The Tiger Angelfish is one of the most striking and exotic species of marine angelfish. Last week while speaking at Reefwise on the outskirts of Chicago we had a new opportunity to visit a long term captive Apolemichthys kingi and this veteran aquarium fish was looking simply luscious.
The first opportunity we ever had to get some face time with a tiger angelfish in an aquarium, it was a tiny little guy in Pretoria, South Africa, collected by Pieter Uys. Now several years later, getting to observe a larger, adult specimen of the tiger angelfish was equally memorable.
Of all the Apolemichthys angelfish, we get to see the goldflake, flagfin and bandit angelfish often enough, even the Griffis angel gets a sighting a few times a year. But the tiger angelfish is literally the King of this group, with a striking adult coloration that is just begging to be tinkered with through captive breeding, but we digress.
What makes this tiger angelfish specimen special is that this guy is a ‘used’ fish, having come from the aquarium of a long term rare reef fish collector. Therefore the fish has long since been conditioned to aquarium life, and his color and body are in the peak of health.
One particularly striking feature of this tiger angelfish is the pronounced orange patch behind the gill plate and the orange stripe between the eyes. This part of the tiger angel’s color pattern doesn’t develop until the fish is fully mature and with this encounter we were able to fill out our catalog of Apolemichthys kingi photographs from a tiny juvenile all the way to a full grown adult.