Flame Angelfish 

The Flame Angelfish is a stunning, colorful fish that can be found in both saltwater and freshwater aquariums. 

Its scientific name is Centropyge Loriculus, although it is also known by the names Flaming Angelfish, Flame Angels, and Japanese Pygmy Angelfish.

This little guy’s bold red/orange coloration with vertical black stripes on their body makes them an excellent focal point for any marine fish setting. 

Additionally, these brightly colored Flame Angelfish make a wonderful addition to the reef and the marine tank ; their colorful appearance will stand out against your tank’s background! 

Centropyge Loricula is quite expensive to purchase, so we’ve put together this comprehensive guide on how flame angelfish should be cared for.

Don’t worry, With our tips below, you’ll have no problem dealing with your Centropyge Loricula through each stage.


Common NamesFlame Angelfish, Flame Angel, Fire Angelfish, and Japanese Pygmy Angelfish.
Scientific NameCentropyge loricula
OriginPacific Ocean, Hawaiian Islands
Minimum Tank Size30 gallons
Length6 inches
BreedingRarely breeds 
Ease of CareModerate
Marine Fish Characteristics

Where Do Flame Angelfish Live?

Gunther first observed the Flame Angelfish in 1874 in the Society Islands of the Pacific. Still, it has been found in tropical seas throughout the Western Pacific, including Belau, Hawaiian, Marquesas, and Ducie Islands, as well as the Great Barrier Reef and Pitcairn Group of Islands.

Flame Angelfish live in harems of three to seven other species and prefer stony coral reefs and transparent lagoons. Sometimes it can be found gathering on the outer reef slopes at depths of 16 to 82 feet, particularly around dense clusters of finger coral.

Flame Angelfish Life Cycle and Lifespan

The Life Cycle and Lifespan of Female and Male Flame Angelfish
The Life Cycle and Lifespan of Female and Male Flame Angelfish


The life cycle of the Flame angelfish is about a year-long, starting with the mating period in summer. This will result in pairs with a female who holds eggs and males who stay close to protect the eggs from predators.

After 5-7 days, the eggs hatch and turn into larvae. These larvae drift towards deeper waters where flame angelfishwill be more protected from predators.

After about a month, the larvae transform into juveniles and start to swim toward shallower waters. Flame angelfish will then be on their own and have to fend for themselves.

In this stage of their life, flame angelfish have a very high mortality rate due to the lack of parental care and the higher number of predators. This is one of the reasons why flame angelfish are not often observed in their natural habitat.

After about 6-8 months, the juveniles are mature enough to start reproducing themselves.


The lifespan of flame angelfish can vary depending on the environment flame angelfish live in. 

In the wild, some individuals may only live for 2 – 3 years while others living under more stable circumstances like fish farms or aquariums might live up to 7-10 years with an average longevity of close to 10 years.

What Is the Appearance of the Flame Angelfish?

dwarf angelfish species
The Appearance of the Flame Angelfish

Like all dwarf angelfish species, the Flame Angelfish species has an oval body and rounded fins. Flame angelfish are beautiful fish with bright markings that vary widely depending upon their place of origin.


The flame angelfish’s bright colors and impressive show in reef tanks make it one of the most popular aquarium fishes.

However, did you know that color variations exist between different areas? These species can be found across much of the tropical Indo-Pacific but have some differences based on where flame angelfish live at sea level or higher up near Samoa for example!

You can find two different types of Flame Angelfish in the Pacific Ocean. 

One type found at Marshall Island reefs and Christmas Islands is a vibrant red with almost no orange showing on its scales

Flame Angelfish also has thicker black bars down each side that contrast sharply with their thin stripes around these areas, which are mostly white or cream-colored. 

However, in stark contrast lies another variety from this region- one where you see more oranges mixed into an otherwise traditional-looking color scheme for Angels (though still very saturated).

As you head toward Hawaii, the water gets more red and becomes almost like blood in some ways. 

You also start to notice that instead of having orange on their fins like before (which is one way flame angelfish can be identified), these fish now have an angry flame angelfish coming off them! 

This new coloration turns out not only makes sense but there’s some interesting biology behind why this occurs.


Flame angels are not the smallest fish in an average saltwater aquarium. Flame angelfish only reach an adult size of around 6 inches (15.2 cm), while the males tend to stretch further than females.

Therefore, if you want something small enough for your home, these guys might be worth considering because of their diminutive stature and curious personalities.

Are Flame Angelfish Hardy?

fish species
Is Flame Angelfish Hard Like the Other Fish Species

Flame angelfish are hardy fish that work well for any experience level. Flame angelfish adapt to home aquariums without too much trouble and don’t require specialized diets or long-term quarantines. Quarantining them for two weeks before releasing them into your tank is sufficient.

The only exception regarding their “hardiness” is marine ich. These Flame Angelfish can be susceptible to this disease because of rough handling by humans at the market. Although there’s always some kind of treatment available online, it might be dangerous to your aquarium.

How Much Do Flame Angelfish Cost?

fish's body
Do Flame Angelfish Cost A lot

The demand for Flame angelfish has caused prices to skyrocket in recent years. While you can find these fish at many different stores and online suppliers, flame angelfish remain one of the more expensive marine species today. 

If you ever come across a rare variety like Centropyge Loriculus, then prepare yourself. You’ll have to pay through your nose when purchasing from either place!

Most Flame Angelfishes come from wild collections therefore, even if you go to your local fish store, you’ll spend money on transportation.

You can expect flame angel prices anywhere between $70-150 dollars depending upon these factors as well as any other specific requirements like a color variation or Availability.

Flame Angelfish Care

The Flame Angelfish is considered one of the best choices for aquariums because it usually adapts well to captivity. But, there are several things to think about.

Tank Size

Flame Angelfish Tank Size
The Best Flame Angelfish Aquarium Size

Flame Angelfish are not quite sensitive to water quality issues as other angel species. Still, flame angelfish require the right conditions for success

With good stability and lighting, a tank size of at least 30 gallons is necessary. If the tank is too small, this will result in territorial behavior from these otherwise peaceful fish! 

For those wanting something more spacious on their aquariums, a 55 Gallons should suffice nicely as well.

However, if you’re planning to keep a pair or school of flame angelfish, consider doubling your tank size. 

You want a bigger space so Flame Angelfish can swim freely and enjoy themselves without feeling crowded by other inhabitants in their home aquariums! 

Water Parameters

This fish requires a steady temperature of 72 to 80 Fahrenheit, with pH levels between 8.1 and 8.4 and salinity at 1.020 ppm or less. 

Additionally, Water changes should be done monthly for nitrates not to accumulate too quickly


The Flame Angelfish is a fascinating fish, but it can be shy and prefers to keep its distance. It needs plenty of rockeries or living rocks where flame angelfish can pick at natural foods like algae and shrimp in crevices with caves for shelter from larger predators. 

Flame Angelfish Best Tank mates

Flame Angelfish Tankmates
Flame Angelfish Tank mates

The Flame Angelfish is a peaceful fish that gets along well with other tank mates. flame angelfish prefer to be in mated pairs or small groups, so it’s best not to leave them alone.

If only one male around the female will often stay near one another without much fighting.

However, when faced with multiple aggressive fish, the female fish may join forces against their opponent, leading to intense battles where all three get injured pretty badly if flame angelfish cannot find somewhere safe quickly.

Additionally, Flame angelfish can be tricky to keep due to their “semi-rough” reputation. When first introduced to a new environment, flame angelfish prefer to hide among rockwork until they acclimate, which takes time, so make sure there are caves or crevices available for this fish’s shelter!

Note: When establishing a tank community, you should look for semi aggressive species

Of course, you’ll need an adequate tank area to allow everyone room to swim and explore safely. However, you can feel safe about your flame angelfish with any of these species:

  • Tangs
  • Anthias
  • Wrasses
  • Clownfish
  • Wrasses

What Do Flame Angelfish Eat?

Flame Angelfish Food
Flame Angelfish Food

Flame Angelfish are omnivores, meaning flame angelfish will largely feed on either plant or animal matter.

Flame angelfish primarily scavenge for algae and microorganisms between rocks in the wild but can easily adapt to your aquarium foods.

You should provide them with a varied diet, including meaty items like prawns and vegetables, which would bring out their vibrant colors more effectively due to this exciting new food source you found for them.

The following are some of the top flaming angel choices to consider:

  • Angelfish commercial foods like pelletsflakes, and shrimp are all good for this
  • Brine shrimp: they’re high in protein but low in fat, so your angels don’t gain weight quickly while also providing the nutrients that aren’t available through natural feeds alone (like spirulina).
  • Mysis shrimp: Mysis shrimp will provide color to their already vivid bodies as well act like bloom tips on plant stalks
  • Marine algae: This mix contains organic matter such as sea mosses and red/brown seaweed (which gives off intense hues).

Flame Angelfish Gender Difference

When it comes to sex differences, one of the most often asked questions is whether all flame angelfish are born female? So, let’s go over the answer in more detail.

Flame angelfish are hermaphroditic, meaning that they all have both male and female organs at birth. 

As they grow in size, a hormonal change turns any given fish into the opposite sex. As they mature, the more dominant group of individuals changes from female to male through hormonal conversion. 

On the other hand, the less powerful members are left as females because it is an effective survival strategy for some insects and fishes that need males so there can be balance in their colony or school.

Also, when the only male in the group dies or is removed, a female may change into a male over two months.

Flame Angelfish Breeding

Flame Angelfish Care & Breeding
Flame Angelfish Care & Breeding

With all the different types of angelfish, it is not surprising that there are many techniques for breeding flame angelfish

However, it’s important to be realistic about your expectations since some hobbyists have had limited success with this process.

Flame angelfish are broadcast spawners that release their gametes into plankton during evening hours, with no parental care, and most eggs do not survive past 24 hours to hatch later on down the line. 

If you’d like to attempt breeding flame angel fish (which is not an easy task), then the best advice I can give would be this: make sure they have as deep a tank as possible. 

There are various ways to encourage flame angelfish to spawn, but one way is by simulating their natural day-night patterns. 

Turning off half of your aquarium lights for two hours at dusk each evening can trigger the spawning behavior in these beautiful little creatures who need darkness as much as sunlight.

Once it’s time for them to lay their eggs, we recommend you put a breeding slate so they can lay the eggs on it, and it will be easier for you if you want to move them.

Are Flame Angelfish Reef Safe?

Flame Angelfish Tend to Keep Away From Reef Tank
Are Flame Angelfish Reef Safe

No one can agree on the best way to keep Flame Angelfish in a reef tank. Aquarists have mixed experiences with these fish; it all depends on what you feed them, how big your aquarium is, and whether or not they get along with other members of its species!

Flame Angelfish are usually model reef dwellers, which means they graze on live rock and algae (and anything else growing there). These fish concentrate on cleaning up the messes other animals make when they feed on soft coral polyps or invertebrates like Gammarus. 

But sometimes we get a picky one – meaning they go after more than just food, even bothering those beautiful creatures. They unusually go so far as to eat them, but even a single peck can put corals under a lot of stress.

Generally, Flame Angelfish is a beautiful and unusual addition to the aquarium. They often have an insatiable, almost ravenous appetite for algae which can grow quickly on your rocks or inside sessile invertebrates like crabs in their tanks!

But, To be safe, though- it’s best if you remove any flame angels that become too interested in these little sessile insects.

What Are the Common Diseases of the Flame Angels?

The Common Diseases of the Flame Angels
The Common Diseases of the Flame Angels

Flame angelfish often bring saltwater ich with them when collected, which can be a problem for your tank if left unchecked; you don’t want marine fish on display! 

To ensure this doesn’t happen to any of your Flame Angelfish, quarantine all new arrivals for signs of white spots before releasing them into the main aquarium.

If you notice either pest during this period of isolation – do not hesitate! 

Use both natural remedies like heating tap water by five degrees more than usual for at least 24 hours (or even three days), which will kill off most undesired guests if given ample opportunity. Common store-bought ones like Malachite Green treatments are available without prescription everywhere nowadays.

Also, one of the risks you should watch for when purchasing new fish (especially if it’s an online order) are bacterial infections like vibriosis, which will kill them fast – so catching these signs early on could save lots of trouble down the line! 

Treatments include freshwater dips and antibacterial drugs with increased success rates than humans because bacteria have evolved differently over time compared to other types.

Also, another common disease is the Marine Velvet, or Amyloodinium ocellatum. It’s a parasitic infection that’s pretty common in saltwater fish and can be identified by its symptoms.

The fish will have cloudy eyes, get lethargic, stop eating, and scratch themselves a lot. If you see any of these symptoms, you need to act fast and treat the fish immediately.

The good news is that this disease is pretty easy to treat if you catch it early. The first thing you need to do is move the fish to a quarantine tank and start treating it with copper sulphate.

You can find this at any pet store, and it will usually come with instructions on how to use it. The bad news is that if you don’t catch it early, it can kill your fish pretty quickly.

So, make sure to keep an eye out for any changes in your fish’s behavior and act accordingly!

Pros And Cons of Flame Angel Fish

The Pros and Cons of Flame Angel Fish
The Pros and Cons of Flame Angel Fish

Flame angelfish are a colorful and fascinating species that can make your reef tank come alive. But be aware of some key facts before rushing off to the fish store or clicking “buy now” online:


  • The Flame Angelfish are reef safe in most cases; however, it is best to inquire about any particular concerns associated with the fish.
  • Flame Angelfish are a beautiful and interesting species that will add color to your tank
  • Though not always vegetarian, Flame Angelfish love algae almost as much as they adore the rocks in your reef aquarium.


  • Flame angels prefer living in groups rather than alone at home with you; this is not good if you’re looking for an intimate relationship!
  • These fierce little buddies also need swimming space so they won’t feel cramped up like other Nano Tank inhabitants might do.
  • The flame angels are expensive due to their rarity in the wild.


What Is the Best Water Temperature for a Flame Angelfish?

The best water temperature for a Flame Angelfish is between 72 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

What do Flame Angelfish Eat in the Wild?

Flame Angel fish eat a variety of things in the wild, but their diet consists mostly of small invertebrates, algae, and zooplankton.

How Big Do Flame Angelfish Grow?

Flame Angelfish can grow to be about six inches long.

Do Flame Angelfish Get Along With Other Fish?

The Flame Angelfish is a sociable fish that get along well with other tank mates. They like to be in mated pairs or small groups, so it’s best not to leave them alone.

Last Words

The Flame Angelfish is a really beautiful and unusual addition to the reef of any aquarium, so if you are thinking of getting one, don’t hesitate. 

We hope you have enjoyed this guide as much as we did.

Do you have any questions? If so, please let us know in the comment section below.