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angelfish

Pterophyllum altum, (common name: Altum Angelfish or Orinoco Angelfish) occurs strictly in the Orinoco River Basin and the Upper Rio Negro watershed in Southern Venezuela, Southeastern Colombia and extreme Northern Brazil. Its natural color is also silver but with three brownish/red vertical stripes and red striping patterns into the fins. The species may show red spotting when mature and when aroused exhibits a black operculum spot. Characteristic of this species is an acute incision or notch above the nares. All true (pure) specimens show this trait, whereas commercial hybrids product of crosses to Pterophyllum scalare, that are occasionally performed by breeders to sell them as "Orinoco Altum", will most likely not show this trait or show it to a much lesser degree. The true wildcaught Orinoco Altum is among the most challenging among tropical fish to breed in captivity. The species is the largest of the genus and specimens exceeding 50 cm in height (from tip of dorsal to tip of anal fin) have been reported in the wild; in aquariums, specimens are known to have grown to +40 cm. Altum Angels are more frequently found in the well oxygenated, extremely soft waters of Upper and Middle Orinoco tributaries shed from the Guyana Shield Highlands, preferring a pH range between 4.5 to 5.8. These are very transparent blackwaters with almost nil conductivity. Temperature range in these waters is between 78°F (26°C) and 84°F (29°C). They are also found in the Atabapo River and Inirida River floodplain, down the Casiquiare and Guainía floodplain where the Rio Negro is born, before entering Brazilian territory. Unlike P. scalare(mentioned above) which prefer to spawn on plants, P. altum prefers to spawn on submerged roots and tree branches. This species is recommended for intermediate to advanced aquarists due to the detailed maintenance it requires for proper health.

Pterophyllum is a small genus of freshwater fish from the family Cichlidae known to most aquarists as "Angelfish". All Pterophyllum species originate from the Amazon River basin in tropical South America. The three species of Pterophyllum are unusually shaped for cichlids being greatly laterally compressed, with round bodies and elongated triangular-shaped dorsal and anal fins. This body shape allows them to hide among roots and plants, often on a vertical surface. Naturally occurring angelfish are frequently striped longitudinally, colouration which provides additional camouflage. Angelfish are ambush predators and prey on small fish and macroinvertebrates. All Pterophyllum species form monogamous pairs. Eggs are generally laid on a submerged log or a flattened leaf. As is the case for other cichlids, brood care is highly developed.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Angelfish".