VERY aggressive angel - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 8 Old 01-21-2011, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy VERY aggressive angel

I have and 50-55 gal tank. I originally had 2 angels a tiger one and an all black one. They both have 2-3" bodies and bought them same time, same place, same tank. The all black one has become VERY VERY aggressive and has nipped the fins off the tiger and makes him (assuming sex) hide up in the corner of the tank. I went a bought another angel same size as these 2 hoping maybe it will help a little but no change. The black one still has complete control of the tank and the other 2 have to hide in the upper corners. The original bullied angel will attack the new one now and the all black one will go and attack for no apparent reason. The only time the first 2 are ok with each other is feeding time but then they barely let the new angel eat. I also purchased a ton more plants for the bottom of the tank but that is not helping either.

I usually keep Oscasr (which I love) but with the death of my last and favorite one I decided to switch it up...but I think I want my oscars back these angels have given my nothing but problems.

Im not sure whether to purchase more..maybe bigger ones, get different tanks mates to balance aggression (maybe an oscar ) or sell the all black super dominant aggressive one.

I had a single very large angel fish about 5 years ago I got from a friend and kept it in a tank with a large single oscar and a pleco with no problems. Thats about the extent of the angel experience.

please help...Im at a loss for ideas and im starting to stress as much as the fish...I dont want anybody bullied to death..I would like a nice peacefull balanced tank but dont know how to go forward from here.
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post #2 of 8 Old 01-21-2011, 08:33 PM
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Well I didn't really get the sense that you are "attached" to this large black angel and personally I think the only thing that will help the attitude of an "Angel" is a larger angel. They are not a nice fish by nature and even if you remove this one (sell it back to the LFS!!) the next largest one will pick on the smaller unless they have a huge place to swim and hide. They are a type of fish that has a "pecking order". We had angels when I was a child and the experience has stayed with me 40 years and I won't own them again for that reason... but that JMO. I however DO LOVE Oscars too (15yrs exp) but don't have room for a feeder tank so currently have a community tank. I really hate anything being picked on.
Good luck with your decision. I know its a hard one. Fortunately LFS will buy your fish.

Every kid, regardless of what they are going through, is ONE caring adult away from being a success story. ~ Josh Shipp, Teen Behavior Expert
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post #3 of 8 Old 01-28-2011, 10:29 AM
Hi there,
I have 3 Angels in a community tank with Rams and some other smaller fish like danios and rasboras. And a Dwarf Puffer. After a couple of months 2 of the Angels formed a mating pair and eggs were laid on the filter walls. It happens pretty regularly now. A couple of times a month. This is when the pair gets really aggressive and they will swoop down on any fish that come near their "nest" with the ferocity of bird of prey hunting. Even before they formed a pair they were aggressive but it wasnt so bad. The odd one out has had his fins bitten pretty badly. What I did was take him out and put him into my Discus tank. All was well for a couple of days - then this lone angel started nipping at my Discus'!!! Took him out and put him back into the community tank. He seems to be holding his own now.
The Thing is the whole process will probably repeat itself again so I guess the best thing to do is to take the one that is being bullied out. The other alternative is to get a 120 litre tank or something bigger so that they can all have pieces of their own turf!!
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post #4 of 8 Old 01-28-2011, 11:36 PM Thread Starter
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after a few days of having the water temp down and after they got used to all the new plants in the tank they loose site of each other and things are actually getting better which is great. They still go after the new one and each other but its more of a chase not so vicious and the black is still the "king". I dont think that will change but the aggression has gone down a bit and it looks like fins are growing back and they dont hide in the corners unless absolutly necessary. Hopefully all will stay slightly peaceful from now on.
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post #5 of 8 Old 01-29-2011, 08:47 AM
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Good to hear things are sorting themselves out. Amazing what a few plants will do. Even if it is just a moments peace to re-coop! Are you still considering adding something else?

Every kid, regardless of what they are going through, is ONE caring adult away from being a success story. ~ Josh Shipp, Teen Behavior Expert
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post #6 of 8 Old 01-29-2011, 03:55 PM
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If you read our profile of the angelfish Pterophyllum scalare you will find out why this happens. And the experiences of the members who have posted in this thread bears out the reason. You can click on the shaded name to go to the profile.

In short, angels are shoaling fish that live in groups, and 5 is the minimum number that should ever be put in a 4-foot or larger tank. [Except for breeding pairs which is another issue entirely.] As it notes in the profile, all fish in the group must be acquired at the same time to prevent further aggression issues. A social pecking order is natural, and in a larger group usually does not become too much of a problem, though as with people there are always some fish that are worse than others. The stress this causes on the other fish is not good.


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 8 Old 01-29-2011, 05:40 PM
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So looks like the odd man out might be ok for the moment but only until the whole mating process starts again, and you know for a fact that you have a mated pair! Looks like the Rasboros are ok, but the Danio is too quick for them and not sure about the Rams but something tells me just from the they also may not be good. So sounds like you could purchase a group of say 7 all from the same tank, and bring them home and two mate off and then you have stress again in the tank. Doesn't fit the "Easy" rating they gave them to me... JMO. Doesn't "hunger strike" sound like "challenging"? lol. I wish you lots of luck and patience! Hey maybe you will be breeding angels and supplying your LFS before you know it!!

Every kid, regardless of what they are going through, is ONE caring adult away from being a success story. ~ Josh Shipp, Teen Behavior Expert
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post #8 of 8 Old 02-05-2011, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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I actually just posted again but this time in the fresh water fish breeding forum. Yup turns out they were just in love. but now i have an algea problem and asked for help to take care of it. There is also a cpl pics of the mom and dad in that post too.
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