Angelfish complete Care guide, Size, Life Span, Tank Mates, Breeding

Angelfish

An exotic fish for its beauty and its forms lives in the waters of South America’s rivers. It is a fish that has a great variety of colors and is highly valued by those who like aquariums. Discovered in Brazil in 1823 and belonging to the cichlid family, today we come to talk about angelfish.

If you want to know more about freshwater angelfish, saltwater angelfish, its care, varieties, compatibility, and prices, read on.

  • Scientific name:  Pterophyllun scalare
  • Common name: Angelfish, Scalar fish
  • Aquarium size:  100 litres
  • Temperament: Calm
  • Temperature:  Between 24º and 30ºC
  • pH: Between 6 and 7.4
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Length:  15 cm, 20 cm high

Angelfish characteristics

Angelfish inhabit the waters of rivers such as the Amazon and its tributaries. Because the water is rich in large amounts of algae, the fish’s morphology is adapted to be able to swim in these environments. It is characterized by being thin and elongated, being able to move easily through the vegetation without being trapped. When swimming, its body is kept upturned, and with the dorsal, pectoral, and ventral fins, it propels. As these fins are quite large, it gives the fish an appearance of being large and dangerous before other species.

Thanks to its shape and colors, it can survive well for about 5 to 8 years. In total, it measures about 15 cm in length. Between the male and the female, there is not much difference. The dorsal and anal fins are large and form a triangle in the general appearance of the fish. The caudal fin is also large, and the abdominals have become two long rays of up to 8 cm.

Reproduction of angelfish

This animal has quite complex behaviors when it comes to reproducing. It is a fairly territorial animal, so it is very dedicated to caring for the fry, especially when they are in the initial phase of breeding. They are generally monogamous, although it has been recorded that every few mating cycles, males change partners.

Females choose their males based on aggressiveness and those who appear to have more reproductive experience. Those who are more aggressive are the ones who have the best chance to mate, while the submissive is rejected. This has an explanation and resides in that, normally, males that are more aggressively defend their young better. There are studies that determine a greater number of larvae that survive thanks to the fact that the male is more aggressive with the rest of the fish.

To lay the eggs, the females lay them on plants or rocks since these have the particularity of being adhesive. To deposit the eggs before spawning, both clean the surface of the plant or rock where they are going to place them. When spawning occurs, the male uses a tube through which he expels the sperm that is pointed and slightly inclined forward. The female has a slightly longer, thick, and rounded oviduct, sloping backward. They can deposit between 150 and 350 eggs.

Angelfish in the aquarium

Due to its beauty, shape, and colors, the angelfish is in high demand by those who love aquariums. Angelfish live in warm waters of South America, so the aquarium temperature must be kept at around 25 ° C. The aquarium must be quite deep since angelfish like to swim vertically.

Unlike what can be weighed on the territorialism of angelfish, it is very sociable with other species, so we can share the aquarium with other warm-water fish. We must be careful with those fish that we introduce into the aquarium that is small since angelfish is omnivorous and could take them as food.

As for food, it offers a lot of conveniences to be able to use dry food. Live foods produce better spawning in angelfish, so the use of live water fleas is recommended.

If we want to reproduce the angelfish in the aquarium, we must generate better conditions in our aquarium. Once spawning occurs, the fry pair should be separated during the first week of life. To take care of the fry, we must transfer them to a fish tank but keep the same water with which they were born, in which we will place a few drops of methylene blue that prevents the spread of fungi.

Water parameters

It is a fairly resistant fish that can withstand adverse aquarium conditions, but only occasionally and not continuously.
For the Scalar fish to develop in perfect conditions, the aquarium water must maintain the following characteristics:

  • Temperature between 24ºC and 30ºC
  • pH between 6 y 7.4.
  • Kh 2.3
  • Gh around 10
  • Nitrogen-free water (See: nitrogen cycle )

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Diet

They are omnivorous. In the wild, they feed on small crustaceans and aquatic invertebrates, although in captivity they will readily accept prepared dry food, which we must supplement with live or frozen foods, such as brine shrimp, daphnia, tubifex worms …
It is recommended to distribute the food in two daily doses, not too abundant so that you eat everything that is offered and there is no residue in the aquarium.

Sexual dimorphism

Different rumors circulate around the Angelfish, about the possibility of differentiating between males and females.
Some of the unfortunate claims say that it is possible to differentiate the male Scalar fish from the female Scalar fish, because:

  • The male Angelfish has a pronounced bump on the forehead, while the female lacks that bump.
  • In the male Scalar fish a ridge can be found at the beginning of its dorsal fin.
  • Other sources affirm that the males present a smaller difference between the ventral and the anal fin than the female angelfish.

The reality is that it is not possible to sex with fidelity between males and females. We will only be sure of which is the female of the Escalar fish and which is the male, when we observe at the moment of mating, which of the specimens lays the eggs and which one fertilizes them.

Varieties

In the market we can find different varieties of Angelfish. Most have to do with their coloration, but we can also find varieties in their physical morphology, with differences in their fins and veils:

  • Silver angelfish
  • Marble Angelfish
  • Black angelfish
  • Angelfish blushing
  • Gold Angelfish
  • Gold marble angelfish
  • Halfback Angelfish
  • Koi Angelfish
  • Zebra Angelfish
  • Albino Angelfish
  • Veiltail Angelfish (veil tail)
  • Angelfish sunset blushing
  • Pearl Scale Angelfish
  • Blue ghost angelfish
  • Pinoy Zebra Angelfish
  • Pinoy Angelfish Pariaba
  • Marbled Angel Fish Pariaba
  • Red German Angelfish
  • Blue cobalt angelfish
  • Manacapuru Angelfish
  • Blue Zebra Marble Angelfish
  • Ghost Pinoy Angelfish
  • Pinoy chocolate angelfish
  • Ghost marble angelfish

Saltwater angelfish

Angelfish

Saltwater angelfish are just as showy and colorful as freshwater angelfish. These fish have solid spines on their preopercular that are found in the lower section of both gill covers.

They belong to the Pomacanthidae family. Due to their spines, it is very normal for them to get hooked in aquarium fish nets. To avoid this, when it is captured, it has to be guided in a transparent plastic container and lifted to extract it from the aquarium.

Generally, saltwater angelfish inhabit shallow tropical reefs in the Atlantic, Indian and Western Pacific Oceans. They are between 8 and 10 cm in size, and some species can be kept well in aquariums with a capacity of 5.7 liters of water. They are usually very well adapted to aquarium life and accept various types of frozen food.

To fully enjoy your saltwater angel fish, the aquarium needs to have:

  • Reef quality water and strong movement
  • Living rocks and caves
  • Hardy corals
  • An efficient protein harvester
  • A quality saltwater mix suitable for reefs
  • A program of periodic partial water changes
  • A careful eating regimen

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Emperor angelfish

Emperor angelfish is a solitary species that is well suited to aquariums. If the conditions in which they live are good, they can reach up to ten years of age. It can be kept both alone and in pairs, since when it reaches maturity, it becomes intransigent with the rest of the fish.

Angel fish present the peculiarity of looking like a total change in their coloration, which caused that at first, many of the species of this genus were cataloged with two names, one related to their juvenile phase and the other to their adult phase. During the juvenile phase, it has a navy blue and black coloration with white and navy blue circles of different sizes. However, when it reaches adulthood, it has a blue coloration with fine diagonal yellow lines. The change in color occurs gradually when the animals reach a size of 8 cm.

Your ideal aquarium size is about two meters in length and a depth of 50 cm or greater. About 300 liters of water, and if you want to keep a couple, it would have to be about 500 liters. The water must have a pH between 8.1 and 8.3 and a salinity between 1,022 and 1,024 Kh. Similar temperatures to those found on reefs, between 24 and 26 ° C.

Queen angelfish

This fish also belongs to the Pomacanthidae family. Inhabits coral reefs at depths between 1 and 70 meters. It has a triangular-shaped head and a rectangular-shaped body. It has a total of 14 hard spines and 19 to 21 soft rays, and a coloration divided into the mouth is yellow or orange, the back of the head has an almost black stripe, the lower part is yellow-orange, and the rest of the body blue-greenish color.

Regarding the conditions that they have to have in the aquarium, we have:

  • Temperatures 25-30 ° C
  • pH 8,2-8,4
  • Salinity 1.023-1.027
  • 500-liter capacity aquarium
  • Food-based on frozen, granulated flakes, shrimp, etc., although in the long term, we will have to supply him with sponges that are the basis of his diet.

It must be taken into account when keeping it in the aquarium that it is aggressive with those of the same species or those that have body similarities.

Flame Angelfish

This fish also belongs to the Pomacanthidae family. It is known as flame angel fish or flame angelfish for being one of the most striking. Its coloration is deep red and has vertical black lines with an electric blue trim on the back of its dorsal and anal alerts.

Regarding the conditions that must be maintained in the aquarium for optimal conditions, we have:

  • Salinities of 1,023
  • Temperatures between 24 and 28 ° C
  • Frozen foods and some vegetable supplements

Some problems that the llama angel fish can present are adaptation with the rest of the aquarium fish. If these fish begin to become stressed, parasites such as the marine white spot will begin to appear. To avoid this, we must put enough live rock in the aquarium so that it sits safely and has ground to peck and hide.

Finally, the prices for all varieties of angelfish vary between 35 and 400 euros. Each price will depend on the age, quality, color, beauty, etc.

With this information, you can keep your fish healthy and have your fish tank with a color like never seen before. You just have to follow the conditions well so that the fish is as comfortable as possible and does not have problems with the rest of the fish in the aquarium.

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Tips

The Escolar fish or Angelfish can be found commercially in different shades. The morphology does not change excessively, but its colour does. The most commercial varieties are Albino Scalar Fish, Zebra Smoke Scalar Fish, Black Scalar Fish, Blushing Scalar Fish, Chocolate Scalar Fish, Gold Scalar Fish and Gray Scalar Fish.
In captivity, Angelfish have a life expectancy of three to six years, as long as we keep the aquarium in good condition.

Types of angelfish

Due to its elegant and showy appearance, the angel fish is one of the most popular among aquarium lovers. However, we can find different varieties of freshwater angelfish .

Blue ghost angelfish

The base color of this fish is brownish-grey, and its fins are darker. Its four vertical stripes are only visible when your mood changes. Smoke angelfish characteristics

Necessary careMinimum
Necessary experienceMedia
Life expectancy6 to 7 years
Reproduction difficultyMedia

Albino angelfish

Their main difference is the color of their eyes, which look red, due to the lack of melanin in their skin.

Albino angelfish characteristics

Necessary careMinimum
Necessary experienceMinimum
Life expectancy8 to 9 years
Reproduction difficultyHigh

jet angelfish

Its main coloration is black due to a high pigmentation of its body.

Characteristics jet angelfish

Necessary careMaxima
Necessary experienceHigh
Life expectancy6 to 7 years
Reproduction difficultyHigh

blushing angel fish

This variety has a single base colour and red cheeks. Today we can find them in different colours.

Characteristics blushing angelfish

Necessary careHigh
Necessary experienceHigh
Life expectancy5 to 6 years
Reproduction difficultyMedia

chocolate angelfish

This variety has a brown base colour, being darker at the bottom and softer at the top. Characteristics chocolate angelfish

Necessary careMinimum
Necessary experienceMinimum
Life expectancy8 to 9 years
Reproduction difficultyMedia

golden angel fish

This variety is often confused with the albino; however, the golden scalar has flashes or lines of golden color, most of them in the upper part. When they reach adulthood, they can become very aggressive, so they will need a lot of space.

Characteristics

Necessary careMinimum
Necessary experienceMinimum
Life expectancy8 to 9 years
Reproduction difficultyMedia

ghost angelfish

This variety is characterized by the absence of color throughout the body, some may have dark fins. It is similar to the albino variety but does not have red eyes.

Characteristics

Necessary careMinimum
Necessary experienceMinimum
Life expectancy8 to 9 years
Reproduction difficultyMedia

golden marble angelfish

This variety is considered a cross between the marble scalar and the golden scalar. It is characterized by having black spots and golden sparkles on the upper part.

Characteristics

Necessary careMinimum
Necessary experienceMinimum
Life expectancy7 to 8 years
Reproduction difficultyMedia

Grey angelfish

This variety has a grey base colour throughout the body, however, some specimens may have dark fins.

characteristics

Necessary careNormal
Necessary experienceMedia
Life expectancy8 to 9 years
Reproduction difficultyHigh

half-black angelfish

This variety has a silvery-white color on the front of the body and black on the back.

Characteristics

Necessary careNormal
Necessary experienceMedia
Life expectancy6 to 7 years
Reproduction difficultyHigh

half-striped angelfish

This variety has a silver base color, although it can also be brown or black, and the head area is dark. It has vertical stripes but these do not completely cross its body.

Characteristics

Necessary careNormal
Necessary experienceMedia
Life expectancy6 to 7 years
Reproduction difficultyHigh

koi angelfish

This variety is characterized by having spots that can be orange, yellow, black and brown.

Characteristics

Necessary careNormal
Necessary experienceMedia
Life expectancy8 to 9 years
Reproduction difficultyMedia

leopard angelfish

This variety has a grey body with small dark spots on the body and fins that resemble those of a leopard.

Characteristics

Necessary careMinimum
Necessary experienceMinimum
Life expectancy7 to 8 years
Reproduction difficultyMedia

Marble angelfish

This variety has a silvery body with black spots that almost completely cover the body of the fish. It is a very common variety.

characteristics

Necessary careMinimum
Necessary experienceMedia
Life expectancy8 to 9 years
Reproduction difficultyMedia

Pearl angelfish

This variety resembles the marble angelfish, but its coloration is more silver and has fewer spots. Its scales are very pronounced. We can find two varieties of pearl scalar; the common and the smooth.

characteristics

Necessary careNormal
Necessary experienceMinimum
Life expectancy8 to 9 years
Reproduction difficultyBaja

Wild angelfish

This variety is gray with 4 vertical black bands.

characteristics

Necessary careNormal
Necessary experienceMedia
Life expectancy7 to 8 years
Reproduction difficultyMedia

spotted angelfish

This variety is white or silver in color and features messy vertical stripes and spots.

Characteristics

Necessary careMinimum
Necessary experienceMinimum
Life expectancy8 to 9 years
Reproduction difficultyBaja

Sunset angelfish

This variety is very popular for presenting an orange-gold base color.

characteristics

Necessary careHigh
Necessary experienceMedia
Life expectancy6 to 7 years
Reproduction difficultyHigh

veil angelfish

This variety has highly developed fins, especially the tail fin, giving it the appearance of wearing a wedding veil.

Features

Necessary careHigh
Necessary experienceMedia
Life expectancy5 to 6 years
Reproduction difficultyHigh

Zebra angelfish

This variety has a grey colouration, although it may have variations. Its fins are thin and dark and it has several vertical stripes.

characteristics

Necessary careNormal
Necessary experienceMedia
Life expectancy6 to 7 years
Reproduction difficultyMedia

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