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: Angels 1, Angels
2, Angelfish Identification, Angelfish Behavior, Angelfish Compatibility, Angelfish 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,
How large is too large? FW Angel stkg./sel., sys.
I saw a freshwater angelfish in the LFS today. It was about 6-7 inches each way
and about an inch thick. This was a really large angel. I was wondering if it
would be too big of a fish for a 29 gallon tank, if it was kept alone? Thank you
<In all seriousness, you wouldn't keep any other 6-7 inch cichlid on its own in
29 US gallons, so while in theory an Angelfish singleton should be fine in
anything upwards of a 'deep' 20 gallon tank, that really only applies to the
smallish farmed varieties (which commonly get to about 10 cm/4 inches in
diameter). The bigger Angels, like Altum Angels, do need more space, and I'd
suggest being cautious here. For sure, if the tank was otherwise empty (even
minimal substrate) and well-filtered, it should be okay for a fish this size.
But long term I suspect you'd be fighting an uphill battle keeping nitrate
tolerably low, and if you didn't, Hexamita and HITH are both on the radar as
possible problems. Make sense? Cheers, Neale.>
Occasional angelfish bullying in brighter light
I have two freshwater Pearlscale angelfish about half-dollar
size. One was purchase about two weeks after the other and is bullying the first
guy quite a bit, but only when the lights are brighter.
<Mmm; best to keep Pterophyllum in a group... IF you only have so much
resources, system size... three individuals; to split up aggression>
When the blue light is on the bully is calm. I am thinking that I need to get
rid of the bully soon due to the stress on the calm guy.
<Or add a third, about the same, or larger individual>
The bullying is not a lot, but probably enough, and I am thinking it will get
worse over time. If the calm guy holds his ground the bully backs off, but if
the calm guy zips off, the other guy takes off after him. It is too bad the calm
guy doesn't realize that if he "holds his ground" and doesn't "run" the bullying
would stop. I guess you would agree that a re-homing is probably the best bet in
the long run? Thank you
<See WWM re stocking Angels? Bob Fenner>
Singleton angels 3/17/16
Just wondering if it is ok to permanently keep a singleton angelfish in a 9
<It is okay to keep Pterophyllum solo; though the one will become aggressive to
anything added at a later date>
I was thinking of getting those "fake fish" or fake jelly fish that attach to
the bottom of the tank, but I do not think the angel will believe that it is a
real and therefore "company"
I doubt there are any opportunities to house anything else in there without too
much bioload either
<Do please see WWM re FW Angel compatibility. Bob Fenner>
Angel Fish; repeated Q's re stkg... 6/17/15
Hello Crew, Hope all is going well. I have a couple of questions, please.
First, is a 29 gallon long tank too small for 2 angel fish? And if so, could you
please recommend some types of fish that are attractive that I could keep 2 of
in the tank.
<? You've asked these questions before James. Do you need help finding
the same answers on WWM? Bob Fenner>
I have 6 albino cories and I have decided just to have 2 (maybe 3 if not angels)
main "show fish" so as to keep the maintenance down somewhat since I have gotten
older and have less energy due to Lyme disease. Anyway, if you can help it would
be greatly appreciated. Thank you. James Hall
Single Angelfish 9/7/14
Dear Mr. Fenner, I am having problems with my email and could not reply
to your last email to me so I am doing a separate one. I have an
innovative marine 38 gallon tank 24 inches in length, with 6 sterbai
cories with a male and female pearl Gourami. Could I use a single
angelfish in the tank or are they happier in pairs?.
<... better in groups... One can become aggressive on its own>
I figured one would be better because of the size of the tank and also
know there will be aggression if I get two and they pair up to mate.
<Read on WWM re FW Angel Stkg./sel., and compatibility. B>
Angelfish; stkg. 7/13/14
Hi, Could you please tell me if a 38 gallon Nuvo tank is large enough
for a pair of angelfish in a community aquarium with a pair of pearl
gouramis, 4 or 5 male guppies and 6 Cory cats? Thanks so much
<Yes, should work, assuming your Angels don't spawn and start to throw
their weight around too much. Have kept similar sorts of communities
myself. Cheers, Neale>
Re: Angelfish 7/13/14
Thank you Neale, if the gouramis and angels were all male there would
probably be fighting in such a small area, don't you think?. I would
rather not take any chances of fighting in such a small tank so maybe I
should try to get all females.. I saw a video on utube that showed how
to sex angels
<Not possible outside of spawning... by which time it's pretty obvious
which is which by examining their spawning tubes (short/blunt = female,
long/pointed = male). Seriously, there are many "methods" around based
on the shape of their head, the lengths of their fins, etc. None work
and I know how to sex gouramis.
<Don't need a video for this! Male Pearl Gouramis will have much longer
dorsal fins than the females. Males also tend to have more orange on the
breast and the pelvic fin "feelers".>
Would all male guppies possibly cause fighting?
<Not if kept in sufficient numbers. But if one or two die, and you end
up with two or three remaining, they'll likely chase each other. So plan
If so, I would then go with all females. I do not want tons of fry in my
<Understandable, but if you have Angels in there, virtually zero chance.
Angels LOVE livebearer fry (and not in a good way!).>
Also, I know I mentioned to you before about my tank being 81 degrees,
but later it maxed out at 84. I took the glass lid off and have ordered
a screen to replace it. The lowest the temp will get now is 80 degrees.
I think you said that that would be acceptable for the above mentioned
fish as well as the sterbai Cory, is that correct?
<I'm sure I said Corydoras sterbai to 28C/82 F. Other Callichthyidae
might be a better bet in warmer water, the ones adapted to swampy pools,
such as Megalechis, Lepthoplosternum spp.>
Thank you again,
Re: Angelfish 7/14/14
Hello again. Neale, if there is no accurate way of sexing angels
<There isn't, and certainly not with juveniles.>
and I wind up with 2 males
<Happens all the time.>
is there a good chance they will fight
<Two males will, if the tank isn't big enough.>
or harass other fish?
<Angels are rarely randomly hostile, though it occasionally happens; but
Angels are predatory towards very small fish, and they can even be a
little fin-nippy at times.>
And if I get a male and female you said there could be trouble?
<Indeed so. Singletons are safest, mated pairs are good but best kept
alone or with fish they don't view as threats (surface/bottom swimmers).
In groups, keep six or more. The time honoured approach was to get six
juveniles, and then remove surplus fish as pairs formed.>
Please do this for me Neale as a favor: tell me in your own opinion what
you think would make a good combination of hardy fish in the 38 gallon
<Why not just keep a single Angel? Or for that matter, a single Discus?
Alternatively, a group of Gouramis can work well in warm water tanks; in
my experience, the most peaceful are Moonlight and Pearl Gouramis, with
the various Three-spot Gourami (Blue, Gold, etc.) males being notably
more aggressive. Banded and Thick-Lipped Gouramis are excellent as well.
are lovely, but a crap-shoot because of serious viral infections where
they're bred, but if you can find locally bred ones, they'd be good.>
I know the choices are limited for now because of the temp.
Re: Angelfish... stkg., comp., gen. f'
Thanks for the info Neale. If I get a group of the assorted gouramis,
how many of each to I get and do I mix males with females?
<Outnumbering males with females is always a good idea.>
And as far as discus go, I think they are beautiful but aren't they hard
<Farmed Discus are much less difficult now than the wild fish. Almost
easy, in a peaceful tank. Don't like rock hard water, but moderately
hard water around pH 7.5, just fine! So long as you keep them with
small, peaceful fish, and provide the right kind of food, they're not
Re: Angelfish 7/15/14
I am sorry Neale, what I meant was if I got 1 male and 2 females of one
type and the same for another type would the two males fight?
<Conceivably yes; as a general rule, males from the same genus
(Trichopodus for example) will be similar enough that there is a real
risk of conflict.
Different genera, e.g., one species of Colisa and one species of
Trichopodus, are going to have less in common so less likely to fight.
But all the male labyrinth fish tend to be feisty; a result of the fact
the ones that look after the young.>
And what is the best way to tell if the current is too strong once I get
the fish in the tank?
<Mark 1 eyeball making observations of plant movement, how hard fish are
swimming. Failing that, turnover rates are informative. Ball park, 4-6
times the volume of the tank per hour is a sluggish stream or canal, 6-8
times is a brisk but moderate current, and 8-10 times is more like a
The tank I have has 2 output nozzles that can be adjusted, but I do not
know which way to turn them as to allow for the least "current" in the
Thank you again.
Re: Angelfish 7/15/14
Well Neale, my turnover rate per hour is about 13 times the volume in
one hour, so I guess that rules out the gouramis.
<Likely so, if the tank is average sized (say, 10-100 gallons). It's a
bit more complicated where really small or really big tanks are
concerned. But do also bear in mind the quoted turnover rate of a filter
is nominal, not realistic, and relates to the pump in an ideal state
rather than doing work (kind of like how the rated horsepower of a
petrol engine is much greater than the actual "brake" horsepower of the
car). Assuming the filter is packed with media, turnover rate is likely
half the nominal rating of the filter pump.>
Any suggestions of fish that will tolerate this.
<10+ turnover rates are typically used for Hillstream settings, or at
least for fish that appreciate strong water movement -- loaches,
L-numbers, minnows, Mbuna, rheophilic cichlids, gobies, etc. -- or else
large fish that produce a lot of waste but are so powerful the flow rate
isn't a worry -- stingrays, jumbo cichlids, big catfish, etc.>
I am sorry, if I had thought about it I would have given you this
information to start with.
<Indeed. Many filters can be downrated easily enough; in the case of
external canisters and some internal canisters, there's a tap that turns
to adjust flow rate.>
Re: Angelfish 7/15/14
thank you again Neale. This aquarium is actually set up with a submerged
pump with 2 outlet tubes (with no adjustment) and the media is placed in
other separate chambers in the back. Now I wish I had just bought a tank
and filter I was familiar with, but I was attracted to this one because
of the modern look and the fact that all media and the thermometer all
have separate chambers in the back where everything is out of sight when
looking at the tank. It seems that at this point with the temp being
what it is (81), and the water flow as it is I might just as well give
<By no means is this necessary. Try adding a bit of flake food. Does it
drift about gently or get thrown about violently? That tells you
something about the current. Estimates based on turnover are "ball park"
figures and don't tell you everything about every possible tank. Next
up, try getting a few hardy, tolerant fish. Temperature is related to
oxygen level; the warmer the water, the less oxygen there is, and it's
this factor, rather than the temperature itself, that is often what
causes problems. So if your water (in summer) reaches 80-82 F, you can
avoid trouble by lightly stocking the tank and ensuring good air/water
mixing at the surface (e.g., with a spray bar ruffling the surface).
Zebra Danios for example would be
perfectly viable in such conditions, even though they prefer slightly
cooler water. Likewise pretty much all hardy tetras and barbs could be
expected to do well, especially the "old school" species that were very
popular in the past because of their adaptability -- X-Ray Tetras, Black
Widows, Tiger Barbs and so on. Alternatively, you could find species
that will tolerate warm water and work around them. Tropheus spp for
example do well in warm water with robust currents -- just like those
they'd experienced in Lake Tanganyika. Similarly many Rio Xingu catfish,
which actually prefer warmer water than average, so take a look at the
L-numbers from Rio Xingu -- Scobinancistrus aureatus, Hypancistrus
zebra, etc. If all
else fails, consider some desert fish. Yes, there are such beasts, and
some of them are stunning. Aphanius mento for example, the Persian
Killifish, likes hot, rock-hard water and the males are some of the
prettiest fish in the hobby. The Desert Goby from Australia is another,
and there are numerous Pupfish from North America that fit the bill,
though many of these are endangered, so obtaining specimens will be
difficult unless you're part of a conservation project.>
I appreciate you being so kind as to have answered all my questions.
Thanks Neale, the nozzles where the water exits the pump are full
adjustable and can be placed where the surface gets a good agitation and
to my surprise when I put the flaked food in it just floated around
slowly to my surprise because some of the artificial plants always sway.
So since my current seems to be better than I imagined, could I now put
gouramis, angels and guppies?
<Sounds like it. Maybe try some Gouramis out and see what happens. Tell
the retailer about the situation and that you would like to be able to
return them if it doesn't turn out well.>
And in case I mistakenly do not get all male guppies, I think you said a
lone angel will eat the fry? It is OK to have only one angel in a tank
I think? Thanks Neale
Angelfish numbers 6/8/14
I have a freshwater 75 gallon community (4 adult angelfish which are in
2 pairs, 20 cardinal tetras, 10 Corydoras, 1 BN Pleco) which have been
together for over 1 year now. My angelfish pairs have been spawning for
the past 6 months were constantly fighting so we put a tank divider.
<One technique... Are you interested in "commercially" producing young?
If so; I'd get/use 20 high, 29 gal. tanks per pair... move them>
My LFS advised us to remove the divider and buy more juvenile angelfish,
believing that allowing them to be in a larger group would help reduce
the fighting and restore peace to the tank.
<Mmm; no; not likely to help>
I am a bit skeptical if it would work. What do you think? As for water
quality, we do 30% PWC weekly
and we have 2 filters running ( Eheim 350 and Marineland Emperor 400
<Also commendable... to have more than one... filter>
I have been researching this on internet for a while now but all I get
is conflicting information!
<Ah yes... the Net is a reflection of the content providers per field...
Even WWM is not entirely internally consistent, as the Crew has and has
had a diversity of opinions, preferences, stands over the decades>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Angelfish numbers 6/8/14
Thank you so much for the quick reply! Much appreciated! So, to make
sure I understand, adding more juvenile would be unlikely to help.
<Not... see/search WWM re other ditherfish possibilities... >
Unfortunately we cannot commit to having more tanks to take care of, so
producing them would not be an option but thank you for the suggestion.
So, we will leave things as is. Thank you once again for your response!
<I might then trade in one of the angel pairs... to give all else room
Re: Angelfish numbers
Thank you! Much appreciated!
Lone angelfish meets new angel
Introducing New FW Angelfish 2/13/14
Hello: I was wondering if it is common for a lone angelfish who has
gotten used to the tank to freak out and chase after a new same size
angelfish? Do they sometimes settle down or is it usually that the lone
angelfish is a bully? How long do you wait for them to settle if they
are going to? Thank you
< Although they might not look like it, angelfish are cichlids. You
established angelfish has his territory and doesn't want another
angelfish in it. Try to redecorate the tank and lower the water
temperature to lessen the aggression. They do best in schools of at
least six but will probably start to pair up. -Chuck>
Six freshwater angels possible in 46-gallon tank?
Hi wonderful experts. I just finished reading most of your
material on freshwater angelfish, and it looks like I'm in a gray area.
My new 46-gallon to-be-planted tank is almost done with its fishless
(liquid ammonia) cycling, and I would dearly love to stock it with six
Koi angelfish. I'd also love a few bronze Cory cats to prowl the
bottom, but I really don't want or need any other fish. Is 46
gallons too small for six angels? I gather that my only other
possibilities are to try for a mated pair, or just a single angel.
But I'd love a school of six. What do you think? Thanks!
<Neat varieties/sports... You should be fine up to/until two or more
pairs decide to mate... then you might still be okay IF they choose to
occupy one side of the tank. You'll just need to keep your eyes open for
overt signs of aggression w/ growth; have a contingency plan to separate
or move the mating/mated pair/s. Bob Fenner>
Re: Six freshwater angels possible in 46-gallon tank?
Bob - Thanks for the fast and informative reply! One quick
follow-up if I may. Given your warning, suppose I decide to just
play it safe and start right out with just a pair.
<Can be done>
I know it's almost impossible to sex adults.
<Actually: Read here:
If I just buy two that I like, what are the chances that they'll get
<Better than half>
It was easy when I bought clownfish for my first reef tank, as I just
bought juveniles and they grew up into the right sexes! But
angelfish aren't like that, I assume. Thanks!
<Do read the above link... and maybe the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: Six freshwater angels possible in 46-gallon tank?
Bob - Thanks! I missed those links the first time around.
I'll study them
<Real good. B>
Angelfish of different sizes 8/13/13
I have two adult angelfish in a 75 gallon, one is calm the other is
<Ah yes; Pterophyllum do definitely have differing personalities; and
almost always a social dynamic forms by keeping them together... one or
more becoming "more dominant">
I have the opportunity to get 5 black angelfish, but they are listed as
"dime size" I think that if I put them in with the bigger angelfish they
will eat them, so I guess i have to look elsewhere for larger fish. Just
wondering if I am right? Thank you
<They will likely be at least bothered... IF you intend this addition, I
would definitely add a barrier/a partition to keep the new and extant
angels separated for a few months here. In time, 75 gallons will likely
prove to be enough room for the seven total, even if/when pairs form,
reproduce and drive the others to one side of the system. Bob Fenner>
One odd angelfish may get harassed 12/8/13
I have six smallish freshwater angelfish in a 75 gallon, with a female
Bristlenose Pleco. The angelfish have the usual standard fins and there
is no bullying. There is an angel for sale at the LFS, cheap and kinda
funny looking. This fish is the same size but with VERY long fins.
He/she was in a small tank being chased by the other angels. I was
wondering if I got him/her would the very long fins be attractive to the
angels I have and would his/her fins be torn to bits??? Thank you
<If all are "smallish" as you state, they should get along (like
domestic dogs and cats, commercial angelfishes are all the same
up to a time perhaps when two or more pair off, drive the others to a
further section of this tank. You will be able to see this behavior
developing. Bob Fenner>
Jumbo angelfish and Nerite snails, comp. and use
I have a 75 gallon with 6 half grown angelfish in it. They are about 3
inches top fin to bottom fin at this point. I got them through a breeder
and they eat like crazy. There is a store here that regularly gets in
"jumbo angels" that are way bigger than any average angel. Would one of
these be dangerous around the six that are there now?
<Can't tell w/o trying. Pterophyllum are highly unpredictable. Some
individuals are the epitome of mellow-ness; and a few are absolute
terrors... in particular, ones raised solitarily can prove to be
Best to isolate (use a separator) the new, larger individual for a few
days in the same tank...>
I am thinking it may be if it is aggressive. I have no idea where this
store is getting them from.
<Most likely "old/er" breeders>
They told me a place in New Jersey. I also have about 6-8 Nerite snails in
the tank, two of them are really small. The back of the tank is really
full of algae and they do not seem to bother with it, so I had to
cleaned it myself. Is that a really low number of Nerite snails for such
<Mmm, not too low to be of use, interest>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Jumbo angelfish and Nerite snails 9/20/13
I have a 75 gallon with 6 half grown angelfish in it. They are about 3
inches top fin to bottom fin at this point. I got them through a breeder
and they eat like crazy.
<As is their wont.>
There is a store here that regularly gets in "jumbo angels" that are way
bigger than any average angel.
<Presumably sexually mature adults, which can be up to 15 cm/6 inches in
Would one of these be dangerous around the six that are there now?
<Assuming you have six subadults as well, it will surely become
dominant, and their may be some tussling at first, but a group of 7
specimens should be safe, stable. A good idea is to remove all specimens
and introduce them together into a the tank, in the dark, with all rocks
and plants moved about as far as possible. If that's not practical or
desirable, then do at least switch the tank lights off for a day, maybe
even draping a towel over the tank to reduce light to a minimum. This
throws all the fish into a "sleep mode" and when they wake up the next
day, they're more likely to accept one another as part of the scenery.>
I am thinking it may be if it is aggressive. I have no idea where this
store is getting them from. They told me a place in New Jersey. I also
have about 6-8 Nerite snails in the tank, two of them are really small.
The back of the tank is really full of algae and they do not seem to
bother with it, so I had to cleaned it myself. Is that a really low
number of Nerite snails for such a tank?
<I find 2-4 Nerites per 10 US gallons is about right.>
re: Jumbo angelfish 9/20/13
The angelfish that show up on a regular basis at this store are the size
of Altum Angelfish, but they are usually marbles. I have never in my
life seen non-Altums this big.
<Big or tall? Altum Angels aren't especially big (body length, i.e.,
from nose to caudal peduncle is rarely over 15 cm/6 inches) but they
have a more oval rather than circular body shape and their fins are much
longer than those of farmed ("Scalare") Angels, so overall, they need
more space and look more impressive. Farmed Angels infrequently exceed
10 cm/4 inches in standard length, with specimens that are 15 cm/6
inches long being comparatively rare.>
They usually have huge veil fins. Maybe they are bred with Altums. I do
<Farmed Angels are hybrids that likely to have some Altum genes in them,
as well as other Pterophyllum species, though they are mostly derived
from Pterophyllum scalare and its close relatives (subspecies, regional
Someone would need a 150 gallon to keep six of these.
<That's a good size aquarium for Altum Angels for sure, but Altum Angels
are unmistakable and there's no way you'd confuse them with farmed
Angels, even farmed Angels with "wild type" colouration (e.g., Altum
Angels have brown vertical bands vs. black vertical bands on "wild type"
Scalare Angels). Farmed Angels are not nearly so demanding for space,
though out course the more the better. But at minimum, 75 gallons is
ample for a school of 6 farmed Angels. That said, farmed Angels .
re: Jumbo angelfish 9/21/13
They are about 6 inches and the fins are about another 4 or 6 six
inches, so nearly a foot from top to bottom. Some are about a half inch
thick, so quite the volume. Others have shorter fins. Maybe this big
size is normal and I am used to seeing smaller ones. They are hugely
<They sound big, and are perhaps similar to the "Peru" Angelfish
sold here in England. These have a body shape more similar to
Pterophyllum altum than Pterophyllum scalare, but unlike Pterophyllum
altum they have black, not brown, vertical bands. True Pterophyllum
altum are, of course, immediately recognisable due to their brown
vertical bands, but both Pterophyllum altum and "Peru" Angelfish have a
somewhat upturned snout a little different to the common farmed Angel.
True wild Pterophyllum scalare are more circular in body shape than the
upright oval shape of Pterophyllum altum and the "Peru" Angelfish, and
while they can get to 15 cm/6 inches in standard length, that's uncommon
among farmed examples. Do use the search engine of your choice to
compare Pterophyllum altum, Pterophyllum scalare and Pterophyllum sp.
"Peru" (sometimes called Peru sp. "Rio Nanay").
Freshwater Angelfish stocking 3/8/13
I have a 120 gallon aquarium with a FX5 for filtration. My plan
was to make an angelfish show tank so I stocked it with 24 young
angelfish fed them new life spectrum pellets and did 50% water changes
once a week.
<Good plan thus far>
The fish have been doing great and are starting to get big and a little
I knew I would have to someday pick my favorites and rehome some but would
be a good number to keep for a long term population in my tank?
<Mmm, well... if you're forming pairs... for breeding... I'd remove
these couples as they develop... as evidenced by their joint aggression,
protection of a given space; perhaps spawning. Otherwise likely six,
maybe eight individuals can learn to not bicker overly much here in
Thank for your help!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
How should I go about doing this... Manacapuru angel
Hi its been awhile sense I talked.
<I see you and Neale's chat below from Sept. 2012>
I figured out how long it would take me to save up enough to get the
tank I want. 18 inches wide by 24 inches high by 48 inches long-
basically 6 or so months which would put me into June or so before i get
the tank. I talked with Steve the owner of Angels plus and he said he
wouldn't accept any returns of surplus Angels. I did email the Betta
shop about this concern but have yet to hear back from them. My plan was
to set up and cycle the tank and then buy 6 juvenile Manacapuru and let
them grow out and pair up.- How old do they have to be before I know/see
<Mmm, likely 3-4 months beginning>
Keep maybe 1 or 2 pairs and return the rest to my LFS or any other
dealer online. Could I put 2 pairs in the tank which is a 90 gallon, or
should I just keep 1 pair.
<Possibly two pair>
I know the wild angels do best in pairs so that's what I'm aiming for. I
just decided rather then buying just 2, I'll buy 6 and let them decide.
<This is the best approach>
Should these fish spawn should I get rid of the Sediontis <Synodontis>
Featherfin catfish and try to rear and sell the fry or use it as a form
of fish birth control( the catfish eats the spawn preventing me from
having to worry about raising the fry)
<Up to you>
Would it be hard to rear F2 Manacapurus in ph 7 water?.
<Not really; no>
Am I better off keeping this in a planted species tank or a mixed
community with larger Tetras and a catfish.
<For me (personally) a mixed community tank is more appealing... IF
interested in breeding, Pterophyllum pairs can be housed in 20-29 gal.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Mixing angelfish of different sizes 1/6/12
I have an adult angelfish that is full grown. He/She is about 2 1/2
inches tall and about 3 1/2 inches long not including his/her huge fins.
I bought another angelfish today that is about 1 1/2 inches tall and
maybe two inches long and is much smaller in volume. The new one was
listed as medium in size and is bigger than the juveniles that were at
the LFS. Would it be safe to put the smaller one in with the
bigger one in a 46 gallon?? He/She is now being quarantined in the 10
gallon. Thank you
<Angelfish are mildly territorial, and established adult Angels can be
aggressive towards newcomers, especially the males. The best approach is
to keep either a singleton, a matched pair, or a group of at least 6
specimens. If you choose to add a new Angelfish to a tank with a
specimens already there, remove the resident Angel, move all the rocks
about, then add the smallest specimen first. After 20-30 minutes, add
the bigger specimen. With luck (but no guarantee) both Angels will feel
like newcomers and they may accept one another. Cheers, Neale.>
Established Bigger angelfish with juvenile 12/16/12
I have a black angelfish in a 46 gallon by itself. I was looking for
another black angelfish and the LFS just got in a bunch of "small black
angelfish" Is it a bad idea to put a small one in there as he/she may go
after it?? Thank you
<It's risky because angelfish are territorial, and the bigger the size
difference, the more risk you take. However, this tank is large enough
that you might be able to get away with it, particularly if your decor
is laid out in such a way that several territories can be established
and there are places for the youngsters to hide if necessary. No
guarantees, of course.
If you do see aggression, you try removing all the angelfish,
rearranging the tank, then reintroduce them. Good luck. - Rick>
Angelfish conundrum, FW, stkg.
Afternoon to you lovely people :D
I've got a potential issue regarding my freshwater angelfish - in brief,
I had a lovely group of 5 in my 300l planted aquarium (ammonia, nitrite
both 0 nitrate 5ppm, pH 6.5-7, temperature 24C), there was minimal
aggression (they were all around the same age and had been added at the
same time), there was considerable variation in size with the two black
marbled angels being the largest. I've recently lost these two leaving
me with three silver angels, one significantly larger than the other two
and one around half the size of the largest.
Now, for the conundrum: I'm uncertain whether it is wise or fair on the
fish to leave the three of them together in the tank (other occupants
are a mixed group of 10 tetras, 2 platys and 3 Corys), knowing that the
smallest may well be hounded to death by the others... with 5 in the
tank no one individual became the focus of aggression by the others
however with just three I'm not so sure. The alternative would be to
rehome them and buy in a new group of young angels and allow them to
grow up together as I've done before. I'd be sad to rehome them as
they're lovely, inquisitive fish and I'm very attached to them but I
want to do the best thing for the fishes wellbeing.
Many many thanks for all your help,
<Mmm, well there should be sufficient volume here in this 300 litre
aquarium; and the plants should greatly alleviate aggression by blocking
open view... I'd personally just try to be patient and wait... Even if
two form a pair and reproduce, there's likely enough space for all
three. Bob Fenner>
Re: Angelfish conundrum
Thanks Bob, that's a huge help :) Can now relax a little! All the best,
<And you Carolyn>
Corys... and angels, a shark and a single clown loach... in
a 29 - 11/05/2012
In my 29 gallon tank (water quality is good: 0 ammonia; 0 nitrites, ph
neutral) I have 6 small angels,
<These will need more room than the 29; particularly when two or more
1 red-tail shark,
<Will become quite mean in time>
and 1 clown loach.
<Not happy singly>
I want to add some Albino Corys. I know they are schooling fish and need
to be in a group. Given my set-up, how many Corys can I have and not
overcrowd the tank.
<Already overcrowded... but are happier in groups of 3-4 or more>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re Overcrowding, 29 gal., six angels... 11/7/12
Attn: Bob Fenner
Thanks so much for quick reply. I forgot to mention that 3 of the 6
angels will be going to my brother as soon as he sets up his tank. That
may be a while so that is why I was asking about overcrowding. My goal
for my 29 gallon tank is 3 angels, 1 red tail shark ( he/she has plenty
of little caves and tunnels) 2 clown loaches, and some Corys. Still
<May be in time; particularly if, more likely when two of the angels
pair up... they'll likely beat up the third... but they'll all likely
leave the loaches, shark and Corydoras be>
Thanks, Joe Messina P.S. Your site is fabulous. So helpful.
<Thank you Joe. BobF>
Black angelfish with white spots, FW, sel.
I found a large black angelfish at the LFS the other day. He is
REALLY black. Anyway his/her lower "lip" is really white.
<Mmm, have not seen this sort of combination... usually a white mouth
represents some sort of damage>
It does not look fuzzy and I am thinking it is normal. The fish
had noticeable white dots and a white line on it's side that cleared up.
I was thinking that was from being transported with about eight other
large angelfish and then swimming around in a tank just big enough to
hold them in the store. He may have been attacked by the other fish or
got scratched on something.
It is just the lower lip is really white I wonder if it will go away
like the white spots on the side?? Thank you
<I would say yes... unless the melanophores (the dark color cells) about
the mouth have been "that badly" removed. Bob Fenner>
Freshwater Angelfish Bully and
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.>
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.>
AnGeLfIsHcare... FW Angel stkg.
I was wondering how many angelfish can fit in a 20 gallon tank?
<Pterophyllum crosses? At full size, one or two. Bob Fenner>
Adding New Angel Fish 10/22/10
Hope all is going well for you. I have a couple of questions,
First, I have a 75 gallon fw tank with 3 angel fish and 2 female gold
gouramis. I had more angels but some have died over time. They have all
been in the tank over a year. I wanted to know if there would be
problems if I added 3 or 4 more angels. If not, should I add them at
night and leave the lights off for an extended period of time? Please
Also, have you heard of a product called eco bio-stone? If so, is it a
scam? Thanks for all your help.
<Hi James. Adding another group of Angels to an existing group
should be okay, but mated pairs defending territories will of course
behave aggressively. If the ones you have are schooling together
though, they should accept some more without complaint. As for the
EcoBio Stone, it isn't a "scam" as such, but it isn't
necessarily doing anything useful either. Essentially any porous rock,
for example lava rock or tufa rock, will do precisely the same thing.
What the EcoBio Stone allows is the cultivation of aerobic, dysaerobic
and anaerobic bacteria at different levels within the stone, just as
happens in live rock in a marine aquarium.
Any porous rock would do this too, because the key thing is that oxygen
concentration drops the further inside the rock you go. Nothing special
about the EcoBio Stone at all, though I suppose it might have more
pores than the average lava rock, and its square shape may mean
it's more compact and easier to hide than the usual lump of tufa
rock. Would I use one? If they cost just a buck or two, sure. Won't
do any harm and might do some good. But at thirty to fifty bucks a pop?
Not a chance. For that money you
could buy a whole box of lava rock that would look a lot nicer and do
at least as good a job. A good test of these aquarium gizmos is reading
up on what they promise to do. If it sounds too good to be true, then
it's likely the marketing department have more to do with the
project than biologists or fishkeepers. Reduce water changes? Speed up
maturation of new tanks?
Revitalises old water? All sounds like marketing nonsense to me! Want
to keep nitrates down? Do more water changes and/or add a big clump of
fast-growing plants. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Adding New Angel Fish
Thanks Neale, and I forgot to ask if the newly added angels had to be
as large as the existing ones or can they be smaller? Thanks again.
<Hard to say, James. Juveniles shouldn't be viewed as threats,
but if the existing adults are feeling stroppy, then juveniles are
likely to get bullied. On the other hand adult specimens would be able
to handle any
aggression but would of course be more likely to elicit aggressive
behaviour from the existing adults. If this was me, I'd buy Angels
of similar size, take all the existing Angels out, move the rocks and
plants about, and then introduce all the Angels at the same time. That
way, they existing adults shouldn't view the newcomers as any sort
of threat, since they'd have lost their territories. Cheers,
re: Adding New Angel Fish
<Happy to help. Cheers, Neale.>
Angelfish or Substitute Centerpiece Fish, FW
First, I want to thank you for your advice about Platies I had for my
first aquarium. It's been up and running nearly a year now and all
seems well; no deaths, no diseases, more births, etc, in part thanks to
Well, I promised myself that if I was still enjoying keeping an
aquarium that I would expand into a second, larger tank. So here I am,
about 4 weeks into a new 55 gal that has finally started to cycle.
Since it's getting close to being able to finally house some pets,
I'm upping my research to further minimize any possible
I had spent perhaps the past 2 months or more studying fish species,
compatibilities, schooling sizes, etc and visiting local stores to see
what's available. I've decided on a few fish that, from all I
found, should be fine together; Harlequin Rasboras (8-10), Cherry Barbs
(6), and Cory Catfish (5-6).
<Good choices, numbers, mix>
I would also love to add 1-2 centerpiece fish. I've been looking at
angelfish, but I'm getting conflicting information about them and
compatibility and aggression. Some said one or a mated pair would or
might work, some said only a large school of angelfish (don't have
the room nor do I want that many), and some have said to steer clear
completely unless a full cichlid tank. So I'm wondering what you
would advise here...
<Pterophyllum are highly variable... some individuals being absolute
terrors, others getting along with most everything. I would not risk
their addition here>
1: Angelfish, maybe ok? 1 or mated pair possibly work? I don't mind
loss of any new fry from any of the fish if that's the only issue.
If no, or strongly recommend against...
2: Is there anything else you can recommend in place of angelfish? Only
1-2 of something, not overly shy, and possibly a little larger than the
sizes of the fish I listed above. All I can think of is to actually add
some Platies or swordtails and get at least 1 male swordtail, though
that's not quite what I'm aiming for.
<Mmm, yes... I'd be looking into the Rainbowfishes... for larger
species, that are easygoing... Read here:
the last tray at the bottom. Bob Fenner>
Angelfish is pushing smaller angel fish PLEASE HELP ME
Hi, i just bought a 29 gallon tank and put three angel fish in it. two
swim around together all the time (I think they're koi fish) and
the smaller white one ( blushing angel i think) always hides in the
corner, comes out
sometimes and not always; but sometimes the biggest one pushes the
smallest one around and it is sad he opens his mouth and pushes at him.
the biggest one even does it to the medium sized one, his pair mate or
<Unfortunately this is very common. Angelfish are not
"sociable" fish as such, and should either be kept singly, in
matched pairs, or in groups of six or more. Six is the magic number
with Angelfish and Discus, seeming to be the minimum number needed to
get them to school peacefully.>
Should i get rid of one of them, if so which one since he pushes both
around i thought i should get rid of the biggest one cuz he is mean. or
should i get rid of the smallest one?
<Yes, rehoming the third specimen is wise.>
and is this 29 gallon tank size good enough for about 6 months-1year or
<This aquarium will be fine for a pair of Angelfish for
please help me i don't know what to do i feel so bad for the little
<I feel your pain! When I started fishkeeping, I bought three
Angelfish, and two of them bullied the third, to the point where the
third lost one eye and never grew to full size. So, I don't
recommend making my mistake, and would suggest you move the remaining
fish to another aquarium.>
thanks so much for taking your time to help,
<Happy to help. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Angelfish is pushing smaller angel fish PLEASE HELP
Should i rehome the smallest one or the biggest bully one? because the
medium sized one doesn't push anyone around? the smallest is my
favorite, so who should i move out? i also read that they can become
buddies later on. so which one should i move, smallest or biggest one?
thanks again. :)
<Neale is out currently on Mondays and Wednesdays, so I'll jump
The smaller fish needs to be moved or at least separated as Neale
already stated. Now. Bob Fenner>
Re: Angelfish is pushing smaller angel fish PLEASE HELP
i have also read that you shouldn't have only 2 angel fish in an
aquarium, is that true? and what is the max i can have in a 29 gallon
tank, if you recommend getting more?
<Angels are best kept singly, in matched pairs, or in groups of
are they compatible with those fish that each the algae off the
<Depends which fish. For a 29 gallon tank, the only species I would
recommend would be Ancistrus sp. ("Bristlenose catfish").
RE: Angelfish is pushing smaller angel fish PLEASE HELP ME
i gave the biggest one away to a store that agreed to take care of him
for me, and the other two seem to get along great; the littlest one
doesn't hide anymore, he seems more content. it seems better from
if they don't last the cycle since i just set it up a week ago,
should i wait the whole month for the cycle to get done before
purchasing two new ones?
<Do not add Angelfish to an immature aquarium. Wait for the tank to
cycle fully using a fishless method, ideally. After the tank is stable,
add some hardy fish, like Peppered Corydoras or Zebra Danios. If all is
well a couple months after that, add Angels.>
or do i buy them immediately after they die (if they die)?
<Do not add Angelfish to an immature aquarium.>
one more question, lots and lots and LOTS of air bubbles are in the
tank all over latched onto the fake plants and things, is that
<Depends; adding an airstone will produce some bubbles, as will
using a spray bar or a venturi. Bubbles themselves aren't a bad
thing, but too many of them can cause problems for fish. So a little
bubbling at one end of the tank is fine, but if the thing is like a
Jacuzzi, that's overkill.>
will it calm down?
i suppose it's part of the cycle. just checking. thanks so much for
your guys' help. it has informed me a lot. i greatly appreciate
Re: Rainbow Sharks and Tank Stocking... grading into
Pterophyllum stkg. 9/30/09
Thanks, and please tell me if I decided to get rid of a male and female
gold Gourami I have if 8 angels would be too much in my 75 gallon along
with 15 cories.
<You should be fine.>
I guess the cories do not matter much as to the number of angels
<Indeed; wouldn't keep fewer than 6 adult Angels. That's the
"magic number" when it comes to keeping the peace -- once
they pair off, the resident pair often become bullies and will harass
other Angels in with them.>
Again, you always leave me feeling positive after you take the time to
<Happy to help.>
It is good to know there are people around like you who devote their
time to help others improve their aquarium keeping skills.
<Kind of you to say so.>
<Good luck, Neale.>
Re: Rainbow Sharks and Tank Stocking... grading into
Pterophyllum stkg. 9/30/09
Thank you Neale, does that mean that I should get rid of 2 angels and
only have 6 to avoid problems?
<Not necessarily. Provided you have 6 or more specimens, Angelfish
school reasonably well; it's groups less than 6 that sometimes end
up with a pair of bullies and a few frightened tankmates!>
Also, is it still OK to have that many angels (6 or 8) even if I keep
<Sure. A 75-gallon tank is pretty generous. Since domesticated
(hybrid) Angels don't get as large as true Pterophyllum altum or
Pterophyllum scalare, you're essentially housing a group of eight
10 cm/4 inch Angelfish in a 75 gallon tank, and that leaves plenty of
space for a couple of Gouramis and a school of Corydoras.>
Angel Fish, sel. 4/28/09
Hi All, hope you are having a great day! I wanted to know if there were
certain species/strains of freshwater angelfish that were hardier than
others. I also wanted to know if you knew reputable dealers online.
you for your help.
<Hello James. This is a very interesting question; yes, indeed, some
Angelfish are hardier than others. To start with, any of the
wild-caught species should be considered delicate. Perhaps not quite to
the same degree as wild Discus, but still needing good quality water,
preferably soft with a slightly acidic pH. This largely holds true
whether you're talking about Pterophyllum altum, Pt. scalare, or
Pt. leopoldi. Next up are some of the more inbred varieties of
domesticated Angelfish. These include the new varieties such as the Koi
as well as the Black Angelfish. Much hardier are the older fancy
varieties, especially the Marble Angelfish, which is really quite a
tough old bird. Top of the heap in terms of hardiness is the standard
wild-type domesticated Angelfish. This is the one with red eyes and
straight black bands on its body, much like the wild fish. I don't
personally know of any dealers of Angelfish online, and the vast
majority are farmed. Provided you picked some reasonably well grown
specimens (avoid the coin-sized tiddlers) you can be confident that any
Angelfish from a decent aquarium shop should be okay. I tend to avoid
the more mutated
varieties as mentioned above, and by default, recommend the wild-type
and the marbled Angelfish if needs be. If you're ambitious and have
water that isn't too hard and alkaline, genuinely wild Angelfish
are a real treat to keep, adult Altum and "Peruvian Altums"
(actually some kind of Pt. scalare) are spectacular fish. Cheers,
Re: Angel Fish 4/28/09
Hi Neale, you mention that the wild-caught species should be considered
delicate, but then go on to say later that the wild-type domesticated
seem to be the hardiest. What is the difference?
<Wild-caught are fish captured in the wild. Wild-type are
domesticated (tank bred) Angels that retain the normal colours of wild
Angelfish, i.e., they're not marbled, gold, black, koi or whatever.
Just regular silver Angels with black vertical bands and red eyes.
I'd called them "plain vanilla" if they were common, but
for most aquarium shops sell the non-wild-type varieties
Also, after I have decided on the number I want in my tank do I need to
get the all at the same time to avoid aggression or can I space them
<Angelfish are territorial when breeding, but this varies somewhat.
Wild Angelfish usually do best in groups of 5+ specimens, but
domesticated Angelfish can become excessively territorial, even when
not breeding, and in some cases single specimens become outright
bullies. More usually, mated pairs claim territories about 2 feet in
diameter around a central, usually vertical, spawning site. Provided
there's enough space for the other Angels to get out of range, you
can keep mated pairs of Angels alongside other Angels. Putting any
spawning sites like upright bogwood roots along the edge of the
aquarium will help by limiting the size of their territory.
When such things aren't considered, people start with six
Angelfish, but hen end up removing surplus fish because those fish are
constantly chased by the territorial pair.>
Also, is it OK to start out with a larger size or does that cause
<Starting off with six immature Angelfish is in fact recommended.
Since sexing is impossible, the only way to get a pair is to rear
juveniles together, and then let them pair off naturally. By "not
too small" I mean fish that are just a few months old, with bodies
an inch or so in length (ignore the fins). Get specimens around 2-3
inches in length and you will find they travel and settle down much
Again, thank you for all you do.
<You're most welcome. Cheers, Neale.>
Koi Angel gift... stkg/sel. mostly
A friend bought me a koi angle fish because I mentioned that I was
thinking about getting one. I accepted this fish to make it easier and
I'm now wondering if one for my system would be ok. I have a 40
tall, heavily planted, wood etc., a few platys, a few chain loaches,
and two Otocinclus. Would one angel become aggressive without another
angel to bicker with, could I keep just one? Or would it be better to
go get a few more and see if two pair off and then try to find a home
for the rest? I've done this before with some electric blue
JD's and my LFS doesn't really like taking back older mature
Any help is much appreciated.
<Jerry, you can keep a single Angelfish without any problems.
Juveniles are schooling fish, but the adults tend to be territorial. In
fact when kept singly they often become more tame than otherwise,
especially if the tank
is peaceful and they have lots of time to "bond" with their
Because Angels are impossible to sex, if you got two specimens and they
were both males, you could indeed end up with fighting, though in a 40
gallon tank you might just get away with each fish having its own
territory. Still, I'd not bother risking it. Getting six juvenile
Angels is the usual way forward when people want pairs, and compared
with Jack Dempseys, rehoming surplus Angels shouldn't really be a
problem. Adult Angels are always in demand. By contrast, the market for
adult Jack Dempseys is very small. So if that appeals, check with your
in all likelihood he'll be positive about it. Cheers,
FW Angelfish Question, stkg.
1/28/09 Hello, Hope all of you are doing well and not working
too hard. I have a question please. I have been told that when adding
freshwater angels to a tank it is better to get about 6 small ones and
let them grow up together to cut down on aggression. Are there any
exceptions to this such as 6 large ones or 2 or 3 large ones in a 75
gallon tank? Thank you. James Hall <When you add a group of fish
together for the first time they establish a pecking order. When the
fish are small they are less likely to damage the other tankmates
during the process. When one fish becomes dominant then it picks on the
other fish. When there is just one other fish then that fish gets beat
up. When you have more than one fish then the aggression gets to be
divided amongst the other fish. Putting three adult angelfish together
for the first time may lead to some fights, but in a 75 gallon tank
there should be room for the losers to get away.-Chuck>
Freshwater angelfish variety, sel.
12/14/08 I recently lost my favorite and most beautiful FW
angelfish because of an extended power outage. I want to replace him
but I have never seen another angelfish of his color variety. He was a
gold crowned angelfish. However his actual scales were metallic in
appearance. <Ahh! There have been some very beautiful
"sports"... cultured mutations of this type with FW
angels...> I was told by the LFS that he was a Koi angelfish but he
was not tri-colored. He was white with the standard gold crown but the
white part of his body was stunning in appearance. I have also not seen
another fish with this color variation. Is this variety one you have
seen before and could give me the name for, or perhaps a website that I
could purchase one? <Mmm, could be a "Koi" variety (is a
marketing term, but refers to Nishikigoi of the same name... some of
which are of a single, metallic color... Put the term "Koi"
in your search engine, you'll see)...> The metallic sheen almost
resembles a Pearlscale goldfish but more beautiful. Please help my tank
is so bare without him. Thank-you <Mmm, and a comment re
"matching" FW angels... they're really all the same
species... sort of like dog "breeds" for domestic canines...
and so, all likely get along or not, and potentially interbreed,
irrespective of appearances. I would ask your local fish stores if they
could look into special ordering you a replacement here... Or write to
the larger online etailers of livestock, like Dr.s Foster & Smith,
asking if they stock them. Barring this, perhaps posting on Aquabid
(.com) can help you locate a private person/breeder. Please do share
your experiences re this search. Bob Fenner>
Freshwater angel fish, sel., reading... as usual
12/13/08 Hello all, hope things are going well there for you.
I am still in the process of setting up a 75 gallon fw tank. I know for
sure I will have rainbows; and at first I thought of adding gouramis so
to have slow swimmers in addition to the rainbows. But now I am
considering getting angels instead. I know I should get them in a group
of at least 6. Please tell me if there is one species you would
recommend over others that might be hardier and/or more attractive.
Thank you. James <... all cultured angels are the same species, P.
scalare... Read here:
http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwangelfishes.htm and the linked
files above... BobF>
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
Seeking FW Angels - 5/12/2006 Good
day from sunny and muggy Florida, <And to you...
from fabulous... well, likely so... when the sun comes up...
Hawai'i> I am re-entering fishkeeping after a few
months off (due to a move) and am looking to get some
angels. I am not very happy with the local selection (in
LFS) so I have been looking at some online fish sales. With
shipping generally in the $30 dollar range, and prices of fish at about
$5 per fish, this proposition isn't a cheap one. I
wanted about 8 fish in a 55 gallon tank. How do you feel
about black angels? (I love them) <Me too> Also, how
do you feel about 2 day shipping (seems to be the time it takes fed ex
express to get me the package on some sites). What is the
chance of a DOA? <Too high to suit me... I'd pay more for
assured 24 hour maximum... meet the shipment, put away promptly...>
No site offers a return on shipping if DOA occurs so in case it does
occur, I am completely out to dry. (Someday I hope to not
have money be an issue, but currently I am still in school and $$ is
somewhat of an issue). I would prefer to get the fish from a
local breeder where I can pick them up, but I do not know of any here
in Tampa, FL. <There are MANY... this is one of the premiere
fish-farming areas in the U.S. for ornamentals... see the FTFFA on the
Net... though... most farms don't sell directly to
consumers.> Thanks for the time and
the always on point advice <I strongly suggest "making a
deal" with one of your local fish stores to special order your
angels, piggy-backing with their suppliers for your fish here. Bob