The beautiful Altum Angelfish is one of the most highly sought after angelfish in the hobby, and for good reason. These stunning fish have bold black and white vertical bars with electric blue highlights that shimmy across their scales. They are absolutely gorgeous to look at, but they can also be a bit intimidating if you’ve never kept an angel before. However, if proper care and tank conditions are met these fish are very easy to maintain healthfully and happily in your aquarium. Keep reading to learn more about how to take care of altum angelfish!
Altum Angelfish Fish Characteristics:
They are a large angelfish, growing up to 10 inches long in the wild. They require an aquarium of at least 100 – 125 gallons and should only be kept with other very large tank mates. Their colors will fade if they don’t receive proper care, so it’s important to meet their needs as best you can!
Altum Angelfish Fish Origin:
Altums are found in the Amazon River System (Rio Xingu and Rio Negro) in Brazil, Peru and Colombia. They live among roots and leaves of plants in deep river channels where no light penetrates. The water is very soft with virtually no KH or GH (the pH is 4-5). The temperature is between 79-88 degrees Fahrenheit (26-31 Celsius).
Altum Angelfish Fish Size:
In the wild, altums grow to be about 10 inches long on average but can reach up to 16 inches in some cases. In a home aquarium, this means they require an aquarium of at least 100 gallons and should only be kept with other very large tank mates. Most angelfish are not good community fish because their personalities vary so widely, but if properly introduced into a large enough space these guys can make great additions to your tank!
Altum Angelfish Fish Colors and Markings:
The body color is silver while the face has brown vertical stripes and two blue lines under each eye. There is also a line that runs from the mouth diagonally to the back of the eye. The caudal fin is yellow/green with blue rays and a black spot near the end while the other fins are generally clear but may have greenish rays.
Altum Angelfish Fish Tankmates:
Altums should not be kept with any active fish that can harass them or compete for food. Larger peaceful solitary fish will make great tank mates!
Altum Angelfish Fish Care:
The following water conditions are ideal for keeping altum angelfish in a home aquarium environment:
pH – 6-7.2, Specific Gravity – 1.020-.025, Temperature – 80-82 degrees Fahrenheit (27-28 Celsius)
These guys need soft acidic water, so regular tap water or high pH additives are not ideal. A reverse osmosis filter is a great way to ensure that you have the proper water conditions in your tank.
A few other things to keep in mind when caring for altums:
1. They are largely nocturnal and will spend most of the day hiding (they get this from their natural habitat). This means they won’t be active like some fish during feeding times (e.g., clownfish) but that’s perfectly okay!
2. Provide lots of bushy plants on which they can hide if needed.
Altum Angelfish Fish Lifespan:
Altum angelfish live 10-15 years on average, although there have been reports of some living up to 25 years in captivity in large tanks with good water conditions.
Altum Angelfish Fish Diet and Feeding:
In the wild, altums eat small invertebrates like shrimp, crabs and other crustaceans. In a home aquarium they should be fed high quality flake food supplemented with fresh veggies (spinach, zucchini etc.) or pellets for herbivores. They are receptive to blood worms but shouldn’t necessarily be the main part of their diet as these contain a lot of proteins which can cause skin irritation such as ich when overfed. The majority of their diet should consist of vegetables that will help ensure proper and coloration!
Altum Angelfish Fish Gender Differences:
Generally, males are larger and more colorful than females. However, the easiest way to tell is by looking at the anal fin because this will usually have a black blotch on the tip of each ray in males and not in females. In addition, some females may also develop these spots as they age which makes it even harder to determine between male/female. Captive breeding is very rare so all altums available for sale are wild caught (please don’t support fish breeders who capture wild fish to make money off of them).
Altum Angelfish Fish Breeding:
Breeding altums in captivity is extremely difficult primarily due to their natural habitat requirements and long life span which makes it difficult to keep the fish alive long enough to breed. Also, for some reason they are not sexually mature until at least 3 years of age which again makes captive breeding a very unlikely possibility.
Altum Angelfish Fish Aquarium Setup:
In order to provide all the conditions required by their natural environment and ensure that the water parameters are stable and correct, you will need an aquarium of at least 100 gallons with well-established filtration and a strong heater set between 85-89 degrees Fahrenheit (between 29-32 Celsius). These guys need lots of hiding places, so plants and decor should be added accordingly. In addition, multiple filters would be ideal in order to provide sufficient oxygenation throughout the tank as these angels can be quite active.
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