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Consisting of a number of different species native to tropical rivers and shallow ocean reefs, the Angelfish is known for its enchanting colors and unique shape. Among the most distinguished fish, angelfish are adored for their elegant swimming behavior.
See the fact file below for more information on the Angelfish or alternatively, you can download our 21-page Angelfish worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- There are two main types of this species: freshwater angelfish (Pterophyllum) of the family Cichlidae, and marine angelfish classified under the Pomacanthidae family.
- Freshwater angelfish, known as the tropical cichlids of the Amazon Basin, has three currently recognized species: (1) Pterophyllum altum (altum angelfish, deep angelfish, or Orinoco angelfish), (2) Pterophyllum leopoldi (teardrop angelfish, Leopold’s angelfish, dwarf angelfish, or roman-nosed angelfish), and (3) Pterophyllum scalare (freshwater angelfish).
- The family of marine angelfish has about 88 species and eight genera: (1) Apolemichthys, (2) Centropyge, (3) Chaetodontoplus, (4) Genicanthus, (5) Holocanthus, (6) Paracentropyge, (7) Pomacanthus, and (8) Pygoplites.
- F. Schultze named the freshwater angelfish (P. scalare) in 1824.
- Pterophyllum came from the Greek words πτερον, translated as pteron which means “fin or sail”, and φυλλον, interpreted as phyllon, meaning “leaf”.
- J. Pellegrin and J.P. Gosse named P. altum and P. leopoldi in 1906 and in 1963.
- Marine angelfish derived their family name Pomacanthidae from the Greek word πομα, read as poma meaning “cover” and ακάνθα, translated as akantha meaning “thorn”.
ANATOMY AND APPEARANCE
- More triangular in shape, freshwater angelfish are laterally compressed and generally grows up to 6 inches in length. Based on research, P. leopoldi species have 29 to 35 scales in a row. P. scalare, however, is known to have 35 to 45 scales.
- Both of these species have the same coloration, although a fain stripe between the eye and the first complete body stripe, and a third incomplete body stripe can be seen between two main body stripes that masks three-fourth of the length of the P. leopoldi’s body.
- Freshwater angelfish were originally standard silver in color.
- However, due to mutations, breeders have produced a number of interesting and beautiful varieties.
- Some popular color variations include, but are not limited to: marble, veil, zebra, ghost, albino, black lace, leopard, gold, blushing, koi, smokey, altum, half black, and pearlscale.
- Most closely related to butterflyfish, marine angelfish are usually covered in vibrant markings and can grow up to 12 inches in length.
- These colors change drastically as they get older. It is assumed this phenomenon suggests the social hierarchy of the marine angelfish.
- They have small mouths, large pectoral fins, and rounded tail fins.
- Gray angelfish (Pomacanthus arcuatus), the largest of all species of marine angelfish, can reach up to 24 in (60 cm) in length.
- Freshwater angelfish are capable to camouflage among the aquatic plants due to their triangular shape. Wild species of this type have more distinctive dark vertical stripes, allowing them to blend in easier.
- They also become aggressive towards each other, especially during the mating season. Males fight with other males over mates, and females are protective of their offsprings from other fish looking for food.
- Marine angelfish are known to be quite a bold and fearless species, noted for their curious behavior towards divers. Although some are solitary, they usually form territorial and defensive mating pairs or even groups with one male and a number of females.
- Angelfish kept as pets are prone to ich (sometimes called ick). This is an opportunistic parasitic condition caused by overcrowding, poor water conditions, and improper diet.
HABITAT AND DIET
- Both types of angelfish need very specific water conditions, such as salt and pH levels, making them difficult to maintain in house aquariums.
- Freshwater angelfish are native to the Amazon Basin, Orinoco Basin, and other rivers in the Guiana Shield in tropical South America. They prefer cleaner waters and temperatures between 25°C to 30°C. These species are sensitive to poor water quality.
- Freshwater angelfish prey on smaller fish, invertebrates, and even particles of food found in water. They are hunted by larger species of birds, fish, and other marine mammals.
- Marine angelfish are perciform fish found on shallow ocean reefs in the tropical Atlantic, Indian, and western Pacific Oceans, in depths of up to 50 meters only.
- They wander on algae attached to coral reefs and rocks. Marine angelfish feed on shrimps, and other small species of fish and prawn.
- Sharks, marine mammals, and humans are the main predators of marine angelfish. Juvenile and smaller species are preyed upon by different aquatic and terrestrial animals, such as birds.
- Freshwater angelfish lay 100 to 1000 eggs on a flat leaf or an underwater log, which hatch after a few days.
- Baby angelfish, also called “fry”, stay inside the egg for a week after hatching while consuming the remaining yolk in the egg sac. Angelfish fry become free swimming as soon as they detach from their eggs, feeding from nutrients in the water and on plants.
- P. leopoldi fry shows three to eight body stripes, while P. scalare only has two.
- Angelfish pairs form long-term relationships and usually breed for life – if one of the parent dies, the widowed angelfish will refuse to mate with any other angelfish.
- Marine angelfish lay their eggs straight into the water, causing them to float in the ocean and mixing with plankton, until they hatch. A number of eggs, however, are eaten by animals that prey on plankton in the water.
- Angelfish are easy to keep as pets and can live up to 10 years, if they are given proper aquarium conditions.
- Because of their lateral bodies, it is better for owners to house these species in tall aquariums, with a capacity of at least 20 gallons. Larger tanks give these fish more space for a better feeling of security.
- Water temperature should be around 78°F to 80°F.
- Broadleaf aquatic plants like the Amazon sword plants, Java moss, water sprite Ceratopteris spp, and Java fern make good choices for an angelfish aquarium since they allow these fish to lay their eggs on a natural surface.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Angelfish across 21 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Angelfish worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Angelfish which is known for its enchanting colors and unique shape. Among the most distinguished fish, angelfish are adored for their elegant swimming behavior.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Angelfish Facts
- Introducing Angel
- An Angel’s Anatomy
- Fishing Facts
- Aquarium Varieties
- Freshwater and Marine
- More Fishy Facts
- Hybrid Angelfish
- Gill of Finding Nemo
- Fish as Pets
- Angelfish Origami
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Link will appear as Angelfish Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, February 10, 2020
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.