05-14-2010, 09:31 AM
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Angels are shoaling fish that live in groups, so I would recommend a small group, say 4 or 5. A mated pair is OK if they are that, but it is not easy to tell and in young fish next to impossible. As angels mature, the breeding tube (papilla) is thicker on the female than the male; but you are not likely to discern this until they are close to spawning. Two males can lead to problems as one will be dominant and the other can be harassed to the point of sickness and even death from the stress.
A group of 4-5 in a 55g works if they are all acquired at the same time. They develop their social structure, pecking order, etc., but with 4 or 5 no one individual is likely to be picked on. In the event a pair forms, they (or the others) might have to be moved, depending whether or not you want to breed them.
The tank should be planted, and decorated with wood, to provide a natural habitat. And other "dither" fish are advisable, a group of Corydoras for the bottom, some of the larger shoaling tetra. Our fish profiles mention which tetra will work with angels and which won't.
And I certainly agree, oscars are far too large for a 55g; the potential adult size determines tank size, as the fish grow continually and in small quarters health and internal problems will be inevitable.