The yellow angelfish, also called the gold hob, is a saltwater fish species from the family Pomacanthidae. It can be found in many different colors and patterns throughout the Pacific Ocean. Its range extends from sub-tropical waters of New South Wales to the Great Barrier Reef and Palau to Micronesia.
The yellow angel has no special requirements for its captive environment provided that it is kept in proper conditions. It shelters in caves and crevices where it feeds on zooplankton, algae and detritus by using specialized mouth parts adapted for grazing or suspension feeding. Like other similar species, this fish changes sex growth: young fishes are females with bright vertical stripes and when they become bigger they turn into males.
Yellow Angelfish Fish Origin
The yellow angelfish belongs to the family Pomacanthidae, genus Pomacanthus, subgenus Armatolagulus and species heliodor (Lobel 1942). Synonyms: Chaetodontoplus heliodor (Lobel 1942), Apolemichthys nitidus Nichols 1926, Apolemichthys nitidissimus Smith 1931, Chaetodontoplus aurantias Smith 1953. Later this fish was transferred in Pseudamiops anthrax Quoy & Gaimard 1825 as junior synonym until it is considered valid again under its original name (Regan 1916).
Yellow Angelfish Fish Size
The small size of this species has made it a very good aquarium specimen, although due to its larger adult size it should be kept in an aquarium at least 60 gallons. It reaches up to 18 centimeters in length, which is approximately 7 inches. As mentioned above, the yellow angelfish changes sex and when it becomes bigger it turns into males. This process can take 8-10 years growing up in an aquarium or 10-15 years growing up in the wild . Sexual differences are more noticeable on smaller individuals of this species. Sexual dimorphism is present from juvenile stages: male fish have elongated dorsal spines and their first anal spine is longer than the second one, while in case of females these differences are not very obvious.
Yellow Angelfish Fish Colors and Markings
There is a wide variety of patterns and colors that can be found for this species. For example, they can have more than ten different color shades varying from silver to gold, fawn or black with vertical stripes or without any pattern at all. In terms of body markings, we can find horizontal rows of small dark spots on head and dorsal fins as well as other variations depending on the geographical location where they live.. They also have metallic blue pelvic fins with pointed ends. These features make them extremely beautiful fish appreciated by many aquarists who would like to add them to their aquariums. You will also notice that they have a golden spot on their first dorsal spine and then the tip of this spine is black.
Yellow Angelfish Fish Tankmates
As most members of its family, the yellow angelfish usually lives in pairs and it does not like to be kept with other fish species. They will be aggressive with other individuals of their own specie, as well as with similar looking fishes (angels) so they should be carefully introduced into the tank . You have to bear in mind that they may attack any other fish when feeding time has come and even eat smaller fishes if there is no other option for them to get some food. In case an aquarium cannot house more than one couple, you can use bigger specimens as long as these ones are not aggressive.
Also, they should be kept with sturdy tank mates as yellow angelfishes can be very fast and active and this makes them dangerous for less durable fishes that could end up seriously injured or even killed by their strong spines . In terms of tank size, 50 gallons is more than enough to house a couple of big specimens together with other fish species without troubles. On the other hand, 100-gallon tanks are better because they provide extra space for these lovely fishes to feel happy and safe in what is their natural environment. So, you can add small to medium sized robust tank mates like angels (Pomacanthidae), Triggers (Balistidae) or puffers (Tetradontidae). Also, if you want to keep them in a community tank with fishes from different families, the best option is using robust species of medium size. Another thing that should be taken into account is a minimum amount of three pairs per tank, as this specie shows strong social behavior and it does not feel happy when living alone.
Yellow Angelfish Fish Care
When it comes to care for these fishes, water conditions have to be very well balanced all the way through their lifetime because they are sensitive to changes in their environment . After an appropriate quarantine period (one month), you can introduce them into your main aquarium where a pH level between 8.1-8.4 and a specific gravity between 1.020 and 1.025 will be more than enough . You can also use an undergravel filter to preserve the oxygen level up as this specie loves slow water currents.
Yellow Angelfish Fish Lifespan
In case you provide your yellow angelfish with optimal conditions, their lifespan can reach up to ten years in captivity and fifteen if they are wild fishes . If you want them to grow bigger and stronger, add brine shrimp (Artemia) into their diet as it contains proteins which will help then get a beautiful coloration. Also, mix some flakes food for herbivores occasionally and feed them about three times a day [do not overfeed them]. Bear in mind that these fishes like eating at night time so do not be surprised if you see the male devouring all the food after dark.
Yellow Angelfish Fish Diet and Feeding
As we have mentioned before, they are omnivorous fishes so they should receive a varied diet that includes some veggies . Some fresh vegetables like zucchini, green beans or peas can be a great addition to their menu while dried seaweeds are also considered to be very useful for this species [do not overfeed them]. In case you want to feed your yellow angelfish with live food , black worms (regularly sized) and red shrimps are well accepted as well as brine shrimp (Artemia). You will see that these fishes grow faster when fed regularly with meat-based foods though it is important not to neglect plants in their diet.
Yellow Angelfish Fish Gender Differences
Yellow angelfish fish are not able to change the color of their body and fins according to their gender, but you can differentiate males from females by looking at two key elements: the shape of the gill cover and pelvic fin [the latter will have a slightly different shape (tad longer) in female individuals].
Yellow Angelfish Fish Breeding
If you want your yellow angelfish couple to spawn properly, it is very important that they feel happy and safe in their environment . Once they get used to be well fed and cared for, they may start mating activities naturally though some people prefer to hormones for this process . Anyway, once the female builds a proper nest, the male will fertilize some eggs and then she takes care of them by constantly fanning with her fins. Underwater plants can be included in their aquarium for this purpose, so you should add some floating ones as well.
Yellow Angelfish Fish Aquarium Setup
Obviously, it is always better to introduce yellow angelfish fish into tanks that already have live underwater elements like an undergravel filter or peat (for water softening), a protein skimmer (to remove organic wastes) and also substrate heating system . Also, do not forget to provide your fishes with caves made from rock since they need to feel secure all the time [they are nocturnal predators actually]. If you decide to combine yellow angelfish with other species, make sure that territorial disputes are avoided [they are very peaceful species] or they should have the same origin (country) and be about the same size in order to reduce any potential problems [better if you add them all at once]
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