Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Julie's Julies 06-07-2011 11:49 AM

What killed my Angel?
Hi All,

I have a 29-gallon tank with 3 angels, a red-tailed shark, and a featherfin squeaker. It's fully cycled and established and I change out 25% of the water twice a week.

This morning, one of the angels is dead and the other two are beat to an absolute pulp. I know that the culprit is either the featherfin or the shark, but I don't know which. Which would be more likely? I put up a barrier for the moment, but something's gotta go. I love the featherfin, but I don't want to keep him over my angels and I don't have another tank to put him in.

Advice welcome!!

jennesque 06-07-2011 01:51 PM

I'm going to assume probably the shark since they seem to be a pretty aggressive fish. Or perhaps it's the angelfish - depending on their age, three is too many for a 29 gallon. They will get territorial with age and pick on eachother, typically gaining up on the weakest. It could be the feather fin, if there's not enough hiding spots at the bottom of the tank - but the shark or angels just seem to be more likely the culprit. You'll probably have to keep an eye on your tank to really see.

Julie's Julies 06-07-2011 02:25 PM

I never thought about the possibility of the other angels, but that would make complete sense since the other two angels were all beat up. The two remaining angels are a breeding pair and the dead one is their offspring (another male) and they always fought.

Anyway, I'm working on getting the catfish and shark rehomed since the tank's too small. Thank you so much for your advice!

Byron 06-07-2011 07:25 PM

I agree, the culprit(s) could have been any one or all of the fish mentioned.

I would tend to discount the angels themselves, since aggression always occurs from one dominant fish, and it would not be "beat up" or killed, unless of course two very dominant males were in the trio, but that is not likely given your info that it was a pair and an offspring. But it is still important to realize that angels should be in groups of 5 or more, except for a breeding pair on their own, and all fish in the group should be acquired together. This is explained in our profile, click on the shaded name Pterophyllum scalare to see it.

The shark is highly aggressive to substrate fish, and often they will lash out at other fish too. The small tank size can aggravate this, but as the fish matures it becomes more feisty regardless.

The featherfin is the least likely suspect, but as it attains 8-12 inches it needs a new home anyway.


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