Centropyge Flavissima (Lemonpeel Angelfish)

centropyge flavissima - lemonpeel angelfish

Last updated on September 17th, 2022 at 10:46 pm

The lemonpeel angelfish (Centropyge flavissima) is a small species of marine angelfish that are commonly found in the western Atlantic Ocean, throughout the Caribbean, and along the coast of Central America. They are typically found at depths of 50 to 240 feet (15 to 73 m), although they have been reported at depths as shallow as 10 feet (3 m).

Its bright yellow body and tail make it easy to identify and distinguish from other Centropyge angels, making it popular among beginner aquarists.

Centropyge flavissima, (also referred to as the lemonpeel butterflyfish) is a tropical fish found throughout the Indo-Pacific Ocean. This species grows to be about 6 inches in length and boasts quite colorful, rounded fins and bodies. It has a generally hardy temperament, but it does have certain requirements that must be met in order to thrive in captivity.

This article will serve as a resource for learning about this species’ natural history, dietary needs, tank requirements, and any special considerations when keeping them in an aquarium!

Origin and description

centropyge flavissima - lemonpeel angelfish

Native to Micronesia, Centropyge flavissima are a popular saltwater aquarium fish. The genus name Centropyge comes from an Ancient Greek word that translates to hundred-bearer, while flavissima is Latin for very yellow. Lemonpeel angelfish are one of three members of their genus to reach adulthood with yellow bellies, along with Flame angelfish and Sunrise angelfish.

They can be differentiated from these other two species by their lack of pointed dorsal fin spines and having more than five anal fin rays. They grow to about 6 inches long as adults, which qualifies them as reef safe, but they will eat benthic invertebrates, if provided with live rock.

Their main diet should consist of meaty foods like brine shrimp or mysis shrimp. It’s important not to feed them anything high in fat because it can promote fatty liver disease, which leads to organ failure. With proper care, lemonpeel angelfish may live 10 to 15 years.

Species profile

centropyge flavissima - lemonpeel angelfish

Centropyge flavissima is a very common aquarium fish that may be found in your local pet store or online for less than $10. The lemonpeel is generally a peaceful, active, and playful addition to any reef tank. While it can get quite large, over 10 inches long, it rarely comes into contact with other tank mates and will not bother corals or other slow-moving fish.

It spends most of its time out of sight under rocks and rubble but will occasionally peek its head out to see what’s going on above water. It spends almost all of its day eating algae off rocks and live rock, so it shouldn’t be kept without some sort of substrates such as sand or gravel.

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The Lemonpeel is an exotic marine angelfish that comes from tropical waters. They will inhabit a tank with live rock and algae, as well as plenty of other fish. If kept in captivity, they prefer a temperature between 24 to 28 degrees Celsius. They should be given a wide variety of saltwater fish food in order to thrive.

Centropyge flavissima size

Centropyge flavissima has an average size for a marine angelfish, about 5.5 inches in length.

Centropyge flavissima tank size

The minimum tank size for lemonpeel angelfish is 30 gallons. But like all Centropyge, they need plenty of swimming room. In a larger setup, you should be able to fit a few fish together without much trouble.

Centropyge flavissima tank set up

The Centropyge flavissima prefers a tank with live rock, which will give it a refuge from potential predators as well as provide them with hiding places. The other key to maintaining a healthy lemonpeel angelfish in your tank is maintaining clean water.

They are quite sensitive to ammonia and nitrite levels, so you’ll want to do regular water changes and keep your filtration systems running efficiently. This fish does best if kept at normal room temperature and requires specific salinity; be sure that you can maintain these requirements before purchasing one of these beautiful little fish.

A saltwater aquarium also means you should expect some algae growth in your tank – although not nearly as much as if you had a freshwater tank! Your Centropyge flavissima should get along just fine with most marine species, but make sure any incompatible species won’t outcompete or eat them.

An aquarium full of fast-moving dwarf angels like pygmy angels may stress out your lemonpeel angelfish and make it less likely to thrive.

Lemonpeel angelfish tank mates

Centropyge flavissima prefer to spend their time by themselves. They have been known to have a very territorial attitude, so they will not tolerate any other fish in their tank. The tank should be set up with plenty of rockwork and hiding spots for them to enjoy. It is also important that you only keep one lemonpeel angelfish per tank, as two will most likely fight over territory and food, which can result in severe injuries or even death.

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If there are other species living in your aquarium that do not get along with these types of angelfish, try adding some live rock and corals to distract these fish from each other. If you are using live coral or live rock make sure that there is no anemone attached before placing it into your aquarium. If there is a soft coral attached, then it can easily be taken off before placing into your aquarium.

Some of the best tank mates for your Centropyge flavissima are other angelfish, hawkfish, sailfin tangs, wrasse, clowns, basslets, butterfly fish, dottybacks, and small surgeonfish. These types of small fish can live peacefully in your aquarium without causing any harm to your lemonpeel angelfish. However, if you have a large enough aquarium, then you can always separate them as well for less stress on both your aquarium and pets.

Centropyge flavissima breeding

centropyge flavissima - lemonpeel angelfish

Lemonpeel angelfish can be bred in aquariums. They should be kept in pairs and a 30 gallon tank is recommended. These fish are aggressive toward their own kind, so unless they are being bred, only one male and female should be housed together. The tank should have plenty of hiding spots, such as caves or rockwork. A proper diet must be provided to allow these fish to grow properly.

In captivity, each Centropyge flavissima should be fed two to three times daily. Feeding amounts depend on how large your angelfish are becoming. Starting out, you may want to feed them smaller amounts about twice a day instead of large amounts once per day for better digestion and water quality. Offer foods that contain high levels of protein like brine shrimp, tubifex worms, plankton, and mosquito larvae.

As an alternative to live foods, frozen varieties are available but many breeders find that there tends to be a less nutritional value associated with frozen foods.

Lemonpeel angelfish are egglayers that can be fairly easy to breed if kept at warmer temperatures. Breeding them is only slightly different than many other angels or dwarf angels. They prefer to lay their eggs on live rock, so you will need a piece of rock they can lay their eggs on without damaging it.

Centropyge flavissima likes to use flat pieces of rock with plenty of holes and crevices for fry protection during development. Using rubble in your tank gives you lots of options, as most rubble has lots of nooks and crannies. Another great advantage of using rubble is that it allows adult fish a place to hide while fry develops which also gives you an early indicator that breeding may be occurring in your tank; adult fish will often disappear before spawning occurs.

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Are lemonpeel angelfish aggressive or peaceful?

Centropyge Angels are a community fish, and will generally get along with other species of their kind. They do tend to have a territorial nature, however, and will generally be more aggressive towards fish in similar size classes. Unless kept in a large aquarium with lots of hiding places, it’s best to keep Centropyge flavissima with non-aggressive tankmates.

Lemonpeel angelfish care

centropyge flavissima - lemonpeel angelfish

Lemonpeel angelfish are reef-safe, but in a tank with live rock, they may nip at smaller corals and other invertebrates. Some species can be territorial towards conspecifics as well. When kept singly, Centropyge flavissima gets along very well with most tankmates; when kept in pairs or groups they’re more likely to behave aggressively toward others of their own kind.

They fare best in tanks that have plenty of hiding spots and places for retreat. Like all Centropyge angelfish, these fish enjoy an established aquarium with large amounts of live rock where they can seek shelter if necessary.

They should not be housed with overly aggressive species such as dottybacks or hawkfish because, like many dwarf angels, lemonpeels are rather timid unless provided ample hiding spaces.

What do Centropyge flavissima eat

Inhabitants of shallow lagoons and reefs, lemonpeel angelfish primarily eat copepods, isopods, amphipods, shrimp, small benthic fish, and ophiuroids. They also feed on invertebrates like sponges and anemones. A number of species in their genus have also been observed grazing on algae directly from hard substrates or as epibionts on larger invertebrates.

Water parameters

centropyge flavissima - lemonpeel angelfish

The lemonpeel angelfish is a hardy, beautiful fish, captive-bred specimens are now available to hobbyists, and they’re relatively easy to care for. They can be kept in a nano tank or larger aquarium with plenty of hiding places and rockwork for territories, making them ideal additions to smaller tanks as well as larger ones.

They feed readily on microcrustaceans, but will also take frozen foods designed for marine systems. Freshwater dips should not be necessary if you set up your system correctly and acclimate properly; salt should be added slowly over an extended period of time rather than all at once.

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Water conditions should remain stable, don’t make water changes quickly, and levels should stay consistent; fluctuations may cause stress that will ultimately shorten their lifespan.

An ideal pH should be 8.1 – 8.4; specific gravity of 1.018 – 1.025 at 77°F (25°C); a temperature of 75 – 82 °F (24 – 28 °C).

Centropyge flavissima lifespan

Lemonpeel angelfish are thought to live up to 10 years in captivity, though a much shorter lifespan is likely under natural conditions. In general, fish with very small ranges or highly specialized behaviors and diets tend to live longer than wide-ranging species with flexible behaviors and diets.

Parasites and diseases

It is generally resistant to most diseases and parasites that affect marine angelfish. However, like many saltwater fish, it can be affected by viral infections and Marine Ich. A common problem with Lemonpeel angels is an infestation of worms (especially nematodes), which are small enough to swim through their gills or penetrate through their skin.

Fortunately, these are fairly easy to get rid of, when you clean your tank with fresh water each week, use a strong jet stream of water from your hose or faucet in order to dislodge any unwelcome visitors lurking on surfaces and at the bottom of your aquarium.


Lemonpeel angelfish are not known to have any predators in their natural environment. However, if you keep a Lemonpeel angelfish in an aquarium and it is combined with other fish species that may eat small or thin-bodied fish, its caretaker should be prepared to identify and remove these potential threats. Possible predatory species include larger fish, such as pufferfish, lionfish, and certain eels.

Do Centropyge flavissima make good pets?

The lemonpeel angelfish is an active and somewhat aggressive fish. Not for beginners! Overall, lemonpeel angelfishes are excellent fish that is a lot of fun to watch and play with, but they’re not recommended for beginner aquarists because of their temperament and special needs.