Cortez Angelfish

Pomacanthus zonipectus

(1 Reviews)

Cortez Angelfish

Cortez Angelfish

Pomacanthus zonipectus

(1 Reviews)

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Cortez Angelfish Care Facts

Care Level: Moderate
Temperament: Semi-Aggressive
Diet: Omnivore
Origin: Mexico
Acclimation Time: 3+ hours
Reef Safe: No
Minimum Tank Size: 250 gallons
Max Size: 18 inches

The Cortez Angelfish (Pomacanthus zonipectus) can be found among the reefs in the Sea of Cortez. Juveniles have a black body with yellow vertical stripes which transitions into a deep blue. As they mature, they change to a grey or brown with a solid yellow stripe behind their gills and a faded gold design on their body. They frequent large seaward reefs where they feed on a variety of foods, including crustaceans, clams, algae and coral polyps. They do well in large fish-only systems and should be kept with fish of similar size and temperament. They require significant room to swim and a well balanced diet of vitamin-enriched mysis, silversides and seaweed. Reaching a maximum size of 18 inches, adults should not be housed in an aquarium smaller than 250 gallons.

Cortez Angelfish (Pomacanthus zonipectus): Your Comprehensive Guide to a Captivating Marine Species

The Cortez Angelfish, scientifically known as Pomacanthus zonipectus, is a remarkable addition to your saltwater aquarium. This guide provides essential insights into this species, including its natural habitat, reef compatibility, size, lifespan, dietary requirements in captivity, aquaculture status, compatibility with other marine species, sexual dimorphism, juvenile to adult coloration changes, temperament, tank requirements, and precise water conditions. We'll also discuss common names by which this species is known and why purchasing the Cortez Angelfish from is advantageous.

Habitat and Natural Range of the Cortez Angelfish

The Cortez Angelfish originates from the Eastern Pacific Ocean, thriving in rocky reefs and coral-rich areas. Its habitat typically spans from the Gulf of California to the coast of Peru. Understanding its natural environment is essential for replicating suitable conditions within your aquarium.

Reef Compatibility of the Cortez Angelfish

When considering reef compatibility, the Cortez Angelfish is not generally regarded as reef-safe. This species has a penchant for nipping at sessile invertebrates, such as corals and sponges. Therefore, it is recommended to house them in fish-only or FOWLR (Fish Only With Live Rock) setups to prevent damage to your coral reef.

Size and Lifespan of the Cortez Angelfish

The Cortez Angelfish is a large marine species that can grow up to 18 inches (38 centimeters) in length. They can live for ten years or more with proper care, making them a long-term commitment for dedicated marine aquarists.

Diet in Captivity of the Cortez Angelfish

Feeding the Cortez Angelfish in captivity involves a well-balanced diet to ensure their health and vibrancy. Offer the following foods:

  • High-Quality Marine Pellets and Flakes: Provide high-quality marine pellets and flakes specifically designed for angelfish as a primary diet component.
  • Frozen Foods: Supplement their diet with frozen foods such as mysis shrimp, brine shrimp, and enriched brine shrimp.
  • Vegetable Matter: Incorporate marine algae and vegetable matter to mimic their natural grazing habits.

Aquaculture and Availability of the Cortez Angelfish

The Cortez Angelfish is not commonly available through aquaculture efforts. Availability may vary, so checking with reputable suppliers like is crucial.

Compatibility with Other Fish and Invertebrates

The compatibility of Cortez Angelfish with other tankmates depends on various factors, including individual temperament. Here are five compatible tankmates for your Cortez Angelfish:

  • Large Angelfish: Other large angelfish species, like the Emperor Angelfish (Pomacanthus imperator), can coexist with Cortez Angelfish if the tank is spacious enough.
  • Triggerfish: Some triggerfish species, such as the Clown Triggerfish (Balistoides conspicillum), are compatible due to their similar size and temperament.
  • Pufferfish: Certain pufferfish species, like the Valentini Puffer (Canthigaster valentini), can be housed alongside Cortez Angelfish if the tank provides ample space.
  • Tangs and Surgeonfish: Tangs and surgeonfish species, such as the Yellow Tang (Zebrasoma flavescens), are suitable tankmates given adequate space.
  • Large Wrasses: Large wrasse species, like the Harlequin Tuskfish (Choerodon fasciatus), can coexist with Cortez Angelfish in larger aquariums.

Sexual Dimorphism of the Cortez Angelfish

Cortez Angelfish does not exhibit significant sexual dimorphism, making it challenging to visually distinguish between males and females.

Juvenile to Adult Coloration Changes

Juvenile Cortez Angelfish displays a striking appearance characterized by a deep-blue body adorned with vibrant electric-blue markings. As they mature into adults, their coloration gradually transforms, with the blue hues becoming more subdued.

Temperament of the Cortez Angelfish

The Cortez Angelfish is known for its generally peaceful temperament, making it suitable for community marine setups. However, like many angelfish species, they can become territorial as they mature. Monitor their behavior and provide sufficient space and hiding spots to mitigate potential aggression.

Tank Requirements for the Cortez Angelfish

To ensure the well-being of your Cortez Angelfish, consider the following tank requirements:

  • Minimum Aquarium Size: Due to their large size, a tank with a capacity of at least 250 gallons is recommended for a single Cortez Angelfish. Larger tanks are necessary for multiple angelfish or additional tankmates.
  • Live Rock and Hiding Spots: Incorporate ample live rock formations and hiding spots to recreate their natural environment and provide shelter.
  • Water Conditions: Maintain stable water parameters, including a pH level between 8.1 and 8.4, salinity ranging from 1.020 to 1.025, water temperature between 72°F and 78°F (22°C to 26°C), and moderate water flow.

Other Common Names for the Cortez Angelfish

The Cortez Angelfish is also known as Mexican Angelfish and West Mexican Angelfish.

Why Choose the Cortez Angelfish from

Opting for as your source for Cortez Angelfish presents several benefits:

  • Quality Assurance: is dedicated to providing healthy and vibrant marine species, ensuring the well-being of your Cortez Angelfish.
  • Expertise and Support: With years of industry experience, offers valuable insights and assistance to help you succeed in caring for your Cortez Angelfish.
  • Convenience: offers a user-friendly online platform for a convenient and hassle-free purchasing experience.
  • Ethical Sourcing: By choosing, you support responsible sourcing practices and marine conservation, contributing to the sustainability of marine ecosystems.

In conclusion, the Cortez Angelfish (Pomacanthus zonipectus) is a captivating addition to your saltwater aquarium, provided you adhere to suitable tank conditions and proper care guidelines. Consider this species for its striking appearance and captivating behavior, and explore the possibilities it offers in your marine setup.

The first Cortez Angelfish arrived DOA but they refunded me quickly and the second one arrived and I could not be happier. Grateful for the good service and the speed they replaced the DOA.

Reviewed by: Brad Smallwood on Jan. 1, 2022

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