Dwarf Angels – Are They Reef Safe?

Potters Angelfish

Dwarf Angels are among the most beautiful tropical fish in the world.  Most are popular and readily available to their color, size and pricing.  Dwarf Angels are semi aggressive omnivores that graze on algae, copepods and amphipods throughout the tank.

If any coral are present in your aquarium – monitor with caution.

Dwarf Angels in general need at least a 55 gallon tank with plenty of hiding places.  In tanks over 75 gallons more than one can be kept, but in smaller tanks it’s best to keep it to one dwarf angel per 50 gallons.  Certain Dwarf Angels are know to nip at coral while others are less likely to bother coral, especially if well fed.  The Coral Beauty is the least likeliest to bother coral while most of the other dwarf angels have a tendency to nip at coral and clams.

related: Coral Beauty: Care Sheet 

It seems that some of these fish have their own habits according to their personalities.  Some of the same species of dwarf angel will leave coral alone while some kill coral.  In general, there are species that are more prone than others. Below is a list of the more common dwarf angels with coral nipping tendencies ranging from least likely, likely and most likely.

Flame Angelfish
Flame Angelfish

List based on well fed specimens with at least a 55 gallon tank with multiple hiding places and grazing opportunities.  

  • Coral Beauty – least likely
  • Flame Angelfish – least likely
  • Bicolor Angelfish – most likely
  • Potters Angelfish – likely (will leave most mushrooms alone)
  • Shepard’s Pygmy Angel – least likely
  • Lemon Peel Angel – most likely
  • Collin’s Pygmy Angel – likely (will leave most mushrooms and anemone’s alone)
  • Rusty Angel – most likely ( will usually leave leather corals alone)
  • Eibli’s Angelfish – likely (will usually leave leather corals and hosted anemones alone
  • Golden Angelfish – likely
  • Herald’s Angelfish – most likely
  • Multicolor Angelfish – likely ( safe with leather corals 50/50 with others)
  • Pygmy Angelfish – least likely
Eibli's Angelfish
Eibli’s Angelfish

Purchase Angelfish

Learn more about caring for Angelfish


Related: Coral Beauty





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