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Angels & Butterflyfishes
With their bright colors and intricate patterns, Angelfishes and Butterflyfishes are among the most beautiful fishes found on coral reefs around the world. Biologically, these two families have many similarities. The key difference is that Angelfishes have a defensive spine or “spike” that extends from their gill cover and Butterflyfishes do not. Butterflyfishes also have a pointier snout and are generally smaller (except for the Pygmy Angelfishes, genus Centropyge). During the daytime these fishes gracefully maneuver through the reef, using their brush-like teeth to feed on sponges, tunicates, corals, algae, and detritus.
Angelfishes are relatively hardy in captivity, generally not sensitive to most variations in water quality, and usually quick to accept frozen and prepared foods. Butterflies have variable hardiness and some species may be more reluctant to accept frozen and prepared foods. This is because there are several species that feed almost exclusively on corals in the wild.