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Majestic Angelfish
(Pomacanthus navarchus)

majestic angelfish, Euxiphipops navarchus

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Majestic angelfish or Euxiphipops navarchus belong to the family Pomacanthidae. This species is native to both the Indian and Pacific Oceans.  Large concentrations can be found off the shores of the Aegean Islands and New Guinea as well as on the Great Barrier Reef. These fish occupy depths from 10 to 100 feet. Although a marine species, majestic angelfish can often be found in brackish lagoon water.

This is yet another large angelfish named for its royal color pallet. These fish are quite striking in appearance. Their snouts and lower head region are yellow with a purplish overcast around the mouth. Their eyes and the foremost anterior part of their body is royal purple. The upper part of their body is saddled in yellow accented with blue or purple spots. They have purple bellies, ventral and anal fins with light blue edges. Their caudal and dorsal fins are yellow with purple trimming. Because of the saddling effect on their mid-body these fish are often referred to as blue-girdled angelfish.

Majestics have a semi-aggressive temperament.  They are quite the loners in their natural environment.  In captivity they are one of the most territorial of all large angel varieties. This species will exhibit aggressive behavior toward their fellow tank mates, most especially smaller fish and other angelfish.  Given their innate aggression, this fish is best suited for a large show aquarium.  The larger an area they have to perceive as their own, the less likely they will be to bully the tank’s other inhabitants. They will be far more likely to function well in a smaller community tank if introduced to an established population as juveniles. These angelfish are not good candidates for a marine reef tank.  They will eat your sponges and corals and almost certainly nip at your clams and ornamental crustaceans. This species can grow to between 8-12 inches as an adult. In an aquarium they are more apt to measure 6-10 inches in length. A minimum tank size of 100 gallons with plenty of open swimming room is recommended.

Unlike many large angelfish, the majestic carries a moderate care level. You do not have be an expert saltwater aquarist to successfully raise one.  They do however often demonstrate a reluctance to feed in captivity.

This is an omnivorous species. In nature these fish graze on coral and sponges. They also eat small organisms and a limited amount of algae.  Lots of live rock will provide adequate hiding places and sustenance from a food source they are accustomed to.  Once it acclimates to its new environment, this species will quickly shed itself of its shy demeanor. This is one of the more brazen angelfish. They are far less likely to back away from a foreign object introduced into the tank than most other fish. Majestic angelfish can even be trained to eat right out of your hand.

A newly introduced majestic should be fed mysid or brine shrimp unless it has already been taught to accept non-living food preparations. Is should not take long for this species to start eating your food offerings. Once they are feeding for you it is time to incorporate other sources of nutrition into their diet.  Frozen or freeze dried products containing spirulina and fortified with sponge matter are ideal. There are many products available on the market that are formulated specifically for marine angelfish.  Chunked fresh krill, table shrimp, clams and mussels make for excellent hand feeding practice. If properly acclimated, a majestic angelfish may live up to 10 years in captivity.  This species does breed in captivity on rare occasions.

Environmental Parameters


pH Level Specific Gravity
75-79  °F 8.3-8.4 1.020-1.025

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