The Coral Beauty Angel (Centropyge bispinosus) is a strikingly beautiful Angel that remains small and is a fairly hardy fish by angel fish standards. In the marine aquarium hobby where we are always looking for that piece of the puzzle to put the exclamation point on our tanks and finish the puzzle, this fish is truly deserved of this title. Their is nothing better that the adrenalin rush associated with adding another addition to our diverse and gorgeous collection of animals within our closed system environment. The Coral Beauty and its elaborate coloration and suitableness to a reef biotope is not to be denied nor compromised.
Endemic to the Indian Ocean, the Coral Beauty spends most of its time foraging for food scrapes in the wild. Algae, plankton and other meaty fare is the food of choice for this angel. Always in the presence of live rock and coral to call home and offer the fish protection from larger predators, these factors are going to need to be considered and applied when purchasing a Coral Beauty for your aquarium. As far as the food is concerned, Mysis and Brine shrimp, zooplankton, clam, squid, formula flaked and palletized foods are ideal as with the addition of various forms of dried seaweed to offer the Coral Beauty a diversity of suitable food alternatives to provide it proper nutrition. feeding the Coral Beauty a few times a day will provide it, and the other inhabitants with the right amount and also be assured that all your animals have a good chance of getting some food as some fish are downright pigs, more aggressive and faster than others and will consume more food than others.
Coral Beauty angelfish are characterized by their brilliant purple to dark blue coloration which succumbs their whole body for the most part. They have black vertical lines along their body as well as black bars that are displayed horizontally on their tail. Mixed in with the vibrant purple/blue coloration is a splash of reds, oranges and yellows to offer a wonderful contrast of color. The colors associated with the Coral Beauty angelfish and all Centropyge for that matter do not differ much from juvenile to adult. It isn’t till you start dealing with Pomacanthus species where the juvenile form is so much different that you wouldn’t believe it was the same fish. A good example of this would be with the Koran Angel(Pomacanthus semicirculatus) where they go through a striking transformation from juvenile to adult.
The “pygmy” or “dwarf” Centropyge angels as they are often called are smaller, more hardy, for the most part, safer in a reef environment, don’t require as big a tank for its success and their body style is much different than that of the Pomacanthus, Holacanthus and other Angelfish species. The Coral Beauty features a more rounded fin structure with shorter dorsal fins as well.
The addition of a Coral Beauty will brighten up any aquarium, the problem comes with either having larger fish such as Moray Eels, Lionfish or Grouper that may decide to make a meal out of your angel. I would frown upon entertaining the idea of adding more than one of these beauties as well. In nature, Coral Beauties live a solitary life or one that comprises a mate and that is all. Hoping to establish a pair of Coral Beauties is not advisable due to their aggressive behavior towards each other if this doesn’t pan out. The percentages of having a pair of Coral Beauties breed in captivity is not very good.
For the most part the Coral Beauty will leave most tankmates alone and this includes corals and invertebrates. Occasionally the angel may pick on a polyp or so or some of the sessile invertebrates like worms but that is not an assumption characteristic of each and every specimen of Centropyge bispinosus.
The Coral Beauty suffers from many of the same infections and diseases that plague other species of angelfish. Most of this stems, however, from less than ideal shipping and handling techniques. Gill and body parasites, protozoan, flukes and dinoflagellates can all be apparent and with the implementation of a quarantine tank or dip, many of these conditions can be eliminated. Water chemistry is also crucial in maintaining a Coral Beauty. The maintaining of stable water parameters and temperature, and well oxygenated water will help to provide a healthy environment for your angel. Creating an environment that provides the best scenario to that in nature and reducing as much stress as can be, will also help to ensure that your fish is healthy and happy. This will afford you many years of enjoyment and excitement as a result of adding one of these beauties to your bioload. One other thing to reduce the chances of you having a problem with your fish or introducing foreign organisms into your main tank is to carefully and thoroughly inspect the Coral beauty before buying it and putting it in your tank. Red flags are the occurrence of (HLLE) head and lateral line disease, faded coloration, though sometimes this will be evident because the fish is stressed or scared. Coral Beauties showing red blemishes or lines on the body or fins, white or gray matter at the base of its fins, cloudy eye appearance, rapid breathing and lethargic behavioral patterns should be passed up due to the likelihood of serious health problems with the fish and the fact that these conditions can be spread to fish in your tank if you do in fact decide to bring the specimen home.
A very beautiful fish that is not very expensive, easy to care for and maintain given the right conditions plus this fish is fairly common to purchase in the aquarium trade.