Coral beauty angelfish is well known as a model version of the blue-girdled angelfish, which is larger in size. The earlier fish carrying a little body structure is sometimes called the “fun-size” variant of the bigger fish.

It is a ray-finned organism and belongs to the Indo-Pacific region. This fish is known as dwarf or pygmy angelfish.

Petting them in the aquarium is not as hard as its bigger counterpart. Therefore, this species of angelfish captures more significant sales among its family members, precisely after the flame angelfish.

We have gathered detailed information about this fish to bring forward the coral beauty angelfish care guide that includes food, diseases, tank mates, and other essential information.


About Species
Scientific Name Centropyge Bispinosa
NickNames Dusky angelfish, twospined angelfish, dwarf angelfish
Family Pomacanthidae
Source Indo-Pacific Ocean
Average Age 10 – 15 years
Max Length 10 cm
Type Marine
Color Pattern Dark purplish-blue

Source and Habitation

Coral beauty angelfish are saltwater dwellers and are usually seen moving in small schools or individually around the coral reefs of oceans.

Their habitation is spread over a wide area covered by the Indian Ocean and some parts of the Pacific Ocean. But they have not yet been located in the southern Pacific Ocean, around Hawaii, or the Red Sea.

They are found in a long stretch of Eastern Africa between Tanzania and Tuamoto. Other major territories where they are found are between Izu Island of Japan and Lord Howe Island of Australia.

Pockets of Timor Sea, Tasman Sea, and the Coral Sea have shown promising shreds of evidence of the presence of this angelfish, prominently in the regions of Rowley Shoals, Scott Reefs, Ashmore Reef, Middleton Reef, Kenn Reef, etc.

Fact: Coral beauty angelfish mostly stays in the coral regions of seas and oceans at a depth of 30 – 150 feet, while they also turn towards lagoons, and seaward reef slopes.

Size: How Big Do They Get?

This fish is particularly popular for its short size,a vital factor for aquarists to show interest in buying and keeping them. It is a perfect ornamental fish sizing up to 3.9 inches. Thus, you can easily enjoy it in multiple numbers in medium tanks.

The Appearance of the Fish

Coral beauty angelfish is typically in dark blue color and partly shaded stripes in reddish-orange or yellow vibrancy. The front portion near the mouth and forehead is purplish.

The fins of this fish are an elusive attraction, with each caudal, anal, and dorsal fin having bluish bands on the edges. Dorsal and anal fins have about seventeen soft rays and a specific number of spines.

Since their habitat is distributed in a vast region, the specimens of this species collected show significant differences in the color combination while maintaining blue as the base shade.

Some may have different spots, stripes, or color patterns, while the ones found in the deeper end of the water look duller in the shade.

Lifespan: How Long Do They Live?

These species are considered adaptive in nature as they comfortably adjust to the local conditions and rarely fall for any health issues.

While around the reefs in the oceans, the coral beauty angelfish can live up to fifteen years if it saves itself from predators. But in the aquarium, they might only finish ten years or even less, due to excessive stress and confined space.

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Gendering the Fish

These species are termed as protogynous because they are born as females. Later the eldest, most potent, or largest fish of the group turns to become a dominant male.

So, the only difference to signify a male or female coral beauty angelfish is to verify its size. The bigger one out of them is going to be the male fish.

A significant difference is observed by experts during the mating process. The males, while mating, can attach their caudal fins to the tail, but females do not have such physical settings.

Fact: When the leading male dies off, one of the females in the group starts transforming into a male, and the whole process may take nearly fifty days.

Also read about Colorful Parrotfish, which also has unique character of a protogynous hermaphrodite.

Price and Availability of the Fish

This shining beauty has flourishingly filled the gap for angelfish lovers who prefer a peaceful, fascinating, and smaller alternative.

The coral beauty angelfish is an assuredly available saltwater fish with a stabilized population in the Indo-pacific zone, as declared under IUCN Red List species.

Considering its high demand in the aquarium business, the price of the fish may vary between $8-$12 in both online and offline markets, excluding shipping charges.

Care Guide

Quick Care Points
Care Level Easy
Social Territorial
Predators No
Temperament Semi-Aggressive
Diet Omnivore
Breeding Difficult; Broadcast Spawning

What are Their Feeding Habits?

Like many other reef dwellers, the coral beauty angelfish also depends on algae formations on the rocks. This behavior is observed in all the variants found in different parts of the Indian and Pacific oceans.

These are omnivore species, and while their primary diet is green growth on the rocks, they also consume tiny organisms found hiding under the algae growth.

You can feed them multiple times in one day from the list of suitable food items suggested below.

  • Pellets
  • Flakes
  • Fresh and dried marine algae
  • Spirulina
  • Sponge
  • Formula II
  • Angel Formula
  • Mysis shrimp, shaved shrimp, brine shrimp
  • Nori sheets

Social Behavior and Temperament

As the name describes, they are lovely to watch in fish tanks but are not as gentle as their appearance. Food and space are the crucial concerns of this fish.

It feels stressed out in a small, confined space, and never likes to share the food in its territory. The algae growth is their favorite diet, which they do not share with other fishes, even if it is of their own clan.

The prime arrangement for petting a coral beauty angelfish would be to provide ample space to live and rule their personal world.

How Do They Reproduce?

Breeding the coral beauty angelfish becomes a difficult task sometimes as they impose natural complexities due to their behavior and physical characteristics. It would be best if you are particular about the arrangements for successful spawning.

Breeding Arrangements

The first and foremost step before reproducing these species is to get a mature pair. Since they are born female, you need to carefully find a male fish by considering the characteristic factors.

Keep them in the breeding tank, and ensure that they do not fight with each other. The tank should be at least 70 gallons or higher in capacity and kept it in moderate light.

Note: Light plays a central role in spawning. Turning them ON and OFF at equal schedules will catalyze the process.


The male fish makes specific movements around the female, touching them near the fins or covering them with their fins. They wait for the right moment and begin to spawn after courting in the same manner on the water surface for hours, days, or weeks.

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The pair is usually seen near the corals when the female lays eggs. The eggs are broadcasted in a water column that reaches the top surface.

Note: You should keep feeding them protein-rich food and maintain a stress-free environment, which is provocative.

Hatching and Fertilization

The males fertilize the eggs, which can be around 16-20 in number, and the juveniles come out in 24-30 hours. You must feed the hatchlings after 48-72 hours with minute algae near their mouths.

Diseases That Trouble Them

The coral beauty is angelfish like much other saltwater aquatics and faces several difficulties while petting them in aquariums. Clean water is a basic necessity for them as they quickly acquire health issues from the local environment.

A typical problem is that they overstress due to lack of space, which hampers their immunity. Here are the types of health problems that your fish may suffer.

  • Parasitic Diseases: These fish mostly catch saltwater ich and velvet disease.

Ich causes white spots with flashing and scratching, which leaves the fish choking for inhalation due to parasites attacking on the gills. Velvet disease causes yellow dust on the body with weight loss.


  • Increase the water temperature to 28 degrees Celsius to break the life cycle of parasites.
  • Provide medicated food to the fish.
  • Use metronidazole to treat protozoan and anaerobic disease.
  • Bacterial Disease: Parasitic diseases follow up with fungal and bacterial infections. These infections cause Dropsy, Red Streaks, or Popeye to the skin of coral beauty angelfish. It is a fatal disease that can make the fish collapse if left untreated.


  • Dip them in the freshwater tank for 5-15 minutes, and check if the fin starts to fray.
  • Dropsy, Popeye, fin rot, and other such secondary diseases can be treated with medication like Seachems metronidazole with Kanaplex once in seven days.
  • Physical Issues: Poor water quality or stress due to tank mates are hazardous that cause physical problems. The fish will not eat food and may jump out of the aquarium.


Fish Tank Care and Regulation

Capacity 210+ Litres
Water Temperature 70 to 82 F
Specific Gravity 1.023 to 1.025
Tank Lighting Moderate
Water pH Level 8 to 8.4
Substrate Gravels, Rocks, Driftwood
Brackish No

Tank Size

We misjudge this small species regarding the enclosed environment where it can be petted. But unlike other fish, which nearly do not have issues with tank space at a certain ratio to their own size, the coral beauty angelfish is highly sensitive to it.

They easily get disturbed and behave anxiously after some time when they discover little space in the territory. Therefore, experts suggest keeping them singly in a 60-gallon tank, and if it is a pair, then increase the space up to 100 gallons or more.

Tank Setup

This fish carries loads of attitude and style, and you must not keep it in a simple and dull aquarium. You can follow the guidelines on setting up the tank so they can move happily.


The staple diet of Coral beauty angelfish is algae growth, which you can specifically promote to grow on the stone structures.

It is not very fond of water plants. Their natural dwelling place is near the coral beds, where plants do not grow. So, putting unnecessary green can irritate them.

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Although putting a few floating greens can provide a nice hideout below the water surface, and enhance the tank’s beauty.


A moderate lighting system is essential in the tank to speed up algae growth, while it will also embellish the skin color of the fish for its viewers.

Blue lighting will mimic the oceanic environment and also provoke the pair to spawn.


An excellent setup of rubble rocks suits them best to sustain them comfortably in the aquarium. It also helps algae growth.

You can make arrangements in a way to create caves and crevices, which attract them to claim their homes. Other rocks and pebbles are also suitable for them.


You must use a pleasant canister water filter whichcleans water regularly and removes the impurities and bacteria. Unhygienic water can severely harm the fish and create health problems.

They also require continuous water currents in the tank, which can be easily achieved by installing a filter system.


Coral beauty angelfish itself is a decorated ornament of water, but you can add a few small-sized decorated pieces.

You can put 1-2 artificial toys or plants, to contrast the glamor of the fish, but do not overdo it to mess up the place.

Water Specifications

Since they are found in the tropical region in the ocean water, you must maintain a warm temperature in the tank to keep them healthy and comfortable.

Here are some vital parameters that should not be ignored if planning the pet coral beauty angelfish.

  • Maintain the water temperature between 72-81 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • The water alkalinity should be between 8-8.4pH.
  • Use a powerful filter while also changing the tank water in a scheduled format. You can follow 5% weekly, or 10% in two weeks, and 20% every month.

Suitable Tank Mates

Community tanks are never that accessible for these species, and experienced keepers of these fish suggest inducting them as the last fish in the aquarium.

They try to dominate the place and do not easily adjust to others. Any fish added later will be bullied by them.

Coral beauty angelfish do not like any other male in the group. You can keep other non-aggressive smaller aquatics that do not possess territorial nature.

These fish may not bother other small fish in the tank unless they are algae eaters. The angelfish are algae lovers and cannot sustain others keeping an eye on their food.

Here is a list of suitable species that you can put together with them as tank mates.

  • Clownfish
  • Dwarf lionfish
  • Foxface
  • Saddle filefish
  • Seahorses
  • Mandarin fish

Frequently Asked Questions

Are they reef safe?

Confusion arises when people believe that a coral dweller can stay comfortable among the reefs. But the fact is that coral beauty angelfish is not always reef safe. It is observed that the reefs catch the fish’s attention soon, and they bite on the polyps resulting in severe damage.

Can I keep them in a 30-gallon tank?

It is known that they require more space than usual in an aquarium for swimming. An optimum tank size would be 55-60 gallons.

But during the initial stages, when they are juveniles, you can put them in a smaller tank of 30-gallon capacity. They can grow up to 10 cm. Therefore, it is advised to transfer them soon in a spacious aquarium.

Are they considered algae growth controllers?

The coral beauty angelfish are staunch algae consumers, as it happens to be their primary diet in the seawater. Do not worry if there is algae growth all over your fish tank. This species can effectively control many types of algae, such as diatom, ulva, derbesia, andenteromorpha.

Final Take: Are These Suitable Pets for You?

These species are undoubtedly wonderful to have in-home fish tanks. Their activeness and mesmerizing appearance attract the attention of the audience.

There are few keeping difficulties observed with the species caught in the wild, while the biota captive bred coral beauty angelfish come in handy. They are easy to care for with higher immunity and adaptability to the home aquariums.

You can have them in a fish tank with few precautions about the water conditions, minimum tank capacity, compatible mates, and proper food that should include algae.

About the Author

Victoria Lamb

Victoria is a freshwater aquatics specialist, fish keeper, and amphibian enthusiast. She has had more than 6 years of experience caring for aquariums and keeping several fish species, and her home boasts of 3 aquariums and a garden pond. Her goal is to educate fish owners on raising healthy and happy aquatic pets.

Career Highlights:

  • Has worked with several aquarium manufacturers as a consultant
  • Organized and hosted workshops on freshwater fish keeping at retail stores, educational facilities, and libraries
  • Released content for the amphibian community through her writings

Educational Highlights:

Bachelor of Science in Animal Behavior and Welfare

  • University of Lincoln, Lincoln, UK (2014-2018)

Writing Experience

Victoria has done ghostwriting for many aquarium and pet websites in the past. She has also worked for Canada's largest natural health magazine- ALIVE, with 300,000 monthly circulations as a freelancer. She had six published articles on animal behavior and welfare during her graduation for her thesis.

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