Ocellaris Clowns, a basslet or two (either Royal Gramma / Swissguard, if 2 Basslets I am even looking at RG+a Yellow Assessor or Yellow Assessor + MacNeill’s or Randall’s Assessor), a choice between a Hawkfish or a YWG (undecided), and then maybe even 2-3 Azure or Talbot’s Damsels.

My current planned tank is 85 gallons and 3 foot wide but I am considering a custom made 115 gallon tank. Would 7-8 fish be overstocked for either scenario?


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Old 03/29/2020, 11:13 AM   #21
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The food selection is great...that many fish is bordering too many...just add them slowly, with e few months between , Iím not sure Iíd have more than one angel in that size tank. Part of the peaceful enjoyment of the tank, is watching the fish swim around peacefully. If you get two angels, they may chase each other around and it stresses them, and can lead to health issues, namely ich, and isnít something you want to deal with.


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Old 03/29/2020, 11:37 AM   #22
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I’d rather not risk it so I’ll only be getting one angel. What do you think of maybe adding just six fish in either tank size? And no more than 7?


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Old 03/29/2020, 11:46 AM   #23
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Should be fine, so long as theyíre on the small side...2 to 3 inches.


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