Angelfish: Pterophyllum Scalare

Angelfish: Learn All About These Beautiful Fish Before You Buy

Due to their flattened body, angelfish are very maneuverable. A group of angelfish, therefore, moves easily between plants with long, vertical leaves.

With its typical shape and beautiful colors, and angelfish is an asset to your aquarium. They are pretty quiet aquarium fish, except during reproduction.

Angelfish is sensitive to water quality, but if your aquarium water well is under control, then the angelfish is not difficult to care for.

The unique shape with beautiful long stripes that adorns the body like a tattoo is a reason to buy angelfish. When they are frightened or stressed, the colors of the angelfish disappear.

Choose the right animal for your situation: before buying, read whether the angelfish is what you are looking for.


Angelfish in General

The angelfish belongs to the family of cichlids. They are a group of fish originating from the Amazon.

Originally they were colored light silver gray with a vertical black stripe. In case of fright or stress, the colors of the angelfish pull away.  

Adult angelfish can be about ten centimeters long and fifteen centimeters high, depending on the breeding variety. On average, farmed angelfish live to be about five years old.

Angelfish characteristics

The character of these tropical fish is very relaxed. They ‘float’ very quietly through your aquarium and therefore do not like a strong current.

They are peaceful to other fish unless there are tiny aquarium fish. They are sometimes seen as prey.

Angelfish are peaceful fish that live in groups. By nature, they occur in warm and dim, slowly flowing water between tree roots and plants.

This water is soft and a bit sour. Due to its shape, the angelfish is very maneuverable and can easily be planted between plants and roots by swimming.  Due to their vertical stripes, they do not stand out between the aquatic plants.

Angelfish and other fish

The angelfish can be kept well with other fish, but do consider the calm character of angelfish. It is best to put some quiet varieties together.

Do not choose very small inmates like tetras because they are mistaken for feed by the angelfish.

Also, don’t choose fish that will damage the angelfish fins, such as the Sumatran or other catfish.

Take an even number so that no fish remain when they form flocks. Angelfish swimming not so much. They mainly use the middle water layer.

A water filter and lighting are among the essential equipment of the aquarium. The water should not be too strong currents.

Keep in mind that the angelfish do not like bright light. Floating plants provide a bit dim environment that resembles the natural underwater world of the angelfish, and Plants with long, vertically growing leaves best suit the angelfish.

Care and handling your Angelfish

Every day you have to take a look at the fish to see if they are healthy. Also, check the water temperature and remove any food residues. Remove loose plant residues every week.

Test the water regularly with test sets that you can buy in the pet store. Being important, especially the acidity (pH), the hardness, and the amount of ammonium, nitrite, and nitrate. Well-functioning filter ammonium and nitrite are not measurably present.

Nitrate can easily be removed from the water by changing water. Therefore, regularly refresh, depending on the measured water quality. A guideline for angelfish is to replace about a third of the water weekly.

To ensure the correct acidity and hardness allows it to mix it with osmosis water, which you can make with an osmosis device that you buy in the aquarium specialty store.

Would you please make sure the freshwater first have a suitable composition before doing it in the aquarium?

Clean the mechanical part of the filter regularly by rinsing in the old aquarium water. If necessary, clean the windows with a

magnetic sweeper, a scraper, or filter wadding. Use attributes intended for the aquarium, such as a bucket and scoop, only for the aquarium and other household activities.

If you are using a siphon hose, make sure that you do not get water inside. Some fish diseases are also contagious to humans.

Nutrition for Angelfish

Angelfish eat mainly animal feed, preferably alive such as water fleas, mosquito larvae or Tubifex, and dry food. In addition, you can give frozen food, but leave it first thaw.

Live feed and frozen food can sometimes transmit diseases, so get them from a trusted supplier.

Angelfish also eat other small fish, such as the young of their congeners. Variety in the feed is essential to keep the fish healthy. Young angelfish can be feed with Artemia or water fleas.

Feed as much as the fish can eat in one to two minutes so that no leftover food remains. If the angelfish refuse to eat, this may be a sign that the water is polluted.

If you also give dry food, do not put the jar on the light hood of the aquarium because then it is too hot, and the vitamins are lost.

Angelfish Reproduction

The thickening can only see the difference between the males and the female’s angelfish of the vent, and It is smaller in males than in females angelfish.

The difference is easy to notice during the mating season, and The angelfish chooses its partner, after which the territory will be defended.

Before they deposit eggs, they first brush a lot cleaner on the outlet cone or other substrate. Later on, the female deposits the eggs in strings that together have forming placards.

Then the male swims over the eggs to fertilize them. There several hundred eggs are laid. The parents guard these well, fan them and remove even dead eggs.

After two to three days, the young hatch and then stay with threads hanging from the substrate. After about five days, the young swim around freely.

Common diseases and disorders in Angelfish,

It is essential to ensure good water quality and proper nutrition. You can prevent stress by leaving the fish alone as much as possible and maintain a fixed daily pattern.

Don’t put species together that bother each other. Signs of health problems include dull or affected skin, pinched fins, a deviating body shape, or a different way of swimming (for example, fluctuating or crooked).

Angelfish, like other cichlids, are susceptible to ‘hole disease.’ This creates holes in the skin of the head. This can be caused by a lack of minerals in the water and often goes along with an infection by the flagellate Hexamita (Octomitus).

Angelfish, like many other aquarium fish, can suffer from parasites. Examples of parasitic skin diseases are white dot and velvet disease.

On the gills can be single-celled organisms such as Trichodina and Ichthyobodo, and gill worms such as Dactylogyrus or Gyrodactylus occur. The latter is trapped in the gills with brackets, causing damage to the tissue and causing infections.

Parasites also occur in the intestines, including various worms and flagellates.

Bacteria can cause various fish diseases. One example is columnaris disease. This leads to a superficial infestation of the skin and gills, quickly spreading to severe disease. It’s hard to treat.

Bacteria can also cause ‘white spot disease’, leaving white-grey spots on the skin. This affects the organs of the fish and causes granulomas, small yellowish globules between and in the organs.

Fish-TB can also be done through live and frozen food such as mosquito larvae are transferred, so buy this at a trusted address.

Infections by bacteria are often a result of reduced resistance (for example, stress), damaged skin, or an attack on the mucous layer of the skin due to bad water quality.

An example of this that occurs in Angelfish is fin rot. In such cases, it is essential to remedy the condition and especially to the primary cause to detect and correct.

Make sure that you continue to treat long enough so that all pathogens are killed.

Required experience keeping angelfish

For the responsible keeping of this pet, no specific experience is needed. Care well that you are well informed about setting up an aquarium and keep a close eye on water quality.

Purchase and costs

Angelfish can be bought in an aquarium specialty store or from a breeder. Please note when buying fish that they come from clean trays of healthy animals.

Choose the most active fish, Lett, because the fish have beautiful clean skin and are not skinny.

Let the animals gradually get used to the new water conditions; even better, putting new fish in a quarantine bin.

The angelfish is not that expensive to buy. The start-up costs of an aquarium depending on the size of the aquarium and the desired technique.

Recurring costs are feed, test sets, filter material, and energy for heating and light. In addition, you may be faced with costs if there are diseases in the aquarium origin.

Different variants of Angelfish, what types are there?

Angelfish are one of the most beautiful aquarium fish that swim around. Hardly any other fish has such a deviant shape combined with a beautiful palette of colors and stripes.

The angelfish with Pterophyllum scalare is also called the ‘normal angelfish’ because it is the most common in the aquarium. Another species is the beautiful Pterophyllum Altum, with a length of up to 35 cm high, the king among the angelfish.

There are various forms of farming of the angelfish. These can have gold, black, white, blue, or red colors and various markings such as spots, stripes, or a marbled pattern. There are also long-finned and veil-tailed variants.

In addition to the ‘common’ Pterophyllum scalare, there are three related angelfish species, namely Pterophyllum altum, which can become more than 25 centimeters high, Pterophyllum dumerilii, and Pterophyllum leopoldi. However, these species are much less common in aquariums.

1. Pterophyllum Altum

Although this species resembles the ‘normal sunfish,’ it is easily distinguishable by its higher body shape and rising backline. Therefore, they can reach a maximum length of 35 cm (as much as 50 cm). Very handy, because in the wild, they can hide well between roots and plants.

Except for the breeding season, these tropical fish are a group of fish that can be kept quiet with other aquarium fish.

Like more fish from the Amazon, they like soft, acidic water and prefer to hunt live food such as daphnia.

The base color is silver with three dark vertical stripes across the head and body. A red stripe pallet is visible in the fins.

2. Pterophyllum Scalare

These angelfish are one of the most popular aquarium fish. Due to its popularity, many cultivars of this species have emerged in recent years. This has resulted in angelfish with different shapes and colors.

This species is commonly grown in Asia and can be recognized by the intensity of the black stripes. In fact, with these angelfish, a distinction is made between the reared angelfish and the caught angelfish.

The main difference is that the farmed Angelfish has shorter pectoral fins than the common angelfish.

The scalare differs from the Altum discussed above in that it is rounder in shape and the scalare has more of a ‘snap nose’ or ‘saddle nose.’ It also becomes smaller with 25 cm.

Aquarium decoration for angelfish

Angelfish need an aquarium in which they can swim freely. They prefer a reasonably high aquarium of at least 50 cm tall and 100 cm long.

Make sure that there are plants and preferably also floating plants so that the angelfish can seek shelter. This leads to their colors becoming brighter and not duller from the stress.

This is how you breed angelfish and the importance of water quality

Breeding angelfish because they are beautiful to see, and the whole cycle from nothing to an adult angelfish is gorgeous. With the knowledge of this blog, you can also successfully breed angelfish.

Angelfish can survive in an aquarium where the ideal values ​​​​are not valid. That doesn’t apply to breeding angelfish. The angelfish will undoubtedly lay eggs, but breeding to adults will not work.

Therefore, it is fundamental to keep your water values ​​stable, which also applies to the temperature of the water.

The following applies here: to measure is to know. By doing that consistently, you know you’re on the right track.

The question is, which water values ​​are ideal. Following is essential information. Please note that water values ​​alone are not sufficient. The best tip is: mimic their natural habitat as closely as possible.

Aquarium Specifications for the Angelfish

Aquarium: At least 200 liters

Fish length: 10-15 cm

Water quality: Ph value between 6-6.5, DH value below 4

Age: Around 5 years

Is other fish possible?: Yes, as long as they are calm

Water temperature: 25-28 degrees

Growing angelfish is only possible with couples

A male and a female together, and voila? No, unfortunately not!

This is because breeding angelfish only succeeds after the lady and gentleman have ‘approved’ each other, just like humans.

You can, of course, speed up the process by buying a pair in the store. Otherwise, it is a matter of putting a group of 8-10 relatively young angelfish together and waiting for a match to occur.

Breeding angelfish, a step-by-step plan

  • Take care of the building blocks: a couple and a few other fish as possible
  • The bigger the aquarium, the more likely the fry will survive
  • Set up your aquarium for laying eggs; for example, make sure you have high flat stones.
  • Provide high-quality fresh food, and this will make the angelfish feel better and will be more willing to mate
  • Please wait for the eggs, don’t worry, they will come
  • After the eggs have hatched, you can do two things: set up a separate aquarium and let them grow up in it or gamble that it will work in your existing aquarium (note, it is common for angelfish to eat their offspring)
  • Make sure that sufficient food (dry food can) is given in the coming period. However, as always, not too much! Preferably two times a day, very little.
  • After 8 weeks, the young are big, and you have beautiful specimens!