Pterophyllum altum, commonly known as Altum, is a species of freshwater fish belonging to the family of Cichlidae family. It is native to the Orinoco River basin in South America, especially in the countries of Colombia, Venezuela and Brazil. Here is some comprehensive information on Pterophyllum altum:

Pterophyllum altum is a graceful and beautiful fish with a laterally flattened body, a high dorsal fin and long anal and ventral fins. It has a deep body that ranges in color from silver to gold. A distinctive feature of this species is its long, triangular dorsal and anal fins, which extend vertically and can reach halfway up the fish. The dorsal and anal fins have a black stripe running along the base. The fish also has three vertical black stripes on its body.

Altums are relatively larger compared to other scalar species. They can grow up to 15-20 centimeters (6-8 inches) long and are about 25-30 centimeters (10-12 inches) tall.

Behavior and temperament:
Pterophyllum altum is known for its shy and somewhat timid nature. They tend to be more sensitive and easily stressed compared to their closely related species, Pterophyllum scalare (common scalar). Therefore, it is recommended to keep them in a calm and well-established aquarium with minimal disturbance. They are best kept in small groups or pairs, as they are social fish and feel safer in the presence of mates.

Aquarium requirements:
To provide a suitable environment for Altums, consider the following aquarium requirements:

Tank size:
A spacious aquarium is essential for Altums. Ideally, a tank of at least 200 liters (50 gallons) or more is recommended to accommodate the size and swimming habits, and ideally the tank should be at least 60cm high.

Water parameters:
Altums prefer warm, acidic and soft water, similar to their natural habitat. The ideal temperature range is 25-29°C (77-84°F), pH level of 5.5-6.5 and hardness of 1-5 dH, breeding individuals already propagated in aquarium conditions are more tolerant and live peacefully in higher pH and hardness.

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