Known to aquarists as “Angelfish”,

Pterophyllum is a small genus of freshwater fish from the family Cichlidae. All three species of Pterophyllum (Altum, Leopoldi and Scalare) originate from the tropical Amazon River basin in South America. With their laterally compressed, round bodies and their elongated, triangular dorsal and anal fins, one can scarcely believe that they are cichlids!

Angelfish are one of the most common species found in freshwater aquaria. They are prized for their unique shape and behaviour. Many aquarists find Angelfish relatively intelligent – and many claim they are able to recognise their owners. 


But beware when you choose its tank mates, because Angelfish are ambush predators and prey on small fish and macro-invertebrates. Angelfish do best in groups of four to six of the same species. Since they are cichlids, they have the inherent cichlid nature: if you keep just two or three Angelfish, the strongest will make the others miserable! Do not keep small fish like tetras or anything else under 2.5 to 3 cm long with Angelfish – you will be providing them with an expensive lunch! If you absolutely must have tetras in your tank, add them when the Angelfish are very young. When they grow up together, the tetras might not be considered food. Also avoid overly aggressive tank mates, or fin nippers like Tiger Barbs or Serpae Tetras.  Because of their curiosity, Betta Splendens and Gouramis are not a wise choice either. South American cichlids like Apistogramma, Blue Rams. or Kribensis make compatible tank mates for Angelfish.


Ideal water conditions for this species should be close to that found in their natural habitat. The water should be warm, ideally 28°, with a pH range of between 5.5 to 6.8 and a water hardness of 5-12 dGH. They will do best on a mixture of flakes, frozen and live food.

Angelfish have been bred and crossbred for decades, delivering many beautiful hybrids. We may however not always have the species you see on this page in stock. However, if you are interested in a specific species, we will gladly add you to our mailing list and let you know if we have an interesting hybrid arrival.

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