More than once, I have had the amazing experience of a large French Angelfish swimming up to me. One time, it swam so close up to my face, it almost looked like the fish wanted to check its reflection in my mask. They are such calm fish, I’m always delighted when I spot a French Angelfish. They have this funny habit of swimming on their side and calmly looking up at you while nibbling on algae.
French Angelfish can grow bigger than a large dinner plate – up to 18 inches! They swim slowly around the reef alone or in pairs foraging for their food. They like to eat lots of things like; plants, algae, sponges, tunicates, and soft coral.
When they are young (juveniles) they play a very important role on the reef – they are cleaner fish who help keep all the other fish clean and healthy. This is also how they get their food – they eat algae and small parasites off of other fish.
Rock Beauties are also in the angelfish family – though they are much smaller, shyer fish. I always consider myself lucky if I get to see one on a dive or while snorkeling.