View Full Version : A Beginner's Guide to Angelfish

06-01-2014, 03:50 AM
I thought I'd post a little guide to jazz up this subforum, anyone please feel free to add or correct anything :)
There are many colour strains of Pterophyllum scalare out there (all being beautiful in their own ways), and are all cared for the same.

Water Specs and General Preferences:

Bringing your little (or big!) angel home:
Angels, among other fish, should be acclimated to any aquarium using the drip method. It is generally reccommended that you quarantine the new addition(s) for a few weeks to ensure nothing unexpected is brought into your aquarium. As dictated in the forum, they are tropical, as well as being shoaling fish (generally kept in groups of 4-6), and thrive in temperatures ranging from 75-80F. As for pH, they prefer a slightly acidic environment, at a range of around 6.8-7.5 (preferably, although they are adaptive to this). Total water hardness, according to Mellow Aquatics, should be 50-150 ppm. Angelfish grow to be quite large, and are best suited in a tank that is at least 30 gallons for one pair of fish.

Angelfish prefer a varied diet, which can include blackworm, chopped earthworm, brine shrimp, finely grounded beef heart, and even plain tropical/cichlid flake. They will thrive best with feedings about 2 or so times a day, depending on amount fed.


Angelfish generally start breeding around 7-12 months of age. If you have a male and female, you will see them begin to pair off at this stage. Congratulations! Your angelfish are almost ready to begin spawning. Some time later, they will start to clean a surface that they have found suitable to lay/raise their eggs. Please note that the first few times around, the parents will most likely be eating their eggs as they will learn from further practice that they get. Viable or fertile eggs are a clear orange/brown colour, while unfertilized eggs are white, and will begin to develop fungus. Parents will most likely eat the unfertilized eggs, which is good practise. They will fan viable eggs with their pectoral fins, and at this point will fend off any intruders (angelfish will be quite aggressive at this point, which is why it's recommended that they have a tank of their own for breeding--unfortunately, there will be little success for fry in a community tank). In about 2 days, the eggs will hatch into what we call 'wigglers'. They secrete a sticky thread-like substance from their foreheads that allow them to adhere to any surface. They have big fat orange tummies, or their yolk sac, which will be their source of nutrition for the next 3 or 4 days. The parents will pick them up with their mouths (don't worry-they aren't being eaten here), and 'spit' them out onto whichever surface they may choose. They will routinely move them around often, so don't be alarmed if they aren't in the same spot. At around the 5 day mark (when they have depleted most-if not all-of their yolk sac), they will start swimming! At this point, it's time for feeding, and you probably should have began hatching baby brine shrimp (if not, don't panic. They alternatively sell frozen baby brine shrimp at your LFS, along with baby flaked food like Hikari First Bites). The baby brine shrimp's movement in the water is apparently known to excite the fry and will help kickstart their feeding instincts. In about 22 days, they will begin to greatly resemble angelfish rather than tiny tadpoles!

All in all, raising angelfish is a hoot, and I wish you all the best of luck! :partyblower:

06-01-2014, 11:57 AM
Good write-up. Thanks :)

06-01-2014, 02:46 PM
An interesting read, thank you.

06-01-2014, 05:53 PM
My pleasure :thankyouyellow:

06-01-2014, 07:11 PM

Researching tank mates is a must. The long, flowy fins of an angelfish tend to become a target to fast-swimming (and nippy) fish such as, but not limited to, species of barbs. Recommended tank mates could be a school of tetras (which tend to be quite docile), rams, corydoras, etc.