Flameback Angelfish

  • Species Information
  • Scientific Name:Centropyge acanthops
  • Family:Pomacanthidae
  • Origin:Africa, Maldives
  • Reef Compatability:With Caution
  • Temperament:Semi-aggressive
  • Maximum Size:3"
  • Ideal Tank Size:>55 gallons

Centropyge acanthops

The African Flameback Angel (Centropyge acanthops, Norman 1922) is extremely popular in the aquarium trade due to its beautiful, bold coloration and rarity.  These fish have a narrow distribution along the eastern coast of Africa, which makes them less common in the industry than other dwarf angelfish.  African flameback angels generally inhabit coral and rubble areas and but can be found as deep as 120 feet.  They prefer areas with dense algae growth covering the substrate as they graze on plant life to supplement their diet.  The African flameback angel is an omnivore.  At the Sustainable Islands Project, we feed our angels our hatchery diet, Spirulina brine, mysis, cyclopeeze, nori, as well as live brine.

Physical Description – These angels are known for their distinct, beautiful coloration.  Their body is a stunning deep blue which is brilliantly contrasted by the bold orange stripe that reaches from their head to the end of their dorsal fin.  Their caudal fin is light yellow and nearly transparent.  Another distinguishing feature is the bright blue coloration that encircles their eye.

Temperament – These fish are semi-aggressive.  They get along with most peaceful fish but do not like to be housed together or with other dwarf angels.  They may occasionally nip at SPS corals or other polyps.  Once acclimated to aquarium life these fish actively swim about, scavenging for food and grazing on algae.

Size – These are one of the smallest dwarf angels generally reaching only 3 inches in length.

Distribution – The African flameback angel is found along the eastern coast of Africa, from Somalia to South Africa