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Marine Ornamental Fish & Invertebrate Breeders • View topic - Non-Dwarf Marine Angelfish Breeding/Spawning Overview

Non-Dwarf Marine Angelfish Breeding/Spawning Overview

Non-Dwarf Marine Angelfish Breeding/Spawning Overview

Postby mpedersen » Sun Mar 11, 2007 11:47 am



1 - Species covered in this forum:

The Family Pomacanthidae - fish in this family other than the dwarf and the lyretail angelfishes are covered in this forum and they are collectively known as large angelfishes. Genus and species included are:

- the "Banded angelfish"
- the "Armitage angelfish"
- the "Griffis angelfish"
- the "Reunion angelfish"
- the "Tiger angelfish"
- the "Threespot angelfish"
- the "Goldspotted angelfish"
- the "Yellow-ear angelfish"
- the "Yellowtail angelfish"
- the "Ballina angelfish"
- the "Bluespotted angelfish"
- the "Orangeface angelfish"
- the "Conspicuous angelfish"
- the "Velvet angelfish"
- the "Scribbled angelfish"
- the "Black-velvet angelfish"
- the "Queensland yellowtail angelfish"
- the "Vermiculated angelfish"

- the "Blueface angelfish"
- the "Bluestriped angelfish"
- the "Guinean angelfish"

- the "Queen angelfish"
- the "Clarion angelfish"
- the "Blue angelfish"
- the "Clipperton angelfish"
- the "King angelfish"
- the "Rock beauty"
- the "Bluering angelfish"
- the "Grey angelfish"
- the "Arabian angelfish"
- the "Goldentail angelfish"
- the "Emperor angelfish"
- the "Yellowbar angelfish"
- the "Bluegirdled angelfish"
- the "French angelfish"
- the "Old woman angelfish"
- the "Semicircle angelfish"
- the "Sixbar angelfish"
- the "Yellowface angelfish"
- the "Cortez angelfish"
- the "Royal angelfish"

For an overview of the whole family Pomancanthidae, look at .

2 – Common characteristics:
This group is composed by the “Big guys” of the angelfish family. These well-known species range from 6 to 18 inches (15 – 45 cm) in length and exhibit different color patterns from young to adults. Their feeding habits include meaty foods and algae but, while many species will thrive with a mixed diet of either frozen and fresh foods, some do poorly in captivity, probably due to very specific diets mainly on sponges and tunicates.

Although most of them are usually seen individually or in pairs, each individual needs plenty of room to swim and forage.

For more basic information, visit -

3 – Reproduction:

3.1 – Sex determination:
Sequential hermaphrodites (protogynous). Although protogyny is suspected for all species, it has not been confirmed in all of them.

3.2 – Sexual organization:
Usually form pairs but some species keep multi-females harems (Thresher (1982) has compiled information about this on some species including H. tricolor, P. imperator and P. diacanthus). Some Holocanthus sp. and Apolemichthys xanthurus form larger harems / aggregations in the wild.
Pair bonds may or may not be monogamous in the wild.

3.3 – Sexing:
As with many protogynous fishes, males tend to be larger then females. Sexual dichromatism is usually not present. Some known species-specific sexual differences (dimorphic or dichromatic) include:

Chaetodontoplus conspicullatus - males are more elongate than females
C. duboulayi - males are more elongate than females. Female's flanks are scribbled with a random wormlike pattern of blue. In males, the flank markings become horizontal lines.
C. melanosoma - Male has yellow paterning on the head
C. meredithi - Male's face is blue with yellow spots.
C. personifer - Males are more elongate than females, different facial patterning
Holocanthus passer - Males are larger and have white pelvic fins, females are smaller and have pale yellow pelvic fins.
H. tricolor – Males may have red dots on the caudal fin.
Pomacanthus imperator – Males with a darker face (anterior to the eye) than females, that gets more pronounced during spawning. Females get less bright in color during spawning.

3.4 - Pairing / Setting Up Broodstock:
As with all protogynous fishes you can either get a big and one or more small fishes or go with two or more juveniles and wait for them to settle and establish who is who. However, as some species are hard to feed and adults can be even harder to train on other food items, acquiring 3 – 4 inches fishes (usually non-adults in this group) is advisable.

3.5 – Courtship:
In P. imperator, the male meets the female several times at the same spot before rising. Even the spawning ascent is preceded by “false starts” and, when it finally occurs, they swim upwards for 3 – 9 meters. The male stays with the female for a while after swimming down from the rise and than depart across the reef (probably after the next female (from Thresher, 1982)

3.6 – Spawning:
The angelfish in this grouping of genera are Pelagic spawners. Observations suggest that spawning occurs at dusk. In most cases, pairs rise from the reef, release gametes as the apex of the rise, and then dash back to the reef. In some cases, mates have been seen to interchange between spawning pairs on the reef.

4 – Eggs:

4.1 – Size:
H. ciliaris - 600 - 700 um
H. tricolor - 600 - 700 um
P. arcuatus - 900 um

Additional ranges per Thresher:
Holocanthus sp. - 650 to 850 um
Chaetodontoplus sp. - 820 to 880 um
Pomacanthus sp. - 900 um

4.2 – Quantity:
H. tricolor – 2700 to 4600 (estimated by ovary count of hydrating eggs)
P. arcuatus – 25.000

4.3 – Characteristics
The eggs have one oil globule (P. arcuatus at least)

4.4 – Incubation period/Hatching temp:
Pomacanthus arcuatus/P. paru – less than 24 hours

5 – Larvae:

5.1 – Size at hatching:
Not reported.
Pomacanthus arcuatus – From I guess 3 mm (Anderson, personal opinion)

5.2 – Yolk sac present at hatch: Yes
5.3 – Mouth present at hatch: No
5.4 – Eyes developed at hatch: No

6 - Rearing:

6.1 - Breeding & Rearing Techniques
Martin Moe reared P. arcuatus/P. paru in 250 and 400 gallon BRT.

6.2 – Day at first feeding:
P. arcuatus/P. paru – around 2 dph

6.3 - Starvation Time:
If known, include the time post-hatch that larval will live without feeding. This can often be found in larval studies where scientists do not feed the larvae, as well a accounts of failed larval rearing attempts.

6.4 – Feeding scheme:
P. arcuatus/P. parularvae fed on copepod nauplii from the beginning; artemia nauplii from day 10. On the trials, Martin used wild plankton to enough food available when copepods were not enough.

6.5 – Age at meta:
P. arcuatus/P. paru - 35 - 40 days.

7 – Species been reared successfully
Apolemichthys arcuatus - Frank Baensch has bred this species at RCT though they no longer offer it for sale.
Pomacanthus (paru X arcuatus) hybrid and Pomacanthus arcuatus - Martin Moe has successfully artificially induced wild caugth pairs to spawn in captivity and raised the youngs back in the 70's.
Pomacanthus asfur - a Taiwanese aquaculture farm
Pomacanthus maculosus - a Taiwanese aquaculture farm
Chaetodontoplus septentrionalis - a Taiwanese aquaculture farm

8 – References

8.1 - Articles

Hourigan, T. F. & Kelley, C. D. Histology and social behavior of H. tricolor. Marine Biology 88, 311 322 (1985) - http://www.springerlink.com/content/l105h4520t246060/

Moe, M. Spawning and rearing the large angelfish Pomacanthus sp. Aquarium Frontiers
http://web.archive.org/web/200210262245 ... efault.asp

Thresher, R. E. Reef Fish – Behavior and Ecology on the Reef and in the Aquarium, 1980

Thresher, R.E. Courtship and Spawning in the Emperor Angelfish Pomacanthus imperator, with Comments on Reproduction by Other Pomacanthid Fishes. Marine Biology 70, 149-156 (1982) - http://www.springerlink.com/content/v055821p7256m092

8.2 - Web Content

Martin Moe - A New Dawn for the Culture of Marine Ornamental Fish Advanced Aquarists http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/jul
Last edited by Anonymous on Mon Sep 01, 2008 5:55 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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