All about Angelfish
Freshwater Angelfish are cichlids that originate around the
Amazon River basin with a striking, compressed body shape and
long extended dorsal and anal fins. The fish are often taller
than they are long. There are three recognized species, all
belonging to the genus Pterophyllum.
For aquarium breeding, the angelfish is a bad parent compared to
many other cichlids, and quite often eats its young. The eggs are
deposited on a bare rock, root or large leaf of some water plant,
and the young are cared for by both parents.
However, when the breeding attempt is successful the parents keep
close watch on the eggs until they become free swimming. Once
they begin swimming the parents will clean them by sucking them
into their mouths and spitting them out. Fry can be fed baby
brine shrimp; frozen or fresh.
Angelfish inhabit slow waters in the Amazon region. Its shape
allows it good protection among roots and plants, often on a
vertical surface. It eats small invertebrates and is no danger to
most other fish in an aquarium, however if a tankmate will fit
into its mouth there is a good chance the angelfish will try to
Due to its peaceful temperament and appearance, it is one of the
few cichlids that is commonly kept in decorative tanks or public
displays with smaller types of fish.
The largest and best known species of Angelfish is Pterophyllum
scalare. Its natural color is silvery with three brownish
vertical stripes. It is very peaceful and a popular aquarium
fish. Numerous decorative breeds exist, with varying color
patterns and extended fins. These Angelfish inhabit swamps and
flooded waters with dense vegetation. Its maximum size is around
12–15 cm (up to 6 inches) length, up to 20 cm (8 in.) height.
These Angelfish prefer water with a 6.0–8.0 pH, a water hardness
of 5.0–13.0 dGH, and a temperature range of 24–30°C (75–86°F).
The Pterophyllum altum Angelfish species originates from rivers
in the Amazon River basin where the upper Negro River drains, and
from the Orinoco River basin. Its natural color is also silvery
with three brownish vertical stripes. Some of the largest
Angelfish are of this species, growing up to 18 cm (7 in) long
and 20 cm (8 in) tall. These Angelfish prefer water with a
4.8–6.2 pH, a water hardness of 1.0–5.0 dGH, and a temperature
range of 27–31°C (81–88°F).
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