55 Gallon Tank Angelfish not comfortable in tank

lazysnail

Hi,
Bought 6 juvenile (quarter size) angels around a month ago. Living in a 55 with no plants, minimal lighting, and no decor. Running triple sponge filters on this tank. They have all acclimated fine and were doing well until the hierarchy/pecking order was established. The Koi angel that I presume to be the lowest in the hierarchy is not comfortable with being around with the other five angels. The other five are aggressive eaters and have been doing very well in the tank, while the Koi is in a corner when feeding. Should I consider re-homing/moving the Koi angel? Should I add plants or decorations to minimize bullying? Not sure on what to do. Thanks for responding.
 

PlantedCommunityTank132

I would add some plants, so the fish can hide
 

TClare

Have you seen it being attacked or persecuted by the others? Just wondering since another possibility is that it is not well. But I would definitely add plants that would be better for all of them.
 

lazysnail

The tank is bare bottom since I wanted to minimize the risk of fin damage which could lead to some bacterial issues. I don't know how I can incorporate rooted plants without a substrate as the plants would die out eventually. I could use plants like hornwort or guppy grass but I have had those plants before and they are not fun to deal with. Moreover, the lighting could be an issue since it isn't on for most of the time. Any suggestions as to what plants I could use here?
Also yes, there is an especially aggressive Philippine Blue angel which I have seen chasing the small Koi around.
 

carsonsgjs

The tank is bare bottom since I wanted to minimize the risk of fin damage which could lead to some bacterial issues. I don't know how I can incorporate rooted plants without a substrate as the plants would die out eventually. I could use plants like hornwort or guppy grass but I have had those plants before and they are not fun to deal with. Moreover, the lighting could be an issue since it isn't on for most of the time. Any suggestions as to what plants I could use here?
Also yes, there is an especially aggressive Philippine Blue angel which I have seen chasing the small Koi around.
You could try adding in some driftwood and attaching some java fern or anubias to it. Should do ok in low light or failing that, consider some artificial plants. Just something to break lines of sight between the angels and give them a bit of respite.
 

Thunder_o_b

Welcome to Fishlore.

Are you planing to keep 6 adult angels in that 55? If so, your problems are just starting.

Two would be the most I would recommend in a 55.

As for the substate unless you are breeding, the fish would be better off with plants in a substrate. Floating with no natural cover would stress the fish out. There are options for low light plants.

I have kept and bred angels for years, and never had an issue with 2 angels in a 55 with sand and plants.

To give you an idea how big angels get this angel is almost full grown in a 150 tall. I ended up painting the sides facing the walls flat black after this shot.
 

MacZ

Living in a 55 with no plants, minimal lighting, and no decor.
The tank is bare bottom since I wanted to minimize the risk of fin damage which could lead to some bacterial issues. I don't know how I can incorporate rooted plants without a substrate as the plants would die out eventually. I could use plants like hornwort or guppy grass but I have had those plants before and they are not fun to deal with. Moreover, the lighting could be an issue since it isn't on for most of the time.
To be honest... With this approach I have to suggest you ask yourself whether fishkeeping is the right thing for you. No offense, I've seen people wording pretty much the same concerns and it turned out each time that the thought of keeping things overly clean and in order (maybe micromanaging stuff as well) produces more problems and backlash in the opposite direction of what was intended.

Nature isn't clean. Fish are not going to die when faced with some bacteria or injure themselves when there is substrate or decorations in a tank. The environment you have created there is much more stressful to the fish than any of your concerns.
 

lazysnail

Thanks for your comments everyone I appreciate it.

For starters I need to explain my intention. I am not trying to house these fish in this setup permanently, but rather trying to produce a breeding pair which is a responsibility I am prepared for. The other fish, if I have any left after pairing, will be sold back to my LFS who has agreed that I may do so. I will be trying the driftwood and also adding some sand which I was planning to use on another tank per everyone's request.

I was also going to introduce salt into the aquarium due to its benefits in preventing disease and calming the fish. Should I do so? If so how much?
 

Thunder_o_b

I was also going to introduce salt into the aquarium due to its benefits in preventing disease and calming the fish. Should I do so? If so how much?
Being heavily vested in live plants I don't use salt.
 

lazysnail

Alright will get some live plants and driftwood soon.
 

MacZ

I was also going to introduce salt into the aquarium due to its benefits in preventing disease and calming the fish. Should I do so? If so how much?
Angelfish are softwater fish. You don't use salt on them without an acute indication.
Humic substances as released by driftwood will have a soothing effect (more through the tint of the water than the substance itself), though.

For starters I need to explain my intention. I am not trying to house these fish in this setup permanently, but rather trying to produce a breeding pair which is a responsibility I am prepared for. The other fish, if I have any left after pairing, will be sold back to my LFS who has agreed that I may do so. I will be trying the driftwood and also adding some sand which I was planning to use on another tank per everyone's request.
You want a good breeding pair in the end it's best to provide optimal conditions until they are ready. Too sterile tanks with too many stress factors are the opposite of that. As Angels do not form permanent pairs and it takes a while for a new found pair to find a rhythm many people have a holding/display tank and a breeding tank back to back, so if the pair doesn't work out there are chances for other pairings.
 

lazysnail

Got it. Thanks for the insight
 

otterblue

The tank is bare bottom since I wanted to minimize the risk of fin damage which could lead to some bacterial issues. I don't know how I can incorporate rooted plants without a substrate as the plants would die out eventually. I could use plants like hornwort or guppy grass but I have had those plants before and they are not fun to deal with. Moreover, the lighting could be an issue since it isn't on for most of the time. Any suggestions as to what plants I could use here?
Also yes, there is an especially aggressive Philippine Blue angel which I have seen chasing the small Koi around.

You can put some aquatic rooted plants & substrate in small clay pots and place them on the bottom of the tank.

I saw someone in a fish forum, here or elsewhere, do that for her goldfish tank.
Or you could use plastic plants with the bases weighted down.
 

lazysnail

You can put some aquatic rooted plants & substrate in small clay pots and place them on the bottom of the tank.

I saw someone in a fish forum, here or elsewhere, do that for her goldfish tank.
Or you could use plastic plants with the bases weighted down.
Good idea, I might do that since the driftwood at my LFS is a bit small imo. Will probably still buy though
 

lazysnail

Angelfish are softwater fish. You don't use salt on them without an acute indication.
Humic substances as released by driftwood will have a soothing effect (more through the tint of the water than the substance itself), though.


You want a good breeding pair in the end it's best to provide optimal conditions until they are ready. Too sterile tanks with too many stress factors are the opposite of that. As Angels do not form permanent pairs and it takes a while for a new found pair to find a rhythm many people have a holding/display tank and a breeding tank back to back, so if the pair doesn't work out there are chances for other pairings.
Its been a bit but I finally got the driftwood. The koi angelfish that I was concerned about is also getting around to eating again. I will try to introduce it into the tank tomorrow, but I have some questions about the tannins in the meantime. During sterilization of the wood (boiling), the tannins leech out of the wood. Should I keep the water and put it in the tank for the desired effect? I am also concerned that the tannins will change my ph level, which I do not want to happen.
 

MacZ

During sterilization of the wood (boiling), the tannins leech out of the wood.
That's normal and the boiling is not for sterilization, it's so the wood sinks faster. Sterilizing is useless, as the wood will be colonized by bacteria and fungi when it's in the tank anyway. Don't be afraid of that. It's not bad for the fish.

Should I keep the water and put it in the tank for the desired effect?
Toss it, not worth it. It will go on leaching in the tank. Don't think you got it all out.

Should I keep the water and put it in the tank for the desired effect? I am also concerned that the tannins will change my ph level, which I do not want to happen.
Also no need to worry. Wood and botanicals take ages to change pH, even when KH is very low. And even if it changes the pH, your fish can take pH as low as 5 without problems. It's actually good for them.
 

lazysnail

Thanks for the response; my main concern was that my ph would swing with the addition. As of today, the wood has gone in and the aggression has gone down considerably after I lowered my temp from 82 to 78-79 over the week. I feel that the wood will and a couple of java ferns I bought will do the trick.
 

lazysnail

Just wanted to give an update on my tank. Everyone is doing well and eating nicely, including the small koi angelfish, and it seems that everyone's advice really helped me. Once again thank you to everyone who advised me on what to do.
 

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