How To Care for Angel Fish

Angel fish is also known as pterophyllum. It belongs to the family of cichlidae, the most common and one of the popular aquarium fishes. It is commonly shaped like a cichlid but is greatly laterally compressed, with round bodies and elongated triangular dorsal and anal fins. A well-cared angel fish can live up to five to ten years. If you know how to care for them, they will look beautiful in their aquarium and they will last long.

Here are some easy ways to care for an angel fish:

  • Tank size - choose a tank that is wide and tall enough to contain the said angel fish. It’s because angel fish can grow up to 15 cm in diameter and their fins grow for about 9-10 inches or 25 centimeters in length.
  • Setup of the tank - set up a tank with a good filter and a heater. These two things are very essential for the fish’s health. Angel fish like to hide in small spaces. Use plenty of plants for them to live and hide in – it doesn’t matter if it is plastic or live plants. If the decoration is too sparse the angel fish will hide more often and will become more prone to disease and stress.
  • Quality of water – the quality of water used in a fish tank is very essential to the fish’s health. In some books, you will notice that it is advisable to use low pH (below 7.0) water. This is the exact pH of an angel fish’s original breeding ground in South America. Most angel fishes are tank bred and more adaptable to high pH based water. A water pH rating 7.0 to 7.8 will not cause any problems to the fish, as long as you maintain the water’s climate. Be sure that the water used in the tank has no traces of ammonia and nitrates. Maintain the temperature of the water to 77 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit or 24 to 27 centigrade – low temperature can make a fish sickly.
  • Feeding – flake commercialized food is good for fish; including fresh or frozen blackworms, small shrimps and bloodworms. Be sure that you don’t over-feed the fish; this will shorten their lives and cause problems in their health.
  • Fish compatibility – angel fishes are monogamous; the male fish most often attack other males who eye on their mate in the same tank. If other fishes are present in the tank, like tetras and other kinds of small breeds of fish, you need to separate them for they might become angel fish food. If you want to put other small fishes in the tank, choose the kind of fish that thrive in groups.
  • Class of angel fish – choose the kind of angel fish with round bodies, bright eyes, and well-formed fins. Angel fish with red eyes are cross-bred with other wild fishes; they are more aggressive and stronger that normal angel fish. There are different kinds of angel fish – such as koi, silver, pearlscale, and half-back, gold and black. All of them are the same fish but they are bred with certain attributes. Same care as of normal angel fish is needed.
  • Acclimating – acclimating is very important. Angel fishes are very sensitive in drastic changes in the water they live in. Be sure to check the pH of the water and eliminate any presence of nitrates and ammonia. Using the “net and dump” method to transfer the fish in the tank will kill them.

Considering the given tips to successfully take care of an angel fish, you can also apply some of the steps to other fishes. It depends upon the breed and habitat of a fish for its needs to vary.


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