The Potter's Angel is a dwarf angel. Most dwarf angels are classified in the genus Centropyge and reach 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
Potter's Angel is named after the director of the Waikiki Aquarium and is native
to the Hawaiian Islands. It is also called the Russet Angelfish.
Unfortunately this fish is so popular that it is being depleted in Hawaii to
supply the saltwater aquarium trade. Most of these fish die in transport
after they are captured.
The Potter's Angel is orange with blue/gray vertical patterns. Males
have more blue than females, which are more predominantly orange. The
angels live in pairs, however males also will associate with several
females. Males will defend against other males. Potter's Angels
prefer clear waters and depths exceeding 10 feet, with adults being found at
greater depths than juveniles. The female shown at the top of the page was
photographed at 35 feet. They feed on algae.
Potter's Angels aren't on our recommended list for tropical fish aquariums,
because they can only be obtained from the wild and collection is endangering
the species and the coral reefs of Hawaii. They are also difficult keep in
an aquarium. Potter's Angels need plenty of time to adapt to aquarium life. A
well established tank of 100 gallons with lots of live rock is best. Potter's
are shy and should have plenty of hiding places and live rock as a source of algae. The water flow should be strong in the
tank and the water should be extremely clear.
Fresh live algae growing in the tank is essential for the healthy
survival of the Potter's Angel. This can be supplemented with dried
seaweed, spirulina flakes and frozen mysis & brine shrimp. The Potters Angel will nip at corals and
anemones. It's need for algae makes it a poor choice for a reef only tank
Potters Angels are egg layers. In the wild, they lay eggs in shallow sections
of coral at dusk. Juveniles are sexually indistinguishable. They all start
as females, with some maturing to males. Males are more elongate and have
a more solid blue coloring over their orange base. They will normally attempt to control several
females for breeding. Breeding in captivity is not documented.
||24 - 28 C; 75 - 82 F
||8.1 - 8.4
||8 - 12
||1.020 - 1.026
||10 cm; 4 inches
Only one mated Potter's Angel pair per tank. No
other dwarf angels. Suitable tank mates should
be numerous, peaceful and might include Clownfish, Damselfish, Hawkfish, Cardinals and Blennies.
They are prey for larger fish such as
Triggers, Basses and Lionfish.