Angelfish Stocking Question in Community Tank

TexasDomer

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Hi all,

I have a 55 gal planted community setup and a 10 gal setup with a single dwarf gourami. My question is regarding the 55 gal tank.

Currently in the tank, I have:
1 African butterfly fish (presumed male due to analfin shape)
5 Danios (4 long-finned leopards and 1 zebra)
6 Cory cats
3 Anacharis bunches planted and 1 floating

I have a 350 Penguin biowheel filter and I do 20-40% water changes weekly. I use conditioned tap water, so the tank has very soft water with a stable pH around 8.2 and temps around 77 F. I'd like the pH a littler lower (at least below 8, ideally 7), but I don't want to use chemicals and have an unstable or quickly changing pH. The tank has been setup since early March, so it has been cycled and has steady water conditions (very low nitrate, no nitrite).

I have two driftwood pieces in the tank (one large and one medium), and even after soaking in hot water for 3 weeks, they're still leaching tannins. They've been in the tank for about 2 months, and have brought the pH from 8.4 to 8.2 in that time. Hopefully they'll continue to slowly lower it until it's more ideal.

I was planning on having an African themed tank with a Kribensis focus, but I've decided to switch to a blackwater theme as it seems the water conditions favor that setup (I know, mixing fish from different continents is not natural). Again, pH is a little high, but it's relatively stable and all the fish I get are local and seem to be adapted to these water conditions.

My question is, would angelfish be safe to add to this tank setup, or will they cause problems with their aggression? I have a friend who is looking to sell his 4 medium-sized angelfish. Currently they're all housed in a 29 gallon community tank, which seems too small, but he says they all get along in there. He'll auction them off soon if I don't want to buy them, so they won't stay in the 29 gal long. Would 4 angelfish be too much for my tank? Would 2 be the better choice? Because I only have a 10 gal tank in addition to the 55 gal, I wouldn't be able to move 2 of the angelfish if the other 2 paired and started picking on them. I'm leaning towards just 2 angels.

I've looked a bit into mixing African butterfly fish and angelfish. From what I've read, it can be done successfully. My butterfly has no aggression issues with my Danios, and he stays at the surface all of the time. He has a voracious appetite (bloodworms, crickets, brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, and flakes), but he has never eaten one of my Danios and he never bothers them when feeding.
 

Dom90

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29 gallons is definitely way too small for 4 angelfish. I would only do one angelfish in your tank with the current stock you have.


 
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TexasDomer

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Thanks for your input! Why do you think one is better than two? Is the tank too small for two with my current fish, or will the bioload be too high for my filter capacity?
 

Dom90

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Well if it's two males, one may bully the other. If it's a male and female, the male may harass the female to no end. Even if they became a mating pair, the other fish in the tank may not be safe...


 
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TexasDomer

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Would two females work? I'm happy getting one, but I'd like to get her a friend if possible.
 

Dom90

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You can try it, if things go south, would your friend take one back? If you were living around here, I'd certainly take an angel off your friends hand lol.


 
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TexasDomer

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He would, or I could take one to an auction. I'm in Texas - are you anywhere near here?
 

BDpups

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Would two females work? I'm happy getting one, but I'd like to get her a friend if possible.
Nope. They can still lay eggs and become very territorial even without a male. They can fight relentlessly. Angles, in my opinion, should be kept as singles or at least 5. In a 55 with what you have, the 4 your friend has would be fine. If they have been around each other, and are not fighting in a 29(way too small) then the move to your 55 should work.
 

Dom90

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I beg to differ.. They'd be in a new territory and might try to establish a new pecking order...


 

BDpups

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I beg to differ.. They'd be in a new territory and might try to establish a new pecking order...
They might. But there is enough of them that the aggression would be spread around. If anything I would try and find a few more of the same size when you move them. If you move them,,,
 

freak78

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Males get along better with each other if no females are present. I had 7 males and one female and the tank was peaceful. Even when the pair mated up the other males knew to keep their distance.
 

BDpups

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I had a tank with 2 females and 3 males. There was a dominant pair and the subs kept their distance when the alpha pair spawned. The subs would occasionally spawn, but without the regularity of the dominant pair. But they all managed to make it work in a 55 with other fish.


 
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TexasDomer

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So it seems as if all 4 in the tank may work, and if there are aggression issues, I can rehome some of them. Does that work?
 

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Yea you can try it, but be prepared to have a backup plan in case things go south...
 
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TexasDomer

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Back up plan would be rehoming 2-3 of the 4, so that I would be left with 2 peaceful females or 1 individual.
 
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TexasDomer

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I could always try to ship one, if people have had good experiences with shipping angels? I have friends in Texas who could help me with that Or you could take a trip to Texas. Not as pretty as Cali by far, but it has its own fun quirks!
 

Dom90

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Well, one of my truckers just took a vacation to Texas and I'm sure he would have brought the fish back up for me, but I didnt know you then!
 
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