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Old 06/17/2004, 01:32 PM   #1
DJPB
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The Regal Angel Thread

The Regal Angelfish, Pygoplites diacanthus, is not the rarest or most expensive fish available. It is not the poster fish of the hobby. It’s not even that popular of a fish here on RC. But the Regal Angel is the fish that sparked my interest 2 years ago, and the reason I got into the hobby. Ever since, I feel that I have been gaining experience so that one day I may try to successfully keep this beautiful fish in my own tank. After hours and hours of research on Regals, that day is here.

I have been searching for a healthy, fat, and eating Regal since March ’04. Knowing the delicacy of this fish I couldnt see ordering blindly through an online vendor. That left me to LFS, and in Indy there are two that I shop at. (There is a third LFS that often gets regals in, but they are always poor specimens – thin, fading colors, not eating anything.) One of the two LFS recently got a few Indian Ocean regals in, and as soon as I saw them I knew which one I wanted. My fish was eating everything at the LFS from the day they got it. It was fat with bright colors. I left it in the LFS for 2 weeks, to reduce stress and so that they could QT it. They performed several freshwater dips on it, and kept the sg low at 1.019. I visited them every day to feed it and just stare at it, trying to imagine what I would look like in my tank.


This past weekend I brought it home and slowly acclimated it in my 120g. I couldn’t believe that the next morning it was already swimming in the open with my other fish. My Yellow Tang showed a little aggression towards him, but that only lasted a few hours. I was careful to choose a regal that was larger than any of my other fish, so that aggression would be minimal. I was shocked when my Regal ate prepared food at the first feeding. A week later, the Regal is the pig of the tank. I couldn’t be happier at this point.



I want to start a thread dedicated to regals, so that we can share photos, experiences and information on Regals. I know how delicate this fish is, and I'm looking for tips and advise from other Regal owners on what has worked for them. Hopefully future reefers will learn from our successes and our mistakes, making the husbandry of this delicate fish a little easier.

I would also like to explore the different locations Regals are found, and the colorations associated with those locations. My Regal is from the Indian Ocean, and has a yellow/grayish chest.

Prepared foods that my Regal eats –
Angel Formula
Formula 1
Formula 2
Frozen Mysis Shrimp (Gamma)
Frozen Brine (Super Shrimp)
Frozen Prime Reef
Julian Sprung Purple Veggies
Sprectrum Pellets





Last edited by DJPB; 06/17/2004 at 02:28 PM.
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Old 06/17/2004, 03:38 PM   #2
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Talking

Can i have it?


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Old 06/17/2004, 04:46 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by oreocookie713
Can i have it?
LOL
As long as it took me to find this one, NO WAY!


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Old 06/17/2004, 06:13 PM   #4
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I have had 2 regals. Both yellow chested. My first was from TMC and "Red Sea". Arrived in good shape. Putatively QT'd and eating at TMC. Actually starting eating pretty quickly. I personally don't QT. I think that a healthy tank is a better place for a freaked out fish to acclimate than a QT. I know the arguements, but I just don't do it. Anyways, that fish died VERY mysteriously. Just found it on it's side without a mark on it in the tank. Didn't starve (frankly it was fat). Just Dead as a doornail. Just an FYI, this was a "too small" tank. A 55 gal FOWLR/easy reef (shrooms, polyps etc..)

Second one I got straight from one of the wholesalers in LA. It was apparently practically Just off the Jet. It also had a yellow chest, but was NOT red sea. Bali or something, I forget. This one was skittish in the begining. It was placed in a 180 gall reef, not particularly mature, but Tons 'o pods and "stuff" for them fish to graze on. I pretty much feed the tank macroalgaes, cyclopseeze and mysis. That's it. The Regal has never really been interested in the cyclopseeze. But it started eating the macro almost right away. After a couple of weeks it started on the mysis and has never looked back. This fish has been with me now for coming up on a year.



Of note I don't have anything to "freak out" the fish. My other fish ignored it. I've got plenty of rock. And uh, zoos....my regal is a zooanthid assasin. Otherwise, leaves corals alone and hasn't bothered clams either.


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Old 06/17/2004, 07:54 PM   #5
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Moonpod -
How long did it take for your Regal to start on your zoos? Does your Regal prefer larger polyps or smaller polyps, or all polyps? I have hundreds of zoos, although I wouldnt mind if my Regal grazed on them - especially the ones growing close to sps. That is a beautiful regal btw.


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Old 06/17/2004, 07:56 PM   #6
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Also I'm surprised that your purple tang did not harass your regal. Who was there first?


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Old 06/17/2004, 08:20 PM   #7
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Uhm, maybe day 2 the zoo massacre began. Purple tang just never seemed to care abou the regal. Maybe for a few minutes, but really, they just don't seem to notice each other. The regal beats on my orange spot rabbit regularly though....it's actually sort of an assertive fish.


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Old 06/18/2004, 03:03 AM   #8
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Ha! Great timing for this thread, I work in an LFS and have my eye on a regal right now...he feeds pretty well I should add. All being well he may come home with me tonight


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Old 06/18/2004, 11:34 AM   #9
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Nice, what ocean does he come from? If you bring him home please share you experiences with us, and photos. Good luck!


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Old 06/18/2004, 12:14 PM   #10
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feeding tip

I too have a RS Regal that I've had for about 4 months. She's doing great and has never bothered any corals (knock wood).

At first she would not eat anything out of the water column. However, I found if I put food on clips around the tank she would eat. I gave her mostly JSprung red nori and a sponge based food (Angel Formula), both soaked in garlic. That was all she would eat for about a month and a half, but now she eats everything.

I think the food in the clip is more like their natural diet (sponges aren't generally floating in the water column) and was critical in getting her to eat. If I relied on her getting used to eating out of the water column I'm not sure she would have survived.

btw, the lfs swore she was eating. My son ran up to the tank as soon as we got to the store and spooked her so she wouldn't eat then, so I had to take their word for it. Worked out okay, but next time I'll make a second trip to be sure.


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Old 06/18/2004, 05:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by moonpod
I personally don't QT. I think that a healthy tank is a better place for a freaked out fish to acclimate than a QT. I know the arguements, but I just don't do it.
I agree. I stopped using my QT.


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Old 06/19/2004, 12:59 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tyr-Sog
I agree. I stopped using my QT.
Me too. Especially with a fish as delicate as a regal. I think it does best going into a reef asap. I do like to leave new fish in the LFS for at least 2 weeks though...


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Old 06/19/2004, 01:06 PM   #13
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Has anyone noticed their Regal attack Xenia or any other corals?


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Old 06/19/2004, 02:15 PM   #14
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just my zoos......but curiously not the palys


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Old 06/19/2004, 02:43 PM   #15
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Nothing here yet, just some sponges off the LR


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Old 06/19/2004, 10:13 PM   #16
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xenias are fine

I was worried about the xenias, but mine hasn't touched them


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Old 06/20/2004, 07:13 PM   #17
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Glad to hear yours is well, beautiful animals, my opinion one of the nicest looking reef potential angels.

I too, have been wanting one for some time, even knowing how delicate they are, I have read many comments for authors begging not to purchase these, but like you guys, figured I had the experience necessary to give one a try. I had seen one at a lfs and decided to spend the 100.00 to get it, Red Sea variety, seen it eating at the store, live brine though, brought it home to my 180 reef and acclimated accordingly, all seemed to be fine, until my atlantic blue tang spotted it, nothing real drastic just some active tail wagging, that was Sunday, on Monday all seemed well, it did not eat though, tried many attempts, came to work on Tues am and it was dead.

As much as I would love to have another, I just cannot bring myself to possibly kill another of these beauties, hope yours do well and I wil be keeping a close watch on this thread.

John


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Old 06/20/2004, 09:00 PM   #18
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John,

I'm very sorry about your loss. That is terrible news to hear. Maybe the fish was sick, even if it was eating brine. How long did the store have him before you brought him home? Did you QT at home or put directly in reef?

These fish are so delicate, it seems that if you can get thru the first month you are home free. I'm nervous as hell about mine, not because he's sick or not eating, but because he's still acclimating. I've had him in my reef now for 9 days, and he still swims to his cave when I approach the tank. Other than that he is active. I just hope he makes it cuz I have grown attached to him...


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Old 06/20/2004, 09:10 PM   #19
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Thanks,


I am really more po'd at myself than anything, I did not qt it, which may or may not have made a difference, my thoughts are this, if it had adequate time to adjust to my water chemistry maybe it could have fended off the tangs advance. But, I also think that the stress of the qt is not good either.

The store had him for a week, so they say,but I have been recently told it is all about the care they get at the whloesalers, the local experts at Tropicorium tell me they can get me one almost guarantee it to live, but that they have had better sucess with those not from the Red Sea, who knows.

I may try again, time will tell, but best of luck with yours, it is not hard to get attached to these beautys.

John


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Old 06/20/2004, 09:29 PM   #20
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I agree that the stress of a QT is not good when dealing with Regals. Not that I'm an expert, it's just my opinion. I let mine stay in the store for 2 weeks, then put it directly in my reef.

Are your tangs significantly larger than your Regal was? Maybe that was a factor.

FWIW, my Regal is not Red Sea, it's Indian Ocean. It came plump and with an appetite. I also agree that the wholesaler's care is important, as well as the actual collector and original shipper...

Regards-

Paul


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Old 06/20/2004, 09:29 PM   #21
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John,
It may be that Tropicorium's Red Sea fish have to pass through too many waypoints before getting there, whereas their indopac don't. Personally I think the less "handling" the better with these. Got no secrets, batting .500, but the current one is coming up on a year and I've got no fears of it "suddenly" croaking. Healthy, active, eats, bullies other fish...you know standard Angel stuff.

Chuck


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Old 06/21/2004, 01:36 AM   #22
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Got mine from a good friend, respected reefer and a reliable source a week ago. He had him for a long time before he had to move. After my several humble requests he considered my tank as his new home.
This is my first regal and I am scared to death. This is the only fish in the tank now. Regal swims around the favorite spot in the tank but not as agressive eater as other that I have had before like tangs and flame angel etc. Eating angel formula and mysis soaked in selcon at this time.
Does not swim in open yet and I am hoping that he will develop the trust soon. Sees mysis and gets it fast, then runs back to the rock work. Any ideas or suggestions to bring him out more?
I was thinking about adding a small and non agressive fish that swims in the middle and agressive eater to the tank. May be that will bring him out more but scared that it may cause some issue as well. Anyone ran in these issues before?


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Current Tank Info: 40G SPS, 75 SPS
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Old 06/21/2004, 11:21 AM   #23
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Razi -

You are one lucky reefer! I know exactly which Regal you have and it sure is a score. I got my 120g from the same person, your fish actually used to live in my tank 2 years ago. Please put some pics up whenever you get a chance, I'd love to see that fish again.

I dont think it would do any harm to add another fish. You could actually add several. I would maybe wait another week though, just to let your Regal finish acclimating. As long as he's eating, you're alright. Remember the tank your Regal has been in for the past 8 months - it was a larger system in a very busy location with lots of movement and chaos going on. Your fish is just getting settled into his new, peaceful environment.
Best of luck Razi, and please - pics!

Paul


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Old 06/21/2004, 03:43 PM   #24
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I purchased a regal about two weeks ago. He is definitely Indian Ocean. I made sure I saw him eat at the LFS before I purchased him. He was very shy when I first got him. Unfortunately, he has a small case of ick that wasn't evident at the LFS. He eats marine cuisine, spirulina enriched brine, omega enriched brine shrimp, and mysis. He doesn't have much interest in nori. He eats very well and is becoming more outgoing as time goes on. I've really got my fingers crossed about this one. He seems to behave very well in a reef tank. I have a mostly sps reef, with a clam, some lps, zoos and a green finger leather. He is definitely not a big picker. I am conflicted about whether I am being ethical by purchasing such a difficult fish. I feel most of the damage was done when he was taken from the ocean. I don't mean to sound elitist, but I feel that the marine industry is largely driven by terribly uninformed newbies. As long as these fish are legal, there will continue to be a market for them. I hate to see these animals go to a certain death.


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Old 06/22/2004, 01:10 AM   #25
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Paul,
I will have to meet you sometime. You are correct about the previous environment and I am taking every precaution to make sure that I don't rush him into something. Added a pair of clowns today. Both regal and clowns have no interest in each other and I was pleased to see that.
I was surprised to see Regal all over the tank today when I got home from work. Today was the best I have seen him eating since I got him about 1 1/2 weeks ago. I fed him just about everything I had in stock and it took it faster than expected. I am so happy today . .. I just hope that nothing terrible happens and he continues to improve.


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Current Tank Info: 40G SPS, 75 SPS
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