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George Booth asked: 

> Does anyone have experience with P. altum (Angelfish, AKA Anglefish) in a planted aquarium?

I've been keeping Altums in a planted tank since about 2 years ago.  I
started with 8 but now there's only 4 left.  The other 4 died one at a
time, mostly to mysterious diseases.  The remaining 4 Altums I have are
now about 8 inches tall.  I've heard that they can reach sizes of 15
inches but that would probably be impossible to achieve in our tanks. 
Mine are in a 50"X26"X26" tank.  

As far as I know, bright lights do not affect them.  I'm using 4
four-feet flourescent tubes, 36 W, extra bright.  

Altums, like most Angelfish, scare easily.  Sudden movements in front of
the tank are likely to send them into panic stations.  They will dash
about madly, sometimes knocking against the sides of the tank and
causing serious injuries to themselves.

The other problem with keeping Altums is that you can't have shrimps. 
Altums will gobble them all up in no time.  Even fast swimming fishes
like Rummy Noses will become prey.  I witnessed something very
interesting once.  Altums sometimes hunt in packs.  They will surround
smaller fish and corner them before making a kill.  Strangest part about
it all is that they do it the moment the lights go off.  But that
doesn't mean you can't keep smaller fish with them.  I have Cherry
Barbs, Cardinals and some Rasboras together with the Altums.  The thing
I noticed is that it depends a lot on "who came first".  If the smaller
fish had already been in the tank for some time before the Altums
arrive, they (the smaller fish), being more familiar with the aquascape
will know where to run and hide when the Altums go hunting. 
Nevertheless, be prepared to lose some of your small fish if you put
them together with Altums.  An adult Ottocinclus can be swallowed by an
Altum in one gulp, that I've seen before too.

Initially, I had problems with clamped fins.  Medication didn't help.  I
fixed up a UV light but that didn't solve the problem either.  It's only
when I started raising the Kh of my water to between 4 and 8 that my
Altums stopped clamping their fins.  Now, I'm happy to say that they are
in their full glory.  An Altum is a majestic sight to behold when it

Some philosophy about keeping fish in a planted tank which I like to
share with you all.  I see my tank as a stage.  The plants, driftwood
and rocks are all just props.  Your fish are the actors and just like a
stage where a play is held, to be successful, you need stars to potray
the main characters.  And frankly, if you have the budget to hire
Superstars in your tank, they don't come bigger than Altums.

If you like to take a look at a picture of my tank, please click on:


Loh K L