Maculosus Angelfish (Pomacanthus Maculosus)

Maculosus Angelfish

Last updated on September 15th, 2022 at 07:01 pm

The maculosus angelfish (Pomacanthus maculosus) also known as the yellowbar angelfish, half-moon angelfish, yellow-marked angelfish, yellowband angelfish, or yellow-blotched angelfish, is a saltwater angelfish belonging to the family Pomacanthidae. It was first described by Bleeker in 1855.

It is found in the western Pacific Ocean from Japan, the East China Sea, and the Philippines; southward through Indonesia to Australia, New Caledonia, and Samoa. They inhabit coral reefs at depths of 1 to 15 metres (3 to 50 ft).

The angelfish belongs to the Pomacanthidae family of angelfish and can be found primarily in the Pacific Ocean. This species can reach a maximum length of 55 cm (20 in), but the average captive size is closer to 30 cm (12 in). This fish gets its name from the yellow patterns on its body, which look like a half-moon on its body.

Its scientific name refers to its appearance as well, Pomacanthus meaning beautiful fin and maculosus meaning many spots or spotted in Latin; it’s sometimes simply called the spotted angelfish or the spotfin angelfish as well.

Origin and description

Maculosus Angelfish

Maculosus angelfish come from coastal areas in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. They inhabit shallow waters along coral reefs and lagoons where they feed on zooplankton, larvae, insect larvae, and shrimp. When juvenile fish are present in an aquarium, they can be fed baby brine shrimp or other small frozen foods.

As adults, they will accept pieces of squid, clams, crab meat, mussels, Mysis shrimp. All these foods should be thawed before feeding to avoid killing them by freezing. Adult Maculosus angelfish have a tendency to become pugnacious if food is scarce or not offered regularly.

Species profile

Maculosus Angelfish

The Maculosus angelfish (Pomacanthus maculosus / yellowbar angelfish) is a large-to-medium-sized marine fish found in southern Florida, USA. It is also known as Yellowbar Angelfish, Yellowfin Angels, and Yellowtail Angle. Its body coloration can range from light blue to dark blue with a vertical yellow bar, hence its other common name of yellowstripe or yellowbar angel.

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Due to its bright colors, it is often kept by saltwater aquarium enthusiasts.  It grows up to 25cm / 10 inches, can attain a maximum size of 20 inches (50 cm) in length, and requires good water conditions to thrive, but thrives in captivity if given plenty of swimming space.

It feeds on invertebrates, planktonic organisms, small crustaceans such as copepods and prawns, plant matter such as dinoflagellates and algae. Juveniles are more likely than adults to prey on small fish such as gobies.

Yellowbar angelfish habitat

Yellowbar angelfish are a popular dwarf species of marine fish belonging to Pomacanthus. Maculosus angelfish are said to be an attractive addition to any saltwater aquarium because of their bright color.

The yellowbar angelfish prefers a subtropical climate. The temperature should be kept between 72 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. These fish will tolerate salinity levels from 1.020 to 1.025, but it’s best to keep them at around 1.023 to make sure their body fluids are within healthy ranges for optimum health and coloration.

Maculosus angelfish size

The size of yellowbar angelfish (Pomacanthus maculosus) is quite variable but can be in excess of 12 inches and can grow to a maximum length of 20 inches.

Maculosus angelfish tank size

This fish is fine in a 200-gallon or larger aquarium with plenty of live rock hiding places.

Tank set up

Maculosus angelfish lives in an established aquarium with a water temperature of 26 to 29°C (79 to 84°F) and should be kept in a tank of about 350 litres (95 US gal; 82 imp gal). The pH level should be around 8.0 and dH up to 12. They are reef safe, so do not require any special tank conditions other than this.

Marine salt mix or freshwater is fine for these fish. You will also need a protein skimmer in order to keep your angelfish healthy. Ensure that there is ample room for swimming inside your aquarium, as these fish will spend most of their time on top of rocks or coral reefs looking for food. It’s a good idea to have plenty of rockwork which creates hiding places among its branches where they can rest undisturbed.

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Place them with small-to-medium-sized tropical marine fish such as damselfish, wrasses, butterflyfish, tangs, and smaller angels. In addition to living corals and other invertebrates like sponges and starfish in your aquarium, it’s a good idea to add some algae growth on rocks so they can graze on them. Also, feed them high-quality flake foods or Mysis shrimp occasionally.

Maculosus angelfish tank mates

Keep in a pair or group with peaceful fish of similar size. Do not mix with other angelfish species, as there is a risk of hybridization. Other good tank mates include anthias, clownfish, and/or surgeonfish. These fish can be aggressive toward fish smaller than themselves; thus, do not keep with small tetras or dwarf cichlids (African cichlids). The Maculosus Angelfish may nip at corals and anemones.

Species such as Apolemichthys arcuatus (parrotfish), Chaetodon multispinis (butterflyfish), Chaetodon rafflesi (bumphead), and Chaetodon vagabundus (bumpy-nosed butterflyfish) are reef fish that can also be combined with pomacanthid angelfishes because they do not eat algae. These are larger fish, so it is best to have them in a larger aquarium set up with plenty of live rock.


Maculosus Angelfish

The Maculosus Angelfish is not an easy fish to breed in captivity, although they are relatively easy to sex. They can be bred by traditional methods with a group of fish or they can be spawned with a single pair by splitting off part of their main tank and putting them into a breeding tank.

This is best done when water temperatures are at least 75 degrees F (24 degrees C). They will eat their eggs if left in front of them, so care must be taken to remove them from sight. In a tank set up for spawning, they will get along just fine. Spawning has been reported as occurring regularly under these conditions; once spawning has occurred, it usually happens again almost immediately due to how prolific these angels are.

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After spawning, remove all other angels except for one male unless you plan on raising large numbers of fry, then you might want more than one male to reduce aggression among competing males. Do not feed them live food during pregnancy because many kinds of live food contain substances that can harm developing embryos. Feed only very finely chopped frozen foods. The female should release 20 to 40 eggs over several days, depending on her size.

Eggs generally hatch after 5 to 6 days and are fairly transparent initially. It takes around 30 days until the free-swimming stage. At that point, raise water temperature slowly to 82 degrees F (28 degrees C) degrees over a period of 2 weeks since sharp increases in temperatures tend to result in higher mortality rates for young fish.

Are maculosus angelfish peaceful or aggressive?

Maculosus angelfish (Pomacanthus maculosus) are large and tend to be a bit on the aggressive side when it comes to defending their territory. It’s not uncommon for a tank with two or more of these angelfishes in it to have an established pecking order, which determines who gets prime real estate and who’s relegated to eating scraps and leftovers.

Maculosus angelfish care

Maculosus Angelfish

Maculosus angelfish are relatively easy to care for. They can be kept in a freshwater aquarium with a pH between 6.0 and 8.0, and a temperature between 72°F (22°C) and 79°F (26°C). The minimum tank size is 200 gallons (760 L). These fish are quite large, so they need plenty of swimming room.

A larger tank also makes it easier to maintain water quality. Provide a sandy substrate and hide places made from rock or wood, as well as plants that don’t require strong lighting.

What do Maculosus angelfish eat?

In their natural habitat, Maculosus angelfish is omnivore eating algae, some smaller fish, meaty items, and some high-quality angelfish preparations containing sponges. They also consume parasites that are found on their skin and bloodworms.

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Water parameters

Maculosus Angelfish

The ideal water conditions should be a pH of 8.1 – 8.4, dKH = 8 – 13, a temperature of 72 – 84°F (28 – 29°C), hardness of 10 – 15°dGH. The fish should be kept in a group of at least 6 individuals; males are territorial towards each other and will fight violently for spawning sites.

Maculosus angelfish lifespan

In their natural habitat, they have been observed living for as long as 20 years. But this angelfish has been thought to live for up to 36 years.

Parasites and diseases

The most common disease that angelfish are affected by is saltwater ich, Cryptocaryon irritans. Ich is characterized by white spots on a fish’s body. Often, these spots appear as rings around their gills and fins. The best way to prevent ich from infecting your fish is to maintain high water quality through frequent water changes and avoiding overcrowding in your tank. New fish should be quarantined for at least a month to monitor for signs of illness before adding them to your tank.


Since these fish live among corals and algae, they have a fair number of predators. Angelfish are prey for sharks, barracuda, moray eels, octopus, and even larger angelfish! When threatened by predators or when their group is scattered, Maculosus angelfish tend to hide in coral colonies. Their bright colors also act as a warning to would-be predators.

Do Maculosus angelfish make good pets?

Yes. Maculosus angelfish are fairly resilient and hardy, so they can be good pets for experienced fish keepers. On top of that, they’re incredibly beautiful and elegant, and their big eyes are truly captivating.