Watanabe changing

Super Exciting news happening in my 180 Gallon reef tank!

watanabe angel sex change
Literally happened overnight, my female watanabe now has leopard spots as she prepares to undergo sex change
The female watanabe here to compare the coloration

The larger of the two female watanabe angelfish (Genicanthus Watanabe) is finally changing its sex! And not, this is not a political subject today.

Watanabe angelfish originates from the Western tropical to subtropical Pacific Ocean. They do dwell in the deeper water in nature so they are used to more dimly lit condition and slightly cooler water than most home reef aquariums. That said, with the proper acclimation and care they can also thrive in home reef. I would say they are moderate in terms of difficulty keeping. I have never lost one due to disease, but have seen a few perish in stores in the past due to improper decompression process since they are from the deeper water.

I bought the first female (larger one) about 2 years ago. And shortly after (about 6 months) added the second, smaller female. I have always adored these reef safe angels and vowed to always have them for as long as I have reef tanks. In nature, they are social fish and the typical make up is one dominant male with small harem or females. If the dominant male perishes or leaves, the largest of the females will undergo gender change and become the male. This is a one way trip with no turning back.

It took this two females to coexist for more than a year and half before the larger of the two decides it’s time. I am not really sure what triggers it. But some facts to consider: The tank temperature has dipped cooler in these winter months (last four months), also, I have reduced feeding over the last 3-4 weeks for a separate water quality issue. The water quality if fine now though.


I will continue to take snaps of this angelfish over the course of her/his transition and hopefully show everyone the full result soon!

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