Angelfish Question

  1. Brokenshadows34

    Brokenshadows34 Valued Member Member

    Hey guys.

    I have a question.

    A couple days ago, I brought home a baby angelfish and (of course, after acclimating) put him in with my current adult angelfish, Kai. I named the baby one Cole.

    Kai, was, as expected, chasing Cole, but not to hurt. More like a "This is my territory," kind of chase. She wasn't doing it that much today, but, nonetheless, I decided to try something.

    I netted Kai and put her in a bucket filled with tank water, and covered the top with a towel. I rearranged all of the tank decorations (I didn't alter anything about the water) and then put her and the water in the bucket back in.

    Kai is now exploring the tank, but now whenever Cole comes over by her, she starts rapidly opening and closing her mouth, sometimes backing away from the little angelfish. Cole is now completely unafraid of her, and even swims next to her, without her chasing him.

    My question is about the opening/closing of the Kai's mouth when Cole swims by.

    Has anyone experienced that in angelfish? Is that submission? A sign of dominance? Or do I just have a very strange angelfish?

    Another thing I did today was take Kai, the large adult, out of the tank and put her in a bucket of tank water. I covered this bucket with a small towel.

    I rearranged all of the plants and switched out some decorations. When I was done, I released Kai back into the tank. (I hadn't done anything to alter the water itself, so no need for acclimation.)

    Kai suddenly became submissive to the tiny angelfish. He swam up to her to greet her back (being the happy little guy he is) and she folded her fins back and opened and closed her mouth rapidly, backing away from him.

    He seemed surprised by this at first, but now follows Kai around the tank, just watching her. If she stops, he sometimes either dances around her or just looks at her face.

    It's funny how drastically their relationship changed with just the simple act of taking Kai out and rearranging the decor.

    Here the two are. Kai is the big black one, Cole is the little koi.

    ImageUploadedByFish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum1406672041.703357.jpg
  2. Aquarist

    Aquarist Fishlore Legend Member

    Good morning,

    Fish are not always a fan of change and being moved from tank to tank or tank to bucket and back. Remember that Angel Fish are Cichlids and will display Cichlid behavior and territory issues.

    I have 3 Angel fish in my 265g tank, 2 males and 1 female. They get along well for the most part but they still chase each other from time to time, no harm done. They have face offs where one backs down, but it's not always the same one backing down. It's like they take turns.

    Too, adding new Angels to Angels that have already been established in the tank can cause territory issues as you have discovered.

    Give them time and hopefully everything will be ok. If you have a mating pair, expect the aggression to become worse at egg laying time.

    It kind of sounds like the fish may have been breathing heavily from being moved around and the excitement?

    Best wishes for your fish and hold on for more responses.

    Ken :)