Posted by: nyaquatic | May 7, 2010

Regal Angels

Regal angels have to be one of the most heartbreaking of all marine animals.

They are stunning, but if handled improperly, doomed to die.

Here are a few key points:

  1. Yellow belly vs blue/grey belly-Yellow belly regal angels come from the Red Sea, Kenya, Sumatra. Blue/grey belly regals come from Indonesia and Philipines.  The yellow belly ones are much brighter colored, and are typically about twice the price.  They are equal in terms of hardiness.
  2. How to get them eating-This is the first big hurdle to overcome.  Your best bet is to have them in a tank with live rock to graze on.  They cannot be in a tank with aggressive eaters who will intimidate them.  Best foods to start with are fresh clams on the 1/2 shell and spirulina flakes if you have good water flow.
  3. QT or not QT?-While it is always best to QT if possible, regal angels need to be handled delicately.  They will not do well in a sterile, medicated QT tank.  If you have a non-medicated QT tank with live rock, figure 30 gal min, then great.  Otherwise, you are left with 2 poor choices-don’t QT and risk your DT, or QT and risk your regal.
  4. Tankmates-Regal angels need to be in a tank with very docile tankmates-small tangs, anthias, gobies, etc.  They will not typically do well in a tank full of angels with whom they would need to compete with for food.
  5. Size-Size does matter.  With regals, the smaller the better.  They acclimate much easier.


  1. That is great information. I see you have not been blogging for a while . Can you provide the same type of info on other difficult fish? Thanks

    • Thanks,
      We’ll definitely be adding some more special interest fish.

  2. I want the regal angel for my 180 gallon tank. I currently have achilles tang, purple tang, yellow tangs (2). I saw you have a nice red sea regal a few weeks ago but was hesitation to buy. I knew about the fish and afraid about the shipping that can stress the fish and feeding.

    Would you like to set me up with one from red sea in the near future?

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