Designed around upon the FBAS comprehensive list of commonly-kept species, these Care Sheets are categorised as those found in FBAS Show Classes.

Details of all species referred to in these Fish Care Sheets can be found in the FBAS Booklet No 6 - National Show Fish Sizes. Click HERE for information.



Genus: Pterophyllum Typically Pterophyllum scalare, P. altum. P.eimekei,
          P.dumerilii andP.leopoldi have also been used in literature.

Family: Cichlidae

Geographic Origin: South America. Many of the species are native to Brazil,
                             but most aquarium stock probably comes from commercial
                              breeders in the Far East!

Common Names: Angelfish

Compatibility: Generally peaceful enough for a community collection.
                     Adults may become territorial when spawning and small fish
                     (Neon Tetra size) may not be safe.

Minimum Aquarium Size: One pair of Pterophyllum will be fine in an aquarium
                                     600 x 380 x 300mm (24" x 15" x 12") providing that
                                     it is glazed so that it is 24" tall rather than long,
                                     to give this 'tall' species enough depth of water.
                                    A 1200 x 380 x 450mm (48" x 15" x 18" high) tank
                                     will hold several pairs of fish.

Temperature: 23oC to 28oC for general care. A rise of a couple of degrees is
                     better for breeding.

Habitat: Fine gravel /coarse sand. Several clumps of 'grassy' plants
             (Vallisneria, Sagittaria) will provide resting places.
             Large pieces of inclined slate or thick 'bamboo/cane' sticks will make
             ideal spawning surfaces.

Water Parameters: Ideally, these fish prefer soft acid water but most
                            specimens adapt to whatever comes out of the tap.
                            Water should be filtered. Regular partial water changes
                             advised. This is specially important in the breeding
                             aquarium to where fertilised eggs (removed from the
                             parents) are transferred for separate hatching.
                             Any accumulation of dirt will result in fry deaths.

Health: Generally hardy.

Diet: Omnivorous. Relish live or frozen foods. Daphnia, Mosquito larvae
         excellent for getting fish into optimum condition for Showing
         or breeding.

Plants: Will not destroy plants, although some broad-leaved specimens may be
          'over-cleaned' and left a bit battered if not regarded as an acceptable
          spawning site.

Breeding Notes : Eggs may be removed from the spawning tank and raised
                          artificially using an airstone to simulate parent fish action in
                          keeping eggs well-oxygenated and clean of debris.

Availability: A number of colour variants, together with 'Lace' and 'Veil'
                    long-finned cultivated specimens, are readily available.
                    Only select fish that are alert and swimming with fins erect.
                    Inspect carefully for signs of disease. Reject lethargic, damaged
                    or hollow bellied specimens. Whilst fish with split, or branched,
                    pelvic fins may well be healthy, they will not make good
                    exhibition fish.

Show Class: FBAS Show Class Da.

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© FBAS 1999. RDE/RCM                                     Fish Care Sheet 7 1/1

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Last updated October 2016