ANOTHER aggressive angelfish :(

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scgomez911

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I am brand new to the aquarium life and so of course, like all the other beginners, I have some questions and problems. 20 Gallon Tank cycled for 2 months, reading today shows no ammo no nitrite no chlorine 3-5 ppm nitrate, pH 6.9.
My problem is that I just recently began to add fish to the tank and the first fish I added were small Koi Angelfish. I bought three of them, two of them were the biggest in the stores tank and most lively, but being nice the man asked my gf which one she wanted and of course she picked the smallest one hiding in the back corner. The "bully" has a body size of about a quarter, the medium is only slightly smaller than the "bully", but the small one is only about the size of a nickle and a half. The problem started a few days ago I would notice that when i went near the tank, or even looked at the tank the Bully would suddenly swim directly towards the small one and nip it at its sides and chase it completely around the tank until it went up into the top left corner near the filter. I read on other posts from this forum that said to change the environment or add smaller fish to distract him, so I went to my local fish store and they said the same thing as well. I purchased a school of Neon Tetra and a Botia Kubotai. I have noticed that some times when Bully is chasing the small koi, the tetras do distract him, but also the Botia starts following the "Bully" and sucking on him or something which completely causes the "bully" to lose focus and it's fairly funny. I also added two Amazon Broadleaf Swords to the tank and moved the "furniture" around in it as well. However now I notice that it seems to have gotten worse, the "bully" now will turn around from the complete opposite side of the tank and SPEED over to the little one and push it into the corner. Does anybody have any suggestions or solutions? I will email a short video clip, or post one on youtube if that might help anybody see what's going on.
 

catsma_97504

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Welcome to Fishlore scgomez!

Angelfish can be overly aggressive against their own kind, especially those that are smaller. As you've already tried redecorating and adding new plants, I'm not sure what else to suggest.

Having 3 angelfish in a 20 gallon tank will get very crowded as they grow. Part of this aggression display could be a result of over crowding. If you intend to keep 3 angels, I would suggest you look at getting a larger tank. Or, returning one, if not two, angels.

Oh, your angels might decide one day to have a neon tetra snack. This is their natural food in nature. Sometimes, when raising a small angel with neons, they will ignore them until one day

Someone else might come along with a better idea.

Good luck with your new fish!
 
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scgomez911

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Sadly I don't think the store i go to allows returns. Will the "bully" actually go so far as to kill the small one?
 

Meenu

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Yes, they can.

Welcome to FL from a fellow Texan.
 

catsma_97504

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Unfortunately, that is a possibility.
 
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scgomez911

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Oh man, so what about a little section closed off in the tank like "time out"
 

Meenu

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Do you have a 20 long or a 20 tall?
 
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scgomez911

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I'm gussing its a 20 tall. I never knew there was a difference.
 

used2bN2horsesLOL

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scgomez911 said:
I'm gussing its a 20 tall. I never knew there was a difference.
I have a 20 high. You can look at a long and know it's a long, but to be sure here's a handy chart. Wish I could help, I know nothing about angelfish except to never put any in my tank.
 
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scgomez911

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Yes, according to that chart, i have a 20 high
 

burnellhman

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Angles are cichlids and as in all cichlids are aggressive at one point.Angels are american cichlids.Maybe the two larger ones are a pair and the smaller one is invading their breeding grounds hope this was helpful and Welcome To Fishlore.
 

mcurtissdsu

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From all the research I've done, unless they are a mating pair of angels, they will most likely fight as they are very territorial. It is most definitely possible that one could kill the other. Also, if a fish can fit in the angel's mouth, they will most likely end up eating it one day so I would be careful about keeping them with neons. If they are not big enough to eat the tetras now, they may grow with them and eventually ignore them but it's not guaranteed. It is also my understanding that even just one angelfish requires at least a 29 gallon tank so you will be overstocked with 3 angels in your 20 gallon when they are full grown. I agree that you should consider upgrading to a larger tank or rehoming a couple of the angels.

Finally, I currently have a fish in "time-out" behind a divider in my 29 gallon and someone told me that based on their experience, it doesn't seem to do much for aggressive fish. Once you take them out, they will go back to their old ways. I believe this to be true because even from his "jail cell" my aggressive male guppy flares his fins at the other guppies when they swim by and still tries to get through the divider to my small guppy that he beat the **** out of! He will be transferred to my 10 gallon once it is fully cycled because I don't trust him with other fish anymore. Every fish has a different personality so your angel may just be an aggressive fish.
 

Alasse

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Personally i would remove the one being bullied. He will be stressed and if the other angel doesn't kill him, he could very well die from disease brough on by stress. Rehome him if you can.

20 gallon is ok for a pair of adult angels. The time out will only work for a short time, until the bully regains 'its' territory and it will start to bully again

Neons and angels do not go together *L* My angels were bought up with neons and still they would get caught with a neon in their mouth. If it can fit in their mouth chances are high the angels will eat it.

Angels are cichilids, many forget or don't realise, and majority of cichlids are territorial and aggressive.

I had 10 angels successfully in a 5ft for many years. I slowly had to sell them off as they paired up til i got to 7 angels in the tank. 3 breeding pairs and an odd one out. They were no probs together, a bit of push and shove, but the tank was very heavily planted, so anyone getting chased could get outta the way.

Angels also vary in their characters, some can be killers, and others very laid back. Unfortunately you never know which one you have until this sorta thing happens.
 

mcurtissdsu

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I've checked out the pics of Alasse's angels and they all look wonderfully healthy and happy I would take her advice for sure.
 
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scgomez911

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well I went to a couple of my favorite local fish stores again and asked what is the best thing to try out before rehoming an angel. The suggested that i get more very tall plants to hide the small angel and give more hiding places. I bought three tall plants and placed them in different areas around the tank. So far its been good, ill keep it updated guys!
 

Amano

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Sorry to here about your trouble.

Re Angles eating neons mine never once ever has touched mine or the Ember Tetras or any other tetra. But as soon as a Kutubu rainbows or any Rainbow of 3-5'' is in the tank the Angle eats it and the whole school he did once 7 of them. Amazingly he will eat anything but Kulies Corys and BNS or Tetras. Anything else it is eaten small or large. But then my Angle has done everything the books never say they will.

To the OP.

The measures taken now are only going to help keep things calm for a while. Once they get large the aggression will get much worse, and that will be accelerated by the tank size. For me IME the smallest size tank I would keep a single angel or a breeding pair in would be a 50 gallon tank.

Just to give a hint of the size. Mine is only 2/1/2 years old and is 10'' tall from top fin to bottom and 7'' from nose to tail fin. And add 2'' for the broken fin he had when he was shipped. And I can assure you he takes up some space in his 75 gallon cube.

mac
 
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