Species name: Pygoplites diacanthus

Common names: Regal Angelfish, Royal angelfish

Family: Pomacanthidae (Angelfishes)

Order: Perciformes (perch-likes)

Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)

Maximum length: 9.8 in.

Minimum tank size: At least 100 gallons

Hardiness: Medium to difficult. Regal Angel remains one of the hardest Angels to keep in captivity. Specimens from Indian Ocean and Red Sea (with an orange rather than a blue chest) will adapt more easily than specimens from Pacific.

Aggressiveness: Semi-aggressively toward other fish. Avoid to keep it with aggressive fish.

Reef Compatibility: Will nip at LPS corals, some soft corals like Xenia and tridacnid clam mantles. Can usually be kept with SPS coral and noxious soft corals.

Distribution: Indo-Pacific: Red Sea and East Africa to the Tuamoto Islands, north to Ryukyu and Ogasawara islands, south to the Great Barrier Reef and New Caledonia.

Diet: Feeds on sponges, sea squirts and salps in the wild. Feeding is the most problematic part with Regal angels. Your best chances should be with chopped fresh or frozen clam, crab, shrimp, squid, fresh opened shellfish, mysid shrimp, Spirulina, sponges, formula one, formula two and marine algae. Some say to avoid gelatin-based frozen foods. Live rock to graze on is a must.

May simply hide and refuse to eat if another fish (smaller or bigger) is harassing it. Feed 2 to 3 times per day.

Additional information:


In the wild, the Regal Angelfish is from the Indo-Pacific region where it is found mostly in coral rich areas and lagoons at depth of 3 to 157 feet. It can be recognised by the yellow and black-edged white bars on the body and the blue with black stribbles on its dorsal fin. Its anal fin has yellow and blue stripes and its caudal fin is yellow. Juvenile are similar to the adults, but are more orange than yellow, and have a distinct spot on the soft dorsal fin.

Selection is important. Specimens from Philipine Island are the worst you can get while specimens from Red Sea, Sri Lanka, Australia, Singapore, Vanuatu, Fiji, Tahiti, and other smaller Island Nations usually do better. The specimen must be shown to be feeding in the LFS’s tank, hould be particularly thick around the head and should show awareness of your presence. Young specimens under 8 inches seem to adapt better to aquarium life than adults.

The ideal aquarium should be well stablished, have plenty of live rock with places to hide and strong water circulation. It will die without live rock. It needs lot of place to swim so the tank should be at least four feet in length. Water temperature should be set at 72 to 78° F, specific gravity from 1.020 to 1.025 and pH between 8.1 and 8.4.

References: Fishbase, Malawi Cichlid Homepage