Let's See More Angelfish
Angels are too cool to not look at more
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Normal or classic angelfish. Nice looking. An aquarium favorite.
Classic Angelfish: Everyone -- fish keeper or not -- recognizes the angelfish at first glance. You see them in company logos, window signs, and even cartoons. Even Carl Jung would be surprised at how successfully the angelfish has infiltrated our cosmic consciousness. So why did it take till the year 2000 for someone(s) to invent The Angelfish Society? You can join for a mere $5 per year because it’s a web site club.
Black Angels: We’re starting to see more of these jet black angels raised locally these days. For a long time, they were considered a weak sister in the trade and with angelfish breeders. Breeding blacks to blacks used to result in smaller litters with weaker offspring. However, back crosses with the darker marbles and other breeding techniques now see stronger blacks hitting the market. The guy above was from the Far East, but we’ve got a couple 55s stuffed with sturdy young black angels. Black angels are among the most striking of the angels.
Another Classic Angel: Not exactly looking like a wild angel, the classic or silver angel has a silver body with dark black bars. When stressed or over light substrates, their bars often lighten. Nearly every community tank contains an angelfish or three. Not everyone realizes these South American cichlids grow quite large and get really rowdy at breeding time. They find out within a year.
Black Roots: Not every fish in this clutch turned out black. Breeding two of the blacker youngsters together will yield a higher percentage of darker blacks. Today’s black are much stronger than those of last millennium.
Pearl Scales: You have no idea how many tries are needed to photograph those bumpy scales. Pearl scales can be found in several colors and fin types. We’d call this color a light marble angel with a gold blaze. Some would call it a koi angel because it has three colors. Whatever you call it, it's an attractive angel. Marble angels are one of the strains that are stronger than the original silver.
Angelfish Virus: Note this silver’s clamped fins, a precursor to sudden death attributed to an unexplained angelfish virus. This unexplained plague showed up about a decade ago. It punched a real hole in the angelfish trade for years. Vestiges of it still exist today.
Gold Marble: The original golds showed up some two or three decades ago. They were a disappointment. First, they were not gold until several months passed -- even a year. And some never turned gold. Second, they couldn’t swim very well. They’d spin over backwards when you turned their lights on. Today’s golds start yellow and turn golder as they mature. The males develop that richer gold forehead blaze This near red blaze probably comes from the red spots on the original wild scalares.
Black Angel: You can never see too many black angels -- another difficult to photograph angelfish. Blacks tend to be weaker than the standards, marbles, and golds. Many of the stronger blacks are actually crosses between blacks and marbles.
Koi Angel: You can see the gold and marble influences here. Then you cross in the blushing genes to decrease the amount of black that shows. Blushing genes also decrease the opacity of the gill covers. Blusher gill covers normally grow more opaque as they mature.
Silver Angel Comments: The blusher genes also remove the amount of black pigments expressed on the body. Somewhere back in his family tree, there was a blusher involved. Many of today’s angels have these incomplete stripes. Most people do not notice this trait.
Marble Angel Comments: Marble's one of the hardiest color strains on the market. Two basic colors exist: dark marble (above) and a light marble.
Veil-Tail Angels: Probably one of the first sports to appear among angels was the longer finned veil-tail. On average, veil-tail bodies grow more slowly than their shorter finned brethren (and sistren). Veil-tails are also more susceptible to mechanical fin injuries. In other words, perfect fins on a veil-tail are less common than perfect fins on a standard angel.
Red Angelfish. This is our fourth attempt at keeping these guys alive. We cannot report any real success yet. However, we cannot resist them.
Altum Angelfish. Occasionally we see wild-caught Altum angels for sale. You can see how they differ from scalares -- upturned pointier noses and longer fins. They cost much more than domesticated scalare but a group of Altums in a show tank always catches your eye. Do not expect these guys to be as easy as your other angels. Research them well before jumping into this hard to keep gene pool.
Albino Angels. Albinos lack black pigmentation. At one time, albinos were very weak and few survived. These days, they survive much better. Albino species make excellent breeders because they make it easier to figure out the different inherited traits.
Blushing Angels. Their clear gill covers make these guys look like they're blushing. Their gill covers become more opaque with age. More importantly, this blushing trait removes their ability to grow the traditional ladder-like bars on their bodies.
Last Words. Angels look great. We intend to add more, of course.
Tank Size. The lady who traded this guy in said he is two years old. He is very large for that age. She said she grew him in a 90. Aquarium size can greatly affect angelfish growth rates. Some decades ago we saw several saucer-size angels that had been reared in an even larger container. Their owner said most were 15 years old. Unfortunately none were even close to normal looking -- strangely shaped bodies and equally misshapen and stunted fins. They looked as if their bodies continued growing but their fins did not. Huge size is not necessarily a good thing. LA
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