Angel fish species ID

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Forums' started by chrissturdy, Jul 5, 2015.

  1. chrissturdyNew MemberMember

    Hi All,

    Can someone please ID this species of Angel for me. I'm by no means an angel expert so not 100% sure. I think scalare, but someone else told me altum.


    Many thanks,
  2. Anders247Fishlore LegendMember

    Welcome to fishlore!
    They're P. scalare.
  3. chrissturdyNew MemberMember

    Brilliant, thank you. I think my predecessor was a bit optimistic when he said he had bred 100s of P. altum's. A quick search on the net and I thought P. scalare, but just wanted to check. I was going on the basis that the fins would be longer and a more obvious 'forehead'/notch in the altums. Am I right in saying this?
  4. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    Aren't all angels pterophyllum scalare?

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  5. hampalongWell Known MemberMember

    Yes. Even young altums are very different to scalare. The fins are also a lot longer. You'll know one when you see it.

    There's a variety of scalare sold as "Peru altum", they could possibly be those...
  6. Anders247Fishlore LegendMember

    No, there's Pterophyllum altum and Pterophyllum leopoldi as well, they're not as common though.
  7. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    The altums all look like they have zebra stripe patterns.

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  8. Anders247Fishlore LegendMember

    Yeah.... leopoldi I heard used to be more common until the scalare became popular.
    Apparently leopoldi are harder to breed,
  9. hampalongWell Known MemberMember

    Leopoldi is a relatively new species, described in 1963. It has never been common yet. :)
  10. Anders247Fishlore LegendMember

    That's new? lol
    I thought a 2009 species was new..... lol
    But I did read somewhere that they were around in the 1970s-1980s.
  11. TolakWell Known MemberMember

    You can count on one hand the people who have successfully bred altums. Just keeping them for any length of time is a trick. You're looking at a tank with water that needs to be kept at a pH of 6.0 or lower, TDS of 30 or less. Too many people will refer to high finned silvers as altums when they aren't. The lack of light brown stripes in between the black stripes is a dead giveaway.
  12. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    So not all zebra striped angelfish such as the cobalt zebra angelfish are necessarily p altum?

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  13. hampalongWell Known MemberMember

    Absolutely not. There's only one Altum, but there are dozens of varieties of scalare. Altums have a different body shape, are even thinner, and the fins are huge in comparison. A 4" altum is about a foot tall, tip to tip. They're also extremely expensive because they just don't travel, yet.

    Leopoldi have always been around but never in any numbers. Angels have pretty much always been about all the man-made scalare varieties.
  14. franksaquariumNew MemberMember

    Which is interesting since they are always on availability lists when in season. They are probably overlooked by importers and shop owners who don't know better because they look like the more common scalarae. Here's a pic of one of my leopoldi taken several months ago. I'll get another tomorrow as they have changed significantly.

    As to P. altum, there is at least one scalarae that is imported under that name; the Santarem Altum. It is just a higher-finned version of scalarae. It may be that after DNA work is done it will be given its own species (the same with the scalarae from the different river systems), but for now the non-leopoldi/altum are all scalarae.

    Last edited: Jul 12, 2015
  15. franksaquariumNew MemberMember

    As promised, here are two pics of my leopoldi angelfish. They are about three months older than in the pic above.