So what has changed since the twentieth century relative to angelfish? The amount of varieties of colors or strains of these fish is the first observation. Additional with more and more importing it was a matter of time before the other species of Pterophyllum would be collected and breed in captivity or simply collected and exported for trade. The other two species are of course no strangers and they are Pterophyllum altum
and Pterophyllum leopoldi
. Of these two species the P. altums are much larger and demanding cichlid to work with. They cichlids are pricey but command such a presence in an aquarium.
Relative to all of these varieties and strains, this is of course a direct result of inline breeding. The reality is domestic angelfish as we know them have been bred and crossbred for decades. Essentially this stems from hobbyists and breeders working with different colors or strains of angelfish to generate distinct colors and even distinct finnage. There was significant work done by Dr. Joanne Norton relative to genetics
as it relates to angelfish or P. scalare. She has published a series of some 18 articles in FAMA an aquarium magazine
known also as Freshwater and Marine Aquarium. These articles are well worth reading and can be found here
. It is speculated that there are hundreds of mutations of angelfish today.
Some of the more recent varieties being sold today are described as: albino, black ghost, black hybrid, black lace, blue blushing, chocolate, ghost, ghost pinoy, gold, gold marble, halfblack, koi, leopard, marble, panda, pearlscale, silver, silver gold marble, smokey, sunset blushing, vieltail, and zebra. This is by no means a comprehensive list by any stretch.