Friday, February 5, 2010

Flameback Angels

Flameback Angels are a small angel that makes a beautiful, colorful resident in saltwater aquariums. These Angels are adored by the people who keep them. Centropyge acanthops is known under several different common names in English, such as African flameback angelfish, African flameback angel, African pygmy angelfish, African pygmy angel, Orangeback angelfish, African cherubfish, and Jumping bean. The African Flameback Angelfish, also known as the African Pygmy Angelfish or Orangeback Angelfish, has striking contrasts of blue and orange-yellow colors. While the body is predominately blue, there is a broad and bright orange to yellow swatch from the head along the back to the tip of the dorsal fin.

Flameback Angels are a small angel that makes a beautiful, colorful resident in saltwater aquariums. These Angels are adored by the people who keep them.

The Flameback Angel often brightens up an aquarium with its activity and coloration. However, it may be kept most easily singly. Flameback Angelfish can be aggressive toward fish that they perceive as threats to their territories. Often, fish of similar species, size, or temperament are not accepted. To remedy this, a larger tank would be ideal, in order to allow each fish its own sizeable territory. Flameback Angels have also been reported to nip at coral polyps, which could be a problem in reef tanks, so they must be observed when placed in such situations. They are generally considered to be reef safe and are reported to show the less destructive behavior than most dwarf angels. If you must keep a dwarf angel in a reef environment, it is often recommended that you choose a Flameback Angel. Flameback Angels usually do best in established aquariums containing live rock, which they will often pick through in order to supplement their diets with small organisms.

At maturity, Flameback Angels may reach about three inches (7.5 centimeters) in length. They are deep blue to bluish-purple in color and have bright yellow to orange shading along their backs, from whence their names arise. This coloring extends from the top of the head down the back toward the tail.

Flameback Angels are found along the western coast of Africa, and are commonly collected from the Kenyan coast. They are also known as African Flameback Angel Fish, probably for their origin.

The African flameback angelfish is found in the Western Indian Ocean, from the coast of Somalia down to East London in South Africa. You can also be encountered it around certain oceanic islands. Its range includes the waters of the Cargados Carajos Shoals (dependency of Mauritius), the Chagos Archipelago (British Indian Ocean Territory), Kenya, Madagascar, the Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Oman, Reunion, the Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, Tanzania, and Yemen.

The African flameback angelfish inhabits environments with coral rubble and is found from 6 m / 20 ft down to a depth of 40 m / 130 ft. It forms groups consisting of up to about 10 individuals.

The largest scientifically measured African flameback angelfish was 8.0 cm / 3.1 in.

The African flameback angelfish is a strikingly coloured fish where golden-yellow to orange shades contrast sharply against dark blue and purple. The upper sides, head, dorsal and caudal fins are golden yellow to orange, while the lower two-thirds of the body and the anal fin is dark blue and adorned with a profusion of close-set purple dots. In many specimens, a blue ring can be seen around the eye.
The African flameback angelfish (Centropyge acanthops) looks very similar to its close relative the Brazilian Flameback angelfish (Centropyge aurantonotus), but the African flameback angelfish has a somewhat transparent yellow caudal fin.

It is not advisable to house the African flameback angelfish in an aquarium smaller than 30 gallons / 115 litres. The aquarium should contain plenty of hiding spots and a lot of algae covered live rock for grazing.

The African flameback angelfish is considered reef safe with caution. It may nip at small-polyped stony corals.

The recommended water temperature for an African Flameback angelfish is 72-78º F / 22-25.5º C. The specific gravity should be in the 1.020-1.025 range and the pH-value at 8.1-8.4.

In the wild, the African flameback angelfish feeds chiefly on algae and small invertebrates. It is important to provide it with a varied omnivore diet in the aquarium to keep it healthy. You can for instance combine fresh and dried marine algae, spirulina, angelfish preparations, high-quality flakes or pellets suitable for algaevore fish, and various types of meaty foods such as mysid shrimp and brine shrimp.

A Flameback Angel is best kept in a reef environment, so long as they are not nipping at other inhabitants of the aquarium. Conditions would remain in the mid to upper 70 degrees Fahrenheit (23 to 26 degrees Celsius) with a pH value of 8.3 or 8.4. The specific gravity should remain between 1.020 and 1.025 if the fish is kept alone, and normally the lower end of this range would aid in keeping parasitic infection at bay. If it is kept with invertebrates, specific gravity should remain between 1.023 and 1.025.

Flameback Angels should have a variety of foods in their diets to ensure they are receiving proper nutrition. Many will accept live mysis shrimp, brine shrimp, lettuce, plankton, vegetable-based foods, or food formulated for Angelfish. Most Flameback Angels graze on algae in their enclosures. When introducing a Flameback Angel to your aquarium, it is important to choose a healthy fish that is eating in the supplier's aquarium. When introducing a Flameback Angel into an established aquarium, you could rearrange the landscaping to render all fish in the enclosure without a territory. Keep the lights in the aquarium off for a day and monitor the fish as closely as possible.