Additional Information

For a comprehensive view of the American cichlids and their distributions and habitats, see Staeck and Linke's two-volume series on American cichlids, available at your local pet shop. For up-to-date technical information and new publications, Sven Kullander's web site at the Swedish National Museum shtml is an essential starting point for understanding the evolutionary path that led to modern cichlids from their distant ancestors.

Mutations

Mutations can be dominant (capital letter) or recessive (small letter) to wild-type (+). Many angelfish genes are for incomplete dominance (blending). Put another way, an angelfish with two incomplete dominance genes for a trait (homozygous) has a double dose of the gene and therefore a double dose of the trait. There are exceptions, but incomplete dominant genes yielding single dose and double dose phenotypes are a recurring phenomenon through many angelfish mutations. All specific mutations...

Aquarium

A tropical fish beginner often starts with a 10-gallon (38-L) aquarium, but angelfish do better in tanks of at least 20 gallons (76 L). Height helps them avoid dragging their long anal and filamentous pelvic fins on the gravel, which leads to erosion of the skin, cuts, and infection. Show tanks (much higher than wide) provide the greatest height per unit volume, but that extra height requires more intense lighting to reach down to the rooted plants. The community tank may be equipped with an...

Unpacking and Transferring Altums

Unpack altums in dim light and float the bags in the quarantine tank for temperature equilibration. After 30 minutes, discard one-fourth of the bag water and replace it with quarantine tank water. Repeat three more times at five minute intervals, discarding shipping and dilution water each time, after which the highly diluted contents of the bag may be poured into the quarantine tank. Wild quarter-sized immature fish may contain monogenetic trematodes in the gills (gill flukes), or small black...

Mitosis and Meiosis

All the cells of the body divide through mitosis. In mitosis, the pairs of chromosomes double (so there are four of each chromosome rather than two) before the cell divides, pulling apart to form two daughter cells. As the cell divides, the four chromosomes in each set are shared by the daughter cells, each getting, once more, the original paired condition of one chromosome from each parent. This paired condition of chromosomes is called diploid Leopard ailfietfish earning Ihe xmokey unit zebra...

Water Quality

Charged ions) are mostly calcium (Ca+) and magnesium (Mg+) with lesser amounts of other cations, and they are often associated with anions (negatively charged ions) such as hydroxides (OH) and sulfates ( S04). The higher the concentration of dissolved cations in water, the greater the hardness. Rainwater, distilled water, and deionized water all have almost no cations and are considered soft. What is the importance to aquarists Hard water also contains calcium ions that assist the transfer of...

Foods and Feeding

Angelfish are carnivores that eat insects, worms, and crustaceans, but not plants or seeds. They may also eat slow-swimming, small fishes. The small invertebrates are rich in fats and proteins (about 50 50) and almost devoid of carbohydrates and fiber. In the wild, angelfish feed casually and lighlly all day long. What should we feed them in captivity, and how often should they be fed Live and frozen animal foods provide the richest and most natural diet tor angelfish. Breeders offer them adult...

Artemia nauplii

There is no substitute among tropical fish breeders for newly hatched live brine shrimp, otherwise called nauplii. Brine shrimp (Artemia) are small ('A inch 1 cm ) crustaceans that live in desert ponds and lakes with high sodium, calcium, and or magnesium salt content, where they feed on salt-tolerant blue-green eyanobacteria and algae, and in turn are fed upon by birds. Few other creatures live in salt ponds. In California and elsewhere, seawater is trapped in ponds for drying in the process...

The Three Recognized Species of Angelfishes

Kullander (personal communication) recalled P. altum from the upper Rio Negro, but probably not below the Sao Gabriel rapids, which is a barrier to the passage of many kinds of fishes. Further collections would be useful for validating and delimiting its distribution in the upper Rio Negro, and possibly even beyond the Sao Gabriel rapids toward the main stem of the Amazon. Apparently, it has not spread widely either in the Rio Negro or below, but it is widely distributed in the Orinoco...

Cichiids in South and Central America

While the land mass carried eastward on its tectonic plate across the widening South Atlantic Ocean would become modern Africa, the other segment being carried westward would become modern Soulh America. Here, the Heterochromis-Wke ancestral cichlid would exploit the new continent through a Rctroculus-Wke descendant. That basal Retroculus type persists today, but would give rise to successive lines leading to Cichla, Astronotus (oscar), Geophagus (eartheaters), Crenicichla (pike cichiids), and...

The Nitrogen Cycle

The principal waste products of fish metabolism are carbon dioxide and ammonia. Carbon dioxide is vented to the atmosphere if the water is well circulated. Ammonia is not, and can be lethal to fish even at concentrations as low as 0.02 parts per million (ppm). After an aquarium has been set up for a month or more, the surfaces of the glass, gravel, filters, and other structures become coated with a microbial community called biofilm. The biofilm contains protozoans, bacteria, fungi, rotifers,...

Pterophyllum Scalare

The past SO years of commercial and hobby reeding of Plerophyllum scalare have produced 3 hardy fish tolerant of common tap water conditions, a great range of temperatures, and resistant to diseases. We will never outgrow a ngelfish. Prominent and stately as adults, they are easy to breed and outstanding parents. Your entire surplus production of young will Oe snapped up eagerly by local pet stores to fill an insatiable demand from the public. Pterophyllum scalare in the past has been known by...

Total Evidence Analysis

Today there is a computerized statistical technique called total evidence analysis. It allows us to combine separate nuclear and mitochondrial DNA studies with studies of skeletons of fishes osteology and other kinds of investigations to produce a phylogenetic tree that once again resembles the results generated by any one of the techniques. With total evidence analysis, the statistical evidence is stronger because it's based on more information more robust, as the scientists say . What do...

Microworms

Many breeders maintain microworm cultures as a supplemental live food for angelfish and other tropical fish fry. Microworms are readily cultured in small covered plastic containers using dried baby food as a food base. Dried Gerber or Pablum flakes are mixed with tap water and a thin paste is spread onto the bottom of a butter or margarine tub to a depth of a half inch. Dried baker's yeast a live yeast is sprinkled on top or mixed with the paste. A starter culture of microworms is added to the...

Altum Angels

Several populations of angelfish have been called altum angels. The status of these fishes, based on conversations with Heiko Ble-her, sheds considerable light on the distribution of the true altum angelfish. What of the other altum angels from Peru and from the Rio Negro According to Blehcr and others, the Peruvian altum is a high-bodied population of P. scalare. Most important, Bleher states that the high-bodied form in the upper Rio Negro that resembles P. altum in fact is a variant of P....

Distribution of Angelfishes

Angclfishcs occur in the Orinoco and Amazon rivers, and in smaller streams between these two huge basins. All angelfish streams drain into the South Atlantic Ocean. The Amazon is the world's largest river and carries more water than any river on Earth. It disgorges eight times as much water as the Congo in Africa and twelve times as much as the Mississippi. Its tributaries include the Rio Negro, Rio Branco, Rio Madeira, and a hundred other major streams coursing through Peru. Ecuador, Colombia,...

Strange Angelfish Phenotypes

The phenotype of an angelfish is what it looks like based on its genes genotype plus environmental influences. As an example of environmental effects, silver angelfish raised in constant light grow up without dark bars on the body and appear silvery, while those raised under ordinary conditions of 14 hours of light have dark bars on the body. This reduced pigment, or silvery effect, can only develop early in life under prolonged photo-periods, and is irreversible. In this ease, having the dark...

Induced Phenotypes

Cobra Angelfish

Green This is a fake phenotypc because there is no green gene. Wild angelfish from Guyana sometimes have a tint of green or blue on the head, but so far there has never been a green angel based on a mutant gene. Green angels in the trade are ordinary angelfish treated by unscrupulous producers with methyl testosterone, a synthetic male hormone added to the water to enhance colors. Unless the drug is continually added to the water or the diet, the green color fades. These fish may be...

Protozoan Diseases

White spot disease The most common disease of freshwater tropical fish is infection of the skin by Ichthyophthirius multifilis. The eh parasite is a ciliated protozoan, ubiquitous in water, that causes epidemics when fishes are stressed by cold temperatures or close contact with other heavily infected fish. Ich occurs in all aquariums and remains dormant until the fish are stressed or a new fish is introduced to the tank. Fish that recover from ich seldom become seriously infested again, but...

Formalin and Formaldehyde

Formalin and formaldehyde are not the same. A bottle labeled 40 percent or 37 percent formaldehyde refers to 40 or 37 milligrams of formaldehyde gas in 100 milliliters about a tenth of a quart of water. That bottle is called 100 percent formalin because it contains formaldehyde gas in saturation. If we want 10 percent formalin, then we cut it by adding nine parts of water if we wanted 5 percent formalin, we would cut it with 19 parts of water. In practice, these measurements are crude...

Cichlids in Africa

We know the first cichlids appeared some 130 million years ago. Halfway through the history of cichlids, about 65 million years ago, as Gondwana was breaking up, a more advanced cichlid appeared resembling Heterochromis and Hemichromis of Africa. While this Heteroehromis-Ukc fish was spreading over this large land mass, a giant crack was developing in the tectonic plate below, splitting it in two. As magma rose up, it pushed the plates apart and the land mass began breaking up, one side...

Quarantine

Newly imported P. altum should be unpacked in dim light and quarantined in a large volume 20 to 100 gallons 76 to 379 L of receiving water in near darkness for the first several days. The receiving water should be soft DH 1 to 15 and acidic pH 4.5 to 6.5 . Failure to keep them in soft, acidic water may result in susceptibility to bacterial and fungal infections, rapid deterioration, and death. Many newly unpacked fish show no signs of disease, but nonetheless keel over on their sides, do not...

What Is a Species

While a legal species is the name applied to the holotype specimen in a museum, a biological species is a potentially interbreeding population occupying a distinct region, and separated from other similar species by barriers that prevent interbreeding. That barrier could be a mountain, river, ocean, a breeding season, or simple lack of attraction. For fishes in close proximity, the barrier could be incompatibility of their genes so their hybrids do not survive, or the surviving hybrids cannot...

Punnet Squares

We can anticipate the odds of each type of sperm cell gene combining with each type of egg cell gene during fertilization. We can illustrate the proportions and possibilities of the offspring from the parents by using a box called a Punnet Square. When any egg combines with any sperm, the only possible combinations will be Here, Wis the genotype genetic makeup of the offspring represented by the fertilized egg zygote or first stage of an embryo . The homozygous extra-longfinned male crossed...

Information

Tropical Fish Hobbyist 43 10 1994 70-76. Goldstein, R.J. Cichlids of the World. Neptune, NJ T.F.H. Publications, 1973. Gratzek, J.B., and J.R. Matthews, eds., Aquari-ology, Fish Diseases and Water Chemistry. Blacksburg, VA Tetra Press, 1992. Killino, T.J., and M.S. Bodri. Safety of Milbe-mycin as an Oral or Bath Treatment for the Tropical Freshwater Angelfish Pterophyllum sen ore. Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 28 1 1997 94-96. Mayland, HJ. The...

Origin

Pterophyllum altum probably does not occur in eastern tributaries of the Orinoco, or in the Rio Negro, or in any other portions of the Amazon basin, according to several of today's experts. The fact remains, however, that at least one collection reports it from the Rio Negro. If P. altum has indeed crossed from the Orinoco drainage into the Rio Negro, il would have been through a legendary natural connection called the Rio Casiguiare, or the Casiquiare Canal. This high water bridge between the...

Dodecahexaenoic acid a HUFA or highly unsaturated fatty acid

H3C - CH CH CH CH2 - CM CH -CH CH - CH CH - COOH foods, and even increase the nutritive value of live baby brine shrimp, by adding a cheap source of carotenoids ordinary kitchen paprika. The highly unsaturated fatty acids, or HUFAs, are long-chain versions of fatty acids. Simple fatty acids might contain just 2 to 8 carbon atoms in a line, but the long-chain acids might have 18 to 24 carbons. Fatty acids can be saturated or unsaturated, and this refers to whether each carbon atom is singly or...

Flatworms

Digenean Trematodes Fish

The principal parasitic flatworms are tapeworms cestodes , digenea internal flukes , and monogenea gill and skin flukes . Monogenea are serious disease agents because they have a direct life cycle that can result in uncontrolled multiplication. Monoge-nea are of two general forms those with tiny adhesive clamps and those with large suckers and anchors. Clamp-bearing monogenea usually occur on gills, whereas anchor-bearing monogenea occur on gills or skin, and are known even from the urinary...

Glossary

symbol for the wild-type allele accession number registration number of a museum specimen acidic having a pH well below 7.0 albino lacking melanin pigment alkalinity having the capacity to neutralize acids alleles genes affecting the same character differently anal fin unpaired fin on the abdomen of a fish ascites swelling or bloating with intracellular fluid bands vertical markings basic having a pll well above 7.0 B-cell type of antibody-producing white blood cell blackwater darkly stained...

Interactions

Genes sometimes interact with unpredictable consequences. As described under marbles, r 3 enhances both D and D' to increase black pigmentation. These are all alleles. A cross based on interacting non-allclic genes was the origin of Black Velvet. Here, the gene for blushing, or homozygous stripe-less angelfish S5 , was combined with the most intensely black of the dark gene strains Drf , yielding an intensely black angelfish. Epistasis This is the action of one gene affecting the expression of...

South American Genera of the Family Cichlidae after Kullander

Subfamily Retroculinae Retroculus Tribe Astronotini Tribe Chaetobranehini Tribe Crenicaratini Tribe Acarichthyini Tribe Geophagini Tribe Aearonini Tribe Ciehlasomatini Biotoecus, Crenicara, Dicrossus, Mazarunia Acariehthys, Guianacara Apistogramma, Apistogramnwides, Biotodoma, Geopha-gus, Gymnogeophagus, Mikrogcophagus, Satanoperca. Taeniacara, brasiliensis group, steindachneri group Aequidens, Bujurquina, Cichlasama, Cleithracara, Laetacara, Krobia, Nannacara, Tahuantinsuyoa, hoehni group,...