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post #1 of 11 Old 06-08-2011, 01:11 AM Thread Starter
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Angelfish behavior

I have 4 angelfish in my 55 gallon community tank. When I bought them they were small, about nickel sized, and all 4 about the same size. They have all grown up together. Apparently 2 have paired off now. I have no interest in breeding them, and I assume that if any eggs are laid, other fish in the tank will eat them. Now on to my question.

The ones that have paired off, especially the one I am assuming is the male, chases the other 2 quite a bit and keeps them pretty much cornered. They are able to get food though, so they aren't starving. I do not see any bite marks, no bloody spots, but I don't like the idea of their being so miserable. If I return the non paired angels to the fish store, will the remaining pair then start to show aggression to the other members of the tank? Right now, the paired angels just seem to be aggressive towards the other angels.

I hope this question makes sense.. Its late, and Im tired, but I wanted to get the question posted before I went to bed.

thank you in advance,

Gina
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post #2 of 11 Old 06-08-2011, 02:12 AM
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why do you want to keep the paired off angels they will be aggressive to any fish and will kill off the other angels if you dont want to breed angelfish or want a breeding pair you should get rid of the pair and keep the rest of your fish other wise the breeding pair wont stop picking on the other fish I recommend you either get those paired off angels a tank of there own or you return them.

75 GallonCommunityTank

Angelfish
Clown Loach
Columbian Tetra
Blood Parrot Chilid
Large Pleco
German Blue Ram Male | Female
Ballon Red eye tetra
Weather Loach
Red tail shark
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post #3 of 11 Old 06-08-2011, 02:53 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for replying. Ok, so if I understand what you are saying, if I keep the 2 that are not paired off, and return the 2 that have paired off, won't the 2 that remain then become aggressive to each other?

All the other fish are left alone, and everyone gets along just fine.. nice and peaceful.

I just don't want anyone getting hurt

Gina
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post #4 of 11 Old 06-08-2011, 06:36 PM
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This is normal behaviour for angelfish. Depending upon the extent of the aggressiveness of the male, it may be best to leave them or it may not. Angelfish are cichlids, and when any cichlid spawns, they own the territory and do not like any intruders; some will very vigorously defend it. If the spawning pair spawn at one end of the tank, the other two fish should be reasonably OK keeping their distance. But if the spawning male becomes really mean, as can happen, with what we may term physical assault, the other two may quickly end up dead as much from stress trying to escape as actual physical injury. I'm not there to see their behaviours, so I can only point out the possibilities and options. This is an issue whenever angelfish are placed in a community tank.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #5 of 11 Old 06-08-2011, 06:43 PM Thread Starter
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thank you Byron.. thats pretty much where we sit. The pair have picked out a place right in the middle of the tank, and are in the vigourously cleaning the surface together part of spawning. If I return the mated (for the lack of a better word) pair and keep the two that are left who are not paired up, will the aggressiveness stop? Or should I take all 4 back and get a school of colorful tetras.. or something (whatever you can suggest) that is as easy going as my cories?

Gina
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post #6 of 11 Old 06-08-2011, 06:55 PM
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thank you Byron.. thats pretty much where we sit. The pair have picked out a place right in the middle of the tank, and are in the vigourously cleaning the surface together part of spawning. If I return the mated (for the lack of a better word) pair and keep the two that are left who are not paired up, will the aggressiveness stop? Or should I take all 4 back and get a school of colorful tetras.. or something (whatever you can suggest) that is as easy going as my cories?

Gina
I don't like advising on this Gina; like I said, I am not there to see what's going on. This is believe me absolutely natural angel behaviour, but some fish are worse than others. If you like the angels, I would keep them and wait it out. If the pair kill the others, it happens. If you don't want to have this occur, and I can understand that, consider offering them to another aquarist or the store if they will take them. It is also hard to forsee what the spawning pair may do later if the other angels are removed. They may or may not turn on something else, if they perceive that as a threat.

As for keeping the two submissive fish, if they are both female they will probably be fine; if both male, they will likely not. If male/female, they will spawn at some point as they will then be the owners of the tank which is what the first pair are now.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #7 of 11 Old 06-08-2011, 07:10 PM Thread Starter
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thank you again Byron.. here's a really stupid question then.. how can I tell male from female? Im only assuming that the more aggressive of the 2 that paired off is male.. and is relentless in not letting the other non paired 2 have any space in my 55 gallon tank. So how can I tell if the other non paired 2 are female? My understanding has been that it is hard to tell... All I do know is they are both submissive and try their best to stay away from the pair.

Gina
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post #8 of 11 Old 06-08-2011, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by ginagv View Post
thank you again Byron.. here's a really stupid question then.. how can I tell male from female? Im only assuming that the more aggressive of the 2 that paired off is male.. and is relentless in not letting the other non paired 2 have any space in my 55 gallon tank. So how can I tell if the other non paired 2 are female? My understanding has been that it is hard to tell... All I do know is they are both submissive and try their best to stay away from the pair.

Gina
Look at the spawning tubes, the ovipositor. On females it is thicker to allow passage of the eggs, on males it is noticeably thinner, and if memory serves me correctly a bit pointed whereas the female's is blunt. If they are spawning, the tubes should be visible. If a true pair are spawning, or getting ready, the male will be the more dominant at protecting their territory.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #9 of 11 Old 06-08-2011, 07:22 PM Thread Starter
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ok then I think Im right about the paired up 2.. but what about the 2 that would be left if I only return the ones that are preparing to mate. You said if the remaining 2 are female then all should be ok.. They are not in breeding condition, obviously.. they are more in the how small can I be in the corner here so that bully doesn't see me condition.

Sorry to be asking so many questions.

Gina
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post #10 of 11 Old 06-08-2011, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by ginagv View Post
ok then I think Im right about the paired up 2.. but what about the 2 that would be left if I only return the ones that are preparing to mate. You said if the remaining 2 are female then all should be ok.. They are not in breeding condition, obviously.. they are more in the how small can I be in the corner here so that bully doesn't see me condition.

Sorry to be asking so many questions.

Gina
I referenced this in post #6 about as best as I can without seeing them.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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