Is there a reef safe dwarf angel?


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Is there a reef safe dwarf angel — I’ve been told they nip at corals. Are there any that are less likely to do this, or should I just avoid certain corals?

A) Jeremy replies: All dwarf angels have the capability to nip at corals, especially fleshy and long tentacled LPS corals, which are often the most prized. They are safer with mushrooms, soft and leather corals, or SPS corals, however. Of the commonly available dwarf angels, the Lemonpeel and Bicolor are the least reef safe, whereas the Flameback, Pygmy and Coral beauty tend to be safer, but you can never truly trust any dwarf angel with any coral.

The good news is that there is a genus of angelfish that is 100% reef safe and some of those stay small too. Of these, the Bellus angel, Genicanthus bellus is beautiful and the blue, black and white females are particularly striking, while the males have two orange-yellow horizontal stripes running along the body. They reach around 15cm and never touch the rocks or substrate. Other species in the genus include Lamark's, Blackspot and Watanabe angels and they are similarly reef safe, very beautiful and can even be kept in harems. They do grow slightly larger, however.