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Main Index > Detailed Fish Profiles > The Cichlids > Angelfish
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This page will give a completely detailed profile of the selected fish, from A to Z. The profiled fish will be chosen randomly by Badman, and will come from the complete genre of tropical fish. New profiles are added on a regular basis. If you would like to submit a profile for the site please contact me. Don't forget to let us know you experiences with this fish by filling out the




South america

 

Angelfish

Pterophyllum Scalare

 

Overview:
    Perhaps the most popular of the Cichlids the angel can be the showcase of any aquarium. The different color varieties make it one of the most varied species available. Often sold very young and small it must be noted that they do grow large and need a fairly large fish tank to house them properly.

Quick stats:

    Listed tank sizes are the minimum
    Size: up to 6" (15cm)
    Tank: 48 inches
    Strata: Middle
    PH: 5.0 to 7.5
    Hardness: Soft to medium. dH range: 1-20
    Temperature: 73°F to 84°F (23-29°C)
Classification
    Order: Perciformes
    Suborder: Percoidei
    Family: Cichlidae
    Genera: Pterophyllum

Movie


Common name

    Angelfish, Scalare

Image gallery:
    Additional species photographs

Discuss:

    Badmans' Forum

Distribution

    Amazon and some of its tributaries, like the Tapajoz.


General Body Form
    Disk-shaped. Dorsal and Anal fins Are elongated and sail-like, the Pectoral fins are stretched into long filaments. The Caudal fin is fan shaped and broad. The outermost fin rays are prolonged. In older fish the forehead bulges. Including the fins the Angel may reach a length of six inches and a height of ten inches.


Coloration
    The body is Silvery with a slight Brown tinge, the snout, back and forehead are Brownish Yellow. Sides are marked with four Black transverse bars, the first running in a curve from the nape through the eye to the start of the Ventral fin, the second from the Dorsal to the anus, the third is the most prominent runs from the Dorsal to the Anal fins and the fourth crosses the start of the Caudal fin. A few fainter bars can sometimes be seen in the upper half of the body. The Dorsal fin spines are Yellow-Brown, the front of the Ventral fins Steel-Blue and the soft rayed parts of the unpaired fins are Grayish-White.

    The above paragraph was a description of the original wild caught specimens and is seldom seen in its true colors anymore. Today Angels come in all color varieties and more are added almost everyday. There are Black, Gold, Ghost, Marble, Veiltail and many more available today. All are the result of color and fin mutations through selective breeding.



Angelfish Varieties:
  • Silver
    This is the normal coloring of wild Angel. The body is white with 4 dark vertical bars running through it. The first passes through the eye, the second usually is in front of the top and bottom fin, the third is usually through the top and bottom fin and the fourth is at the start of the tail fin. There may or may not be faint dark bars running parallel between the darker ones. Some specimens have black speckles over the top half of the body.

  • Zebra
    These are much like the Silvers, but they have more vertical stripes which continue on right through the tail.

  • Black Lace
    Black Lace are the steppingstones to the solid black variety. The main difference between Black Lace and Silvers is the intensity of color especially on the fins where you will see a lace like effect. In mating 2 Black Lace, you can expect to produce 25% Black, 50% Black Lace and 25% Silver. The Black fry are especially fragile and a lot of times don't survive to free swimming and if they do, should be separated from their more vigorous littermates.

  • Black
    These fish are a solid, velvety black. In mating a Black to a Black Lace you can expect 50% Black and 50% Black Lace and if you mate Black to Black you can expect 100% Black.

  • Half Black
    Half Blacks are just that. Their bodies are white in the front and the black cuts right through the top and bottom fins right through the tail.

  • Veiltail
    Veiltail Angels have very elongated fins and come in all color varieties. If a Veil Angel and a Silver are bred, you can expect 50% Veil and 50% Silver. Breed 2 Veils and you can expect 25% ordinary Angels, 50% Veil and 25% Long Tailed Veil which will have even longer fins and tails than the Veil. Breeding 2 Long Tailed Veils will produce 100% Long Tailed Veils, but they are not as hearty nor are the spawns as large. Some Veils have such long fins that they become bent or at worst broken.

  • Marble
    Instead of having the ordinary black bars, these fish have a broken pattern of black and silver that is best described as Marble. In the head and back region there may be undertones of golden while the fins have rays of black and white. A breeding of a Marble with a Black Lace will produce some fry which are Black Lace Marble, having characteristics of both parents.

  • Golden
    Goldens may range from a solid silvery white to a golden color with no other markings. Over the head and back area is usually a mantle of gold.

  • Blushing
    Blushing Angels have a red cheek area and no pattern on a white body and are reported to be the most delicate.

  • Pearl Scale
    Pearl Scale Angels have bumpy almost rough looking scales and come in many color varieties.

Maintenance
  • Tank Size:
    The minimum size tank for a breeding pair of Angelfish is 15 gallons, but should be 25 gallons or larger if you plan on leaving the fry with the parents. As you can imagine, a fully grown pair of Angels with 200-300 fry to herd around would be pretty cramped in anything smaller. Another plus to having a larger tank is that there is a better feeling of security in a larger tank and the parents aren't as apt to eat their eggs or young.

  • Diet:
    Angelfish can survive on flake food alone, but they will thrive and be much more apt to breed on a greatly varied diet. Live foods such as Adult Brine Shrimp, Black Worms, Mosquito larvae, finely chopped earthworms and Guppy fry are accepted with enthusiasm and should be included regularly. If live food is not available, frozen packages of Blood Worms (Midge Fly larvae), Brine Shrimp and others are available from your favorite pet supply store and are acceptable substitutions for the live food. There are many dried foods available that will suffice too. Raw beef heart, finely ground, mixed with unflavored gelatin and frozen immediately in small one serving size pieces is a good and economical addition to your Angelfish diet. Be absolutely sure there is no fat in the meat.

  • Live Plants:
    Live plants should be included in all freshwater tanks. Water quality is monitored by live plants as they will look sickly before the fish die, they aid in keeping water clear, hinder growth of algae and add Oxygen to the water. Broadleaf aquatic plants are favorites of Angelfish for laying their eggs on. Amazon Sword Plants (Echinodorus) are in a genus that embraces more than fifty relatively hardy and adaptable species, most of which are native to the flood plains of South America. They prefer water that is neutral or slightly acid and not too hard making them perfect plants for your Angelfish tank. Vesicularia dubyana (Java Moss), Ceratopteris (Water Sprite) and Microsorium (Polypodium pteropus or Java Fern) are all compatible live aquatic plants.

 

 


Movie

Angel fry


Breeding

  • Choosing Breeder Angelfish:
    The best way of assuring yourself at least one young pair is to choose 6 perfect specimens from a large tankful of young angels. This method is less expensive than buying proven breeders that may be near the end of their breeding careers anyway. When preparing to buy 6 Angelfish, take your time to study the fish and select only those with straight top and bottom fins and perfect 'feelers' without any bowing or bends in them. They should be strong, robust and active. Angelfish that are active feeders mean they will grow quickly, and have a high rate of egg production in the females. Do not buy fish from a tank with either dead fish in it, with fungus or parasite infestations. Resist the urge to 'come to the rescue of the little ugly duckling' because it will only grow up to be a big ugly duckling and will be totally unsuitable for breeding purposes. Be extremely picky with your breeder selection and you will be rewarded with beautiful fry. Once you have carefully selected your 6 potential breeders, they can be set up in a 20 gallon tank minimum to grow up in and to finally pair off. If they are fed well with a good selection of live foods, they will grow quickly and reach breeder size rapidly. One sure way to acquire a true breeding pair of Angelfish is to purchase a proven pair from a breeder. When you purchase a pair this way there is always the possibility that they are at the end of their breeding career.

  • Spawning :
    In mature fish, breeding can be stimulated by a partial water change and a rise in temperature to between 80 and 82 degrees F. One sure sign that spawning is about to occur is the appearance of the pair's genital papillae. These look like little nipple-like projections and are called ovipositors (oh vi poz' uh turs), a word that literally means "egg-placer(s)". The female's ovipositor is larger and more blunt than the male's which is slender and more pointed. These protuberances which appear at the vent are used respectively for depositing eggs and fertilizing them. The obvious differences in the genital papillae are the first completely reliable indication of sex determination. The pair will select a spawning site and thoroughly clean it about two or three days before actual spawning takes place. When the cleanliness of the spawning site finally meets the approval of the parent fish, the female will make a few test runs. She will pull her ventral fins or feelers close to the lower sides of her abdomen and her anal fin will be situated so that her entire lower line is relatively straight. Her ovipositor will then be able to make full contact with the slate, leaf or whatever was chosen for a spawning site. The male will then make a few practice runs too before the actual spawning takes place. When spawning actually takes place, the female will pass over the site and eggs are deposited which adhere to the surface. The male then moves in and scoots along over the string of eggs just laid and fertilizes them, his fins taking the same position as the female's so he can press closely to insure a higher fertilization rate. The male and female Angelfish will take turns making passes over the spawning site until several hundred or more eggs have been laid, depending on the size and condition of the female prior to spawning. The parents will hover closely over the spawn and fan continuously with their pectoral fins to create a circulation of water over and around the eggs. Some unfertilized eggs will turn white in a matter of hours and will be removed by the parents.

  • Fry Diet:
    Angelfish fry have been successfully raised on a diet of newly hatched Brine shrimp (napulii) for the first 4 weeks of their lives and fed two to four times daily. After that, they were gradually introduced to a mixture of finely powdered Angelfish flakes and powdered dried blood worms with an occasional (twice a week) feeding of baby brine shrimp. When their bodies are about the size of a quarter, they may be fed Guppy fry. An easy way to provide this very nutritious food is to keep pregnant guppies in the same tank as the young Angels and the rest is up to nature. Of course feedings of other varied foods are needed to round out the diet. The author conducted an experiment and got 6 quarter sized Angelfish from a large tank of like sized Angels and put them in a 10 gallon tank with a sponge filter and Water Sprite. They were free fed guppy fry and twice a day received any combination of Angelfish flakes, frozen bloodworms, frozen brine shrimp and dried dworms for 4 weeks. At the end of the experiment, the 6 who received a varied diet twice a day were almost the size of a half dollar while the size of the other Angelfish barely had any noticeable growth at all. You can see that the correct diet for your Angels is essential to potential and current breeder fish.

  • Leaving Fry with Parents:
    If the parents are to be left with the eggs, it is best to provide as much peace and quiet for them as possible. You may want to set up their tank in your bedroom or a spare room where they will not be unnecessarily disturbed. Other than that, they should be treated as you normally do. Some aquarists cover the tank with paper or black plastic and use peep holes to observe the fish. This can cause more disturbance than without the cover because there is no warning for the fish when the lid is going to be opened for feeding or for any other reason. The best system for filtering a fry tank is a seeded corner sponge filter. Start your new Rotifer (roe' tu fur) bacteria colony by putting the new sponge filter with aeration into an established tank. This should be done long before you have to use it so that all you have to do is pop it into the fry tank when the time comes. The sponge will begin to discolor when you have the start of your colony. The circulation of water is gentle, the fry won't be sucked into the sponge and even baby brine shrimp are safe with a sponge filter. Clean the sponge in a bucket of siphoned off aquarium water to protect the Rotifers from dying, wring it out a couple of times and it's ready to go back to work even in a completely bare aquarium. Undergravel filters also work biologically, but are not as convenient to use in this instance. A scrupulously clean aquarium is essential for proper growth and health of your Angel fish fry, but with an undergravel filter, this is almost impossible to do. The water can look crystal clear while the space under the filter can be filthy with uneaten food and fish waste. This in turn causes ammonia build-up which is dangerous or even fatal to fish. It is obviously very difficult if not impossible to keep a fry tank with an undergravel filter in it perfectly clean.

  • Hatching Eggs Away from Parents:
    Hatching Eggs Away from Parents Should you decide to remove the eggs after spawning to raise away from the parents, a bare 15-20 gallon tank with sponge filter and a piece of slate leaned up against a side wall would be the angelfish will use the piece of slate to lay their eggs on making it easy for you to remove the entire spawn. A restaurant sized pickle or mayonnaise jar submerged into the tank and the slate with the spawn gently transferred into it is the best way to handle the delicate eggs which should be facing upward. An airstone should be placed in the jar in such a way that the somewhat vigorous stream of air bubbles does not hit the eggs directly. The jar should be floated in the tank so the temperature remains constant and that water changes can come from the parent's tank. Successful breeders have used this 'formula' for the water in which to raise the fry: Dechlorinated tap water measuring about 75-100 ppm hardness or about 5 DH and a pH of about 7.4 and kept at 80-02 degrees F. A one gallon pickle jar was used and tilted, filled 3/4 full and 3 drops of 10% Methylene Blue was added. The aeration was vigorous and each day after hatching, one-half the water was replaced with aged tap water of the same temperature. Aeration was slowed after the fry were free swimming. Hatching should occur in about 36 to 48 hours depending on the temperature. If you should see some eggs fall off the slate, you may elect to either pick them up with an eyedropper or turkey baster and squirt them back on the slate or leave them to hatch where they are. There will be a period after hatching and before free swimming when the fry will stick together. At this time increase the aeration so ALL the fry will have access to sufficient oxygen. Do not put food in the jar until they fry are free swimming. This will only serve to foul the water and they won't eat while they still have a yolk sack to live on. After about 3-5 days when they are free swimming, you may introduce newly hatched brine shrimp into the jar for the fry to eat.


Diseases
    Angelfish are apparantly not as apt to contract the common diseases that other tropical fish are. However, I will list some common ailments for your reference.
  • Ichthyophthirius or Ich
    Otherwise known as "white spot disease" because of the appearance of the encysted adult parasite on infected fish, Ich is caused by the protozoan parasite Ichthyophthirius multifiliis. Angelfish are less susceptible than many other tropicals, but occasionally contract this disease. Ich goes through three definite stages: First, the adult parasite lives in the skin of the host fish, feeding on the tissue and body fluids of the fish and appears as a white spot; second, the mature parasite leaves the host and falls to the bottom where it divides; third, as many as 2000 free-swimming youngsters all seek a host fish that they can attach to. This is the stage where most treatments are affective. Higher temperatures will cause the cycle to complete faster so it is suggested that you raise the temperature to around 80 degrees F. as part of the treatment. This gives the free-swimming parasites less time to find a host before they die. Your favorite pet supply store will have Ich medication on hand.

  • Exophthalmia or Pop-Eye
    This is one of the more often encountered diseases of angelfish although not common. Pop-eye is a symptom, not a disease and it can have a number of causes. Some are incurable, some can be cured. Some of the causes of this condition are: Not making partial water changes often enough resulting in a build-up of dissolved waste products, infection by a parasitic fungus called Ichthyosporidium. Other symptoms of this disease, also known as Ichthyophonus, are usually present when it is the cause of Pop-eye. The symptoms are body sores, bloody spots,staggering, black spots,tumors that have erupted, emaciation or scale protrusion, loss of fins. Usually this is introduced with other fish and is considered incurable. Some success has been reported using 1% phenoxetol at about 50cc per gallon of water. Bacterial infections can also cause Pop-eye and may be treated with 50 mg. per gallon of Tetracycline or Terramycin added every other day or mixing with the food 200 mg. antibiotic to 4 oz. of food and feeding this for 10 days. Another cause of Pop-eye is otherwise known as "worm cataract disease". The eyes bulge and the cornea becomes cloudy because of the invasion of types of flatworms. These must live through a stage in which snails are the intermediary host and if they don't find a fish within a short period, will die. Once a fish is infected, there is no effective cure. This parasite is introduced with snails, so wild snails should be avoided. Aquarium snails pose no problem as they are not exposed to water birds who serve as another intermediary host and from which the snails become infected.

  • Hunger Strike
    Loss of appetite and eventual refusal to eat should not be a problem in a well maintained tank. As long as regular partial water changes are made and the general guidelines for cleanliness are followed, this should never happen to you. In case you notice your angelfish going "off their feed", bribe them with live brine shrimp, live guppy fry or any other clean live food. In no time they will be eating again.



Your comments:

 

Please remember that the following comments are personal experiences and may or may not apply to your setup. Use them as guide to help better understand your fish, like us all individuals will behave differently under different circumstances.

 


From: Fahmid Anindo
Date:2/04/2014

I've been always a bug fan of Angels, Probably due to their graceful movements and personality. But since I was always into large robust cichlids, I always kept myself away from them. Then a few months ago I tried one in my 5 feet 100gal which was already housing an Extremely aggressive red oscar(6"), a green Texas(4"+), a highly territorial salvini(4") and a gold saum(7"). Before getting the marble angelfish from the lfs, I talked to the lfs guy who agreed to take it back if anything goes wrong................. NOBODY SEEMED TO NOTICE HIM EVEN AFTER A WEEK!! Even within a few days it started competing with others for food Easily. Had him for a 1 months... then sold him and bought a "Blue zebra widefin pearscale angel" (only 2") these are usually very rare. Has beautiful red eyes, extra zebra stripes than the common zebras and altums, bluish pearscale body and the widefin shines like blue rainbow!! Put him into my tank, again nobody noticed. Fed him very well with good water changes and filtration, now he's nearing 3.5 inches and it's been only 2 months! He's developing a nuchal hump, chases my green Texas though my Texas seems to like it. And yes, it works but Whenever a second angel added things always has and will go downhill. Also angels do simply great singly
From: Deezl
Date:12/22/2010

I have a 55 gallon, in which I keep my 6 angels. I have 3 marble veils, 2 koi angels and a silver. Their tankmates are a striped head stander, 3 silver dollars, 2 pictus cats, a gibiceps pleco, 2 albino cherry barbs, 2 gouramis, 1 clown loach and a tri color shark. I keep the PH at 6.6 to 6.8 and the temp is at 80F. I change 15 gallons of water every week and feed them flake food once daily and algae tablets 2x per week. Of all the fish in my tank I adore my Angels the most! They are beautiful and comical. though they are well behaved most of the time, occasionally they will harass one another- but nothing serious. My angels are always waiting at the glass for me to feed them in the morning and they are always curious about the goings on in the room. I hope to expand to 120 gallon soon, at which time I plan on adding a few more clown loaches and a small shoal of redline barbs to top it off. I have only been in the hobby for almost a year now, my first tank was a 36 gallon bow but my friend gave me a 55 so I upgraded. I never knew that fish could be so much fun. They great to watch while relaxing on the couch, they get me laughing sometimes with their antics. I plan on getting much more involved with aquariums and I look forward to breeding Angels in the near future.
From: Gigi
Date:10/19/2009

I agree with Kashif's post below. These fish are no Angels. I have 1 gorgeous Angelfish and he is king of the tank. In 16 months, he grew to be very large. He's maybe 6" in length and very tall. He is very food aggressive. He posts himself at the top of the tank, waiting for food. He is pretty smart and alert everytime I come home or around the tank. He watches me until feeding time. He lives with 1 Mickey Mouse Platy, 2 Hi-fin Black skirt Tetras, and a Chinese Algae eater. I would say 75% of the time he is peaceful but he gets in his moods. He sometimes scares off the other fish at feeding time but luckily they are small and fast & are smart enough to wait for the food to fall to the center or bottom of tank. He sometimes randomly charges at the other fish if they come close to the top of the tank. He is very hardy and pretty but I suggest if being kept with other fish, to make sure there is enough space for hiding or separating territories. You also should make sure to get a tall tank because they grow very tall.
From: Steve Wieters
Date:10/1/2009

I have had Angels for over 40years in the hobby. They are one of the best fish I have had the privilege of keeping, next to Discus. If you want to try to breed them you should get at least six small fish to raise. Get the largest tank you can for them at least 29gal to start. They like a tall tank because their fins are so long. Try to keep them by themselves in the tank except for a few catfish and Pleco's. Do get live plants. Amazon swords , Anubis, anything broad leafed. I tie them to drift wood or lava rock. They will root into either and it is the most natural look you can get. I use a power filter with a Bio-wheel ,a small submerged water pump attached to an air pump for good circulation and gas exchange at the water surface. Do 1/3 water changes twice a week, feed a variety of live,frozen and flakefood. Mine like frozen blood worms and frozen brine. Also flake food. I feed in small amounts about four times a day, giving them something different each time. I keep the temp at 84 degrees and they get increased metabolism and are more active. I also use Tetra black water tonic or Marc Weiss instant Amazon. Mine paired off in about six months. I got only one pair,a black male and a gold female. So far they have spawned twice but no babies. They are too inexperienced ,but they will succeed. I recommend them to anyone that keeps tropicals and they are NOT hard to keep. Good luck!
From: Bill
Date:7/21/2009

Since my last comment in 2006 I've been threw two other angels. I had a female angel on my birthday in 2008 I looked in the tank and found eggs on the filter return. Of course the other angel must been too young to know what to do as they ate all the eggs that were laid. Unfortunately she gave birth one last time and died. The other one from loneliness died also. I now have a pretty veil and doing very well. Needless to say I have Java fern in the tank that does really well. Their tank mate is a little long finned tetra.
From: Kashif
Date:3/27/2009

Well one thing is sure that they are among some of the very prestigious and grand aquarium fishes. They're quite adoptive to changes in environment. I also agree to all the other flamboyant characteristics. BUT they shouldn't be called ANGEL rather little devils! The reason for me is that I have found these to be quite devilish. I had two in my community tank (little babies of 1.5" which grew to 4") and had to remove them after loosing two Gouramies(starved to death by harassment), a Beta(harassed and beaten to death) and couple of guppies(eaten). Here I would like to mention that I feed my tank twice a day in appropriate amounts, so there is no chance that they were hungry. They harassed literary every one including platies and even a baby Red Tail. I would not blame them since they are by their very nature a predator belonging to the cichlid family. My advise is to keep in mind the tank mates when keeping them.
From: fishy1
Date:3/3/2009

I do recommend these fish for beginners, as long as they cycle their tank and don't overstock it or stock it with inappropriate tankmates. I have had several in community tanks. They are the easiest keepers I have. My current angel is at least 6 inches and about 3 years old. She survived a 3 hour car trip in an icebox when we moved, and is the largest fish in my 55 gal. community tank.
From: Kat Doyle
Date:1/29/2009
Species:Pterophyllum Altum
I have a gaggle of 7 Altums in a 90gal .They are 6 months old and smallest is 6 inches. Two have paired off, though I'm sure too young to breed. They bicker among themselves and only get aggressive as they grow out of the tank. First tank was a thirty-five until the size of a quarter - then much fin nipping and charging. Now 90gal. With roots protruding into water from surface and all is peaceful again. I think I will need a 120 if I keep them all in one tank. Highly sensitive to PH and osmotic pressure fluctuations - but hardy in soft water and nitrate resistant at 80 F. Picky eaters all except runt - eats small snails! Feeder fish, frozen blood worms and krill. I'd like to be able to feed them two - three times a day, but I can't produce that many guppies and platys even with four breeding tanks because they are voracious eaters! Not much information out there on Altums - I'm learning as I go. One thing about them different is they are very animated and watch outside the tank. They can tell the difference and hide from strangers. They react to goings on in the room, and some will eat from my hand. Even though their fins were shorter from nipping, they were more fun to watch when they were at maximum capacity and constantly jockeying for the best territory among the sword plants. Now that there are roots and room to grow, they are content and you really have to look for them to see them treading water calmly. These guys grow very fast, so I would recommend purchasing the tank that is big enough to hold them when they reach adult size because they don't respond well to being netted and moved and the shock leaves them susceptible to illness and fasting. Though not unique in appearance, I'm told that when they reach maturity they are truly impressive at 13 to 15 inches. Five of these guys are typical stripe through eye, two body, one tail stripe, but two are showing variations and marbling. These guys were traded for a box of pencils in Panama and brought in on a ship. Prior to placing in a tank, they were kept in a dark box and not exposed to light for 6 days. When they emerged they were calm, healthy and ready to accept food after acclimating to their tank. While they are not commonly bred in captivity, I'm encouraged by the pairing off.
From: Sharon Woolhether
Date:7/22/2008
I have about 1000 angels. I have orange koi, black marble, gold marble, black lace veiltails, sunset blushers, blue blushers, golds, and am getting DD blacks. When buying angels make sure there fins are not clamped down, ask to see them feed, angels love to eat. They should have round bodies, not oval, they should have all their fins pearlscale especially check for bottom fins. Make sure they have complete gill plates. Angels tend to be aggressive when breeding or pairing up. I have 4 pair. My black marbles lay eggs every 7 days, my other pairs lay about every 10 days. All my pair are in separate tanks. I remove the eggs and put them in distilled water with methalyne blue. I do not remove white eggs as the methalyne blue will keep the fungus down. I do gradually water changes until they are in local water by 10 days. I do not adjust for ph or anything but chlorine. I destroy any fish that is not perfect. I do sell to the local pet store. I have about 20 tanks set up if you count the fry tanks. Fry tanks have at least a 50% water change everyday. They are fed only newly hatched brine shrimp for 3 weeks. I do keep frozen baby brine shrimp for emergency use. I don't consider them a hard fish to raise as long as you start out with healthy fish. I don't buy from the large pet stores, I usually buy from private breeders.
From: Nick
Date:2/1/2008
All kinds of beginners get angels cause they are a petty fish and look small in the store. WRONG! These fish grow very big and should not be in a tank smaller than 40 gallons, and shorter than 2 feet tall. They can grow fairly big and are very aggressive towards smaller species. They are fun fish is you have a good sized tank, but definitely not a good beginner fish.
From: Suzie
Date:8/4/2007
I had a white/yellow/black marble angel and a silver angel who turned out to be a pair. They spawned several times in my 20 gal community tank and the last spawn I saved in a breeding net to prevent them being eaten. The 80 odd fry became 30 dollar size babies, all charcoal in colour. I bought a 2nd hand 33 gal to keep the angels in and put the parents in to cycle. I used 15 gallons of water from my other long established tanks, put used carbon and ammonia filters on top of the used sponge and under the new carbon/ammonia filter and put the parent angels in. They died in 3 wks - popeye and medicating failed. I was told NOT to do water changes by my local fish shops - WRONG! I hoped to have 90% beaten the new tank start-up by adding existing bacteria and water from the tank the parents were initially in so they should have been safe. My advice now is, when cycling a new tank, do regular water changes - two a week for the first month. Also add Nutrafin Cycle to o. Bear in mind not to add Cycle sooner than at least 3 hours after you do the water change as the chlorine remover kills Cycle's bacteria rendering it useless. I was sick that I lost my lovely parents and so wish to pass on this advice. The tank will take longer to cycle by doing water changes but at least your fish will be safe. So DO water changes when starting up a new tank and check the pH and ammonia levels every day. Good luck!
From: Marc
Date:2/4/2007
Great fish! I have talked to several mom and pop stores about their Angelfish, and I've learned that sometimes a shipment will "wipe", and most or all of the young fish will die. Therefore, if looking for healthy stock, either make sure the fish have been in the store for over a week or two and are in great shape, or contact a breeder. Other than the slight problems with finding young specimens, they are a great fish and make a welcome addition to most tanks.
From: ekhilgy1188
Date:1/13/2007
Angelfish are not hard to care for. When young, they can be sensitive to water quality, so regular partial water changes are important. And they certainly need a tank big enough to house them comfortably once they are full grown. Other than that, however, they are easy. Intelligent and curious, most angels will eventually learn to hand feed and are always the first to greet you when you approach the tank. They can easily be kept in a community tank, though they will definitely dominate it. THEY WILL EAT ANYTHING THAT FITS INTO THEIR MOUTHS. They become very good hunters of small fish as they get older, and I have even seen my pair stalk and kill (together!) a ghost shrimp.
From: Bill
Date:12/06/2006
I have one veil tail angel which is yellow with a pinkish colored dorsal fin and a small black circle around its right eye. These fish are extremely hard to care for. I lost three angels before I got a a good angel. They prefer a low ph and soft water. They do love bloodworms. My guy is only 1.5" long, but doing very good with all my other fish. I work at a pet store and see alot of angels that die in our tanks and people bringing them back. Usually if I test the water and its too high of a ph and/or to hard of water I suggest that they get something else that will tolerate that kind of water. These fish, rams and discus are hard fish to keep and require a person who has advanced aquatic skills.

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