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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

Avoid tankbusters! Too many tropical fish stores sell small fish that will continue growing until too big for any home aquarium. Rehousing can be very difficult indeed. Avoid species such as the shovel-nosed and red tailed catfish


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