What Makes a Quality Angelfish
This will list the areas of importance that an aquarist should pay attention to, when trying to produce the highest quality angelfish. Certain qualities make for a high quality angelfish that is suitable for breeding purposes. These will be outlined below.
Many of the traits that make a superior quality angelfish breeder cannot be judged on a non-breeding angelfish. Additionally, even more traits cannot be properly judged on juvenile angelfish. Keep in mind, that setting aside a dozen good looking juvenile angelfish doesn't guarantee an adult angelfish suitable to be used as a breeder. It is best if you can set aside 50 to 100, or more, to raise to adults. Of course, many of you will be unable to do this. Don't worry, we can, and it's a common practice for us. It's the reason our angelfish make so much progress from one generation to the next. We follow these guidelines strictly. Remember, for someone to guarantee you a breeder quality angelfish, all the points listed below would have to be proven. That is impossible unless the angelfish is already breeding. On a non-breeding angelfish, the best you can hope for is a show quality angelfish that comes from an aquarist with the reputation of selecting breeder quality angelfish for their stock. If they are raising a very large number of potential breeding angelfish to choose from, and then actually selecting for traits that are important to breeders, then there is a good chance they are improving the odds of getting good breeders. If not, then that angelfish line will most likely go downhill over time.
Show Quality: The most important aspect of potential breeding stock is that they are show quality angelfish. You should be willing to enter them in any angelfish show and have confidence that they represent the variety very well. Beauty is the reason we keep angelfish. People buy them because of how they look. There is no such thing as breeder quality angelfish stock that was not show angelfish shortly before pairing up. If they are not show quality, then they are not breeder quality. There is seldom a way to know if a lack of show quality traits is due to environment, genetics or a combination of the two. Assume that it is genetic and that the negative traits will be passed on to the next generation. I cannot stress this point more. You will make little or no positive progress towards improving the quality of your angelfish line, if you do not choose breeder angelfish that represent what you are looking for. Angelfish Bodies should be round as possible or slightly higher than long. Long bodied angelfish are considered inferior looking by most people. Head profile should be smooth with no humps. A notch on the predorsal profile is acceptable as it would appear in Pterophyllum scalare. Consequently, a pre-dorsal profile without a notch is acceptable as it would also appear in other wild angelfish that have been used to create our domestic strains.
Angelfish Fins should be straight without kinks or twists. We should breed for angelfish that have no curves in the dorsal, anal or caudal fins. Even with a superveil, your goal should be to obtain an angelfish that comes as close to this criteria as possible. Longer finnage is acceptable, providing that the fins remain as straight as possible.
Angelfish Color: A Koi angelfish without good orange color is not a breeder quality angelfish. In the same way, a Halfblack angelfish or a Pearlscale angelfish that does not express the trait, should not be bred. One cannot be certain that the lack of expression is environmental. Angelfish color is greatly affected by environment and by genetics. Since you won't be able to pinpoint the primary reason for an angelfish's color, you should only breed angelfish that have the color (or other traits) you desire the next generation to have.
Angelfish Size: It should be appropriate for the age of the angelfish. Big is beautiful, and all things being equal, the larger angelfish is generally more desirable. This cannot be judged on juvenile angelfish unless the angelfish were in your possession from the point of free-swimming.
Behavior: We put behavior second in order of importance. Few angelfish breeders even think of this, but negative behavior can cause more problems for keepers or breeders of angelfish than you might imagine. Aggressive mates cause angelfish pair problems - sometimes permanently. An inhibited mate may stop breeding or worse may become weakened to the point of dying. Strains such as Double Dark Black angelfish tend to be very aggressive. Consequently, you see very few angelfish breeders offering this fish for sale. We need to breed for angelfish that exhibit good parental care and that are not aggressive towards their mates. This cannot be reliably judged in juvenile angelfish, so you must be willing to only breed angelfish pairs that exhibit the proper behavior.
Fecundity: This is another trait that must be selectively bred for. Your angelfish should breed readily and produce large numbers of eggs. The egg should be large and produce vigorous angelfish fry that are easy to raise. This is an area that cannot be judged from angelfish that have not been bred. We will guarantee you that no matter what line you get your angelfish from, some from that line will not live up to expectations in this department. Most people will not stop breeding an angelfish pair that meets all other expectations, but fails in this area. This is tremendously harmful to our angelfish. A pair that has fecundity problems should not be bred. The problem here is deciding if there is a genetic factor or if your care may be lacking. Example: Some wild cross angelfish will inherit the tendency to mature later and require better care to produce as they should. One aquarist may be wildly successful with them while another who lacks in the proper angelfish husbandry techniques will find them difficult.
Wild-cross angelfish add so much to our domestic angelfish lines, that their use is not only justified but greatly needed. However, selectively breeding angelfish for fecundity is very important with these. You will appreciate a wild-cross angelfish that breeds regularly and produces large spawns.
Concentrate on all these areas and you will be well on your way to improving the overall quality of your stock. Good luck!
© 2006 Angels Plus