Generally a shy animal, the Venustus Angelfish is one of the rare species that is becoming more readily available in the industry. Usually found in caves and deep reef slopes, the Venustus Angelfish needs to be acclimated to bright lights of the home aquarium in the same way many deep water anthias are. Requires open rock structure with caves and overhangs. This fish was previously classified as Holacanthus and recently to Sumireyakko. Some authors may even classify it as a Paracentropyge. The beautiful bright yellow body with the purplish/blue triangular patch over the eye and saddle across the back make this fish an unusual addition bound to attract the eye and conversation in any home aquarium. They rarely pick at stony or soft corals but have been known to pick at clam mantles. This is probably due to the easy to reach zooxanthellae in the clam mantle tissue. Smaller individuals will be model citizens leaving most fish and even other dwarf Angelfish alone. Adults, however, can become belligerent and aggressive toward any Angelfish and tank mates that may share similar coloration or shape.
This highly prized angelfish is yellow with a purple "saddle" on the back and dorsal fin and a purple band on the top of the head. It can be difficult to keep and is usually quite finicky with feeding. Odds of success may be greatly increased if kept only with completely peaceful, non-boisterous fishes, and in reef tanks containing live rock. Odds of them doing well in a fish only tank with bold feeders are slim; this fish needs a very mellow environment. A cave dweller in nature, it should be provided with caves and overhangs, and should housed with no remotely aggressive fishes. Live rock will facilitate acclimation. Keep only one specimen per tank.
Habitat: A large, well-established reef aquarium where this fish can freely graze is ideal. Provide with plenty of suitable hiding places, including rocky caves and overhangs, and house with nonaggressive fishes. It will do better in a deep aquarium, with areas of shade and dim lighting.
Origin: Japan, Philippines, Ryukyu Islands, Taiwan to western tropical Pacific
Diet: The Venustus Angelfish is very selective as to what it will eat. In the wild it naturally eats sponge material but can be taught to consume frozen and prepared foods with time and patience and careful acclimation to aquarium life. Because it is a shy fish initially, special care needs to be taken to properly teach this fish to accept strange new foods. It is suggested to feed a mixture of Angelfish Formula that contains sponge matter as well as frozen mysis shrimp and spirulina to begin with.