Freshwater Angel Fish – Introduction to the common species of Freshwater Angel fish (P.scalare)
|The best known species of freshwater angel fish is Pterophyllum scalare. Its natural color is silvery with three brownish or black vertical stripes. It is very peaceful to the extent that it may be bullied by other more aggressive fish (although sometimes can be aggressive to smaller fish, especially of its own breed) and is a popular aquarium fish.|
P. scalare, like all angelfish, comes from slow moving sections of rivers in the Amazon basin. Angelfish also do not inhabit dense vegetation except when very young, when they school together and hide in vegetation for protection.
Adults are much more frequently found amongst sunken driftwood where very few plants grow. They spawn on broad-leaved sword plants in the wild, and prefer broad-leaved plants to spawn in an aquarium, if available. Its maximum size is around 12 – 15 cm (up to 6 inches) length, up to 20 cm (8 in.) height- although exceptional husbandry on the part of the owner can produce an angel up to nine inches in rare instances.
These angelfish prefer water with a 6.0-8.0 pH, with 6.5-7.4 being ideal, a water hardness of 5.0-13.0, and a temperature range of 24-30°C (75-86°F.
Average lifespan in an aquarium is 10 years, but there have been reported instances of individuals living twice as long. Freshwater angelfish are carnivores, meaning that they eat other fish, macroinvertebrates and other small animals. In the wild angels sit just below the surface, waiting to lunge at unaware small fish that pass above them in the twilight of the early morning and late evening. However, in an aquarium, their predilection for laziness sets in and they rapidly show preference for slow moving processed food rather than having to run down larger, harder to chew live fish. They are safe to keep with other peaceful fish that are not too small (i.e. those that could fit in its mouth). For example, an angel that has never seen a neon tetra might eat a small one just out of instinct if it can fit in its mouth.
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