Korans are found throughout the Indo-Pacific and Red
Sea, and are likewise collected widely. The species is found foraging
and hiding around coral and rocky reefs, not in open, upper waters or
over sandy bottoms. You should provide some similar habitat.
Selection; General to Specific:
For most circumstances, Korans, like other large
angelfishes, should be purchased as juveniles, but not babies. Very
small individuals (less than two inches) should be avoided as they
usually adapt poorly. Get at least a three inch specimen; and unless you
have the time to expend and the money to gamble, not one over six
inches. Larger specimens often time are problematical in terms of
foods/feeding and behavior. Also of note, larger specimens (upwards of
16 inches) require systems of a few to several hundred-gallon
There are a handful of important observational
criteria to consider in picking out a good specimen. A prime one is
apparent health as gauged by gill movement. A healthy individual
displays regular, steady "breathing" of about once per second. Gill
flukes, common and species-specific on these wild-caught fish, the
effects of "gill-burn" from shipment/handling, poor present water
quality, all can speed up the rate of gill movement. Avoid such angels.
Instead choose one with full finnage and a full-body
appearance, not thin in the head or stomach. Only buy angels that are
alert interested in their environment, not skulking in a corner. These
pomacanthids have a curious nature that mirrors their intelligence.
The fishís color should be bright and uniform,
showing no light spots, blemishes or pitting. Eyes must be clear and
Ask to see the prospective purchase eat what you
intend to feed it at home. Though most Korans that eat will live on,
itís best to leave the specimen for weeks stay at the dealers holding it
Environmental Conditions; Chemical, Physical,
Koran angels are more sensitive to poor water quality
as marine aquarium species go. Excess organics often show as blotchy
white-marked areas, and are directly positively correlated with ease of
infectious and parasitic susceptibility.
Temperatures in the low to upper seventy degrees
Fahrenheit, lower to "normal" specific gravity (1.018-1.025), of natural
or synthetic saltwater are fine. Effective protein skimming is a must
All members of medium and large angelfish species are
aggressive toward their own kind, other angels and similar-appearing
fishes and are ideally kept one specimen to a tank. Moenich offers
comprehensive advice on mixing angelfishes. Sometimes adding them at the
same time, moving around parts of the habitat, disrupting territories,
or bringing in ever-larger specimens can successfully mix these angels.
This practice is not encouraged unless you have other facilities for
separating them, should relations sour.
In most cases other non-angel species are generally
ignored; occasionally a Koran angel will become a bully, and require
"rehabilitation" through removal or temporary isolation. Provide
adequate hiding and escape spaces for tank-mates and observe your
charges, as you should, daily.
This is the most critical area in keeping most angels and many
other saltwater species. Koranís should be offered live and fresh foods
and weaned from natural foodstuffs ASAP to survive and thrive. In the
wild, Korans feed on algae and associated fauna primarily as juveniles;
adults eat copious amounts of sponges, corals, and algae with the
remaining bulk made up mostly of worms of all sorts, crustaceans and
mollusks. They supplement this diet well in captivity with crustacean
and other fresh and frozen animal foods.
Opened, whole shellfish, squid, frozen and fresh
should be offered occasionally. Plant material/algae
materials should be fed daily. Algae (Caulerpa, Ulva (sea
lettuce), Nori and kombu from an oriental food supplier, et al.) and
plant matter (spinach, zucchini, chard etc.) should make up a
substantial part of their diet. Feed frequently, small amounts.
Infectious, parasitic, nutritional and social
diseases are a significant problem with this species. Beyond details
already listed, careful handling, quarantine and freshwater dipping with
or without admixtures are recommended. If necessary, copper treatments
(best chelated types) are suggested for ridding pathogens.
The Koran or Semicircle Angelfish, Pomacanthus
semicirculatus makes an excellent first or beginner angel for
aquarists with an adequately large system. It's easy to find, reasonably
inexpensive; simple to maintain when purchased at the right size and fed
properly, intelligent and long-lived.