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post #1 of 9 Old 03-24-2011, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
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Angelfish hiding

I am curious.

I have 5 gold angelfish, 3 were purchased at first and then 2 others were purchased about a month after.

They have been living happily together since about November of last year. I have noticed a hierarchy arrange myself, the first 3 I got are the biggest. The other two were smaller and have been growing slower than the larger ones, but all have been active and happy.

But now I notice one of the smaller ones has been bullied and his fins have some nips on them, and he now is hiding away from the other 4 behind my driftwood. He comes out for food but keeps his distance from the group and then returns to the back of the drift wood for hiding. But actually today he came out but didn't go for the food that the other 4 were by, and he didn't eat and just went back to hiding.


What should I do? Let him hide for now? Move him to another tank?

It doesn't seem like "sickness" but almost like he was kicked out of the group.

Let me know what you all think!
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post #2 of 9 Old 03-26-2011, 12:12 PM
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angelfish can be a little aggressive to their own kind you could move him but it might stress him out even more.
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post #3 of 9 Old 03-26-2011, 07:31 PM
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This is what often (not always, but frequently) occurs when new angelfish are added to an existing group. It is mentioned in our profile of the fish, Pterophyllum scalare, you might want to click on the shaded name to see the profile.

Angels should always be acquired together as a group, no less than 5, in a 55g (or larger) tank. Once one or more angels are settled, they view the tank as their domain, and as you've noticed a hierarchy is formed within the group. Normally, if all fish "grow up" together, this is not a problem, as the aggression is spread out. But with less than five fish alone, one or two will often be hounded to the point of death. And when new fish are added, same issue.

This is actually quite common among many cichlids, though it can vary from species to species and sometimes even fish to fish within the species. The unfortunate thing is that it will not end until the loser is dead. It is not a behaviour that can be corrected, since it is in the fish's genetic makeup.

Byron.

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 #4 of 9 Old 03-26-2011, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
This is what often (not always, but frequently) occurs when new angelfish are added to an existing group. It is mentioned in our profile of the fish, Pterophyllum scalare, you might want to click on the shaded name to see the profile.

Angels should always be acquired together as a group, no less than 5, in a 55g (or larger) tank. Once one or more angels are settled, they view the tank as their domain, and as you've noticed a hierarchy is formed within the group. Normally, if all fish "grow up" together, this is not a problem, as the aggression is spread out. But with less than five fish alone, one or two will often be hounded to the point of death. And when new fish are added, same issue.

This is actually quite common among many cichlids, though it can vary from species to species and sometimes even fish to fish within the species. The unfortunate thing is that it will not end until the loser is dead. It is not a behaviour that can be corrected, since it is in the fish's genetic makeup.

Byron.
Should I remove the one that has been bullied to my other 36 community tank for a while?

they have all grown up together since they were about the size a quarter, i originally bought 3 (the best looking ones at the store at the time) and i waited until the next batch to get another 2 that were looking good.

So i do have 5 total, because i knew i had to have 5-6 in a group.

OR should i find another angelfish around the same size and add it to the group? I saw one around the same size as mine at a local shop the other day that is a gold also.
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post #5 of 9 Old 03-27-2011, 12:11 PM
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Should I remove the one that has been bullied to my other 36 community tank for a while?

they have all grown up together since they were about the size a quarter, i originally bought 3 (the best looking ones at the store at the time) and i waited until the next batch to get another 2 that were looking good.

So i do have 5 total, because i knew i had to have 5-6 in a group.

OR should i find another angelfish around the same size and add it to the group? I saw one around the same size as mine at a local shop the other day that is a gold also.
The group of 5 is good. I don't know how long it was between the first 3 and the subsequent 2, and I don't know the "normal" period it takes for angels to feel "settled", but my advice is always to introduce them together to the tank, same day. Adding another fish now whatever the size will not stop the aggression of the dominant fish now in the tank. Unless the introduced fish is also so inclined, in which case they will probably fight it out to the death of one of them.

As for the submissive fish, it probably should be removed as the continued stress will likely not end until it is dead. Now, this may not occur; as I said previously, fish are sometimes different, but it is certainly the risk.

Some suggest moving all of them to a new environment. Either a new tank, or temporarily remove them from this one and re-arrange the aquascape, then put them all back together. I've not personally tried this, so I can't say it will or won't work.

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 #6 of 9 Old 03-28-2011, 12:53 AM Thread Starter
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The group of 5 is good. I don't know how long it was between the first 3 and the subsequent 2, and I don't know the "normal" period it takes for angels to feel "settled", but my advice is always to introduce them together to the tank, same day. Adding another fish now whatever the size will not stop the aggression of the dominant fish now in the tank. Unless the introduced fish is also so inclined, in which case they will probably fight it out to the death of one of them.

As for the submissive fish, it probably should be removed as the continued stress will likely not end until it is dead. Now, this may not occur; as I said previously, fish are sometimes different, but it is certainly the risk.

Some suggest moving all of them to a new environment. Either a new tank, or temporarily remove them from this one and re-arrange the aquascape, then put them all back together. I've not personally tried this, so I can't say it will or won't work.

I decided to remove the single "bullied" angel to my 36 gallon community tank.

I guess i will wait until he/she grows bigger and heal up its fins, then move it back to the main tank eventually and see what happens. If it is still getting bullied I will just keep the other 4 and bring it to a LFS or sell it.
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post #7 of 9 Old 03-28-2011, 12:02 PM
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I decided to remove the single "bullied" angel to my 36 gallon community tank.

I guess i will wait until he/she grows bigger and heal up its fins, then move it back to the main tank eventually and see what happens. If it is still getting bullied I will just keep the other 4 and bring it to a LFS or sell it.
That's fine. When you remove it, monitor the situation with the 4 that are left, as another may become the "target." May not, but it is a possibility.

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 #8 of 9 Old 03-28-2011, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
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Yes I will be watching all very closely to make sure no more issues, thanks for your input Byron.
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post #9 of 9 Old 03-28-2011, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
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You should see my planted tank so far, I remember consulting with you a while ago about starting it. I'll post a new picture when I get out if my calc 2 class lol
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