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Golden Angelfish - Facts On The Shy Golden Angelfish

Updated on January 3, 2010

Scientific Name : Centropyge Aurantia

Origin : Western Pacific to Indonesia

Difficulty : Hard

Minimum Tank Size : 75- 100 gallons

Temperament : Passive, very shy

Temperature : 72 - 82°F

Reef Safe : With caution

Maximum Size : 4 inches

Diet : Omnivore

The Golden Angelfish is a stunning marine angelfish that commands a high price and is fairly difficult to find. This is a difficult Centropyge angelfish to keep in the marine aquarium and should be left to those that can properly see to its needs. Normally listed under "experts only", if you still feel the golden angelfish is for you then read on.

Golden Angelfish on display at the LFS

The golden angelfish sports a reddish bronze throughout its body with vertical stripes on its sides. It is a deep water species that is commonly found at depths as deep as 180 feet. They are priced from the low $100's and aren't all that common on the market. They usually go quickly once they're for sale.

Since this is a deepwater species, pay careful attention to any swim bladder damage. The fish should be able to maintain a levelled buoyancy and should not be tilting inexplicably.

A rare occurance, a golden angelfish in an open scape FOWLR


Like most of its deep water brethren, the golden angelfish is a painfully shy fish that does not do well in tanks with too much activity or when housed with very aggressive tank mates.

It is a passive dwarf angelfish, but that still does not mean it will get along with conspecifics.

The same golden angelfish in the video above at 3.5 months

Tank Size

The golden angelfish needs large tanks with plenty of live rock to do well. Plenty of shaded areas and caves are needed to provide shelter. In the wild this fish spends most of its time in dark, shaded areas and is rarely seen out in the open for long periods of time.

A 75 gallon established marine aquarium should be the absolute lower limit for this dwarf angelfish. Since there is very little light at the depths it lives at, it must be given time to properly adapt to aquarium lighting conditions.

Golden Angelfish


Angelfish from the genus centropyge are all grazers in the wild. Like surgeonfish, they scan the rock throughout the day for food. They feed on detritus, tiny crustaceans and a wide variety of algae.

In a saltwater aquarium they should be given a balanced diet. Variety is important, feed them foods from a wide range of food groups. Feeding them a single type of food for too long is generally a bad idea. Although there have been hobbyists that have fed them new life spectrum for long periods of time with no ill effects. They all looked very healthy in fact.

They should be fed a frozen food that has both meat and algae (Formula One, Formula Two), algae and nori sheets as well as a pellet from a reputable brand like New Life Spectrum.

Ocean Nutrition produces the perfect food for dwarf angels, Pygmy Angel Formula. In an effort to provide a balanced and nutritious diet, a wide variety of ingredients are used such as kelp, shrimp, vitamins and trace minerals, krill, squid, algae and many others. Prior to freezing, the cubes are mixed with these ingredients. Unfortunately Pygmy Angel Formula is only available in frozen form.

Personally, i think brine shrimp should never be fed as they don't offer much nutritionally. Adult frozen artemia do not offer much more to the fish than roughage, which is fibre. Foods that are far superior like krill or mysis shrimp also have fibre.

Enriched brine shrimp should be chosen for your dwarf angelfish if you insist on feeding artemia. Enriched brine shrimp are simply artemia that were stuffed with a nutritious food (like spirulina) and then frozen. So are simply a vessel housing nutrition.

Newly hatched artemia can also be offered, as long as their yolk sacs are not too depleted, they remain nutritious. Once their yolk sacs are depleted they turn into garbage again.

The Best Books on Marine Angelfish

Angelfishes of the World (Oceanographic Series) (Oceanographic Seies)
Angelfishes of the World (Oceanographic Series) (Oceanographic Seies)
The most detailed and comprehensive book the marine angelfish to date. No other book comes close. Covers all known species.

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