WHAT KIND OF CORALS can stay in the same tank with Angel Fish?


Always Learning - I'm Paulo
BRS Member
I was wondering if anyone could help me with this since I'm trying to make my 125 only for as many kinds as possible of angel fishes. I love their colors.
Unfortunetly that would be too many large angels in one tank. It is recommended only 1 per tank for example only 1 emperor or queen or majestic. Those angels will outgrow that 125 also unless you plan to upgrade in a few years to a 8ft or larger tank. Just my thoughts.

this is me

I like turtles
BRS Member
Seriously, here's my take on angelfish species and corals based on my experience.
Genicanthus(Swallowtail, Bellus, Wantanbei...) are considered to be the most reef safe. However, there's still a chance if you don't feed them sufficiently. Their colors are also not as striking like other angelfish.
Centropyge(Dwarf angelfish). 50% chance of nipping LPS, SPS
Pygoplites(Regal angelfish) 75% chance will eat your LPS and nip at SPS
Pomacanthus(Emperor, Majestic, Blueface.....). 95% chance of eating your fleshy LPS. Say good bye to those acans and the like. Will nip at SPS all day long
Chaetodontoplus(Blueline, Scribble) 95% chance of eating your fleshy LPS. Say good bye to those acans and the like. Will nip at SPS all day long
Holacanthus(Queen, Clarion....) I have no experience with Queen. Just based on my reading that they get large and destructive.
Apolemichthys(Goldflake, Flagfin, Bandit....) I have no experience with them.

When you're considering angelfish, you have to let go your corals. There's no way around it. I've accepted this when I upgraded to a large tank. The reason for me to upgrade was mainly fish and specifically angelfish. I love their striking colors, their form, and their behavior. I've lost all of the acans, acanthrophillia, brains, due to either angelfish eating them and/or I've given them away due to angelfish eating them. My SPS are fine, however, there's little polyps extension because the angelfish nip at them all the time. Most of my SPS are large colony so they can withstand the abuse better than if you have a tank full of frags. I wouldn't trying to grow corals and be keeping angelfish at the same time.
The large angelfish require the same amount of room as a tang and add a lot of bio-load. Because of the bio-load they add, you have to have a much bigger skimmer than your average tank. More water change too! And because of this, you will never be able to brag about your Zero nutrient tank. :D
If I have a 120gallons or less, I would concentrate on corals(Been there, done that). If I have 300gallons or more, I can careless about the corals and focus more on fish.


Senior Moron
BRS Member
I agree most of those angels you listed will get too large for a 125 pretty quickly. Some of those fish belong in like 250+ gallon systems.

Some of the dwarfs that you mentioned like the coral beauty, bicolor and maybe even the black velvet would be fine in the 125. The issue is that they are hit or miss on being reef safe. Some will be not bother any corals or inverts and some will feast on your inverts. Some will also nip at coral polyps especially zoas and lps.

The best way to acquire one of the dwarfs is to buy from a local reefer or LFS that has had the fish in with corals and knows the behavior.
My opinion is your best chance if success would be a soft coral tank with pygmy angelfish and adding small ones at the same time. Even then there's a strong chance they won't play nice with each other
You maybe fine to have some montipora and Hollywood stunner coral in your tank with large angels. I habe a 10" emperor and one had a large queen before the emperor and they left those corals alone. Definitely forget about acans and brains for sure they think those are a treat.


Acro Garden, BRS Sponsor
BRS Member
Agree, also I don't think angel fish will eat most montipora, nor Hollywood stunner chalice. Kenya tree, toadstool and green paly are coral that no one eats despite I wish a fish will eat them.


Corey- 2019 BRS BOD
BRS Member
I have a flameback angle in a mixed reef and he has not touched anything. I have had him in there for 4 years

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Greg Hiller

BRS Moderator
Staff member
BRS Member
My experience with several Navarchus (majestic angels) is they will eat some fleshy LPS, but I've actually been okay with Acans, and I've never seen a significant issue with SPS. Sometimes they'll take a tip off Montipora digitata but usually they lose interest. On the positive side usually they will also control the or Tulip anemones. They make cool "popping" noises, too!

I had a pair of golden angels in an SPS dominated reef system for a while, they never seemed to cause much problem. But they hid in the rocks all the time.

I agree for a 125 you would not want more than probably two of the big angels. If it's a reef system with lots of hiding places you could probably keep several dwarf angels.

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