FAQs on Freshwater Angelfish
Related Articles: Freshwater Angels, Discus, Juraparoids, Neotropical Cichlids, African Cichlids, Dwarf South American Cichlids, Asian Cichlids, Cichlid Fishes in General,
Related FAQs: Angelfish Comp. 2,
Angelfish Comp. 3,
Angelfish Comp. 4,
1, Angels 2,
Systems, Angelfish Feeding,
Angelfish Disease, Angelfish Reproduction, & FAQs on:
Wild Angels (P. altum),
Cichlids of the
World, Cichlid Systems,
Cichlid Identification, Cichlid Behavior, Cichlid Compatibility, Cichlid Selection, Cichlid Feeding, Cichlid Disease, Cichlid Reproduction,
Other small/er species of S.
American cichlids can be mixed with Angels if there's
angelfish tankmates, 29 gal /BobF
I was hoping that you could help me with something. I'd been looking
around, but I'm having trouble finding a sure answer. Would a group of
Pseudomugil furcatus be in danger of being eaten by an angelfish in a 29
<Mmm, not if they were of "good" relative size... let's say a half inch
in length for half-sized angels (2-3" tall), twice for twice... There
might be "collateral damage" if the Angels were to pair, set up breeding
in this volume>
I just found out that I could keep a larger tank than my 12 gallon, so
I've been revising my stocking list for that. I want an angelfish, but
I'd like to keep the Pseudomugils from the previous stocking list.
Also, quick question, would a moonlight and/or pearl gourami do alright?
<Mmm, singly? Should be okay here>
I'm a bit unsure since the aquarium is 30 inches long. I'm
<planning> to have plenty of plants, so that should break up the line of
site <sight> in regards to the angel (if that's an issue-- please tell
me if not), but I'm not sure whether it's enough space for one of those
gouramis to begin with. Again, thank you, and keep up the great work!
Your site is so useful.
<Thank you for your kind words, inquiry. Bob Fenner>
angelfish tankmates, 29 gal /Neale
I was hoping that you could help me with something. I'd been looking
around, but I'm having trouble finding a sure answer. Would a group of
Pseudomugil furcatus be in danger of being eaten by an angelfish in a 29
<Probably not, if the Angels are average specimens no bigger than 10
cm/4 inches. Basically, anything bigger than Neons or male Guppies
should be fine.>
I just found out that I could keep a larger tank than my 12 gallon, so
I've been revising my stocking list for that. I want an angelfish, but
I'd like to keep the Pseudomugils from the previous stocking list.
<Odd combination, but each to their own. Angels do best in calm,
well-planted tanks and dislike overactive tankmates (they often get shy
when kept thus) whereas the Pseudomugil furcatus are busy, even
hyperactive fish that appreciate open swimming areas and a decent
current. This said, in a 29-gallon aquarium you should have the
potential to create good conditions for both species.>
Thanks! Also, quick question, would a moonlight and/or pearl gourami do
<Both are outstanding companions for Angelfish.>
I'm a bit unsure since the aquarium is 30 inches long. I'm
have plenty of plants, so that should break up the line of site in
regards to the angel (if that's an issue-- please tell me if not), but
I'm not sure whether it's enough space for one of those gouramis to
<Assuming you don't get mated pairs of anything, you should be okay. For
this aquarium though, with space being limited, I'd tend to go with a
group of one species of your choice, or else a singleton from each
species. Of them all, the Moonlights are probably the most docile, but
they might be a bit big -- they can get to 15 cm/6 inches. The Pearl
Gouramis are smaller (10 cm/4 inches) and almost as peaceful. Angels are
about the same size, but pairs can be tricky to house in communities.>
Again, thank you, and keep up the great work! Your site is so useful.
<Thanks for the kind words, Neale.>
Re: angelfish tankmates, 29 gal 11/17/12
Thank you for your swift response, both of you!
Would you have any suggestions on how to create the right conditions for
<In a small tank, less than 90 cm/3 ft long this wouldn't be easy; but
in a tank that long or bigger, then simply placing the outflow from the
filter at one end and some tall plants at the other should create both
sorts of habitats. One end will be open and with more flow, the other
shadier and more gentle. Pseudomugil spp don't need mountain stream type
currents, indeed, many live in ponds, but a bit of current is welcome.>
This will be my first venture into any sort of aquascaping, so rather
than risk making the fish unhappy during a period of trial and error and
having to move stuff around, I figure it may be better to ask if you
have any ideas... Pseudomugils prefer the mid- to upper water column,
Also, am I right in guessing that after one gourami, one angelfish, and
eight to ten Pseudomugils (I'm guessing three males to however many
females would be a good ratio?), would I have around... Ten "inches" of
I may have a bit more, but understocking would be better than
overstocking, and if there isn't a fish that I *really *want to add,
then what's the point of cramming them in there?
Would dwarf SA cichlids and/or upside down catfish make an acceptable
fish to "complete" the setup? I'm thinking either one cacatuoides or a
pair of Bolivian rams.
<Either cichlid could work, though A. cacatuoides is the smaller
On the other hand, Synodontis nigriventris can be nippy, so wouldn't be
recommended for life with Angels, though I'm sure it's been done.>
From what I've heard, the rams quite like being in pairs, so it seems
unfair to have just one... If I can't keep a pair, then I'd probably go
with the cacatuoides.
They seem to be more solitary? If there are any other dwarf SA cichlids
that you would recommend, what would they be? I think rams (not Bolivian
rams) would be too sensitive as my water leans rather far towards
<A. cacatuoides is fine up to around 15 degrees dH, pH 7.5.>
I have heard of people keeping them successfully in alkaline conditions,
but unless they're from a local breeder, I'm a bit skeptical of those
<A. cacatuoides has now been domesticated to such a degree that like
Angels, it'll do well across a wider range of conditions than
wild-caught specimens will.>
My other idea (perhaps in addition if I go with a single dwarf, but I
doubt they would do alright with the pair?) would be a whiptail cat or
possibly (with a good deal of reserved feelings on my part right now) a
<Whiptails would be ideal. They're fun to watch, active by day, and
completely harmless to other fish. Spiny Eels are specialist fish, and I
wouldn't not recommend them as simple community tank additions. Do read
on WWM re: Spiny Eels generally.>
I'm a bit curious as to the eel, since I've been finding conflicting
information online as to how much space it actually needs.
<Macrognathus siamensis gets to 20-30 cm in length, so a 90-cm tank
should be adequate. It is difficult to feed, needs a sand (not gravel)
substrate, and will escape from any tank that is not securely sealed.>
A lot of the stuff I come across says that it should do fine in a
smaller tank, but that if it grows to a certain size then you'll have to
That claim seems a bit self-contradictory to me. Perhaps you could shed
some light on the issue?
Again, thank you all for all of your help.
Re: angelfish tankmates, 29 gal 11/17/12
Hello again :)
Just wanted to clear something up... Actually, I would be getting a 30
inch/73.66 cm, 29 gallon tank. The official listed size limit for
aquariums at the school is ten gallons, so I'm very grateful that
they're letting me keep one this size and feel like I shouldn't push it
any more than I have.
If the furcatas don't need *too* much current, then I would think it
would still be doable, though.
<I agree, but it's a push. To be honest, I think you'd be infinitely
better served by eschewing the Angels and going with the Pseudomugil,
some Whiptails, and either a pair of Apistogramma or maybe a Dwarf
Gourami if you can get good, healthy specimens. This will provide you
with ample space for each species, so you can keep bigger groups and
minimise risk of problems such as territorial aggression. After a few
months, if all seems to be working, you could add something else, Cherry
Shrimps maybe, or Dwarf African Frogs, or some other "critter" that
would add educational as well as entertainment value to a school
On the other hand, would the pearl (or moonlight) gourami still be
appropriate? According to Seriously Fish, they need six more inches than
I can give them…
<No argument from me; as stated, these fish get fairly big, and while
they would surely live in 29 gallons, it's less space than they'd look
On the other hand, I'm not sure they need quite that much (I'd probably
go with the pearl... I think the moonlight gourami are beautiful, but
they both are and the pearls are better suited to my water (it's most
likely above 7.5 (I have trouble reading the colors on the test kit...
Better not risk it))).
As always, many thanks for your wonderful help.
<Do hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: angelfish tankmates, 29 gal - 11/17/12
Oh! Actually, it's an aquarium in a dorm room... I'm a little too young
to be a teacher still!
Hmm, I sort of did have my heart set on the angel and/or gourami as the
main centerpiece fish/es... I suppose if it's really best to do without,
<Well, one Angel would probably work just fine, and one small or
medium-sized Gourami species, maybe the Lace Gourami, but better still
the Dwarf Gourami.>
To be honest, I'd rather take out the furcatus, since as much as I love
them and it pains me to take them out they seem to like a bit more
current and cooler temperatures than most of the other fish (even with
the catfish, I'm trying to track down a species that's happy with low
<At the low-end tropical range, 22 C/72 F, there are plenty of good
community species: virtually all Corydoras, the Whiptails, Dwarf Acaras,
Platies… quite a few others, even putting aside the Danios and Minnows
that mightn't get on too well with the Pseudomugil.>
I just wouldn't know what to replace them with (at least not sure what
has as interesting behavioral displays).
<Ah now, check out the Threadfin Rainbowfish. I've got a bunch of them
in a tank half the size of yours, and they're great! A little delicate
at first, but once settled in they're easy. Males put on amazing
displays with their fins. There's a variety of colours available,
seemingly different populations, but even the plainest ones are
But no, I'm not worried about adding "educational" animals or anything
like that. If I was doing something for a classroom, I'd more than
likely get a breeding pair of cichlids or something, but that's not
really relevant. Still, I think they'd be a good way to observe
behavior. Why am I thinking about this?
Thank you again.
<Hope this helps, Neale.>
Re: angelfish tankmates, 29 gal
EDIT: correction to my previous email: it seems as though furcatus does
indeed do fine at higher temperatures. Likely I was getting it mixed up
with some whiptails, which I had just been researching (I did find a
small, high temp one though).
<Quite so; double checking seems to suggest ordinary tropical conditions
That said, given the rest of my stocking list and the fact that keeping
one of those two gouramis sounds like it may not be the best idea (still
unsure about the angel... I seem to have more than the minimum tank
size, and my entire reason (initially) for switching to 29 gallons was
basically for the benefit of an angelfish), I had been considering
switching to something
resembling a SA biotope. My main reserve would be that the tetras need
more acidic water than I can provide them with, and they seems to be
less behaviorally interesting. Any other ideas? A few small annual
<Killifish can be worthwhile; Aphyosemion australe is particularly worth
reviewing, not an annual, but pretty, widely sold and adaptable.>
(my phone does not like that word)
<Odd. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: angelfish tankmates, 29 gal - 11/17/12
Hello! Yes, it does help. Thank you.
I'll keep an eye out for any healthy wild-color dwarf gouramis (because
honestly, they look like saltwater angelfish and the line bred
colorations just subtract from their beauty in my opinion), but I can't
say I'll wind up with one... Personal preference aside, it's going to be
tough to get my hands on one where I live, let alone a healthy one, and
there is the unpredictability factor with temperament... If I come
across one that seems like he'll work, though…
<Understand your reasoning. I've avoided them for many, many years. But
I took a chance a year back, and touch wood, he's still doing great.>
Still, for the preliminary stocking list I think it would be best to
stick with T leeri (just so I've got the larger fish on here and don't
wind up having to give another one the boot if I wind up switching).
It's looking a bit crowded, but I've got...
- 8-10 furcatus OR 6-8 (roughly?) threadfin rainbows
-1 smaller gourami, assuming pearl for now
-3 R lanceolata (was going to be one, but they apparently like to be in
<Work well either way.>
-possibly one SA dwarf cichlid... I think a pair would be too many fish
here, unless I were to take out the whiptail cats
-may replace or add a small killifish? (as many seem to be rather
sedentary... Even so, probably won't add without taking some other fish
off the list here)
<Also agreed. Killifish are best kept as the only midwater fish; they'd
do fine with small catfish like Whiptails and some of the Corydoras.>
-some shrimp if I can get a good enough breeding population going for
them not to be wiped out by the angelfish
<Ah yes, Angels will wipe out the smaller, breedable shrimps.>
I realize that this is probably too much (not sure if adequate planting,
filtration would make a difference), but that's why I'm calling it
preliminary... Still, anything that jumps out at you as particularly
off? Again, thanks! I think I'll stop "bugging" you for the time
being... Regardless, you've been a great help :)
<Real good. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: angelfish tankmates, 29 gal (I'll save Bob the effort…
"chatting"…) <Heeeee!> 11/23/12
Hello! I'm attaching this to the old correspondence so it shows what I'm
talking about, though this isn't really about angels here...
I just got the pH of ESC's (college's) water supply... The person who
got back to me said...
"The pH of McAllister Springs varies, but is between a 6.6 and a 6.8.
Evergreen gets their water from McAllister Springs in the winter but is
supplemented in the summer and sometimes in the winter with Allison
Springs Water with a pH of 7.6 and Kaiser Well with a pH of 6.4 or 6.5.
The Allison Spring water blends with the Kaiser water before it reaches
Evergreen in the summer months."
In other words, I can expect the water to range between 6.6 and... Maybe
7.1? I'm wondering if the furcatus would be a bad idea in this case.
They'd do fine in the water at home, but this is too soft for them.
<Easy fix… mix up some Rift Valley salt mix, described elsewhere on this
site, and use at 25-50% the suggested dosage. Adjust the carbonate
hardness (and thereby the pH) by changing the amount of baking soda, and
tweak the general hardness using the Epsom salt. Reduce or skip the
marine salt mix component if needs be, it's helpful, but not essential;
plain vanilla tonic salt could be used instead.>
I was thinking of replacing them with sparkling gouramis (or just adding
sparkling gouramis to the list and taking out something else), but I
don't know if the sparkling gouramis are a viable option... I wouldn't
have a dither fish in this case, though, and the angel may eat the
<Likely so, or at least harass them.>
There's also the issue of the possible dwarf/pearl gourami (I really
think the pearl would be more compatible here... Still, perhaps I should
take it off the list if I go with honeys? I think sparkling gourami
would do alright, though…)Would honeys act much like sparkling gouramis
if kept in a group in a tank this size? That could be an option...
(though they would take up more space, they would be in less danger of
being eaten... They don't tolerate higher temperatures as well as the
rest of the fish, though).
<Sparkling Gouramis are _sui generis_ and not a substitute for other
gourami types; they are small, they stay among floating plants all the
time given the choice, and they set up small territories they largely
stay within. Superb fish, but keep with similar sized or smaller
I'm thinking some other non-dwarf SA/CA cichlid like a festivum would be
too big and not work quite as well here?
<Festivums much too big for 29 gallons; 55+ gallons. Do reach 15-20
cm/6-8 inches in length, and they're chunky too.>
Oh yes, if I'm sticking with a 12 gallon for the time being (something
came up, so...) would an Apisto and 5-6 T pumila be acceptable
tankmates? I know it's a little overstocked (I think?), but it wouldn't
be for their entire lives (unless it turns out to work wonderfully or
<I would not mix cichlids this large, territorial with anything so small
and docile as Trichopsis spp.>
At any rate, regardless... Are there any glaringly obvious soft water
fish here that I've overlooked?
<Many; do obtain, peruse a fine book of fish like Baensch's Aquarium
Atlas or else review good quality sites such as SeriouslyFish.com.
Forums like the one at this site and elsewhere are a better place to
sound out ideas that here; do solicit opinions, ask for ideas, perhaps
contain local fishkeepers for reports on what does well. As, when you
have some firm plans, feel free to write back, but when it comes to
stocking community tanks, it's as much about opinions as anything else,
and my idea of a pretty aquarium may not be yours. Hmm.. what else…
there's a book called "The Complete Aquarium" by Peter Scott that's very
much about showing how to build various types of community and biotope
aquaria; though not a perfect book, and a bit dated in some ways, it's
easily obtained and an excellent read, full of ideas. Worth tracking
down on Amazon.>
I've only been considering ones that can handle an 8.0 pH, but I do live
in a soft water area. I could just complete the stocking once I move, as
the tank will be rearranged anyway.
Many thanks once again.
Re: more questions on angelfish tankmates.
I found some catfish/tank mate species for angelfish I would like
information on. First up is Zebra Dora cats.
<Do you mean Platydoras costatus? A good Angelfish companion. However,
do bear in mind these catfish are [a] sociable, so keep more than one;
[b] quite big, around 15-20 cm/6-8 inches when fully grown; and [c]
resolutely nocturnal, especially if kept singly.>
Then sun catfish
<Horabagrus brachysoma? Not really viable. Gets to over 30 cm/12 inches
in length, and would view Angels as food. On the other hand, a school of
Mystus bimaculatus would work very well, and given space, a school of
the somewhat larger Mystus castaneus ("Mystus armatus" of the trade) can
work very well too.>
and then Distichodus affinis ( orange fin loath)
<Distichodus affinis is NOT a loach but a plant-eating characin. It can
be nippy, so I wouldn't risk it without having another aquarium to
remove it to if the combination didn't work. Otherwise, on paper this
15-20 cm/6-8 inch characin can work well with South American cichlids
and finely haraquin Rasboras.
<Classic Angelfish companions.>
would/could any of these fishes outgrow my idea of a 90 gallon system,
18 w 24 h and 48 inch long.
<Hope this helps, Neale.>
Re: more questions on angelfish tankmates. 2/4/13
Thanks. I will go with a couple different combos tell which is the best
from the 3. Mystus bimaculatus 6 or 7 and 4 Manacapuru angels (2 to be
removed if 1 set should pair).
B about 4 Platydoras costatus, and 4 Manacapuru angels( plan on getting
a pair out of the 4) with some haraquin Rasboras maybe a school of 10.
<Harlequins might be "dinner" for fully grown Platydoras, but probably
will be fine.>
or c about 12 warm water Corys and 4 Manacapuru angels (again only
having an adult pair) and some (a school of 10) tetras or Rasboras.
<The ideal combo. Corydoras sterbai or Brochis elegans; Pterophyllum
spp; some suitable tetra species. Cheers, Neale.>
Angel attacking larger angels 9/22/12
I have three angelfish at the moment. Two are large black angelfish.
They were put in there with one angelfish that is an adult, but quite
small. The black ones are about 5 inches with more volume and the blue
about 3 1/2 inches and flatter. The blue one is chasing both around a
<Is what they do. Singletons work well; mated pairs also work well;
groups of six or more specimens should also work well given space (55+
But any other combination of Angels is unreliable at best, and very
often degenerates into one male or a mated pair bullying the others. Add
additional Angels or remove unwanted Angels from your group according to
the size of your tank.>
He/She was ok with other juvenile angels that were in there, but he is
really after these new larger angels. I put him in a little tank for a
half hour and rearranged the decor. He is back in and acting the same.
Will I have to give him away to de-stress the others?? The two larger
ones seem calm and "laid back" One of the black angels is losing out on
food due to the blue one. Thank you
<Hope this helps, Neale.>
Ragged Angelfish Fins, beaten
Hello all! I am a novice fish enthusiast and am having trouble. I have
searched the website and it has terrific information, but I am really
wanting to have confirmation on what is going on with my tank. I
started out at my locally owned fish store and bought a 20 gallon
tall tank, had many difficulties with cycling and losing fish, and
also with the types of fish I was keeping together. I was ready to
throw the towel in when I found an out of town pet store, family owned, not
the big box store, that helped me greatly!
Sorry for the tout but I feel its very important for people to realize the
difference in a place looking to earn a buck and a place that is concerned
with educating its customers. Anyhow, after the cycling problems, I
emptied the tank completely, left the rocks unwashed, and refilled and since
my water quality has been greatly improved. That was two months ago.
I am using a Aqueon on the tank filter with a carbon insert,
<Carbon is largely useless in your sort of aquarium; instead, concentrate on
biological media. Remove the carbon and replace with filter floss or sponge
or ceramic noodles.>
and a Terra Easy Strip tester kit. According to the tester strips my
Nitrate is just below 20, I assume this because the color it turns is
slightly less pink than the color it should be if it is 20ppm, Nitrite is 0,
Hardness is 150 GH ppm, Alkalinity is 80 KH ppm, and pH is 6.8.
<All sounds fine for Angelfish.>
I am thinking I need to invest in a good quality vial test kit, and wonder
which one is worth my investment.
<Possibly; I use the strips and they're quick and easy. But as/when they run
out, and you really want the accuracy liquid test kits provide, be sure to
get a nitrite test kit and a pH test kit, as these give you the best "quick
look" tests for water quality and water chemistry.>
Onto my fish problem. Once I felt my tank had stabilized I ended up
with 4 small juvenile Angelfish, 2 Pictus Cats,
<These are restless, predatory fish that do better in schools and need much
more space than 20 gallons (and to make matters worse, a "tall" 20 gallon
tank provides even less swimming space than a plain vanilla 20 gallon
2 White Tip Sharks,
<Do you mean the catfish? What used to be called "Arius jordani" but is
properly called Ariopsis seemanni? You do understand this isn't a freshwater
fish? It needs brackish conditions when young, and preferably
marine conditions as an adult. Even in a 20-gallon marine aquarium you
wouldn't keep these catfish -- they get HUGE, easily 20-30 cm/8-12 inches,
and sometimes a bit more than that.>
and one algae eater.
<What sort of "algae eater"? A common Plec, i.e., a Pterygoplichthys species
of some sort? Again, a huge fish -- 30 cm/12 inches within the first year,
and 45 cm/18 inches within two; barely viable in a 55 gallon aquarium, and
really needs 75-100 gallons unless you happen to like murky, faeces-ridden
aquaria. Trust me, if defecating were an Olympic sport, Plecs would win the
Everyone seemed very happy and I was doing 20% water changes every week to
week and a half. After about a month I noticed one morning that one of
my Angelfish was barely swimming on its side near the bottom of the tank, it
died later that day. Within 48 hours I lost a total of 3 angels to
this problem. They still looked healthy except for some ragged fins.
The one pictured attached had ragged fins but persevered and other than the
fins was acting normally. I did a 50% water change and tested the
water before and after and the water did have a low level (.5) of Nitrate,
after the water change, none. Since then the survivor seemed to be
doing well, eating vigorously, but his rear fin hasn't grown back, and his
top fin is ragged this morning. I checked the water quality and those
are the stats I gave you above.
<I don't trust those values. It's not necessarily the test kit is inaccurate
(though dip strips are, at best, approximations) but you can easily detect
no nitrite or ammonia when you test the water at a certain time of the day,
but at another time of the day the nitrite and ammonia are well above zero.
Try testing every half-hour for 2-3 hours after giving the fish a good feed
and see what happens. But I do believe this fish is suffering from some sort
of bacteria-mediated Finrot, perhaps caused by stress, including water
quality problems. If one fish has ragged fins, then aggression of nipping
may be an issue. But if multiple fish have ragged fins, then you have to
suspect the environment as well.>
I also turned the heat up a bit this morning because I keep reading that 80
degrees is best, and on my stick on thermometer (which I will be replacing
because it doesn't give me a specific reading) was hovering between 76-79
degrees. So what now? I'm wondering if I should treat him for fin rot.
<Yes, but do bear in mind some medications (copper, formalin especially) can
be toxic to catfish. Antibiotics should be safe though.>
I am terribly upset that I took 4 healthy Angelfish from the store where
they breed them, and have caused 3 of their early demise! Am I on the
<No. You're doing a great deal wrong. Neither catfish species belongs here,
and it's not entirely out of the question they're attacking the Angelfish at
night -- after all, both species are predators, and while the Pimelodus
pictus can be combined with Angels of similar size, they may go for
small/weak specimens. The Ariid catfish simply don't belong at all, and
though they are total pussycats when kept with brackish/marine fish of
appropriate size (Monos, Scats or large Damselfish for example) large
specimens view much smaller fish as food.>
Also the sharks and cats are aggressive eaters but the Angelfish holds his
<For now. Angelfish aren't adapted to fight for food.>
I am feeding a combination of dried ocean plankton and flake food, is this
<Let's assume you're getting rid of the two catfish species -- neither
species has any long-term future in this tank, so this isn't even something
to delay or argue about. It's a done deal. You made a CAT-a-strophic mistake
if you'll pardon the pun. A "tall" 20 gallon tank is adequate for a mated
pair of Angels. Since you can't sex Angels, you can't buy a pair, so you
need to buy six, rear them together, then remove the surplus fish.
Realistically, you need 40-55 gallons for a group of six Angels up to the
size when they'll pair off (around 8 cm/3 inches). So, what we're talking
about is a single Angelfish here, perhaps with a 5-6 Corydoras sterbai (a
good warm water-tolerant Corydoras) at the bottom and 6-8 medium-sized
tetras (such as X-Ray Tetras, a very reliable, easy species) in the middle.
All these would thrive on a mix of good quality flake and small sinking
pellets (mostly at night, for the catfish). Augment with freeze-dried food
if you want, but occasional live daphnia and/or brine shrimp are really
useful for avoiding constipation.>
Once this problem is solved I would like to get another Angelfish so I at
least have a pair, is it wise to do so?
<Keeping a pair is fine. Getting a pair is hard work. Two random Angels will
likely fight, the weaker one being bullied. Has been tried many, many times.
Unless you happen to get two females or a male/female duo that happen to
pair off, this isn't a reliable approach. If it's any consolation, Angels
can't always sex themselves either, and "homosexual" pairs are quite
commonly reported, usually two females, each laying eggs on a leaf assuming
the other was a male!>
Thank you for your input!
<Hope this helps, Neale.>
Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4GLTE Smartphone
<Oh gosh, another of these ridiculous "from my phone" messages… when will
they stop? Who cares? Who's bright idea was this nonsense?>
Re: Ragged Angelfish Fins (also Ariids, Pimelodids in a very
wrong environment) 8/19/12
I confirmed that the suggested fish were in fact what I have in my tank.
They will be going back tomorrow.
I'm hoping the out of town store will take them in since the local store
didn't care enough about them to give me complete and accurate
<"Caveat emptor" I'm afraid. Welcome to capitalism. It's up to the buyer
to make sure the thing on sale is what he/she needs -- the seller is
under no obligation to sell you what you need!>
I will then treat the Angelfish for fin rot and follow through with the
other things you mentioned.
I have read I need to remove the carbon filter before I treat with
medication, is it okay to replace it with the filter floss during
or before treatment or should I just remove the carbon filter insert and
leave it empty until I am done medicating the tank?
<I would remove the carbon and replace with filter floss.>
How often and how much of a water change is needed during treatment?
<Usually, none during treatment, but a good-sized (25-50%) water change
a day after the last dosage is a good idea. Check with the instruction
leaflet that comes with the medication you use.>
How long after treatment should I consider purchasing the other fish?
<As a rule of thumb, wait at least a month after any sickness before
buying any new fish. That gives you chance to [a] make sure the sick
fish is better and not contagious; and [b] to make sure the filter has
recovered from any troubles that might have caused the fish sickness in
the first place.>
Thank you for your time and expertise!
Re: Ragged Angelfish Fins (also Ariids, Pimelodids in a very wrong
environment)(Bob, does Melafix actually harm filters?)<<can>>
Good morning from Michigan!
All the catfish have been rehomed.
I picked up a bottle of Melafix to use for treatment.
<Hmm… have you kept the receipt? This isn't a very reliable medication.
At best (and I'm being generous) it has a mild antiseptic quality, so
it's rather like dabbing a cut with antiseptic lotion. But it isn't an
antibiotic, and once the bacterial infection is established (i.e., your
fish are showing symptoms of Finrot) it isn't terribly effective.>
I'm curious though about the carbon filter insert.
<Junk it. Provides little value in freshwater systems.>
Carbon is supposed to be changed every few weeks from what I read, so I
wondered if its even active now.
<Good analysis. The reality is that carbon works for around 2-4 weeks
from new, and after that point it becomes so clogged with bacteria and
detritus it's basically a biological medium. While it might be useful in
that capacity, there are better media, such as high-quality ceramic
noodles. There's some debate about whether "old" carbon can release
toxins, but it can certainly mess up dosing medications, removing at
least some of each dosage, so overall effect of the medicine isn't as
I haven't changed it out for 3 months. I am curious though, if I remove
the foam insert that has the carbon inside it, won't I also be removing
the good bacteria that is keeping my tank chemistry stable?
<Bacteria don't really affect water chemistry; their job is water
quality, which is a much different thing. Anyway, you can remove up to
50% of the live media in a mature filter and have no impact on its
working efficiency. Add some new media, and within days that new media
will be fully matured. It's remarkable really, and an example of why
bacteria are so useful in those applications where we've learned to
Since the tank stabilized I haven't changed this insert out of this
fear. Will the Melafix harm my biological system?
<Doesn't normally, but it's a scattergun antiseptic, so there's always
the potential.><<Can indeed destroy biological filtration. RMF>>
Also I've considered adding live plants to the tank to enhance the
biological filtration, what plants would you suggest?
<The easiest plants are floating plants, especially Floating Indian Fern
(sometimes called Water Sprite, Ceratopteris thalictroides). This plant
grows in most situations, doesn't mind being under an aquarium hood
(some other floating plants do), and its long roots bring plenty of
helpful bacteria! It also happens to be hands-down the plant most loved
by aquarium fish. You only need a bit -- it grows fast!>
Thank you again for taking the time to indulge all of us novice fish
Re: Ragged Angelfish Fins (also Ariids, Pimelodids in a very wrong
I think I may have just had an epiphany, should I cut the bottom of the
insert and just remove the carbon and leave the insert in place????
<If that works, sure! Cheers, Neale.>
Angelfish and Black tetra 7/20/12
Hi, I have a 55 gallon tank with two angelfish, 9 cherry barbs, and 2
Raphael's. I want to add a few black skirt tetras, is that possible?
Will they get along with the angelfish?
<Black Skirt Tetras (Gymnocorymbus ternetzi) are fin-nippers. I would
not trust them with Angels; in fact I kept them together in my first
community tank some 25 years ago, and the Angels were nipped!>
<Most welcome, Neale.>
Angels fighting 6/24/12
Hi Neale! good morning,
<Good evening from England.>
quick recap, I have 4 Angel fish (2 black, 1 marble, 1 white) and 2
Striped Raphaels, yesterday we moved them from a 23 to a 55 gallon
The marble and pearl paired a month ago and hatched eggs, I told you the
marble became very protective and aggressive towards the blacks, but
ever since the eggs died, the papers changed, the two black ones are the
dominant now and they won´t let marble go near the white one, she seems
to want to go with him but if he tries they attack him, even when he is
hiding or just swimming in the bottom they go look for him and poke him.
I am very sad because of this he looks so lonely. An aquarium should be
a peaceful thing to look at but every time I look I get stressed!
Marble wants to explore the new aquarium just as the other 3 do but they
won't let him.
<And won't. It's the nature of Angelfish to form pairs and bully any
others that come within range of their territory.>
I understand 55 is still not big enough but that´s all we could do at
<55 gallons would be big enough for a group of 6, but you do have rather
a lot of other fish.>
The cats are so happy on the other hand with their sand beds :).
So is it time to let go of 2 Angels? should I keep the marble and white
knowing they are a pair?
and return the blacks that appear to be 2 beautiful males, I´m just
worried about the two that go, they are approx. 7 or 8 months old, will
they survive in a new aquarium (my aquarist would take them)
<Once you return the fish, it has to take its chances. It may get bought
by a skilled fishkeeper -- but it might not. It's often better to donate
the fish to someone who know keeps fish, or get in touch with your local
please advise! my husband always wants more so if we remove 2 Angels he
wants to get some Green Tiger Barb Sumatra, would this be a good choice?
and how many?
<Terribly choice. Tiger Barbs are very nippy, and Angelfish are too slow
to avoid trouble.>
thanks so much,
Re: Angels fighting 6/24/12
Hi again! Just a doubt regarding:
I wrote: I understand 55 is still not big enough but that´s all we could
do at the moment. You replied: "55 gallons would be big enough for a
group of 6, but you do have rather a lot of other fish."
I only have 4 Angels and 2 Striped Raphael, that's it, 6, you meant a
group of 6 Angels? Introducing 2 more Angels now would solve the
<Angelfish and Discus both tend to form more stable groups with less
bullying in them when kept in groups of 6 or more specimens. Don't know
why this is the magic number but it seems to be the most reliable
starting point if you want a whole group of either species. Now, your
55-gallon tank is quite large, and could hold 6 adult Angels with ease,
but the two catfish are going to get quite big, 15-20 cm/6-8 inches, and
add that to the adult Angels at around 10-12 cm/4-5 inches a piece, and
you see why I'm cautious about recommending you keep them all in the
same tank. As juveniles you might be fine, and as/when they get bigger,
you may upgrade the tank or move out the catfish. At the very least,
this tank will be heavily stocked and will need very robust filtration
and substantial weekly water changes. It's doable for sure, but not
ideal, hence my reticence.>
Sorry I got confused! Thanks.
4 Angelfish, FW, comp., sys.
Hi Neale, how are you? mid term already?
<Been and gone.>
so regarding the below situation I had told you about, now that the eggs
disappeared (died), the two black Angelfish have turned against the
marbled one, (the father of the eggs) and they continuously attack and
harass him. He is always cornered or hiding behind the plants, I feel
sorry for him.
Is this normal?
<Yes. Angelfish are cichlids. That's something we often forget.
Like all cichlids, territorial pairs can be venomous in their aggression
towards other fish, including their own species. As a very
general rule, single Angels are easy to keep, and mated pairs are
usually stable and well behaved. But if you have 3, 4 or 5, you're
playing a lottery. You need at least 6 before you can trust groups to
school together most of the time.>
Now, our new aquarium arrives next week, its going to be a 47" x 19.5" x
15", 52.83 gallons; will this ease the fights?
<More space will surely help.>
Question on the new aquarium, at the bottom corners, left and right, I
will have two "sand-boxes" (2" tall glass divisions 4" x 8") built
within the aquarium, one for each of my Striped Raphaels, I intend to
put some sand in them so they can bury and do their thing.
Which kind of sand you recommend? which you don´t, and any kind of tip
will be welcome,
<Avoid any sand that's sharp or abrasive. Also avoid calcareous sand as
that'll harden the water and raise the pH. Smooth silica sand is good,
chemically inert and cheap. In the US, it's often sold as pool filter
as always, thanks a lot Neale!
<Most welcome, Neale.>
Re: I need your help, please. And mixing Angels and Discus 4/6/12
I put in a heater and the salt as well after receiving this,
the "hernia" has grown larger over night,
I will email back if the heater doesn't help...
Hopefully we can get this solved!
I also had another question because I keep getting mixed answers everywhere.
I've seen people keeping Angels and freshwater Discus together,
<Not generally a good mix... The Angels can/do become much more aggressive, hog
but I've also heard that angels carry some type of disease or parasite that can
be fatal for Discus,
<An olde myth that I used to circulate as well (Octomita/Hexamita)>
and they shouldn't be kept together.
What is your opinion on this?
I love both fish and would like to keep them together, But it's $20 for a Discus
around where I live and I certainly would not like to waste that kind of money
and a poorly thought out mistake.
<Better by far to keep separately. BobF>
Mixing ADFs w/
Pterophyllum in a large setting 3/19/12
Good afternoon! Thank you in advance for taking the time to read my story and
question. I am currently keeping one adult (almost breeding size) and a juvenile
angelfish in a 25ish gal tank.. I was ordering a 105 and was wondering if I
raised half the tank shallow for the frogs and left half bare bottom if I could
put my 4 ADFS in with the two angelfish and still have no over crowding.. or
would the angel being an established adult with its own territory not enjoy the
frogs? Waste output atm is way left than what the filters are capable of so I
was thinking the frogs would look GORGEOUS against the java moss I have in the
<Am not a fan of mixing FW angels and Hymenochirus period... as the former can
become aggressive toward the latter... and in a large setting, it's too hard to
get the frogs food/s... See WWM re both species needs, compatibility. Bob
Re: Mixing ADFs w/ Pterophyllum in a large setting 3/19/12
Thanks, I've opted to add a Pleco.
<... do see WWM re stkg./sel... Ancistrus, other genera... B>
Re: Fish to add 3/13/12
Hi there, one follow-up question. My daughter is interested in
Those are not on your list below, but could they work with Corydoras and
Zebra Danios? Again, thanks so much for your help!
<Angels can work, but only just. Corydoras and Zebra Danios will tolerate water
up to 25 C/77 F, which is at the low end of what farmed (i.e., average pet shop)
Angels accept. Wild Angels will need rather warmer water to do consistently
well, around 28 C/82 F, so you'd keep these with Corydoras sterbai, the classic
"warm-water Corydoras". As for water chemistry, Angels prefer soft, slightly
acidic water, just like the other two species, but all three can do fine up to
20 degrees dH, pH 8, even though it isn't optimal. Angels normally ignore
Corydoras, and if the Danios are in a big group, there's little risk of
freshwater angelfish compatibility 2/26/12
I'm planning a 16 gallon community. I'd like one angel, a gourami, harlequin
Rasboras, and tetras. Is this doable?
<No. 16 US gallons is a very small amount of water. Angels need a 20 gallon tank
for a start. Stock as per 10 gallons instead, choosing appropriate species, but
feel free to keep slightly more within each group of species (at least with
non-territorial species). >
I want as peaceful an environment as possible. What combo and #s do you
<What's your water chemistry? Options for soft water will be different to hard
water. Assuming middling hardness, around 10 degrees dH, pH 7, you could keep a
school of 10-12 Neons or Glowlights, or alternatively 6-8 Harlequins (they're
somewhat bigger fish). Cherry Barbs or Checkerboard Barbs could work too, as
might the smallest Danio species such as Danio choprae (bigger Danio species,
like Zebra Danios, need a tank not less than 60 cm/2 ft long because they're so
hyperactive, and in smaller tanks get bored and harass each other and their
tankmates, so you end up with just one or two bully males). For the specimen
fish, something like a single Honey Gourami would be nice (Dwarf Gouramis and
their domesticated variants are disease-ridden and not worth keeping at all).
Alternatively a pair or trio (1M, 2F) of some dwarf cichlid might be possible.
Look out for Apistogramma cacatuoides, a good combination of colour,
adaptability and peacefulness. Avoid the sadly ruined Ram Cichlid, a species
farmed cheaply and "juiced" with antibiotics, and consequently rarely maintains
good health for long once purchased. On the other hand, Kribs might work,
especially one of the more colourful wild-type species such as Pelvivachromis
subocellatus. The farmed P. pulcher isn't bad, but its colours don't compare to
its wild ancestors. A single female Krib would be the best, being prettier than
the male, and smaller too. As for catfish, Corydoras will be the obvious choice,
though don't keep these with dwarf cichlids as the cichlids do tend to harass
them. Almost any Corydoras could work, but do review their temperature
requirements. Most prefer cool water, 22-25 C, and so make good companions for
other low-end tropicals like Neons. But at least one traded species, Corydoras
sterbai, is happier in warmer water, 24-28 C, and it works well with gouramis
which also like warm water. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: freshwater angelfish compatibility 2/26/12
THANK YOU!! What an awesome resource!
<Glad to help. Neale.>
Re Neon, freshwater angelfish <in>compatibility 2/26/12
I forgot to add that I'd like NEON tetras if possible. What order to introduce
fish and size/ages (e.g. juvenile size angel with full grown tetras?)
<Neon Tetras are small, soft water fish that prefer low to middling temperatures
-- 22-25 C/72-77 F. As such they aren't compatible with Angelfish, partly
because big Angels will eat them, but also because Angels prefer warmer water.
Cardinal Tetras prefer warm water too, and are a bit bigger, and they generally
work well with Angelfish. Neon Tetras have a bad
reputation in the hobby for not living for very long. To some degree that's
because they won't tolerate hard water for long (you really do need soft,
slightly acidic water, around 2-12 degrees dH, pH 5.5-7.0). But keeping them
excessively warm likely shortens their lifespan too. All that said, the quality
of farmed Neons is low, and if you have soft and acidic water,
you're better off investing in the more expensive, but generally less
disease-ridden, Cardinal Tetras. If you don't have soft and acidic water, you
shouldn't be thinking about either. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: freshwater angelfish compatibility 2/29/12
I have tap water that is hard (tested around 250 GH total hardness with test
strip) I don't understand or know about tests for dH degrees.
<Strictly speaking, 10 mg/l calcium oxide = 1 degree dH. But many test kits,
particularly in the US, give the result for general hardness in mg/l calcium
carbonate (which isn't the right way to do this, but is done anyway). In that
case, 17.8 mg/l calcium carbonate = 1 degree dH.>
The pH tests at 8.2 I'd really like to have cardinal tetras as you suggested,
but would of coarse hate losing them even more. Can I soften and change the pH
of our water? Is it too complicated or time consuming?
All the questions you're asking are there! You cannot soften water without
access to either RO water or rainwater. You must not change the pH directly, and
domestic water softeners will not produce acceptable water for tropical fish.
Sounds like you have very hard, very alkaline water, so you should choose fish
Glowlights vs. neon tetras 2/1/12
I notice some people here keep Glowlight tetras with angelfish
without problems, yet neon tetras are angelfish food.
<Yes. Or at least, big Angels will eat small Neons. Many farmed Angels fail to
reach the full size of the adults -- i.e., 15 cm/6 inches in length -- so many
people will keep farmed Angels and Neons together without problems.>
I always thought there was no difference between neons and Glowlights except
color. What is it about Glowlights that make them a good fish to keep with
<Glowlights are a bit bigger. They're also more tolerant of warm water (Neons
prefer to be kept between 22-25 C, which is a little cooler than Angels enjoy).>
Freshwater Angelfish not getting to eat 1/28/12
<Hi there Judy>
I have a juvenile angelfish in a 29 gallon with 5 lemon tetras and 5 black neon
tetras. When I put food on the surface the tetras zip to the top and have it
eaten in no time. I've had this angelfish for a couple of weeks now and do not
understand how it is getting any food. This morning the tetras ate everything
and afterwards the angelfish came out of a terracotta pot after the frenzy.
I am wondering if it was a bad idea to get a juvenile with these fast tetras?
The only other tank I have is a 10 gallon
<Too small for an Angel>
with a Betta. Would this angelfish still be getting some food or is there any
other way to feed it. Thank you!!
<I'd be trading the Angel in. Bob Fenner>
Temporary situation for fish... Guppies and Angel, Lemon Tetras comp. 1/20/12
I was wondering if it is ok to put a juvenile angelfish in with four guppies in
a 29 gallon, if the guppies will be getting a new home in a few days?
<Mmm, a risk to some degree; but likely to be okay if the Angel is regularly
fed... a few times per day>
I have guppies in water made hard with marine salt.
<How much salt? Do you have a hydrometer, refractometer, or such to measure? How
much have you added? Pterophyllum can tolerate some salt content, but not nearly
as much as Guppies>
The tap water is soft which is needed for the angelfish. Also is it ok to put
about five lemon tetras in with the angelfish? Thank you!!
<This number of Lemons should make a fine addition w/ Angels. Bob Fenner>
Re: Temporary situation for fish... Guppies and Angel, Lemon Tetras, salt use
I was wondering if it is ok to put a juvenile angelfish in with four guppies in
a 29 gallon, if the guppies will be getting a new home in a few days?
<Mmm, a risk to some degree; but likely to be okay if the Angel is regularly
fed... a few times per day>
I have guppies in water made hard with marine salt.
<How much salt? Do you have a hydrometer, refractometer, or such to measure? How
much have you added? Pterophyllum can tolerate some salt content, but not nearly
as much as Guppies>
One tablespoon in a 29 gallon.
<<Ahh, this should be fine for all. BobF>>
The tap water is soft which is needed for the angelfish. Also is it ok to put
about five lemon tetras in with the angelfish? Thank you!!
<This number of Lemons should make a fine addition w/ Angels. Bob Fenner>
Danios or Golden Tetras nipping at
Angelfish fins? 11/21/11
I am a relatively new aquarist and am having trouble with nippy
<One of the commonest problems beginners have to deal with. Trust
me, we've all been there.>
I have a 21Gallon (tall) aquarium that has been established for 7
It has 2 Zebra Danios, 2 Longfin Rosie Danios, 1 Longfin White Danio, 3
Golden Tetras, a Glass Cat and a Plecostomus.
<Could really be any of the Danios or Tetras, to be honest.
You've made the classic mistake of not keeping enough of either
species. The Rosy Danios are, I assume, Danio roseus. The Zebras and
Albino Danios are both Danio rerio. Both of these have the potential to
be aggressive fish in groups smaller than 6, and honestly, I've
seen groups of six Danios withered down to just one male through
ceaseless aggression between the original members.
So the bigger the group, the better. Golden Tetras also need to be kept
in groups of 6. That's a standard rule of any schooling fish. But
this species, Hemigrammus rodwayi, isn't aggressive or known to be
nippy under most circumstances. My money would be on the
Two days ago I added a small Angelfish and every morning its caudal fin
becomes a little more frayed.
Naturally, I wish to relocate the aggressors to a 10 Gallon tank
(established for 1 year). I have searched many different websites and
have received much contradictory advice. I have also read many threads
on your site and, wonderfully informative as they are, all seem to
indicate that the Angelfish should be the one nipping at fins.
<Not really, no. Can't think why that's something you've
read here. Angels can be territorial, and adults are surprisingly
predatory. But they're not serious fin-nippers, except perhaps with
truly hopeless cases like Bettas that get nipped by anything!>
I am aware of the schooling factor and was told that Zebra and Longfin
Danios would happily school together.
<Yes. But three Danio rerio does not a school make!>
Perhaps this is not so? As for the Golden Tetras, I live in a remote
town with a limited LFS and I have never seen any more Golden Tetras
Perhaps they would school with a different type of Tetra?
I would very much like to keep my Angelfish healthy and stress free. I
look forward to any advice you may have.
Thank you very much,
<Hope this helps, Neale.>
Re: Danios or Golden Tetras nipping at Angelfish fins?
Thank you Neale!
I will now pay closer attention to species... seems so logical now that
you've pointed it out!
<As with many things in life.>
I will relocate the Danio Rerio and, due to lack of tank space, will
look into trading the Danio Roseus for more Rerio and form a proper
Will also ask LFS if they can order more Golden Tetras.
<Wise. They're nice fish.>
Lesson learned! :)
Re: my misinterpretation of Angelfish being nippy... it's likely I
simply misunderstood what I read as my head does "swim" with
too much info at times!
Thank you for indulging a novice!
<Glad to help. Cheers, Neale.>
New angels and golden Gourami
We have just bought a pair of small angels and a pair of gold
We have a 65 litre tank
<Mmm... really not large enough for the Angels and Gouramis when
they're larger... there will be disputes, trouble...>
and 6 other small fish in there too. The angels and goumi have been in
the tank for a few hours now and they have started to chase and nip
their own partner.
The White angel is chasing the black one, and both golden are doing the
same. Do you know whether they are just settling in or whether this is
going to be a real problem.
<You/they need a larger world. Either a bigger tank, or returning
them to the shop. Bob Fenner>
Freshwater Angelfish... hlth... comp.
Hello WWM, <Hiya Christapher!>
About a month ago we treated our 50 gallon tank with a broad spectrum
medication treatment because a couple of the new fish we had gotten had
(a Bala shark and an angelfish). <Did you manage to identify the
cause of the deaths?> This seemed to do the trick because the other
two (another Bala and angelfish) survived. We also have Neons that we
had before the new fish and they are still kicking. <I would not
recommend mixing angels with Neons. There is too much risk that the
angels will pick on them. Assume the above are all the fish you have
here?> However, now the Bala and angelfish are looking bad. The Bala
is getting thin it seems and doesn't seem to want to eat much
<does it eat at all?> and the angelfish eats plenty, but it's
fins seem to be rotting away. Also the angelfish's tendrils look
thinner and broken. What do you think this could be and how should I
<Firstly, the Bala shark is a fish that gets very very large very
quickly. I also do not recommend mixing it with slow moving fish such
From your description, it sounds like the angel has Finrot. A
photograph would help identify the disease but you should be seeing
damage to the fins; almost like they are frayed. If so, any good Finrot
medication will help if diagnosed in time. Read here -
For the Bala shark, how long have you had the fish? They tend to be
pretty hardy, if a bit shy. Do keep in mind that when they are smaller,
they do tend to prefer company and may school. Not practical however
given the size of tank you have. You can read here about the Bala
Please check your water parameters and make sure all is good with
From your description, it sounds like the fish are stressed and you
need to identify the source. Likely environmental/water chemistry
related. - Good luck! Sugam>
Angelfish Help, comp. mostly 9/1/11
I have a question. I have two adult Angelfish in my 150gal tank.
<I assume you mean freshwater Angelfish?>
They were fine with all of our small fish (we had several community
fish that the angels grew up with) but once we moved all the
small fish to another aquarium, our larger angel stopped
<Can happen. With the new aquarium come new territories, and one
fish may well become dominant. When two cichlids grow up together they
may view one another as "part of the scenery". Move them, and
they view each other as new fish, and act accordingly. Adult Angels are
not really schooling fish, at least not under aquarium conditions, and
you need at least 6 specimens for them to school together anyway.
Mostly Angels become territorial, whether as pairs or a single
Now both angels hang out in the far corner of the tank. When one
ventures out to eat, the other stays in the corner until the one eating
We attempted to put two more angels in the tank as well, but the adult
angels attacked and killed one of them and wounded the other ( We
transferred him out immediately but he later died in the small fish
<Oh dear. When adding more Angels, choose specimens AT LEAST as big
as the ones you have, remove ALL the Angels already in the tank, and
introduce the new ones first, and then the original Angels 30-60
minutes later so that the other Angels have time to settle. Don't
bother with trying to keep groups less than 6.>
They don't swim around like they used to and they shy away from us
when we approach the tank (which is completely different from their
behaviour before then they would rush to the front and follow us when
we'd walk by).
Could this be due to stress?
I was reading about breeding habits but I haven't seen anything
tubular coming from either of the angels or anything that could
possibly resemble eggs. The pH is good,
<Please, tell me the value, not your interpretation. For farmed
Angels, between pH 6.5-7.5 is what you want.>
all the ammonia levels and such are in the yellow
<Meaning what? Again, give me the values, not what you believe they
Ammonia and nitrite need to be zero.>
and the water temp is kept at about 78 degrees. I just don't want
my angels to die from something that I can prevent. Any advice
generated would be absolutely wonderful.
<Do read here:
Any questions, write back. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Angelfish Help 9/4/11
Neale - The pH is 7.0, the ammonia and nitrite are both at zero. Sorry,
guess I should have mentioned that in the first place.
<This should be ideal for Angels; so as stated last time around, if
they haven't settled down yet, assume either environmental or
behavioural stress and review accordingly. Angels are territorial,
males often don't get along, but they're also easily spooked by
bright lights, loud noises, boisterous and restless tankmates, etc.
Freshwater Angelfish Bully
and Restocking 7/13/11
I currently have a 90 gal. tank that has been set up for 3 years. For
over a year I have had 6 angelfish, four that paired off and two that
were loners. I also have one Chinese Algae Eater, one Rainbow Shark and
one Raphael Catfish. Up until recently things were fine, then one
angelfish from a pair suddenly died. I noticed one of my other paired
angels chasing one of the loners. The loner was dead within two days.
The bully angelfish then targeted the remaining paired fish so I
removed the bully.
Now I am left with 3 angelfish. Currently they are at peace with each
other with no pairs. In reading your articles, it seems a group of six
fish should be kept together. Should I try adding three more angelfish
or just let the remaining three alone? With such a big tank I would
like to add other fish as well, perhaps a Pearl or Opaline Gourami.
I'd like other fish as well, but I am not sure what would be best
with both angels and the one shark.
Thank you for your time,
<Hello Heidi. Unfortunately, Angelfish are territorial, and what you
describe is far from uncommon. If you want a group, then keeping six or
more is the most reliable approach. Remove the resident Angels,
rearrange the rocks and plants in the tank so the territory looks
different, add new Angels of similar size to the tank, and then return
the resident Angels.
With luck, they'll *all* think they're in a new bit of the
river and get along okay. No guarantees, but this is the best approach
with cichlids like these. Alternatively, remove the bully, move the
rocks and plants around, then put the bully back, and see if he settles
down. Sometimes this works.
Not often, but it's a cheap fix and worth trying. If everyone is
getting along okay, then there's no reason to add more Angels.
Don't feel like you have to. In a tank like this, the larger
Trichogaster species Gouramis can be good choices, though males of
these, particularly Trichogaster trichopterus, can be troublesome. I
happen to like Trichogaster microlepis, and have found it an excellent
companion for Angels, and it has colours that work nicely with the
wild-type silver Angels I prefer. As an alternative, some of the Colisa
species are good, though some, like Colisa lalia, are notoriously
disease-prone. For example, Colisa fasciata would be a colourful and
very hardy choice. Hope this helps, Neale.>
Tankmates for One Angelfish (38gal tank)
First of all, thank you all for everything you do with this website -
I've found it extremely useful! I particularly appreciate the
grammatically correct write-in questions and comments. I do hope this
Email meets your high standards!
<I as well>
Now for the question. My husband and I have a rectangular 38 gallon
planted aquarium which has been established for four years. It
currently uses the Marineland Penguin 200 BIO-Wheel filter and contains
an assortment of fish:
1 - Male Angelfish (5+ years)
4 - Adult Emerald Cory Catfish
1 - Juvenile Emerald Cory Catfish
2 - Emerald Cory Catfish Fry (there may be more - the Emeralds keep
1 - Julii Catfish (the last remaining of several, but he schools with
1 - African Clawed Frog
<Xenopus? This is a real "eater-upper"... not
We have been researching and considering for months what additional
fish we should add. We previously had two additional Angelfish in the
<Mmm, not likely to get along here>
We purchased our current Angelfish (Obtuse) and one other (Acute) in
early 2006. They were originally housed in a 20 gallon aquarium with
several Albino Cory Catfish with the intent to upgrade soon. We
upgraded to the 38 gallon the following year, but once we moved them,
Acute began acting aggressively towards Obtuse, and we determined that
they were likely both male. We adopted another similarly sized
Angelfish (Trig) in hopes of calming down the situation; it did, and
everyone lived in relative peace for a couple of years.
<Better to have a group of six or so; but even then you'd have
to separate any two that "paired off">
About a year ago, Trig died. A few months before that, she (we presume)
and Acute had become a mated pair. After her death, Acute quit eating
and seemed to just give up; it was a terrible thing to watch, and we
tried offering several different foods but to no avail.
We now are left with Obtuse, a bunch of Cory Catfish, and the frog.
Obtuse was and remains the most laid-back of the three Angelfish we
have had; we have seen no signs of aggression towards either the Cory
Catfish or the frog. We would like an additional, large-ish fish (or
more, if they would fit); I have seen warnings to avoid nippy Tetras,
additional Angelfish (because of our existing one and the tank size),
and anything small enough to fit in Obtuse's mouth. I have found
through my research that Gouramis are typically compatible, and Pearl
Gouramis were often suggested.
<A good choice, along w/ others of the same genus (Trichogaster),
and larger Colisa>
Dwarf Gouramis have also been listed as viable options,
<Mmm, no, not recommended>
but we have had poor luck in the past purchasing quality Dwarf Gouramis
locally. We would like to add a Pearl Gourami or however many is
necessary and appropriate, but we are not sure (a) the correct number
for our setup and tank size and (b) the best gender ratio. I suspect we
would only have room for one male.
<One male maximum, a single female or more if you'd like>
We have also been considering Swordtails or Platies, either in addition
to the Pearl Gourami(s) or in place of them. I have read varying
information on the mature size of Swordtails and am unsure if they or
Platies would be better (if either would work at all).
<The Angel might go after the Platies...>
I think our ideal additional tankmates would be one male Pearl Gourami,
two to three female Pearl Gouramis, one male Platy or Swordtail, and
three or more female Platies or Swordtails. However, we aren't set
on anything and are certainly open to ideas if you have any to
<If you can't locate the Pearls, do consider Blues/Opalines,
Thick-Lip and Giant Gouramis>
Thank you for reading all of this!
All the best,
<And you, Bob Fenner>
Angelfish bully - 3 angelfish in a tank.
Currently have 3 large healthy veil tail angelfish in a 55 gallon
planted community tank. The largest angelfish is being bullied by the
<Not even remotely uncommon, I'm afraid. In a tank this size,
there's much to be said to keeping either a singleton, a mated
pair, or a group of 6+ specimens that will diffuse serious aggression
The third angelfish is tolerated by both angelfish but spends most of
its time with the bully angelfish.
<Likely these two are a pair.>
This bully angelfish is aggressive toward smaller fish in the tank as
well, tetras and dwarf rainbowfish.
I would like to separate the angelfish but, in this situation, not
certain who should move out. Should it be the bully, the potential
pair, or the angel that's being picked on?
<Up to you. A mated pair could be kept as a breeding pair in a 20
gallon tank with decent water quality. A singleton would live a very
happy life as "top dog" in a community of smaller
I would like to move 1-2 of the angels into a 20 gallon tank. Is a 20
gallon tank (16.75" tall) too small for veil tail angels (6"
tall including fins)?
<If the fins don't touch the sand or gravel when the fish is
swimming normally, it's deep enough. On paper at least, a 20 gallon
tank is okay for a mated pair of Angels, but don't expect to keep
them with anything else in there. Decorate the tank around their needs,
depending on whether you want to rear fry or not.>
Thank you very much for your time. You have a wonderful site, and I
visit it frequently.
<Thanks for the kind words. Cheers, Neale.>
mean gouramis, actually Angels 4/9/11
I have a few questions about my 12 inch kissing
gouramis. I have three large kissing gouramis in my 75 gallon
fish tank and there
about 6 years old. I added about 3 angelfish about 3 inches long and
around 6 months old. well when I added the fish the angelfish went
crazy and started beating up the gouramis. They have frayed fins and
missing scales and don't try to fight back. there very healthy and
aren't aggressive to the baby neon tetras I have in there ether.
There gentle giants! any input?
thank you so much
<I'm a bit confused here. Your email subject line suggests
it's the Gouramis that are being aggressive, while the text of your
message seems to imply it's the Angelfish. In any event, if you
have aggression in a fish tank, there's usually little you can do
to fix the situation. Remove one of the two species to another
aquarium. Sometimes, removing the aggressive fish to a bucket, moving
all the rocks and plants around, and then putting those fish back into
the aquarium helps. Why? Because by breaking up their territories,
you're hopefully pushing them down to the bottom of the pecking
order. But the reality is that Angelfish become territorial once
sexually mature, though in 75 gallons a pair shouldn't cause any
problems. Keeping Angels in groups of 3-5 doesn't always work
because territory-holding pairs often attack the remaining adult
Angelfish, but groups of 6+ are usually reliable. Cheers,
Fish Help... FW, stkg., reading 2/10/11
I have a 26 Gallon tank that used have more than three fish :[.
Currently, there is an elderly Platy, a Small Rainbow Shark, and a
Black and White Blushing Angelfish. Many of my other fish are gone ( I
believe they died of old age because I had them for a few years).
I want to restock my tank. However, the angel and the shark sometimes
chase the platy.
<Yes, and likely any new fishes>
I hoping you guys can provide some suggestions for new tankmates for
these fish that will get along with them. Also, would getting some more
platies be okay?
<Swordtails of decent size would be better, and similar... And you
should read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwshkcompfaqs.htm
and here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/rfsharkfaqs.htm
and here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwangelcompfaqs.htm
I also feel like I need to divert the hostile attention away from my
lone platy. It outlived my other ones, I think it's almost 3 years
Basically I just need some guidance. Which fish are good choices for my
<Read on! Bob Fenner>
Re: re: Fish Help 2/10/11
Thank you Bob!
Thanks for the links. I couldn't find them myself because the
search wasn't working for me. I read a lot and found some good
information. However, after reading, I am now stumped. I feel like
anything I add won't fit in with my current fish unless I add some
faster or larger fish. The Angel rules the tank and the shark is
<It may well prove better to trade these two in, keep the platy and
go from there in restocking>
Sometimes, it'll attempt to school with my platy (and "hang
out" with it) and other times it tries to nip my platy.
There are some fish I've been wondering about though:
Gouramis; the blue/gold/Opaline variety. How would they do in this
(Definitely not Dwarf Gouramis)
<Trichogaster spp. are a very good choice to try here>
I also like the swordtail idea as I think swordtails are able to put up
a fight with other fish if bullied.
<Yes, more so than Platies>
What kind of tetras would be compatible (w/ Rainbow Shark, Platy,
Angelfish)? From reading, it seems like most will either get eaten or
nip the fins of my angelfish.
<The list here is very long... larger size, faster... Look to some
of the popular African species... Alestes, Congos...>
Finally, are there any compatible barbs that are flashy?
<All sorts... again, mid-sized. Listed on WWM>
Danios? (I used to have 10 of them but some died from being old and
others got ripped apart in the night, by, I believe, a more aggressive
rainbow shark that is now deceased. The less aggressive one is
<And there are larger Danios... the Giant/rerio is a fave>
Re: re: Fish Help 2/10/11
I feel like there is hope :] I plan on trying out the Trichogaster
(Hopefully I'll find a nicer one). I heard the tempers of these
guys vary a lot. I think I'm most likely going to skip the tetras
since I really only had my mind set on the Bleeding Heart Tetra or
<These can be a big nippy>
So probably; A pair of Gouramis (Either male and female or two
<A pair will be more interesting>
I'll probably buy 1 male swordtail and two female swordtails or
platys since they interbreed. I'm not sure 26 gallons is enough for
more than 1 male but I have lots of plants.
<I'd stick w/ one>
And if possible, I might go with another school of Danios, most likely
Giant, I had zebra ones before but they got shredded up at night by the
deceased bully rainbow shark.
Maybe some mystery snails.
<Do make sure these are healthy... See WWM re their life
I really appreciate your help. Another thing: I have a spare 10 gallon
tank that I want to use as my quarantine tank but I'm not sure if
that's enough to accommodate the gouramis or larger swordtails
since I mostly used it for the platys and angelfish when it was
smaller. The tank has gravel and some plants and the usual filter and
heater things. Would it suffice?
Also, how long should I quarantine the fish for? I used to do it for
only about a week.
<Certainly welcome my friend. BobF>
My new angelfish tank, comp. 1/24/11
I just set up my new 29 gallon tank tonight and I'm still trying to
nail down my vision for it's population, before I begin it's
cycle. I think I want to make angelfish my centerpiece, but I want a
nice, healthy community.
<Certainly do-able with Pterophyllum spp., but don't
underestimate [a] their predatory instincts and [b] their territorial
In my research, I've read some conflicting opinions. In a tank my
size, can I have 3 or 4 angelfish
<Don't bank on it. I'd put money on this group ending up
with either a single bully or a pair, and the remainder needing to be
rehomed. Groups of six are somewhat more reliable, but you need a big
tank for that.>
and still have room for a couple more species like mollies or clown
loaches, or should I just have one angelfish in my community?
<Clown Loaches are right out, they're much too large! Mollies
need hard, basic water, and ideally brackish water, so they're
completely incompatible. Good companions for Angels includes Pearl and
Moonlight Gouramis, Harlequin Rasboras, Congo Tetras, Five-Banded
Barbs, and really anything else that is too large to eat but won't
in itself be nippy or aggressive. When choosing bottom dwellers, be
sure to choose species that enjoy the same warm water as Angelfish, for
example among Corydoras, the standout species is Corydoras sterbai,
though Brochis splendens is another winning choice.>
I'm also having trouble finding information regarding Angelfish
(and compatible fishes) and their compatibility with non-fishes. Would
I be able to add any frogs,
<No, too small to thrive with these big fish.>
<No, they're all amphibious and/or brackish water.>
<Not Apple snails, but Nerites and especially Clea helena and
Tylomelania species should work just fine.>
<Live food in most cases, though the big Amano Shrimps should be
to my future angelfish-centered community?
Can you tell I love variety? Anyway, thanks for helping out a novice
<Hope this helps, Neale.>
compatibility... info. 12/16/10
I have a 20-gallon tall that I'm looking to fill. I'm
considering a pair of (freshwater) angelfish and a pair of Killies or
two different species pair of Killies
in a planted tank, but I'm not sure about compatibility between
angels and Killies.
I may add a pair of Siamese algae eaters also, and that pretty much
tops out the bio-load for that size tank.
One other question. Although I don't plan to use it, this tank
currently has an undergravel filter. I'm curious whether there is
still a place in the hobby for undergravel filtration.
<See WWM re... http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwugfiltfaqs.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: compatibility... reading 12/16/10
Undecided on the Killie species. Depends largely on what is available
here. I'm open to suggestions since I've never kept Killies
<? Do a bit of reading, investigating before purchasing... Many
species of Killifish are difficult to keep except under special
conditions (i.e. not w/ Pterophyllum); some are too retiring.
Re: compatibility - 12/16/10
Have been reading on Killies, but there is a lot out there. I think I
need to find a local AKA member instead of pestering you guys.
<Or a good book perhaps>
By the way, my new Endler's are doing great. Different personality
than mollies but still fun.
<Ah good. B>
Angelfish again, incomp. 1/21/11
As I've mentioned in the past, I have that 20-gallon tall tank. I
stocked it originally with 2 *Pterophyllum scalare*. One died, which I
attributed to the tank cycling even though I was making frequent water
changes and the ammonia and nitrites never got above 0.5 ppm.
<These are deadly toxic materials, values...>
I waited until the tank cycled and then bought a replacement for the
second angel. That fish died in under 36 hours. A few days later, I
bought another and the same thing happened. (These were all mostly
black with a little silver if the strain makes any difference.) On
Monday I bought yet another replacement (this time a yellow and brown
strain) making sure I took one that was feisty and active. It was the
most active of the replacements and was eating well. I thought this one
would make it but I found it on the bottom of the tank this
The first angel, the remaining one from the original pair, I did see
"nosing" the yellow one during feeding time and occasionally
in the "sweet spot" between the major roots in the tank to
I did read your article here
and noted that sometimes an individual can become territorial over the
<This is so>
Since this is only 20 gallons with just a 10-gallon footprint, I come
to the conclusion that the surviving fish is the reason all my other
imports are dying.
Ultimately, my question is whether I can put anything else into the
tank with this angel.
<Answered yourself. Evidently not another angel. Perhaps some other
fast-moving, knowing species>
I think I'm out of luck if I want two angels in there, but I kind
of miss keeping tetras and thought putting in a small school of black
skirts might work, but I don't want to find a bunch of dead tetras
on the bottom of the tank. And there is still the bottom-feeder
question I asked last night. Can I even put a bottom feeding fish in
this tank or will it also be killed?
<Not likely if it's armored (vs. naked). B>
freshwater angelfish help 10/18/10
I have two large Koi marble angels in a 55 gallon tank. They both got
along well at first, but now they are fighting a lot.
<Unfortunately, this is what they do. Angelfish school when young,
but as adults they are more or less territorial, particularly
Their fighting consists of nipping each other just below the mouth.
The one that is being nipped will tilt back like he is submitting to
the other fish and then will nip back.
<The dominant fish is a male, and the weaker one most likely another
male as well.>
There is only 5 zebra Danios and one much smaller angel. They don't
seem to mind him.
<"He" is probably a she, and because of that, the dominant
male is happy to have her around.>
I want to keep them both. Can you give me some advice?
<This is a very tough problem to solve. There are two things you can
One is to add more females. Because Angels are virtually impossible to
sex except when spawning, adding females requires you to cozy up to an
Angelfish breeder and get some female specimens from them. You cannot
sex juveniles in aquarium shops. Possibly adding random Angelfish to
the tank would work, but you'd need at least 3 more specimens for
this to work because 6 appears to be the "magic number" when
it comes to getting Angels and Discus to school together as adults. In
smaller groups they almost always do what you're seeing --
individual fish become territorial and possibly bullies. Otherwise, all
you can do is remove one of the two Angels that are fighting, and hope
the remaining two coexist peacefully. If you
have another tank, the third Angel could be kept there by itself;
despite being described as schooling fish, adult Angels work just fine
I have never asked you a question before so I don't know whether
your response would go to my email or to your site specifically.
<We do both!>
<You're welcome. Cheers, Neale.>
FW Angelfish Tankmates 10/17/10
Hello WWM crew This is my first time writing although I run into a lot
of your posts through Google and find the very helpful. This time
however, I am stuck. I have a planted 55 Gallon aquarium that was
started on July 4th, 2010. Progressing very well, water parameters are
within normal limits of a planted tank, livestock includes a female
Blue Ram, Male Kribensis, pair of Cherry Barbs, 5 Pygmy Corydoras, 3
Flying Fox, Hillstream Loach, 4 Kuhli loaches, 1 Hummingbird Tetra, and
3 male Threadfin Rainbows, I really wanted to know if 1 Angelfish will
co-exist with the Threadfins or will the angel fin nip, try to eat, or
make life unbearable for them? I do not want to add the one Angel and
find either my Pygmy Corydoras or Threadfins gone.. Also will one
Angelfish be content by himself or do they always need to be in
schools? Thank you! Abdiel David
< Angelfish are cichlids. They will go after smaller fish with fin
extensions. AS they get bigger the smaller cherry barbs may then become
a target. The angelfish like to be in schools.-Chuck>
Re: Angelfish Compatibility Question, now, Algae issues,
now, Oto care/feeding
Future Angelfish Food 8/10/10
Hello again Crew, It has been quite a while... almost eight months.
Anyway I had managed to wait quite awhile for my local PetSmart to have
angelfish for sale. I asked the saleswoman and learned that they have
been there for almost three weeks! There are four juveniles, two black
and two yellow/blonde? I got the one that seemed the less violent of
the two yellows, and now he is at home of a 29 gallon tank that has a
swarm of guppies, and one lone Otocinclus, a sad shadow of the original
six. So now
the angelfish is the size of a guppy, but when it grows, will it try to
stomach his companions? Thanks, thanks very much!
< Angelfish are opportunistic predators and will eat any other fish
that will fit in their mouth. If the fish are fast enough then they
will last a little longer. Eventually the angelfish will get a bite
into them, they will slow down and eventually get picked off.-Chuck
Re: Angelfish Compatibility Question, now, Algae issues, now,
Cichlid Learning Curve 8/10/10
Yeah, you are probably right. Even though right now it is the size of a
dollar coin, it is becoming touchy, only a few hours after being
It seems to have hogged a lily plant that is smack middle of the fish
tank, and drives all of the guppies away, but does not mind the
Glowlight tetras that swim below it. How long does it take an angelfish
to ah, "mature", as
in beginning to start stalking and biting other fish?
< Cichlids are actually pretty smart and will not take long to
figure out what fits in the mouth and what doesn't. It will always
be trying as long as it is hungry. So as it grows so does the size of
its potential prey items.-Chuck>
Angel fish in a 20 gallon long
I was wondering if it is possible for a 6 inch freshwater angelfish to
be happy in a 20 gallon long tank,
<In terms of water quality, then yes, it's do-able, but if the
Angelfish is so "tall" its fins are dragged along the bottom
of the aquarium, then it won't be terribly happy. Most of the
common Angels sold only get to about 10 cm/4 inches long, and maybe 12
cm/5 inches tall. But if you have a deep gravel bed for plants, you may
not have much more than 20 cm/8 inches of water depth, which would
really be too little for Angelfish. So you'll have to use some
common sense here.>
with four fancy male guppies??
<Potentially Angelfish food, either whole or one bite at a
Wouldn't the guppies be attacked?
<Yes, Angelfish will nip at the fins of Fancy Guppies. Large
Angelfish can, do eat small Guppies whole.>
I also have 12 Neons in there, but I would move them to the ten gallon
as I know they would become a snack.
Would a 20 gallon tall tank be much better for an angel???
<Breeding pairs of Angels are usually kept in tall 20 gallon tanks,
but in community settings, Angels are best kept in systems 30 gallons
Apart from extra space, this allows you to keep sensibly-sized
tankmates alongside the Angels, such as Gouramis, Bleeding Heart
Tetras, Dwarf Rainbowfish, and so on.>
I noticed some places sell the angelfish and say they may grow to eight
<These will be non-hybrid Angels, and tend to be quite expensive.
Things like Pterophyllum altum, true Pterophyllum scalare, and
Pterophyllum "Peru". The standard sort sold in ordinary pet
stores, including all the
ones with non-wild-type colouration, are hybrids that rarely get this
Veil-tail Angels are the exceptions of course, but I don't
recommend keeping them in community settings because they're so
commonly nipped by otherwise "nice" fish.>
<You're welcome, Neale.>
Angelfish bullying others 5/3/10
I bought 6 angelfish a while ago, and 3 died after a few weeks.
<Did you determine the cause of these deaths?>
I got 3 more to replace them, and now one of the original fish is
bullying the others, whether they're new or not.
<How large are these fish? Have you noticed any "pairing
I have them in a 29 gallon specifically set up for breeding them and
they're the only fish in the tank.
<Do you mean the six of them? Normally, when one purchases six
Angels in preparation for finding a breeding pair, the other four are
removed after a pair is established. You're going to have a
difficult time actually breeding the fish in the presence of the
others, especially in this small tank. Have you found a pair
I moved the bully
fish to another tank to keep it from stressing out the others, and they
seemed to be fine. Today I put the bully fish back in, hoping it would
stop attacking the others, and it was fine for the first hour. After
that, it began herding the others to one side of the tank.
<Angels can really turn into bullies, as you've witnessed. I
have a breeding pair who, after being moved to a larger system (a 125
gallon community), began to fight. I removed the aggressor (the male)
for a month, and then returned him to the tank. He has been less
aggressive, but I still do witness spats between the two of them, and
this is a pair which spawns every three weeks. Unfortunately, it is in
their nature, and if you've got a breeding pair established,
I'd remove all four of the others if you plan to breed them. Still,
you may experience troubles as these fish mature.>
I'm afraid it's going to
kill the others if it keeps stressing them like this, so should I take
it back to the pet store and exchange it for a different one?
<I'm still not sure if you've got a pair or not, or if
you're actually expecting a pair to spawn in this tank, with all of
the other fish (probably won't happen), or what, so I'm a
little confused. In any case, this is a small tank for six mature
Angels, so if that's what you've got, the problem won't go
away. You could exchange it, but if you've already got a pair,
it's time for the other four to go back, anyway. Ultimately, this
tank will house two mature, breeding Angels, and again, you may see
problems just between those two, as I've experienced. But, trying
to keep six in there is going to lead to even more problems.>
I don't want to trade it if I don't have to, but I'm not
sure what to do. The temperature in
the tank is 80 degrees F, and ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels are
<What are "normal?" I'm fairly sure it has nothing to
do with this issue that you're having, but numbers are far better
than subjective terms when it comes to water quality.>
What should I do?
<If this fish has become aggressive in this small system, I
don't even think a longer "time out" is going to help. If
you've already got your pair, return the other four, and hope for
the best with the two that you have. That's really all you've
got room for in this tank. If you don't have a pair yet, then I
guess you could exchange him, but as these fish mature, and no pair
develops, you're going to keep running into problems.
That's just a lot of attitude for a 29 gallon tank! Please write
back if you have further questions.
Re: Angelfish bullying others 5/10/10
Hey, I'm writing back about my angelfish.
<Hey! Good to hear back!>
I think the breeder my pet store got the first angels from didn't
care enough about angelfish and fishkeeping to remove unhealthy fish
from the group he sold to the pet store.
<Even good pet stores/good breeders cannot necessarily "pick
out" the sick ones -- if they looked sick, you wouldn't have
purchased them, right? So, these things happen. My worry was caused by
the fact that you lost half of your initial stock, and it could have
been due to illness that began at the store. I just wanted to make sure
there wasn't anything going on which you could take and add to your
file of "fishkeeping knowledge" for next time!>
I think the bully fish may have killed the last one, but I don't
think angels will eat their own kind, will they?
<If a fish is weak, it will be the target of bullying, and a dead
fish is a meal, so yes.>
I found one of the last one's fins on the substrate, but that was
Yes, I am planning on removing the other four once I have a pair
established, but as of right now, none of them have paired up. There
are no other fish in the tank besides the 6 angelfish, and ammonia is
0, nitrite is 0, and nitrate is just a little too high (I just did a
water change to fix this).
<Oh, okay. Do remember that the longer it goes, with no
"pairing up" the more crowded this tank gets, both physically
and psychologically. Please see my suggestions below for redecorating
to possibly ease territoriality.>
The bully fish has calmed down a lot, but it will still fight for every
piece of food it can get to.
<It's good to hear he's calmed down. It may be that one of
the new additions is giving him a run for his money.>
But now one of my angels has fungus, so I moved it to a quarantine tank
and am treating it right now.
<This could be due to stress, less-than-optimal water quality, or
both. So keep these things in mind.>
It's just one thing after another. Should I just get 6 new angels
and start over?
<You could, or you could give the ones you have more time. Try
adding (if you don't already have) more tall, bushy plants, and
maybe some vertical rockwork. Anything vertical does double duty, in
that it breaks up the space, encouraging the establishment of
different, separate territories as the fish age, and also makes it easy
to tell when fish have paired up, as they'll begin cleaning a
vertical surface in preparation of spawning. It's really up to you
whether or not you keep these guys, but I'd probably be tempted to
give it a go -- at least you know what's up with the fish you have,
and that the majority of them seem to be healthy.>
I didn't have the choice or patience the first time to choose only
healthy ones, and I can do better this time, as they have a larger
selection of larger fish(half dollar sized) that I won't have to
raise as long before they pair up. What should I do?
<You could remove the bully, as you suggested before. You could do
some redecorating, as I suggest above, and see how that changes the
dynamic of the tank. You could return all, and get six more... choices,
choices! I'd probably stick with the group I had, and give them
some more time, especially if they're still smaller fish... in any
case, you're obviously carefully weighting options/possibilities...
so any choice you make will be a good one to go with. In the meantime,
enjoy learning/reading about the fish you've got, and planning your
setups for breeding, etc.! Please write back if you have any more
Are Platies and angelfish generally compatible?
I have done my research on a fish and all, but I cannot find one thing
(many websites are telling me they are and aren't). Are Platies and
angelfish generally compatible?
<Somewhat, but they're not ideal companions. Platies need hard,
basic water that isn't too warm; 10+ degrees dH, pH 7.5-8, 22-25
Celsius. Angelfish prefer soft water and high water temperature; 5-15
degrees dH, pH 6-8,
25-30 Celsius. While there's a bit of overlap there, Platies
don't do well in soft water, so unless you're keeping your
Angels in moderately hard water, Platies aren't going to work. If
you keep the tank warmed to much above 25 C, the Platies will be
stressed. In short, there are much better companion species to look at
than Platies. Skip livebearers, and instead concentrate on things like
characins and especially Rainbowfish. A school of Melanotaenia
boesemanni for example would work great.>
If you have a good Wet Webpage on them or another web site for
care and maintenance to that would be great!
<Much here, and follow the links for more:
Sincerely, The Fish Keeper
My new fish :D Molly, Angelfish, Newt incomp.
My name is Libby.
I have owned and operated my own fish tanks for about 12yrs now. I just
got a couple of freshwater angelfish today and I also picked up a
couple of Marble Lyretail(sp?) Mollies.
<Not an ideal combination. Although Mollies sometimes do okay in
plain freshwater, they are more reliably in slightly brackish water.
Angels, on the other hand, are soft water fish, and while they'll
live in hard water, they won't tolerate brackish water. In other
words, these are two types of fish you'd be unwise to mix. Do read
I'm in the process of floating them in their tank (which are two
separate tanks I'm working with). One tank I have is about 10g and
is currently housing a Paddle Tail newt (Sally) whom I have had for
<Well, these are coldwater amphibians, and have no business living
with tropical fish.>
My other tank which is about 5g is currently empty, and is temporary
housing for my Angelfish until I set up my 30g tank. I was originally
planning on introducing my Mollies in with Sally.
<Nope. Optimal water temperature for your newt, Pachytriton
labiatus, is 15 degrees C; Mollies and Angels are both hothouse flowers
that need temperatures above even those of the average tropical fish,
and are best kept at 28 degree C or even slightly higher. There's
no overlap here at all.>
Sally has lived with many other fish in the past and only gets
aggressive if she gets bothered first. Other than eating old, dying
fish, I have never been concerned with her attacking and killing my
other little buddies. She's even been homed with Tetra's before
and never harmed them.
<You really are keeping your newt far too warm. Do please review the
needs of this species. Your newt will have a much shorter life kept too
I've had Sally with Mollies before, but I'm wondering if I
would honestly just be better off with introducing my Mollies to my
Angelfish. My only concern is if they would get along okay. I've
never owned Angelfish before, but am very prepared for the road ahead
<Farmed Angels, which is what I assume you have, are quite
straightforward fish. Do read here:
I would really like to have them together, but I'm wondering if the
Mollies would be too aggressive with my Angels?
<They're a bad combination because of differing water chemistry
requirements. In terms of behaviour, they should ignore one another,
but both species have the potential to be aggressive, occasionally
cause major problems in community tanks.>
Is this something I can accomplish? Should I just play it safe and keep
my Mollies in Sally's tank? Gosh, I have so many other questions I
don't know where to begin, but I guess this will do for now :). I
hope to hear from you soon!
<Time to do some reading, I fear. Hope this helps, Neale.>
Aggressive Angelfish 1/25/2009
Hello, I would first like to say I just recently stumbled across your
site not too long ago and found it very informative. Thank you for
putting so much work, knowledge, and time into such a site.
<Thanks for your kind words.>
I've a freshwater aquarium, and although I'm unsure how large
it is, my guess is that it's roughly 20 gallons if not just
slightly larger. In it, I've 2 Cory Cats,
<Schooling fish; will be stressed and unhappy unless 5+ specimens
per species kept.>
2 Otos (I believe this is what they are),
<Another schooling fish; also tend to do badly in crowded tanks.
Need cool water, to 25 C, and lots of green algae.>
3 Platies (A "batman", a "coral" and a "Gold
bar" or something, I'm unsure of the last one), 6 Beckford
Pencilfish, A goldfish, 2 Black swordtails, 3 Serpae tetras,
<These are incredibly nippy.>
and last but not least a "sm. angelfish".
<"Small" means "baby", and these fish will get
to their full size of about 12 cm within about a year.>
The tank originally started with a left over goldfish from a biology
experiment for school (We were to test stress levels on a goldfish to
understand breathing rate, etc.) that I had saved (It would otherwise
have been flushed). The goldfish started in a bowl, but was then moved
to a 10 gallon tank, where I acquired a Pleco (Mysteriously vanished)
and 2 Platies (The "Gold Bar" and another different type). As
time progressed, the goldfish grew rapidly, and I eventually changed it
to it's current tank.
I've had the tank established for a little over a year.
Unfortunately one of the Platies passed away (It swam into an ornament
and never came out).
<Usually not the immediate cause of death, any more than people die
in hospitals because hospitals are deadly poisonous. What normally
happens is a fish is weakened somehow, and drifts into a cave or gets
stuck in a filter because it doesn't have the strength to do
My tank looked a little bare in terms of fish, and so I had purchased
two black swordtails (From my understanding, one is female and one is
male due to a stripe on one of their tails),
<No. Male Platies are smaller than females and have a rod-shaped
anal fin, the gonopodium.>
2 Cory cats, 3 Otos and a "Sm. angel". I understand that the
temperature for the angelfish is higher than the goldfish would like,
however so far the goldfish hasn't had any problems. I was worried
at first that the angelfish would bully my "gold bar" platy,
however they seemed to co-exist without problems. Next came some 5 Fin
Sharks (I was assured by the store, and informed by 2 other stores that
they would be fine in Freshwater, even though I suspected they needed
brackish and saltwater. Unfortunately, it turns out either I was right,
or they both mysteriously died after roughly the same length of time
(I'd say roughly 3 months?) and acting weird), and
then the tetras previously mentioned.
<I have no idea what "Fin Sharks" might be. Sciades
seemanni is sometimes sold as the White-fin Shark or Black-fin Shark,
and is indeed a brackish/marine catfish. Certainly, Sciades seemanni
would be totally inappropriate for a 20 gallon aquarium. Indeed, 5 of
them would need something around the 100 gallon mark, minimum.
They're big, extremely active predators. Let me also say that if
you suspect your retailer doesn't know about a fish he's
selling, why trust him? It costs nothing to e-mail us, and if that
doesn't appeal, there are plenty of good aquarium books. In
any event, your tank is way overstocked, and I'm sure the catfish
and tetras died because of poor water quality rather than anything
When the tetra's were first introduced, they stuck together and
attempted to nip the platy. It took a few days, however they ended up
co-existing and I haven't seen the tetras nip again.
<"Haven't seen" doesn't mean it doesn't
An Oto became caught in the same ornament that one of the initial
Platies became caught in and passed away within the last 3 months.
<Again, I doubt this ornament goes around snapping up fish that swim
by; think about why fish are getting weak, and act accordingly.>
Today, my girlfriend decided to get some fish for her aquarium and
while there I decided to pick up 2 more Platies (As at this point with
the exception of the angelfish and goldfish, everything else had
<What are "playmates"? A fish is either solitary or else a
schooling species kept in groups of 6+ specimens. There's no
Please, don't apply human thinking to animals. For one thing,
animals resent it. They have their own wants and concerns. And
secondly, most of what we think we know about human behaviour is
rubbish anyway, which is why we have wars, crime, crooked politicians
and other such plagues.>
and 6 Beckford Pencilfish as there was a sale for the two types of
Before this addition to the fish, everything lived peacefully. My
angelfish is about the size of a Canadian Toonie, possibly SLIGHTLY
larger. It has not had an aggressive attitude towards any of it tank
mates. After today's
addition, the angelfish will occasionally attempt to nip at the batman
platy (Which is rather small, and although the angelfish is pretty
small, it's still roughly 2-3 times larger) however it leaves the
coral platy and gold bar alone completely. The Pencilfish seem to be
having no problem either, and one of them is roughly the size of the
now-bullied platy. I'm concerned as the batman platy is floating at
the bottom (Almost looks dead) but seems to be hiding.
<Stress, poor water quality, wring water chemistry... could be any
number of things. Male Platies are bullies, and you should have at
least twice as many females as males. Water quality should be good:
zero ammonia and zero
nitrite. Water chemistry should be hard (10+ degrees dH) and basic (pH
7.5 to 8). Water temperature should be quite cool, around 22-24 C. This
is ideal for Corydoras, but too cold for Angelfish and most tetras,
which is why Platies aren't ideal companions for such fish. Do READ
about fish before purchase. I'd have a lot more hair on my head if
I didn't get so worked up reading e-mails like this one!>
I know the angelfish has not been getting to the platy very often, as
it was chased into this corner almost immediately after being
introduced to the tank, and the angelfish has been unable to get at it.
So I know that
the angelfish has not caused any physical damage as of yet. Can I
expect the angelfish to settle down within a few days, as the tetras
did when they were first introduced?
Why is it only aggressive towards the "batman" platy?
Note: I just fed them (I made sure the platy got food, it did eat a
fair amount) and the angelfish is now nipping at anything that tries to
take "it's" flake of food. The angelfish will drag a
piece into a corner and nibble on it and if anything comes near the
flake they will seem to charge at them, then go back to their flake.
Once done feeding, the angelfish went back to living harmoniously with
everything other than the batman platy.
Also, while I'm asking, my goldfish continually churns up the
gravel at the bottom of the tank with its mouth, and it actually seems
to be "eating" or "sucking" on the gravel before
spitting it back out. I read online that this is normal, but I know not
to believe everything you read online.
Should I be concerned at all?
Thank you very much in advance. -- -Kyle
<Oh boy, you have some work to do. And you need some much better
fishkeeping habits. Try reading about fish, and understanding more
about how an aquarium works. Fewer fish will die. Cheers,
Re: Aggressive Angelfish
> Hello, I would first like to say I just recently stumbled across
> not too long ago and found it very informative. Thank you for
> much work, knowledge, and time into such a site.
> <Thanks for your kind words.>
> -You're welcome-
> I've a freshwater aquarium, and although I'm unsure how
large it is, my
> guess is that it's roughly 20 gallons if not just slightly
larger. In it,
> I've 2 Cory Cats,
> <Schooling fish; will be stressed and unhappy unless 5+
> species kept.>
> 2 Otos (I believe this is what they are),
> <Another schooling fish; also tend to do badly in crowded
tanks. Need cool
> water, to 25 C, and lots of green algae.>
-Have done alright as it is, even with non-ideal temperature.
<<Just saying, they'll live longer when kept towards the
cooler end of the tropical range. Lots of folks ignore the requirements
of Otocinclus spp.; and lots of folks find them difficult to keep alive
for more than a year.
Do feel free to double check what I'm saying in any catfish book of
> 3 Platies (A "batman", a "coral" and a
"Gold bar" or something, I'm unsure
> of the last one), 6 Beckford Pencilfish, A goldfish, 2 Black
> Serpae tetras,
> <These are incredibly nippy.>
<<Serpae tetras. The Hyphessobrycon eques and its relatives.
First fish I ever kept. Known for having a feeding frenzy behaviour,
and also semi-parasitic, consuming the fins of other fish as part of
their natural diet. Lots of lookalike species, some nippier than
> and last but not least a "sm. angelfish".
> <"Small" means "baby", and these fish will
get to their full size of about
> 12 cm within about a year.>
-It's been about 8 months and it hasn't grown much. It's
not stunted due to small space.-
<<Still very young. Surprised it hasn't grown much. But these
are inbred and somewhat hybridised, so saying anything with 100%
certainty is difficult. Most do reach about 10 cm within a year or
> The tank originally started with a left over goldfish from a
> experiment for school (We were to test stress levels on a goldfish
> understand breathing rate, etc.) that I had saved (It would
> been flushed). The goldfish started in a bowl, but was then moved
to a 10
> gallon tank, where I acquired a Pleco (Mysteriously vanished) and
> (The "Gold Bar" and another different type). As time
> goldfish grew rapidly, and I eventually changed it to it's
> I've had the tank established for a little over a year.
> of the Platies passed away (It swam into an ornament and never
> <Usually not the immediate cause of death, any more than people
> hospitals because hospitals are deadly poisonous. What normally
> a fish is weakened somehow, and drifts into a cave or gets stuck
> filter because it doesn't have the strength to do
-People can leave a hospital. This house would be difficult for
anything to get out of. It has since been removed from aquarium.-
<<Point taken. What I was (perhaps clumsily) expressing was that
your fish didn't die because it got trapped inside an ornament.
Much more likely it was moribund, drifted into the ornament, and then
> My tank looked a little bare in terms of fish, and so I had
> black swordtails (From my understanding, one is female and one is
> to a stripe on one of their tails),
> <No. Male Platies are smaller than females and have a
rod-shaped anal fin,
> the gonopodium.>
-I was not aware Swordtails were Platies. After a quick Google of it,
apparently they're close relatives, but not the same.-
<<Yes. Quite right. I misread that. Forgive me. I answer a couple
dozen messages a day, and once in a while I make a mistake. In any
event, Swordtails are usually sexed by the length of the lower lobe of
the tail fin, but do understand some males never develop this, or
sometimes develop it very slowly. So ALWAYS go by the gonopodium if in
doubt. Don't assume a female is a female just because the fish has
no "sword". Many a fishkeeper has been caught out on
> 2 Cory cats, 3 Otos and a "Sm. angel". I understand that
> for the angelfish is higher than the goldfish would like, however
> the goldfish hasn't had any problems. I was worried at first
> angelfish would bully my "gold bar" platy, however they
seemed to co-exist
> without problems. Next came some 5 Fin Sharks (I was assured by
> and informed by 2 other stores that they would be fine in
> though I suspected they needed brackish and saltwater.
> turns out either I was right, or they both mysteriously died after
> the same length of time (I'd say roughly 3 months?) and acting
> then the tetras previously mentioned.
> <I have no idea what "Fin Sharks" might be. Sciades
seemanni is sometimes
> sold as the White-fin Shark or Black-fin Shark, and is indeed
> brackish/marine catfish. Certainly, Sciades seemanni would be
> inappropriate for a 20 gallon aquarium. Indeed, 5 of them would
> something around the 100 gallon mark, minimum. They're big,
> active predators. Let me also say that if you suspect your
> know about a fish he's selling, why trust him? It costs
nothing to e-mail
> us, and if that doesn't appeal, there are plenty of good
aquarium books. In
> any event, your tank is way overstocked, and I'm sure the
> tetras died because of poor water quality rather than anything
-I notice a lot of advice on your site, even on the submit a question
page, is to use your search function. I'd much appreciate if you
would take your own advice. A simple search on your own site would show
you that a 5 fin shark has also been a somewhat common name for
<<Never, ever come across this name for them. All sharks have 5
fins (at least) so it's a pretty unhelpful name. Honestly, I
literally wrote the book on brackish water fishes, and never came
across this name. I've learned something today. Thanks!>>
I never said how many of these I had, although it's to my
understanding you took it as a "fin shark" and not a "5
fin shark". I did not have 5 of these, that would be crazy.
<<Crazy to you perhaps. But not for the fish. These are schooling
fish, and it is very common for singletons to become neurotic, spending
all their time treading water in one corner. I don't really know
what you want me to say here.>>
Other than the 5 Fin being sold as a freshwater fish, I've yet to
see any reason NOT to trust them.
<<THAT isn't enough? They sold you a big, predatory (and
venomous!) brackish/marine fish and told you it'd be fine in your
small freshwater aquarium? How much do you want them to mislead you
before you'll pick up a book and double check their pearls of
It's to my understanding an inch of fish per gallon of water?
<<This is a very misleading rule. Think about it. An adult Great
White Shark is around 15 feet long, or 180 inches. Neon tetras get to
about 1.5 inches. So 120 of them would measure 15 feet. Which do you
think needs more space? The Neons or the Great White Shark? Even
allowing for the fact Sciades seemanni is rather smaller, let's say
12 inches when full grown, a single specimen is still going to need
more space than 8 Neon Tetras, right? Even though 8 Neons would measure
12 inches laid end to end. The inch-per-gallon rule really only works
with very small fish: Neons, guppies, Danios, and so on. Anything
substantially larger and it's useless.>>
Going by that, my tank is not overstocked at the moment.
Thank you for your concern. Also, my water quality is fine. I do happen
to test it. Again, thanks for your concern however.-
> When the tetra's were first introduced, they stuck together
> to nip the platy. It took a few days, however they ended up
> I haven't seen the tetras nip again.
> <"Haven't seen" doesn't mean it doesn't
-I understand that, however it means that it's happening less
frequently than before as before I saw it all the time, and now I never
<<Fine. I don't need to win any arguments here.>>
> An Oto became caught in the same ornament that one of the initial
> became caught in and passed away within the last 3 months.
> <Again, I doubt this ornament goes around snapping up fish that
> think about why fish are getting weak, and act
-Not once did I say that an ornament was snapping up fish. You've
managed to get lost once or twice, no?-
<<Forgive me, I was merely using idiomatic English to suggest
something in a humorous way. But just to be clear, my point was that
the fish wasn't killed by the ornament. It most likely died (or was
moribund) and then ended up in the ornament.>>
> Today, my girlfriend decided to get some fish for her aquarium and
> there I decided to pick up 2 more Platies (As at this point with
> exception of the angelfish and goldfish, everything else had
> <What are "playmates"? A fish is either solitary or
else a schooling
> species kept in groups of 6+ specimens. There's no
> Please, don't apply human thinking to animals. For one thing,
> resent it. They have their own wants and concerns. And secondly,
> what we think we know about human behaviour is rubbish anyway,
which is why
> we have wars, crime, crooked politicians and other such
-Unless you've a device to communicate with animals, then I do not
believe you can factually make the remark that animals resent humans
applying human thought to them. Secondly, how can animals
"resent" something, because according to what you said just a
sentence before that, they hate when people apply human thought to
them. Resent being a human thought and all. Not to mention that cats
play, dogs play, etc. They're animals, and yet they clearly
<<Again, I was merely trying (and failing) to be humorous. Fish
at least don't play, with one (questionable) exception among the
Mormyridae. So far as scientists can tell, things like chasing
aren't play behaviour, but assertions of dominance within the
school, or whatever.>>
> and 6 Beckford Pencilfish as there was a sale for the two types of
> Before this addition to the fish, everything lived peacefully. My
> is about the size of a Canadian Toonie, possibly SLIGHTLY larger.
> not had an aggressive attitude towards any of it tank mates. After
> addition, the angelfish will occasionally attempt to nip at the
> platy (Which is rather small, and although the angelfish is pretty
> it's still roughly 2-3 times larger) however it leaves the
coral platy and
> gold bar alone completely. The Pencilfish seem to be having no
> either, and one of them is roughly the size of the now-bullied
> concerned as the batman platy is floating at the bottom (Almost
> but seems to be hiding.
> <Stress, poor water quality, wring water chemistry... could be
> of things. Male Platies are bullies, and you should have at least
> many females as males. Water quality should be good: zero ammonia
> nitrite. Water chemistry should be hard (10+ degrees dH) and basic
> to 8). Water temperature should be quite cool, around 22-24 C.
> ideal for Corydoras, but too cold for Angelfish and most tetras,
> why Platies aren't ideal companions for such fish. Do READ
> before purchase. I'd have a lot more hair on my head if I
didn't get so
> worked up reading e-mails like this one!>
-Stress might be possible, water quality is fine, and the platy has
been he bullied so far, not the bully. Again, the only thing that may
be wrong is the temperature, however I've had a platy living in
this temperature or a year now and it's as healthy as can be from
what I see. Again, not everything is going to be ideal in real life yet
people, animals, etc. adapt.-
<<Up to a point, yes. But adapting to something doesn't mean
they're functioning at full efficiency. Humans can (and do) survive
on poor diets, with poor drinking water, and so on. But the less good
these things are, the more prone they are to disease. When we keep fish
together we're already trapping them in much smaller volumes of
water than they'd inhabit in the wild. Things like water quality
and oxygen availability are much lower than in the wild. This is why
fish get sick, at least most of the time. Every little thing you do to
optimise conditions reduces the chances of sickness. Conversely, every
deviation from optimal conditions increases the chances of
> I know the angelfish has not been getting to the platy very often,
> was chased into this corner almost immediately after being
> the tank, and the angelfish has been unable to get at it. So I
> the angelfish has not caused any physical damage as of yet. Can I
> the angelfish to settle down within a few days, as the tetras did
when they were first introduced?
> <Who knows?>
-Well seeing as you've criticized on everything else I said, and
I'm emailing you, I ASSUMED you would.-
<<I'm simply saying that on the basis of the data given, I
can't assure you that the Angelfish will settle down. It might, it
> Why is it only aggressive towards the "batman"
> <No idea.>
> Note: I just fed them (I made sure the platy got food, it did eat
> amount) and the angelfish is now nipping at anything that tries to
> "it's" flake of food. The angelfish will drag a
piece into a corner and
> nibble on it and if anything comes near the flake they will seem
> at them, then go back to their flake. Once done feeding, the
> back to living harmoniously with everything other than the batman
> Also, while I'm asking, my goldfish continually churns up the
the bottom of the tank with its mouth, and it actually seems to be
or "sucking" on the gravel before spitting it back out. I
read online that
> this is normal, but I know not to believe everything you read
> Should I be concerned at all?
> <Is normal.>
> Thank you very much in advance. -- -Kyle
> <Oh boy, you have some work to do. And you need some much
> fishkeeping habits. Try reading about fish, and understanding more
> how an aquarium works. Fewer fish will die. Cheers, Neale.>
-I understand how an aquarium works, thanks though.
<<Up to a point perhaps. But the fact you don't understand
the inch-per-gallon rule implies you have some gaps in your
And if we're going to try and nitpick reasons for why fish are
dying, without any credible information, I'd like to say that maybe
if you were a little more concerned with reading my email, searching
your own site, and helping my situation, fewer fish would die.
<<I think if you go back and look at the (surely) thousands of
messages I've answered, most folks have been appreciative of what
I've told them. We aren't paid to do this. We're
volunteers. You didn't pay me to be nice. You asked me to offer
some advice. A favour from me to you. I did that. If you don't like
the advice, you are more than welcome to go elsewhere. If you're
looking for someone to sell you more fish and more magic potions and
products, your retailer will be only too happy to see you. But I happen
to put the fish first, and wanted to share some useful advice with
Of course, I'm no fish expert, and I don't claim to be,
<<Luckily, I am an expert.>>
however I've had aquariums before containing various fish, and
never had a problem once.
<<Good for you!>>
I know Angelfish are aggressive, especially as they get larger, however
I did not understand why it would only attack one fish in the whole
<<Sexually mature males especially are territorial. Yours may
well be genetically (or otherwise) stunted somehow, and older than it
looks. So now it's throwing its weight around.>>
I understand some fish are schooling fish, but by your knowledge that
fish hate being personified, they don't get lonely.
<<Didn't say they become melancholy and cry themselves to
sleep. But schooling fish are nervous when kept singly, and more likely
to exhibit abnormal behaviours, sometimes aggression, sometimes
shyness. They are more likely to get sick, less likely to show their
best colours, and unlikely to live their full lifespan.>>
Schooling fish, although ideal with 4-6+, will live with even a single
<<Says you. But I suspect you're merely rationalising. No-one
else who knows anything about fish would agree with you. But
Which, I've tried to keep more than one, and a few of these
incidents have occurred. I await your response, and I hope it's
more helpful/educational than this one was.
<<Simply because I'm not telling you what you want to hear
doesn't mean I'm wrong. Indeed the fact I have a zoology
degree, a PhD, write for aquarium magazines the world over, cover
healthy topics for FishChannel.com, and have an aquarium book to my
name might just suggest I have a little knowledge. But you're free
to ignore all of that and keep the fish however you want.>>
I apologize for the late reply, I've been rather busy lately.-
<<Hope this clarifies things, and good luck with your fish.
Re: Aggressive Angelfish
Thank you. I found this much more informative than the last email.
I much appreciate the time and effort you have taken to reply to this,
and you've helped me realize a few things such as the "inch of
fish per gallon" rule and such.
<Glad I could help.>
I apologize if I seemed snappy, I didn't mean to, and I
<Unnecessary, but thank you.>
I forgot that you read many emails a day. Thank you again.
<You're welcome. Cheers, Neale!>
Angelfish Compatibility Question 1/15/10
<Hi! Melinda with you here tonight.>
First I'm going to say that you have a wonderful site that I have
found many answers to fish keeping.
<I am always astounded at just how much information there is on
However, I'm 12 years old, so I will thank you to take me
<I'd do nothing else -- especially since you are obviously
treating the situation with the same seriousness!>
Currently I have a 29 Gallon aquarium with some Amazon Swords and Java
Ferns in it. I have 4 Glowlight Tetras, a single female guppy, and lot
of guppy fry. My question is how many Angelfish can be added to this
aquarium and will they eat my Glowlights?
<I'd add one Angel here, for two reasons. One, I think this
volume, along with the tankmates, sort of leans toward only one Angel.
The second reason is that unless you were able to obtain a mated pair,
the aggression between two Angels in a tank this size would likely turn
bad for the weaker one.
Angels are surprisingly territorial, as well, so there would not only
be danger toward another Angel, but any tankmate. This doesn't even
stop with a mated pair, in fact -- my pair goes from loving each other
to really hating each other, day in and day out! I'd say go for one
here, and watch him or her grow big and beautiful. It'll be
completely worth it!>
I've had them for 4 years
and my parents won't be thrilled that they became lunch.
<The Glowlights should be fine. I have noticed that my Glowlights
tend to be pretty pushy at mealtime, and this gives them little fat
bellies! Thus, they're not as thin as, say, a Neon would be, and
their maximum size, lengthwise, puts them at the bottom of the list of
potential Angel food.
Since these guys have had a head-start, having already been in your
tank, there should be no problem. However, with the Glowlights on the
bottom of the list, the Guppy fry will be on the top! This is a common
method of population control for some folks who keep livebearers, and
there's certainly nothing wrong with it, but I wanted to make sure
you were aware.
The Angel will likely eat a good portion of the fry.>
P.S. My 29 Gal came in a kit, with filters, heaters, etc. the filter is
rated at 30 gal a hour? Is this enough?
<What you want to be looking at here is the filter's stated
turnover -- how many gallons it moves per hour. This information may
not be listed on the filter itself, and if you no longer have the box,
a quick Google search with the name and model of the filter should
reveal this information.
You're ultimately aiming for a filter that turns the tank's
volume over six times per hour or more. So, if you search and find that
the filter you have isn't strong enough, you could buy another
hang-on-back filter and add it to the tank to achieve this turnover.
There's also a hidden benefit here -- if you change the cartridge
in one filter one month, and then change the other filter's
cartridge in the next month, you're doing a lot to preserve the
beneficial bacteria that create the biological cycle us fishkeepers are
so dependent upon. Also, if one filter happens to die, you've still
got another one, and the situation is a lot less of an emergency! So, I
think this would be a good idea, anyway. Please feel free to write back
if you have any questions!>
Thanks for your help!
Re: Angelfish Compatibility Question, then, Algae issues, now, back to
Angel care! 1/16/10
Thanks! Well, this is probably my final questions, because Ill probably
be asking more when the Angel arrives.
<Okay. Do check out what WWM has about Angels:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWsubwebindex/fwangelfishes.htm and those
linked files above the title of the article.>
But do I really need dither fish or is it okay for the angel to just
<Your Glowlights will serve as dithers; even if there were no other
fish, I doubt your Angel would just hide. They are not shy fish in the
Currently I only have flakes, and I'm still talking to my parents
for wet frozen foods. Should I first use guppy fry (I am willing to
sacrifice many small lives for n expensive and beautiful one!) as a
beginning food to help the angel get out of its timidness?
<Likely won't be timid. If this was a wild-caught fish, then
steps might need to be taken in order to ensure it began eating,
settled in, etc., but the typical Angel you'll find in the pet
store is the product of generations of captive breeding, and
doesn't have a lot of special needs.>
Thanks a lot for all of your response. I'm the only one that knows
how to keep fish in my family and there's only so much I can learn
from books. I will tell you when I might get the angel! I might have to
wait until the temp in Wisconsin is a bit warmer.
<Sounds great. Make sure and read everything WWM has to offer about
Angels -- they are such a popular fish that there are pages and pages
of archived queries. There's a chance you'll find answers to
questions you hadn't even thought to ask yet! Good luck with your
fish and please write back if you can't find the answer to a
Re: Angelfish Compatibility Question, and FW alg. contr.
Thanks for your extremely fast reply. I'm actually quite surprised
that the response was so quick.
<Not a problem!>
Just to tell though, the guppy fry are in a plastic box that floats at
the top of the tank. Actually, I may release some of the fry as live
Not to be cruel or anything, I just don't want my tank to be so filled
<Oh, okay. Yeah, if that's what you want to do. That's why I
said that some folks who keep livebearers do use this method in order
to control population.>
So since you said I could get one, could I get a pair or anything?
<I'd really stick with the one. As I said, even a pair will turn
on each other at times, and then there's a surprising amount of
violence! In this small volume, with nowhere to escape, the weaker one
would be killed, I'm afraid. Also, there is the issue of finding a
pair, and ensuring they are a pair, and then even whether they'll
be a pair when they move from the seller's tank to yours! In
addition, two full-grown Angels are going to represent a relatively
heavy bioload for you, and since you haven't got filtration quite
hammered down yet, I think stocking lightly is the thing to do. Like I
said, I think finding the best Angelfish ever and allowing him or her
to inhabit the tank solo is best here.>
Also, I just noticed, (I was checking the tank) and I found what looks
like... Dark brown circles on my swordplant leaves? I think they may
be... Beard algae? How do I get rid of it? (I have tried restricting
light, underfeeding, but it seems to grow back...)
<Dark brown circles? Like the leaf itself is becoming discolored?
This doesn't sound like algae... but more like a problem with the
Try reading here on Algae:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_6/volume_6_3/fwalgae.html. As for
beard algae, I have six Amazon Swords in my planted tank, and all of
them were quite furry until I introduced CO2. However, that was only
after I'd ruled out problems with lighting, overfeeding, lack of
water flow, etc.
So, I'd first figure out what this is (hopefully the above article
will help) and then we can move forward on figuring out how to fix it.
A photo would help, too. If anything, do a quick Google search on WWM
for "beard algae.">
Thanks really, really, really, much!
<You're really, really, really welcome!>
P.S. I know I sound like a fish geek,
<If you're a fish geek, then what am I? Hehehe!)
but I want the aquarium to go right. The fish I have right now are
survivors of many mistakes. My Amazon swords have leaves growing out of
a stalk and are growing roots... Can I remove them?
<Yes, if that's what you'd like to do. However, the brown
spots (is that what you're referring to here?) may not, in
themselves, be cause for removal, but if you'd like to make your
life easier, then remove them!
It's totally up to you -- your tank, your fish, your
And again, thanks very, very, much and sorry for the extremely long
<You're welcome, and don't worry about the length in the
Re: Angelfish Compatibility Question
Oh dang, I hope I'm not being annoying are anything...
Well you see, its not the problem with the leaf. I checked.
<So you're sure this is algae? Have you made a positive ID based
on what I sent you? I know you suspected beard algae, which is usually,
at the very least, easy to manually remove.>
However I wanted to know if the angelfish would eat flake. If so,
<Yep, he or she will eat flake just fine, but no one is going to
mind (and in fact, will be beneficial) if you added in some wet-frozen
foods. San Francisco Bay Brand makes a food called Freshwater Frenzy.
It's got bloodworms, daphnia, brine shrimp, Spirulina, and some
other goodies. The tetras would love this, as well. Feeding wet-frozen
foods helps avoid digestive issues and just makes for a more
interesting meal, I'm sure.
Even if you can't find this particular food, any of those
ingredients would be tasty to your fish.>
And the guppy fry is the product of my own guppies. My parents would
never allow me to buy fish only to have them eaten.
<Well, this makes a lot of sense! But, as we discussed, if
you're not trying to breed guppies in large numbers, merely trying
to have guppies as pets, this is a good method of controlling the
population. The Glowlights, as stated, should be fine.>
The java fern is not buried. I sort of dropped it into the
<Is best for this type of plant -- that the rhizome should not be
buried, but either left to sit on top of the substrate, or some folks
like to attach the plant to driftwood/rocks, etc. But this is a fine
way to keep the plant.>
And you said I could use scissors and cut off the stalks were the new
swords were growing and plant them somewhere else?
<No, I don't remember saying this at all! I'm not sure what
you're referring to by "new swords" -- swords don't
split at the root in order to reproduce, but send out long
"runner" looking stems and then the new plants grow on the
runners. I've read that these are usually near the substrate, but
all of mine seem to grow right out into the water, toward the
Either way, if you're not looking at a situation like that, the
part you plant is not likely to grow a new plant. You can remove the
leaves, if they're looking kind of sickly or something, by either
cutting them at the base of the leaf, or just pinching off the stem
from the rest of the plant.>
And (at this point you must think I'm a nerd...) I should remove
the leaves that are effected my algae right?
<No, you don't have to. Back when I was dealing with the dark
green, fuzzy algae, I simply removed the algae itself. Or, as we sort
of talked about earlier, and the reason I linked you to the article on
algae, you can figure out why the algae is there, take care of those
issue, and then allow the algae to die off on its own, and then
manually remove it.>
Final question: can I trust algae eaters or are they just scams to make
<Well, the fish themselves are nice enough, but no fish/snail/shrimp
should be purchased with a "job" in mind. So, I don't
think an algae eater is going to be your best ticket here, as any
addition to the system simply adds bioload, and you're still in the
process of stocking the tank with fish you actually want! I'd go
back to the drawing board, here, and read up on algae, and test for
Nitrate, and start messing around with the amount of time you've
got the light on, etc... just sort of ruling out any of the
contributing factors to algae growth.>
I thank you very much to reply to my messages. Hope I'm not getting
annoying with all these replies.
<Again, not a problem. I think that right now, research is your best
friend, as well as getting filtration up-to-par for the stock you
eventually plan to keep, if it's not already, testing for Nitrate
and getting that under control, if it's not already, etc.>
I hope I can persuade my parents to get the angelfish soon!
<Me, too! I think it would be a great addition to your tank.>
From, the 12 year old noob fishkeeper.
<--Melinda, the somewhat-older-yet-always-a-noob-fishkeeper>
Re: Angelfish Compatibility Question, now, Algae
Thanks for the tips!
I've been wondering, some of my guppy fry have bent tails and
stuff. I know it was natural, but out of the 21 fry I had, now I have
15 because of the deformities. Is this natural?
<Folks who breed guppies on purpose keep detailed records of which
fish breed and where those fish came from in order to avoid inbreeding.
The bent spines suggest to me that you possibly have fry breeding with
fry from the same parents, or something like that, especially if your
guppies came from the same batch at the fish store, meaning they were
Another suspect for deformation in fry is water quality. Do you test
your water? This is absolutely necessary, especially in situations
where breeding is occurring, because fry are more susceptible to poor
water quality than adults.>
the Amazon Sword has a green stalk going all the way to the surface. At
a certain point the stalk stops growing and little leaves start growing
out of the sides. Below the leaves I find some brown-green seeds, and
sometimes white roots. I hope this is not a bad sign... because both of
my swords have the stalks.
<This kind of sounds like the runners I was referring to. Yes, the
plants do grow on the runners, and do grow roots... at that point, you
can trim them off of the runners and re-plant.>
In my old 5 gal tanks, that had the fish I have now, (I know, I know,
they should have been in a bigger tank...)
<And now they are!>
I tried to have plants, and on some websites that said that Ramshorn
snails sometimes or always eat algae? But all I got was my plants being
eaten by the snails.
<Haha I had the same experience when I first began keeping fish. I
wasn't buying the snails to remedy algae, but simply because I
thought they looked cool (and they are neat-looking snails). But, they
began to feast on my plants!>
Is this a typical newbie fish keeper being deceived by the employee at
<Well, I hesitate to say "deceived." You didn't know,
and there's a chance the employee didn't know, either, but
didn't want to look uniformed, so just agreed with you! Yet another
reason why research before purchase is always best.>
I've been changing 25% water ever since the algae showed up.
<How often? What is your Nitrate level?>
My biggest worry is that the brown clumps on the leaves will kill the
plants and my parents will be all discouraged again.
<I would attempt to pull these clumps off. It has worked for me in
the past, though it is labor-intensive. There's only so many leaves
you can remove before the plant starts to suffer.... as I'm sure
you know, a good deal of "eating" is done through the
photosynthetic process. This is why I turned to manual removal of the
algae, and then, finally, to CO2. I would then begin to do as stated
previously, and rule out all possible causes of the algae problems...
It might mean leaving the light on less, keeping plants that are
faster-growing... it could be any number of things. As for your
parents, I'm sure they'll understand that nothing happens
quickly, and the obvious value of your interest, research toward a
goal. As it happens, for one of my college classes, I am in the process
of designing a mock course for folks just your age to learn about
fishkeeping in a museum-type setting! Though the course I'm
designing is only a hypothetical situation, your interest, along with a
looming deadline, has really inspired me to start writing that
Oh, yeah, on previous FAQs about angels someone said they were all of
the same species? But does that make one strain hardier than
<It all comes down to genetics. In the wild, Angels enjoy the
process selecting a mate based on certain attributes that they
instinctively understand lead to better offspring. In captivity, humans
make these choices for them. We select for totally different things
than the wild fish would! And, so, this affects a lot of things. I
would not say, for example, that Koi Angels are hardier than Blushing
Angels. If you find a good breeder with good stock, then that's
about the best you can do.
Angels, though, on the whole, are fairly hardy fish. Keep in mind that
water quality is everything here. If your water quality is poor,
you'll begin to see evidence of this in the fish themselves.
Testing your water weekly means that your fish don't have to be the
canary, so to speak, in the mine -- you know before the problem
escalates, and you can take action to remedy the situation. Feeding a
good variety will also help your fish look as good as it can, as can
being selective about tankmates, and ensuring that their beautiful,
flowing finnage isn't in danger of being nipped. All of these
things sort of factor into the final picture.>
Thanks, again, and again, and again!
From, the constant question asking, newbie fishkeeper.
Re: Angelfish Compatibility Question, now, Algae
I wonder if other people reply so much, It must be very busy to answer
FAQs.. So I thanks you.
<Again, you're welcome!
The guppy fry are in a 0 ammonia, 0 nitrate water.
<0 Nitrate? Is this a typo? Either you mean Nitrite, or there's
something wrong with the cycle. Most freshwater tanks have some
I think the reason, thanks for telling me, is that I probably have
siblings breeding with each other. (ewwwwwwwww now I'm glad guppies
<Yes, it's a good thing! If you'd like to seriously breed
guppies, I'd recommend being a bit more stringent with who meets
I guess I will turn the deformed ones into live food. And thanks for
the conformation, I will at a certain point replant the baby swords. I
also don't have Co2 remover, so I guess Ill turn the light on in the
morning, and when I come back from school, (7 hours later) ill turn the
<Yes, well the CO2 is actually an added gas... not removed... the
plants "breathe" CO2, the same way land plants do, and then
they release oxygen, which is good for the fish! I wasn't trying to
suggest you add CO2, only stating that after I'd tried everything
else, CO2 turned out to be my answer. May not work for everyone at all!
There's a lot of reading to be done on planted tanks... think about
it! You're creating an ecosystem!
This thing, in this glass box, is a little world... and there's
just as much going into it as is going into the various ecosystems of
the world that make those work. 7 hours is a good time period to start
with. You don't have to do it when you're not home, though --
how much fun is that??
See if your parents will buy you a timer -- they cost about ten bucks
-- or if you can afford one for yourself. Then, the light can come on
sometime before you get home, and go off sometime before you go to bed.
That way, you get to watch the tank with the light on, and the time is
always on for the same period.>
And, you better hurry with that paper...never procrastinate. I learned
that lesson the hard way...
<Haha, I'm a senior... believe me, I've learned it by now,
for sure. I've just had some things happen over this break which
really, actually precluded me from working on this paper! It'll get
done... they always do!>
By the way, were are you doing your presentation? It would be ironic if
I was in that group if kids...
<Well, you kind of are! The paper is based on a plan I would present
to a museum in order to get classes created to teach young people about
fishkeeping, because it is such a rewarding experience. There
aren't any real people, it's just a paper and a plan I'm
writing, but you are one of the folks I'm thinking of when I'm
writing this stuff... people who are interested in and find fishkeeping
rewarding, and want to be better at it (don't we all?)>
In my 5 gal, the snails have strategy, which sort of scares me. They
wait until lights out, then attack the base of the plant. By morning
they stop eating and try to be innocent.
<Ahh, yes... guilty snails!>
I give them 2-3 days and the plants completely dead... So now in my
present tank, every snail I see, I throw outside into the snow =). I
think Ill get any angel that's available....
<Do take your time in choosing the best one you can find. Unlike
some Cichlids, an Angel's color is pretty much the same as he grows
into adulthood, in my experience. So, pick a really nice juvenile, and
feel confident that if you provide all you can, you can expect him or
her to grow into a beautiful adult!>
Thanks for your quick answering and patience!
<Not a problem...>
And I'm hoping that the rest of the crew isn't complaining that
I send too many emails.
<Haha don't worry!>
from, the question asking noob fishkeeper. Lol
Re: Angelfish Compatibility Question, now, Algae issues
Thanks for the tips!
Wow. I usually spend 1 hour a day reading on WWM. I think I'll
slowly shorten the time the light. I have this UV that a old employee
owned store recommended me. It works, but I also think that it also
worked too well. I have... Brown, green, beard, fuzzy, and maybe the
green slime. Too much excess light I think.
<Also review that article I linked you to previously for the myriad
of other causes of algae... it can really take a while to figure out
what's going on.>
The online order say that you get a mixed angelfish. It could be any.
So you might get a really cool one, or a really lousy one. Since
angelfish's color doesn't change, Ill rather try to find it at
<Oh, okay, I get it now. I wouldn't bother ordering this fish
online -- Angels are easy to find, and shipping is usually around
thirty bucks or so, even if you're only buying one fish! Much
better to scan the pet stores and see who's got what, and even find
out if more are due in, before purchasing.>
The 10 gal didn't have any rocks just a forest of hornwort that I
had to give away when I moved... Well, that was a long time ago anyway.
What's your favorite strain?
<The pair I have is Koi. I like them because they've got so many
different colors. The silvers are nice too, though. When you're
looking, just make sure and really examine the fish you're thinking
of getting for any sort of bumps, lumps, or bruises! Torn fins are
okay, and will heal, but you want to stay away from fish with any other
Pterophyllum (compatibility, breeding behaviour)
So I have a 55 g setup, established, running for a year and a half.
Everything is balanced, I do regular water changes. My fish count is a
little high, but I have a powerful filter, along with the
aforementioned regular water changes. In my aquarium, I have:
1 Ctenopoma acutirostre
3 Pangio kuhlii
4 Corydoras (various)
1 Gobioides broussonnetii
<A brackish/marine fish; doesn't really belong here, and
won't live its full lifespan under freshwater conditions.>
1 Ancistrus spp.
1 Macrognathus siamensis
1 Epalzeorhynchos frenatum
3 Kryptopterus bicirrhis
2 Unidentified rainbowfish, most likely Chilatherina bletheri
And, my most recent acquisitions, 2 Pterophyllum scalare
I mainly have a question regarding the angelfish.
I plan to get two more, but also give away my E. frenatum, as he is
getting too aggressive.
<I'd be very careful about adding more Angels; adult Angels are
pair-forming, and unless kept in reasonably large groups (six or more)
mated pairs often bully other Angels kept with them.>
I want to possibly breed the angels, and I will have homes for the
remaining two that are unpaired.
<Ah, this being the case, I'd get six, let them pair off, and
then rehome the surplus four.>
My current two are quarter-size. I do not want my K. bicirrhis being
attacked whatsoever, as they are some of my favorite fish in my
aquarium. I also understand that the C. acutirostre may eat any young
angels, but I can deal with that when the time comes.
<Provided the Angels are deeper than, say, a Congo Tetra, your
Climbing Perch will be completely trustworthy.>
So, overall, the question that I put forth from this is: How aggressive
are spawning/breeding P. scalare?
<Potentially, very aggressive, and will try to maintain an area of
clear space about 30 cm radius around the breeding spot.>
New Community Tank Setup, FW stkg. 9/20/07 Hello, <Good
Morning, Terri, Andrea here.> Great informative site, thanks for all
the wise advice! <Thanks, I agree.> I am planning to start my
first ventures into keeping an aquarium as a hobby and wanted to make
sure I was heading in the right direction. I have done lots of research
<Excellent! Keep up the research and good work.> on fish
compatibility and have so far come up with the following for a 30 or 33
gallon tank. 6 Neon Dwarf rainbowfish, 3 yoyo loaches, 4 angelfish and
3 red honey Gourami's.<The gouramis, while small, may nip the
angels and like a slightly higher pH, KH than Angelfish. Likewise, the
Angels, unless you cull down to a mated pair, will quickly outgrow a
30-33 gallon tank.> The questions I have are: 1) I have tried to
come up with a suitable number of each species to suit them, but I am
concerned that I might be overcrowding the tank (and I even read that
angelfish and gouramis should be kept more than 3 to reduce
aggression.) Are these numbers ok for my tank? <I'd say you are
pushing it. I'd suggest starting out with the Yo Yo loaches and
Angels. Get 6 juvenile angelfish and wait for a pair to form. Once one
does, return the remaining four. Then stock accordingly from there. I
feel the dwarf rainbows would be a good addition at that time.> 2)
Also I am quite excited to have a heavily planted aquarium. Do you have
suggestions for types of plants that would suit these fish species?
<In this tank, the Angels are more or less the centerpiece fish.
Choose wisely, and choose healthy, nice specimens. Read
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwangelfishes.htm and the
linked articles at the top of the page. These are South American
Cichlids. I'd suggest plants from the Amazon/Pantanal region, where
these fish are native. They create a lovely biotope. Have you done your
research on what a heavily planted tank entails and are prepared with
the proper lighting, substrate, pressurized CO2, and fertilizers? You
might look into some planted tank sites online. Try
http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com and also the articles on WWM.> 3)
I would like to have a fish group that are aware of their outside
surroundings and have interesting behaviour, do you recommend replacing
the gouramis with 2 of either German Blue Rams or Bolivian Rams? Would
they be compatible with this group? <My main concerns with the
gouramis is that despite their small stature, they are nippers, and
will go after the angelfish. Likewise, they tend to prefer solitary
life, and will sometimes turn on each other. This is less common with
dwarf honeys, but not unheard of. Also, gouramis are an Asian fish, and
I tend to suggest people stay within the same continent when choosing
stock. The German Blue Rams and Bolivians however are a good choice for
pairing with angels, as they are also peaceful South American cichlids
from the same region. But I feel the breeding behavior of both groups
(Angels v. Rams) would eventually result in conflict. Choose either
Angels or Rams.> 4) Is their a particular order that I should stock
my fish after I have cycled the tank or just add all the fish right
away? I read that yoyo's can be sensitive so wondering how long (if
any) I should wait before adding them. <General rule of thumb is to
introduce the most "shy" and "peaceful" fish first.
I encourage you to research the behaviors of your stock selection and
go from there. I'd start with the Yo yos.> <In closing, with
Angelfish (a fantastic choice for a 30 tank if you go with just a pair,
also for planted tanks), make the pair your "centerpiece"
fish, then stock one or two small groups of schooling fish in a planted
aquarium. Stay away from tiny fish, however that will fit easily in an
angels mouth. Neons Tetras, for example, are their natural food in the
wild. However, the six dwarf rainbows, and perhaps a small school of
other, slightly larger, tetras would make a stunning display.> Thank
you very much for your time and I look forward to hearing from you
guys. <Most welcome.> Cheers <Back at ya.> Terri
Re: FW Angelfish, Stocking plan, planted tank start up.
7/21/07 Hi Andrea, <Hi Terri!> Thanks for responding so
quickly! <No problemo.> This website is great and lots of helpful
advice. In regards to your reply about stocking my 30 or 33 gallon
tank, I have a few more questions: 1) You suggested getting 6 baby
angelfish and wait for 2 to pair up after a year or so, and then take
the 4 extra out of the tank. I don't have anywhere to put the 4
extra and the pet store does not take specimens back. Can I just try to
buy 2 directly from the store and see if they get along? I know its
hard to sex juvenile angels, so also assuming I got 2 males, will they
display territorial aggression in a 30 gallon space? <You can always
give it a shot, and keep a close eye on them. You want to try to get a
mated pair, which is why it is suggested to start with a larger number,
and cull down once a pair forms. Also, I'd ask the pet store why
they won't take fish back. That is unusual, except with (Gah!) the
large chains. Do you have an aquarium specialty, local, fish only store
anywhere near?> 2) After considering your advice I will not get
Gourami's and rams since I guess my tank would be too small for
them to be compatible, but what about 2 Apistogramma fishes? I really
would like to get Apisto bitaeniata in particular. I realize they too
like rams are South American cichlids but still wanted to know what you
thought if there might be a difference if I changed the rams for the
Apistos. <Good choice on the Gourami/ram combo. However,
Apistogrammas and Angelfish aren't going to get along well either.
You'd be better going with angels and gouramis if you must have one
of the three (Gourami, ram, or Apisto), but I encourage you to
investigate another, non-cichlid, non-nipper option. Angelfish are
generally slower moving, slightly nervous, and long finned fish. This
should be your consideration when choosing the tank mates.> 3) In
addition to the Rainbow neon dwarfs, what about adding platies to the
mix? I would like red fish in the tank to contrast against the blue of
the dwarfs and shape of the angelfish. It doesn't matter to me if
the angelfish eat platy spawn as Im not interested in breeding fish.
<I don't see a problem with platys.> 4) If the platies are
not a good mix can you recommend another pretty red fish that would go
will with my setup? <Platys should be fine. Another good choice
would be something like a Serpae or Von Rio Tetra.> 5) I have been
reading a lot that clown loaches and angelfish go well together, but I
don't want to get clowns as they grow too big. Would a different
loach species be better suited compared to the Yo Yo loach? I am also
concerned that loaches are from India and like gentle currents and
angelfish are from S.A and like still waters, will this be a problem if
I put them together? <The loaches would be just fine. I suggest
going with something smaller, such as a small school of Botia
Sidthimunki or a trio of Botia striata.> Possible revised setup,
30-33 gallons: 6 neon dwarf rainbows <-- Fine.> 2 angelfish
<--Fine.> 3 yo-yos <--See above about the loach question.>
2 Apistogramma <--Swap for a pair of dwarf gouramis (preferably
honeys) with close attention, or other non-cichlid fish> 5 platies
(or less?) <--Fine, but this would be your maximum limit.>
<You would be FULLY stocked. Go slowly, and keep up your water
changes weekly. Plenty of plants and excellent filtration will be of
great help.> Thanks so much again for your help. <Sure thing!>
Cheers, <Yep!> Terri
General advice, FW mix of Bettas, Angels, Pictus Cats...
5/12/07 Hi to all the crew at web media, <Hello.> I have a
47.5 gallon tank and currently have 8 platies (all pairs), One male
Betta splendens, four Angel fish Genders unknown and 3 pictus catfish
(Genders also unknown) could you tell me whether or not in your opinion
there could be trouble with the community I have described.
<Angelfish have been reported as "fin nippers" with fancy
(as opposed to wild-type) Bettas. Angels aren't otherwise
"nippy" but when kept with fish as unable to swim as fancy
Bettas, they're certainly happy enough to have a nibble. Angels and
Pimelodus pictus, on the other hand, are an old, established combo that
generally works well.> I did research and seek advice from veteran
fishkeepers but would still appreciate feedback from your site and will
be very grateful. <Very good. I'd not keep the Betta in there,
and would instead swap it for something like lace gouramis or some type
of medium-sized schooling fish, like Australian rainbowfish or bleeding
heart tetras. But if the Betta is there now, you may as well persevere
and just be prepared to remove it if it looks nibbled. Your other
problem with Bettas of course is they aren't able to compete for
food all that well. Hand-feeding the Betta (easy enough to do) is one
option here.> Thanks in advance Victor <Hope this helps.>
Too much flow? Parrot Cichlid, Angel incomp. 4/21/07 Hi,
Crew. <Boris/Mark> I have 29 g FW tank with 2 red parrots and 2
angels. <Too small a volume... and incompatible mix...> I'm
using 2 filters AquaClear 200. I noticed that all my fish prefer to
stay in other side of the aquarium with no filter. Half of my aquarium
is almost always empty. Could it be the reason for this is to much
flow? Should I remove one filter? Appreciate your help. Excuse me for
poor English. Mark <Worth trying... but these two species won't
likely live together for long... the Parrots will kill the Angels in
time. Bob Fenner>
The truth about Angels and Discus 12/1/06 Hello, <Hi
there> your site is very informative - thank you for providing so
much useful information. <Welcome> I have a 72 g tank with
substrate and plants and am wanting to stock it with a few discus and
angelfish. There seem to be two schools of thought here; 1. the two
shouldn't mix, and 2. they are ok together. I am aware of the need
for frequent water changes and the need discus have for high quality
water. <Mmm... will repeat my S.O.P. response re these two cichlid
genera... and personal experience>> I've heard more from the
no. 1 camp to be sure, but would like to hear from the 2 camp. Surely
someone has had positive results having the two species together?
<Do know of this, but is a minority experience> If they are
raised together from a small size, would they not accept each other?
BTW I don't want to breed, just have a nice show tank. I've
been told they could be kept together until the angels spawn. I was
thinking of getting about 5 discus and 3 or so angels. I have a few
bottom feeders in the tank already (Raphael catfish, 2 Horseface
loaches and an upside-down catfish - not all Amazonian but seemingly
compatible). I will drop this idea if I'm told that there is no way
of having the two species co-exist without too many adverse effects.
Michaela <There are folks who suggest that disease may be/is easily
passed between Pterophyllum and Symphysodon (most noted: Octomita)...
but the real issue has been behavioral incompatibility, with Angels
almost invariably over-bullying the Discus... causing them to go
off-feeding... perishing subsequently from "stress". Bob
Angelfish not Compatible w/ Barbs... - 10/18/06 I
purchased a medium sized silver angel fish from a reliable fish store a
few days ago. <OK - hopefully you quarantined it, even though you
find the store reliable...> The first day it looked stressed;
difficulty maintaining balance and swimming. By the second day, its
balance and strength seemed to improve. It's now the third day and
I expect any minute to see it floating. It's been hiding much of
the time behind the strip thermometer in the front of the tank. I
haven't seen it eat although I provide a variety of food for it
(dried blood worms, color bits, shrimp pellets and flake food.) I also
have five bleeding heart tetras, six red platys, a rope fish and a few
feeder sized guppies. All of the other fish seem happy. <Have you
recently tested the water parameters? I'd start buy finding out
what the ammonia, nitrite and nitrates are at, along with pH. Also,
when you put the fish in the tank, did you slowly acclimate it, or just
immediately release it in the tank?> Would a partial water
change/gravel vacuuming stress it out more? <Depends on your water
parameters - generally, water changes are never a bad thing,
however...> What about moving it to another tank (10 gal) by itself
for a while? <You should have done this initially. If the fish was
harboring some sort of disease, it's now been introduced into your
main tank. If the fish still isn't acting well, I would quarantine
it ASAP, though. Make sure to provide hiding places (plants, decor,
etc.). Also, in the present tank, have you been able to observe if any
of the older inhabitants are picking on the new arrival? Especially the
barbs - they can be very fin nippy, and the angel, with its beautiful
fins, could find him/herself being bullied, which obviously would cause
stress. In all reality, angels and barbs should not be housed
together.> I called the store where I got it (in a tank by itself)
and they said it was healthy and eating well there. <What else would
they say?!> Out of the four angels they had, this one seemed most
active when I bought it. Now it just hides. <I think you have an
incompatible mix of fish here - you will likely have to find a new home
for the angel...with peaceful tankmates, not aggressive ones, like
barbs.> I have plenty of plants in the tank, but it seems to prefer
the thermometer. What should I do? Will it eventually get used to its
tankmates or is it more likely to starve to death? <Incompatible.
Either set up a suitable species / peaceful community aquarium for the
angel or return it to the fish store. Do make sure to research species
compatibility before purchasing...check out A Simple Guide to
Freshwater Aquariums by David E. Boruchowitz if you haven't
yet...> <Good luck, Jorie.>
Jorie Misread Last Email - Apologies All Around. Angel Fish with
Tetras... - 10/18/06 I don't have any barbs unless they
go by a different name. The 29 gal tank has a rope fish, six platys,
five bleeding heart tetras and a few guppies? Which ones are barbs?
<I apologize for my mistake, Jennifer - I misread your list. Your
stocking scheme seems fine, but whenever a new fish is introduced, you
should look out for bullies. Your setup seems good, complete with
plants and all for cover, but do make sure no one is harassing the
angel.> PS. Chemicals were fine. <"Fine" is subjective
- ammonia and nitrites are both at zero, and nitrates no more than 20
ppm (at the very highest?)> I did the water change and moved it to a
10 gal tank with a mild mannered female beta, a glow light tetra
(large) and a neon tetra (large). <Sounds like a good idea.> I
would have put it by itself but the beta didn't like the turbulent
water in the big tank and the rope fish would probably eat the tetras.
<I understand; sounds logical.> Angel seems healthier and has
started to eat a little food. <Great sign.> It hides behind the
plants during the day but swims around at night. I have noticed
it's tail seems a bit nipped since I moved it. Territorial tetras?
<That would be my first guess. You could try re-arranging the decor,
etc. so that the angel isn't so much the "newcomer" -
this can work with territorial saltwater fish issues sometimes, so I
would think the same theory would hold true in fresh...> I
haven't seen any problems but I can't imagine who else could be
doing it. Angel doesn't swim as fast as they do. <I agree.
Perhaps the tetras can go into the 29? If not, I'm not sure what
options you have, besides finding another home for the angel...>
Thanks for your advise. Jennifer Pickett <Jennifer, I apologize once
again for misreading your initial e-mail - no barbs, I see that now! As
you point out, though, the tetras may be bullying the angel - if the
re-arrangement doesn't help sort things out, you may have to play
"musical tanks" again...best of luck. Jorie>
Sometimes the small fish can be the bullies! 10/24/06
Thanks for your advice. I moved the tetras to the larger tank. One
disappeared but the other's doing fine. The angel fish immediately
left the corner and began swimming around the whole tank. It's fine
with the female Betta. It's amazing how such tiny fish could
intimidate such a large one. <I know - never ceases to amaze me. An
extreme example of this is the strawberry Pseudochromis (marine fish) -
it's one of my favorites, due to its beautiful magenta coloration,
but even at its max. size of 1.5 or so inches, not even the hardy
clownfish could likely stand up to it! And, as I mentioned, I've
got the same phenomenon going on with one of my mollies - a female, at
that. After killing her boyfriend (plus being the suspect in a few
other molly deaths), she's been relegated to living alone in a 5
gal. hex...> Two days later, I moved the tri-color sharks back to
the 10 gallon tank. The platys were bullying them. They're much
happier now. Musical tanks worked well this time. Only one tiny
casualty. <Sounds like things are going well - sorry you lost the
one tetra. Once everything is established, you may be able to add
another one, if you like. Good luck! Jorie> Thanks again, Jennifer
Setting Up A FW Angelfish Tank - 10/14/06 Hi my little
brother told me about your site when I told him I wanted to set a
freshwater angelfish tank like his. My question is could I put 4 adult
angelfish in a B45 gallon Odyssey bow front aquarium. Also what plants
do you suggest to use with these fish. Also what kind of tetras do you
suggest to house with angels. Thanks -- Sbatiste < Four angelfish
will fit quite nicely in that aquarium. I would recommend medium to low
light plants like Anubias, java fern, and come Cryptocorynes. Small
tetras like Neons may get picked on by the angels. I would recommend
larger bodied tetras like rosy, bleeding heart or emperor
An angel community 9/21/06 Hi everyone I had a
couple of quick questions to ask, I was wondering how many of each of
these fish could I keep in a 40 gallon planted aquarium, here's the
fish: angelfish, German blue rams, true rummy nose tetras. Also would a
blue crayfish be compatible with 2 clown loaches, <Ah, no> and 2
gold algae eaters. <I'd seek out other than Gyrinocheilus
species here. Some Loricariid... of small ultimate size... Listed on
WWM> Thanks --Sbatiste <A pair or two of Angels (should be okay
unless they start spawning, likely just a pair of Rams, and a school of
what size suits you (for me, 5,7,9) of the Tetras. Bob Fenner>
Breeding FW Angelfish Are Aggressive 8/19/06 Hello Bob and Crew,
Ever since one of my angels laid eggs, she has been extra aggressive
towards the other one. She was always dominant, but it is getting
pretty bad. I figured that if I add in another angel and switch the
decor around that would give her more to think about. We have some
angels at the pet store where I work that are similar of size but the
one I have permission to take is the most aggressive in the tank. Will
this be a problem if the new one wants to be the dominant one? I just
don't want my angel to get beat up because she's real pretty
and all she "can" do is hide in the back corner beneath the
plants. Thanks for your help and advice! < Angelfish are cichlids
and really don't like other fish around when they have fry or eggs.
An over protective mother with guard the eggs from her mate if she
thinks that he is going to eat them. Adding more fish will give her
more fish to beat up. If she has no mate then reduce the temp to the
mid 70's and she will stop breeding and she will not be as
Adding FW Angels, Bob's go 7/3/06 How
many angelfish can I add to the tank I already have which is 37 gallons
and has: - 2 angels - 1 male dwarf Gourami - 1 ram cichlid (pretty sure
it's a male) - 2 platys - 2 female pineapple sword tails - 2 Cory
cats <Mmm, actually, I would add no more here. The two you have
already about "fill up" this space (with growth, age),
particularly if they should display reproductive behavior... and force
all other fish livestock to the corners... More angels added would
almost assuredly bring about this consequence> If I can add any more
angels to this tank, I would have to buy angels that are about 3 times
smaller than the ones I have in my tank already. My angels are pretty
big compared to the ones at the pet store so do you think they would
pick badly on the newer , smaller angels I would add? <None IMO>
I have a hang on back filter which I converted to a biological filter
like the ones they use for ponds and an undergravel filter also. Thank
You! <Perhaps another aquarium can be found... Bob Fenner>
Adding Angelfish to A Tank, Chuck's go
6/30/06 Can I add any more angelfish to this setup? If so, how
many? 37 Gallon tank - 2 angels (about 3 times the size of the angels I
would purchase, is that too big?) - 1 male dwarf Gourami - 1 ram
cichlid - 2 platys - 2 female pineapple sword tails - 2 Cory cats - if
I would not add any angels, how many Cory cats could I add to make
these guys happier, because I understand they like to be in groups of 4
or more. Thanks < The angelfish would eat any livebearer fry that
were born in this tank. The "feelers" on the Gourami would be
mistaken for food and bitten off. You could add 4 to 5 angels to this
tank easy assuming that you have adequate filtration and do regular
FW Set Up For Long Term 4/6/06 Hi Chuck, Thanks
for your quick response. Unfortunately, I wasn't quick enough to
save the medium angelfish described before and lost them within 48
hours. The angel that was a fry when placed in the tank is now 1
1/4" and been named Savage by my daughter. In my frustration at
losing the fish, I was prepared to take the Pleco and Savage to a LFS
and sell or give away the tank and equipment. My wife convinced me to
purchase 6 neon tetras which I did almost two weeks ago. Of the six, I
lost two. One got stuck to the intake of the carbon filters, and the
second died due to an unknown reason. Meanwhile, I've followed your
advice with the exception of a quarantine tank. I've been unable to
convince my wife that it would be money well spent, but she's
starting to agree. I've also removed 200 lbs of the gravel. On the
advice of my LFS, I've begun adding 1 Tbsp of kosher salt per 5
gallons of water when doing water changes and added some artificial
plants. Tuesday, April 4, twelve 1"-1 1/2" angels, provided
by a different dealer than the previous fish, were added of which two
didn't make it through the night and two are improving, but they
still show signs of stress. The other eight are beautiful, active, and
eating well. Current tank conditions: Population: 11 small angels, 4
Neons, 1 large Pleco Ammonia: 0.0 ppm Nitrite: 0.0 ppm Nitrate: 0.0-5.0
ppm Ph: 7.8 Temp: 82 degrees F I'm concerned about the
compatibility of the angelfish and the tetras, especially as the angels
grow. Should I increase the school size of the Neons until I'm able
to purchase and cycle another tank? < Depends on what you ultimately
want to do. Adult angels potentially will injure or kill Neons when
hungry. In the best case the Neons will be stressed by the larger fish
and never really show their colors.> Hopefully, all will do well
enough to cause me to deal with the potential overcrowding. I'm
beginning to suspect that my Ph is actually higher than my test
indicates and have ordered a high pH test kit. Would lowering the pH be
good for the fish? < A pH of 7.8 is at the upper end of their range.
I would not try and change it unless I was prepared to continue to do
this for the long haul. Try and keep the water clean and see how they
do with out any pH modification.> I understand from other writings
on the website that a consistent pH is most important. However, if
I'm able to condition the water in such a way as to make the fishes
more comfortable, I'm happy to do it. If yes, what's the best
way to proceed? Have I chosen the proper diet for the fish? What else
should I be doing to make the lives of the fishes, long, without
stress, and disease free while I continue to work at getting a QT tank?
Many thanks, Chris < Keep tabs on the nitrates and do not let them
exceed 20 ppm. Feed the fish once each day and only enough food so that
all of it is eaten in a couple of minutes. Occasionally add some algae
wafers for the Pleco, even though the other fish will go after it
too.-Chuck> Angels, tankmates and tank size? -
04/05/2006 Hi there <Hello.> I have an established 40gallon
freshwater tank which was given to me 8 months ago by my stepfather. It
has gone really well so far, no losses (touch wood) and everything
seems hunky dory. I'd like to set up an additional tank, using your
guides on how to set up - as it completely new to me, but I'm not
too sure on which fish to buy. I'd like angel fish and a Plec for
definite, if possible, but can you offer some advice on the best
tankmates and those to avoid... also how big a tank would I need to
keep 2 or 3 angels plus a couple of others? <Mm, can get by with a
pair of angels in say a 30 or 40g tank, but do keep in mind that 3
angels will lead to having only 2 angels. These are cichlids, after
all, and therefore VERY aggressive during breeding. You could start
with a half dozen small ones, and as they pair off, get rid of all but
your favorite pair. A Bushynose Ancistrus Plec or any of the smaller,
meat-eating Hypancistrus Plecs would do well in a 30 or 40 with the
pair of angels. In fact, you could probably do a pair of either the
Bushynoses or Hypancistrus (L260 "Queen Arabesque" Plecs are
my personal favorite) and breed both the Plecs and the angels in the
same system, perhaps. I've seen others do the same. If you do a
large enough tank for other tankmates, some of my favorites to suggest
are smaller Botia (I like B. striata), Pantodon buchholzi / African
butterflies (may need live insects as food), larger livebearers like
platies or swordtails, moderately sized, placid tetras like emperors or
Congo tetras.... Lots and lots of options for you. I would stay away
from other cichlids (except perhaps some of the smaller Apistogrammas
if the tank is big enough) and definitely steer clear of any of the
"nippy" tetras and the like. I'm sure you'll have fun
with this endeavor! All the best to you, -Sabrina>
Angelfish Tankmates - 03/09/2006 Hi to all at WWM. I have
recently purchased a new tank and have 4 half marble angelfish. What I
would like to know please is if I can keep south American and African
cichlids in with them. I have been told they are aggressive so they
cannot but according to my books on tropical fish they are only
aggressive when spawning. I would really value your advice please on
this matter. Thank you Ann < South American dwarf cichlids like
Apistogrammas would be fine. Medium sized peaceful cichlids like
Festivums and keyholes would also work. Some aquarists also keep some
discus and Uarus with them too. African cichlids are much too
aggressive and have different water conditions to be put with
Angelfish With Cardinal Tetras - 2/28/2006
Hi, I have a 40 gal long planted tank. I am thinking of putting 30 or
so cardinal tetras and 6 angelfish in it. My biggest question is are my
angels going to eat the cardinal tetras? If you think they will...what
other large peaceful swimming fish would you recommend? Thanks Can <
The angelfish might try and eat them when they are small. If nothing
else they may occasionally pick on them and get and eye or occasional
fin. If you are set on the angels then look at emperors, bleeding
hearts or diamond tetras.-Chuck>
FW Angelfish aren't Behaving
Like Angels 9/24/05 Dear WWM Crew, I read through all the questions
on your angelfish page and could not find a question that involved my
particular concern. Me and my husband have a freshwater tank, quite
large, 20 gallons I think. I have several different types of fish in
it, and they all seemed to get along well until recently. I have two
angel fish. Both are quite large as
had them for years. One is a very pretty colour, silver with black
stripes, and the other slightly bigger one has faded stripes and is
more bluish-gray in colour. They always seemed to get along well, but
within the last few months, they are always attacking each other. First
the smaller silver one (who is still big in his own right) would
constantly attack the other on his neck area, below his mouth. The skin
in that area seemed to be torn and was being affected. Eventually that
died down, and then the other one, the larger bluish grey one, started
constantly attacking the silver one, biting his mouth all the time.
Over time, his mouth became red and the skin connecting his mouth to
his face became ripped at the sides and he literally had holes on
either side of his mouth. I became VERY CONCERNED, as I love that fish
above all others. I thought that if this did not stop, his mouth would
come off and he would die (I keep saying he,
not entirely sure
So I put a barrier in the tank and isolated the silver wounded
angelfish, and kept all other fishes on the right side. Both angels
kept trying to
each other through the plastic, and seemed desperate to get back
together. Many mornings
wake up and the bluish angel fish would be on the other side of the
know how he got through
maybe pushed the plastic to one side and squeezed through, or jumped
over the top of the barrier, as the barrier does not read the top of
the tank. Every time they would get back together it would be biting
time all over again (not constantly, but still very much) and again
separate them. At first we thought it was the blue one trying to get to
the silver one to attack him, but one time we separated the blue one
into isolation and kept the silver one on the right side with the rest
of the fishes, and he was DESPERATE to get back to the other side to
his mate! If he was weary of being attacked, why would he do that? He
kept pushing against the plastic and I though he would hurt himself, so
we switched them and put the silver one back on the left side of the
tank on his own. He calmed down after that. My questions are: 1.Why are
they behaving like this? <Angelfish are cichlids and are very
territorial. You may have two males that are disputing territories in a
small 20 gallon tank.> 2.Is what
doing aggressive behaviour? (I
see how it
be as the silver
mouth was practically coming off!) < Many times cichlids actually go
for things like the eyes but the defending fish intercepts the attack
with it's mouth.> 3.Is it because
too big now? < No doubt they are sexually mature by know and this
makes me thing that they may be two males.> 4.Should we remove one
from the tank and find it another home? < That would probably be the
best long term solution.> 5.If we do remove one (it will probably be
the bigger one, because, as I said, I have a fondness for the silver
one), is it safe to buy another small baby angelfish and introduce it
into the tank (As I love angelfish!)? < Not unless you get a bigger
tank. You best bet would be to get six young angelfish. As they grow
they will pair up. Each pair can be placed in a 20 gallon tank of their
own for spawning.> 6.Should we remove the barrier and keep them
together again and see what they do? < They will probably just fight
sure you have tons of questions, but please reply as soon as possible -
this matter is very unsettling!! Many thanks, Waheedan Jariwalla
Marble Angelfish With Community Fish - 10/24/05 Hello My name
is Amy. I have a nicely sized marble veiled angelfish, whom recently I
noticed is getting coppery/orange hues around her/his eyes and the top
of its head and top fin. The fish is at least silver dollar sized, no
other symptoms or problems seem to be present. It swims great eats
well-happily and voraciously--no change in shape/size/behavior and no
one is aggressing it. Just wondering if there may be a problem I need
to fix. The tank just got changed, no high ammonia levels. Is there
copper in a tank? < The colors you describe are normal for marble
angelfish. This is in the genetics of the fish. May be somewhat
affected by diet and lighting.> I am moving in the next month and
will be giving the fishes to friends and don't want to contaminate
their fish in their tanks. < Good idea.> Also, can you have 2
angelfish in a tank that is a 100+ gallons with 2 discus 1 angel fish
some guppies/loaches/o-cats? < Angelfish go well in a community tank
set up as long as the smaller fish can't be eaten by the angels. I
would watch out for the guppies.-Chuck>
Tank Suitability of Angels Hello and thanks to the Crew, I
received an answer about my Azie (?) Shrimp, and yes, I think they are
definitely taking chunks out of my other fish, in fact I think the big
one got one of my Otos ! So back to the LFS I go with them.. My
question is, would I be able to introduce 2 small young angels in with
my Neons/cardinals, Otos, black widows and soon to be Corydoras
sterbai...we have a 240 litre Juwel aquarium all set up for a south
American river habitat? The aims is to build up, at the moment we have
Otos, 2 Neons (used to be 6 but due to shrimp there are fewer!) Thanks
for any response Cheers, Nicola <The angels would be another suspect
for eating small fish when they get large enough. -Steven Pro>
Goldfish & Angelfish Hi. I am a beginner at this, and I
just purchased a 55 gallon tank. <Well, welcome to this beautiful
hobby! May you have much success and enjoyment.> I have 7 goldfish,
1 Pleco, and 2 Angelfish. I was wondering if its okay to have angelfish
and goldfish together? <Not really a good idea; goldfish like colder
water temperatures, and can contract illnesses more easily in higher
temps that the angelfish would need. Also, keep in mind that goldfish
get rather large over time, and are very messy fish; your tank is
really at its limit with seven goldfish. Goldfish and tropicals
together can be done, but one or the other will suffer for it.> the
temperature in my tank is 78 right now. <This is fine for the
angelfish (though a touch warmer would be better), but not for the
goldfishes. Goldfish should be kept closer to 68-70F or
thereabouts.> I got my fish at Wal-Mart and they couldn't answer
my question. I have a 10 gallon tank also and if The angelfish cant
live with the goldfish then I plan on putting them in there. <Well,
unfortunately, angelfishes get quite large, too, and a 10 gallon is too
small for them. They'll be alright in there for a while, but will
definitely need a larger tank in the long run. Basically, you're
set with a few options: move the angels into the 10g and plan to
upgrade to a 29g or larger; skip the angelfish altogether, and keep the
55g as a coldwater tank (the Plec should be okay down to 70F, I'd
think), or skip the goldfish and do a tropical tank with the angels,
the Plec, and some other tropicals. If you're feeling adventurous,
you might even want to do a small pond for the Goldies, then turn the
55 tropical. Lots of options, but all costing, unless you're
willing to give up one or the other.> Thank You. <You're
quite welcome. -Sabrina>
Angelfish 'n Platies Crew, I read the post &
Sabrina's reply to the reader with an impressive collection of FW
fish in a 58G tank. <Say my name, and magically I appear! Sabrina
with you, today> Among the multitude of fish in the tank were angels
and platies and swordfish. Over the years, I have never had much luck
keeping angels and platies/swordtails thriving in the same tank. My
daughters have taken over the FW in our house now that I have moved to
SW. My 10 y/o wants an angel and a swordfish, but I have resisted so
far. <One swordtail wouldn't be a very happy fish - they really
like/need to school. Two females (or more) per every one male. At that,
one angel wouldn't make for a very happy critter, either, I'm
afraid - and angels will eat baby swordtails, so don't plan on
raising many. On top of that, two angels in a tank will likely try to
breed, and will turn aggressive to their tankmates. I prefer to see
angels in larger tanks where they can have space needed to establish
territory if they do breed (at the least, a 55 gallon tank, IMO, to try
to have other fish with them).> Am I correct in my understanding
that their optimal pH and hardness ranges are different enough that it
is difficult to keep them together? <I wouldn't think so;
platies, swords, and angels have been bred in captivity long enough
that they can tolerate a very wide range of pH and hardness. Angels
will tolerate pH much lower than the platies and swords, and the
platies and swords can go with a much harder, alkaline water than the
angels. Platies and swords can even go brackish. But I definitely think
there's enough neutral ground to keep them together (as long as
you're not dealing with wild stock).> Also, the fish guy at the
local Petco tells me that the hardiness and general health of the
swords and platies available at retail had been going down in the past
few years, probably from genetic problems. <Likely true. The same
can be said for guppies and mollies, as well, I would think. Too much
selective inbreeding without taking care to add in fresh genes.>
I've been hearing similar concerns about angels recently - too much
inbreeding for certain desirable traits leading to problems with other
genes. <Exactly. I've even seen in stores in the last couple of
years angels with very significant deformities - missing or malformed
fins, malformed heads, etc. If possible, try to get angels from good,
reputable breeders instead of from stores where some of the angels
exhibit deformities.> Thanks, Steve
Angel Finds Neons a Tasty Treat (4/22/04) Hello - I cannot
thank you guys enough for the awesome website! <It's an honor to
play a small part. Steve Allen here tonight.> I've had a planted
29 gallon freshwater tank running with only an Angel (about 4 inches)
and a balloon bellied molly for quite a while. All of the other fish
died of velvet and these two were the survivors. Today I decided that
the tank could use some new inhabitants and I really wanted small
schooling fish. I purchased a 3 pack of neon tetras and finished
acclimating them about 2 hours ago. Unfortunately my 3 pack is now a 1
pack and my Angel fish now has a pot belly, so he got a very colorful
snack. <Tasty too.> I really want to keep some sort of schooling
fish in this fairly small tank. My question is if I buy more of the
neon tetras will they have a better chance of survival in a bigger
school (maybe 6-9 of them to create confusion) or am I just buying an
expensive snack? <Number two. The Angel will pick them off
one-by-one in that small tank.> Are there other small schooling
freshwater fish that are better at escaping or a bit bigger so they
wont fit in the angels mouth? <Not small ones. You could put maybe 4
or 5 somewhat larger tetras such as Lemon or Serpae. These ought to be
OK, but since your Angel is already rather large, start out with
near-adult size ones. Another possibility would be Golden or Cherry
Barbs, but these could get a little too big. The angel will continue to
grow somewhat bigger, so you need to be careful not to put too many
other fish in there.> Thanks in advance for the advice :) <Hope
Angelfish puffer fin damage Hello...I have a question about
fresh water Angelfish...My son bought a green spotted puffer and put it
in the tank with his other fish...it proceeded to bite one of the long
feeler like fins over half way off. My question is will this feeler or
fin grow back...? the puffers are now history and live across the
street so there is no other problem with them. I was just kind of
worried about the angel at this time...I hope you can help...thanks
Echoe < Your angelfishes fins will grow back, just not as straight
and not as long. AS you have already found out, puffers have teeth and
like to use them on slower tankmates.-Chuck>
Angelfish and Gourami aggression Hi there! Great website! I
just got a brand new 20 gallon aquarium. I have a few dwarf gouramis
and a couple of tetras. I also have a young ghost angel fish. The angel
fish is constantly nipping at my gouramis, although they are pretty
much the same size. I was wondering if there is a certain type of fish
or group of fish that I can get that will reduce the aggressiveness of
my angel. Thanks, < The long feeler type of ventral fins of most
gouramis look very much like hanging worms to many fish. You could add
some "dither fish" to the tank. There function is to distract
the more aggressive fish so they don't pick on the slower more
peaceful species. Peaceful fast moving tetras like rosy's or
bleeding hearts may be worth a try. Your angelfish eventually will get
larger and you may have to make a decision on which ones you want to
Possible angelfish tank-mates Hi there, Thanks for your
recent help with the guppy fry... I now have a question about angelfish
which I'm sure you can answer if you have the time..... My
girlfriend and I are soon to be setting up a tank for angelfish, and
would like some suitable tank-mates. After browsing the web and
learning that angels are compatible with dwarf-medium South American
cichlids of similar temperament and size. Our local fish stores stock
both keyhole and Firemouth cichlids (amongst others), would these be
suitable? < Keyholes yes, Firemouths no.> Are there any other
common cichlids that the angels would get along with? <Sure, Lots of
dwarf cichlids in the genus Apistogramma and rams, Kribs to name a
few.> Also, I was thinking maybe a small herd of bronze Corydoras to
keep the tank clean, are there likely to be any problems there? < No
all sounds good until they decide to breed. Cichlids like angels are
easy to breed and when they do they chase all the other fish away from
their eggs and fry.-Chuck> Cheers! Liam
Re: Possible angelfish
tank-mates Hello I'm just following up a question you answered
for me *see below) i was just wondering if, when mentioning Kribs you
meant the Krib sold under that name (don't know what the Latin name
is, sorry!), or the Pelvivachromis taeniatus, or if both types of fish
are suitable tank mates for angels. The Pelvivachromis taeniatus are
beautiful! < The old name for the fish I was referring to was
Pelvivachromis kribensis or "Kribs for short as a trade name. The
current name is P. pulcher. Any fish from the group Pelvivachromis
would be a fine tank mate for your angelfish.-Chuck> thanks,
Goldfish and angelfish Hi, I have had my goldfish for over
two years now, I change their water every month and feed them every
other day, and they were in a 2 gallon tank. <Hi there...Jorie here.
A 2 gallon tank is an extremely small space for even one goldfish...how
many did you have living in there? While I congratulate you on not
over-feeding (something that leads to poor water quality very quickly),
the reality is that goldfish are quite messy and produce a lot of
waste, and you probably should have been changing this water at least
twice per week.> About two weeks ago, I got a 10 gallon tank, and my
fish are fine. <Great to hear...I'm sure they appreciate the
additional space! Do keep up on the water changes, though...50% twice
per week at a minimum, in my opinion.> But now I wanted some more
fish in the tank, <Well, I think you were pretty full to capacity
already...> I went to a fish store and I got 2 angelfish and two
snails. I asked a man about adding angelfish to my goldfish, he said
that I shouldn't mix the two, but he said that they both might be
ok. <Definitely should not be living together, as you are dealing
with cold water vs. tropical fish. Totally incompatible.> I know
that goldfish are to have 65-70 degree water and angelfish 75-82, but
my goldfish are spoiled and they are always in 74 degree water (they
have been for the two years, and they are doing fine) I would like to
know is it ok for me to add the angelfish since I have the two snails
(which will clean the tank) and since my goldfish like warmer temp.?
<I would absolutely recommend against adding the angels. Perhaps you
can enjoy watching your goldfish relish in their additional swimming
room in their new tank? They will lively behave much more actively now.
Maybe change the decor if you are dying to try something new? Plants,
if you don't have any, would look nice...something like Cabomba,
which are tough enough for Goldies and provide them some munching food?
Also, I want to point out that the snails will pick up *some* leftover
food in the tank, they do not actually "clean the tank", per
se, and you still need to do regular water changes.> And please tell
me what I can to do so. <I don't mean to sound harsh, Mel, but
in reality, a 2 gal. tank really wasn't appropriate for your
goldfish. They are likely very happy in their new digs and, in my
opinion, you are now full to capacity. You could always start another
tank...!> Mel <Regards, Jorie>
Lonely Angel I have a 20 gallon tall with one Koi angel that
I have had for nine months. She is the only one in the tank and is
doing great but sometimes I'm tempted to get her a friend. Would
there be enough room? Should I get one of the opposite sex? Or should I
forget this idea entirely? By the way your web sight is
awesome!<Thanks> <Sure, As long as your angel is small enough
you could add another. But realize that in time they will outgrow the
tank. But so will a single. Hard to sex them. Unless you are looking to
breed them, I'd add 3 or 4 Cory catfish instead. Don> sincerely,
Lonely Angel Just how big can Angel fish get? <About 6
inches, but remember they are taller than long.> Do you have any
suggestions besides bottom feeders, because they don't do well in
my tank due to very little algae. <First, Corys do not eat algae.
Most do very well on flake and pellets for meat eaters. As for midwater
fish, your choices are almost endless. Danios would do well.
Mixing new, established FW angels, Plecos Mr.
Fenner I only have a couple of more questions for now. I was wondering
if angelfish living together are going to be ok because I already have
two angelfish and I was think of getting two more of the same size, and
two of the x-large angelfish (for a total of six angelfish), I was
wondering because I've read some articles that tell me that they
can be/come a problem with the other angelfish and other fish alike.
<Yes... only a good idea if the tank is quite large... four feet
long... sixty or more gallons let's say> My last question was if
adding a Pleco to my tank in addition with my angelfish would be OK or
if it would be/come a problem. Thank you for your time Mr. Fenner
<Likely the species of "Plecos" available would be fine.
Angelfish Aggression Thank you, Chuck at WetWebMedia, for
your quick response to my urgent question/problem. I have taken your
advice to heart, and took the angelfish out of the goldfish tank. I
agree that possible aggressive behavior on the part of the angel would
eventually be a problem. I do think I saw a new nip or two out of the
tail of my Shubunkin. His tail is frayed a bit anyway and the other
goldfish are CONSTANTLY playing. There is no way that I could leave any
even POSSIBLE danger to my sweet goldfish. They are just so cute and
happy and do seem to enjoy life so much. So, the more docile male
angelfish is back in the tank with the fighting female, with a
separator between them. They have spent most of the time just staring
at each other. She is seen occasionally trying to bite through the
separator. She really IS aggressive. He, seemingly emboldened by the
separator, will approach her and try to nip her through the plastic,
too. At first, though, he was pretty crept out to be back so close to
her and retreated to his furthest corner. Then he realized he was
protected. Poor guy. I have a 10-gallon that I may put him in
eventually. BUT I DIDN'T WANT ANOTHER TANK!!!!! The work! The work!
The work! I feel like I have devoted every spare minute the past two
years to FISH!!! But I love them. I do. And I wouldn't give this
hobby up for anything. Sincerely, and thanks again Rebbie. <I am
glad that your fish will happy and healthy for a long time with a
caring owner like yourself.-Chuck>
Angelfish with Goldfish? I have had two young angelfish in a
20-gallon tank (with plans to upgrade soon to a 29-gal.) for about a
month now. They've grown quite a bit. Day before yesterday, the
apparent female (belly swollen) began to pick on the apparent male. I
found him sort of cowering in the corner, fins torn in several places,
so I reluctantly moved him to my 50-gallon tank which houses two
goldfish and three Rainbowfish and three Siamese Algae Eaters (I know,
but it has worked beautifully for two years now). I am not interested
at all in breeding the angels, but most of all I don't plan to
subject the more docile male to this harassment from the female again.
After almost two days, he seems quite happy in my 50-gal. My questions
are, 1) do you think there is a hope of compatibility between the angel
and my Goldies long term ? So far, they seem to be ignoring each other
and things are fine, and also 2) are angels OK, kept singly, with other
fish like rainbows? Thanks for any advice you can give! <The
angelfish comes from warm soft acidic waters in South America. Your
goldfish come from cool more temperate waters. I think eventually one
or the other will have a problem and you will need to separate them
into their own tank. Eventually the angelfish will get big and may
start picking on the goldfish too. Rainbow fish are very fast and
active. They may outcompete the slower angelfish but in general they
should be ok.-Chuck>
What Won't Go in This FW Tank Just browsing through the
site and it's very helpful but there are some things that I just
cant find anywhere on the internet so I would appreciate it very much
if you could help me here. <That's what we are here for.> I
have a pretty average 50 gallon tank and I'm building a community
of smaller tropical fish, so far I have a school of neon tetras, 5
angelfish, a Pleco and a male fighter (Betta) and they seem to be
getting on really well. Sometimes the biggest angelfish chases the
Betta but only for an inch or 2 then gives up, but he also bullies the
smallest angel too so he is probably just a bully. The Betta hasn't
shown any signs of aggression to any fish since he has been in my tank,
(2 months). So so far its going well, but I want to get some more types
of fish to include, like some common fish like barbs, guppies,
Knifefish, catfish, etc possibly some rare ones too, could you give me
a small list of fish that DEFINITELY will not mix in my aquarium. Thank
you very much please reply soon. <As your angelfish grow they will
eventually eat the smaller tetras like the Neons and begin to pick on
the Betta and tear his fins to the point he may die. As a general rule
of thumb, stay away from fish that get too big, like Oscars. Otherwise,
once you decide which fish you want to keep out of your current set up,
I would go with fish that have similar water conditions and all stay
around the same size.-Chuck>
Angels and Clowns I have a 90 gallon show tank. It is
decorated with wood, a single large piece of holey limestone, black
gravel and floating plastic bamboo plants...sort of a sparse Zen look.
It has clown loaches (2"-4")... they eat out of my hand...and
Bushynose Plecos... the Plecos are actually breeding on a routine
basis. The pH is 7.2, temperature is 80 degrees, and ammonia and
nitrite are zero. It has been up and running for 18 months. I use two
Emperor 400s. I change 10% of the water daily and wash out the filer
pads in the process. I want to add a few angelfish. Are they compatible
with the clown loaches? The loaches are pretty active sometimes. Also,
would the angelfish help control the Pleco population? My LFS gives me
$2 each for them...several hundred dollars so far... but it is a hassle
to take everything out of the tank to catch them and it disturbs the
fish. >> You should be able to add some angels, but please start
with medium sized fish, the activity of the clown loaches at night may
bother the small angels. They will, unfortunately, eat some of your
baby Bristlenose Plecos. If you want to catch your Bristlenose babies
without having to take the tank apart try putting some food (romaine
lettuce, tied to an airstone) at night, with a net underneath it. The
baby Plecos will enter the net from the top and swim down to eat the
lettuce in the stream of bubbles. Use a flashlight to see when Plecos
are in your net and lift! Good Luck, Oliver <<