Clarion Angelfish (Holacanthus clarionensis)

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Clarion Angelfish
Holacanthus clarionensis
Clarion Angelfish (Holacanthus clarionensis)
Name Clarion Angelfish
Name Lat. Holacanthus clarionensis
Family Angelfishes
Family lat. Pomacanthidae
Order Surgeonfishes
Order lat. Acanthuriformes
Origin Eastern Pacific
Habitat Coastal reefs
Diet Omnivore
pH 8.1-8.4
Hardness 8-10 °KH
Behavior Semi-aggressive
Keeping Individual, pair
Reef Compatible With caution
Care Level Difficult
Life Span 10-15 years
Protection CITES Appendix II; EC Annex B
Metric Units
Size 20 cm
Temperature 20-24 °C
Salinity 33-36 ‰
Aquarium ~ 650 l
US Units
Size 8"
Temperature 68-75 °F
Salinity 1.020-1.025 sg
Aquarium ~ 170 gal

Distribution and habitat

The range of the swimming Holacanthus clarionensis extends from southern Baja California to the Clarion and Clipperton Islands in the eastern Pacific. There they live on rocky coastal reefs from 10 to 30 m deep.


They require a well-structured aquarium with plenty of swimming space and a reef structure (hiding, resting and retreat possibilities) with living stones which they can graze on and which act like a biological filter. Only lime-rich, heavy metal-free sands, gravels, stones or sea sand of various grain sizes 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 correspond to the species-appropriate day-night rhythm of the animals

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.


They are permanent eaters, feeding on small crustaceans and algae as well as sponges. 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. High-quality granulated or flake food is also usually accepted after a period of acclimation

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. To avoid ranking fights, two different sized or two juvenile animals should be placed in the aquarium at the same time. The dominant, larger animal always develops into the male. They are territorial and can be aggressive towards other angelfish. Towards other fish they usually behave peacefully.

Sex dimorphism

They are protogynous hermaphrodites, meaning that most males develop from functional females

Reproduction and breeding

There are no known reports of successful breeding in the aquarium.

Species protection

Species protection: WA Appendix II; EU Appendix B. The proof of purchase is the required proof of origin for the animal. Please keep it safe! Your pet store will be happy to provide you with further information!


The juvenile fish have a distinctly different juvenile dress from the adult coloration for 2-3 years. As reef dwellers they should not be kept in a fish-only aquarium. If kept in pairs and fed frequently as well as variedly, they can be maintained in challenging coral tanks without serious attacks on the corals. In case of boredom due to poorly structured swimming space (few living stones, low reef surface) they often develop stereotypies. 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: Werner Winter; Image: Franz Lowak

Source: KUITER, DEBELIUS (2007): Atlas der Meeresfische: Die Fische an den Küsten der Weltmeere, Kosmos Verlag; ENGELMANN (2005): Zootierhaltung - Tiere in menschlicher Obhut: Fische, Verlag Harri Deutsch

  • Gemäß § 21 Abs. 5 Tierschutzgesetz idgF