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Peaceful angelfish may fight sometimes – Video

This video has been filmed during December 2014 in the Sea World, San Diego, California, USA. Before going over the biological information, I was surprised to see how these peaceful fish –as their name tells- can fight. In fact, angelfish are generally peaceful especially when not mating but they under certain conditions such as overcrowding, they exhibit their territorial behavior and turn aggressive.

Introduction: The freshwater angelfish that belongs to the family “Cichlidae” is native to South America. The species is prized for their unique shape and color making them one of the most popular freshwater aquarium fish. These fish can live ten years or longer.

Feeding habits: Even though, freshwater angelfish prefer meat-based diet, they are omnivorous and they feed in nature primarily on smaller fish, crustaceans and invertebrates in addition to food particles which could be found in the water.

In home aquarium, angelfish feeds on a wide variety of foods including feed pellets or flakes, frozen foods, bloodworms and other small insects and crustaceans.

On the other hand, the freshwater angelfish is preyed upon by larger fish species, birds and marine mammals.

Reproduction and life history: Freshwater angelfish usually pair for life and it is often found that if one of the parents dies, then the remaining spouse loses its interest in breeding.

It is very difficult to determine the sex of angelfish especially when outside the breeding season. However, male angelfish have smaller, more pointed genital papillae than females. Also, males exhibit more aggression or territorial behavior.

When the angelfish pair is ready to mate, they choose an appropriate spawning substrate upon which female lays the eggs. Depending on the size and general fitness of the female, she deposits between 100 and 1000 eggs in organized lines. The male follows and fertilizes the eggs. During incubation, the parents take turns in circulating water around the eggs through swimming and fan the eggs using their pectoral fins until eggs hatch in about two days.

The hatchlings of angelfish remain attached to the spawning substrate for about a week. During this period, hatchlings feed on the remaining yolk in the egg sack. When they are a week old, the angelfish fry detach and become free swimming and feed on the appropriate nutrients in the water and on plants.

Under aquarium condition, when fertilized eggs are removed from the aquarium immediately after spawning and fertilization, the pair is capable of spawning every seven to 10 days. At 3-year old, the spawning frequency decreases before eventually ceases.

Body shape, color and camouflage: The angelfish has a triangular shape with laterally thin, compressed, with round bodies and elongated triangular dorsal and anal fins. The body shape as well as the distinctive dark stripes that run vertically down their bodies provide camouflage and allow angelfish to blend in its surroundings and hide among the aquatic plants.

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