Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources (
-   Freshwater and Tropical Fish (
-   -   Should I adopt this Angel Fish into my new tank? (

fishyfiona 06-09-2010 12:51 PM

Should I adopt this Angel Fish into my new tank?
A friend has asked me if I would be interested in adopting her black Angel Fish thats being bullied in her tank.
I am considering it but as a responsible and relatively new fish keeper I am here looking for advice.

I have a cycled 200l tank, and have just started stocking it this week ( prev had it stocked fully and running for 2 yrs successfully before closing it down to move house-so have some experience with fish)
I currently have 4 zebra danios in the tank, and have been wanting to put together a very colourful tank this time.

So, some questions, are there some lovely compatible and colourful fish who would like to live with this Angel Fish, are there any other things I need to be aware of, should I go for it ?!?!?!

Thanks so much for reading

Byron 06-09-2010 01:46 PM

You have tank space for angels with a 200 litre (50 US gallon) tank. Angels should be in groups since they are by nature a shoaling fish, a group of 3 in a 50g would work; they grow to 6 inches in length so need space. But this is not so simple, as I'll explain.

Angels are cichlids, and within the group they develop a social structure. When one fish is in a tank and others are subsequently added, the original sometimes becomes a real bully. Sometimes not, but it is a possibility. Having said that, since the fish is being bullied now, it is under considerable stress, and moving it on its own in a suitable environment is the kindest thing.

As for tankmates, many of the larger tetras work; check our fish profiles section for the Hyphessobrycon species, you will find comments under each as to whether or not angels are suitable tankmates. And the photos will show you what the species look like. Angels are slow, sedate fish, they like plants, lots of plants to crusie among, and bits of wood arranged as branches. One of our members recently set up a 55g for angels, a search would probably locate the thread as it has slipped my mind.

The existing zebras may be a bit too active for a sedate angel. Would you consider removing the danios, as in exchanging them at the store? Something to consider. Black angels are beautiful fish, my personal favourite among angels; it would be good to see this poor fish given a good home in your aquarium.


fishyfiona 06-09-2010 01:51 PM

Thanks again Byron, you replied to another of my postings yesterday, really appreciate the time you took

fishyfiona 06-09-2010 01:52 PM

p.s i have been reading that Angel Fish can live in groups or on their own ? was thinking of just keeping this one ? Would the danios upset the Angel with their speed, is that what you mean ? thanks so much !

Byron 06-09-2010 03:09 PM


Originally Posted by fishyfiona (Post 400676)
p.s i have been reading that Angel Fish can live in groups or on their own ? was thinking of just keeping this one ? Would the danios upset the Angel with their speed, is that what you mean ? thanks so much !

Angels occur in large or small groups in nature; they have a social structure within the group, much like most cichlids (and many characins for that matter). It follows that they will be less stressed and more "comfortable" in a group. However, tank size is important. Many fish, and angels are no exception, can develop quite different behaviours when they feel "confined" and may become antagonistic to their tankmates. Besides this, other fish (many tetras) see their fins as easy nipping targets, and this stresses the angels. Stress in fish, as in humans, brings on immune system deficiencies and thus poor health.

While I would always recommend a group (3-5 in a 55g for instance, more in a larger tank), as I pointed out previously there are other considerations. A single angelfish in a suitable environment may well be happy. This definitely does not work with other shoaling fish like the characins (tetras, hatchets, pencilfish), where being kept singly, in pairs, or even 3-4 is known to cause considerable stress in the fish, simply because they are not in the environment that nature has programmed into their instinct. I am not a biologist, so I cannot say to what extent this occurs in angels. I am not one who believes that if the fish "looks" OK, it is OK; it may not be.

In spite of all this, in your case I would prefer to see the lone fish in your better environment; it will likely live longer and probably be "happier." Just choose its tankmates carefully. The danios might nip at its fins, and they are active. Angels and discus do not like active fish around them; discus will refuse to eat, but I don't know if angels exhibit similar traits. That's why the Hyphessobrycon species such as those in the Rosy Tetra clade are usually good tankmates for angels and discus.

I have a trio of Poecilocharax weitzmani in my 90g. Absolutely stunningly beautiful little fish, but very quiet and shy. They have been in this tank for more than a year now. But they still get frightened by the other fish, and I have nothing even remotely resembling "boisterous" in this tank. The P. weitzmani will only eat bloodworms (or live foods); I am careful to squirt the worms in front of them, but if another fish approaches, they turn and very quickly dart away, and I have to wait and try again. This is an excellent example of how "active" fish upset quiet fish.

Hope this helps a bit.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:29 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2016 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome