The Blueface Angelfish occurs in the Indo-Pacific, from the Maldives to Vanuatu, north to the Yaeyama Islands, and Palau and Krosae in Micronesia. It is found from 25°N to 24°S.
The Blueface Angelfish inhabits lagoon, channels and outer reef slopes with prolific algae growth. They like to stay near caves and will normally live solitary. The depth range for this species is 5 – 25 meters / 16-82 feet.
Juvenile specimens are typically found in shallow waters and are especially common in inshore caves with algae growth.
The largest scientifically measured Blueface Angelfish was 38 cm / 15 in.
The juvenile fish is covered in vertical black, white and sapphire blue stripes. When it reaches a length of roughly 5 in / 13 cm, it will start changing into its adult coloration. The body develops a pale yellow shade bluish scales and the pectoral fin becomes bright yellow. The face of the adult fish is mottled-blue with small yellow spots and a characteristic yellow mask extends from eye to eye (but not much beyond each eye). On the caudal end of the dorsal fin, you can see a black eyespot.
It is not advisable to keep Blueface Angelfish in aquariums smaller than 100 gallons / 375 liters. The aquarium should contain plenty of live rock to give the fish opportunity to carry out its natural grazing behavior in captivity. Make sure that the setup contains many suitable hiding spots as well as open areas for swimming.
This species is considered reef compatible with caution. It may nip at stony corals, soft corals and clam mantles, and it is also fond of eating small worms. Juvenile specimens are less dangerous for the reef than adult specimens.
The Blueface Angelfish is a semi-aggressive species and can become quite territorial if it is the largest fish in the aquarium. It is not a good idea to combine it with members of its own species or other angelfish species.
The recommended water temperature is 72-78º F / 22-25.5º C. Keep the specific gravity between 1.020 and 1.025 and the pH-value within the 8.1-8.4 range.
The Blueface Angelfish is an omnivore species. In the wild, it feeds chiefly on tunicates and sponges and other encrusting organisms, and will also eat algae. In the aquarium, it needs both meaty and algae-based food. You can for instance give it various types of shrimp combined with spirulina and marine algae. Natural algae growth should be encouraged in the aquarium. It is also a good idea to purchase a high-quality angelfish preparation that contains sponge material and add this to the diet. This fish can be easily trained to accept dead food.