Blue Ring Angelfish Care Guide

Scientific NamePomacanthus annularis
DifficultyMedium
Final Tank Size200+ Gallons
DietOmnivore
Water Parameters72-78 F, pH 8-8.4, Salinity 1.020-1.025
AggressionSemi-aggressive
Size12"
The Blue Ring AngelFish, also known as the Annularis Angelfish, is a great mid sized angelfish that does not bring as much aggression as some of its larger family members. They have a bright coloration and dramatic color change from juvenile to adult. They can be territorial when established in the tank so consider adding them either last or near the end of filling your aquarium.

These angelfish will spend a lot of their time swimming around the tank and travel a lot more than other angelfish. They do not spend much time in one place. This makes them a good display fish and often the center of attention in the aquarium. They will limit what you can put in the tank so be sure to read about their tankmates and reef compatibility before adding them to your aquarium.

An important note is that these angels require a strong amount of lighting, almost coral strength, to remain in good health. They use these powerful lights to aid them in digestion. Low lighting tanks will put a lot of strain on the fish, reducing their lifespan and coloration. Dim tanks can even make them slowly turn blind, which is visible through clouded eyes and slower movement.

Is the Blue Ring AngelFish Reef Safe?

The Blue Ring AngelFish is not reef safe but is more reef safe than some of the larger angelfish. They can only be kept with small polyp stony corals, known as SPS. They will eat most large polyp corals as well as many corals that have no defenses. Noxious corals do well when kept with the Blue Ring AngelFish but should still be monitored. Leather corals will sometimes be fine with the Blue Ring AngelFish but they should be heavily monitored as well.

Worms, such as feather dusters and flat worms, will be under constant threat from the fast swimming Blue Ring AngelFish. While they do not typically fight off worm infestations they will go after both large and small worms occasional. Likewise clams, oysters, scallops, sponges and starfish are all targets from this angelfish. Overtime the Blue Ring AngelFish will pick at these organisms until they starve to death or are killed and eaten. Tanks with established clams should not consider adding an angelfish no matter their previous behavior. As they age they will become more likely to nip at the fleshy mantels.

Anemones can be kept if they are hosted by a large aggressive clownfish. Be sure the clown is hosting the anemone and not just spending some time near it before adding the angelfish.
Do not add the Blue Ring AngelFish to any reef tank unless you are willing to lose coral or are absolutely sure none of the corals in the tank are their targeted foods.

Blue Ring AngelFish Diet

The Blue Ring AngelFish is quick to accept just about any food. In the wild they will feed on encrusting organism like Truncates, sponges algae and zoo plankton. To replicate their wild diet they will need to be fed a mostly herbivore diet with plenty of foods consisting of sponge. This is frequently sold as angelfish food in standard pet stores and should be marked in mixtures sold in specialty shops. Many aquarists will make their own formula to feed the angelfish, which is just a mixture of foods made in bulk that can easily be fed to the tank.

A good diet for the Blue Ring AngelFish should contain:

  • Seaweed | Nori
  • Spirulina
  • Live Sponge
  • Pro-V Gelatin food
  • High quality plant based flakes and pellets
  • Foods made with sponge
  • Algae flakes, pellets and wafers
  • Occasional meaty foods, such as gut loaded live shrimp

In a mature tank with a large amount of live rocks the Blue Ring AngelFish should be fed two or three times. They will get some additional nourishment from the rocks growing algae and the small crustaceans living on the rocks. The meals should consist of however much food the tank can eat in five minutes, sometimes less if you are feeding large pieces of food that they can eat quickly. When feeding the angelfish it is important to feed their herbivore food before feeding any meaty foods. They prefer the meaty foods and will avoid the herbivore foods when given the choice, however they absolutely need the nutrition that the herbivore diets provide.

it is much easier to keep difficult fish fed by using specially made foods such as new life spectrum, NLS, marine fish formula. This is similar to a custom made formula an aquarist would make at home for their aquarium. Buying it can save a good amount of time and effort, however it may not be tailored specifically for your tank. Consider the other fish in the aquarium before deciding to invest in a formula that may or may not be suited for them. In most cases the NLS formula is a good choice.

Seaweed is a popular feeding option. It is cheap, available in many grocery stores and has a lot of nutrition that can be difficult to get the angelfish otherwise. Additionally it is a fun food that you can put wherever you like in the tank, drawing the angelfish into plain view without having their food blow around the tank. To add even more value to the seaweed, which is typically sold dried, you can add liquid supplements and vitamins. A popular choice is Selcon, a vitamin b12 and c supplement that can be found on amazon.

The Blue Ring AngelFish loves meaty foods but again should be fed a mostly herbivore diet. If they are being picky at feeding time you can feed them gut loaded live brine shrimp. This will entice them to eat while still giving them the nutrition they would usually miss out on when eating meaty foods. These shrimp are more difficult to feed, as you will usually need to support a colony of them in a second tank.

Blue Ring AngelFish Tank Requirements

The Blue Ring AngelFish requires good water parameters to stay healthy. While they are hardy when it comes to illness and tank transferring they are quick to see health declines when water quality is ignored. Aim to replace at least 20% of the tanks water each month or 10% every other week. Adding in water as it evaporates does not count towards the water change. If the tank is especially large without having maximum fish capacity or has corals you can reduce the water change to only 15% each month. Macro algae will also help keep the water levels stable but can become invasive and give your tank a weedy look if not properly managed.

If you plan on keeping them in smaller tanks as they grow you need to be mindful about when you move them to a new tank. Keeping the Blue Ring AngelFish in a tank that is too small for them can quickly stunt their growth as they adjust from being in the open sea to a small aquarium. Try to move them to their main tank once their adult coloration is just about finished and in at least a 100 gallon tank until then. Keep in mind the smaller aquarium the juvenile is kept in the more aggressive they will be, especially if it does not have a territory of its own to defend.

Angelfish are not bothered too badly when switching to a new tank. They adjust very quickly and should not have any adverse health effects. Ensure their new tank has algae on the rocks, unclaimed rock work and open feeding areas to ensure they move in and can begin eating quickly. If they are having trouble finding a home to call their own the Blue Ring AngelFish will be less likely to eat. This is especially true with some of the more aggressive tankmates they can be kept with. These angels do not stick to one part of the tank so any open spaces will be acceptable to them. The only place they do not spend too much time is right on the sand bed at the bottom of the tank.

For large tanks with no or few rocks you may need a slightly larger aquarium. While keeping rocks out of the tank does increase the overall swimming area it reduces the number of territories. This can be very problematic with both aggressive and passive tankmates. The larger than required aquarium is a great way to combat the increased aggression a lack of rocks creates.

The Blue Ring AngelFish is often sold quite small and will be much more jumpy in its young age. They should be added to tanks with tight fitting lids. All holes over half an inch should be covered. Commonly missed spots would be areas around the over flow box, heaters and filtration tubes or power cords. Once the angelfish has gotten to its adult size and mindset it is unlikely to jump and can be kept in an open top aquarium. Keep in mind that open top aquariums will have dramatically increased evaporation rates.

Blue Ring AngelFish Tankmates

The Blue Ring AngelFish is the opposite of most angels in that it starts out very aggressive and becomes more passive as it ages. This creates an issue as they are often kept with smaller, more peaceful fish when young. Additionally they are too small to be kept with the fish who should be larger and established before introducing the Blue Ring Angelfish. If you are able to get a transitioning angelfish, shown by a mixture of color between juvenile and adult, then you may be able to add them directly to their final tank with the proper aggression tankmates. Adults can also be added to the main tank without much fear of harassment.

Only large shrimp and crabs over an inch in size should be kept with these angelfish. Young shrimp, sexy shrimp and small, soft shell crabs are at risk. Hermits can be flipped over and picked out of their shell by the angelfish, but this behavior is a coin toss. Either hermit crabs are completely safe or absolutely not safe with a specific angelfish.

Good tankmates are:

  • Large clownfish
  • Lionfish
  • Tangs
  • Basslets
  • Squirrel fish
  • Groupers
  • Some Butterfly Fish
  • Surgeon Fish
  • Eels
  • Aggressive wrasse

Trying to keep them with other angelfish is not recommended in any tank under 250 gallons in size. Additionally they should not be kept with any angelfish of similar coloration. A mated pair can be kept however this is difficult to achieve without purchasing an already existing pair of Blue Ring AngelFish. Larger angelfish are likely to fight with this angel as the blue ring is too aggressive to be dominated by larger angels in most cases.

Introducing them much smaller, either the blue ring or the second angel, may reduce the risk of aggression as long as they are not bullied immediately after adding them to the tank. Placing see through barriers in the tank can also help the fish get accustomed to one another even if they are initially aggressive. If they stop showing aggressive tendencies with a barrier in place it is likely they will not fight once the barrier is removed.

Eels will do well when kept with this angelfish if the tank has plenty of caverns created in the rocks. Both the eel and angel will be swimming between the rocks. Having other fish who also use caverns may make the rock work too crowded. If you wish to keep an eel try to pick out fish who will avoid swimming inside the rockwork. You can also use PVC piping to make tunnels under the substrate that only the eel will swim through.

Blue Ring AngelFish Gender & Breeding

There is no visible difference between male and female Blue Ring AngelFish. It is likely that juveniles will be female however it is impossible to be sure a purchased angelfish has not begun the transition to male. If you wish to pair or breed fish the Blue Ring AngelFish is not a suitable candidate.
As they mature the angelfish will undergo a dramatic color change, exhibiting three main stages. As a juvenile they will be black with electric blue stripes running up and down their body and face but not onto their fins. Their tails will be translucent.

Once they begin transitioning to their adult coloration their body will start to turn brown and blue curved stripes will develop on their body. These blue rings will extend to their fins and face. They will hold onto their electric blue stripes for a fed months and slowly fade them out. Once they are only brown with dark blue rings on them their coloration has reached adult hood and they are considered fully adult. They will reach sexual maturity before this happens, however the coloration is how they are labeled.

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