There are several basic pieces of equipment needed for any freshwater fish aquarium regardless of the species of fish. These are listed below with notes on things to consider your angelfish tank set up. With proper care and maintenance, the equipment will last a long time.
Aquarium for Angelfish
Perhaps the most important item is the aquarium as it holds water for the angelfish to live in. The tank depends on the amount of space available for it, the type of fish, and how much to spend. Angelfish display best in a tall tank that allows them to show their vertical fins. The largest surface area in a tank is important as it provides more access to absorb surface air. For a pair of scalare angelfish, you should get no less than a 35-gallon fish tank and 50 gallons for altum angelfish.
Some aquariums come with a hood to cover the tank included. Some hoods are as simple as hinged glass, while others are molded plastic and full coverage. Freshwater angelfish aren’t jumpers and could live in a tank without an aquarium hood, but a hood is recommended as it prevents water evaporation and prevents dirt and other rubbish from getting into the tank. A full coverage hood with incandescent or fluorescent light is best for a display tank. Use the recommended bulb sizes listed on the hood. Bulbs recommended for growing plants is best if the tank has plants. Plant bulbs will also increase algae growth however.
Substrate for Fish Tanks
The type of substrate or gravel to use depends on the tankscape and if you plan to breed your angelfish. Substrates range in size from about a half-inch diameter to fine sand. If you plan to have live plants, sand or fine gravel works best. Some company’s market gravel formulated to support plant growth. Big gravel works well in big tanks with big fish, but you may loose some angelfish eggs in the large spaces between the gravel pieces.
Landscape so that the gravel is deeper in the back of the tank and shallower at the front. It’s not advised to use rocks and gravel not approved for aquarium use because they may break down and contaminate the water by changing the pH and hardness. Rinse any substrate several times until the water is clear. If using an undergravel filter, install it before the gravel.
Two rules of thumb for heater size are five watts per gallon and to buy one bigger than you need. A small one will take longer to heat the tank and will fail quicker. For example, with 40-gallon and bigger tanks, its better to use two 100 or 125 watt heaters. Some heaters are adjustable to regulate water temperature for different groups of fish. Scalare like the water warm. If you only have one heater, your angelfish may spend all their time on that side of the tank. Some are submersible and preset to approximately 80 degrees, which is convenient for a scalare angelfish community tank. Click here for fish tank heater recommendations.
Fish Tank Filters
Use about a half again bigger filter than the tank calls for. If the tank is to have angelfish, they like slow moving water, so don’t get a filter that creates a large current. Don’t use carbon filters for a blackwater aquarium as it filters peat and removes the color.
Air Pumps and Aeration
Air pumps should be quiet and bigger than the tank needs. Air pumps serve multiple purposes. Connect them to airstones to provide additional aeration, use with undergravel filters, and accessories and ornaments that move. Use valves to direct the air to various locations.
Siphons for Fish Tanks
Use siphons to remove water from the tank during cleaning. Unless there is an undergravel filter, the best are those with a large tube at one end, which acts as a vacuum, to disturb the gravel. It lets the gravel rise into the tube without going out through the siphon, pulling out large particles. A smaller tube attached to the vacuum end lets the water flow into a bucket.