04-23-2010, 02:16 PM
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Thanks, Byron. I totally understand. I actually only have three Angels in the 56 gallon....three different sizes, black one is the biggest and then a very young silver and even a younger smaller silver. I would have to go get another one to make it 4 in there now and then 5 when I return the bigger black one. I may end up upgrading my daughter's tank to a larger community tank. If so, that would be better for the big black bully. In the meantime, should I get the bully a tankmate? Obviously, not another Angel but some kind of other fish? I don't want to chance bringing in desease though. He just looks so lonely.
Originally Posted by Byron
As for how long, the point in this is to get the other 4 now-small angels up to a size that the aggressor can be put with them and because he will always behave the way he is programmed (does the leopard change its spots? they say) the idea is to have a group of 5 that will mean no one individual is picked on but it is spread around naturally. If that does not work, and one fish is still singled out, then the answer would be to get rid of the aggressor. Otherwise, you will have a tank of very stressed, and therefore prone to disease and health problem, angels.
This is the same strategy we use with difficult characins like Serpae, or with Tiger Barbs. A large group to avoid single fish being harassed mercilessly, and in sufficiently-sized tanks. Then the natural behaviours of the fish can play out with minimal consequences. As an aside, I read an article by Iggy Tavares in the current (May) issue of AFI on Serpae, and he recommends nothing smaller than a 90g aquarium, and a group of more than 8 (8 the absolute minimum) serpae, and well planted. Then, the aggression of the dominant fish will be spread around the group, and the plants will allow for periodic hiding or refuge places. And the 90g allows for other fish species which also helps to diffuse the bullying.
But the fish are the way nature made them. We can't change that. We can provide an environment that will hopefully work to reduce the tensions. And some fish seem less inclined to act "naturally" than others, just as some dogs behave differently than others by instinct. And people too.