Brandão, M. L., Dorigão-Guimarães, F., Bolognesi, M. C. et al. 2021. Understanding behaviour to improve the welfare of an ornamental fish. Journal of Fish Biology 99(3), 726-739.
Some common practices in aquaculture, ornamental trade and fish facilities may disturb the behavioural repertoire of fish and its natural adaptive value, reducing welfare and impairing fish production. Hence, it is necessary to understand fish behaviour, as well as the factors affecting it, to improve the quality of fish's life under artificial environment. Here, we reviewed the behaviour of the angelfish Pterophyllum scalare, an Amazonian cichlid used worldwide both as an ornamental fish and as a fish model in scientific research. We characterized social, reproductive and feeding behaviour, as well as the amazing cognitive ability of the angelfish. In addition, we reviewed the effects of environmental enrichment and suggested some important variables that need to be considered for rearing P. scalare. In this review, we show for the first time a synthesis on behaviour and a best practice overview to improve the welfare of angelfish as a target species. Nonetheless, most topics reviewed fit a broader set of fish species, particularly ornamental ones. This synthesis can therefore open a path for further behavioural research applied to the welfare of angelfish and bring insights to other fish species.