Care of the angelfish


They can live in conventional tropical water aquariums and that has made them spread as a pet throughout the world. The angelfish is also known as scalar fish.

It is an extremely beautiful animal with an incredible appearance. Its body is triangular, with very elongated vertical fins. They usually have rather bright colors. Learning how to care for an angelfish is simple but at the same time essential for pets to be well.

First of all, to properly maintain these fish, you have to choose a good aquarium in which you have installed a heater because they require the environment to be twenty-five degrees or more. They are fish that need to swim continuously, so it is not advisable to have them in fish tanks of less than fifty liters. Part of the aquarium water should be changed monthly, but always following clearly defined guidelines in other articles.

The filter must be of quality, but the power should not be too high to avoid water currents. They can live with other fish because they are not usually aggressive, but you have to watch the enclosure well so that there are no arguments or possible injuries. They should receive a complete and balanced diet, but at no time should they be offered more food than they need.

Some fish compatible with angelfish are tetras, dwarf cichlids, catfish and other fish of the same species. They are not compatible with barbos, with betta, with neons and with bullet sharks. It is not convenient to put in your aquarium too restless fish or fish that move very quickly because fights may arise. Knowing how to care for an angel fish correctly is simple. To do this you just have to follow a series of guidelines to the letter to avoid skipping any of the steps mentioned above.

Aquarium maturation

The formula of maturation of the aquarium It consists in developing in your water a colony of beneficial bacteria and eliminating the harmful ones. The ideal water temperature is 24ºC, without ever exceeding 28º, since the increase in temperature shortens the life of the angelfish. Thus, a heater and a thermometer They are indispensable.

Another indispensable element is a filter with more filtering capacity than the liters contained in the aquarium. If the aquarium is 100 liters, the filter must have a capacity to filter 140 liters. In this way the nitrogen cycle stabilizes correctly. The filters can be cascade or canister type, but the power head filters are not suitable. The noise and movement that they produce in the water stress angel fish that are typical of backwaters.

Acceleration of the process and power can be achieved through a kit of beneficial bacteria enter after 30 days to the first angelfish. If during the next 2 months there is no problem, it will be possible to introduce other angelfish (if the capacity of the aquarium allows it), or other companions.

Angel fish like plants in the aquarium. It is vital to replace 20% of the water weekly. The manufacturer's instructions for total cleaning of the aquarium must be followed closely.

Corydora catfish

The corydora catfish is recommended, since debris clean the aquarium. Share the characteristics of water with angel fish. It is necessary that there is only one copy.

It is highly recommended to feed these fish completely dark at night, while angel fish sleep in the center of the water column. The corydora inhabit the bottom of the aquarium and the food will descend entirely if the angel fish are inactive.

⇒ Habitat: Distribution and Background

The angelfish (Pterophyllum scalare) lives in calm waters of the South American rivers: the central Amazon River basin and the tributaries of Peru, Brazil and eastern Ecuador.

These fish live in swamps or flooded areas where there is a lot of vegetation, and the water is clear. They feed on small fish, and food particles in the water.

These fish were first introduced in Europe around 1920, and were first bred in the United States in 1930. Although angelfish sold today is often known as Pterophyllum scalare, wild specimens vary greatly from The maids in captivity.

Dwarf Cichlid by Ramirezi and Others

The Ramirezi dwarf cichlid It is compatible with angel fish. It is a very beautiful fish.

Medium-sized tetras are also compatible. The tetra neon, cardinal and other small ones are only plausible while the angel fish are young. When they grow and reach the adult measure (15 cm long and 25 cm high), they will devour the smaller fish without remission. In the image we can see the cardinal tetra:

⇒ Is Angel Fish a "species" or a "hybrid"?

Today there are three species, in the genus of Pterophyllum: the Pterophyllum scalare, the Pterophyllum altum or Pterophyllum altum of the Orinoco and the angelfish leopoldo. In addition to these three species of angelfish, it is believed that there are many more species not scientifically recognized as angelfish

Questions have arisen, about what species is really the common angelfish that is sold today. But there is no answer, all varieties of angelfish are very similar. At first there was confusion to identify imported species and little record of crossings. The three types of angel fish are:

Silver Angel Fish (Pterophyllum scalare)
It is the common one that is currently sold, it is considered as a hybrid of Pterophyllum scalare, but, this may not be the case. The common angelfish has historically been known as Pterophyllum scalare, this angelfish has proven to be the easiest to breed in captivity.

Angel Leopoldi fish (Pterophyllum leopold)
It looks a lot like the common angelfish, but the pattern of black bars changes. It has some dark vertical bars, but it differs thanks to a black spot at the base of the dorsal end that does not become a full bar.

Orinoco angelfish (Pterophyllum altum)
It is the largest of the three species. It differs by a slit that it has above its snout, followed by a strong elevation front, instead of a flat front like the other two species. The fins usually have red streaks and in adults the dorsal fin usually has red spots and a blue-greenish hue. But the color differences are very slight.

For years it was considered that this species was impossible to reproduce. But recently, some fans managed to raise them with success, and currently captive-bred specimens are occasionally available, as well as captured in freedom.


It is important that angel fish consume specific food for them of two different brands, in this way the diet is richer and more nutritious.

It is convenient to supplement your diet with blood worms or tubiflex worms, but always dried and free of bacteria. They should never be given live worms, as they could introduce fatal bacteria into the aquarium.

Aquarium decoration

The angel fish like to swim between plants. The Java fern, sword plants and Ambulias are ideal for decorating the aquariums of the angelfish.

Apart from the sand or gravel substrate at the bottom, having perforated rocks will serve as protection for fry or small tetras if you decide to incorporate them into the aquarium.

If you want to read more articles similar to Care of the angelfish, we recommend that you enter our Basic Care section.

⇒ Description

Angel fish can be found in nature with black bars on a silver-colored body. The laterally compressed body has a distinctive diamond shape and a pointed snout. They have extended and oversized dorsal and anal fins, these and the caudal fin are long and fluid.

There are some mutations where these fish are without rods, in solid blacks and in lace forms.

There are many varieties of these fish, I'm going to list some of these varieties:

  • Silver: This is the kind of wild angelfish. It is the standard with which all other mutations and phenotypes are compared. It has a silver body with 4 black vertical stripes.
  • Zebra: This is a variety of silver with extra vertical black stripes.
  • Silver medium black: This variety has a black backside.
  • Black lace or zebra lace angel fish: This variety has a very attractive loop on the fins.
  • Albino: This variety has no pigments. The color of the pupils of his eyes are pink as are other albino animals.
  • Ghost: This is another variety of silver angled fish with only one line in the eye and tail.
  • "Smokey": This variety has a dark brown / gray half on the back and dark dorsal and anal fins.
  • Chocolate: This is a Smokey variety with a darker pattern and sometimes only the head is silver.
  • Golden: This variety is very attractive, some develop an intense orange crown.
  • Golden Marble: This is a variety of gold with black marble.
  • Marble: This variety has more black pattern than the golden marble angel fish.
  • Marble Gold Silver: This variety is silver plated with some golden marble.
  • A scale of gold pearls: This variety has a scale mutation. The scale has a wrinkled and wavy appearance that reflects the light to create a sparkling effect.
  • Koi: This is a variety of Dorado with some marble, and a cant> ⇒ Difficulty of Caring for an Angel Fish

An angelfish can be a great addition to the aquarium of any aquarist, from beginners to highly experienced. Keep in mind that they can be very sensitive to changes in water conditions and may show aggressiveness with smaller fish in the pond.

Therefore, it is recommended that the owner monitor the levels of chemicals in the water and monitor the aggressive behavior of any of the inhabitants of the tank. Take special care with the fish that bite the long fins of the angel fish.

Aquarium Resistance: Moderately resistant

Aquaristic experience level: Beginner

⇒ Food and food

Since omnivores eat live, fresh and flaky foods. They do better with a diet that contains a lot of protein, but you still have to vary their food. To maintain a balanced diet, you must feed them with a food in flakes or granules (pellets) of high quality every day.

You can feed yourself with shrimp in brine (live or frozen), for them this is a delight. You can also give them lettuce or spinach. You can also give them, mosquito larvae but very little, since they tend to eat too much and this can cause an accumulation of fat, resulting in poor activity and this can cause their death.

Type of diet: Omnivore
Flake food: Yes
Tablets / Pellet: Yes - Small granules are better, angels' mouths are not as big as their bodies.
Live foods (fish, shrimp, worms): Something within the Diet
Vegetable Food: Half of the Diet
Meaty Food: Something within the Diet
Power frequency: Several feeds per day

⇒ How to care for the aquarium where the angelfish lives

Angel fish require weekly water changes of approx. 15-20% of the aquarium capacity. This fish is very sensitive to variations in water conditions, so be sure to test the water that returns to the tank. Water should be soft (0 - 5dH). When making water changes, be sure to carefully aspirate the substrate through it. Be careful not to cause excessive or unjustified stress to the inhabitants of the tank while cleaning it.

Water changes: Weekly - Change 15-20% each change depending on the biological load.

⇒ Aquarium assembly

For angel fish as I said before I suggest a minimum aquarium of 30 gallons (115 liters), although a larger tank would be better if you are going to have several.

They feel more comfortable, in a warm aquarium with soft, slightly acidic or neutral water. It's a good idea to put plants on the inner perimeter along with some rocks and roots, but keep an open area in the middle for swimming. These fish do not dig and do not destroy plants like other cichlid species.

Minimum tank size: 30 gallons (115 liters) - You will need at least 55 gallons (210 liters) for a couple and much larger for a community.
Type of substrate: Sand / Gravel Mix
Lighting needs: Low - Dim
Temperature: 23.9 at 27.8 ° C (75.0 to 82.0 ° F)
Reproduction Temperature: 80.0 ° F (26 ° C) - The range is 80 ° -85 ° F (26 - 30 ° C).
Ph range: 6.0 – 7.5
Hardness Range: 2 - 10 dGH
Water Movement: Moderate
Water Region: Everyone

⇒ Social behaviors

They are considered community fish, but by belonging to the family of cichlids, they can become aggressive with smaller fish. They are usually fine when they are young, but they often become territorial as they get older. They will defend a territory in which to breed. The good thing about angelfish is that they don't grind or disturb plants!

Temperament: Semi-aggressive
Same species - conspecific: Yes

  • Calm fish: Monitor - Eat anything that fits in your mouth.
  • Semi-Aggressive: Monitor - Angels swim slowly with long fins that attract other fish to harass them.
  • Aggressive: Threat
  • Large Semi-Aggressive: Monitor
  • Aggressive Grande, Predatory: Threat
  • Slow swimmers and eaters: Monitor
  • Shrimp, crabs, snails: Sure - not aggressive
  • Plants: insurance

⇒ Breeding - Reproduction

Angel fish are egg laying and form nuclear families. These layers are open breeders that spawn in the leaves submerged in nature. They are difficult to match, so it is best to start with a small school of between 4 and 8 fish and let them establish pairs. They get to mature sexually about 6 to 12 months or more.

The female lays up to 1000 eggs in carefully cleaned leaves and the male follows them and fertilizes them. The eggs will be laid, but convincing the parents to take care of them is something else. Generations of inbreeding have greatly damaged these fish and their breeding instincts, which has resulted in a tendency to eat the eggs. The eggs will hatch in a few days and the fry (fish offspring) will swim freely in a week. The fry can be fed with newborn shrimp in brine during the first or second week.

Breeding Facility: Moderate

⇒ Diseases that angel fish can suffer

Angel fish are susceptible to the typical diseases of the fish, especially if the water is stale and is of poor quality and oxygenated. A common problem is the Ichthyophthirius multifiliis. That can be resolved, increasing the temperature of the aquarium to 86 ° F (30 ° C) for about 3 days.

If this does not cure the Ichthyophthirius multifiliis, then the fish needs to be treated with copper (remove any water conditioner). There are several copper-based medicines for Ich. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions to the letter. A copper test can also be used to maintain optimal levels.

I recommend you read about common diseases in aquariums. Learning the symptoms, detecting them and treating them in time makes a big difference.

The angelfish is a kind of very beautiful tropical fish that requires very specific care to survive.

The angelfish is among the tropical fish One of the most beautiful. A fish that stands out for its vivid color and its real bearing, but that certainly requires care that is very specific. Let's see next, a step guide in which we explain How to care for an angelfish

Angel fish are tropical freshwater fish that belong to the cichlid family Highly appreciated by aquarium enthusiasts. Very popular in the river basin Amazon, the scalars inhabit calm and swampy waters rich in aquatic plants. Characterized by a tall and compressed body on the sides, a silver livery with vertical black stripes and very long feathers and similar to threads, angel fish are easily taken care of, but it is necessary to follow some rules to do it in the best way.

Steps to care for an angelfish

  1. Aquarium size: It is important to have an aquarium of approximately 100x60x60 cm and a capacity of approximately 360 liters of water available for angelfish, otherwise the growth and sexual maturation of the fish would be paralyzed. The water level should not be less than 40 cm, otherwise the long fins cannot relax to the fullest. An adult angel fish can measure up to 15 cm long and 25 cm high, so having a large aquarium is perhaps the most appropriate.
  2. Water temperature: This tropical freshwater fish should be kept in groups in waters whose temperatures must be between 26 ° C and 32 ° C. In particular, the water must have a temperature between 26 ° C and 30 ° C, if there are specimens in the aquarium young and should be between 28 ° C and 32 ° C if the specimens are already all adults.
  3. Feeding: The angelfish usually feeds on the nature of worms, small crustaceans, insect larvae and even small fish in captivity, but in the aquarium you can feed it with a diet that consists mainly of freeze-dried food flakes with the integration of source foods Vegetable such as lettuce, zucchini or bleached spinach. Angel fish usually eat twice a day, and occasionally it will not be bad and if we give them blood worms but they are dry.
  4. Coexistence: The coexistence of the angel fish with other fish should be done with some attention: it is necessary to avoid the presence of smaller fish that could become an easy prey for angel fish, but the presence of much larger fish is not even advisable. Therefore, the ideal is to choose fish of a size similar to that of angel fish.
  5. Reproduction: Angel fish tend to form monogamous couples that remain faithful throughout life: in the case of the premature death of one of the two specimens, those who remain hardly find another partner. During the reproduction phase, it is advisable to isolate the couple or leave it together with fish that are very calm.