Marble Angel, Pterophyllum scalare

by Don Kinyon, PVAS

One of the most recognizable fish in the aquarium hobby must be the ever popular angel. I am not nearly as experienced in keeping them as many of you reading this are, so I’ll keep this report brief.

I bought four young marble angels at a PVAS auction last year because my daughter wouldn’t let me stop bidding on them. They were good looking fish, but she thought (and still thinks), that they are beautiful. We took them home and put them in a 55 gallon community tank along with some tetras, Corydoras, and smaller cichlids. The tank is fairly well planted, has a lot of wood and stone in it, and is well lit for fourteen hours a day. The temperature is kept at 78 degrees and pH is 7.4.

In April we noticed one of the fish filling up with eggs. This is the only way I knew the fish was a female, as I still can’t tell the difference any other way. By the end of April she had paired off with the largest of the other fish (I presumed was a male) and deposited about 150 eggs on a sword plant leaf. When the eggs started to eye up, we were sure we had a pair, so we removed the eggs, leaf and all, to a prepared 15 gallon tank. In three days the eggs hatched, and in four more, the young were swimming.

On a diet of baby brine shrimp, micro worms, and vinegar eels, the young grew quickly, and of course, my little girl is happy with the "baby angels".