What are your experiences with keeping the genus Genicanthus?


Recently a poster on clay-boa who keeps a pair of these has suggested them as a worthwhile genus to look into. They’re the only reef-safe angels as far as I know. For those of you who have experience with these fish, I would appreciate it if you’d answer the following questions. Thanks:

1. What species do you have?

2. How hardy would you say this genus is compared to other genuses and marine fish in general?

3. What does it eat? Is it a finicky eater?

4. Any special quarantine measures required?

5. What tank size do you feel would be optimal for one? A pair?

6. Are they disease resistant? If they’ve contacted diseases , which ones?

7. Is it hard to secure healthy specimens?

8. How long have you had yours? How long do you think their lifespan could be?

9. Are some species among them good for beginners with a system a couple months old?

10. Any other special maintainence requirements?

11. Do they play nicely with Tangs? The guy on clay-boa actually suggested these as an alternative to Tangs but I’m considering having both.

12. Being large angels, would you say these are sturdier than many species of Centropyges?

13. All in all, would you say these are a decent beginner to “early-Moderate” fish? If so, which species would you recommend?
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Vinny Kreyling

Premium Member
2-Very Hardy
3-Eats Anything
4- No
5-55 & 75
6-No Problems Here
7-Males Yes on this species
8-5 yrs.
9-Not so Much
13-Wait until tank is established a year. Pick the one you like the best.


Sounds great. Well from what I’ve planned they’re going to be among the last fish in anyway. By then I’ll have the rest of my fish in my tank for a good amount of time.

Is the wait mainly due to stability in terms of water conditions?


I think I will just buy a female, wait for it to turn into a male, then later down the line introduce another female that’s smaller. Or maybe same size is okay?

Also do I need a refugium for these fish?
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Good to know. I wonder how many I can put in my tank. Would three be okay, or would you only do two for a 155-gallon tank if you were me?


B'rer Reefer
Team RC
I’ve been keeping a trio of semifascatus for about three years now. They originally went in as three females but the largest turned male about a year later. This being the only species of Genicanthus I’ve ever kept, I cannot speak to their hardiness versus others but my three have all been pretty bulletproof to me. They will eat any fare they are given and l specifically supplement their diet with fish-store bought clam once a week, which they seem to really appreciate. No special QT methods. They came in healthy and have never had an issue with disease. No idea of their lifespan or how mature your tank should be but mine was very mature and they were NOT the first fish in. Mine require no special maintenance and are in with two tangs (Purple & Bristletooth) which basically ignore each other. I’ve never maintained any Centropyges so I can’t answer the hardiness comparison question either but I would not consider them a beginners fish as they are pretty expensive (what isn’t nowadays) so mistakes would be rather costly.


Good to know. In a tank of my size, would keeping 3 be too risky? I’m also considering adding a Xanthurus Cream Angelfish. How would they get along?


Hmm. I’ll do no more than two. Would two Genicanthus and a Xanthurus Cream Angelfish be too much?

I’m thinking Lamarck’s + Watanabei / Spotbreast, Watanabei pair or Spotbreast pair, or Watanabei + Spotbreast for the Genicanthus. And a Xanthurus Cream for the Apolemichthys.

If I wanted to be conservative I’d just do two Genicanthus without the Xanthurus Cream or just a Genicanthus and the Xanthurus Cream. Xanthurus Cream gets to 8”.