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 plantedtank 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.
Angel Breeding & Mating
Tank setup for Breeding
If you want to breed a family of Angelfish, then you have to arrange for a 50 gallon aquarium tank fitted with a filter, preferably a sponge filter. You can use a regular filter but sponge filters are more beneficial since they function gently and do not disturb eggs or parent fish while maintaining the water quality of the aquarium. This way the eggs and the subsequent fry will be safe also providing some useful microorganisms as nutrition to the baby fish.
You also have to put a slate in slanting position at an angle of 45 degree for Angelfish to lay their eggs upon. When the Angelfish is ready to spawn they will spend a couple of days in cleaning this surface to remove anything potentially harmful to their coming baby fish. Adjust the water temperature at 74 to 86 degrees F to give a warmer climate for breeding. Now you are ready to welcome a breeding pair of Angelfish.
Breeding Behavior and Pairing
Breeding of Angelfish require a lot of care and attention because it is hard to distinguish between a male and a female angelfish. Actually, Angelfish keepers are able to identify the female only when it starts laying eggs and the male when it fertilize the eggs.
Before spawning begins Angelfish keepers can make the distinction between the genders by observing their papilla. The one with the bigger papilla is the female and the Angelfish with smaller papilla is the male. When the female Angelfish is ready to lay eggs, it shows a large inflammation at the papilla.
Their behavior towards the baby fish after they are hatched, also varies. Male Angelfish is more protective than the female Angelfish. A healthy and active Angelfish pair must be obtained from a breeder as a breeding pair.
As an Angelfish keeper you need a superior breed of Angelfish to create a progeny that characterizes astonishing and healthy features. Since beauty is the reason behind keeping angelfish and it must be kept in mind at the time of getting breeding pair that good parents will produce good offspring. Environment conditions and genetic benefit are the most important traits which influence the quality of Angelfish babies.
Spawning and taking care of Fry
At the beginning of spawning period, the female travels to the slate and lays the eggs. The male will follow immediately to fertilize them. The process of breeding will be completed with many such rounds by both the parent fish.
After fertilization, parent fish will keep on tending their laid eggs. To protect their eggs from falling prey to the expected enemies, they will pick them up from the slate and try to move them to other parts of the tank. In natural habitat this behavior will ensure safety of the fish babies, but here as a breeder you can pick up the slate and keep it in a separate tank treated with methylene blue. This prevents fungus from attacking the eggs and the new born fish kids.
Angelfish spawn is very huge so some of them may be eaten by parents as a natural way of limiting the population and also prevents the infected eggs to infect the healthy eggs. The eggs will hatch in a few days and the babies will stay in the nest, eating the egg sacs they hatched from. When they are old enough to swim around they will be ready to eat live food offered in small quantities.
Food and Feeding & Diet
What do Angel fish eat?
Being freshwater fish, angelfish are able to eat whatever is fed to them from small worms to small pieces of vegetables. Angelfish relish live foods which can be worms, meat and insects purchased from fish store. The most healthy diet includes Black worms, Bloodworms, Brine shrimp.
Angelfish can also be offered frozen dried food like Tubiflex, blood and black worms, krill, daphnia and mysis shrimp which are safe, healthy and nutritious for these fish. Angelfish must not be fed beef heart because it has a large fat content and being slow fish, Angelfish may get sick due to over accumulation of fats.
Best food and diet
Angelfish do need a nutritious diet that it usually gets in its natural freshwater river in abundance. So you must combine some frozen or live worms and other vegetable pieces to complete the nutrition content.
But live foods like worms, meat and insects can carry bacteria and other harmful parasites, so care should be taken about such diet. These frozen food must be thawed immediately before feeding. Other food that is highly beneficial as diet is high grade tropical flakes that would make a good supplement and will give the angelfish all the required nutrients and vitamins.
The angelfish food habits are unpredictable. At one time they may jump as soon as you feed them, sometimes they won’t even look at the food. So the best is that let them starve for a while.
“Best option is that, Angelfish must be fed twice a day with a good mixture of worms, flakes and vegetables.”
You can decide for frozen food at one time for the morning and feed high quality flakes with well thawed brine shrimp at the other time of the day. You can also give the Garlic Guard in addition to the brine shrimp once in a week to fulfill their supplementary needs.
“Feed Angelfish twice a day with a mixture of meat and vegetable”
Angel Fish Diseases
Finally, angelfish keepers should keep an eye on all those signals that indicate growth of viruses, bacteria and parasites that may affect angelfish. This may happen due to the bio-mass that accumulate in the tank. These can cause death of the angelfish quickly before you even know and one fine morning you will find dead angels in your aquarium. Some of the common angel fish diseases are
Angelfish belong to the cichlid family which are by nature aggressive and are very protective about their territory. Such tendencies drive them to bully other Angelfish in their tank or any other tank mates. When a breeding pair gets ready for spawning, the male
Angelfish becomes more dominating and try various tactics to guard a small area considered by them as the nest of the pair, where they will later lay the eggs and fertilize them. They will prepare the nest with a good amount of cleaning.
It preferable to get the fish in pairs so that in a large group each fish will have its own breeding partner. This pre-engagement will control the aggression and fights may get limited to small spells for other reasons like food, but not for territory or a breeding mate. The breeding pair may fight very often but will remain loyal to each other. They will make great partners and parents by protecting each other and their baby fish.
Angel Fish Names
Selecting a Name for your Angelfish is one of the important activities of fish breeding and care. It helps you in distinguishing your fish so you can easily take care of all of them. Here is an answer to all your queries for cute fish names with a complete list of Angelfish names.
Angel Fish Tank Mates
As a caretaker you must know that being aggressive in nature, Angelfish must not be kept in a tank having other aggressive aquarium mates, else Angelfish may get stressed and its aggression may increase in an effort to protect its food and territory.
You should not add nibblers and small fish in tank. Angelfish welcome the bottom feeders if they do not pose any food and nest competition to them. African Dwarf frogs, Apple Snails, Loaches, Cory Catfish & Ghost/Red Cherry Shrimp, Tetrafish, Plecos and Feeder fish are some of the good friends Angelfish can live with. So here is the list of some of the compatible Tank Mates for your angelfish. Go take a look Know More
Tank & Bowl
Taking care of your Angelfish not only safeguards them as pets but it is protection for your investment. The simplest and easiest method is to regularly clean the bowl and tanks. It can be quite sad waking up to sick or dead fish in the aquarium. Your fish will need very special care and attention. Know More
If you are looking for the most active and healthy Angelfish for your aquarium then the best step to take will be to locate a reputed breeder who have a good number of years as experience of breeding and rearing Angelfish. Alternatively getting a breeding pair and watching them produce a whole school of Angelfish in your aquarium will give you an interesting processing to observe and watched.
There are so many breeders who are providing services to hobbyists on eBay. All you need to do is get registered and contact them to buy most competent freshwater angelfish. You can also get accessories, fish food and a safest shipping for your precious pet. Getting Angelfish in such way you will have the guarantee by reading the feedback and reviews for the selected vender.