These black angelfish are locally bred and have the uncommon black eye instead of the more common red eye.
The Freshwater Angelfish (Pterophyllum scalare) is a beautiful fish from South America. It is not a true Angelfish at all, but a type of Cichlid. They are known as ‘Angelfish’ due to the wing-like shape of their fins. Their beauty earns them the title of ‘King of the Aquarium’ in many fishkeeping tanks. If you have kept other Cichlids before then you won’t have too much trouble with Angelfish.
They are one of the most popular freshwater Cichlid choices due to their fancy appearance, ease of care, and lack of aggression compared to other Cichlid species. These fish are one of the few species that take care of their young. They will fiercely defend their eggs and rear the newly-hatched larvae and fry for up to two months.
These fish prefer a well-planted tank of at least 75 litres with soft, slightly acidic water. Rocks and driftwood can be added to the aquarium, but leave plenty of space for swimming.
Like most Cichlids, they can be quite aggressive. They will form small hierarchies and fight to defend their positions. If you catch your angels’ locking lips, they are actually fighting. They will form small schools but are not particularly social with the others in their school. They are quite territorial and are more likely to fight than cooperate. However, they are not as aggressive as other Cichlids. They are not likely to bully others outside of their school. You can watch them as they weave in and out of your aquarium plants in the middle level of your tank. Although they might hide in an overcrowded tank, they are otherwise very showy fish.
Though they come from an area well known for their species richness, selecting compatible tank mates for these little guys can be quite difficult. If keeping them with other Cichlids, choose species like the Discus, Dwarf Cichlid and Bolivian Ram. These species will not be easily bullied by your Angelfish. They might even be able to handle sharing a tank with Jack Dempseys, though these are known for being very pushy. Outside of other Cichlids, Mollies and Dwarf Gouramis make ideal companions for your Angels. Small freshwater Catfish, particularly Plecos and Pictus are another good choice.
There are not very many good non-fish companions for these Cichlids. Crustaceans and other invertebrates risk being harassed or preyed on. Avoid keeping African and South American Cichlids together. These Cichlids are from entirely different parts of the world and require different environmental conditions and water parameters. Do not mix too many Angelfish species together, or they will behave aggressively towards one another in competition for territory and resources. Do not keep any of the more aggressive Cichlids, such as Oscars and Convicts, with these fish. Barbs should be avoided due to their reputation as ‘fin-nippers’. These pushy fish will harass your Angelfish and bite at their trailing fins.
They require a diet high in protein and fiber and do not eat lots of plant material or algae. In the aquarium, they should get the majority of their nutrition from live prey (just like in the wild). Tubifex worms are a vital food source for these fish in the aquarium. They provide the protein content that they would be getting from wild rotifers. You can also give them live water fleas and brine shrimp. Outside of living prey, they can be given flake or pellet foods that are high in protein. Freeze-dried glass worms and krill provide a little bit of extra protein and satisfy an Angelfish’s appetite. Angelfish are big eaters that must be fed at least twice a day. Mated pairs that you are planning to breed must be fed, even more, up to 4 times a day. They do not eat aquarium plants or algae. However, adding a little bit of plant food to their diet will help make sure that they get the fiber they need.
In well-kept tanks, these fish can live up to 10 years. They reach maturity at around 10 months of age.
Angelfish are hardy and don’t have any diseases specific to themselves. The typical fish diseases to always keep an eye out for are parasites, bacteria, fungus and various viral infections can all affect your angelfish. Of course, the first line of defense against diseases is offering proper tank conditions for your fish.
Good water conditions coupled with a varied and balanced diet can go a long way in ensuring that your angelfish develop a strong immune system that can ward off many diseases.
Click for Fish Disease Diagnosis and Treatment at Rebel Pets.
|Adult Size:||Upto 15 cm wide, 20 cm tall|
|Aquarist Experience Level:||Intermediate|
|Minimum Tank Size:||75 litres|
|Temperament:||Peaceful to slightly aggressive|
|Tank Level:||Mid dweller|
|Water Flow:||Slow to Moderate|
|Temperature:||24 to 28°C|
|pH:||6.8 – 7.0 slightly acidic|
|Hardness:||2-20 dGH (soft)|