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Bicolor Angelfish (Centropyge bicolor)

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Bicolor Angelfish

Scientific Name: Centropyge bicolor
Family: Pomacanthidae

About the Bicolor Angelfish

Species Type: Saltwater Fish
Category: Dwarf Angelfish

Care Level: Difficult. Healthy specimens may be difficult to find, as stress during shipping is normal. Triggering a feeding response in captivity may present a challenge, or meeting the dietary demands of the species may require special daily care. Is prone to disease, requiring high water quality. Proper acclimation and quarantine are essential, and the use of a UV Sterilizer is suggested. Recommended for advanced marine hobbyists only.
Origin: Indo Pacific, Fiji, Australia
Compatibility/Temperament: The Bicolor Angel does well in most mixed communities. They can be kept in pairs, and can even be kept with other members of the Centropyge genus in larger sized tanks. In tanks under 6 feet in length, aggression is often shown towards other algae grazing fish, such as Tangs, Rabbitfish, and other angelfish. In larger tanks this is generally not a concern. They are generally reef safe, but may sometimes nip at corals. This seems to vary from one individual to the next, so if kept in a reef be sure to have a back up plan if yours begins to nip at coral polyps. They are rarely a threat to large-polyped stony corals and clam mantles.


The Bicolor Angel is a stunning, bold fish. The rear of the body is a deep blue, with the front half of the body, face, and caudal fins banana yellow. The small details are also striking. On the forehead above the eyes is a wide blue stripe, resembling eye brows. Additionally, just under the mouth is a small orange stripe, and near the temple area is an orange dot. This is truly one of the most beautiful fish that is capable of being maintained in the home aquarium.

Unfortunately, with its beauty comes risk. The Bicolor Angel ships horribly and finding healthy specimens can be nearly impossible. They are often bloated or have damage in the eye areas. The lips are very often damaged in shipping. Oddly enough, this species seems resistant to parasites, but tends to fall victim quickly to the stress and rigors of shipping and collection. Be very careful when picking a species for purchase, and quarantine for as long as possible, with a minimum of 3 to 4 weeks.

In the aquarium the Bicolor Angel may hide for several days or longer until it adjusts to life in captivity. They may also be difficult to feed until well acclimated. Algae sheets will be required initially to allow the fish to feed at its own leisure, especially during the quarantine period. Once acclimated, they are a very active fish and almost always one of the first fish you see when looking at the tank. They will spend their day grazing on the rock and sand, eating copepods, amphipods, and other microfauna. Their bold behavior rivals that of a Regal Angelfish, and they are a true joy to keep.

Note: Angelfish of the Centropyge genus are highly sensitive to copper medications.

Bicolor Angelfish Diet

Omnivore- will eat both herbivore and carnivore preparations. They eagerly accept dried and frozen foods, and several feedings per day are suggested. An ample supply of live rock to allow for grazing is almost mandatory for this genus. They struggle in tanks without a mature live rock and sand bed, but are extremely sturdy in mature aquarium environments with live rock.


Grows to about 6'' in length. They are usually available at the LFS in the 3'' size, and are very slow growers in the home aquarium.

Minimum Tank Suggestion

55 gallons

Ideal water parameters for Bicolor Angelfish

Marine fish are highly sensitive animals with very specific care requirements. Most all saltwater species will require similar water conditions, designed to replicate that of natural seawater. Ammonia and nitrite levels should absolute zero, temperature at 76F to 80F, and salinity at 1.024 to 1.026. Although some fish are tolerant of lower levels of Nitrate, the goal in every aquariums should be to keep Nitrate as close to zero as possible, and certainly under 20ppm. Finally, maintaining a stable pH of 8.0 to 8.4 is desired. Achieving this is made easier by monitoring alkalinity, which should be kept at 8-12 DKH, and calcium, which is targeted at 400 to 460ppm.

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