Barred Angelfish (Paracentropyge multifasciata)

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Barred Angelfish
Paracentropyge multifasciata
Barred Angelfish (Paracentropyge multifasciata)
Name Barred Angelfish
Name Lat. Paracentropyge multifasciata
Synonym Centropyge multifasciata
Family Angelfishes
Family lat. Pomacanthidae
Order Surgeonfishes
Order lat. Acanthuriformes
Origin Indo-West Pacific
Habitat Seaward reefs
Diet Omnivore
pH 8.1-8.4
Hardness 8-10 °KH
Behavior Semi-aggressive
Keeping Individual, pair, harem
Reef Compatible With caution
Care Level Moderate
Life Span N/A
Protection No
Metric Units
Size 11 cm
Temperature 22-27 °C
Salinity 33-36 ‰
Aquarium ~ 300 l
US Units
Size 4"
Temperature 72-81 °F
Salinity 1.020-1.025 sg
Aquarium ~ 80 gal

Distribution and habitat

The range of Paracentropyge multifasciata is the eastern Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, from the Cocos Islands through Indonesia and Australia to Micronesia, where they mostly live in crevices and caves on coral-covered outer reefs down to 70 m depth.


They need a well-structured aquarium with rock structures that offer hiding, resting and covering possibilities, with living stones that they can graze on (sponges, algae, small crustaceans) and that act like a biological filter as well as sufficient swimming space. Only lime-rich, heavy metal-free sands, gravel or stones may be used as substrate.

Filters, skimmers and heaters are necessary to ensure water quality, as well as pumps to simulate tides, swells and bottom currents. Lighting must be appropriate for the species' day-night rhythm

Salinity: 33-36 ‰ pH value: 8.1-8.4
Carbonate hardness: 8-10 °KH Nitrate content: 2-8 mg/l
phosphate content: 0.01-0.1 mg/l nitrite content: 0.0-0.05 mg/l

For salinity, an average value should be aimed for, which may only vary slightly by +/- 0.5 ‰. Ammonia and ammonium must not be measurable. Special attention must be paid to constantly good water quality.


In nature, they feed mainly on algae and crustaceans. The change of feed does not always succeed without problems. The food supply should consist of a commercially available, vitamin-enriched frozen special food mix for angelfish or a combination of algae (e.g. spirulina, nori), chopped shrimp, crab and mussel meat with live and frozen food, such as mysis, krill, bosmids and artemia, as well as live cyclops, which also serve to keep them busy

It is recommended to feed small portions several times a day (3-5 times). Regular and varied feeding promotes health and increases resistance.

Behaviour and compatibility

It is recommended to keep them in pairs or in a harem, one male with 2-3 females. To avoid ranking fights, they should be placed in the aquarium at the same time, with one of the animals being significantly larger. The dominant, larger animal always develops into the male. They are territorial and can sometimes be aggressive towards other dwarf angelfish with similar coloration or body shape.

Sex dimorphism

They are protogynous hermaphrodites, i.e. most males develop from functional females. External sexual characteristics are not known.

Reproduction and breeding

Breeding in the aquarium has already succeeded sporadically.


They usually stay near their hiding place or cave. As reef dwellers, they should not be kept in a fish-only aquarium. If kept in pairs, with sufficient activity (live stones) and varied feeding, they can be maintained even in challenging coral tanks without attacking the corals

If different species are kept together, care should be taken to ensure that the fish match each other in terms of water quality and temperature requirements and social behavior, and that the setup meets the needs of all species kept together. New fish to be introduced must be acclimated slowly to the water in the aquarium

Further literature can be found in your pet store.


Text: petdata; Image: Franz Lowak

Source: KUITER, DEBELIUS (2007): Atlas der Meeresfische: Die Fische an den Küsten der Weltmeere, Kosmos Verlag; PATZNER & MOOSLEITNER (1999): Meerwasser Atlas Bd. 6, Mergus Verlag; ENGELMANN (2005): Zootierhaltung - Tiere in menschlicher Obhut: Fische, Verlag Harri Deutsch

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