Exciting to watch… angel fish

They were once king of the aquarium but now, with the introduction of the discus species, the imposing angel fish have slipped to second place. Nevertheless one comes across them considerably more often in our living rooms. They are immediately noticeable because of their size and unusual body shape. What other fish are taller than they are long…? Experts from Maxi Zoo give some tips on looking after these angels.

Aquarium requirements

Some angel fish can easily grow to a height of 30 cm. That means aquariums shouldn’t be too small, especially where the height is concerned: 50 cm is the absolute minimum here. Caution over the number of angel fish is also advised. Too many fish without sufficient spaces in which to retreat will attack each other mercilessly. In these circumstances try to create different territories with cleverly arranged planting. If that doesn’t work, one fish will have to go.

Impressive mating behaviour

As the sexes are almost impossible to differentiate outside of the spawning season, most owners first get to know what it is they’re keeping some time later… when two fish become a pair. After an exciting mating ritual during which both sexes encircle and attack each other, the eggs are laid. Now, of course, it becomes clear which one is the female – recognisable by the protruding spawning papilla underneath, which is reminiscent of an extended spyglass. The male’s job is to fertilise the deposited eggs and from this point on, any intruders will be fought off. But it’s not only now that angel fish will sometimes assault smaller fish. It’s always a hazardous matter putting neons, guppies and similar small fish together with the big angel fish.

The hazards of rearing

Rearing in communal aquariums is often condemned to failure, even when the parents make a lot of effort. They constantly have to defend their offspring against inquisitive fish. Sometimes it can happen that they can no longer cope with this stress and, together with the other fish, they kill off their own brood. It can also happen that they’re not in a position to defend their young adequately during night time. A little light can help here. There is a further danger of the young fish getting sucked into the filter. Some gauze netting or having a separate small breeding tank for the young can help prevent this. When the rearing finally succeeds, it’s a real pleasure to watch the lively young fish swarming around flanked by the proud parents.

Call into your local store today to discuss your pet’s personal needs with our Maxi Zoo Pet Experts