When it comes to maintaining large saltwater aquarium there are many good fishes to choose from. Imperial angelfish is one big fish you can choose for your aquarium.Imperial Angelfish is one big fish that requires larger saltwater aquarium of about 100 gallon. Imperial angelfish is also known as emperor angelfish or imperator angelfish. It has origin from indo-pacific region and is found in most of the aquarium shops worldwide. It is quite expensive fish in comparison to most of the saltwater fishes.
Similar types of angelfish are : French Angelfish(Black angelfish) and Queen Angelfish.
Size & color: Emperor Angelfish grows upto 15inches(38 cm) in size and is preferred for larger tank of about 100 gallons. Juvenile fish has bluish body with black strips with concentric circles. Adult grows with mixed colors like blue, black and yellow keeping the concentric circles.
ph & temperature: The recommended temperature for the tank is about 22°C – 27°C. Ph should be maintained at 8.1 – 8.4 with carbonate hardness of 8 – 12°dKH.
Breeding: Emperor Angelfish female lays eggs near the stone and most of time these eggs are scattered in multiple places. Though there are very rare cases of breeding in captivity some aquarist report of some success. It is also observed that once they form pair they stick to it for long time. It’s also hard to determine which is male and female.
Food: Emperor Angelfish being a omnivore requires meaty food and plants as well and it is suggested that you should keep them on frozen food and live foods. They’re also marine algae eaters so you can keep them with other peaceful algae eaters in the tank. Suggested food for them is : vitamin rich flake food, frozen & live food. Other than that they do eat sponges and other encrusting organisms if available in the tank. If the diet is not proper then it’ll show in the body color of the fishes so you need to vary their diet regularly and feed them vitamin rich food.
Behavior: They’re dominant in nature and should be placed only in the tank with other aggressive fishes. You need to be careful while selecting tank-mates for this fish. If you choose any small fish than their size then that fish is likely to get eaten by emperor angelfish unless that little fish is also aggressive or venomous. Emperor angelfish is not reported as reef tank safe. If placed they often damage soft coral and clam mantles. They usually dwell in the bottom or the middle of the tank. Juvenile to adult transition takes time when they’re in aquarium and will take much more time than when they’re placed in wild. As per some of the aquarist observation it takes more than 4 years to get the coloring like adult for juvenile emperor angelfish. When placed in captivity we can’t be so sure about breeding and their adult colorings as it takes more time in comparison to their life in the wild.
Emperor Angelfishes are costly because of their size and limited availability, juvenile costs around 50$ + while mature adult can cost to about 230$ or so. You can order them online as well as from some of the reputed saltwater aquarium suppliers.