Diet, Mates, Tank and Reef Safety

Hi, are you ready to dive into the vibrant world of Bicolor Angels? These captivating fish are absolute stunners with their striking colors and graceful movements. Their bright orange-gold body contrasted with a bold black posterior provides a splash of sunshine swimming around your tank!

There are a few important things to keep in mind as they can be a bit aggressive so let’s get started!

Species Summary

Known as one of the most recognizable dwarf angelfish, the bicolor angelfish is native to the Indo-Pacific region. It is most commonly found in lush reefs around Fiji, New Caledonia, Japan and Papua New Guinea.

Their ideal habitats range from three to 80 feet deep, with juveniles usually staying closer to the surface. THE bicolor centropyge is also called the Oriole angelfish or the bicolor angelfish.

Although they can be seen in the wild in pairs or in small groups, these fish are best limited to one per tank. They are moderately hardy and may require extra care during the acclimatization process. Bicolor Angelfish are long-lasting active swimmers with big appetites and even bigger personalities.

Author’s note: These fish have intermediate care needs and sometimes show aggressive tendencies that could make it difficult to safely introduce them to your aquarium.


The two-tone Angels have a bright yellow front half that contrasts beautifully with their dark blue back half. If you look closely, you’ll spot a hint of blue in their eyes. The pectoral and caudal fins are yellow while the anal and dorsal fins are blue.

Two bicolor angelfish swimming in a saltwater aquarium


In the wild, these two-toned angelfish generally have a lifespan of around 5 to 10 years while in captivity it can be up to 12 years.. Please keep in mind that this lifespan is based on a great environment with excellent water conditions and friendly tank mates.


Centropyge bicolor is one of the largest species of dwarf angelfish. A bicolor angel can reach an average height of 6 inches.

Two-Tone Angel Treatment

In recent history, it was difficult to keep these superb fish alive beyond their acclimatization period due to controversial cyanide fishing techniques. Today, with exciting improvements, it has become easier to keep them happy and healthy. Best suited to at least intermediate aquarists, bicolor angelfish will thrive in larger tanks with high quality water.

tank size

For a bicolor angelfish, the recommended tank size is at least 55 gallons.. Opting for an aquarium that is too small will aggravate their aggressive tendencies and make them more volatile. Mated angelfish do well in 75 gallon aquariums. IIf you own two or more unsexed Bicolor Angelfish, you need an even larger tank between 100 and 150 gallons.. You should never put this fish in a nano aquarium, not even as a juvenile.

Water parameters

water temperature: 72°F to 80°F

pH levels: 8.0 to 8.4

Water hardness: 8 to 12 dKH

Specific gravity: 1.023 to 1.025

Tank configuration

It is better to choose a longer tank than a taller one, so that your bicolor angel has enough space at the bottom for exploration. Provide several live rock options where they can hide and search for algae. They need several sources of natural algae to supplement their diet.

Author’s note: You can choose a sandy substrate or something more rugged. Many bicolor angelfish appreciate a small rocky area where they can feed and dig. As for water movement, make sure there is a gentle current along the bottom to help with feeding.


Your tank lighting should be bright enough to promote healthy algae growth. If you’re using low-light options, place your tank in an area of ​​your home that receives direct sunlight during the day.


Standard aquarium filtration works great for bicolor angelfish. These fish need a fixed water quality with minimal fluctuations in pH and hardness. All angelfish will experience a rapid deterioration in health if left in waters with a pH below 8.


Your aquarium will need to be at least six months old before you can consider adding any of these fish. Although you may want to try the popular floating bag method, Two-tone angels are best suited for the slower drip acclimatization technique. Place your new bagged tank addition in a bucket and run a tube down from your aquarium.

You can use standard tubing or an air pump and siphon to better moderate the drip velocity. If you have trouble regulating the drip, feel free to use locking pliers.

Author’s note: Saltwater invertebrates benefit from two to three hours of this acclimatization process. It is essential to take your time so that they are not shocked by the difference in density and pH.

Is Bicolor Angel Reef safe?

Unfortunately, the Bicolor Angel is not reef safe. They tend to nip LPS corals, clams, soft corals, sponges, worms and zoanthids. These angelfish usually leave ornamental crustaceans alone, but they can wreak havoc on the rest of your thriving reef tank. If you don’t have a fish-only live rock aquarium, your best chance is to instill good habits in a juvenile.

Possible common diseases and prevention

Centropyge bicolor, along with other dwarf angelfish, are prone to saltwater diseases such as marine ich, marine velvet, and bacterial infections, as explained below.

  • Marine ich or white spot disease is manifested by constant scratching behaviors as well as small white spots on the fins and scales.
  • Marine velvet will cause respiratory distress, potential weight loss, and yellow or light brown dust on the body.
  • Bacterial infections often result from these parasitic diseases, causing dropsy, red streaks, or popeye.

To remedy a parasitic problem, you must increase the temperature of your tank and provide medicated food. Dealing with these issues can be particularly difficult as copper and chemical solutions are often harmful to fish.

Author’s note: The best way to avoid these problems is to use a quarantine tank for all new additions and limit your aquarium population.

Food and diet

Although they are technically omnivorous, Bicolor angelfish prefer a meat-based diet because they eat more of these foods than other angelfish. Less than a third of their daily diet comes from algae. They much prefer black worms, brine shrimp and mysids. Try feeding them foods fortified with spirulina, which is a type of blue-green algae.

They usually need to be fed about two to three times a day. Frequent feedings can keep them from chewing on your sessile invertebrates. In a larger tank with an abundance of algae sources, you may only need one or two daily feedings.

In some cases, your new angelfish may refuse to eat frozen foods or pellets due to stress. It can be helpful to increase the number of algae in your aquarium to get them used to an aquarium environment. Juvenile bicolor angelfish are more agreeable towards a wider variety of foods.

Behavior and temperament

These beautiful angelfish will not stray far from the bottom of the tank. They are incredibly active during the day and may enjoy hiding and foraging in live rock. Bicolor angelfish have a reputation for being one of the most aggressive species of dwarf angelfish., which can make it difficult to keep them in crowded tanks. Adding your angelfish last ensures that the rest of your fish have already established their territory.

Bicolor Angelfish Tank Companions and Predators

You don’t want to keep small, peaceful fish like gobies, fairy wrasses, or dartfish with your bicolor angelfish. They may even start harassing your passive clownfish or anthias if the tank is too small. As for slow-moving animals like seahorses or mandarins, they eat their food faster, which could lead to starvation issues.

The best tank mates for these angelfish are large, semi-aggressive or aggressive fish. You can even opt for predatory fish as long as you make sure they are not big enough to eat your Two-Tone Angelfish.

Here are some of the best tank mates for these magnificent fish:

A Centropyge bicolor looking for food.


Bicolor Angelfish are protogynous, which means males and females can reverse their sexual orientation in about 20 days.. During their courtship period, you can identify the male by the dark line that forms under his eye. A dominant male will often try to mate with multiple females. Currently, this species has not yet been successfully bred in captivity.

They are known to reach sexual maturity once they are around 2.4 to 2.7 inches long. The spawning process of angelfish usually includes the pair circling each other while the male grunts. It will then float off the substrate and tilt its body to attract the female’s attention.

If she is interested and ready to reproduce, they will come together and create fertilized eggs. These eggs are left entirely alone and receive no protection from their parents. After a short time, the male will leave to find another female.

Author’s note: Angelfish larvae are often difficult to breed in captivity due to their very small mouths. After hatching, they will float upwards to eat microscopic plankton, putting them at risk of falling prey to another fish.

In conclusion

Well folks, we’ve come to the end of our Bicolor Angel skincare guide. We hope you had as much fun reading it as we had researching and putting it all together. Along with taking care of all the basics (food, companions, etc.), don’t forget to provide your angelfish with plenty of hiding places and nurturing environments to satisfy their curious minds.

With their dazzling appearance and curious personalities, bicolor angelfish are a truly captivating addition to any saltwater aquarium. If you’re looking to learn more about other fish, try our saltwater fish care guides and don’t forget to tag us on Facebook when you share a cool photo of your aquarium!

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