Angelfish belongs to the genus Pterophyllum, a family of Cichlidae known for a round body and angel-like spanning fins. Wild Angelfish are mostly found in slow waters of the Amazon and Guyana Rivers and their tributaries in South America.
These rivers are known for underwater algae growth and dense vegetation. Such natural habitat made these small fish to adapt their body and fit themselves to live in such areas, that they are able to glide through the dense underwater plants because of their flat and round bodies.
Angelfish require more care than many other pet fish because of its size. It can grow large much against the widespread thinking that they are very small in size. Since angelfish is a humid fish, it requires a warm aquarium. If you are planning to keep two or three angelfish, then you must provide 40-50 gallons of water since a single angelfish needs 29 gallons of water.
Natural plantation should be provided to let them hide. Since Angelfish is tall and slender so gravel sand is another important component to add in the aquarium. Like all other fish, let them become accustomed for at least 15-30 minutes in the transfer bag to enable it to adjust to the temperature of the aquarium and that of the aquarium parameters.
In appearance, they are disk shaped with pronged tails and a round snout. Angelfish is silver in color, with distinguishing gold eyes, so the name “Angel”. It has a very peculiar way of swimming by keeping its body erect. Angelfish has long fins and its tail is broadly spread out.
Its body is accentuated with alternate dark and light vertical bands and lighter areas spread towards its fins giving it a spanned appearance. Such a beautiful pattern of shades give tall guise to this pretty fish.
Size of Angel fish
A fully grown Angel fish can have a length of up to 6 inches and height up to 12 inches.
Angel Fish Care & Keep
The adult Angelfish are very elegant with their flat and round body and spanning dorsal and anal fins, and about 6” tall. When these fish are small you may keep a good count of them, but as they grow, the tank may look cramped.
Angel fish are not very rapid swimmers but still they enjoy moving in a planted tank through tall plants, so a tank with tall plants sword plants and Java fern along rear side of tank, will keep them fit and happy.
“A tank with dimensions 50” x 18” x 12” is a good space to keep up to 8 adult Angelfish with one or two tank mates”
Sponge filters or under gravel filters must be used to recycle the water. A tank with 8 fish, it can be a repository of biological waste from leftover food or excreta, so frequent water changes are most important to reduce dissolved organic waste and subsequent infections.
Many latest filtering systems are available using sophisticated methods like ozone, foam fractionation and U.V., but the most economical technique is regular water changes to take care of angelfish.
Water temperature, pH and Ammonia levels
Their natural waters range from a pH of 6.0 to 8.0 and a water hardness of 5.0 to 13.0 dH (soft to hard), strictly avoid hard and alkaline water. Temperatures range from 74 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit is good to keep these fish warm. These values will fluctuate with season and can trigger breeding in angelfish.
Bio load and bio mass
Angel fish is a freshwater fish, and unclean, unhygienic aquarium affect their health very quickly. The caretaker must ensure that the aquarium is free from any kind of bio-debris or waste. If the fish leaves some food uneaten, it will be add up with the excreta that these fish produce daily, will result in increase of bacterial and parasitic infections.
For proper rearing of Angel fish, you must stress on immediate removal of unconsumed food with the help of a net, before it gets accumulated at the bottom of the tank and if it changes to biomass, it will be too difficult to be cleaned. Regular filtering of water with surface or under gravel filter is another method to check accumulation of unwanted biomass.
The checkpoints for Angelfish care are
- Clean tank placed in a quiet place, illuminated from above by florescent lamp to keep them joyous,
- Angelfish are slow with long fins, so they need space in artificial habitat. You must avoid other aggressive and territorial fish as their tank mates
- Fish tank must have plantation like Java Fern and Amazon sword with sand at the bottom of tank to give them place for hiding similar to their natural habitat,
- You must maintain water temperature between 76 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit, by using a safe water heater, if you live in a cool climate.
- Maintain pH level of aquarium between 6.0 and 8.0 using a filter.
- Change water weekly.