coral beauty angelfish

Coral Beauty Angelfish: Centropyge bispinosus

Introduction to keeping the Coral Beauty Angelfish

The Coral Beauty Angelfish is a very popular saltwater fish among all hobbyist aquarists, because of its beautiful colors and hardiness. Its colors may vary depending on where it was found in the wild, but common colorations include red, orange, or yellow bodies, with edges, fins, and tails of darker blue or purple shades.

Here are links to answers to a few of the most frequently asked questions:

coral beauty angelfish

A good part is that in this species, colors won’t fade with age. This dwarf angelfish only grows up to about 4 inches long, although it still needs a large tank to feel at ease.Scientists call it Centropyge bispinosus, while people have given it other common names, such as Spined Angelfish, Dusky Angelfish or Coral Beauty.

Beginner aquarists will be happy to know this fish is very hardy and easy to keep, without having any special requirements, as long as the water is kept clean and their diet is varied enough. They are popular, inexpensive (by saltwater fish standards), and generally available in local fish stores all year long.

How big do coral beauties get?

Coral beauty angels grow to about 4 inches in length (Michael 2001). Juveniles are often sold at a size of 1-2 inches in length. Despite their small size, they need a tank size of about 70 gallons or more because they need a lot of room to swim.

Coral beauty angelfish care

In the ocean, the Coral Beauty Angelfish is commonly found in shallow reefs that are rich in corals, like the Great Barrier Reef and reef areas in Tahiti, Australia and East of Africa (Tuamoto Island).

Coral beauty tank size

The minimum tank size for the Coral Beauty Angelfish is 70-gallons (265L). While they will only grow to a maximum size of about 4 inches in length, they are most healthy when allowed significant room to swim and forage.

Live rock is important to successfully keep the Coral Beauty Angelfish, to provide adequate opportunities to dash in and out of the rocks to hide. This is a bit anthropomorphic, but in my unscientific opinion, hiding places seem to make the fish feel more secure, secure fish seem less likely to act stressed, and secure, stress-free fish are less likely to have weak immune systems and succumb to infection or parasites, like saltwater ich.

Traditional saltwater aquarium water parameters and just about any high-quality salt mix are sufficient for keeping this great fish.

Centropyge bispinosa coral beauty angelfish

What do coral beauties eat?

The Coral Beauty angelfish is omnivorous, which means… they eat lots of different foods. Their diet naturally is dominated by vegetable matter, but also tiny invertebrates. Feed them a diet based on algae and spirulina and also include occasional meaty foods like brine shrimp and mysis shrimp. These fish are very active and can eat small portions several times each day.

What do I feed my coral beauty?

My absolute favorite food for my tank is live blood worms. My coral beauty greedily eats them. Other routine foods are: frozen mysis shrimp, frozen brine shrimp, spirulina flakes, Formula II pellets, and the occasional nori sheets.

Behavior and tank mates

At a few different times over the years, I have kept the Coral Beauty with no problems at all. However, there are some reports of territoriality and aggression. Most dwarf angelfish are aggressive towards other dwarf angelfish, that much is given. However, there are also some reports of aggression with smaller species, as well.

Is the Coral Beauty reef safe?

The Coral Beauty is reef safe, with some cause for caution. You can expect to safely keep them with most reef fish, corals, & invertebrates in an aquarium. Caution is advised due to the observation that certain individual fish may nip at corals or clams. 

Due to their varied dietary needs, there are some reports of Coral Beauty angelfish picking on the mantle of clams or eating soft fleshy coral polyps (like your prized zoanthids). This seems to be a bit of a case-by-case situation and seems to be the exception, rather than the rule. To me… that means that that the coral beauty angelfish is not exactly reef -safe…it is sort of reef-safe.

Is a coral beauty hardy?

Yes, the coral beauty angel fish is a very hardy, readily available and relatively inexpensive saltwater fish.

Pros and cons

As with all fish, there are some advantages, as well as disadvantages, in keeping Coral Beauty Angelfish. They may not be the safest for reef aquariums, but let’s revisit some of the pros and cons:

Centropyge bispinosa 1 also known as the coral beauty angel fishPros

  • Hardy fish that generally acclimate well and eat well in a saltwater tank and will swim boldly in the tank
  • Easy to find, either online and in stores, and pretty affordable
  • They should actually help keep algae levels down


  • They may pick at soft corals, clams, and zoanthids, as well as other invertebrates
  • Can sometimes be aggressive and territorial if kept in small tanks, but they do pretty well and are peaceful in large ones
  • They are hard to catch if you need to remove them from the tank
  • Moderately susceptible to saltwater ich


In summary, the Coral Beauty Angelfish is a great saltwater aquarium fish choice for most larger saltwater tanks. None of the cons listed above are particularly specific for the Coral Beauty, they are general cons of dwarf angelfish, as a rule. So, if you are thinking about adding an angel to your tank, this fish is a great choice.

What has your experience been with keeping this fish? Please leave a comment and let me know.

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coral beauty angelfish

Learn more

Check out these other amazing dwarf angelfish species:


Check out the 20 most popular saltwater fish

Keep learning about the coral beauty angelfish by watching this video here:

Coral Beauty Angelfish Care Guide


If you want to continue your journey, check out  The Reef Aquarium Series of books:  The New Saltwater Aquarium Guide, How to Frag Corals, 107 Tips for the Marine Reef Aquarium and the Reef Journal.

coral beauty angel fish pin


Michael, Scott W. A PocketExpert Guide to Marine Fishes: 500+ Essential-To-Know Aquarium Species. TFH Publications, Inc.; Illustrated edition. 2001.





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