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Coral Beauty Angelfish Overview, Care & Breeding Guide

Coral beauty angelfish are some of the most elegant and mesmerizing saltwater aquarium fish.

This beautiful fish is a highly sought-after fish among aquarists due to its colorful appearance. It is surprisingly easy to care for, making it ideal for beginners.

Here you will learn about the ideal aquarium size, water conditions, compatibility, and other coral beauty angelfish care tips.

Species Overview

The Coral Beauty (Centropyge bispinosa) fish is smaller than the angelfish.

The fish is a member of the Dwarfangelfish of genus entropy. It is also known by other names, including dusky angelfish and two-spined angelfish.

These are excellent saltwater fish for beginners. Their eye-catching appearance makes them a star in the aquarium.

Apart from their attractive appearance, coral beauties are also sought after since they keep algae in aquariums in check. They are small in size so you can save a group of them in a moderately-sized aquarium.

Natural Habitat

Coral beauties are found in the Indo-Pacific region, ranging from East Africa and Australia to South East Asia.

They are mostly found on the rocky reefs in small groups or areas with rich corals, such as the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and other reef areas in Tahiti, Tuamoto Island, and East Africa.

They are also found in deep open waters. But the species are rare. They rarely swim up to open water or venture out to food-rich areas of the reef.



Coral beauties come in different colors, depending on their geographic location. Their color varies from beautiful shades of green to blue and yellow hues.

The younger fish typically are red with blue and purple lines. The red color changes to yellow or orange as the fish grows.

The heads and caudal fins of the coral beauties are covered in solid blue tones. But ventral and pectoral fins often have different colors. The fish have a flattened half-disk-shaped appearance. Unlike some other species, the color of the fish won’t face as they age.


Coral beauty fish can grow to a maximum size of 4 inches. But in aquarium conditions, the fish are not likely to reach that size. Most of these tend to rise to measures between 2 and 2 ½ inches.


They can live for an average of 8 to 10 years when captive-bred and 15 years in the wild.

Behavior & Temperament

Coral beauty angelfish are shy and prefer to hide in caves and tanks inside the aquarium. The fish is not ‘reef safe’ since it picks on soft coral polyps. It has a relatively peaceful temperament but may become territorial and aggressive if the aquarium size is small.

Tank Mates

Coral beauty angelfish can get along with most non-aggressive or semi-aggressive fish. You can put them with clownfish, dwarf lionfish, Foxface, mimic saddle filefish, and other non-aggressive saltwater fish.

You can keep them with slow swimming fish such as seahorses and mandarin fish. But remember that these are highly active.

So, you will have to feed them at various intervals to slow-moving fish. Don’t use automatic feeders, as it will cause the slow-moving fish to starve in the tank.

If you want to keep coral beauties with smaller fish, you introduce them after adding small fish to the tank. It will ensure that they won’t harass and bully the fresh fish. They have a territorial instinct that becomes triggered if a new fish is entered into the aquarium.

Coral beauty is not compatible with stony corals and sessile invertebrates. Moreover, the fish will be aggressive towards its kind if the aquarium is small.

To avoid aggression among coral beauties, you should keep them in a large tank and introduce the fish at the same time. These tend to pick on newcomers.

It would help if you decided how many coral beauties to keep in an aquarium. Buy them at once instead of introducing new members over time. It is essential the fish act aggressively toward newer members.

Ideal Tank Conditions

Coral beauties are saltwater fish that should be kept in an aquarium with a pH level between 8.1 and 8.4.

The temperature of the water should be between 740F and 820F (230C and 270C). Make sure that the water inside the tank remains clean at all times.

You may want to regularly replace the water to ensure that the fish remain healthy.

Coral beauty angelfish swimming towards camera

Tank Setup

Coral beauty angelfish require about 50 gallons of an aquarium. The aquarium is considered medium-sized as per saltwater aquarium standards.

A common question is why the fish requires 50 gallons tank when it is so small. The reason for a giant aquarium is that the fish are highly active. They can become territorial and display aggressive behavior if kept in a small aquarium.

Coral beauties prefer tanks with plenty of hiding places. The fish is not considered reef safe as it picks on corals like the Acropora ssp. and Xenia polyps. Still, you need to provide them with sheltering, such as caves found in coral reefs.

The tank should have lots of rocks and caves that will serve as hiding places for the angelfish. Algae also grow on the stones that coral beauties like to nibble on.

Rocks or other hiding places are essential. Otherwise, they will become stressed out. They tend to feel more secure and less prone to diseases if provided with plenty of hiding spaces.

You can keep any substrate for the fish. But live rock reef rubble serves the best for the fish. The wreckage can cycle nitrogen, thereby making the water less toxic for the fish.

Lighting won’t matter for coral beauty angelfish.

The fish inhabits deep zones in the wild. Moderate lighting is enough for the fish. It will also promote the growth of the algae that serve as food for the fish.

The air pump is also an optional aquarium accessory for coral beauty angelfish. You should install the air pump only if the filter does not create adequate fish flow – they like swimming in the current. Creating a proper flow using the air pump will be pleasing for the fish.

Food & Diet

Coral beauty angelfish food should be a mixture of marine algae and meaty food. In the wild, coral beauties graze on plants and also eat tiny crustaceans. Should offer the fish a varied diet to ensure that it remains healthy. Give small invertebrates as an occasional treat to the fish and plant-based food as a staple.

You can also feed them commercially processed food suitable for angelfish. Shaved frozen shrimp is also a favorite diet of the fish that you should feed occasionally. You can make the frozen shrimp yourself at home.

In case your aquarium has algal growth, the fish will eat them. If there are no algae inside the aquarium, you should consider feeding them algae-based feet bought from the store.

Remember that some coral beauties are picky. You should provide them with various food items such as live foods, pellets, and flake foods. The fish will eventually eat something that will be suitable for their taste.

The feeding frequency depends on the source of algae in the aquarium. If the tank has enough algae, you should feed the fish once a day. You should provide them more frequently if there is no algal growth inside the aquarium.

Consider feeding the fish as much food as they can consume in five minutes. Avoid overfeeding the fish as it can increase the risk of disease.

Additionally, it would help if you fed color-enhancing saltwater flakes to ensure that the fish maintains their vibrant color. But you should not provide this type of food frequently as it is not nutritious and can fade the color.

Breeding Guidelines

The first step in breeding coral beauties is determining the gender of a group of fish. Male fish are generally larger than females. Apart from size, it’s hard to decide on the gender of the fish. You cannot determine gender by looking at patterns and other physical attributes.

You can identify a male coral beauty by the behavior towards other fish of the same fish. Males tend to be territorial and act aggressively towards other males.

Pair the coral beauty angelfish to see if they attack each other. They are more likely a couple if they don’t attack one another. It would help if you kept the pair in a large 70 gallons aquarium for breeding purposes. Feed them nutritious food at regular intervals.

The aquarium should not be brightly lit as it will discourage the pair from breeding. You should schedule a night-day cycle to encourage the team to spawn.

The couples may mate after some weeks or months, after which the female will release eggs. The eggs will float freely in the tank and get fertilized by the male.

Coral beauty angelfish hiding in reef

Coral Beauty Angelfish Diseases & Care

Coral beauty angelfish are hardy that will be fine with proper care. If you buy a healthy coral beauty, it is not likely to become sick during its lifetime.

To ensure that you buy a healthy coral beauty, you should quarantine the newly purchased fish. Consider keeping the fish in a separate aquarium for at least a month to see any signs of disease.

Coral beauty angelfish can get fungal, bacterial, and parasitic diseases, particularly if caught in the wild. Here are the common conditions that can affect coral beauty and the treatment option.

Parasitic Diseases

Look at the body of the fish to see signs of disease. If there are white spots, the fish is most likely suffering from parasitic infection.

White spots that are small in size are symptoms of a saltwater ich disease. If there are several white spots that you can’t count, the fish will most probably suffer from a severe illness known as marine velvet.

It can treat both diseases by increasing the maximum temperature that the fish can handle in a separate tank.

Dip the infected fish in fresh water for about 15 minutes. You can also give the fish copper based-medication for ich and marine velvet.

A treatment option for external parasites includes raising the water temperature to 820F or 280C. Raising the temperature will kill the parasite attached to the fish. Giving medicate food can also provide relief from the parasitic infection.

Parasite on coral beauties in the reef environment is not easy to treat. You can use formulaic solutions or copper and quinine-based drugs to treat the disease. Consider giving metronidazole to treat the parasitic infection.

The medication will cease the growth of parasites, thereby treating the infection. It is reef safe that can be fed directly or mixed with water. Medicines that contain metronidazole include National Metro Pro of Fish Pharmaceutical and Fish Zole of Thomas Laboratories.

Bacterial Diseases

Bacterial diseases are mostly secondary infections. The fish can get the condition after getting a protozoan or parasitic disease.

A particular common disease among saltwater fish is the Vibrio bacteria that affect the fish’s internal body and turn into Popeye, Dropsy, or Red Streaks on the skin. The bacteria is fast-acting that can kill the fish within days. An infected fish can die within two days of the infection.

The treatment option for bacterial diseases includes freshwater dips of up to 15 minutes to kill the bacteria. Should keep the pH level and temperature at the ideal conditions.

You should start by keeping the fish in freshwater for 5 minutes and increase the duration to up to 15 minutes if it shows no stress signs. Any medications that contain cleated copper should be given in half doses since angelfish is sensitive to this element.

You can use Sechems Metronidazole to treat popeye, dropsy, and septicemia diseases. But don’t use the medication for more than a week. The drug can be given directly or mixed with the water if the fish does not eat the medicine.

Viral Diseases

Coral beauty angelfish can also get infected with a viral disease. One such condition is the lymphocytes which are also known as cauliflower disease.

The disease is named due to the formation of white bumps that appear similar to cauliflower. It is common in a tank with insufficient quality water. The white spots will cover the fish’s skin and fins, due to which it can sometimes be misdiagnosed as marine ich.

Once the viral disease progresses, the white spots will join to form a cauliflower-like appearance covering the skin, fins, and also gills. There is no known treatment for the viral disease. You should remove the infectious fish from the tank.

Coral beauties can also get infected with fungal diseases due to dirty water. It would help if you kept the water conditions of the aquarium within ideal parameters.

Moreover, it is essential to change to about 30 percent of the water every month. An air filter should be installed so that toxic chemicals such as nitrates are removed from the tank.

Prevent contact of fish suffering from a disease with healthy fish. The more you know about the aquarium fish, the more likely you will learn about the symptoms. Also, the sooner you start the treatment, the more likely the fish will become healthy again.

Where to Buy?

You can find many online and local stores that offer coral beauty angelfish for sale. Coral beauties are readily available and affordable. The saltwater fish used to be caught from the wild. But now they are captive bred and are more healthy and active.

Captive-bred fish are highly adaptable and resilient to many diseases.

Wrapping Up

Coral beauty angelfish care is surprisingly comfortable. Beginner aquarists can easily care for the fish. The fish is a hardy creature that can live with others.