Pygoplites diacanthus - The Regal Angelfish is a favorite among reef aquarists for its beauty and temperament, but wild caught Regal Angelfish are difficult to feed and keep in captivity. These captive bred Regal Angelfish are hardier and better adapted to life in captivity than their wild caught cousins. They are already trained and raised on prepared foods readily available to hobbyists like marine pellets and frozen foods. Their ideal diet should include high quality pellets like Easy Reefs DKI pellets and Masstick, Tdo pellets, frozen mysis, frozen Spirulina brine shrimp, and frozen angelfish diets containing sponge.
Few marine angelfish are considered to be completely reef safe, and the Regal Angelfish is considered by most hobbyists to be one of the most reef safe angelfish species. Wild Regal Angelfish may pick at fleshy LPS corals, soft corals, and clam mantles, but are generally safe with SPS corals and some unpalatable soft corals. Reefers who are keeping captive bred Regal Angelfish are reporting that they're even more reef safe than wild ones when well fed, and that they prefer prepared foods over ornamental inverts and corals.
Regal Angelfish juveniles are yellow with white bars and a false eyespot at the base of the dorsal fin. As they mature, the bars become alternating white and yellow bars and the eyespot fades into deep blue coloration on the rear of the dorsal fin. Most wild Regal Angelfish have uniform vertical bars, and the "misbar" specimens with unique patterns are rare. Captive bred Regal Angelfish are more likely to mature into individuals with these exciting, variable "misbar" patterns, each as unique as a fingerprint.
Small juveniles may be raised in smaller aquariums, but adults can grow up to 10" and need a minimum of a 125 gallon aquarium with plenty of swimming room. Juveniles are peaceful, and large adults are considered to be semi-aggressive. They are territorial with other large-type angelfish, but can usually cohabitate with dwarf angelfish species.