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How to look after
Pterophyllum scalare
Angel Fish
Lichenstein, 1823

Pterophyllum scalare - Angel Fish - There are many angelfish cultivars; this is the half-black
There are many angelfish cultivars; this is the half-black
more images here

(Other members of the genus Pterophyllum)

ADULT SIZE: 15 cm

WATER CONDITIONS: Moderately soft and acidic

TEMPERATURE RANGE: 24-28 C

FOOD: Feed Pterophyllum scalare live and dried foods

DISTRIBUTION: This species comes from Brazil, Ecuador, Peru

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AQUARIUM CARE: A very well-known and easy to care for species. Thrives in a large tank, with a good varied diet. Several different colour forms have been cultivated: black, white, gold, silver, orange, and mixtures of all of these(see the images for some examples). Generally peaceful, although a little more aggressive when spawning.

The angelfish thrives along the Amazon river, and up its tributaries. It lives amongst dense vertical roots where the stripes of the wild-type fish give it perfect camouflage. An aquarium set-up should be well planted at the edges, but also have roots or driftwood, and an open area for swimming. Best kept with peaceful tankmates; other Amazonian species such as tetras are ideal. Avoid fish with any tendancy to fin-nip.

BREEDING: Breeding is possible, with adult pairs spawning on a pre-cleaned leaf, or stone. As with many cichlids, the parents will guard their fry. If spawning takes place in a community aquarium, it is better to remove the spawning site to a seperate rearing tank, as other fish will eat the larvae.

Have you bred Pterophyllum scalare? Why not fill in a breeding questionaire?, or examine existing Pterophyllum scalare breeding reports

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Fishkeeping Facts and Tips

Too many fish? Overstocked tanks stress the fish in many ways: competition for food and space, bullying from other fish, deterioration of water quality and increased concentration of disease vectors. A lightly stocked tank will always be easier to care for, with more stable water quality


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