The large Blue Girdled Angel is not an easy fish to keep, but for advanced aquaculturalists, the achievement of maintaining this exquisitely beautiful fish can be extremely rewarding.
Blue Girdled Angelfish spend most of their time alone in the wild, and may not do well with other fish in captivity, due to their strong territorial behavior. They may show aggression toward other fish, particularly Angels, and may also nip at the mantles of triacnid clams, or coral polyps in their enclosures. They are not considered reef safe. In the wild, Blue Girdled Angels graze on corals, sponges, and small organisms. They also eat small amounts of algae. Some Blue Girdled Angels are difficult to get to feed in captivity, and may be started on mysid shrimp, brine shrimp, or daphnia until they will eat readily, when more protein items can be incorporated into their diets. Many Blue Girdled Angels will accept food from your hand once they have become accustomed to this practice.
A mature Blue Girdled Angel can measure seven to ten inches (18 to 25.5 centimeters). These fish have rather striking coloration, with a well-defined bright blue section girdling their heads and the frontal areas of their bodies. This coloration extends along the bottom of the fish, over its ventral and anal fins. These fins have light blue edges. The lower part of the head is yellow, separated from the bright blue coloring with a clear light blue line. This light blue line demarcates the other edge of the blue section as well, separating it from the yellow body decorated with blue spots. The dorsal fin is yellow, and the overall effect is of a yellow saddle over the back of the Blue Girdled Angel.
Found throughout the Indo-Australian archipelago, Blue Girdled Angelfish are most common in New Guinea and the Great Barrier Reef. They are commonly found 10 to 100 feet (3 to 30 meters) below the water in areas of heavy coral growth. Lagoons and drop-off areas are frequently inhabited. Blue Girdled Angels in the pet trade are commonly collected from the Indian Ocean.