Angelfish are the most popular aquarium representatives of the cichlid family. Their lack of bright natural color is compensated by the beauty of long fins and unusual body shape. Skalars swimming in water seem to hover in zero gravity, and long fins-wings support them. With their sophisticated look, these “angelfish”, as they were nicknamed abroad, make an amazing impression.
Angelfish have a peace-loving character, making them compatible with many other types of non-aggressive fish. It is not surprising that they have gained popularity among many aquarium dwellers.
What do the angelfish look like and where do they live
In the natural environment, scalars live in South America, in the Amazon and Orinoco pools. At the same time prefer calm reservoirs with dense vegetation and slowly flowing water.
Representatives of the genus angelfish combines the similarities in the structure of the body. They have a rounded torso, resembling a disk, the body is compressed from the sides. This form makes it easy to maneuver among dense thickets. These are rather large fish: body length is about 15 cm, and height is about 25 cm.
The dorsal and anal fins are elongated, and the ventral fins resemble threads. The body of an angelfish is more in height than in length, and due to its long fins it resembles a crescent in outline.
The natural color of the scalar does not differ in brightness: it is mainly silvery and olive hues, with black transverse stripes. However, as a result of selection, many scalar were bred. a variety of colors. Among them: marble, black, zebra, pearl, leopard and others. A fish with even longer fins was also obtained. a veil scalar.
Getting offspring from scalar at home is a process that requires certain knowledge and training. These fish are not different manifestations of great care for the offspring, sometimes they are prone to eating their eggs.
Before breeding mature fish fatten with live feed. For spawning you need to create appropriate conditions:
- temperature in the aquarium is higher than usual. about 28 ° C;
- live food;
- fresh water in the aquarium;
- presence of males and females
During spawning, the female can sweep 300-700 eggs. Scalarion caviar is laid on the leaves of plants or other objects in the aquarium. After 3 days, fry will appear. And in about a week, the little angelfish will learn to swim.
How to distinguish male from female
Those who plan to breed these wonderful fish in the home aquarium, sooner or later face the question: how to determine who is the male and who is the female?
It is sometimes difficult even to an experienced aquarist to distinguish a male from a scalar female. The fact is that these fish sex differences are not pronounced, and in young fish they are almost absent. If, however, it is necessary to find out the sex of an angel when buying, you should focus on size: the largest fry are more likely to be males, and the smallest fry will be females.
To determine the sex of an angelfish, we need experience and practice. Therefore, beginners may have difficulty. Only by carefully observing your pets, comparing them and noting the features of appearance and behavior, one can learn to distinguish females from males.
External sex differences
Angelfish are aquarium long-livers: their life expectancy reaches 10 years, sometimes even longer. At the same time, they reach puberty at the age of 7-12 months. Before this time, it is almost impossible to recognize females and males.
Determining the sex of an adult angelfish, you need draw on the main differences in the appearance of the male and female:
- Males are usually larger in size than females of the same age.
- Pay attention to the frontal part of the head: in males, the forehead has a pronounced fatty tubercle and is distinguished by a bulge, while in females it is sunken.
- The dorsal fin in males is longer, and in its rear part, 7-8 light and dark stripes can be counted. The female has less bands. only 5-6.
- In males, the front fin has forked ends, in females it is smooth.
- Males have a more pronounced chest carina.
- If you observe the scalars during spawning, you can find another difference. In males, a narrow and sharp seed line is noticeable, and in females a wide and short egg-laying. Until spawning, these differences are almost impossible to observe.
- In the female preparing for breeding, the abdomen looks more rounded due to the calf ripening in it.
- In the male, the back line and dorsal fin form an angle, while the abdomen and anal fin are almost a straight line. In the female, the opposite is true: the line of the back forms a nearly straight line with a fin, while the belly with the anal fin forms an almost right angle.
The last difference many experienced aquarists tend to consider perhaps the most reliable.
For beginners another way might help. Among the fish, you need to select an individual whose signs of sexual dimorphism are expressed most clearly, and be guided by it when determining the sex of other scalars.
If you have a goal to start breeding these fish yourself, but there are difficulties with determining their sex, the best option would be to buy an already formed pair. Well, if this couple has already given offspring.
Gender Behavior Differences
Some aquarists prefer to determine the sex of the scalar based on the behavior of the fish.
During the breeding season, scalarians, usually leading a packaged lifestyle, choose their partner and create pairs. Even a novice can easily determine a formed pair: it keeps itself apart from the pack and looks for the right one. spawn setting.
In this case, the males behave as expected boys, and the females. as expected girls. This is especially noticeable if you observe their behavior inside the pair. Males pursue females and drive them to the corners of the aquarium.
However, there are cases when two females join together in a pair. In this case, one of them, and sometimes both in turn, perform the role of a "male". One can guess this only when both fish lay their eggs, in which case it will remain unfertilized.
By it’s nature monogamous angelfish. The loss of a partner due to his death or separation from him is a strong stress for the fish, which they can not survive. Angelfish can be injured on the walls of the aquarium and other objects and die. Therefore, you can try to pick up a pair for pets, but it is highly undesirable to destroy already established pairs.