bicolor angelfish

Bicolor Angelfish

Oriole Angelfish are one of the most beautiful tropical fish available. Their bright vibrant yellow anterior half and deep blue posterior half will add color and excitement to any aquarium.

However, these fish are not for beginners when it comes to caring, and they are very delicate and require a well-balanced diet and pristine water conditions.

If you are up for the challenge, then keeping this saltwater fish can be a very rewarding experience. Here is everything you need to know about caring for these stunning fish.


Scientific NameCentropyge bicolor
Latin nameCentropyge bicolor – (Bloch, 1787)
Local nameBicolor Angelfish
FamilyPomacanthidae – Centropyge
SpeciesCentropyge bicolor
Common NamesGold and Blue Angelfish, Oriole Angelfish, Boray-boray, Two-color angel
Care LevelModerate
Suitable for AquariumSuitable with care
Experience LevelIntermediate
Size15 cm (5,9″)
Colorvibrant yellow, deep blue
Lifespan5 – 10 years or longer in the wild
GenderNo reliable way to determine the differences between males and females.
Temperature72 – 78 Fahrenheit
Breeding Temperature77.0° F – This will ensure hatching of 15-18 hours. Cooler temperatures will slow the process.
pH8.1 – 8.4
Carbonate Hardness8 – 12 dKH
Specific Gravity1.020 – 1.025
OriginEast Indian Ocean, West Indian Ocean, Australia, Indonesia, East Africa,
Phoenix Island
Minimum Tank Size55 gal (208 L) – 55 gallons or more is recommended.
Average Tank Size300 l (79 gal)
Water MovementAny – Calmer areas on the bottom are welcome.
Water RegionBottom to mid water sections.
Tank RegionUsually middle to bottom
Substrate TypeAny – This fish often forages for food in the substrate.
Lighting NeedsAny – Try to ensure the promotion of the encourage natural algae growth.
TemperamentMostly peaceful but might be semi aggressive towards similar species
Marine Flake Foodyes
Pellet / TabletSometimes
Live foods (fish, frozen shrimp, worms)Varied diet live food within their diet – while not necessary they may be beneficial to condition them for spawning.
Vegetable Foodis 25% of their diet.
Meaty Foodsis 75% of their diet.
Feeding FrequencySeveral times per day.
Breedingis very difficult to breed in captivity partly due to their semi aggressive nature with members of their own species.
Reef Aquarium CompatibilityNot reef safe
Live Rock RequirementRock structures with ample hiding places are best.
Angelfish Centropyge Bicolor Characteristics

Bicolor Angelfish Origin & Habitat

The Oriole angelfish live in the Indo Pacific. This blue and gold angelfish is found from the East African coast to the Samoan and Phoenix Islands, north to southern Japan, and south to New Caledonia (throughout Micronesia) and range from 32°N to 23°S.

The Oriole angelfish is a blue-green species that live in lagoons, channels, and protected seaward reef slopes with stony and soft corals or rubble.

This blue and gold angelfish is solitary, live alone or in pairs, and are known to swim from one place to the next swiftly. This species can be seen from 1 to 25 meters (3 82 feet) deep.

Bicolor Angelfish Behavior

This non-migratory species exists in harems with a single linear pecking order based on size.

Living in a harem means that one male is mated to several females.

The majority of these species include an average of 7 females, ranked in order of size, who mate with one male.

This saltwater angelfish isalso protogynous hermaphrodites, which means the highest-ranking Female will go through a sex change if the male is removed or dies. This transformation takes place over 18–20 days in total.

Bicolor Angelfish Features

Bicolor Angelfish Features
Bicolor Angel fish Features

1. Color

This dwarf angelfish is a bright yellow on the anterior half of its body and a deep blue on the rear half.

The head is yellow, with a blue bar over the eyes, and the tail is yellow.

2. Length

This saltwater fish can reach a maximum of 6 inches in length.

3. Lifespan

In the wild, this dwarf angelfish have a wide range of life expectancies. It ranges from 5 to 13 years, depending on location.

In captivity, adequate water conditions can extend a pygmy angelfish’s lifespan and live up to 12 years.

How to Care for Bicolor Angelfish?

How to Care for Bicolor Angelfish
How to Care for Bicolor Angel fish

1. Water Parameters

Water Changes

Water changes are one of the most important things to keep your dwarf angelfish healthy and free from diseases.

If the tank is 55 to 60 gallons, a bi-weekly turnover of 15 percent is sufficient.

If your tank is over 100 gallons, a 20% change every three weeks to a month is sufficient.

Water Temperature

To provide your beautiful dwarf angelfish with a sense of comfort according to their native reef environment, you must provide them with a water temperature between 72 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit

pH Range

These dwarf angelfish are native to areas with a pH range of 8.1 to 8.4, so it is essential to maintain this range in their aquarium.

Ammonia, Nitrite & Nitrate Levels

The ammonia and nitrite are toxic to all fish, and the pygmy angelfish is no different.

Maintaining these levels as close to 0 ppm as possible is vital for their survival in the aquarium.

Having a nitrate level of 40 ppm or less is also essential for the health of your pygmy angelfish.

Water Movement

These fish prefer calm areas, so a moderate water movement is perfect.

Specific gravity

The ideal specific gravity is between 1.020 and 1.025.

2. Tank Setup

Tank Size

Because pygmy angelfish are considered semi aggressive fish, they require a tank of at least 55 gallons; however, 75 gallons and above would be preferable, especially if housing a tank mates pair.

A more extended than the taller tank is preferable since they are known to swim near the bottom.

From the list below, you can understand the space needed when handling a number of them together:

  • 100 gal (400 liters): Several small Angelfish (<15cm) can live together.
  • 240 gal (900 liters): Several medium Angelfish (< 20cm) can live together.
  • 400 gal (1500 liters): Several large Angelfish (<25cm) can live together.

Hiding Place

It is recommended that you build your tanks so that this saltwater angelfish can move from one suitable hiding spots the next, especially when newly introduced into the aquarium.

It will only venture away from its hiding spots in the rock if it feels threatened or needs to feed.

Because of this, providing plenty of live rocks with lots of hiding space, particularly around the tank, is essential in keeping bicolor angelfish content.

It is essential to remember that the live rock should have algae on it before purchasing it for your centropyge bicolor.

Is Bicolor Angelfish Hardy?

Is Bicolor Angelfish Hardy
Is Bicolor Angelfish Hardy

This saltwater fish is more difficult to look after than other angelfish types, but with the proper attention, it may be maintained by an intermediate aquarist.

Previously, they were thought to be challenging to maintain due to cyanide poisoning used in their capture. However, nets are used to capture them to survive in captivity.

Still, if you were to buy a pair of angelfish from your local store that was bred in captivity, the origins of these fish may have little bearing on their quality.

With that information in mind, you might want to take a little more time getting them used to your saltwater tank.

Therefore, only add them to established tanks that have been in operation for at least six months.

Bicolor Angelfish Diet

Bicolor Angelfish Diet
Bicolor Angel fish Diet

The centropyge bicolor is an omnivore that bicolor angelfish eat meatier fare than other fish.

If there aren’t enough algae on the rocks, you’ll need to feed them more frequently and offer algae-rich foods like Spirulina.

Some species, for example, C. loriculus and C. flavissima, also consume microalgae and green hair algae as part of their diet.

Therefore, the typicalcentropyge bicolor diet includes crustaceans such as:

  • Frozen brine shrimp
  • Mysis shrimp
  • Tunicates
  • Stony and Soft corals
  • Sponges material
  • Worms
  • Algae
  • Clam Mantles
  • Spirulina Flake

Feeding Frequency

It is typically good to feed your two colored angelfish two to three times each day, especially if you want to keep the fish from nipping at sessile invertebrates.

Bicolor Angelfish Compatibility

Bicolor Angelfish Compatibility
Bicolor Angelfish Compatibility

These two colored angelfish are semi aggressive fish towards members of other fish species, their species, and even their small groups.

The male spends most of its time defending his home ground against predators, intruders from other species, and interlopers within the harem.

On the other hand, females are only aggressive towards lower-ranking members of their group to preserve their current position.

As a result, it is recommended not to keep centropyge bicolor withother dwarf angelfish.

It is, however, feasible to keep different sizes of Angelfish in the same aquarium, but it necessitates careful species selection and that the tank’s parameters are ideal.

Here are some ideas for increasing your chances of success:

Choice of species

It is critical not to pick too similar species; the greater the difference, the better your chances of success.

It is also beneficial to buy fish of various sizes.

For example, it is a terrible idea to put two similar-sized and patterned Angelfish in the same tank.

Also, one should, of course, avoid utilizing the most aggressive species.

However, if you decide to add two similar-sized fish to the tank, do it simultaneously.

Is Bicolor Angelfish Reef Safe?

 Bicolor Angelfish Reef Safe
Bicolor Angelfish Reef Safe

The Angelfish Centropyge Bicolor is not suitable for keeping on a reef tank because it nips at hard corals and polyps.

It will damage the reef aquarium, and it would be much easier if you put the fish in a non-reef tank with plenty of rocks and caverns.

You can keep both poisonous and non-poisonous corals with the pacific rock beauty angelfish. Bicolor Angelfish Centropyge is not appealing to the Angelfish Centropyge Bicolor, so bicolor angel will not be harmed.

To keep the fish, you can also add a few soft coral genera kinds from the leather coral families, such as Sinularia, Sarcophytom, and Cladiella.

The Angelfish Centropyge Bicolor can also be kept with the effatounaria genus species and Xenia group.

In addition, BIcolor Angelfish was successful In keeping with mushroom anemones, according to our experience.

Bicolor Angelfish Centropyge will assault massive polyp lps corals and clam mantles until they fold up and die.

Furthermore, bicolor angelfish will consume starfish and feather dusters.

Snails, crabs, and giant frozen shrimp will be exquisite, but you should add them before the bicolor angelfish.

But, it’s also feasible to create a mixed coral aquarium with these dwarf angels.

If some of the corals listed below are utilized, these dwarf angels will leave them alone:

  • Hammer corals
  • Bubble Corals
  • Star Polyps
  • Disc Anemones

Bicolor Angelfish Breeding

Bicolor Angelfish Breeding
Bicolor Angelfish Breeding

It isn’t easy to breed bicolor angelfish because the male and female appear identical.

However, during mating, the only distinguishable feature is a dark line that runs beneath the eyes of males.

Another indicator to determine whether a fish is male or female is to check for aggressive behavior, and male fish are usually more aggressive than female fish.

Furthermore, the bicolor angelfish is unique in that males and females reverse sexual orientation every 20 days.

This is another reason that creates extreme difficulty in breeding the angelfish.

In general, because distinguishing your Bicolor Angelfish Centropyge is very hard, you should put a number of them in the aquarium to see if bicolor angel can form a pair, and this pair must be mature, these fish grow relatively quickly and attain maturity at about 2.4 to 2.7 inches long.

This blue and gold angel has a similar spawning pattern to other Centropyge dwarf angelfish. The male and female pair will dance in circles around each other.

The male making grunting noises swims up and down, and angles the body sideways toward the female fish. If the female is ready for breeding. The pair will swim upwards to tank mates.

The female releases the eggs on the aquarium bed after that. Because the fish do not protect the eggs, they will be vulnerable.

After about 16 hours of brooding, the eggs will hatch. However, if the aquarium water is cold, it will take longer for the eggs to hatch.

After six days, the yolk sac reserves will be depleted, and the young larvae will eat from them.

Make sure the temperature of the water is appropriate for them to live. It also would be best to feed them small crustaceans like rotifers or copepods when they are big enough.

Bicolor Angelfish Diseases & Treatment

Bicolor Angelfish Diseases & Treatment
Bicolor Angelfish Diseases & Treatment

Bicolor Angelfish Centropyge are not as hardy as other dwarf angelfish. If the re-established tank conditions are not satisfied, the fish may acquire various diseases.

Bacterial Diseases

Bicolor angelfish are susceptible to bacterial infection caused by parasitic and protozoan diseases.

A commonvery fast acting bacteria and fungal diseases illness is caused by vibrio bacteria, which infect the body from the inside.

More severe diseases, including Red Streaks, Popeye, or Dropsy, might arise due to this secondary infection.

It’s a fatal illness that strikes fish in a few days as the disease generally begins in the pectoral fin and quickly spread to the entire body.


Freshwater dips for up to 15 minutes are used to treat bacterial infections, and it destroys any microorganisms in the body.

You can also give medications that include cleated copper. However, it would be beneficial if you only administered half doses since the fish is sensitive to copper.

Parasitic Infections

Bicolor angelfish are susceptible to parasites and protozoan infections, such as white spot diseases, marine algae, and crypt.

The symptoms of a parasite infection include continuous flicking and irritation with numerous white spots on the fins and body.

The dots will vanish after a few weeks but return in more significant numbers.

The fish will suffocate when the parasite obstructs the gills utilized for breathing in water.


Parasitic skin flagellate should be treated by gradually raising the temperature to around 82F (28C). When the water temperature is high, the parasite won’t be able to finish the cycle.

Giving medicated food will also assist your fish if this marine fish suffer from parasitic disease.

Metronidazole is a type of medicine used to cure parasitic or protozoan infections. The therapy is considered safe and efficient for the purpose.

Because it has antiprotozoal features, the medicine works. It’s also Reef safe, which means you may use it in your aquarium. You may give the medication straight or add it to food.

It would be beneficial to avoid using formalin solutions and copper with bicolour angelfish because they are sensitive.

It is also not advised to use quinine-based medications, as they are dangerous to saltwater fish.

Viral Infections

Bicolor angelfish are particularly vulnerable to viral illnesses. Symptoms will appear after four days of exposure.

Adult and young bicolor angelfish can die from viral infections because they aren’t as robust as other types.


Keeping the aquarium clean at all times will help to minimize the chance of illness.

It would also be advantageous to maintain the proper water temperature and pH levels.

Always remember, it’s critical to keep an eye on the tank parameters to ensure your angelfish stays healthy and happy.

Bicolor Angelfish Pros and cons

The Bicolor Angelfish is one of the most challenging species to keep in a saltwater aquarium, so we’ll go through some of its pros and drawbacks.


  • Active swimmers
  • Big appetites
  • Long-lived


  • NOT Reef safe
  • A tad aggressive
  • We need a large tank (70+ gallons) with ample live rock to be happy.


How Do Big Do Bicolor Angelfish Get?

The Bicolor Angelfish can reach a size of 6 inches in captivity. However, most fish reach a length of 3 to 4 inches in their lifetime.

So, to keep an adult fish, a large tank is required.

A juvenile fish less than 3 inches long may be kept in a 55-gallon (208 liters) tank.

Where Can I Find Bicolor Angelfish for Sale?

Bicolor angelfish are readily available from both online and local vendors.

Before purchasing a bicolor angelfish, check if it’s captive-bred or wild-caught.

Captive-bred fish are typically healthier and have a higher survival rate than their wild-caught counterparts.

What Are Bicolor Angelfish Care Tips?

It is not simple to maintain a Bicolor angelfish.

As we mentioned before, the bicolor angelfish are not as hardier as other dwarf angelfish.

The aquarium should have a lot of live rocks to encourage natural algae development.

Ensure there’s enough room for the fish to swim about in the aquarium.

Furthermore, caves, rocks, and cracks should all have many hiding places.

It is critical; otherwise, the angelfish will become stressed and vulnerable to illnesses.

Last Words

Bicolor Angel fish is one of the most challenging fish to care for in a saltwater aquarium.

These beautiful fish are active swimmers and have big appetites, so the oriole dwarf angel needs many foods.

They’re also a bit aggressive, so you need to be careful about what other fish you put in the tank with them.

If you’re up for the challenge, Bicolor Angel fish can make a beautiful addition to your aquarium.

Just be sure to do your research before you get one! Thanks for reading.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below.