Paracentropyge Multifasciata (Multibar Angelfish)

paracentropyge multifasciata 4

Last updated on July 5th, 2022 at 09:55 pm

Paracentropyge multifasciata are commonly called multi-striped angelfish, red bar angelfish, and bar angelfish. Multi-bar angelfish are found in the wild in the coral reefs of Hawaii and Polynesia, but are also raised in captivity with ease.

There are many species of Paracentropyge, angelfish is one of the most popular among aquarium hobbyists due to its beautiful coloration and easygoing personality. These fish can be easily identified by their yellow and blue stripes and vertical orange bar that runs from the eye to the tail fin, hence the nickname multibar angelfish.

Paracentropyge multifasciata (Multibar Angelfish) are moderately difficult to care for and should only be kept by experienced aquarists. They require an aquarium of at least 50 gallons with plenty of live rock and open swimming space. The temperature range for Multibar Angelfish is 74-79 degrees F with salinity levels of 1.020 – 1.025 and specific gravity of 1.023 – 1.025 when the tank has been established for 30 days or more, which results in the best coloration in this species.

Origin and description

paracentropyge multifasciata

The Paracentropyge multifasciata, or multibar angelfish, is an extremely popular saltwater aquarium fish that was first described in 1990 by Randall and Earle. It is a member of the family Pomacanthidae, part of a larger order Perciformes. Despite its extremely large range, it remains mostly undescribed.

The species is native to the western Pacific Ocean and thrives best in warm water above 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Based on my experience with them, they are very hardy as long as they have ample food available. In general, these fish are peaceful towards other fish but can be aggressive to those who enter their territory or those smaller than them.

If they feel threatened, they will flare their gills and even attack other marine life including divers if necessary. They are also prone to wasting syndrome after spawning which can cause them to die if not treated immediately.

Species profile

paracentropyge multifasciata

Paracentropyge multifasciata, also known as multibar angelfish or even colloquially as a multibarrer, is a coral reef-dwelling species of marine fish belonging to the family Pomacanthidae. It is native to tropical reefs in parts of Australia and throughout Melanesia and Micronesia, but has been also been reported from Marquesan waters at French Polynesia.

Royal Angelfish (Pygoplites Diacanthus / Regal Angelfish)

This species occasionally makes its way into the aquarium trade, where it requires special care due to its sensitive skin that is easily damaged by chemicals and rough handling. This guide will take you through how to set up your tank for a successful introduction of Paracentropyge multifasciata, what foods to feed them and what can be done if they refuse food or get sick.


Paracentropyge multifasciata is a territorial species of angelfish. It prefers substrate that provides cover to its prey and protection from predators, such as rocks or live/artificial coral. However, in captivity it will adapt to virtually any tank setup, provided adequate space and suitable decor is available. As with most angelfish, it should be housed alone due to its aggressive nature toward other fish of similar size.

Paracentropyge multifasciata size

The multibar angelfish grow to about 4.7 inches (12 cm) in length.

Paracentropyge multifasciata tank size

The Paracentropyge multifasciata should be kept in an aquarium that is at least 60 gallons. The tank should have plenty of places for retreat, so rocks and live or artificial plants are ideal.

Tank set up

The Paracentropyge multifasciata can be kept in a fish only tank of around 60 gallons. The tank should have a lot of live rock as well as numerous caves and hiding places. The tank should also have many places for algae to grow such as rock work or corals. This species of angelfish is considered reef safe but is still very territorial and will defend its territory if necessary. It may pick at slow-moving invertebrates such as hermit crabs, urchins, and anemones.

Lighting should be moderate with one fluorescent bulb per 5 gallons of water. Filtration needs to be strong enough to handle bioload from multiple angelfish while providing proper filtration for water quality.

Water temperature should range between 72 degrees F – 80 degrees F with a pH between 8.1 – 8.4 and moderately-hard to hard water conditions are preferred, although soft acidic water is acceptable as long as there are plenty of rocks for grazing algae and lots of live rock for hiding spots.

Moorish Idol Fish (Zanclus cornutus)

Supplementary feeding can be accomplished by placing krill, frozen shrimp, small pellets, and/or seaweed sheets onto various surfaces so they will float down into feeding areas. However, it must be noted that too much supplemental feeding along with overstocking levels may lead to increase waste production which could eventually overwhelm your system’s ability to filter out nitrates and phosphate causing excess growth of nuisance algae.

Paracentropyge multifasciata tank mates

The Paracentropyge multifasciata is a peaceful fish, and will do well in most tanks. When selecting tank mates for your fish, it is best to consider other non-aggressive fish such as small tetras, guppies, danios, rasboras, gouramis, and loaches.


paracentropyge multifasciata

The multifasciata angelfish can be a finicky species to breed. The best way to start is a large tank of at least 75 gallons and lots of hiding spots for your female. When you introduce your male, make sure he is already larger than the female and make sure that they are not in a feeding frenzy, you don’t want them fighting.

I will normally get my fish accustomed to one another by putting food right in front of them so they have no choice but to eat together. Once she has had one cycle then you should really move forward with the breeding process if she hasn’t mated with him yet.

For every three females, I would keep two males to avoid any unnecessary fighting. As far as substrate goes, it doesn’t matter as long as it has a lot of rockwork to provide places for their eggs.

You also want to put some live rock or coral on top where they can lay their eggs out of sight from other fish which will eat them. They usually spawn during daylight hours after water temperatures reach 82 degrees Fahrenheit (28 degrees Celsius). A normal spawning consists of 3-10 sticky eggs placed among rocks; incubation takes about 24 days at 76 degrees F (24 Celsius).

Any less and you will end up with dead fry, any more and you won’t get many surviving after hatching. Use rotifers and baby brine shrimp to feed newly hatched babies until they are able to take frozen foods such as freeze-dried krill.

13 Popular Marine Angelfish Species (Saltwater Angelfish)

Sunken shrimp pellets should only be given to juveniles that has past 2 inches (5 centimeters) in length, because before that length, these pellets may cause swim bladder problems due to improper gas dispersion.

Are Paracentropyge multifasciata aggressive or peaceful?

Paracentropyge multifasciata, or as it is also known multibar angelfish, are considered to be a peaceful schooling fish, but only at a low number. Their aggression levels increase with increasing numbers in their schools. They will not be able to handle most of the other fish that you have because they are quite aggressive when kept in larger numbers unless of course, those other fish are already accustomed to being around larger angelfish species.

Paracentropyge multifasciata care

paracentropyge multifasciata

These angelfish are generally considered one of the easy-to-keep angels. However, they do require a more specific environment than most angelfish. They need water that is on average 73 to 76 degrees Fahrenheit and an appropriate amount of salt. This species of angelfish grow to only about 5 inches and should be kept in aquariums no smaller than 55 gallons (208 liters). The minimum tank size for one Paracentropyge multifasciata is 60 gallons.

Paracentropyge multifasciata diet

While angels are omnivores, in their natural habitat, Paracentropyge multifasciata feed primarily on algae, but aquariums aren’t always well-equipped to provide enough algae for them to eat. You can supplement your fish’s diet with high-quality green flake food and pellets if necessary.

They also eat small crustaceans such as krills, Mysis, artemia , and more. Just make sure to feed your fish live foods at least twice a week.

Water parameters

paracentropyge multifasciata

The ideal water pH should be 8.0 – 8.4, Hardness of 4 – 10 dH, Alkalinity of 5.5 – 7.0 mEq/L, and a temperature of 75 – 79°F (24 – 26°C). It can tolerate a pH range of 6 – 8 but prefers to be kept in slightly more acidic water than many angelfish species do, which is why I recommend using a pH lower than what your tap water is rated for unless you have an RO unit that removes all minerals.

Angelfish – How You Can Care For Your New Pet

Paracentropyge multifasciata lifespan

The multifasciata has an average lifespan of 8 – 15 years. That’s pretty good for a tropical fish! Their life expectancy is greatly dependent on proper care and nutrition. Keep in mind that many factors can shorten their lifespans, such as pollution, too much or too little filtration, and diet.

Parasites and diseases

A common parasite that plagues many saltwater fish is ich. In angelfish, it appears as small, clear spots and raised bumps on a fish’s body and fins. If left untreated, it can be fatal. To treat ich, isolate infected fish in a hospital tank—20 gallons or larger with a lid is ideal—and use one of these medications: AquaClear Medicated Wonder Shells, API® Clout®, or Jungle Anti-Ich.


Predatory fish like sharks and eels can be an issue for smaller angelfish. If you have one of these fish in your tank, get a slightly larger angel for companionship. They will help to protect each other from potential predators. Small angelfish are also a popular food item for larger members of their own species and many others, so be sure you know what else is in your tank before getting a small specimen!

Do Paracentropyge multifasciata make good pets?

Yes, but they will require a lot of attention. They are an extremely social fish, and will often do best when kept in groups of 3 or more. They also need a fair amount of food as well, so be sure to watch out for them at all times. If you don’t have time to give them what they need, you may want to consider getting another type of pet instead. Overall though, they are hardy and should live long and healthy lives if properly cared for by their owner!