Foods and Feeding
The Queen Angelfish is an omnivore. In the wild juveniles feed mostly on filamentous algae, but are also known to clean external parasites from other fish. Adults feed almost totally on sponges, but with smaller amounts of tunicates, phytoplankton, jellyfish, and hydroids.
In the aquarium feed a diet with a wide variety of vegetable materials. The quality of the food is important and any flake or pellet foods you choose should contain sponge material and Spirulina. They love Nori, dried algae sheets, and frozen preparations. They can also be offered fresh uncooked broccoli which will provide them with vitamin A and C. Adding caulerpa to the tank is also appreciated. There are several good commercial foods available as well, including Formula II and Angel Formula.
You may also supplement their diet with a very small amount of meaty fare such as brine and mysis shrimps, along with finely chopped marine flesh. Use meaty foods sparingly. If you have carnivorous fish housed with this angelfish, feed the tank with vegetable based foods first to give the angelfish their fill. Then when meaty foods are added the angelfish will be pretty full and will not consume high levels of meaty foods. Offering 2 to 3 feedings a day with only an amount that can be consumed in about 5 minutes.
- Diet Type: Omnivore – Provide foods that have sponge material and Spirulina in the formula. Offer more vegetable and sponge foods than meaty foods.
- Flake Food: Occasionally
- Tablet Pellet: Occasionally
- Live foods (fishes, shrimps, worms): Some of Diet – Live feeder shrimp may be offered to help start a feeding response initially.
- Vegetable Food: Most of Diet – Vegetable and sponge material should make up at least 90% of the diet.
- Meaty Food: Some of Diet – Small amounts of meaty foods should be given sparingly.
- Feeding Frequency: Several feedings per day
These angelfish need very good water quality, and anything below acceptable levels will result in stress which can lead to several illnesses. Water changes of 10-15% should be performed every 2 weeks for best results in 180 gallon tanks. In tanks over 250 gallons (940 l), water changes of about 30% every 3 – 4 weeks should work fine to keep water quality high. At times with tanks that are very mature you may get away with more time in between water changes, but only if it shows no ammonia or nitrite and has very low nitrates (less than <10).
As with all angelfish, the pH level should never drop below 8.0. Controlling pH levels is best resolved by water changes rather than chemicals. Using testing equipment is suggested to tell you when to do a water change.
- Water Changes: Bi-weekly – Suggested water changes of 10-15 % weekly for a 180 gallon tank, with less needed for larger 250+ gallon tanks and very mature aquariums.
An adult Queen Angelfish will need a tank that is 180 gallons (681 l) or larger. In anything smaller they will abuse their tank mates. Juveniles may be grown out in smaller tanks, but after only a few months their growth will render smaller tank useless. Starting with a larger tank is a good idea rather than having to relocate them, unless you need to give their tankmates time acclimate, as these fish should be added last to a community.
The tank should be mature with live rock that has plenty of naturally growing algae on it before adding the juvenile. They also need plenty of hiding places while young and still adjusting. Two Queen Angelfish can be added to a tank well over 220 gallons (832 l) as long as there are plenty of hiding places. They must be of different sizes and added at the same time. Water quality must be kept high and and a pH of at least 8.0 is necessary.
- Minimum Tank Size: 180 gal (681 L)
- Suitable for Nano Tank: No
- Live Rock Requirement: Typical Plus Hiding Places – Juveniles need plenty of places to hide.
- Substrate Type: Any
- Lighting Needs: Moderate – normal lighting – Angelfish need at least a daylight bulb to help them absorb certain vitamins.
- Temperature: 72.0 to 82.0° F (22.2 to 27.8° C)
- Specific gravity: 1.023-1.025 SG – Although a specific gravity of 1.015 can be employed temporarily when treating disease, for long term health keeping the tank at 1.023 is best.
- Range ph: 8.0-8.4
- Brackish: No
- Water Movement: Moderate
- Water Region: All – They will swim in all areas of the aquarium.