AngelFish in Trouble
I own a 56 gallon tank. In it we have 1 gourami, 1 african brown knife fish, 7 tiger barbs, and lastly 2 angel fish. They are all semi-aggresive tropical fish. We originally had the 1 gourami and 2 angelfish and then we introduced the knife fish and then the 7 tiger barbs. Our one angel fish had large gorgeous fins and is doing amazing. The rest of the fish are doing great except the other angel fish. He has much smaller fins than the 1st angel fish but his body size is the same. About two weeks ago I noticed that the other fish were bullying him and nipping his fins and he used to have beautiful large fins but now they are almost gone because they have all been eaten off. Yesterday, the angel fish was very sluggish and all 7 of the tiger barbs were surrounding it nipping it all over and the angel fish actually flopped over and floated on his side while they nipped at him. His body is very damaged. I felt so bad for him and put him in our fry box net to keep him from getting picked on. His entire body looks like it was shredded. Is there anything I can do to help get him back to his oiginal state with his beautiful fins?? What should I do? Please help any advice about this would be very helpful.:-)
I'm going to have to dissagree. Do not use aquarium salt, that is very stressful for freshwater fish.
The problem is Tiger Bards should not be kept with any fish that have long fins, period. They are a natorious fin nipper and are actually in general not good community fish at all.
Angelfish and Gourami should also not be kept together, Gourami can get quite aggressive when they get old, paticularly males which are the ones most people have (they are more colorful).
I know Petsmart labels Angelfish as 'semi-aggresive' but they really are not. They will go after and eat small torpedo like fish (think neon tetras) because that is their natural food, but they'll leave everything else alone provided they are not stressed. The only excpetion is during breeding and sometimes if you make new additions to the tank (new fish are usually juveniles which means small and thus food).
You can read up all kinds of information about Angelfish in the profile here, just click on the shaded name Scalare Angelfish.
Unless you have a breeding pair (doubtful) they really should be kept in a larger group. The problem is, they will turn aggressive to new additions so with Angelfish it is best to get them all at the same time. In your case, I would stick with the two and let them live out their lives instead of attempting to get more.
But, you have to to either get rid of the Tiger Barbs (see if you can return them), or the Angelfish, they can not be kept together and all live. The Tiger Barbs will also probably go after the Gourami, they have the long feeler things that are just asking to be nipped.
Should also mention that your tank is too small for a Black Ghost Knifefish, if you can return it also that would be best.
They get to be 20" long and their body is not flexible. They need a minimum of a 6 foot by 2 foot tank, which is a 180 gallon tank (using standard sizes).
Even if you plan to 'upgrade' in the future I would return it for now, things often get in the way of plans but the fish won't stop growing. They are not rare and you can pick up another when you're ready for it. You can read their profile to learn more about them, and the specific aquarium setup they need (very dim lighting).
Yes, that is a different species, and being smaller than the BGK it can be housed in a 4-foot tank. But it is predatory and should not be combined with small fish. A shoal of angelfish would make suitable companions. More info on this knifefish, since it is not in our profiles, here:
Xenomystus nigri (African Knifefish) — Seriously Fish
But Geomancer is quite correct on the other issues. You can read more in our profiles, click on shaded names: Pterophyllum scalare (angelfish), Tiger Barb. The latter should never be housed with sedate fish like angels, any cichlid for that matter, knifefish, or gourami. You've seen why. The TB could just as easily decide to turn on the other fish in the same way. That is how nature made them. It is true that if kept in larger groups and in larger tanks as here they may be less inclined, but putting temptation in front of them like this is almost certain to fail.
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