Should I introduce another angel fish?
December 12, 2009 9:39 AM   Subscribe

Fishtank filter: I have a 125 litre community tank with a mixture of tetras, catfish, zebra fish and one large angel. All the fish get on fine. I'd like to get another angel fish (a small one) - does anyone foresee this causing any problems? Would the original angel fish accept another one?
posted by mairuzu to Pets & Animals (7 answers total)
The Tropical Fish Expert says to keep them either singly or in shoals of four or more.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 9:49 AM on December 12, 2009

Angelfish can be nasty to one another. We had a species tank with four. They killed their way down to two. We figured, "Fine, must be a mated pair." Then the bigger one started attacking the littler one and we took them back to the pet store.
posted by infinitywaltz at 10:16 AM on December 12, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks guys - I think I'll just stick to the one.

question resolved within an hour of asking!
posted by mairuzu at 10:27 AM on December 12, 2009

I've kept tanks with mixed sizes of angels but the key to the smaller or meeker fishes' survival is heavy planting: lots and lots of vertically growing strap- or blade-leafed plants (Vallisneria, Echinodorus) maintained in a dense forest like in this video. Like most cichlids, out of sight is out of mind for aggressive angels.
posted by jamaro at 11:12 AM on December 12, 2009

Despite their somewhat atypical look, angelfish are cichlids; typically groups will kill each other off until they're down to either a pair or a single. If they pair up, they will eventually try to clear enough territory to spawn. Since that is probably a larger area than you have tank, they're likely to eliminate all of the other occupants...
posted by nonliteral at 12:37 PM on December 12, 2009

I have found the key with angels is to get em when they're very little. Angels that have basically grown-up 'in tank' have always got on well with my other fish. Introducing them, not so much at all. You could very well find the angel is used to being king of the castle, so to speak, and will not take kindly with a new addition.
posted by smoke at 5:16 PM on December 12, 2009

My experience is the same as the others: we had a pair grow from quite small up to a good 10" fin-to-fin and happy. But then we lost one of the pair. We tried to bring in another larger angel; the remaining one was not pleased, and the new one went after the rest of the tank. Tried to bring in a smaller one, and the remaining one went after it. One angel it was, then. It's the cichlid thing.
posted by mendel at 8:03 PM on December 12, 2009

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