Angelfish Stocking Question - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 7 Old 09-28-2012, 11:24 PM Thread Starter
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Angelfish Stocking Question

Hello All,
I have always wanted to have angelfish but in my past have not had the best luck with them. I wanted to try again and hopefully have better success and learn more about keeping them. A few months ago I got three angelfish. I have lost one of those and another one has gotten sick is quarantined, and I am not sure if he will make it or not. I am doing all I can for him. I have done some research on the internet about angelfish as well as bought a book. From what I found on the internet it says you should have ONE angelfish or FOUR or More. The book I bought says you should NEVER have one or two angelfish, ALWAYS have FOUR or more. So here are my questions:
1. Should I get more angelfish? I now have the one, since one is in quarantine
2. If so, my current angelfish is about 3" long, should I get more of that size or get smaller ones?
3. Also, I am concerned that I am already overstocked, please tell me if I am. I have a 55 gallon tank with these fish:
1 -15" Pleco
1- ghost fish
1- black ruby barb
1- Penguin fish
5 - lemon tetras
6- black skirt tetras
3- neon tetras
2 - glowlight tetras
5 - rasboras
3 - white skirt tetras
2 - angelfish
#4. If I am not overstocked will I be if I add more angelfish?
#5. If I am overstocked do I need to set up a separate tank and take out some fish so I can add the angelfish.

Thanks for your help on this!!

Last edited by doglover; 09-28-2012 at 11:26 PM.
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post #2 of 7 Old 09-29-2012, 09:52 AM
i'm curious- what do you mean by ghost fish?

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post #3 of 7 Old 09-29-2012, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by djembekah View Post
i'm curious- what do you mean by ghost fish?
It is also called a knife fish or a black ghost knife fish. My fish is about 5 years old and is approximately 5" in length. He hides most of the day. I have given him a cave and he is very happy, rarely coming out during the day except to eat. I don't have a picture, but if you google it, you can see one.
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post #4 of 7 Old 09-29-2012, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by doglover View Post
It is also called a knife fish or a black ghost knife fish. My fish is about 5 years old and is approximately 5" in length. He hides most of the day. I have given him a cave and he is very happy, rarely coming out during the day except to eat. I don't have a picture, but if you google it, you can see one.
You are super massively overstocked!!! Ghost Knives need far more space than a 55. They get utterly massive. Also, Angels do just fine alone. They are not a schooling fish.
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post #5 of 7 Old 09-29-2012, 10:25 PM Thread Starter
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Actually I have an Black African Knife fish. They grow to about 8-12" at full growth with a life span of about 10 years. Mine is 5 years old and is about 5". I am not sure how I will handle my overstocked tank. Thank you for your help!!
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post #6 of 7 Old 09-30-2012, 01:00 PM
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First, doglover, welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

Now, on the angelfish. We have profiles, second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top of the page. If you check that for this species, it mentions that they are a shoaling fish that should be in a group of 5 or more [you could manage with 4, but five is better] unless you have a mated pair. It also notes that adding more to an existing fish/group can be risky; I won't repeat what is in the profile. You can see the profile if you click the shaded name in posts, and if the name is identical to that in the profile it will shade, example Pterophyllum scalare or Scalare Angelfish.

Now to the tank and stocking. As others have noted, there are some issues here, and if I were you I would not compound these by adding more angelfish. The barbs, tetras and rasbora listed are all shoaling fish, meaning they must be kept in a group. You can check all this in the profiles, all species are included. So the first thing to decide is, just what you want in this 55g tank, and work toward that. Some fish may have to go, and more of the ones you want acquired. The knifefish is obviously going to impact on this.

I don't like suggesting what one should or shouldn't keep, it is after all your aquarium, but my concern is the health of any fish you do have, and providing the best conditions for them. So if you have further questions after you check the profile data, don't hesitate to ask. We are all here to assist.


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 7 Old 10-02-2012, 12:09 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much for your help. I have a 20gallon aquarium that I am using temporarily as a quarantine tank for a sick Angelfish. He isn't doing well at all, but I am surprised he is still alive. I have done all I know to do for him. Either, when you gets better, or passes on, I plan to set that tank up and move some of the fish from my 55 gallon over. I have not figured out who just yet, but obviously I can't have too many. I thank you for pointing me in the right direction for the directory of fish. It was very helpful! I have learned so much in the last couple of weeks that I never knew in my years of fish keeping about tank maintenance and such. I am sure my husband is sick of hearing about the tank. It is not his thing and he is not too thrilled with idea of having an additional tank, but he knows it's important to me that my fish are as happy and healthy as possible. Thanks again!!
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