Flame Angelfish: Care, Tank Mates & More.

The flame angelfish is a pygmy angelfish that is smaller than a “regular” angelfish, they are one of the most attractive saltwater fish you’ll see. As pygmies, their max size is 6 in (15.2 cm). Some even grow to just 4 inches (10.2 cm).

They are one of the most sought-after dwarf angelfish, the Flame Angelfish captivates with its striking red/orange color, emphasized by vertical black stripes that adorn its body. Horizontal black stripes grace the caudal portions of the blue-tipped dorsal and anal fins.

The fascinating thing about this species is that Flame angels are protogynous hermaphrodites. They are born as females but can change genders based on social status.

Flame Angelfish Specie Summary

Scientific Name:Centropyge loricula
Common Names:Flame Angelfish, Fire Angelfish, Pacific Flame Angelfish 
Lifespan:5- 8 Years
Care Level:Moderate
Maximum Size:4 Inches
Growth Rate:Moderate
Minimum Tank Size:70 gallons
pH Level:8.1-8.4
Water Temperature:72-78° F
Hardiness:8-12 dKH 
Tank Mates:Coral Beauty, Crabs, Damselfish, clownfish, Royal Grammas, Starfish
Body Colour:Blue, Orange, Yellow

Flame Angelfish Natural Habitat

Flame Angelfish (Centropyge loricula) are saltwater angelfish native to the pacific ocean, particularly the tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific.

Their habitat span across diverse regions, including the Belau Islands, Hawaiian Islands, Marquesas Islands, Ducie Islands, Pitcairn Islands, and the iconic Great Barrier Reef. Choosing to reside around the perimeters of stony coral reefs nestled in lagoons, these dwarf angels prefer the clarity of shallow waters.

Flame Angels stay close to the water’s surface at around 16 to 82 feet (4.9-25 meters) in depth.

Physical Characteristics of Flame Angelfish

Their compact bodies adorned with vertical black bars with flame-like patterns of deep red and orange colours and at the tail region deep blue. This its body colouration ot only makes is very attractive but also serves as a natural adaptation for blending into their coral-rich environments.

On average, flame angels reach a modest size, making them well-suited for diverse aquarium setups. 

The little angelfish look different depending on where they live. In the Marshall Islands, they have a strong red color and dark black bars. In Hawaii, they’re a deep red with really bright blue edges on their fins. The Flame Angels near Cebu and Tahiti are the darkest, with bodies that are a deep, blood-red color.

Flame Angelfish Care

Flame Angelfish (Centropyge Loricula)
Flame Angelfish (Centropyge Loricula)

Tank Size and Specifications

A minimum tank size of 70 gallons is recommended, providing enough space for their natural behaviors and movements. A rectangular tank is preferable, offering more surface area for swimming and exploration. Adequate hiding spots among live rock structures or coral formations give them a sense of security in their environment.

Water Parameters and Ideal Conditions

Maintaining optimal water conditions is crucial for the well-being of Flame Angelfish. Aim for a temperature range of 72-78°F (22-26°C) and a pH level between 8.1 and 8.4. Consistency is key, so investing in a reliable heater and thermometer is essential. 

A specific gravity range of 1.020 to 1.025 ensures a stable and suitable salinity level for these tropical inhabitants.

Compatible Tank Mates for Flame Angelfish

They are  what I would say semi- aggressive as there is a lot of fight between the males but, they are compatible with some other fish. Reef-safe invertebrates and peaceful community fish make suitable companions. 

Although, be careful when putting them with smaller fish, Barbs, other angelfish and tetras as territorial disputes may arise.

Good Tank mates for Flame angelfish are;

  • Anthias
  • Basslets
  • Coral Beauty
  • Crabs
  • Damselfish
  • Gobies
  • clownfish
  • Royal Grammas
  • Starfish
  • Wrasses

Feeding and Diet

In their native habitat, Flame Angelfish graze on a menu of algae, small invertebrates, and tiny organisms found within coral reefs. 

When transitioning to aquarium life, replicating their natural diet is needful for their health and vitality. 

A well-balanced diet for Flame Angelfish typically includes high-quality marine flakes, pellets, and frozen or live foods like brine shrimp and mysis shrimp. It’s recommended to feed them small amounts multiple times a day rather than one large meal, mimicking their feeding patterns in the wild.

To intensify their striking colors, include nutritious supplements into their diet. Spirulina-based foods and supplements rich in vitamins and minerals can contribute to their well-being. Additionally, offering occasional treats like finely chopped seafood or zooplankton adds variety to their diet and stimulates natural behaviors.

Flame Angelfish Breeding

flame Angelfish in reef aquarium
flame Angelfish in reef aquarium

Flame Angelfish is an Hermaphrodite, breeding it in captivity can be done but it’s difficult trust me. It’s best for experienced breeders with a history of maintaining saltwater tanks.

To start the breeding process, it’s important to get a mating pair of angelfish. This can be a tough job because angelfish have to choose their mates. For optimal results, select two or more juvenile fish and place them in the same tank.

As they grow together, they’ll become accustomed to each other and establish dominance. The more dominant one will become the male, resulting in a breeding pair.

Mating and Reproduction

When the fish decide to mate, they wait until sunrise or sunset to do so.

Flame angelfish reproduce through broadcast spawning, where females release eggs directly into the water, and males release sperm. However, the parents provide no care for the eggs, and only a few survive.

Unfortunately, many eggs perish due to filters and other organisms in the tank. To prevent this, use a gentle filter with a fine-mesh sponge over the intake to avoid sucking up the tiny eggs or fry. Also, breeders should be mindful of other fish in the tank that might eat the eggs unless the parents are moved to a separate breeding tank.

What Age Do Angelfish Start to Mate?

Flame Angelfish typically reach sexual maturity around the age of 2 months. At this stage, they start to exhibit courtship behaviors and show signs of readiness for mating.

Are flame Angelfish born female?

Flame angels are hermaphrodites born female, though the stronger fish transitions to male. They are protogynous hermaphrodites meaning they can change genders based on social status.

The transition is not always permanent. The dominant fish can be “overthrown” by another, stronger fish. That fish (originally female) will then transition to male. The original dominant male will transition back into a female.

The transition also occurs due to death. When the most dominant fish dies, the next most dominant fish will take its palace, transitioning to male.

Common Health Challenges

Flame angel in coral reef aquarium tank

Flame angelfish species are susceptible to common parasitic diseases such as White spot, Marine Ich, and Marine Velvet Disease. These external parasites can be effectively treated using a similar approach.

You can disrupt the parasite’s life cycle by increasing the water temperature by 800 degree fahrenheit, this prevents it from attaching itself to the fish. Consequently, any free-swimming parasites are eradicated before they can pose a threat to the fish.

Managing parasites in reef or marine aquariums with live rock can be challenging. Many treatments involve substances like formalin, quinine, or copper, all of which are toxic to other marine life. Metronidazole presents a safer and effective method for addressing various anaerobic and protozoan bacterial infections.

Are Flame Angels Considered Hardy?

One key question that often arises in the realm of fishkeeping is the hardiness of Flame Angelfish. And yes, they are hardy. Their adaptability to various tank conditions, paired with a well-balanced diet, contributes to their resilience. However, like any species, providing a stable and well-maintained environment remains essential for ensuring the health and longevity of these captivating creatures.

Interesting facts about Flame Angelfish

  • Flame angelfish is an very rare.
  • They are hermaphrodites, born female
  • They have 5-7 years or sometimes more when in the wild.
  • They become more aggressive when hungry.
  • They are  very fast growers and reach full size in about two months.

FAQs on Flame Angelfish

What are the predators of the Flame Angels?

Flame Angels are susceptible to predation by larger fish, such as groupers, lionfish, and other predatory marine species.

Are Flame Angelfish rare?

Flame Angelfish are very rare because they are marine fish and are caught in the seas, this makes them rare and costly.

How Much Do Flame Angelfish Cost?

The cost of Flame Angel can vary based on factors such as size, colouration, and local market conditions. On average, they may range from $30 to $60, but prices can be higher for certain variations.

Why are flame angels so expensive?

Flame Angelfish can be expensive due to their vibrant colors, slow growth rate, and challenges in breeding them in captivity. Their popularity also contributes to their higher market value.

Can you keep two flame angels together?

To keep two flame angelfish together, introduce them simultaneously to the tank at juvenile to prevent territorial conflicts, and provide ample hiding spaces to minimize aggression.

Can an angel live with Goldfish?

No, Flame Angelfish are marine species, and goldfish just like tetras are freshwater fish. They have different environmental requirements, and combining them in the same tank will cause death.

Edet Ubok-Obong
Edet Ubok-Obong

Edet Ubok-Obong is an experienced Writer with a deep passion for Gardening, Fishing and home improvement. He shares his knowledge of these fields through this website.