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Brought home and Angel Fish and he's scared
First off, hello :) I'm Cody
Now that my introduction is over I am a PURE beginner at having fish, so I need some help :)
I just brought home 1 angelfish and he's about quarter size. I have a 10 gallon tank. I put him in and all he does is sit in this one spot behind this fake seaweed. I've had him for maybe an hour and a half and he hasn't moved. I know he's scared because he's in a new environment. The lady at Petsmart said I can see how he does for 14 days and if he is doing good I can get another fish to put in there with him. When I first put him in he hid by the filter, and the filter was kind of pulling him so I got the net and got him away from it. We can't tell if the filter is too strong for him. The filter came with the aquarium and its for 5-10 gallon tanks. But the surface of the water is moving a lot. We put fish food in there for him and the fish food was moving around like crazy due to the filter. We turned it off for 15 minutes to see if he would move but he he didnt. Is something wrong with the filter? The temperature is 78 in the tank right now, so I think thats fine. And we got the water tested and the lady said it was perfect. Is my angelfish just scared right now? Is my filter ok for him?
From what I'm reading, 1 angelfish needs 10 gallons, so don't think you'll be able to add more. Secondly, and most importantly, did you cycle your tank?
Yes I did cycle my tank and let it sit for 3 days. Then I went to the pet store and they tested it and she said it was perfect :) I'm just worried about the filter...
Hi Cody, welcome to the forum. This is a great place to come for all of your questions!
Hnestly...I'm more concerned about the size of your tank than i am about the filter. I have angelfish in my 67g tank, and have always been told that they do best in groups of five or more... Something that you definitely don't have room for in a 10g tank. For now at the size he is, he should be okay in there but as angelfish can grow quite large, he will need a new home eventually. And keeping him in a tank that's too small will only make problems with other fish more likely, as there won't be room for them to have their own territories, which increases likelihood of fighting.
As Far as your angelfish seeming scared... They typically don't move around much. Mine have staked out their territory in one corner of my tank, and while they occasionally venture to other areas of the tank, they always go back to their spot.
For the time being, you could fit a sponge to the end of the intake, which may help to keep the angelfish from getting sucked in. As far as the flow being too strong, this is what i did when i encountered that same issue. I took a ziploc bag and put one end under the filter where it sits on the back, and attached the other end of the bag to the lid, forming sort of a canopy to catch the water as it flows out, and then it trickles over the sides of the bag. If the explanation doesn't make sense, i can try to take a pcture of it and post it for you.
I strongly feel, though, that in the long term, the 10g tank is not the right size for your angelfish.
We just saw him move from out behind the plants. And, he stayed there for a few minutes and moved back behind the plant. But he's been low the whole time he hasn't gone to the middle or the surface of the water.
I know I shouldn't have got him though lol I just really like him. Wonder if I just have one other fish in there with him after a few weeks? Will he grow that big to where he doesn't like it or to where he'll start being a bully?
Hi Cody, and welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum. Glad you found us and joined.
I am going to agree with iamgray on the angelfish issue, and I'll try to explain why, so this will be long; bear with me.
First, potentially large fish in small tanks can often develop internal problems that we don't see but long-term the fish will not be healthy and frequently will die prematurely. The water quality is a significant part of this, even more than the actual tank size. Fish grow all their lives, unlike us, and as the external skeleton grows so too do the internal organs. If the small environment restricts the external growth, the internal continues, and the fish becomes "stunted" as it is called. Potentially large fish must have sufficient water space around them from early on in order to develop properly.
Another thing enters into this, and that is the effect of stress. And here we come to the issue of having more than one angelfish. This species is a shoaling fish, which lives in groups in its natural habitat. Being a cichlid, they also develop a "pecking order" within the group. One fish will be dominant, others submissive. Without this group, the solitary angelfish is alone, and its natural instinct tells it that it is therefore at risk from predation. It also "misses" its companions. All this cause stress, and just as in humans, stress is now known to be a major factor in the health of fish. Stress weakens the fish's immune system, so it is more likely to get diseases and be attacked by parasites than it otherwise would be.
So in a 10g on its own (without other angels that is), an angelfish is under stress from being alone plus the impact of its growth.
Now, some will say that they have one or two angelfish and they are fine. This may be, as each fish is different, same as we are. But the fact is that the fish has inherent traits and instincts that are far more likely to drive the fish, and most of us prefer to pay more attention to the needs of the fish and in providing those, be more certain of a healthy and normal lifespan for the fish.
I personally would not put an angelfish (which will readily attain 6 inches in body length if it is healthy) in a 10g tank. A group of 4-5 is preferred, and that means in a 4-foot tank (55g) so they can grow properly.
Final comment; the "hiding" you see is due to stress, and this in my view is going to get worse.
Well, the only thing I can do now is just learn from this experience since I am only a beginner. I should have researched it more thoroughly, though. I would buy a bigger tank, but right now I just don't have the money for another tank, plus a brand new filter. So, I will have to do with what I have. I mean, maybe a few more months and I could buy a bigger tank but not now. How fast will he grow? If I give him a little buddy that's not an angelfish, will it be better than being alone?
Edit: Or should I do as the lady at Petsmart says and leave him in there for 14 days and if he is still doing good then buy another fish for him.
I googled angelfish growth rates and most of what i found only listed the growth of fry... This is the only site i found where someone talked about their growth rate once they are a bit older:
Angel Fish Growth Rate? - Tropical Fish Forums
I have no idea how accurate that is... But hopefully it's a good starting point. I can't really say much based on the angels I've got, because i left them for last in my stocking plan, so i haven't had them for very long.
i think it'd be awesome for you to get a larger tank down the line to give the angelfish a better home, and I'm guessing that if it's only for a few months, he should be ok in the 10g. However... If you weren't planning to get a bigger tank, it might be a bit excessive to go out and spend that much money for the sake of a single fish, and maybe it'd make more sense to rehome or return the angelfish and start over with fish that are better suited to your existing tank size.
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