The Rusty Angelfish,(Centropyge ferrugata) stands out as an excellent addition to any saltwater aquarium, they are very similar in appearance to the Coral Beauty (Centropyge bispinosus) and the Shepard's Pygmy Angelfish (Centropyge shepard). The Rusty Angelfish is a vibrantly colored dwarf angel. The golden to an orange-amber colored body is topped with irregularly shaped black dots in a vertically striped pattern that decrease in size from dorsal to anal/pelvic fins, finishing off with a brilliant neon blue edging around the fins.
In captivity these dwarf angels are moderately hardy. They do need to be maintained in better water quality than what's required for most saltwater fish, so are suggested for an intermediate aquarist. But they are great little angelfish that are not too picky about what they eat and are great foragers. Their natural diet consists mostly of algae and detritus, which keeps them very active moving around picking at the substrate and the rockwork. They can handle some neglect and they will even breed in captivity. They can be kept in a mature tank over 30 gallons it they are the only fish, but do best with 55 gallons or more. The best environment is one with live rock that can help supply them with plenty of natural algal foods, and positioned to create lots of hiding places.
The Rusty Angelfish require lots of hiding places in a rocky Aqua-scaped aquarium with lots of caves/crevices and ample amounts of live rock for grazing on microalgae and diatoms. While they should not harm non-sessile invertebrates such as shrimp, snails or crabs. They may occasionally nip at SPS corals and some species of polyp corals, zoanthids, and clam mantles. Although, if you start with a younger angel, say a small or medium, and they are well fed on a diet of Spirulina, marine algae, high-quality angelfish preparations, mysis or large chunks of raw meaty frozen shrimp, squid, clam, and mussels they tend not to bother corals too much.
All Rusy Angelfish are born female and can be paired according to size, not necessarily color. The larger fish becomes male, so making a pair is possible by buying a larger Rusty Angelfish and a smaller one, and within a few months hopefully they will assume their roles as male and female. Dwarf angelfish will spawn in captivity and some are now being raised, yet raising the larvae is quite a difficult task.
Food and Diet:
Dwarf Angelfish are omnivore's. In the wild it feeds primarily on algae, but it will also ingest tiny animals living in the algae. In captivity their diet will be mostly algae, but also offer some other proteins. Feeding them a variety of good foods is important. Offer various types of fresh and dried marine algae, spirulina enriched foods, mysis shrimp, shaved shrimp and other high-quality meaty foods, angelfish preparations, and flakes or pellets designed for algae eating fish. There are several good commercial foods available including Formula II and Angel Formula. Feed several times a day even if natural foods are present.
Recommended amount of drip acclimation time:
Approximate Purchase Size:
Small: 1" to 1-3/4"; Medium: 1-3/4" To 2-1/2"; Large: 2-1/2" to 4-1/2"