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Scalars – all information about the species

Angelfish are sometimes called sailing ships, which tells a lot about their body shape. These extremely popular aquarium fish are very beautiful and effective creatures. They are also distinguished by a complex and interesting disposition, which, unfortunately, is sometimes underestimated. It is worth providing scalars with the best possible conditions. What? Are these animals suitable for any aquarium? We answer these questions in the article!

Angelfish – origin

In natural conditions, angelfish can be found in the waters of South America. They most often live in floodplains along with other common fish, such as discus fish.

The first mentions of these creatures can be found in the nineteenth-century writings of the German researcher, Martin Heinrich Lichtenstein, who described them and included them among the sea fish. The mistake was corrected only two decades later (in 1840) by the Austrian ichthyologist Heckel.

Scalars in Europe and Poland

Scalars arrived in Europe at the beginning of the 20th century – in 1911. Three years later, the first individuals on our continent were born in Hamburg. These fish appeared in Poland in 1922.

Angelfish – appearance

Angelfish are often called sailing ships. This is related to the structure of their dorsal fin, which is shaped somewhat like an outstretched sail. The caudal fin is shaped like an arc, and the body of the fish is flattened on both sides.

The size of a scalar depends on the variety, but it can be said that individuals grow up to really large sizes. How big can they be?

  • the largest specimens reach a height of up to forty centimeters;
  • Currently, the most popular breeding varieties do not exceed twenty centimeters.

The size of the aquarium, in which the scalar lives, also affects the size of the pet. In the wild, the fish are much more impressive and can reach up to half a meter.

Scalar – varieties

The animals we describe are currently one of the most popular aquarium fish. This is due not only to the specific shape of their body, but also to the multitude of varieties. Angelfish differ from each other in terms of both colors and patterns on the body.

Over one hundred years of breeding and genetic crosses have made them one of the most diverse (but not artificially colored) aquarium fish.

Scalar – color varieties

  • scales Blue Merle;
  • black scalar;
  • scalar Koi;
  • scales California;
  • skalar Blue Diamond;
  • scales Merble;
  • green scalar;
  • scales Gold;
  • skalar Leopard Snake;
  • skalar Blue California;
  • scalar Rio Itaya Blue;
  • skier Rio Itaya;
  • skalar Guyana Red Spotted;
  • skalar River Manacapuru;
  • scales weloniasty.
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Angelfish – fish with an interesting character

Angelfish are fish that can boast not only beautiful appearance. They are also very intelligent animals that:

  • create multi-level relationships in shoals;
  • they tend to take care of their fry;
  • they hunt successfully.

Scalar as a great hunter …

Scalar is a fish predator. Contrary to appearances, however, it is not particularly agile and does not show high speed. However, it turns out to be very effective in hunting. It all owes great intelligence and the ability to learn from mistakes. Angelfish has also mastered the fish’s ability to cooperate when hunting, which is unusual. They are also able to estimate the size of the fish and usually choose the larger one.

… and a loving guardian

This skill is not limited to getting food. The animals take great care of both their eggs and the already hatched fry. Young parents do not always manage to save their children from the appetite of other fish. However, with each subsequent litter, their parenting skills increase and more and more fish are saved.

Angelfish – sociable but characterful

These animals are usually described as gentle fish that most willingly spend time with other members of their species. According to some aquarists, angelfish pair most willingly with other fish of the same color variety. An individual with a different color may, unfortunately, be rejected by the herd, and even become the target of attacks. So it is worth keeping individuals of one color variety.

Scalar – requirements and the aquarium

The scalar’s lifespan, its size and even its appearance depend largely on the conditions that the handler will provide to the fish. Growing scalars is not difficult after all. They are fish that quickly adapt to the conditions in the aquarium. However, in order for them to be healthy and to feel well, they need a sufficiently large tank.

Scalars – the size of the tank

As you already know, we are talking about quite large aquarium fish. It is easy to guess that they need a large reservoir in which they can swim freely.

  1. One scalar should contain at least 50 liters of net water. They are herd fish that need at least one companion, preferably several representatives of their species.
  2. If you are considering breeding these fish, you should have a tank with a net capacity of at least 250 liters. In such cases, however, it is advisable to breed only a few individuals. In too small tanks, angelfish do not reach their final size and may even become stunted.

Scalar – water parameters

In addition to the capacity of the aquarium, the parameters of the water in it are also very important. The following conditions are best for the fish we describe:

  • water hardness – in this regard, scalars are quite tolerant. Water can be as hard as 15 degrees overall;
  • pH – from 6 to 7.4;
  • temperature of waterAngelfish are thermophilic, so an aquarium will need a heater that will keep the water at a temperature of 24 to 30 degrees Celsius.
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Angelfish – arrangement of the aquarium

The aquarium should also recreate the biotope as well as possible, i.e. the natural living conditions. In South America, these fish live in so-called black water. Its visibility is limited to 250 centimeters. Here are some tips.

  1. It is best to use sand or peat as a substrate. Dry leaves, cones or even cones will also work well. In this way, humic acids will gradually be released into the water, which have a positive effect on the condition of the fish.
  2. However, not everyone is in favor of black water aquariums. You can also keep angelfish successfully in a plant-based aquarium. However, opt for natural ornaments – for example, roots.
  3. However, avoid plastic decorations and artificial plants. They affect the water parameters and may also cause mechanical injuries to the fish.

Scalar – what fish can it live with in an aquarium?

When arranging the aquarium, you must not forget about the cast. How many sailing ships will be in the tank depends primarily on its size. The minimum is about 250 liters, which will hold two pairs of scalars.

What fish can accompany scalars?

Be careful when selecting your cast. It is better to select fewer fish than to allow for overfishing. Angelfish during spawning can become aggressive and pose a threat to both other species and other fish.

Sailing ships can live with smaller shoal fish. However, it is best to get them used to them from childhood. When an adult scalar arrives in an aquarium with neon or razor, it may consider small fish a good dinner.

Angelfish – nutrition

Speaking of lunch, it’s time to move on to the next topic. Angelfish, like all aquarium fish, need a diet that is based on the species requirements. Here are some tips.

  1. We are dealing here with predators, so the most important element of their menu should be meat foods.
  2. However, try to provide them with as varied food as possible. Too monotonous diet can lead to serious problems with the digestive system.
  3. The basis of nutrition should be aquarium foods intended especially for cichlids. A variety of frozen foods, such as mosquito larvae or krill, will work great as a diversion.
  4. Always try to be sure of the source of the food you are giving the sailing ships.

Scalar – reproduction

Scalars are monogamous. They form permanent pairs on their own, within which they create very strong and long-lasting bonds. It is worth buying fish from the breeder that have already established a relationship with each other. Alternatively, wait for a matched pair to emerge from the group of young individuals.

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Two individuals ready for spawning become very territorial. Unless you have a very large aquarium, the best solution is to move the rest of the fish. In large tanks, you need to take care of enough hiding places – plants or large roots.

What is the reproduction of scalars?

The fish are sexually mature when they are about 10 months old. You can increase the chance of spawning by raising the water temperature a bit (even to 30-32 degrees Celsius) and softening it. Live foods will also work well. It should be noted that hard water practically completely excludes the reproduction of scalars.

  1. During spawning, the female spreads the eggs on a flat surface.
  2. The male follows the female and fertilizes the eggs laid.
  3. The larvae hatch within 2 to 4 days.
  4. It is best to leave the parents in the presence of the eggs that have been laid. They will fan them with their fins, oxygenating them. They also protect their descendants from other fish.
  5. Angelfish do not eat their eggs, but may occasionally put them in their mouths. The intention, however, is to cleanse, and this shouldn’t bother you.

Is scalar reproduction always successful?

Remember that sailing ships improve their parenting skills along with experience. So you can expect that the first spawns will be unsuccessful. This is likely when the fish inhabit the aquarium with other scalars that may feed on their eggs or fry.

Angelfish – price and breeding

The price of a scalar depends on several factors. First of all, the size of the fish and the color variety are important. Adult scalars, which have a less common coloration, are by far the most expensive. Young specimens can be purchased for as little as PLN 10-20.

Where to buy scalars?

If you want to buy a scalar, you usually have a choice of a pet store or a breeder. Some also use the services of private individuals who exchange fish or sell them on auction sites. What is worth choosing?

Buying these fish at pet stores is not the best idea. The exceptions here are aquarium stores run by experienced breeders. Before buying, it is worth verifying the place where the fish comes from. Under bad conditions, scalars do not grow, and they can even be deformed or stunted by the end of their lives.

Scalars – summary

Sailing ships are very popular and incredibly beautiful aquarium fish. They are distinguished by a body shape that resembles a sail spread in the wind, hence the name. However, Scalar is not only beautiful, but also very intelligent and characterful. Due to the complex personality and developed mind, this species is most often used for scientific research on the intellectual potential of fish.
In good conditions, scalars can live up to 15 years. However, you need to provide them with a sufficiently large aquarium, varied food and the company of other individuals of the same species. This way you will be able to enjoy the presence of these beautiful fish for many years to come.