If your knowledge about freshwater angelfish is limited to knowing that they have bright colors, you are probably not alone. Despite the fact that angel fish are popular pets, many fish owners don’t know much about these exotic-looking swimmers.
Characteristics of the species and natural habitat
The freshwater angelfish (Pterophyllum scalare) is a species of cichlids native to South America. These fish can generally be found throughout Colombia, Guyana, French Guiana, Venezuela, Peru and Brazil in several river systems, including the Oyapock, Esequibo and the Amazon rivers themselves.
This species can reach a total length up to 6 inches and can grow up to 8 inches tall. Like most cichlids, they exhibit a laterally flattened body structure, which simply means that they are quite thin.
These fish come in a variety of colors and patterns that range from the tone of solid silver to colored stripes or black and silver marble. These fish they can live 10 years or more in captivity and prefer to stay in tanks with several of the same species.
Freshwater angelfish can be aggressive
These fish are omnivorous by nature, but they will prefer a meat-based diet. In their natural habitat, angel fish feed primarily on small crustaceans and aquatic invertebrates.
In the domestic aquarium they will accept a wide variety of foods. Offer your freshwater angelfish a basic diet of specially formulated flakes or cichlid granules. You can also supplement the diet with many live foods, as well as frozen and lyophilized foods.
Unquestionably, freshwater angelfish enjoys a variety of live foods, including blood worms, brine shrimp, white worms and other small insects and crustaceans.
In addition, you should not forget that, because these fish are omnivorous, also they will benefit from the addition of some plant matter in their diet in the form of seaweed wafers or fresh vegetables.
Stay alert: freshwater angelfish is prone to disease
If you plan to have these fish, you should know that they are often victims of certain diseases to which they are prone. Among them are: the following
- Hexamite: a parasite that causes weight loss, increased stool production, color change and decomposition of the skin of the fish, resulting in injuries such as holes.
- The freshwater ich: It is an infection by protozoan parasites that causes white spots on the body and gills of freshwater fish.
- Columnaris, also known as ‘cotton mouth’: It is caused by infection with a spine-shaped bacterium in unsanitary conditions that cause cotton-like lesions that eat the mouth and disintegrate the fins.
In any case, proper diagnosis and treatment are important for your care.. It is important to note that many medications can cause damage to the organs of freshwater angelfish if not used properly.
The best way to protect an aquarium against disease is to quarantine new fish for a minimum of four to six weeks.
If you expect to play, be patient
First you should know that this species is notoriously difficult to sexar: the physical differences that can be used to distinguish the sexes are often only visible during spawning.
Angel fish tend to breed in pairs, but since they are very difficult to mate it is better to start with a group of 6 juveniles and wait for them to mate naturally as they mature.
Conditioning for spawning
You must feed them with a healthy diet of live foods and frozen You may also want to separate the breeding pair in a dedicated breeding tank.
Make frequent water changes to keep the quality of the vital liquid in the tank high and try to maintain a stable temperature that approaches 30 ° C. Once spawning is complete, remove the adult angelfish from the tank because the eggs and newborn pups will probably be eaten.
How to know if a fish is healthy
For the care and maintenance of our aquarium there are some guidelines that must be taken into account. How to know if a fish is healthy? Read more “