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) belong to one
of the largest families of vertebrates on the planet. The family
Cichlidae encompasses over 1,300 identified species in 220 assorted
genera. Previously undiscovered species are found and identified
annually. It is highly possible that there could be as many
3,000 individual species that fall within the scientific classification
of this family. The members of this fanily are more
referred as cichlids
Cichlids include oscars,
discus and tilapias in addition to angelfish. Many sources
tell you that angelfish are indigenous to the Amazon River. While this
is true, this species is also native to the Orinoco River and Essequibo
River systems. Populations of this fish can be found within the borders
of Guyana, Venezuela, and Columbia as well as in Brazil.
have become increasingly popular with freshwater aquarium owners since
they started being exported by the aquarium industry after the
conclusion of WWII. Angelfish are inarguably among the most popular and
easily recognizable freshwater fish in the world. Their distinctive
triangular profile makes them one of the most exotic looking freshwater
species on the market. The selective breeding of these creatures has
increased the variety of angelfish on the open market. They come in a
variety of colors, from solid black, gold, white, and silver to
striped, marbled and Koi. Their availability keeps their price
extremely reasonable. They are a hardy species that can tolerate a
multitude of environmental conditions. Freshwater angels are among the
simplest species to maintain. Their ease of care has undoubtedly added
to their global popularity.
commonly grow to six inches in diameter. Keep this in
mind when deciding whether to purchase one as an addition to your fish
tank. They can be kept in an aquarium as small as 10 gallons. But 20
gallons and up is preferable.
Angelfish are outstanding
dwellers. They are not timid creatures, but they are not bullies
These fish have a docile disposition. However, just like any other
species, they will perceive smaller fish as a source of nutrition. It
is inadvisable to mix them with fish small enough for them to feast on.
Keep this in mind when choosing their potential tank mates. Nor do you
want to mix them with fish that have a tendency to nip at the fins of
other fish. Species such as barbs and tetras will instinctively nibble
on fish of the long finned variety, even if the fish is larger than
them. You never want to house a betta or an angelfish with a species
that has a reputation as a fin nipper. The social and dietary habits of
practically any freshwater species is readily available on the
internet. Any knowledgeable fish shop can also provide you with
information on what species work well together in a community
omnivores. They can survive just fine on your common
variety tropical fish flakes. They will also eat brine shrimp, tubifex
worms, bloodworms, plant matter, and of course their smaller
As natives of South
America, angelfish are
considered a tropical species. These fish are accustomed to warmer
water. A temperature range between 72-86 degrees °F is
Angelfish are a relatively long lived species. Under premium
conditions you can expect your
angel to live in excess of 10 years of age.
It is difficult to
distinguish between male
and female angelfish
until they are about to mate. A few days before mating
reproductive organs will emerge from their bodies near the proximity of
their anal region. The Females have what is called an ovipositor which
basically amounts to an egg layer. Males will have a narrow tube
through which semen is excreted to fertilize the eggs.
engage in an interesting courting ritual as a precursor
to mating. They will lock their mouths together and spin around wildly.
This dizzying foreplay is a good indication that the spawning
is about to commence.
formalities are out of the way, it is time to prepare a
proper hatchery. The Angelfish
will clean a flat surface on which the
eggs will be deposited. After a surface is suitably prepared, the eggs
are laid and fertilized.
many fish pieces
of the Amazon River, Angelfish are unlikely
to eat their un-hatched eggs. In fact, angel fish are known to stand
guard over their eggs through the 3-4 day gestation period. Once
hatched, both male and female angelfish will herd their young from
plant to plant for the next four or five days.
Once the parental cycle has expired, the young fry may appear as a
means of nutrition to their parents. It is advisable to remove them
from the breeding tank.
Newly hatched fry can be fed liquid fry food or rotifers. A readily
available and economic alternative is powdered eggs. Do not over feed
them. You will make a mess of your breeding tank. After about a week
the fry can be fed newly hatched brine shrimp.
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