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Angelfish Compatibility

7321 Views 20 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Saraja87
Do angelfish that grow out together from juveniles tend to get along? I know that every fish is different, but if you were to raise 2 angelfish from dime size to adulthood, would it be likely that they will be aggressive towards each other when they are full grown? I am debating whether to get one or two.
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What size fish tank?

Yes, they will still get aggressive towards each other. I bought 2 anglefish before, which were dime size (body only), and placed them in my 55 gallon tank. When they got older, they got more aggressive towards each other. I had them for over 10 years. I eventually moved them into a 125 gallon tank, which they were still aggressive towards each other. The strange thing is, they sometimes swim together as if there was nothing wrong.

Basically, as long as it's a large enough tank, which lots of decor, they can establish their own territories. There will always be fights, but that's normal.
I haven't had a problem with mine being aggressive towards each other and I have 5 in a 55g. Every once in a while one may peck at another but they all get along pretty well. Actually 2 have paired off and spawn about every 3-4 weeks.:icon_smil I think keeping them in groups of 4-5 helps in case you get one that is aggressive. This way one angel doesn't get the brunt of it.

I have a 55, but I don't want to keep a species tank.
Can anyone else chime in on the above comment, regarding keeping 4-5 in a tank to prevent one from being picked on the most? (120 gallon tank)
Can anyone else chime in on the above comment, regarding keeping 4-5 in a tank to prevent one from being picked on the most? (120 gallon tank)

I kept five in a 55. I experienced minimal aggression, and no deaths or anything like that. The breeding pair I had got nippy of course, but nothing to be concerned about. I do not know how aggression would be with only 2.
If you introduce them to your aquarium at the same time, then you don't have to worry. However, if you start with only one, it will get very aggresive when you introduce new ones once is gets older.
I started out with 3 angels,2 weeks later I intoduced a larger angel,they killed him.Over a period of 8 months I was left with 2,the 3rd was also killed by his angel mates.about a month ago it came to a head between the last 2,I intervened and removed the aggressor and gave him to petco.My last angel is doing wonderful and is currently trying to kill a bala shark that he cant catch.I have a 58 gal moderetly planted tank.The truth about angels is this,they will get aggressive,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,or they wont,there is really no way to know for sure.
So the angels may or may not fight with each other, and will eat fish small enough to fit in their mouths, but do they bother non-angel-too-big-to-eat fish? I think I know the answer, but I want to confirm. :)
My mating angels seem to really like rushing at my misc. plecos. (except the pseudocanthacus leopardus, who is bigger than they are AND spikey..) so I keep them separated from everyone else in a smaller tank now.

Their offspring that I am growing out seem to get along just fine together, currently half-dollar sized bodies... except the runt, who is still dime sized, and tends to hide in the weeds most of the time. They actually get along fine with the jumbo unmated male that I keep with them for lack of anywhere else to put him.. AND they all get along fine with my black phantom tetras (that I grew out for a while in a 20 gallon tank... didn't trust tiny tetras with them...) and a sunset dwarf gourami and two BN plecs.

I don't know if that answers any questions about angel fish aggression, really... an unmated male will NOT get along with a mated pair...

an adult will try to eat other angels' offspring.

an unrelated adult will chomp the face off a baby angel that will fit in his mouth.

Angels seem happier in groups, and they don't seem to like Bettas.

That's what I've learned in a year.
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I've kept angels for quite a while now and it really comes down to personality. I've had some that couldn't care less who their tank mates are and one male who was determined to kill any other male it came across. Right now I keep 3 mated pairs in my 110 and there is still some aggression when they're about to spawn but it has not gotten worse than some fin nipping/ripping. I also keep them with a whole host of tetras (big and small), gouramis, barbs, rainbow fish, etc. In the 4-5 years I've had this bunch they have yet to show any interest in my other fish except to shoo them away from their eggs. Don't ever keep them with male bettas, but they're fine with female ones.

From my experience with angels you can keep:

-a group of angels the same size
-a group of female angels in various sizes (most of the time but not all)
-a group of large angels and a group of small angels.
-one big angel and many little ones

The majority of the time, unless you get an extremely aggressive angel, big angels couldn't care less about little ones. Its the ones that are almost the same size, a little bigger or a little smaller, that cause problems when you go to introduce them. If you do get an extremely aggressive angel in your group, TAKE IT BACK! It is absolutely not worth the trouble, even if its the most beautiful and entertaining out of the bunch. If you have to have him, keep him alone as he is not going to suddenly change his mind and get along. I tried Everything to get my big male a**hole angel to get along before realizing that he's not going to change just because I want him to. It took my other male, his victim, months to recover and he almost died many many times.

When you introduce a new angel you should always rearrange the tank a bit to break up any territory lines and either add angels exactly the same size or much smaller. Little angels are not a threat, angels the same size are an even match, and ones a little bigger or smaller are a big threat to their territory.

Normally, the best way to buy angels is in a group, usually about 6. The idea is that you will raise them together and they'll hopefully pair off. The only concern is that they will get BIG as they grow, the veils can get about 12 inches with their fins, so you need to have space for them. Angels also need more space up and down to accommodate those long fins, which means tall tanks as opposed to the long low ones most planted tank people prefer.

In the wild these guys are awesome hunters, they lie in wait and then zoom out and catch little fish. However, you'll quickly learn that they grow fat and lazy in captivity. As long as they're well fed, an angel is not gonna go after that neon tetra (being as it requires them moving their lazy arses) when they know blood worms and flakes await them if they're patient. If you try and starve them, like to ready their appetite for medication, those neons might start to look appealing but most of the time its just not worth their effort. They also seem to get lazier as they get older.

If you do decide to get some, they make fantastic pets but be prepared to make a commitment to them. If you keep them properly, these guys will easily live to 10+ years so be sure you can commit to them or find them a new home if need be.

Good Luck!

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Sarah, thank you so much!
You should be able to keep any soft water cichlid, such as rams or appisto's. YOu can also get away with the larger tetras, such as congo, columbian, and emperor.

My experience with angels is they get aggressive when they are adults. The more you have the more dispersal of aggresion. In a 125g I probably would keep 8 adults. I once had 4 adult angels in a 38g for a long time. The dominant male decided his wife wasnt good enough anymore and kicked her out of his territory. Then he decided that the tank was to small for him to share with everything else and harrased everything except for the cory's. I had to give him away to crazzie eddie who has a much more ideal environment for adult angels. I really thing they shouldnt be housed in anything smaller then a 55 if you are going to keep more then a pair.
saras post was very informative,thanx.My remaining angel shares a tank with many smaller fish including dwarf corys less then 3/4" and glo lites 1 " and less,he doesnt bother them.He just hates the poor bala angel did eat 4 algae eating shrimp that I was dumb enough to introduce,they were all gone in 5 minutes.
What do you all think of 4-6 angels in my 120? It is lightly planted, but I am going to rescape and add a little before I get the angels. It will not be a "heavily" planted tank, though. (just not my thing)

Also, do they breed well in community tanks? Any human intervention needed? Can different colors/types breed together? Oh wait..I just remembered my freshwater fish encyclopedia showed up today! I'll see what it says..
Angels breed wonderfully in community tanks :) With my 3 pairs I have a spawn every week-every other week, but the eggs must be removed or they get gobbled up by my gouramis and congo tetras. I also used to have a few pairs of blue german rams that had a particular taste for angel eggs lol. My catfish (false upside downs) are probably the worst though, they're about 4-5 inches and they just suck the eggs right off the driftwood.

4-6 sounds good too and yes different colors breed together. You should probably buy them all the same size and add them at the same time. They grow Very quickly in good conditions so you'll be okay if you can only find smaller ones. Mine grew about an inch in the month after I moved them to a new tank. If you want to breed them, I would probably suggest getting angels all of the same color unless you want to just keep the fry for yourself. Those die-hard angel breeders don't like mixing up the colors. But if you just want them for your personal entertainment lol, then I don't think it really matters. I've got all different colors in my tank, I think it makes it more interesting.

If you're seriously thinking about getting into breeding, it would be best to set up a separate fry tank with a heater and a seeded sponge filter. You would then put a piece of slate or other flat surface into the aquarium for the angels to lay their eggs on. This usually only works if there are no other 'good' surfaces, ie anubias leaves, sword leaves, driftwood etc. They also tend to prefer higher temperatures for spawning, usually 80-82. When the angels are ready to spawn you'll see them picking the slate clean for a few days and 'practicing' their spawning techniques. The female will make a few test runs, clamping her fins as tightly to her body as possibly, and running her egg depositor along the slate. The male will do the same after her until they've both got it down.

In my experience the females are better at this, and will lay the eggs in neat straight lines while my males are a little more confused and sort of fertilize the entire piece of slate. Don't be too disappointed if you don't get fry the first time as it can take the males a few goes to learn how to fertilize.

One you see the fertilized eggs on the slate, you should remove it to your fry tank thats has water from the original aquarium and matches the temperature. Some people suggest adding a drop of something to prevent fungus growth, usually methylene blue. If your males did a good job of fertilizing, you'll have clear eggs and your fry should hatch in about three days. It also helps to run some airline tubing into the tank to gently blow some o2 over the eggs until they hatch.

PS My favorite angels are marbled or altums (wild types) :) Check them out!
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I like the marbled a lot, and the blacks. Thank you for the advice. I'm giving my tank more time before I buy the angels. I'm having issues with one of my filters, and my nitrate is a tad high, but I'm doing a water change today (first one since all these fish were added), so we'll see. My tap water showed 0 nitrate.
Does 3 days count as "more time?" Because I bought 2 beautiful angels today, a black and a koi. :)
Okay, you remove eggs and place into another tank. Do you need to move the parents with them? I've seen people doing that, but the way you said "you need to remove the eggs" I think I can just move the eggs??
Ok, there is a LOT of information out there about how to hand-rear angelfish fry. Here is a site with tons of info and expert angel breeders (people who do this for a LIVING!) There's so much helpful info.. But it's such hard work taking care of those eggs by yourself. I was really glad that my angels took care of their babies without my help (aside from me adding baby brine shrimp to feed the babies...)
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