Clarion Angelfish

Clarion Angelfish

The Clarion Angelfish is a stunning, colorful fish that belongs to the Pomacanthidae family.

The majority of these species have brownish orange colorations all over their bodies and tails mixed with some blue stripes which make them look very elegant.

Although they seem to be docile fish, these fish can be quite aggressive and territorial so it is important to choose their tank mates carefully.

In this guide, we will go over everything you need to know about Clarion Angelfish care, including their diet, tank setup, and more!


Scientific NameHolacanthus clarionensis
Common NameClarion Angelfish
Care LevelIntermediate
Size8 inches
Lifespan10 – 15 years
Temperaturebetween 23°C (73.4°F) and 26°C (78.8°F).
pHbetween 8.0 and 8.3
Specific Gravitybetween 1,020 and 1,025.
OriginEastern Pacific Ocean, Baja California, Revillagigedo Islands, Cabo San Lucas, Clarion Island
Tank Size180 gallons or greater.
Clarion Angelfish Characteristics

Clarion Angelfish Origin & Habitat

Clarion Angelfish Origin & Habitat
Captive Bred Clarion Angelfish

The Clarion angelfish (Holacanthus clarionensis) is a marine ray-finned fish that dwells in the eastern central Pacific Ocean particularly, near Mexico’s Pacific coast.

They can be also found in the northern part of Baja California, along the southern tip of the Gulf of California, and on Clipperton Island.

These little angelfish varieties inhabit the clear water rocky reefs and walls around the Revillagigedo Islands, especially Isla Clarion. They also inhabit shallow to deep rocky reefs, with a depth range of 30 meters (98 feet).

Clarion Angelfish Behavior

The Clarion Angelfish is a solitary or small group animal that does not migrate. In order to communicate with each other, they use visual, chemical, and acoustic signaling.

Clarion Angelfish Life Cycle

The life cycle of the clarion angelfish begins with them spending several months inside their mother’s ovary before baby clarion angels are born.

The fry cling to their mother for the first few weeks of life, then develop individuality and search for a partner when they reach sexual maturity.

However, if no male is present in the tank, one of the females will transform into a male since clarion angels are protogynous hermaphrodites.

Clarion Angelfish Features

The Features Holacanthus Clarionensis
The Features Holacanthus Clarionensis


A Clarion angelfish has a quadrilateral body that is laterally compressed, with a small mouth having brush-like teeth and their gill covers include a long spine.

Also, the caudal fins of the fish are straight with extended outside edges and rough scales, while their bodies are covered in bristly scales.

Additionally, the dorsal fin has 14 spines and 17-19 soft rays, while the anal fin has three spines and 19 soft rays.


1. Juveniles

Juvenile Clarion angelfish have yellowish-orange coloration all over their body and fins.

They also have blue vertical bars on their bodies, which fade and vanish as they mature. Moreover, these youngsters’ dorsal, anal fins, and the interior of their mouths are blue.

2. Adults

Adult clarion angels have brown faces with the adjacent part of the body being reddish-orange and the posterior portion being browner.

In addition, the dorsal, and tail fins are bright orange, while the caudal fin is vermilion.

However, some adults may have a greenish nape or a darker green region on the rear of their body.


Clarion angelfish is a large fish that can grow up to 20 centimeters (7.9 in) long. However, some rare species can grow up to 30.3 cm (11.9 inches) in length.


The average lifespan of a clarion angelfish in the wild is ten years. However, they may live up to 15 years in an adequately maintained tank.

Clarion Angelfish Cost

The Clarion angelfish is a rare fish and is not often available in the aquarium trade. As a result, they are so expensive that a single clarion angel can cost up to $2,500!

How to Care for Clarion Angelfish?

How to Care for Clarion Angelfish?
Clarion Angelfish Is a Hardy Fish to Take Care Of?

a.Water Parameters

1. Water Changes

Although clarion angelfish are hardy fish, they are still sensitive to water pollution. Thus, it is important to do regular water changes in their tank.

You should do water change of 10-15% every 2 weeks for captive bred clarion angelfish. To maintain better water quality, you can also install a filter in their tank.

2. Water Temperature

Clarion angelfish are tropical reef fish that prefer warmer waters. Thus, the ideal water temperature for their tank is between 23°C (73.4°F) and 26°C (78.8°F).

If you are concerned about your fish getting too cold, you can use a heater in their tank to maintain the water temperature.

3. pH Range

These species prefer pH levels similar to those found in their natural habitat, which is between 8.0 and 8.4.

Sudden changes in pH levels can be stressful for your fish and may even kill them. Therefore, you should use a pH test kit to regularly check the pH levels in your tank and take the necessary steps to maintain it within the ideal range.

4. Specific gravity

The specific gravity (SG) should be between 1,020 and 1,025.

5.Ammonia, Nitrite & Nitrate

All toxins like ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate should be kept at 0 levels in the tank as they can be fatal to your fish. These toxins rise due to overfeeding or a lack of water changes and can quickly reach lethal levels.

Therefore, you should remove any uneaten food and use a water test kit to regularly check the levels of these toxins in your tank.

6. Water Movement

Clarion angels love strong water currents, so they can swim and conceal themselves in various locations.

To create a strong water current in their tank, you can install a powerhead or an aquarium filter with a high flow rate.

b. Tank Setup

Aquarium Reefs
Aquarium Reefs

1. Size

Clarion angelfish are active swimmers that like to explore their surroundings. Thus, they need a large tank that can accommodate their swimming needs.

Therefore, you should provide them with a tank that is at least 180 gallons.

2. Hiding Places

Clarion angelfish shows aggressive behaviors, especially when kept with other species of fish. Thus, it is important to provide them with plenty of hiding places in their tank to help reduce their stress levels.

You can add live rocks, coral, or driftwood to their tank to create hiding places for your fish. However, avoid using sharp objects as they can injure your fish.

3. Lighting

Clarion angelfish come from shallow water habitats that have bright, intense lighting. So, you should provide them with similar lighting conditions in their tank.

The best type of lighting for their tank is metal-halide or LED lighting. They not only provide the right intensity and spectrum of light but also last longer and consume less energy than other types of lights.

Clarion Angelfish Diet

Clarion Angelfish Diet
Clarion Angelfish Diet

Clarion Angelfish are omnivores that eat microscopic small invertebrates. In the wild, they primarily eat algae, which makes up a significant portion of their diet.

To keep them healthy in your aquarium, you should give them a varied diet that includes vitamin-rich foods like marine algae, fleshy meals, and other nutrients.

Some of the best foods for clarion angels include:

  • Artemia Salina
  • Krill
  • Flakes
  • Pellets
  • Brine shrimp
  • Mysis shrimp
  • Live feeder fish
  • Algae wafers
  • Spirulina flakes
  • Plant material
  • Squid

Clarion Angelfish Compatibility

Clarion angels are semi-aggressive fish that are not suitable for all aquariums. They should not be kept with too similar species or those that are much smaller than them.

Also, these species have compressed bodies with pointy gill covers, so they should be treated with caution owing to the risk of injury from their compacted bodies’ spines.

Are Clarion Angelfish Reef Safe?

Clarion angels are not ideal for reef tanks since they consume most soft coral and LPS corals.

However, they can be ideally suited for mixed coral reefs. The following corals are safe to keep with clarion angelfish:

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

Clarion Angelfish Breeding

Breeding Of Clarion Angelfish
Breeding Of Clarion Angelfish

Clarion angels do not have a specific breeding season and are easy to breed in captivity. However, they’re monogamous and only reproduce when they feel secure, so offer them plenty of hiding places in their tank.

They are egg-laying aquatic species, which means the female and male clarion angelfish will release many eggs and sperm into the water.

After that, the female angel fish will lay between 500 to 2000 eggs on a suitable surface. Then, the male will fertilize them.

Within 24 to 48 hours, The fry will hatch and will be approximately 1.5 mm in length.

At a length of about 3 mm, the baby fry will eat zooplankton until they mature enough to consume other planktonic creatures.

When they’re old enough, you should give them high-quality foods like mysis shrimp that contain a lot of polyunsaturated fatty acids (like omega-three).

Is Clarion Angelfish Hardy?

The Clarion angelfish is a hardy fish that is resistant to most diseases. Therefore, they are a good choice for beginner aquarists.

However, they can be susceptible to marine ich and other parasites if the water conditions in their tank are not optimal.

Last Words

Clarion angels are beautiful and unique fish that make a great addition to any aquarium.

Before you add them to your tank, make sure you provide them with a large tank, plenty of hiding places, and the right type of lighting.

Also, give them a varied diet that includes marine algae, fleshy meals, and other nutrients.

We hope this guide has helped you. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask us in the comments section below.

Happy fishkeeping!