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Coral Beauty Angelfish

Angels - Small

Coral Beauty Angelfish, Centropyge bispinosa

The Coral Beauty is also known as the Two-Spined Angelfish. It comes from the Indo-Pacific and is very common on the Great Barrier Reef of Australia. It is found on the outer reef slopes to depths of 50 metres. The fins and head are dark blue while the body is iridescent orange with dark vertical stripes. Specimens from deeper waters are more faded in coloring. The name 'bispinosa' refers to two stripes, but it is not clear whether this refers to two blue colors in the dorsal fin or two pronounced vertical stripes behind the gills.  If you have the answer to what Gunther was thinking when he named this fish in 1860, contact us through the About Us tab.  The most commonly sold variety is distinguished by its orange body. The Coral Beauty is sometimes confused with the Bluefin or Dusky Angel (Centropyge multispinis), which has a dusky body color and a dorsal fin that produces the effect of  multiple spines.

Coral Beauty Angelfish, Centropyge bispinosa

As a dwarf angel, the Coral Beauty is classified in the genus Centropyge and reaches a size of about four inches in an aquarium. Angelfish are distinguished from Butterflyfish by the spine over their gill cover. This can easily become entangled in nets.

The Coral Beauty is very popular for its coloring, mild temperament, ease of care and its low cost.  The Coral Beauty adapts well to aquarium life and is a good choice for the intermediate aquarist. The main problem with them is that they don't survive shipping well and tend to have low initial survival rates, especially those from the Philippines.  Check with your supplier for an adequate survival guarantee.  A tank of 40 gallons will suffice if there are few other inhabitants, but a tank of 100 gallons is usually better. The Coral Beauty is shy and should have plenty of hiding places, as well as live rock as a source of algae.

Coral Beauty, Centropyge bispinosa

Coral Beauties are omnivorous and will eat algae, dried seaweed, spirulina flakes, mysis shrimp and frozen shrimp. Algae based foods should be the main staple. They will nip at corals, feather dusters and anemones, so they are not a good choice for a reef tank. Feeding should occur 2-3 times per day.

Coral Beauties have been successfully bred in captivity.  The males will control several females.  Spawning occurs at dusk and the eggs are left to float as they develop.

Scientific Name: Centropyge bispinosa
Family: Pomacanthidae
Care: Normal
Temperature: 24 - 28 C; 75 - 82 F
pH: 8.1 - 8.4
dH: 8 - 12
Specific Gravity: 1.020 - 1.024
Size: 10 cm; 4 inches
Breeding: Egg Layer
Life Span: years
Crustacean Safe: No
Coral Safe: No


Only one dwarf angel per tank. Suitable tank mates are Damselfish, Tangs, Hawkfish, Cardinals, Wrasses and Blennies. Coral Beauties are prey for larger fish such as Triggers, Basses and Lionfish. They may harass fish that are smaller than they are. Dwarf angels should be among the last fish introduced into a tank.