Reef to Rainforest: Discovering Tropical Species, Places, Nature

Cherub Angelfish

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Centropyge argi - Woods & Kanazawa, 1951
Cherub Angelfish

A glowing little beauty with a fiesty attitude that belies its small size. Scott W. Michael

[edit] Overview

This is a gorgeous little fish with electric-blue highlights and a bold attitude that belies its size and common name. It tends to be one of the better angelfishes to keep with corals, although it will occasionally go to the dark side and pick at xeniid soft corals, large-polyped stony corals, mushroom anemones and clam mantles.

It has an attitude that must be reckoned with. Keep only one in a smaller tank.

Family: Pomacanthidae

Other common name(s):

  • Cherubfish

Native range:

Habitat: Reef, often in areas with coral rubble and/or macroalgae. Provide plenty of rocky hiding places—crevices and caves.

Maximum length: 7.9 cm (3 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 114 L (30 gal)

Water: Marine 24 °C (297 K, 75 °F) - 28 °C (301 K, 82 °F)

General swimming level: All levels.

[edit] Feeding

Omnivore. Feed a varied diet of meaty and algae-based foods at least twice a day. In a well-established reef tank with abundant grazing opportunities, feeding once a day may be sufficient.

[edit] Aquarium Compatibility

This fish can be a real hellion, especially in a smaller aquarium, and it is best not to house it with peace-loving fishes, such as flasher wrasses and firefishes. In a nano-size tank, it may have to be kept singly; two or more can be housed together in a large aquarium. Two males together will fight until one succumbs. Females tend to be smaller than males, otherwise the sexes do not differ in color.

[edit] Breeding/Propagation

It will spawn in captivity, but the larval young need special feeding and care to survive. Egg scatterers that produce pelagic eggs, often in midwater mating rituals. Both eggs and larvae that drift with plankton in the water column and settle back onto a reef at about the time of metamorphosis. These are among the most challenging types of marine fishes to propagate in captivity.

[edit] Notes

This fish is active and fascinating to watch, spending much of its time moving from one shelter site to the next, grazing on algae when it feels safe.

Reference: 101 Best Saltwater Fishes
Image credit: SWM
Text credit: SWM
Facts about Cherub AngelfishRDF feed
Common name Cherub Angelfish  +, and Cherubfish  +
Family Pomacanthidae  +
Genus Centropyge  +
Image credit SWM  +
Maximum length 3 in  +
Minimum aquarium size 30 gal  +
Native range Tropical Western Atlantic  +, Caribbean  +, Florida Keys  +, Bahamas  +, and French Guiana  +
Reference 101 Best Saltwater Fishes  +
Specific name argi  +
Swimming level All levels.  +
Text credit SWM  +
Water max temp 301 K (28 °C, 82 °F)  +
Water min temp 297 K (24 °C, 75 °F)  +
Water type Marine  +