In the wild, blushing angelfish inhabit slow-moving streams and rivers in South America. They stay close to vegetation and submerged branches. Their diet consists of insects, small crustaceans and plant matter. While naturally shy, blushing angelfish adapt well to aquarium life and can make engaging pets when properly cared for.
Introducing the Blushing Angelfish
- Origin: originate from slow-moving tributaries of the Amazon River system in Peru, Colombia, and Brazil in South America.
- Size: On average, grow to be 6-8 inches long in captivity.
- Lifespan: With proper care, blushing angelfish typically live for 10-15 years.
- Temperament: Have a peaceful demeanor, but can become territorial during breeding. They may quarrel with other angelfish and fish with similar body shapes.
- Appearance: Blushing angelfish have an elegant, disc-shaped body, long flowing dorsal and anal fins, eyes ranging from crimson red to orange, and a variety of base colors from silver to black. Captive-bred varieties feature spots, stripes, marbled patterns and lace-like scaling.
- Popular Varieties: Some popular aquarium strains include zebra, silver blushing, black lace, marble, gold, and pearlscale blushing angelfish with different colorations and patterns.
- Price: In the aquarium trade, typically cost $10-$30 depending on age, size, color patterns and finnage. Show quality and rare varieties can fetch much higher prices.
Habitat and Tank Requirements
- Natural Habitat: Blushing angelfish inhabit very slow-moving rivers, streams, creeks and tributaries of the Amazon River system, lingering near submerged branches, vegetation and roots.
- Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons for a mated pair of blushing angelfish. Larger tanks, 55 gallons or more, are recommended especially with additional tank mates.
- Water Parameters: Ideal water temperature of 76-82°F, pH 6.5-7.5, water hardness 4-15 dGH. Good filtration and weekly partial water changes.
- Tank Setup: Planted aquarium with driftwood, caves, overhangs and dim lighting. Fine gravel substrate, no sharp decor. Plants provide security, refuge and surfaces for spawning. Allow plenty of swimming space.
- Diet: Omnivorous but mostly carnivorous when mature. Feed varieties of live, frozen and freeze-dried foods including brine shrimp, bloodworms, daphnia, tubifex, high quality flakes and pellets.
- Feeding Habits: Blushing angelfish are somewhat aggressive feeders. They will rise quickly to food dropped at the surface and compete with tankmates. Feed 2-3 small meals daily.
- Live or frozen brine shrimp, bloodworms
- Daphnia, cyclops, tubifex worms
- High protein angelfish pellets and flakes
- Spirulina flakes, vegetable matter
- Occasional treats of live mealworms, crickets
- Reproduction: Monogamous substrate spawners. Form bonded pairs that spawn vertically on solid surfaces. No parental care. Eggs hatch in 3 days. Fry become free-swimming a week later.
- Breeding Requirements: Condition with high quality foods and optimal water changes. Maintain 82-86°F water temperature. Introduce flat spawning medium.
- Spawning Process: Flirting ritual of extended fins followed by female depositing a line of eggs on vertical surface. Male swims beside female, releasing sperm. Hundreds of eggs are laid during spawning. Most fail to hatch or survive as fry.
Common Health Issues
Blushing angelfish are generally hardy but sensitive to water quality. Monitor ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. Common illnesses include:
- Ich (white spot disease): Protozoan parasite, causes tiny white cysts over body and fins. Use anti-parasitic treatments promptly to eradicate infestations. Quarantine new arrivals.
- Fin Rot: Redness on edges of fins with fraying or rotting. Usually caused by unsanitary water conditions. Improve water quality immediately. Use fin rot remedies if secondary bacterial infections occur. Remove carbon filtration.
- Intestinal Blockages: Overfeeding or improper diet can cause obstructed digestive tracts. Fast fish for several days until it passes or softly massage its abdomen to relieve impaction. Feed analgesics and laxatives. Prevent with proper nutritional foods.
- Compatibility: Peaceful community species appropriate tankmates include other docile South American cichlids, smaller tetras, Corydoras catfish, Otocinclus algae eaters, freshwater shrimp. Avoid fin nippers.
- Special Care: Perform regular partial water changes, tests for ammonia, nitrites and pH. Soften water or use pH buffering substrate if needed. Quarantine new fish in separate tank for a few weeks before introducing into display aquarium.
- Legal Restrictions: None. Blushing angelfish ownership carries no legal restrictions or regulations. Their offspring are commonly captive-bred, not wild-caught.
Blushing angelfish do well with similar species, including:
- Other angelfish like Silver or Zebra varieties
- Peaceful gouramis (Honey, Pearl, Sparkling)
- Mollies, platies, swordtails
- Small rasboras, neon tetras
- Corydoras catfish, Otocinclus algae eaters
- Amano shrimp, cherry shrimp
Difference Between Males and Females
Males tend to have a taller body profile and extended dorsal and anal fins compared to females. Females exhibit a slightly rounded belly, especially prior to spawning. Vent openings are rounder in females versus pointed in males. Males also display more vivid coloration and patterns used when flirting with mates.
“How many species of Blushing angelfish?”
Blushing angelfish belong to the Pterophyllum scalare species. Several color variants through selective breeding exist but they are all the same biological species.
“How to feed Blushing angelfish to make their color brighter?”
Feed a nutritious carnivorous diet with plenty of proteins, supplement spirulina flakes and high quality angelfish pellets to naturally enhance color vibrancy. Avoid overfeeding.
“How Big do Blushing angelfish Grow?”
On average, blushing angelfish reach 6-8 inches in length when fully grown. Selective breeding has produced jumbo varieties exceeding 10 inches long.
“How fast do Blushing angelfish grow?”
Blushing angelfish enjoy a rapid growth spurt in the first 6 months, slowing down and reaching maximal size after 12-18 months when properly fed and cared for.
“How long do Blushing angelfish live?”
The average lifespan of a blushing angelfish is 10-15 years in home aquariums. Some may live over 20 years in optimal water quality conditions.
“How to take care of Blushing angelfish?”
Perform 25% weekly water changes, feed a variety of frozen and dry foods, maintain water parameters ideal for angelfish, provide plenty of live plants and hiding places in the aquarium.
“Which food products are the best for Blushing angelfish?”
Recommended brands like Omega One, Hikari, Fluval Bug Bites, and New Life Spectrum make high quality angelfish foods, both flakes and pellets, with premium nutrition.
“Is good to keep Blushing angelfish as Pets?”
Yes, blushing angelfish make engaging aquarium pets with their beauty and interactive behaviors. Peaceful, older juveniles that grow up accustomed to tankmates adjust most easily to aquarium life.
“Why my Blushing angelfish die?”
Common causes of premature angelfish deaths include deteriorating water quality issues like spikes in ammonia or nitrites, inadequate water changes, improper pH levels, parasites, bacterial infections, obstructed digestion, and incorrect diet.
“Are Blushing angelfish Aggressive?”
Blushing angelfish are generally peaceful though they can become aggressive while breeding and defending territory, mostly towards other angelfish. They may nip fins of incompatible tank mates.
“Do Blushing angelfish kill other fish?”
Healthy blushing angelfish are unlikely to kill smaller tankmates. However, territorial aggression during spawning might cause them to harass more vulnerable fish to death if they cannot find proper shelter and hiding spots. Removing breeding pairs to separate tanks can alleviate this risk.
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