Scalpel (Pterophyllum scalare) Lichtenstein, 1823.
Family Cichl – Cichlidae.
Habitat: Inhabit the region of South America, which stretches from the east from the Amazon delta to the Maranon river in the west and from the south from the Amazon to the Orinoco river in the north.
In nature, scalaria keep in calm areas of water bodies, for example, bays, reed beds, lagoons and flooded flooding, plant-rich land, as well as in small calm backwaters of turbulent rivers near underwater rocks.
Description: the profile of the forehead may have a break at the level of the upper edge of the eye. The dorsal and anal fins are bluish-gray, the barbed part is almost black-brown, the soft-beamed part with a number of yellowish-brown stripes, the same stripes on the caudal fin. The body is discoid, greatly flattened laterally, the snout is sharp.
The dorsal and anal are very high, the first rays of the abdominal fin are filiform much elongated.
The main body color is greenish-gray to olive-gray with a silver sheen, back with a brownish-olive tint. The body has 4 transverse main strips, the color of which varies depending on the mood and behavior of the fish and can be saturated with black, black-brown or smoky-gray.
The first lane passes through the eye, the second from the short rays of the dorsal and ends at the beginning of the anal fin, the third from the top of the dorsal to the top of the anal, the fourth at the base of the caudal fin.
The maximum standard size of scalar fish in an aquarium is up to 15 cm.
Scalpel (Pterophyllum scalare) peaceful, sedentary, poorly carrying pollution fish. Frightened by sharp rapid movements around the aquarium, and especially inside it, as well as rapid changes in illumination.
You can contain in the general aquarium, preferably with a height of 40 cm, but not with barbs that bite off their fins.
In some places, thickets, as well as broad-leaved plants with short stalks, snags, can be buildings of vertically standing stones, forming slots of such width that the fish could swim.
Mandatory weekly water change.
Optimum water parameters for content: temperature 25-27 ° C, water hardness up to 20 °, PH 6-7.5.
Nutrition: live, frozen and dry food with the addition of herbal ingredients.
It is difficult to distinguish a male from a female, but upon careful study you will notice that the female has a larger belly, from which a short tubule of oviposition appears several days before spawning. In the female, the diameter of the tube is twice as large as that of the male.
Reproduction: spawning in both species and spawning aquariums. From a group of young fish, couples are formed that capture the territory for themselves, and they are deposited for spawning.
In the spawning aquarium, plant bushes with a shortened stem and wide leaves rising obliquely upwards (echinodorus).
M. Ilyin recommends positioning the plants so that the distance from the top of the leaves to the water surface is 3/4 of the height of the fish’s body. Aquarists who carry eggs to the incubator use artificial leaves made of hard material, attaching them to the walls of the aquarium.
Pinter recommends to plant 3 pairs in the aquarium (100x60x60 cm) and one more male, which plays the role of a hostile factor and encourages the fish to protect their eggs.
1-2 days before spawning, the male has a seed tube in the form of a comma with a pointed end; in the female, a blunt, cylindrical ovipositor. Fish clean the substrate and then lay eggs on it, usually 300-500 pcs. The incubation period is 2-3 days, the fry swim after 4-6 days.
Couple caring for caviar and offspring.
Starter feed – live dust, nauplii Artemia.
So, as scalars often eat caviar, many aquarists transfer the substrate with caviar to the incubator, fixing it in the same position and lowering the water level to 15 cm. This breeding method leads to the fact that fish lose their ability to care for caviar and offspring.
Puberty at 10-12 months.
An example of breeding from the practice of lovers: use a spawning aquarium of 100-150 liters, without soil and plants. The substrate is artificial leaves attached to the walls of the aquarium at a depth of 15-20 cm. Water: 22 ° C, dH to 15 °, pH 6.4-7.5, filtration, aeration.
A couple planted to spawn for 1.5-2 weeks are fed low-calorie food (koretra, some daphnia), leaving 1 day a week without feed. Then raise the temperature to 24 ° C and dramatically increase the caloric intake (add bloodworms and give more daphnia), until the fish begin to prepare for spawning while cleaning the leaf.
Now the temperature is raised to 28–30 ° C and dH is lowered to 4 °, after which spawning occurs.
Pure forms are rarely found in lovers aquariums.
Breeders bred many forms. Scalpel (Pterophyllum scalare) which are found on sale. Here are some of them:
Looped or Veil Angelfish
It has highly elongated unpaired fins. The interbreeding of this form with various color forms led to a variety of coloration of the veil scalar.
The whole is painted black and only small areas of the dorsal and anal fin are bright.
Instead of transverse black stripes, black stripes and spots scattered throughout the body are of irregular shape.
It has additional black transverse stripes between 2 and 3 main stripes, and in some specimens the entire torso is covered with dark dots.
Differs in a golden tone of body color, more saturated at the head, back and on the dorsal fin, where there are separate pink spots.