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  • Pterophyllum Scalare (Angelfish)

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    Species: Pterophyllum Scalare
    Geo. Location: Peru, Ecuador, Brazil
    PH: 6.0 - 7.5
    Temperature: 75 - 82F
    Water Hardness: 1 - 20dh
    Size: 6.0"
    Diet: Flakes, Frozen/Dry/Live foods
    Difficulty: 2


    Photo Credit: FishandTips.com
    Notes: Another very popular Cichlidae. Angelfish are native of South America. In the wild they live and spawn in the slow moving rivers and lakes of Peru and Brazil. Usually very peaceful this fish is however territorial, especially during spawning season.
    Because of its popularity, Pterophyllum Scalare has been massively breeded in farms and lots of hybrids are nowdays available. Here is a partial list of these hybrids: marbled, black, golden, veil-tail (click here for a more complete list with descriptions). Most of the Angelfish found in local fish stores come from South Asian breeding farms. Angelfish are laterrally compressed with elongated fins. Their dorsal and anal fins are very developped and there body is in a triangular shape. Their eyes are usually red.
    Pterophyllum Scalare can be sometimes shy and needs hiding spaces. Caves and shaded areas can be created with rocks and plants. Although it is known to respect plants, it is often better to use hardy tall plants (Vallisneria for example). Some floating plants can be used to dim lighting and some open swimming spaces are required. Angelfish can become quite big and a tall tank is strongly recommended (at least 20 inches). A minimum of 30 gallons of water is also required. Pterophyllum Scalare likes to swim in the middle and the top of the tank. They are usually good with plants and do not dig into the substrat like some other Cichlids.
    Angelfish are usually not to demanding regarding water conditions, however nitrates have to be under control and frequent water change will definitly help. They can be kept alone or in groups but a group of Angelfish will require a quite big tank. They can also be kept in a specialty or community tank as long as their mates are piked carrefully. Angelfish get along quite well with medium size Tetra and other Cichlids. Livebearers can also be added to the community tank but they have to be big enough not to get eaten. Cardinal Tetras are usually not recommended. As a conclusion, this fish is quite hardy and makes a beautiful addition to a planted tank. Plenty of swimming space as well as hiding places will keep it happy. Angelfish can live up to 15 years. A related species is Pterophyllum Altum (Deep Angel).

    Breeding: Breeding Pterophyllum Scalare is quite easy as long as you have a pair. Sexual diphormism is almost non existent in this species and it is therefore difficult to get a pair. A good way is to get a small group of 5 to 7 Pterophyllum Scalares in a same tank. If males and females are present (which is very likely), they will form pairs naturally. Patience is therefore the only proven way to get a breeding pair. The tank will have to be clean and water will be slighly warmer (82F) and acidic. After the pair is formed, they will spawned on a previously cleaned vertical surface. The glass of the tank is usually a good spot. Clean leaves are sometimes also used. At this time, Angelfish can become aggressive towards other fish trying to invade their territory. Up to 1000 eggs will be released and fertilized right away by the male. Both parents take care of the eggs. They ventilate the eggs with their fins. Some hybrid species are more fragile and do not take care of their eggs. In this case, the eggs can be transferred to another tank whith a little water movement. The eggs will hatch in 24 to 48 hours. The fry become free swimming after four or five days and baby brine shrimps should be feed to them after they absorb their yolk sac.
    Click here for more information on breeding Pterophyllum Scalare.



    Contacts pierre@fishandtips.com