Freshwater Angelfish

Updated: Jan 23

Scientific Name:

Pterophyllum altum,

Pterophyllum leopoldi

Pterophyllum scalare

These are the 3 identified species in this genus. They belong to family Cichlidae and are known as Angelfish. These species originated from Amazon Basin, Orinoco Basin and various rivers in the Guiana Shield in tropical South America. They survive in freshwater with low salinity, less than 0.05%. In comparison, marine angelfish are perciform fish of the family Pomacanthidae. Accordingly, freshwater angelfish are different from marine angelfish. Freshwater angelfishes are bred in captivity and rarely obtained from their natural habitats.


General Body Shape: The three identified species of Pterophyllum are greatly laterally compressed, with rounded bodies and elongated triangular dorsal and anal fins. This body shape helps them hide in roots and plants.


Habitat: Freshwater angelfishes live in densely vegetated areas and water quality is very important for their survival. In captivity, clean water is the most important criterion for maintenance of these fishes. They are very sensitive to water changes.


Varieties: There are numerous varieties and a range of colors. In these we have a category of veil tail fishes for the different varieties. The vieltail is a type of fish known for its extra long flowing tail and long dorsal fins.

Some of the popular varieties are: Zebra Angelfish, Marble Angelfish, Albino Angelfish, Leopard Angelfish, Ghost Angelfish, Black lace Angelfish, Smokey Angelfish, Gold Angelfish, Blushing Angelfish, Koi Angelfish, Altum Angelfish, Chocolate Angelfish, Clown Angelfish, Dusky Blushing Angelfish, Gold Marble Angelfish, Silver Angelfish, Black Angelfish, Pearlscale Angelfish, Half Black Angelfish, Koi Angelfish, Platinum, Panda Angelfish, Black Marbled Angelfish.


Breeding: The angelfish lay their eggs on a clean broad leaf which are then fertilised by the male angelfish. The angelfish hover around their eggs and chase away intruding fishes. The eggs hatch in 7 days time. Following this, food needs to be provided for the fry. Parenting and nurturing approach develops in angelfish over a period of time wherein the first batch of eggs and maybe even fry may be eaten but by the time they breed next few batches they become protective and caring.






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