Thursday, February 11, 2010

Altum Angelfish

The largest of all angelfish in the earth is the altum angelfish or commonly know as orinoco angelfish. This fish is a closerelative to the freshwater angelfish and can be found in a relatively large area around Rio Orinoco and Rio Negro in Brazil, Venezuela, colombia and some parts in the philippines that are really abundant in nature.

The Altum Angelfish are not so widely available in the aquarium trade due to being more sensitive and harder to breed then the common freshwater angelfish (Pterophyllum scalare) You should however be able to Altum angel fish without to much problem, but you will however have to be prepared to the fact these fish can be quite expensive, especially compared to the regular angel.

Altum angelfish is as earlier mentioned considerable more sensitive then the regular angelfish and needs a care similar to that of discus fish. They need due to their height a high aquarium tank and should never be kept in aquariums shallower then 75cm/ 30". The aquariums don’t need to be very large in other aspects and an aquarium that is 120 cm/ 4 ft long is sufficient. The aquarium should be decorated with large pieces of bogwood that if possible should reach the waters surface. Large leafed plants like Amazon swordsplants can also be beneficial and are usually left alone. The water should be kept in very soft water that is not so slightly acidic. A pH level of 4.5-6.5 is suitable for Altum Angelfish. They prefer very warm water and they are best kept in 28-30°C / 82-86°F. The nitrates levels should be kept very low and the water should be slightly circulated to mimic the environments this species are normally found in, in the wild

Though they are considered a community fish, Altum Angelfish may get territorial as they get older. They are reportedly a more peaceful fish than other angelfish species, but being in the cichlid family smaller fish may not do well with them. As they mature they will pair off, developing a strong nuclear family, and defend a territory in which to breed. A nice thing about the Altum Angelfish is that they don't burrow or disturb plants!

Altum angelfish are suitable to be kept with most calm fish, and are ideally kept with other calm species from the same area such as Discus and Tetras. Small fish might be considered food and should not be kept with cardinal and neon tetras since Altum angelfish as all angelfish seems very fond of eating these. They should never be kept with regular angelfish since they can hybridise.

The Altum angelfish is a more delicate flower than the regular angelfish and requires a more caring environment but is without a doubt worth the extra effort.