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LisaC144 03-12-2010 09:02 PM

Angelfish or Bolivian Ram?
I lost a black Angelfish during a mini-cycle when I completed gutted my tank, replaced the gravel, and planted it. The mini-cycle only last a few days but it proved to be too much for the Angel. I was going to get another one (to make 3) to replace it but have been considering 2 Bolivian Rams instead. I've been discussing this with a couple members and we all agreed that the Bolivian Ram was the way to go.

However, I don't know if it's just me but ever since the black Angelfish died, one Angelfish has been hiding a lot. This tank is fully planted, but the plants are new so they aren't very tall yet. I found him (or her) today in my rock cave. He comes out to eat and will hang out for a while, but tends to retreat back to the cave. I do see it out duringthe day though too. I've only noticed this since his "friend" passed. He doesn't appear sick and eats perfectly fine, so I really don't think it's due to illness. The other Angelfish is just slightly bigger than the one hiding, but I suppose it's a possibility that he is bullying the other one, although I've never really witnessed it (keep in mind that I out at work for 6 of the 10 hours the light is on to see).

So now that you have a bit of background, my question is do I get another Angelfish in hopes that the one hiding perks back up (perhaps it's depressed??) or is 3 going to be too much in the long run and I'd better off getting the Rams? My stock list is the one listed in my signature for the 55g. I would love to get 1 Angelfish AND 2 Rams, but I think that would cause me to be a bit overstocked.

Opinions/Suggestions??? As for upgradingto a larger tank, it is a possibility in the future, but I don't want that to be the deciding factor right now as I don't know when I might.

Angel079 03-12-2010 09:11 PM

You know my I'll sit tight and just see what other suggest now :-D

LisaC144 03-12-2010 10:31 PM

And I agree but now I'm a bit concerned for the Angel that seems to be hiding....

Byron 03-13-2010 11:48 AM

If the two angels are a pair (male/female) they will probably be fine. If they are both male there could (more probably would) be a pecking order, and with only two that is a problem. I don't know if this occurs as much with two females. Which is why I always recommend several angels when young, they are a shoaling fish and form pairs as they mature.

If a larger tank is likely in the future, you might want to leave the angels until then, i.e., do not get more for fear of exacerbating the issue in too confined a space. And adding several in a larger tank together is more likely to be successful.


LisaC144 03-13-2010 12:21 PM

Byron, I can't tell the sex yet because they are still small. But I have noticed that since the black one died, the one Angel has been spending a lot of time in the rock cave. I don't see any bitten fins or anything but I do notice it hiding more. I wasn't sure if a 3rd might make it better or worse.

I was originally considering 2 Rams for company, but now I am finding out they do fine by themselves. Would 1 more Angel and 1 Bolivian Ram work? I'm just looking for the best possible scenario for my fish...

Byron 03-13-2010 12:54 PM

Lisa, not easily answered. If the "problem" you describe is a health issue, then obvious waiting it out before adding any fish is preferable. If it is due to the natural fish "pecking order" then a third angel might help.

LisaC144 03-13-2010 02:15 PM

I think I will observe it for a week to try to distinguish if it is a health issue or pecking order. I'm beginningto think that the Bleeding Heart Tetras have been chasing him. When I go overto the tank and the Angel sees me it comes out and I've seen a few times that the Bleeding Hearts chase it. This Angel is about the same size as the Bleeding Hearts. The other Angel is slightly biggerthan them. Haven't seen them bother the bigger one. When I checked on him this morning when the light was still off he was swimming all around. Now that the light is on and he can be seen, he's hiding. The whole reason I took the Black Skirts back and got the Bleeding Hearts was because I thought they weren't fin nippers :-( Now I'm not sure what to do.

LisaC144 03-16-2010 12:03 PM

Well the Angelfish that was hiding in the cave has passed. I ended up quarantining him, but he did not make it. It looks like he had fin rot. I think that's why he was hiding. Not because of a pecking order, but because he was sick. The other fish would bother him when he came out to feed so they must of sensed it too. I am now down to 1 Angelfish. I recently changd LFs because I was very unhappy with the look of the tanks and seemed to lost quite a few fish from my original one. This little guy was from the original one. I haven't lost 1 from my new one and they also log all deaths in their tanks, which I really like.

To make matters worse, I am now battling Ich. It is a very minor case and only on a few fish. It should be gone soon and so far fish are doing great with treatment.

I will not add any fish for a few weeks. However, I ask this question again. I am down to 1 Angelfish. Would you recommend me getting 1 more Angelfish to make 2 and 1 bolivian ram, 1 Angelfish and 2 Bolivian Rams? I know Bolivian Rams are fine by themselves so I guess 1 will work.

Any suggestions on stock now that I am down to 1 Angelfish??

Byron 03-16-2010 12:24 PM

Unless you can be certain of a pair (male/female) in angels, I would go with 3 minimum. A pecking order with just two is not going to be good as it will stress out the losing fish in the pecking order; that may have been the problem with the one that just died--this sort of stress is considerable to the fish, and weakens the immune system bringing on other health problems that would otherwise probably not occur. Adding two lessens the chance of directed aggression. Plus, again, angels live in a social group and will be less stressful in such circumstances--check that video I posted Sunday. As you have plans for another larger tank, at this point I would even suggest three more to better the odds further; you have the space (assuming they will all be young like you had) for the present.

LisaC144 03-16-2010 01:13 PM

Byron, yes they will all be rather small. My current one is about 3"-4" and I'll get more in the same size range. The only problem is I'm not really sure of if/when I'd get another tank. I just completely changed this one and I don't plan on doing it again anytime soon unless an incredible deal came along. Therefore, I'd like to base my stock on the 55g for the time being. That being said, do you think 3 Angels would be okay? What about the Bolivian Ram? Nix that idea or can I fit 1 with my stock as well?

On a side note, I never ever saw the other Angel attack the one that died. It doesn't mean it didn't happen when I wasn't around though. It started hiding a lot and when it came out the Bleeding Hearts would chase it. I saw once where 3 of the Bleeding Heart Tetras chased the poor thing around the tank and cornered it and was picking at it. I think they sensed he was sick and weak....

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