Bellus Female Angelfish - Genicanthus bellus - Bellus Angel fish - Ornate Angelfish
Medium 3" - 4"
Large 4" - 5"
The Bellus Angel looks significantly different than its male counterpart, with the male having quite a bit of yellow on the body and the female having none. This fish is generally considered an excellent reef safe angel, but should be introduced to a reef tank only with caution as angels can sometimes damage corals by grazing upon them. Often the female of a fish does not have a very interesting appearance, but the female Bellus breaks this rule with its gorgeous appearance.
The Bellus Angelfish (also called the Bellus Lyretail Angelfish, Ornate Angelfish and, locally, the Boray-Boray), is one of the best so-called reef-safe angelfish for the angelfish-ready saltwater aquarium. For those unfamiliar with this fish, the Bellus Angelfish is a relatively small (to seven inches), hardy and attractive angelfish with a generally peaceful disposition. Unlike most angelfish, they tend to leave invertebrates alone, making them one of the few angelfish appropriate for a reef tank.
The Bellus angelfish is from the genus Genicanthus and, like all species in the genus, the Bellus angelfish is a mid-water planktavore (look closely at the small mouth which contains multiple rows of short bristle-like teeth adapted for taking plankton from the water column). This dentition means that, unlike other fish in the Pomacanthidae family known to pick at corals and sessile invertebrates, the Bellus Angelfish can be kept in a reef tank with confidence.
Adult male specimens of G. bellus possess two striking orange bands over a grey-bluish body. One of the male’s bands is a mid-lateral band, while the other arcs along the base of the dorsal fin. The male also has an orange spot behind its gill plate. Females and juveniles have dramatic black lateral stripes often contrasting with a bold blue swath beneath. Because of the dramatic sexual dimorphism exhibited by this species, it is highly recommended that the aquarist keep a pair or small group in a suitably large aquarium (at least 100 gallons).
Habitat: The Bellus Angelfish is a tropical fish living between 19° North and 18° South in the eastern Indian Ocean from Cocos-Keeling Atoll to the Philippines and Pacific Islands of Guam, Cook and the Society Islands. In captivity, it prefers a tropical reef tank with plenty of swimming room and caves in which to retreat. This angelfish is known to inhabit depths in the wild of 100 meters along the edges of outer reefs. As such, the Bellus Angelfish is susceptible to swim bladder trauma as a result of improper decompression in wild-caught specimens. Always make sure a Bellus Angelfish is swimming normally before purchasing it from a dealer’s tank. Generally hardy, the Bellus Angelfish is not overly susceptible to disease.
Specific Care Information: The Bellus Angelfish is one of the few angelfish displaying sexual dimorphism. The male is an iridescent pale white and blue, with the lower half of the body and anal fin highlighted by long, horizontal blue stripes and one, yellow to orange stripe extending toward the caudal fin and edging the dorsal fin. The female is an iridescent pale white and blue and black with a yellow/orange dorsal fin and lateral stripe running from gills to tail.
Bellus Angelfish are best housed as a male-female pair or small harem of one male and few females in a 100-gallon or larger aquarium, and are ideal candidates for the deep-water reef aquarium. Acclimation will be facilitated by a dimly-lit tank, but these fishes seem to adapt well to the intense lighting in most modern reef aquariums. The tank should have multiple hiding places and live rock for grazing. Do not keep two males in the same tank as fighting will ensue.
Diet: Eats various foods. Such as mysis shrimp, brine shrimp, spirulina algae, broccoli, Angel Formula or foods enriched with Zoecon.
Breeding and Propagation: The Bellus Angelfish are hermaphroditic and have the ability to change sex from female to male, and males can even revert back to female if no females are present in the aquarium. They are difficult to breed, but many seasoned veteran aquarists have successfully observed these fishes spawning on a regular basis in very large home aquariums. A varied diet of meaty foods such as vitamin enriched frozen brine shrimp, plus spirulina, marine algae, high-quality angelfish preparations, mysis or frozen shrimp, and other meaty items will provide good nutrition.
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