Bandit Angelfish – Reef Safe | Care | Size | Diet | Breeding | Facts

Bandit Angelfish
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The banded angelfish (Apolemichthys arcuatus, syn. Holacanthus arcuatus), often known as the bandit angelfish and three backbone angelfish, is a particular species of fish of the family Pomacanthidae.

It is endemic to deeper reefs in Hawaii and the Johnston Atoll. In this article, I am going to talk about Bandit Angelfish reef safe, care, description, size, diet, habit, breeding.

The Black & White Bandit Angelfish, scientific name Holacanthus arcuatus is a gorgeous fish that is discovered within the deeper waters exterior of the reef, mostly within the Hawaiian and Johnston Islands of the Pacific.

A shy angelfish that must be supplied a lot of locations to cover and greatest saved in a well-established aquarium with ample reside rock development to graze on.

Bandit Angelfish Description

Dorsal spines (total): 13; Dorsal soft rays (total): 17-18; Anal spines: 3; Anal soft rays: 18. Overall pale with a broad black bar bordered by a slim pearly white band operating throughout the higher aspect from the entrance of the attention to the posterior portion of the soft dorsal fin. The same broad black band with a pearly white border runs submarginal on the caudal and anal fins.

Adult Size

7 inches

Life Expectancy

2 to 5 years

Origin and Distribution

This lovely angelfish originates across the Hawaiian and Johnston Islands within the Pacific. Usually discovered on or close to the rocky ledges of coral reefs or in caves, it’s most comfy in fast-moving water. In normal, they reside at depths between 12 and 50 meters, however, they’re able to diving as deep as 500 feet.

Bandit Angelfish Colors and Markings

The Black and White Bandit is a spectacular, uncommon, and really distinctive angelfish. When seeing this species in individuals, the white areas of the body have a considerably reflective pearlescent look, which really makes it an attention-grabbing aquarium fish.

Its body is white with a broad black bar; a white band runs throughout the higher aspect all the best way from the attention to the back of the dorsal fin. A large white-bordered black band runs alongside the anal and caudal fins.

Bandit Angelfish Tankmates

The Black and White Bandit is usually simple going with different species but may be fairly aggressive with different angelfish and with different fish of about its dimension. It would not do properly in a reef tank due to its behavior of nipping at reside coral.

Thus, good tankmates embody smaller, peaceable species; when including new tankmates to affix your angelfish, introduce the smallest and most docile first and permit time to see how your specific angelfish handles the stress of sharing area. If your tank is comparatively small, take into account maintaining a Black and White Bandit as your only fish.

Black and White Bandit Angelfish Habitat and Care

Provide your Black and White Bandit Angelfish with a big tank. Between 180-200 gallons is enough, however, the bigger the tank your happier your fish might be. Like all angelfish, the Black and White Bandit wants top-notch water of high quality and a quick flowing present.

Remember that these fish are native to the reefs off the coast of the Hawaiian Islands, and attempt to replicate that setting to the perfect of your skill. Provide corals and loads of residing rocks to maintain your fish comfy and happy. You may even take into account making a reside rock wall the place your Bandit Angelfish can graze.

It is greatest to keep away from utilizing a net on this fish as a result of the tough texture of its scales. The fish will get caught within the internet materials, and as soon as snagged the one strategy to separate the fish from the online is to tug it off, which is very like peeling velcro aside.

Bandit Angelfish


Due to inhabiting deep ocean waters, when this fish is collected it might encounter decompression illness. Some fish collectors use a process referred to as “needling”, which is a technique of piercing a small gap within the fish’s air bladder with a syringe needle to launch the trapped nitrogen fuel. Unless an individual is properly skilled in this process, it will probably result in issues of inside infections.

Since the Black and White Bandit Angelfish is generally solely discovered at a depth beneath 50′, correct decompression (bringing the fish up from depth at intervals) to keep away from the “bends”, decompressing can take over four hours.

Many collectors favor saving lots of time and simply needle the fish on the best way as much as the floor. While needles generally is a nice time saver for the collector, the danger of the fish creating an inside infection from a grimy needle (the ocean is teeming with some very nasty bacteria) may be fairly excessive.

The takeaway right here is to just be sure you examine this fish very rigorously before buying it. Also ensure that the individual you’re shopping for this fish from can present you that the fish is, certainly, consuming and, for that matter, precisely what it’s consuming.

If you purchase these fish be sure you test them out completely. It must be flying stage, not struggling at a vertical place, and its stomach ought to is just not puffed out. These are often indicators of a possible inside bladder infection or residual results of decompression illness.

Bandit Angelfish Diet

Relying on sponges as its sole supply of meals within the wild, this fish can simply starve in captivity. If you have an interest in maintaining one, it sensible to attend for a bigger juvenile or sub-adult specimen.

In most instances, these specimens will adapt to tank-fed meals more readily than very small juveniles or giant adults (some breeders can have already helped their fish to adapt).

Provide loads of frozen preparations particularly for angels that contain sponge as the main ingredient, corresponding to Ocean Nutrition and San Francisco Bay Brand frozen formulation.

Bandit Angelfish Habits

The Bandit Angelfish is likely one of the most recognizable uncommon Angelfish within the aquarium commerce and is an absolute will need to have for severe and informal uncommon fish aficionados.

The Bandit Angelfish hails from the deep waters of Hawaii and can thrive in colder reef situations, around 68-74 levels Fahrenheit. This Angelfish is within the genus Apolemichthys, so some care must be taken when introducing it to a reef aquarium.

This fish will probably depart SPS coral alone, however fleshy LPS will probably be picked at. Please contact the team at Among The Reef you probably have any questions on if this can be the right fish for you! Generally on rocky reefs, in ledges and caves; additionally areas excessive in coral.

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Bandit Angelfish Sexual Differences

Male and feminine angelfish look so just like each other that even consultants discover it arduous to inform them aside. In some instances it is attainable to intercourse an angelfish primarily based on the scale of the tube situated between its ventral and anal fins, however, this isn’t a really dependable methodology.

For most people, the one strategy to decide if a fish is male or feminine is to attend for it to spawn—which is very uncommon amongst Black and White Bandit Angelfish saved in captivity.


There aren’t any accounts of passion aquarists breeding Black and White Bandit Angelfish. Even skilled fish breeders discover this species terribly troublesome to breed; the overwhelming majority of Black and White Bandit Angelfish in captivity are captured within the wild.

This, partly, explains their very excessive value: a single Black and White Angelfish can value $800-$1000. Learn more about king angelfish.

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