The Koran or Angelfish is also known as the Semicircle Angelfish, Halfcircled Angelfish and the
Blue Koran Angelfish. It is also sometimes referred to as the Blue Angelfish, but this name
usually refers to Holancanthus bernudensis instead. The Koran Angel is an excellent and popular
choice for intermediate marine aquarists, because it is extremely hardy and also colorful.
The Koran originates in the Indian and Western Pacific Oceans from the Red Sea to Fiji. It
can be found in coral reefs to depths of 25
The pomachanthid family is named after the Latin words “pom” (cover) and “acanthus” (thorn),
which refers to its large spine on the lower, rear margin of its gill cover. This spine
distinguishes angelfish from butterflyfish. The spine gets easily tangled in nets and injures
intruding fish as well as human hands. Many pomachanthidae share a common characteristic that
the young are a totally different color pattern than the adults. In fact the young of
differing species can look more related to each other than to their parents. The Koran
Angelfish is typical of this pattern.
Juveniles from 1 to 3 inches in size have semicircular bands of alternating white,
blue and black, which give rise to the name the Semicircle Angel. The pattern is
easily confused with the juvenile
Emperor Angel, however the latter has
tighter bands that appear to emanate from the base of its tail. The circles on the
Koran Angel are more elongated and less complete too. As they begin to mature, the
semi-circles fade and blur. During this period, dark blue banding near the tail
turns to a pattern resembling Arabic script, which gives rise to the name Koran Angel.
At around 5 inches in size, they develop the adult pale green/gold background coloring
with flecks of blue and black. There are two vertical bright blue stripes near the
gills in adults and the outline of the body shape becomes ringed in blue. In the
wild, adults can grow to 40 cm.
In the wild, the Koran Angefish subsists on algae, sponges, zooplankton, coral polyps, shrimp and shellfish. As adult
angelfish develop a dependence on sponges, try to obtain a younger specimen which will eat algae and meaty foods, such
as mysis and brine shrimp. Julian Sprungs Sea Veggies, Ocean Nutrition Seaweed Selects and standard spirulina flakes are
all excellent choices. A high quality sponge based flake food, such as Angel Formula by Ocean Nutrition, should also be
used. The diet can be supplemented with small amounts of chopped fresh and frozen crustaceans, shellfish, squid, Nori and
spinach. The Koran Angel should be fed several times per day, but care should be taken to ensure all food is eaten
immediately so that water quality is not impaired. Due to their interest in eating crustaceans, clams and soft corals,
they are not a good choice for a reef tank.
Koran Angels are very territorial, so only one of the species and preferably on one
Koran Angel should be kept in an aquarium. A tank size of at least 100 gallons is
recommended. Also, the Koran Angel should not be kept with other angelfish as they
will fight aggressively. An angelfish should be introduced last in a community tank.
Float the angelfish in a transparent tank to get an indication of compatibility.
Possible tank mates include Dwarf Angels, Wrasses, Damsel Fish, Clown Fish, Butterfly
Fish, and Tangs. Tangs are riskier tank mates though. The tank should be well lit
and have strong waterflow and bubbles to play in. It should have hiding places and
live rock for feeding. If your angelfish doesn’t have adequate room, it will be more
In selecting a Koran Angel, choose one that is larger than two inches and less
than five. Smaller Koran’s tend to adapt poorly and larger ones tend to be committed
to a diet of sponges, which is difficult to change them from. Look for specimens that
have steady gill movement that is not rapid. The Koran should be alert, active and
curious. There should be no blemishes and the eyes should be clear. Don’t use a net
to move them to the tank, as they can catch their gill spine in the mesh. Also double
bag them when transporting, in case they puncture the surface of the bag.
Koran Angels are quite sensitive to poor water quality and develop infectious
diseases and parasites easily.
Quarantining and freshwater dipping copper based medications are suggested as
Koran Angelfish form mating pairs and are egg-scatterers. They are not successfully
bred in captivity.
22 - 26 C; 72 - 79 F
8.1 - 8.4
8 - 12
1.020 - 1.025
30 cm; 12 inches
Does well in a Fish Only tank. They should not be kept with other Angels and only one should be kept per tank. Suitable tank mates include Butterflies, Tangs and Wrasses.