New Angelfish behaving oddly, Nipping at Cory Cat - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 5 Old 02-01-2013, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
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New Angelfish behaving oddly, Nipping at Cory Cat

We got an angelfish to help break up the territorial black skirt tetras that we have. The angel has helped with this problem but now he spends most of his time acting like a bottom feeder, he was even eating on an algae wafer. Is this normal behavior for them or is he just hungry? We feed our fish flakes every day and have given them blood worms for treats but the angel is constantly on the bottom of the tank picking in the gravel and in the plants for food I'm assuming.

We knew angels were semi aggressive but we thought he would be okay with our group until we get a 55gal going in a few months. The angel is fine with our tetras and the green catfish but his is nipping at our cory catfish. I didn't know angels were much of nippers, but our cory is bigger and slow, which is when the angel comes at him. Will getting another cory cat help or should we just take the angel back to the pet store?
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post #2 of 5 Old 02-01-2013, 11:37 PM
angelfish are shoaling fish and need groups. Maybe he's feeling stressed and lonely. He looks pretty small. How big is he? how big is your tank?

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post #3 of 5 Old 02-02-2013, 09:30 AM Thread Starter
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The Angelfish is about 1 1/2 inches. Our tank is 30gal and we're going to upgrade to a 55gal later this year. We may try another small angel. It's only when the catfish is still that the angel goes up to him.
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post #4 of 5 Old 02-02-2013, 10:26 AM
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Get at least 5 more corys and 5 more angels if you opgrade in 2-3 months they will be fine in your tank.
What other fish do you have
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post #5 of 5 Old 02-02-2013, 06:28 PM
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I would return the angelfish now. This is not going to get better, only worse. And while you may intend a 55g tank later, that may not come about. And even if it is only 3 weeks away, the angel can cause issues and/or have issues that will worsen.

Angelfish (Pterophyllum scalare) should never be combined with nippy tetra, of which the Black Widow Tetra is one. You can read more in our profiles, cick the shaded names.

A group of the Black Widow Tetra in a 30g is not leaving much room for other fish anyway, meaning upper water fish.


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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