Chocolate angelfish come from the Amazon River Basin in Peru, Colombia, and Brazil, notably along the Ucayali, Solimões, and Amazon rivers.
These gorgeous wild angelfish have a thin, tall body shape with distinct designs and dark pigmentation that can turn your tank into a piece of real art in your home.
In this guide, we’ll go over everything you need to know about chocolate angelfish care, tank setup, diet, and more!
|Species||Pterophyllum Scalare “Smokey”|
|Common Name||Panda Angelfish|
|Average Adult Size||6 inches (15 cm) long, 8 inches (20 cm) tall|
|Lifespan||More than 10 years|
|Temperature||76° – 86° F (24° – 30° C)|
|pH||6.0 – 7.4|
|Origin||Tank-bred, but indigenous to Northern South America|
|Minimum Tank Size||40 gallons for a pair, but a larger tank is required for a group. The tall body shape of this fish must be considered regarding the height of its tank.|
|Breed Type||Egg Layer|
Chocolate Angelfish Features
Blue Chocolate Smokey Angelfish have laterally compressed and round bodies with elongated triangular dorsal and anal fins.
This body type allows them to blend in with the leaves and branches in their natural habitat along the Amazon River.
The majority of the fish’s body is colored in rich blue, brown, solid black, and gray hues.
Chocolate angelfish can grow up to 6 inches (15 cm) long and 8 inches (20 cm) tall as adults.
In the wild, chocolate angelfish can live up to 15 years or more. However, in captivity, Blue Chocolate Smokey Angelfish with excellent genetics can live for 10 to 12 years if you provide them with the proper care.
How to Care for Chocolate Angelfish?
a. Water Parameters
1. Water Changes
High water quality is essential for the health of your chocolate angelfish and should be a top priority in your care routine.
To maintain water quality, you will need to do a partial water change of 20-30% once a week. Also, be sure to vacuum the gravel and clean the filter media during each water change.
2. Water Temperature
Chocolate Angelfish are tropical fish that come from the Amazon River Basin where they are used to warm temperatures.
Therefore, it is important to provide them with temperatures similar to their natural habitat. The ideal water temperature for blue chocolate smokey angelfish is 76° – 86° F (24° – 30° C).
In case you live in a cold climate, you will need to use an aquarium heater to maintain the water temperature within the desired range.
3. pH Range
Since sudden changes in pH can be harmful to your fish, it is important to test the water regularly and make gradual adjustments as needed. You can use a pH test kit to help stabilize the pH of your tank.
4. Ammonia, Nitrite & Nitrate Levels
Higher levels of these toxins can be harmful to your chocolate angel fish, so it is important to test for them on a regular basis. You can use a water test kit to measure the levels of these toxins in your tank.
5. Water Movement
These fish inhabit slow-moving waters in the wild, so they are not used to high water flow.
Therefore, you should provide them with a tank that has a gentle water flow. You can achieve this by using a filter with a lower flow rate or placing objects in the tank that will break up the water flow.
b. Tank Setup
1. Tank Size
Chocolate angelfish have tall bodies and long fins, so they require a lot of vertical space.
Therefore, the minimum tank size for a pair of chocolate angels is 40 gallons to provide them with enough room to swim and hide. However, if you plan on keeping a group of these fish, you will need a larger tank.
Chocolate angels require high-quality water, and a good filtration system will help you to achieve this.
The best type of filter for a chocolate angel tank is an external canister filter with a flow rate of at least 50 gallons per hour.
Chocolate angelfish are active swimmers and prefer a tank with plenty of hiding places.
To provide them with the ideal environment, you should add plenty of decorations such as rocks, driftwood, and caves.
Also, plenty of live plants will help to keep the water quality high and provide your fish with a natural source of food.
Chocolate Angelfish Diet
Chocolate angelfish are omnivores that need both meaty and plant-based foods to stay healthy.
Therefore, you should provide them with a varied diet that includes high-quality dry, frozen, and live foods. You can also supplement their diet with vegetables, such as zucchini, broccoli, and spinach.
Chocolate Angelfish Compatibility
Blue Chocolate Smokey Angelfish is peaceful as long as they have plenty of space and hiding places. However, when they start spawning, they become very aggressive.
So, it would be beneficial if you didn’t keep delicate invertebrates, dwarf shrimp, or any other species that are small enough to fit in their mouth since they will almost be eaten.
Some compatible tank mates for chocolate angels include:
- Giant shrimp
- Raphael catfish
Chocolate Angelfish Breeding
Chocolate angelfish pair up for life, forming long-term relationships where one partner protects the other from predators and potential suitors. If one of the paired pairs dies or is removed, the other will refuse to mate with any other angelfish.
When trying to breed angels, it’s critical to keep a few of them in the same aquarium until they pair up since sexing these fish before they start spawning is difficult.
After they’ve paired up, they choose a suitable medium to deposit their eggs and spend one or two days cleaning the surface from detritus and algae.
This medium can be a broad-leaf plant in the aquarium, a flat surface such as a piece of slate placed vertically, a pipe, or even the aquarium’s glass sides.
After that, the female lays a line of eggs on the spawning substrate, and the male follows to fertilize them. This procedure is continued until 100 to 1,200 eggs are laid, depending on the size and health of the female fish.
During maturation, the parents alternate caring for their eggs, so they swim near and fan the eggs with their pectoral fins at a rapid water circulation rate.
After hatching, the fry stay on the spawning material for a few days. They survive by feeding on any yolk sac remnants that may be present during this time.
In one week, the fry detaches and becomes independent. During the free-swimming phase, you can provide live food to the fry.
Once the eggs are removed from the aquarium, the pair will spawn every seven to ten days. However, the frequency of spawning decreases and eventually stops around the age of three.
What Do Chocolate Angels Eat?
Chocolate angels are omnivores and need a diet that includes both meaty and plant-based foods. You can give them high-quality dry, frozen, and live foods, as well as supplement their diet with vegetables.
What Are the Best Tank Mates for Chocolate Angels?
Some compatible tank mates for chocolate angels include tetras, barbs, giant shrimp, snails, and Raphael catfish.
How Do You Breed Chocolate Angels?
Chocolate angelfish pair up for life and will choose a suitable medium to deposit their eggs. The female lays a line of eggs, and the male follows to fertilize them.
How Often Do Chocolate Angels Spawn?
Once the eggs are removed from the aquarium, the pair will spawn every seven to ten days.
Chocolate angelfish are beautiful, peaceful fish that makes a great addition to any freshwater aquarium.
However, they do require some care and attention to thrive. So, if you’re thinking of keeping them, make sure you’re prepared to provide them with the ideal environment.
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article and that it was helpful. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. Thanks for reading!