There is a lot of interest in special wild forms of the angelfish. Among the best known is the “Manacapuru Redback”, a very striking form. Because of the strong need for revision of the genus Pterophyllum, it is better not to call it “Pterophyllum scalare” scientifically, because what exactly this “real” scalare is has yet to be researched.
The city of Manacapuru, after which this redback is named, is the fourth largest city in the Brazilian state of Amazonas. It is located directly on the Amazon River, but about 80 km above the confluence of the Amazon and Rio Negro. Until there, the Amazon is called Rio Solimoes. However, red-backed angelfish are not only found there and unfortunately different red-backed local forms have been crossed with each other in the past, either intentionally or unintentionally. The Manacapuru redback is characterized by the fact that the caudal fin is almost completely featureless or at most delicately striped (more or less strongly striped in many other redback local forms). The “Amapa redback”, very similar to the “Manacapuru redback”, is less intensely colored and, when fully grown, is of “eimekei” appearance. As juveniles, these two forms are almost indistinguishable.
Care of the Manacapuru Redback is no more difficult than that of the “common” angelfish breeding forms. They become most beautiful in high tanks (around 60 cm). Young animals often do not show much red in the back yet, this depends on the strain and feeding. One pays attention with purchase above all to the thread-like belly fins. If they are nice and straight and about as long as the anal fin, then they will be nice animals. Crooked, shortened ventral fins indicate bad growing conditions. This is not hereditary, but it also never really grows out. Feeding a lot of small crustaceans (Daphnia, Cyclops, Artemia, Mysis etc., whether live or frozen) will intensify the red colors in the back. Our pictures show young adult animals and juveniles.
For our customers: the animals have code 699673 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer