Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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iamgray 10-12-2010 11:10 PM

Neons and angelfish
Just wondering if anyone has successfully kept them in the same tank?

According to aqadvisor, there's a possibility that the angels might eat the neons... my boyfriend used to have fish years ago, and thinks he might have had angels and neons together with no problems, but can't remember for sure. A friend from work has a few angelfish and says he doesn't find them to be as aggressive with smaller fish as some people say they are... So I'm just looking for extra opinions/experiences before I try mixing them.

catfishtabbi 10-12-2010 11:18 PM

I had angels with neons for about two years they allowed 3 out of six to live. Guppies do not stand a chance with angels they seem to annoy them.

1077 10-13-2010 12:20 AM

Angelfish and neons are often like me, and French fries.8-)

redchigh 10-13-2010 10:19 AM

I'd go with angels and cardinals... Cardinals are a bit larger.

Also I've heard (might be a rumor) that if you get the angelfish when they are small, and raise them around neons, then they won't eat them when they grow... Of course, they only spare the ones they grew up with... Add neons afterwards, and they might be snacks.

Another bet, would be to have a LOT of neons.... About 15. They have a light bioload, and will school tightly around a predator... Might prevent them being eaten.

iamgray 10-13-2010 12:00 PM

Yeah... when I made my original stocking plan it included cardinals instead of neons. But when I got to the store, neons were on sale and I said "meh, whatever..."

I should ignore impulses when it comes to buying fish and stick with my plans!

Anyways. I only have 5 neons in the tank right now. I'm planning to add more fish this weekend. I was thinking of increasing the number of neons for added protection. But now I'm thinking... what if I just start getting cardinals? They will shoal with the neons, correct? Then when it comes time to add angelfish, I'll get the smallest ones I can find.

I should mention also that it's a 67 gallon planted tank, so maybe that helps provide extra protection?

Byron 10-13-2010 12:41 PM

You will read differing opinions from various aquarists on fish behaviour; like humans, some fish just don't fit the norm. But that is taking a risk as I'll explain.

First, angels are predatory with any fish small enough to fit into their mouths. Most fish are like this, which is why fry tend not to survive in tanks with mature fish. But angels attain 6 inches in length (if they are healthy) and will readily and easily eat 1-inch neons, cardinals, and similar fish--if they decide to. And this is the unknown. The fish's natural instinct is to eat smaller fish, you can't change that. Why some never do and others will voraciously, is just "one of those things." Aquartists have lost whole shoals of cardinals to angels.

The other issue is the neons nipping fins. While neons and cardinals are not generally considered nippy, the temptation of angels long filamentous finnage is often too much and neons in particular are well known to take advantage.

What must be remembered in either case is the stress to the fish, even if no physical damage occurs. Fish like neons that are in a closed system with a predator will sense it, even if the predator never attacks; the resulting stress can cause immune system issues and poor health and short lives. Same holds in reverse; the angels can be stressed by little fish darting around them.

A better choice of companion fish to angels are those that are similarly shaped, i.e., disk as opposed to torpedo shape. The Hyphessobrycon species in the Rosy Tetra clade do very well. Several are included in our fish profiles, second tab from the left in the blue bar at the top; use the scientific name index and check out the Hyphessobrycon species. Also the angelfish profile suggests suitable companions.

A last word on the angels; in your 67g tank you have space for a proper shoal. Angels are shoaling fish that should always be in a group (except when breeding pairs are being spawned), 5-6 will do nicely in a well-planted tank as described in the profile. And always acquire the angels together as a group; fewer aggression problems among the fish in the group will result. This also is explained in the profile of Pterophyllum scalare.


iamgray 10-13-2010 04:11 PM

Hrm. What about this idea... I've got platies in my tank at work. Aqadvisor came up with no warnings for them and angelfish... I could bring the neons to work, and take the platies home. that's just a quick thought... I don't have time right now to see how compatible the guppies and rasboras will be with neons.

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