Lamarck's Angelfish (Genicanthus lamarck)

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Lamarck's Angelfish
Genicanthus lamarck
Lamarck's Angelfish (Genicanthus lamarck)
Name Lamarck's Angelfish
Name Lat. Genicanthus lamarck
Family Angelfishes
Family lat. Pomacanthidae
Order Surgeonfishes
Order lat. Acanthuriformes
Origin Indo-West Pacific
Habitat Reefs
Diet Planktivore
pH 8.1-8.4
Hardness 8-10 °KH
Behavior Peaceful
Keeping Pair, harem
Reef Compatible Yes
Care Level Moderate
Life Span 10-12 years
Protection No
Metric Units
Size 24 cm
Temperature 22-28 °C
Salinity 33-36 ‰
Aquarium ~ 750 l
US Units
Size 9"
Temperature 72-82 °F
Salinity 1.020-1.025 sg
Aquarium ~ 200 gal

Distribution and habitat

The range of the swimming Genicanthus lamarck is the eastern Indian Ocean and western Pacific Ocean, from the Indo-Malay Peninsula to Vanuatu and from southern Japan to the Great Barrier Reef, where they live on both shallow reefs and steep slopes to depths of 35 m.


They need a well-structured aquarium with a reef structure that offers hiding, resting and covering possibilities, with living stones that they can graze on and that act like a biological filter as well as a lot of swimming space. 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 feed mainly on zooplankton. The feed conversion does not always succeed without problems. The food supply should consist of a commercially available, vitamin-enriched frozen special food mix for planktivores or a combination of algae (e.g. spirulina, kelp) with live and frozen food, such as small mysis, plankton, 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 one male with several females. Several females can also be added to the aquarium at the same time, in which case the largest, dominant animal will develop into the male. They are territorial and can be aggressive towards other angelfish. They are usually peaceful towards other fish.

Sex dimorphism

They are protogynous hermaphrodites, meaning that most males develop from functional females. The males have black ventral fins, those of the females are white.

Reproduction and breeding

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


As reef dwellers, they should not be kept in a fish-only aquarium. When 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; PATZNER & MOOSLEITNER (1999): Meerwasser Atlas Bd. 6, Mergus Verlag; ENGELMANN (2005): Zootierhaltung - Tiere in menschlicher Obhut: Fische, Verlag Harri Deutsch

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