Scalar is a representative of the cichlid family, a fish that will be a worthy decoration of any aquarium. South America is considered the natural habitat of the scalar: from the Amazon delta to the Orinoco River and Maranon.
Representatives of this species prefer to keep in bays or lagoons, on the coasts overgrown with reeds, and also in creeks near underwater rocks.
The body is disc-shaped, rather flat from the sides. The dorsal and anal fins are high, the ventral fin is also very elongated. The main body color is olive-gray, with a metallic sheen, the back of many individuals has a brownish-olive tint.
Dark vertical stripes pass through the body, the first crosses the fish’s eye, the last – the base of the caudal fin. Coloring of the back is always darker than the belly.
As a result of breeding, fish painted in the most bizarre colors were bred, but you will not find the natural variation of Pterophyllum scalare in aquariums.
Here are some variations of the scalar. The first is a stubby, unpaired fins are very elongated, the color is multicolor.
The black angelfish is painted black, only on the back and abdomen there are light areas. Marble individuals are distinguished by black stripes and irregular-shaped patches scattered throughout the body. The scalar zebra has additional stripes or is completely covered with dark dots.
The golden angelfish is completely colored in golden color, with small patches of pink.
Angelfish reach maturity by age 10-12. They form pairs and can spawn in the general aquarium. In this case, the male and female will carefully protect their territory, therefore, for reproduction, it is better to deposit them in a separate aquarium, about 80 liters in volume, with good aeration.
The water should be warmer, with a neutral PH of 7, the owner needs to plant large-leaved plants in a temporary “dwelling”. The female will choose a strong stalk or a sheet, clean it from dirt and start spawning, which the male fertilizes. Fishes independently look after caviar, and after 6–9 days babies appear, parents should be transplanted by the time they appear.
Feed small fish need infusoria or “living dust.” With good care, the angelfish will delight aquarists 10-15 years.
Scientists believe that the first scalar were divorced in 1911. In fact, this year for the first time alive scalaries were brought to Europe. This fact is confirmed by the work of aquarist Karl Gippius, who specifically traveled to Hamburg to look at the strange fish.
In 1912, it was assumed that even in their homeland the scalar are rare, since very rarely these individuals were able to be transported alive. A copy brought in 1911 died a few days later.
In 1912, the scalar was dubbed the king of aquarium fish, while they were treated with the same care as now by discussion. In 1912, the Russian aquarist V.Kempe purchased a pair of angelfish, which they successfully brought to Russia, but a year passed, and not a single pair of fish brought to Europe produced any offspring.
For the first time it was possible to breed small Pterophyllum in 1924, the specific name scalare comes from the characteristic dorsal fin pattern.
In 1928, the first angelfish were divorced in Russia, and the spawning occurred quite by accident. The owners, having left for the theater, forgot to turn off the heating pad, and the water temperature rose to 32 degrees. After returning home, they found spawning angelfish.
The mass selection of the scalar began in 1956, when the veil form was obtained, and a black specific form was registered a year later. In 1971, the marble subspecies was bred, and in 1973, the gold subspecies.
Now in aquariums you can find several more types of angelfish, the mutation of which was also discovered by pure chance.
Angelfish are rather large fish, so for their maintenance it is worthwhile to choose containers of at least 60 liters, the height of the aquarium should exceed 45 centimeters, the width does not play a big role, since the scalars are adapted to live in narrow channels. The water should be clean and slightly soft, the level of acidity should be between 6.5 and 7.4 pH, and the constant hardness should not exceed 18.
Angelfish are quite sensitive to the environment, so it is desirable to keep the water parameters at the same level.
It is better to keep cichlids in small groups, it is advisable to choose for them a large aquarium, densely planted with plants. It is worth remembering that these fish are shy, a sudden lit light or knocking may scare them.
Angelfish are peace-loving, but during spawning they jealously guard their territory from congeners.
Feeding is not particularly difficult. Mostly cichlids feed on live food.
Young angelfish eat live daphnia, tadpoles, various insects. They are happy to absorb granulated and flaky feeds, pick algae or leaves of tender aquatic plants.
It should be borne in mind that due to the specific shape of the body the scalars find it difficult to pick up food from the bottom, so you have to come up with special feeders. It happens that the fish for no apparent reason for a week refuse to feed, but then again begin to eat, as if nothing had happened.
You can give the fish chopped seafood – meat mussels, octopus or shrimp.
The content of the representatives of the family of cichlids should be guided by simple rules. If several pairs live in your aquarium, plant a large bush with wide leaves in different corners. This technique will reduce the level of conflict.
Never give low-quality food to fish, scalar are very sensitive to its quality. Be sure to create shelters – caves, dark areas, snags, stones. Plants floating on the surface that will dim bright lighting are also welcome.
There should be a minimum of scenery in the center and near the surface so that cichlids can swim freely.
By their nature, the angelfish are quite peace-loving schooling fish; they show an unsteady character only during spawning. The larger the aquarium, the more species of fish can coexist with scalars.
The exceptions are telescopes – fish with bulging eyes, because of the sharp fin of the angelfish, they can simply be left without eyes. It is also undesirable to plant very young individuals to adult scalars – they may simply not get food.
It is impossible to contain an angelfish with barbs, live-bearing carnivars and cheracid fishes, otherwise the scalar will be left without its beautiful fins. Angelfish imposingly and leisurely swim around the aquarium, while the barbs are more mobile fish that can easily injure the cichlids. It is recommended to contain a scalar along with catfish of the kind of corridor or mesonauts.
It is not necessary to settle with neons or small guppies, a starving adult can easily swallow a small fish.
- If the scalar make a pair, they keep it until the death of one of the fish. Even after the death of a partner, the surviving scalar is not looking for a new companion;
- Angelfish are rather shy fish, if they get scared, their natural color becomes paler;
- The scalar of the cichlid family is the most popular aquarium fish. Their generic name means “winged leaf”;
- In the aquariums it is impossible to meet wild representatives of this breed, they all appeared as a result of numerous crosses.
You can buy scalaria in a specialized nursery. You can find out the price of Angelfish on the bulletin board.