By Lacey Wilkerson | Conservancy Education intern
Have you ever gone to a party where you didn’t know the other guests? Or were you ever the new student at school? In those moments, you may have felt similar to the way our queen angelfish is feeling this week!
On December 28, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida’s Animal Care Coordinator Katie Ferron made the decision to move our queen angel from her previous home in the “Oceans at Risk” tank into the Dalton Discovery Center’s 5,000-gallon patch reef tank.
Queen angelfish typically inhabitant warm, coastal areas of the Atlantic, such as the patch reefs found on Florida’s gulf coast, so this is a very appropriate spot for her to be! She was a very brave and outgoing inhabitant of her smaller tank, so we all knew she would do great in her newer, bigger home!
The queen angel is currently about 4 inches in length and is just a few years old, but she could potentially grow as large as 18 inches!
In the past week, she’s had to go from being the biggest fish in a small “pond,” to being the smallest fish in a very big “pond.” It’s a big adjustment, but she’s doing very well. Her first few days in the new tank were spent close to the water’s surface and off to the side, away from the larger fish. Queen angels are known to be shy reef fish, and they typically live solitary lives or may occasionally be found in pairs.
Since her introduction to the tank, staff and interns have noticed her becoming much braver and venturing deeper and out toward the middle to explore and eat. As she grows more confident and comfortable in her new home, guests are able to get a better look at her brilliant yellow body and fabulous blue trim.
Just as you made friends at that party or got more comfortable at your school, queen angel is finding her place in her new home. Everyone at the Conservancy predicts that in the weeks to come she will start to thrive and reclaim her title as the “queen” of her tank!