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Fishman
09-06-2017, 06:13 AM
Please be patient as I navigate through my first Thread attempt. Feel free to share your thoughts, comments and questions.

Anyways, having had a freshwater aquarium ever since I can remember, it was about 15 years ago I had the opportunity to spend some time gazing into a large marine aquarium – hypnotizing. I blame a small Flame Angelfish that darted out from behind the liverock for starting this addiction … so beautiful with such vibrant colours. I can’t say I’ve ever had a tank setup that didn’t include a Flame Angel – currently have a pair that spawn almost nightly. My fascination with angelfish continues, although I have a real passion for the Regal Angels. For those of us that have tried keeping these beautiful fish, I understand and can relate to some of the heartbreaks and unhappy endings. Delicate, finicky, shy, fussy, timid, nervous … not good qualities for the sometimes harsh environment of an aquarium.
I’ve recently been successful in establishing two Regal Angels in my tank and decided to share the experience. The tank also includes the following angelfish pairs - Coral Beauty’s, African Flamebacks, Whitetail Pygmy, Watanabe (M&F) and the aforementioned Flames.

The first Regal I ever owned I ordered from a LFS (a plump 4” Red Sea specimen) that actually survived by picking at liverock exclusively for almost 2 months. I had almost given up on this fading fish when one day she took to pellets as if someone turned on a switch. Had her for a couple years until I decided (in a moment of weakness/stupidity), to add a 7” queen angelfish to the tank. The Regal actually faired well for about 6 months but as the Queen became bolder and more pungent, the Regal became reclusive and slowly lost her appetite. A belligerent Purple Tang didn’t help matters either. I tried to QT the Regal but she essentially stopped eating – heartbreaking. The lesson here (my experience anyways), is to ensure there are no large, potentially boisterous fish (especially angels) sharing the tank with the Regal … even if the Regal is well established.

Of the two Regals I have now, I’ll refer to them as Regal-M (5” long and has a longer gill spine that could indicate a Male) and Regal-F (4.5” long with a shorter gill spine - Female perhaps?).
About a year ago, I purchased Regal-M from a LFS. He was eating pellets in store and quickly established in my tank. He was the second largest fish in the tank with a 9” passive Blonde Naso that I’ve had for 5 years being the largest. Regal-M reigned over the many Centropyge Angels and there was no conflict at all with a smaller Hippo Tang, a Blue-lipped bristle-toothed tang and a couple Pyramid Butterflies. Added the Watanabe pair after Regal-M was established and no conflicts whatsoever.

At this point in time I had a few Centropyge pairs that were spawning almost daily so I had this vision of trying to add another Regal. Another (eating) Regal became available at the LFS so I brought Regal-F home. After 3 weeks in the ISO tank and eating very well, I made a big mistake. Regal-M in the 375 gal. Display Tank looking much smaller than Regal-F in the 30 gal. ISO Tank (which was completely incorrect). I thought, no problem, I’ll relocate (what I thought was) the larger fish from ISO to the display and it will look after itself no problem. YIKES … the resident Regal-M was at least a half inch larger than Regal-G that I had just added – fireworks as expected. Within two hours Regal-F was harassed so bad I was able to net her out from the top corner of the tank without much resistance … Back to ISO. FYI – her nipped/split fins grew back completely within 2 weeks. So now what – I have Regal-M in the DT (that I now know is larger) and Regal-F in the ISO Tank on the mend. With no chance of netting Regal-M from the DT, I started the 8 hour chore of pulling all the corals and 400lbs of liverock out of the DT and netted Regal-M into ISO and of course putting smaller Regal-F into the display. At this point I did a bunch more research including writings of John (Copps) Coppolino, who has housed 2 or 3 Regals simultaneously which helped.

Most of the successful pairing stories I researched either added fish to a new environment simultaneously (which I now didn’t have the option), or used a tactic of familiarization when adding a new fish. Therefore, I built a cage with a light diffuser base and plastic chicken wire walls to be placed in the Display Tank. This would be Regal-M’s home for the next 2+ weeks. An interesting observation, as soon as I added Regal-M into the cage, Regal-F (who was now established in the Display Tank), was very aggressive. I have a feeling, had of I simply plopped the larger Regal-M into the DT with the smaller (yet established) Regal-F, the larger Regal-M would have been harassed continuously. Luckily, as the days went by, the 2 Regals continued to eat well and almost ignored each other from opposite sides of cage. After about 2 weeks, I cut a hole in the wall of the cage and watched. Regal-M eventually swam into the display with very little confrontation for the first couple days. On days 3 and 4, Regal-M flexed his muscles slightly but I think just to establish tank hierarchy with himself above Regal-F.

For the first day after cutting the hole in the cage, I simply left it in the display and noticed some fish were swimming in and out. At this point in time I had a Lemon Peel angel and Bi-colour angel that had taken a liking to some of my LPS. So, I simply put 4 or 5 of their favourite corals in the cage and within an hour they swam in to sample them. With two nets, I quickly covered the hole in the cage with one and netted them out with the other. 😊

To my friends, co-workers, wife etc., they shake their heads at the amount of time and effort I’ve put in trying to get 2 “dumb fish” to coexist … for me, it’s just part of the ... Fun.

smokinreefer
09-08-2017, 04:14 AM
Beautiful fish.

Thanks for sharing.

Have you ever tried or considered a harem?
Flames maybe?

Fishman
09-08-2017, 06:13 AM
Beautiful fish.

Thanks for sharing.

Have you ever tried or considered a harem?
Flames maybe?

I'm considering a 3rd Regal (Juvenile should work if introduced properly).

In regards to a Harem, I started with only one Whitetail Pygmy (about 1" in length) that would spawn with the African Flameback Pair ... somewhat of a Harem I guess. However, after adding a larger Whitetail Pygmy, the smaller one paired with it immediately.

In hindsight - wish I had of tried 5 (or 7) Flames.