Bermuda Blue Angelfish (Holacanthus bermudensis)

Bermuda blue angelfish

The Bermuda blue angelfish (Holacanthus bermudensis), also known as the Bermuda angelfish or simply blue angelfish, is an angelfish of the family Pomacanthidae. It was described by the English ichthyologist George Brown Goode (1851-1896), based on specimens collected from Bermuda.

Angelfish are beautiful tropical fish that deserve attention from every hobbyist who can provide for their unique needs in captivity.

In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of angelfish kept as pets due to their wide variety of colors and striking patterns, but many aquarists have lost their beloved pets because they did not take the time to research their needs before buying them. Holacanthus bermudensis is one angelfish species commonly seen in the aquarium trade.

The Bermuda blue angelfish is a species of fish native to the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. It’s found in Bermuda and throughout the Bahamas, as well as most other Caribbean islands such as Cuba, Jamaica, Cayman Islands, and the Dominican Republic.

The Bermuda blue angelfish likes to eat microalgae and small crustaceans like shrimp, krill, and copepods. And while they may be commonly seen in deeper waters close to shore, they have been known to venture far out into open water as well.

Origin and description

The Bermuda blue angelfish is a small deep-water fish found in the western Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. They are most common near the seabed, which is at around 200 meters below sea level. They live close to coral reefs and feed on small invertebrates, such as crabs and shrimp.

Males are very territorial and will aggressively defend their territory from other males. Females produce eggs that they attach to coral or other surfaces with their adhesive ventral fins so that they can spawn more successfully in deeper water where there is less light.

Species profile

Bermuda blue angelfish

The Bermuda blue Angelfish can also be called the Common Angelfish. Blue Angelfish are similar to Queen Angelfish in that they have an overall aqua hue, their scales and fins have a yellow shimmer and are outlined in yellow.

In contrast to Queen Angelfish, the Blue Angelfish lacks a blue crown and other blue highlights. Yellowish-brown body color and pale blue stripes distinguish the juvenile Blue Angelfish from the adult.

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At least 250 gallons of aquarium space is needed for the Blue Angelfish. Because the Blue Angelfish tends to be aggressive, especially towards other angelfish, it is best kept alone in a tank. In addition to nipping at stony and soft corals (sessile invertebrates) and clam mantles, the Blue Angelfish does not make a good reef dweller.

There are no distinguishing markings that differentiate males from females in this hermaphroditic fish; which makes it difficult to breed in an aquarium.

Blue Angelfish diet should consist of Spirulina, marine algae, mysis and frozen shrimp, other meaty items, high-quality angelfish preparations, and live rock for grazing.

In the case of the blue angelfish juvenile, the markings will be those of a juvenile, or the form may change from juvenile to adult. For the Medium, the markings will be those of a sub-adult or adult, while the Large will be those of an adult.

Scientific name

The scientific name of the Bermuda blue angelfish is Holacanthus bermudensis

Other names

The Bermuda blue angelfish is also known by other names such as Blue angel, Corn sugar angelfish, or just blue angelfish.

Habitat

The Bermuda blue angelfish inhabits the western Atlantic, extending northward to Bermuda, the Bahamas, Florida, the Gulf of Mexico, Yucatan, and into Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Blue angelfish also live near sponges, coral, and rocks near seabeds in deep waters between 6.6 and 305.1 feet.

Bermuda blue angelfish size and weight

The Bermuda blue angelfish is a small species of marine angelfish that can grow to 18 inches (45 cm) long and can weigh up to 2 pounds (32 oz).

Bermuda blue angelfish tank size

The minimum recommended tank size for Bermuda blue angelfish is 180 gallons (681 liters) or larger, and the ideal tank size is around 250 gallons (946 liters).

Tank mates

The Bermuda blue angelfish should be kept with other fish that have similar water conditions, and that can handle their bully such as wrasses, dottybacks, damselfish, tangs, and large angels. If there are plenty of hiding spaces in your tank, Anthias, clownfish, and dwarf angelfish can also be added.

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Breeding

Bermuda blue angelfish

It is common to see blue angelfish adults in pairs throughout the year. As a result, they are interpreted to be monogamous. In order to spawn, they move their abdomens together and release copious amounts of ova and milt as they slowly swim upwards in the water column.

Females can lay up to 10 million eggs each spawning season, which can range from 25 to 75 thousand eggs at a time. A small amount of oil is contained in each transparent, pelagic egg as a buoyancy aid.

It takes 15 to 20 hours for the eggs to hatch, and the hatchlings are attached to the yolk sac but lack fins, eyes, and guts. A pro-large changes into a true larva after 48 hours and begins eating plankton while the yolk is being absorbed.

Following hatching, the blue angelfish juvenile grows rapidly and settles on the seabed within 3 to 4 weeks. As juveniles, they are highly territorial, defending territories where a cleanup station has been established. Juveniles may have set up a cleaning station because of their vivid, contrasting colors.

Are they aggressive or peaceful?

The Bermuda blue angelfish is an aggressive fish towards other peaceful species and fish of similar or smaller sizes.

Bermuda blue angelfish care information

Bermuda blue angelfish

The Bermuda blue angelfish is a beautiful, hardy fish that is easy to care for. They are not picky eaters and will readily accept frozen foods from their natural diet. In the wild, they can be found in the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. The Bermuda blue angelfish can be kept as an aquarium fish or in large outdoor ponds with a strong filtration system to help keep the water clean.

What they eat

The Bermuda blue angelfish primarily feeds on small crustaceans, plankton, algae, and a variety of vegetable materials. While they are mostly herbivores, they can eat small amounts of meat such as fish eggs, brine, mysis shrimps, or zooplankton if needed.

They will consume about 4-5% of their body weight each day to stay healthy. The more algae available in the water column the better for these fish because it is an important source of food for them.

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Tank requirements

In order to keep a queen angelfish as an adult, your tank must be at least 180 gallons (681 liters). Despite their beauty, they are bullies nonetheless, and they will abuse their tank mates if their tank is small. A blue angelfish juvenile can be grown in a smaller tank for a few months, but its growth will render the tank useless after a few months.

Rather than having to relocate them, it is better to start with a larger tank. If there are sufficient hiding spots in the tank, two Blue Angelfish can be added. In addition to being of different sizes, they must be added simultaneously. Keeping angelfish in tanks larger than 220 gallons (832 liters) is possible. The pH of the water must be at least 8.0 in order to maintain high water quality.

To make sure the fish have multiple hiding places when threatened, a lot of live rock must be provided in the aquarium. Angelfish become ill quickly if they are stressed. To accommodate this big fish, place the rocks in such a way that they can turn around easily and maneuver. It is recommended that there are a lot of naturally growing algae on the live rock before adding the juvenile.

This species of fish lives near shallow waters, absorbing vitamins through the sun’s rays and preventing deficiencies from developing. Also, the angelfish will benefit from an aquarium with good spectrum lighting.

Lifespan

The average lifespan of the Bermuda blue angelfish is 18 to 20 years, but they can live more in captivity with good care.

Parasites and diseases

Blue angelfish are susceptible to a variety of parasites and diseases. These include oodinium, ich, bacterial infections, parasitic worm infestations, and ulcers. The most common parasites found on blue angelfish are the protozoan parasite Ichthyophthirius multifiliis (Ich), and the monogenean parasite Oodinium nasutum.

Ich is characterized by the appearance of small white spots that eventually turn into large white patches on the body surface. They cause stress, leading to anorexia, starvation, lethargy, ulceration of skin tissues around the mouth and eyes with red streaks radiating from them, as well as possible secondary bacteria.

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Secondary bacterial infections can be treated with antibiotics, but this may not save the fish’s life if it has already succumbed to severe illness. To prevent ich outbreaks, it is recommended that fish be maintained in stable water conditions and low densities so they do not come into contact with each other’s mucous films.

When treating for ich there are two options: copper-based treatments such as copper sulfate; or chemical treatments using formalin, malachite green, methylene blue, salt, or heat. Salt should be used only at half strength; methylene blue is effective only against the early stages of the disease; formalin is expensive and difficult to use correctly.

Copper treatment should begin before any sign of Ich appears because it does not kill it directly.

Predators (What animals prey on them)

The Bermuda blue angelfish are preyed on by a variety of animals, including the great barracuda, the tiger shark, and the longnose hawkfish.

Do they make good pets?

The Bermuda blue angelfish is a beautiful fish that has a brilliant blue body and yellow fins. This fish is relatively easy to care for as long as you have a larger tank for them since they grow up to 18 inches long!

The only downside of the Bermuda blue angelfish is that they are territorial and will not do well with other fish in the same tank. They also need live rock which can be hard to find in smaller aquariums. All-in-all, this fish can make a great addition to any saltwater aquarium but it might be better suited for an experienced saltwater hobbyist.