FAQs on Freshwater Angelfish
Dwarf South American Cichlids,
Cichlid Fishes in General,
Angelfish Compatibility 1,
Angelfish Comp. 3,
Angelfish Comp. 4,
Cichlids of the
1, Angels 2,
Systems, Angelfish Feeding,
Angelfish Reproduction, & FAQs on:
Wild Angels (P. altum),
Angelfish having problem with Pearl Gourami?
<Hi there Judy>
I have one fairly large angel in a 29 gallon. He/She
has been in there for 4 or 5 days and sat near the bottom only to come
up to eat. I put a Pearl Gourami in and the angel is now lively and has
chased the gourami a few times or tried as Gouramis do not seem to move
much. The Gourami is hiding a lot. Was the gourami a mistake or should I
get a second Gourami??
<Mmm; maybe... I think we've been over the general temperament of FW
Angels; and two Trichogaster leeri might diffuse aggression here. Worth
trying, but I'd be ready to move one or the other species elsewhere>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Angelfish having problem with Pearl Gourami?
Neale's go 11/7/16
I have one fairly large angel in a 29 gallon. He/She has been in there
for 4 or 5 days and sat near the bottom only to come up to eat. I put a
Pearl Gourami in and the angel is now lively and has chased the gourami
a few times or tried as Gouramis do not seem to move much. The Gourami
is hiding a lot. Was the gourami a mistake or should I get a second
Gourami?? thank you
<Angels and Gouramis usually mix well. They're quite similar in
temperament. But occasionally problems do occur. The first thing to try
is the old "break up their territories" trick. Basically, remove the
aggressive fish to a secure bucket, move the rocks and plants about in
the tank so the territories are broken up, switch the lights off, and
after the aggressor has been out of the tank for an hour or so, put it
back. Don't turn the lights on until the following day. With luck, the
aggressor will think he's somewhere new, and he'll accepts existing fish
rather better than before. If this doesn't work, write back and we'll
try something else! Ideally, you don't want to add extra fish because
might become overstocked with multiple fairly big fish. On top of that,
two male Pearl Gouramis might not tolerate one another in a smallish
tank, let alone how the Angel reacts! Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Angelfish having problem with Pearl Gourami?
The Pearl Gourami turned the tables on the angelfish and is bullying him.
I took the Pearl Gourami out and he is in a bucket. I will turn the lights
out and rearrange everything and see what is going on tomorrow.
<A good plan. I'd remove both fish, rearrange the tank, and then
The Gourami is a large female. There is no orange on the fish that I can
see. Maybe it would be ok to keep the angel alone if this doesn't work
<Absolutely. Farmed Angels do perfectly well kept as singletons. Cheers,
re: Angelfish having problem with Pearl Gourami?
Just wondering if it was weird that the Pearl Gourami bullied the larger
<Unusual, but not unknown. Usually, in a sufficiently big tank, groups
of Gouramis and Angels coexist just fine. But they both have the ability
to be mildly territorial. Rarely enough to damage on another, but enough
to do chasing!>
Is that fairly common or was that a rogue Gourami?
<In terms of aggression, the Three-spot Gourami (including Blue, Gold,
Opaline, etc) is generally the most aggressive of the common species.
Pearl Gouramis are much more consistently peaceful, but with odd
Moonlights, despite being the biggest of the three species, seem to be
Maybe Pearls are more aggressive than I thought
<Not normally. Sometimes fish just get cranky. Sometimes if the tank is
too small, they get fractious, like prisoners sharing a cell! Careful
overstocking can work, by disrupting the ability of dominant fish to
hold a patch of territory, but with the cost in terms of water quality.
Try adding a flat mirror to one side of the tank to attract the
attention of one of
the fish. Don't leave it there too long, but for half an hour, might
provide some diversion. I've found this trick works well with mildly
aggressive cichlids, where boredom and/or lack of social interactions
with their own species might be to blame. Do also try feeding less, and
on lower quality food (greens rather than meaty foods, and "shelly"
brine shrimp rather than soft bodied worms). Fish that have to spend
more time foraging spend less time on aggression. Gouramis are partial
herbivores in the wild, and Angels, like most cichlids, will give
anything a go if it's even vaguely edible! So something like an algae
wafer pressed against the glass could provide some useful diversion
compared to simply offering easy to gobble up flakes and pellets.>
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>
New Angelfish with suspicious "plaques"?? 4/10/16
<9.580 megs of pix? Why?>
Hi, I have searched everywhere for assistance with no results so I hope you
may be able to assist. Please see attached pics of 2 of the 3 angels
I purchased at my LFS yesterday evening. One looks great but the other two
have these "plaques"....I doubt any water quality issues as I've not had
them even 24 hours. All three are active and eating. ANY he'll
would be appreciated. THANK YOU! Kristi Jones
<Two of three... In a day.... is there a Chinese Algae Eater or hungry Pleco
in this tank?
Something is eating, riding these fish.... NEED TO BE MOVED ASAP, and
treated per WWM for infectious/bacterial "fin and body rot". READ. Bob
Re: New Angelfish with suspicious "plaques"??
Thank you....no algae eaters and yes, I have a couple small BN
Plecos but only had the fish 8 hours. Will move and treat. Thanks
<Please do keep me/us informed of your progress, observations. BobF>
Re: New Angelfish with suspicious "plaques"??
Hi Bob. I think you were correct in your diagnosis. Saturday morning brought
the death (sometime during the night) of the gold angelfish and the marbled
guy had worsened in appearance (he was still quite active, BUT, he had
developed a "cottony" appearance to the plaque on his side and was nose down
to the sand on the bottom) but continued to swim around the tank. I removed
the dead fish and transferred the remaining fish to a quarantine
tank and treated with Tetracycline I had on hand. He did not improve,
unfortunately. He died late yesterday afternoon. The 3rd fish purchased with
these two is apparently healthy.
<Yes; the "tougher" of the trio... but... I'd still separate it from the
Quite active, no spots of any kind and settled in with my established
angelfish very nicely. THANK YOU for your quick response and for your help.
Sharing a tank 11/9/15
Can a angle fish & cichlids share a tank ? Freshwater ,55
gallon tank, 7 cichlids 2 years old , 1 ghost & 1 algae eater . Been told there
aggressive but these have not acted that way .
<I would not risk this. Particularly if the cichlids are established in the tank
already. They are extremely territorial and angelfish are easy targets for them,
with their trailing fins and wide, flat bodies. I would probably not have a
knife in there either with cichlids. Sooner or later, one cichlid will come out
on top as the alpha dog and the more fragile fish are not likely to weather that
arrangement of the pecking order very well.
Better by far to set up a more peaceful separate system, preferably with live
plants and some softer substrate. This would be a neat contrast to a "hardcore"
mean-customer cichlid system with a lot of rock cover and perhaps tunnels.
Biotype tanks in other words. Just a suggestion and what I might do if I wanted
both angels and cichlids, very different fish from *extremely* different
environments. Best to pick one or the other, or keep them separated. -Earl>
Re: Sharing a tank
Thank you very much for the info.
<No problemo, hope this helped.>
I have a large angel. He was doing great. We got him over a month ago and for
the last couple days he has been swimming towards the top of the water like he
isn’t getting enough air.
<Not so much air, as oxygen. Cichlids are more sensitive than many other
community fish to low oxygen levels (catfish and loaches can and do gulp air
directly). When stressed you will see them "gasping" which is in fact trying to
move the oxygen rich surface layer of water across their gills. Lowering the
waterline 1-2 cm so the filter splashes the water more and increasing water
movement (perhaps by using a spray bar) should increase the amount of oxygen in
the water. If your Angelfish perks up, then that's your problem: tank too small,
filter too pokey, water too warm, or some combination of these. Also note that
dramatic changes in pH can trigger a similar behaviour, though often pH-stress
causes fish to dart about nervously as well.>
We have an air stone and a filter on the tank.
<Perhaps not enough of either.>
We just recently added some dark small gravel to the tank bottom. Could that be
our problem somehow.
<Can be, if you lost some water volume by adding more substrate (so the tank is
more densely stocked per gallon) or disturbed the substrate so much that buried
organic matter (gunk) is using up oxygen from the water column.>
I don’t want to lost him. He’s a good 7 inches from top to bottom.
We have several Corys, another angel, and a few hi fin tetras in the tank with
him and they all do fine together. There hasn’t been any aggression since the
first two days all the fish were in the tank. Advice please.
<Rejigging the tank can rearrange territories, and adult Angels that got along
before aren't always sociable after such changes. Hi-Fin Tetras doesn't mean
much to me, but some species (Serpae Tetras, Black Widows/Petticoats, and a few
others) are confirmed fin-nippers and can cause stress for Angels.>
Angels and Earth Eaters; sys. and in/comp.
Just wondering if one Satanoperca Jurupari (Eartheater) would work with two
large angels in a 75 gallon??? I think they may need a sandy bottom though, our
tank is bare bottom so it may not work Thank you
<Juraparoids really do need a bottom they can "mouth"... And there is a chance
for trouble mixing these two species.
Re: Tropical/Salt Mix Tank??? 3/4/15
I am under the assumption that the female Bettas would definitely live
with the angelfish without problems(?) Is this correct?
<"Definitely" isn't a good word to use in biology! There are always exceptions.
But yes, more often than not, in a planted tank female Bettas will generally
coexist with community fish, including (farmed) Angels. Have done it myself. The
female Bettas will expect some floating plants though, to use as places to feed
and rest. They're slow-moving and struggle in
sparsely planted tanks when kept alongside active tankmates. A clump of floating
Indian Fern would do the job nicely. Otherwise female Bettas tend to get pushed
around, hang around in just one corner, and can't rest near the surface easily,
which is dangerous for them because they must be able to breathe air
Thank you for your help and advice
<Most welcome. Neale.>
Angel fish with mollies 10/20/14
Hello Crew, hope all is going well. I have an innovative marine nuvo 38
gallon which is 24 inches along and 19 high. I have 1 male black molly
along with 2 females as well as 6 sterbai corries. I would like to use
angel fish a "center piece" so to speak; and I was wondering if an angel
would be compatible in this smaller tank.
<Singleton Angels (farmed Angels, anyway) can be kept in tanks from 20
gallons upwards, provided there's a good 30 cm/12 inches of water depth.
So you should be fine, assuming the water chemistry suits all the
If so, do different types of angels have different temperaments so I
could get a less aggressive one?
<There is some variation among Angelfish varieties, with all-black
Angels (in the past, anyway) identified as peculiarly aggressive, while
some of the more inbred forms (such as Koi Angels) grow more slowly and
tend to be more easily picked on than other sorts. In short: avoid
keeping random twos or threes as these often devolve into one bully and
the rest mere victims.
Also avoid the more inbred varieties. Silver Angels, Marbled Angels and
Golden Angels, as well as mishmash crossbreeds of these, tend to be
pretty reliable. Singletons are fine, mated pairs are fine, and groups
of six or
more usually work out some sort of modus vivendi given enough space.
Unfortunately, you cannot sex Angels, so getting a pair means either
buying a mated pair (expensive!) or rearing six and allowing them to
pair off themselves (but even then, Angels occasionally pair off in
And lastly is it OK to keep a single angel without a partner or others
of the same sex?
<Absolutely, at least with farmed Angels. Altum Angels, wild Scalare
Angels and so on are probably best kept as schools.>
Thank you for your help
<Most welcome, Neale.>
Re: Angel fish with mollies
Thank you for the advice. I have one more question, please. The water pH
in my area is about 8.3.
<Sounds like liquid rock. Presumably the water is very hard. Mollies
will be happy!>
If I did a slow and correct acclimation on an angel would it be safe
living in that pH?
<Possibly, but I wouldn't bank on it. The pH is somewhat less important
than the hardness. Above 20 degrees dKH hardness Angels may struggle to
thrive. So get your hardness tested before doing anything else.>
Are there some breeds that would adapt to the higher pH easier than
<Ideally, get locally bred ones; have seen some hobbyists breed their
Angels in liquid rock, and these will be ideally suited to your
Farmed ones shipped over from Southeast Asia are more likely to have
been reared in soft water. Contact your local/city fish club. Angelfish
are invariably a popular species for breeding, and consequently
difficult to source locally.>
<Most welcome, Neale.>
Re: Angel fish with mollies
Thank you again. Please tell me what dh hardness is, and I assume there
is a test kit for it?
<It's called "German Hardness Scale" measured in degrees dKH. It
measures General Hardness (sometimes called GH) rather than Carbonate
Hardness (which is measured in degrees KH). Yes, there are many general
hardness kits. Some give their results in degrees dKH, others in mg/l
equivalents of either calcium oxide or calcium carbonate. Do read:
Essentially, if the water is soft to moderately hard, Angels are fine;
if it's hard to very hard, they're not a good choice.>
Also, if the angel is surviving in the LFS at a higher pH it should be
OK I assume unless it hasn't been in the tank that long and can be in
bad health without symptoms?
<No. A fish lasting a few weeks in a tropical fish shop isn't the same
as a fish living the next 10 years in your home aquarium. Check your
water chemistry, then decide. Better still, find a local keeper/breeder
some Angels used to your water, if such exist.>
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>
80 gallon, 3 Koi angel fish 3 silver dollars
Dear crew at wet web media, I have been crawling the net searching for my
problems pictorially and advice wise, my param.s are
Nitrate 20 (In zone of a jungle 5 N 1 test strip kit according to kit safe)
<At the highest I/we suggest... See WWM re NO3, control in FW>
PH neutral 6.8
3 Koi angel fish
3 silver dollars
<Mmm, do "like" similar water conditions, but the dollars are too quick
moving for the slow angels and vice versa>
Anyhow my tank cycled for 2 weeks, yes I understand now after the fact that
it should have been longer, I do 2 20% water changes a week, my lfs is
closing and I bought 3 Koi angel fish and 3 silver dollar fish. Upon coming
home I noted one silver dollar fish with what looked like white paint brush
stroke, not lines, not grains not cottony, along back top fin, and I have
attached a photo, he eats normal seems good, before bring him home though, I
noticed that in the tank at lfs there were tiger barbs, and they must have
nipped him as he does have some missing finnage, what is this white paint
looking stuff and how should I treat it.
<Looks to be some sort of physical trauma... likely a brush with a Dollar>
Nextly I have angel fish all seem okay but one, whom has been swimming up
the side of the filter in the tank and up against the heaters, I moved it to
a quarantine tank and it just sat on the bottom, it seems paler and to have
a hallowed stomach, its missing one ventral fin, and swims pointing up a
<The new tank... and the mis mix of species>
Another of the angelfish (mind you all of these came from one huge tank at
lfs angels and dollars) it seemed like he had 2 raised scales? It was hard
to say just like orange bumps hardly noticeable and a few missing scales. I
have attached photos thank-you for all your time and consideration.
<And this... IF I had two tanks, I'd be separating. Bob Fenner>
Angelfish missing out on food due to tetras
Tomorrow I have to give away one three inch angelfish. He/she is in with
12 tetras that ignore him/her, but are lightening fast when it comes to
<Is what they do. Try feeding a food that floats, as tetras are less
good at taking things like pellets (e.g., Hikari Micro Pellets) that
Angels can suck in.>
The angelfish is slow, timid and is missing out on the food.
<Unusual for an Angel! Most of the farmed Angels are pretty pushy at
feeding time. Is the water current too strong for the Angelfish? Try
adding floating plants to create a place where he/she can feed but the
Is there a fish that can work with a dozen Congo tetras that can compete
for food, like a large angel or a gourami that could be a singleton in
the tank with these fast guys?
<For sure, lots of options. Congo Tetras combine well with Ctenopoma
such as the lovely Ctenopoma acutirostre. They also work well with
medium-sized non-aggressive cichlids, including adult Angels but also
things like Severums (best kept singly), Chocolate Cichlids, Blue Acara
Do bear in mind that cichlid behaviour can become troublesome if mated
pairs start to breed. Medium to large Gouramis should work, including
such species as Moonlight and Pearl Gouramis. You can also try
medium-sized non-aggressive predators that won't view it as food, as
many of these fish are actually quite peaceful. So things like Mogurnda
gobies, the smaller Bichirs like Senegal Bichirs, and the smaller Pike
Characins (like Ctenolucius hujeta).>
or would a serious reduction in tetra numbers work for the angelfish??
<I wouldn't both, as tetras are generally better behaved in big groups.
Perhaps choose tankmates that spend time at the bottom of the tank and
look for food there, such as Kribensis (which work great with Congo
Tetras) or the more robust Dwarf cichlids like Bolivian Rams. Since
these will be eating sinking food like bloodworms that the tetras won't,
you should find a happy balance.>
<Most welcome, Neale.>
tetras and nipping. Pterophyllum comp. in a 75 gal.
I am down to one large angelfish. I gave the other away due to endless
bullying. I have four lemon tetras in with one large angelfish and they
are ignoring one another. Would emperor tetras school with lemons? Would
they nip the angelfish fins? It is hard to know which ones are nippers,
so far the lemons are working out.
<Emperors, Inpaichthys kerri, should get along well here in a
group. Bob Fenner>
Tetras freaking out angelfish 12/27/13
I have a 75 gallon tank with one large angelfish. I put 4 lemon tetras
in and that worked out. Someone told me that Congo tetras were
<Mmm, not really; as smaller characins/oids go>
and good with an angel. This seems not to be true. I got four female
Congos and now all eight are zipping around like lightening. The large
angel is hiding some of the time. Should I rehome the Congos or get some
<Likely they'll settle in given a few weeks time. Bob Fenner>
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>
Only two angelfish in a 75 gallon; comp. f'
I have one small angelfish in a 75 gallon and one larger one. The larger
one was obtained about a week ago and seems to be chasing the smaller
I put the smaller one behind a divider, but he/she escaped twice and the
two of them are out in the tank again. At night the larger one rests or
"sleeps" by the divider and the smaller one does whatever it takes to
get out. It is like they want to be together, but I doubt that. Would it
be better to also get a school of some type of tetras to calm them down,
or does the bigger one want to kill the smaller one? Maybe it would be
best to fix the divider until the smaller one is a little bigger
<I'd go w/ the latter; but the addition of dither fish is also
Angelfish and swordtails 8/8/13
I finally upgraded to a 75 gallon tank and have three adult angelfish.
They get along, but that is luck with that number. They live in hard
water and the temp is in the late 70's. Would a few female swordtails be
a bad idea?
<Not a bad idea. Should be a very nice addition here... Do like hard
water, can tolerate the stated water temp.; and there's enough room for
them to get away from the angels...>
I think they may be fin nippers or really aggressive. I read about
someone who kept angels with swordtails and they said the male
swordtails went after a small angelfish and killed it. Are they that
bad? Thank you
<Not bad. Do search, read on WWM re the compatibility of both. Bob
fish choices for 55 or 90 gallon with angel.
I came up with a list of fishes I found at world of fish. please tell me
if they are good choices.
rose line shark - how big do these get? are they good?.
<Also known as Puntius denisonii or Denison's barb. Really a subtropical
fish, certainly needs a big aquarium with coolish water (no higher than
25 C/77 F, preferably a few degrees lower) and very generous filtration.
Can be kept with Angels, but hardly ideal, and the lifespan of one or
other species may be shortened given their rather different
requirements. Get to about 15 cm/6 inches if kept properly, but few are,
which is why you rarely see them live long enough to reach that size.
Double shame because they seem to be overexploited in the wild (being
captured for the aquarium trade) so the least we aquarists could do is
keep them properly.>
<African Glass Catfish; needs areas with a decent current and overhead
shade (i.e., floating leaves or plants) but beyond that, yes, can work
<No; a brackish water species.>
black neon- are these safe with angels
<Yes; quite a bit bigger than Neon Tetras, so much less likely to be
Of course, don't add tiny specimens to a tank with big adult Angels!>
keyhole cichlid - How big does it get- I was told 6 inches and great
<Yes indeed, a good Angel companion. Not seen one bigger than 10 cm/4
inches; most a little smaller.>
<Bad choice. Far too boisterous. Look at the Yoyo Loach instead, or
phantom black tetra
<If you mean the Black Phantom (Hyphessobrycon megalopterus) then yes,
it should be deep-bodied enough to avoid being seen as dinner by hungry
- Note I know they goby may eat smaller fish but I'm not sure if its
compatible with some of those fish listed.
<Quite so. Cheers, Neale.>
more fish choices. 6/30/13
I looked at an aquarium book and found some more fish i would like info
on compatibility issues in either a 55 or a 90 gallon. .
Spotted head stander ( Chilodus punctatus)
<Works well with Angels, but do review their specific needs in terms of
peace, quiet, and a varied diet.>
African red eye- Arnoldichthys spilopterus
<Possibly, and not as nippy as it looks, but it is boisterous and
hyperactive, so makes a better choice for robust, fast-moving things
like loaches rather than Angels. Congo Tetras on the other hand do work
rather well with Angels.>
Striped Anostomus or Headstander
<Probably not; I keep an Anostomus, and it's a terrific fish, but can be
nippy (though I think it's more a "cleaner fish" than a fin-biter, but
either way, annoys slow-moving fish that can't avoid it). Again, like
the Arnoldichthys, works better with fast-moving fish that like open
space and water current.>
<Can be done, but Severums are that much bigger, stronger and sometimes
territorial, not to mention ferocious plant-eaters! Look at Festivums
instead; similar, but better companions for Angels.>
<Yes, but these are very tricky to feed, so do review their need for
(nighttime) feedings of suitable invertebrates and catfish pellets.
Whiptails may be much easier to keep with Angels than Banjos. Cheers,
Possible New tank for angelfish ( this winter/late fall)
wondering what types to put in 90 gallon/or 55 gallon tank.. now comp.
I was hopefully going to get a bigger tank for Marbelloh- marble Angel
so he can grow to full size and so i can get more fish. I was thinking
either a 55 gallon with a stand or a 90 gallon with a stand/ depends on
available space/money and things. I may buy a tank from parents but
probably would be just as much to get a stand/tank then for what they
would charge if I want to be fair on them for price. Plus they would
maybe like the tank anyway for when they move this winter to Bemidji.
If I go with the 90 could I get a royal Pleco or would that outgrow the
<No. There's great variation in Royal Plecs, probably because there are
very many races, subspecies and similar-looking species all traded as
"Panaque nigrolineatus". My own specimen is some 16-17 years old and
measures around 20 cm/8 inches or so. Most seem to top out at somewhere
between 20-30 cm/8-12 inches, with much bigger specimens being much
What about a group of armored Ripshall catfish.
<Do you mean a Striped Raphael? Otherwise known as Platydoras armatulus,
this is an excellent catfish. Does better in groups than singly, gets to
about 15-20 cm/6-8 inches, is very peaceful though will eat tiny
(Neon-sized) fish if the opportunity arises. Otherwise eats algae
wafers, catfish pellets, chopped seafood, frozen brine shrimp and so on.
May even eat snails. A trio would work well in a 90-gallon tank.>
What other kinds of cichlids do well with angels that wouldn't outgrow a
90 to 55 gallon?
<Relatively few cichlids do well with Angels. The best choices are
Festivums, though these do get substantially bigger and pairs may bully
Angels, and Dwarf Cichlids, which occupy the bottom of the tank so
generally ignore each other. Apistogramma cacatuoides, Flag Acara and
the Bolivian Ram would be the three prime choices in order of most to
least difficult to keep, though all three are leaps and bounds more
adaptable than most other South American dwarfs.>
Should I mix wild and domestic angels or now that I have a domestic
stick to domestic.
<Stick with one; farmed Angels are somewhat likely to infect wild Angels
with parasites because of the way they're reared and maintained. Also,
wild Angels will cross-breed with farmed Angels, which is pointless
because pure-bred wild Angel offspring are much more valuable and easier
Could I try a school of sliver dollars or would they get too big.
<Could work, but likely to be destructive towards plants, which Angels
like, and a bit restless. Would choose a medium-sized, less active
schooling species, e.g., Diamond Tetra or Rummynose Tetra.>
What kinds of large tetras would be good, How about an African butterfly
fish for the top.
<Could work very well given shared preference for warm, soft, sluggish
water and lots of floating plants, but do review their very specific
needs re: diet.>
Just looking at my options.
<Real good. Cheers, Neale.>
Freshwater Angelfish and mollies, comp.
If a single farmed angelfish is raised in hard alkaline water, could
that angelfish co-exist with a few female mollies in a large tank?
<Yes, with the smaller (shortfin rather than sailfin) Molly varieties.>
Mollies like hard alkaline water.
<Correct, and good water quality too.>
I would think that the angelfish may harass the docile female mollies or
would be attacked by aggressive male mollies.
<Adult male Mollies can harass community fish it is true, but adult
Angels should be big enough to hold their own, assuming the tank is
reasonably large, say, 30+ gallons.>
Or are mollies always better of brackish?
<A slippery question. Mollies are almost always healthy in brackish
water, whereas some specimens are sensitive, even disease-prone, in
freshwater -- so in that sense brackish is best. But it isn't essential
to keep them in brackish, and provided water quality is good (note: this
includes nitrate, not just ammonia and nitrite) then Mollies can and do
just fine in freshwater.>
Re: Freshwater Angelfish and mollies 6/1/13
Sorry I forgot to ask if mollies would be fin nippers?? Thanks
<Not normally, but some species are (e.g., Liberty Mollies) so you have
to be careful. In any case, mixing pretty much any boisterous fish, like
a Molly, with veil-tail Angels or any other fish with unnaturally long
fins is asking for trouble. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Freshwater Angelfish and mollies
I made a mistake with the mollies. The one angelfish is a superveil and
he is a bully, he doesn't care about the three female mollies.
<Ah, that's good. Some Angelfish strains are said to be particularly
aggressive, the all-black one for example, but in any case, like you
I've seen some Angels that were thugs, while others were good as gold.
Like any cichlid, they have the potential to surprise!>
They may go after his fins if not now later.
<Possibly. But you can certainly wait and see -- fin-nipping isn't
lethal, and evidence for it will appear long before there's a risk of
Finrot or similar.>
So I better put them in the 10 gallon tonight and take them back
<Seems you have a plan! Veil-tail Angels are best kept alone or with
definite non-nippers, such as Corydoras catfish. Cheers, Neale.>
Angelfish and Cory cats, fdg.
I have one huge angelfish in a 46 gallon and three small Cory cats. I
bought algae wafers and after I feed the angelfish he dives down for the
<What an oinker!>
I hope the cory cats are not going hungry. They are about 1.5 inches
and are really active. Could this angelfish be to much of a bully even
for cory cats?
<Could but not likely... Callichthyid/Corydoras catfish are "armored"
and quite spiny. You'd know if any of the cats were missing eyes...>
<I would feed other sinking foods (small pellets, likely Spectrum brand)
simultaneously while feeding the angel. Bob Fenner>
Once a bully always a bully? P. scalare 5/4/13
I have a question. If a freshwater angelfish is a bully to another
angelfish does this mean he will bully any angelfish unless he runs into
a female he wants to mate with? Thank you
<Depends. Angels (Pterophyllum scalare) are territorial so it's best to
get several very young so they grow up together. If you try to
import new angels into an established territory inside too small a tank
there will be violence. If you want to import a new fish you could
try removing the existing fish, rearranging the tank layout, then
acclimating all fish into the "new" tank at the same time. As for
mating, angelfish are like Klingons. Fighting is part of the mating
ritual. They lock lips and wrestle, presumably so the male can prove to
the female he is healthy and strong enough to be the father. - Rick>
Cory catfish types and angels, comp./env., terr.
Just wondering if Cory trillis can be kept with angelfish in about
<Mmm, yes; one caveat that the Angels might damage the Corydoras if they
pair up, spawn>
The temp can go a little higher in the summer in the tank. The LFS here
has the Trillis variety and the Julii variety. They had the Sterbai
catfish, but I haven't seen them in a while. Thank you
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Super veil angelfish, comp. w/ "normal" finned conspecifics
I have one huge "super veil" freshwater angelfish. His/her fins are
really long and the fish is slow moving. There is another angelfish in
there that is much smaller and really fast about getting the food. I got
the large angelfish a few days ago and I have yet to see the poor
creature eat. If the angel is not sick could it be that he is not
competing with the small fast one and that they are not compatible?
<Yes, this is exactly what is happening. Long-finned fish rarely compete
well with "normal" finned equivalents, so are best kept among their own
kind; fancy Goldfish are the classic example, often doing badly in tanks
and ponds with standard Goldfish, especially the more extreme varieties.
Keep the veil-tail form with bottom feeders such as Corydoras and all
should be well. Allow 20 gallons for the first specimen, and another 10
gallons for each additional specimen. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Superveil angelfish 4/22/13
I just put the small speedy angelfish in a small tank until I can rehome
him later this week. Would a second superveil be ok? The tank is 46
gallons with no other fish Thank you
<Angelfish can be tricky; I've always found them best singly, mated
pairs, or groups of three or more. Just two random specimens doesn't
always work, presumably if the two don't pair off and in a small tank
can't respect each other's territories. That said, get Angels when
they're young, pre-maturity, and rear them together and they may grow up
to tolerate one another even if they don't pair off. In any case,
similar sized specimens are essential -- Angels can be bullies -- and
yes, if you keep groups of Super Veil-tail Angels, they should work fine
together, albeit with the cautions mentioned above. Cheers, Neale.>