A breakthrough in 2018, Sustainable Aquatics was the first to breed the Cream Angelfish, Apolemichthys xanthurus, in closed cultivation, landlocked in Tennessee no less. While the Cream Angel is somewhat muted in coloration, it is truly a gem, particularly when young. The bright white blaze on the dorsal fin, and intricately speckled flanks, combined with a bright yellow tail and lots of black trim, make for a handsome fish that can’t be denied once you key in on what makes it a hidden gem.
We’ve found these to be aggressive with each other, so if setting up a pair or trio, give them space and don’t hesitate to intervene. We currently maintain a young pair in a 40-gallon cube aquarium now, and once the initial quarrels subsided, there is never even a scratch on these fish. We’d recommend them only as “reef compatible with caution”; interestingly we’ve found this species all too willing to pick on even some soft corals that most butterflies and angels ignore, although this may be more out of curiosity than actual feeding. Xenia, mushrooms, zoanthids, so far have all gone ignored.
It’s not a huge angelfish, maxing out at 6-8″ depending on which reference you believe! When offered as “Tiny”, they are around 1 to 1.25″ in length, simply adorable. The fish show in the photos here has grown to about 3″ in length at the time of photography. Be sure to get on the waitlist to be notified the next time we manage to get some in stock; they’re a very rare offering at this point!