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Centropyge loricula
Flame Angel

 Age of Aquariums > Saltwater Fish

Photos & Comments

Centropyge_loricula_2.jpg (35kb)
Photo Credit: Allen BS

Name: Centropyge loricula
Size BehaviorReef
Origin: Indo-Pacific Oceans
12 cm Loner Low Risk


These are one of the most beautiful angelfish that can be aquired by a hobbyist. They have a wonderful reputation as angels go and are usually very hardy, however lately that has not been the case and I would suggest avoiding this fish. They have not been very hardy lately and quite a few of them have been dying within a few months of being in an aquarium, despite many good efforts to save them. Like all angels, to keep them healthy they need a good and varied diet with pristine water conditions. They also need a well established tank with algae so they can graze, which means at least 6 months for a new tank. They also like a good water current to play in. They are reef safe within limits, there are some angels who regardless of what kind will pick on clam mantles, soft or hard corals, polyps, etc, while others will not. When an angel gets established in a tank there is a chance they will bully new arrivals. It is best to have one angel per system but if you must add another make sure you have enough space and they are not the same colour or even close or they will fight.

Contributed by Ashley Bond

The Flame Angelfish (Centropyge loricula) is a brilliantly colored fish, and unlike other Angelfish, their markings don't change with age - so when you purchase one, keep that in mind - be picky and choose the one that you like. It's shape is similar to Damselfish, and can be identified by the spine on its gill cover. Although very rare, this fish is hardy and does well in a community tank with similar-sized fishes. Keep in mind that this fish is rarely aquarium-bred, and there are no visible differences for sexing. Finely chop all foods, and include plenty of greens.

Contributed by (no name given)

One of the brightest and most beautiful fish you can get for the aquarium. Enjoys a lot of live rock in the tank. "Reef-safe within limits" is certainly a good description for this species, and will differ from individual to individual. Some reef-keepers swear that flames are the only reef-safe angel and they never touch their corals; others say that they will all eventually acquire a taste for corals and should never be trusted in the reef tank except with leathers. I have a flame angel myself who has so far been very well-behaved among the corals, but I am watching him vigilantly and prepared to give him up should a problem arise.

Contributed by Cecilia Chen

I have had mixed results in keeping this species, but recently read a report that estimated 75% of all collected specimens die in the first 6 weeks of captivity. I would only recommend this fish to someone with a good knowledge, and well established reef aquarium.

Contributed by Steve Goodall

I've had a Flame Angel for about 5 months now. It's been eating frozen/live brine, flake food and pellet type of food. It does well with my seahorses, but it has its moments when it becomes semi-aggressive while feeding. It seems to be a bottom feeder and my horses are all top/middle feeders, so it works well. I also noticed it has no shame eating food from the floor of the tank. For the past few months it's been doing well with the horses. I've purchased two more horses and may trade the Angel for something a little less active, only because I'd like to breed the horses and feel as though the Angel would eat the fry. Tank stats are 29C, 0.023 Salinity, 0 levels all around, pH 8.2, 110 liter Hex tank. It may be a little small for this fish.

Contributed by Brian Ford

I've had my flame angel for 2 years now. He is my favorite fish in my reef. He has several clams in the tank with a lot of soft and LPS corals and has been perfect with them all. Highly recommended by me for a good reef candidate!

Contributed by James Delosh

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