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Marine   Fishes

Emperor angelfish
(Pomacanthus imperator)

Emperor angelfish

Alternative species (click on the thumbnail to see the card)

  • None (for the moment!)

Names

Scientific name
Pomacanthus imperator
Pomacanthodes imperator
Chaetodon imperator
Chaetodon nicobariensis
Acanthochaetodon nicobariensis
Acanthochaetodon imperator
Holacanthus imperator
Holancanthus geometricus
Holacanthus nicobariensis

Common name
Emperor angelfish

Origin

what are its countries of origin?

Origin: Red Sea, Indian and South Pacific Oceans
Natural habitat: he it lives up to 70 m deep in coral-rich reefs.

Dimorphism

what are the physical differences between males and females?

None

Group

Group

Pomacanthidae

Volume

what is the minimum volume for this species?

1000 L / 220 Imp gal / 265 US gal

Parameters

what are the water parameters for the maintenance of this fish?

T°: 26°C or 79°F
pH: 8.2 to 8.4
Density: 1022 to 1024

Difficulty

Difficulty

Average

Size

what is the maximum size of this fish?

30 to 40cm (12 to 15.8")

Longevity

what is the average life expectancy of this fish?

25 to 40 years

Living zone

in which area of the aquarium does this fish live?

Middle

Individuals

sociability of the species

Food

How to feed the Emperor angelfish?

Food

How to feed the Emperor angelfish?

This fish is omnivorous with a vegetarian tendency. The basis of its diet will consist of poached salad and lots of seaweed. To complete the diet, add live prey and pieces of mussels or fish, tubifex, nereis, shrimps, chironomid larvae... Finally, note that some less recalcitrant fish also accept dry food (granules, flakes...).

Don't be surprised, this fish has a good appetite because of its 30/40 cm (12 to 15.8") and its intense activity! Do not hesitate to feed it several times a day to satisfy it.

Easy to tame and not very shy, you can get it used to come and feed in your fingers!

Behavior

What kind of behavior does the Emperor angelfish have?

Behavior

What kind of behavior does the Emperor angelfish have?

The emperor fish swims along the rocky areas and near caves which reassures him. If he feels safe, he often goes away to swim in open water. It is a very good swimmer who likes to work out in the current. He is therefore quite active, day and night.

Pacific overall, it is territorial and aggressive with its fellow fish. On the other hand, it is generally tolerant towards other species, even if some aggressive behaviour has already been observed (especially towards other Pomacanthus).

In case of danger, it rushes into a hiding place where it does not stay very long. It can also emit a characteristic loud noise.

Pomacanthus imperator comportement

Cohabitation

Who can live with the Emperor angelfish?

Cohabitation

Who can live with the Emperor angelfish?

In the wild, adults live alone or in pairs. In aquariums, they are generally found alone, although maintenance in pairs is possible under certain conditions (introduced young and at the same time).

Corals and small fish are part of the diet of the emperor fish. In order to limit the risks, make sure that you feed your fish sufficiently (see "feeding"), that your aquarium is large enough and that your coral population is large enough. Under these conditions, the pecking of a few polyps should not be a problem.

He likes to be dewormed! Don't hesitate to associate it with fish that do this.

Breeding

How to breed the Emperor angelfish?

Breeding

How to breed the Emperor angelfish?

Impossible in captivity.

Young fish are very different from their parents: their coat is dark blue with concentric white circles as a pattern. In the wild, this strong difference in colouring makes it possible to protect the young from the aggressiveness of the adults.

Pomacanthus imperator juvenile

Its aquarium

Which aquarium for the Emperor angelfish?

Its aquarium

Which aquarium for the Emperor angelfish?

It will only be able to live in a reef aquarium if it has been introduced to it at a very young age and has sufficient food. Otherwise, it may attack your corals (see "cohabitation").

Because of its large size and sporty temperament, the bigger the aquarium, the better! A volume of 1000 L / 220 Imp gal / 265 US gal is the strict minimum necessary for proper maintenance of this species.

Install a powerful filtration system that will guarantee a good water quality (it must remain very clear) and a consequent stirring. Indeed, the emperor fish likes the current and well oxygenated water.

Set up sufficiently large hiding places so that your emperor fish feels safe.

Good To know

Find all additional information!

Good To know

Find all additional information!

Prefer to acquire a young fish, or at worst a sub-adult. Indeed, they are much easier to acclimatize than adults. Their colour pattern being very different at these ages (dark blue background and white circles), it is not difficult to determine if it is a young fish or not. Tip: If you are new to this species and want to limit common acclimatization problems, ask the vendor to hand out a few artemia and discard any fish that refuse them.

Pomacanthus imperator juvenile 2

Although the emperor fish is quite robust, it is relatively expensive. Therefore, it is best to have some experience in marine aquarium keeping before you get into the business of maintaining this fish.

Did you know that this fish is edible? Its flesh is reminiscent of salmon... We can't tell you, we don't eat fish! :)

The emperor fish has a needle on the lower edge of the operculum.

Yours photos!

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