I wanted gourami, she wanted angelfish

Jordon

So, per the rules of happy wife, happy life, we compromised and are getting angelfish! I have a 55 gallon I'm scaping to look like the Amazon riverbed.
I keep not only finding conflicting numbers on how many angels I can hold, but also appropriate tank mates. I'd love to hear some ideas that include:
Number of angels
A schooling fish (think outside cardinals and neons)
Cleaner crew (I'm thinking Cory's but would love a hillstream loach... water flow is likely too slow though)
And maybe a couple solo tank mates that will thrive. I would love to hear everyone's numbers and thoughts on this
 

SparkyJones

depends on how much work you want to do and if you have the ability to separate fish in the event you have males and females when they mature.
for non-territorial, non-spawning angels, 1 adult fish per 5-10 gallons of water is fine, they will either spread out or hang out together. the denser it is the more work you'll need to do to keep things clean. if you have a mature female, everyone will be fighting at maturity and the winner will pair with her and they'll take roughly half the tank for their territory and force everyone to the other side against the wall.
In that case, really a 55g tank can only hold 1 pair peacefully, and basically nothing else. but you can do a group of all males. It 's best to buy sexed mature males, or buy juveniles and return the females once they get mature and can be identified and start over again until you get the number of males you want. Of 6 juvenile angels there's usually at least 1 female, sometimes 2 or 3.

I keep gouramis with angels, it's never been a problem, although, My 10" kissing gouramis would fin nip the adult angels sometimes. never had a problem at all with the 3 spot gourami and them. but if you are doing amazon theme, you probably don't want to mix the two species. but if mixing....

I like 2-4 angels,
2-4 3 spot gourami.
I like congo tetras or rainbowfish for something that schools/shoals in a group. minimium of 6 of either one. might be able to do both once everyone is mature and it works out for peace and you want to add a filler fish for low activity spots.
some cory catfish nothing big, so you can have more of them, maybe some of the pygmy type cory.
and a bristlenose pleco....

if doing schooling or shoaling you really need a group of 6 or larger. so maybe start with 2 angels, two gourami, and for the schooling fish either, 6 and 6 of each or 12 of one species, or 8 of one. something like that.
then the cleaners.
and add a couple more fish a bit later as you see opportunity for unused water spaces to make it more active depending on the need. the thing is most people buy juveniles and overdo it from the start sincve they are small, and when they are full size and mature run into problems with crowding, or spawning aggression.

oh and if there's room at the bottom, possibly a featherfin catfish. when I had one it just hung out down low in the shadows all the time, but looked amazing when he came out and about, just impressive entrances.
 

kansas

It's easier to buy fish than to rehome them, so I'd advise going slow with your stocking.
 

Jordon

Maybe five Angels, six YoYo Loaches, & seven Diamond Tetras.
Other Tetra possibilities, Columbian or Bleeding Heart.
Oh I like this... I'm an absolute suckered for loaches!
depends on how much work you want to do and if you have the ability to separate fish in the event you have males and females when they mature.
for non-territorial, non-spawning angels, 1 adult fish per 5-10 gallons of water is fine, they will either spread out or hang out together. the denser it is the more work you'll need to do to keep things clean. if you have a mature female, everyone will be fighting at maturity and the winner will pair with her and they'll take roughly half the tank for their territory and force everyone to the other side against the wall.
In that case, really a 55g tank can only hold 1 pair peacefully, and basically nothing else. but you can do a group of all males. It 's best to buy sexed mature males, or buy juveniles and return the females once they get mature and can be identified and start over again until you get the number of males you want. Of 6 juvenile angels there's usually at least 1 female, sometimes 2 or 3.

I keep gouramis with angels, it's never been a problem, although, My 10" kissing gouramis would fin nip the adult angels sometimes. never had a problem at all with the 3 spot gourami and them. but if you are doing amazon theme, you probably don't want to mix the two species. but if mixing....

I like 2-4 angels,
2-4 3 spot gourami.
I like congo tetras or rainbowfish for something that schools/shoals in a group. minimium of 6 of either one. might be able to do both once everyone is mature and it works out for peace and you want to add a filler fish for low activity spots.
some cory catfish nothing big, so you can have more of them, maybe some of the pygmy type cory.
and a bristlenose pleco....

if doing schooling or shoaling you really need a group of 6 or larger. so maybe start with 2 angels, two gourami, and for the schooling fish either, 6 and 6 of each or 12 of one species, or 8 of one. something like that.
then the cleaners.
and add a couple more fish a bit later as you see opportunity for unused water spaces to make it more active depending on the need. the thing is most people buy juveniles and overdo it from the start sincve they are small, and when they are full size and mature run into problems with crowding, or spawning aggression.

oh and if there's room at the bottom, possibly a featherfin catfish. when I had one it just hung out down low in the shadows all the time, but looked amazing when he came out and about, just impressive entrances.
You nailed it. Gouramis won't go in this tank because I'm a stickler for theme. It won't be a biotope due to plant availability, but I'm going to try and get close at least with animals and tinted water!
Never heard of these featherfins before, they're super pretty. Might have to investigate that further for sure.

As for maintenance, I'm quite lazy. Outside of the weekly water changes/water parameters and monthly-ish plant trimming, I prefer my cleaner crew and filters do most of the heavy lifting, lol.
I also like what you said about most people buying juveniles... I hate doing that. I prefer to buy most fish fully grown out with their personality already fleshed out so I know what I'm getting into. Of course that doesn't really apply to things like tetras, because most things will put them in their place if they even attempt to be bullies.

Interesting question for you, the bottom of my tank will go largely unused unless I do Cory's etc... does that count towards the shoaling numbers? If so I could do 6 of them, and 8 of something else I suppose!
 

A201

I keep at least 10 YoYo Loaches. They are by far the best scavengers I've ever kept.
 

Attachments

  • 20211127_053921.jpg
    20211127_053921.jpg
    222.5 KB · Views: 2

SparkyJones

Cories do shoal when you have a decent group of them.It's why I suggested Dwarf so they will stay smaller and you can have a group of them together working the bottom.
If doing cories though the substrate type is important, you don't want anything that will cause mouth abrasions to wiskers or barbells, with all bottom feeders you have to think on the substrate before doing it or they'll get abrasions and infections. gravel are too rough, I'm sure Cory keepers can recommend a substrate that doesn't damage them as they do their thing.

I don't count bottom dwellers in other groups really, in general there's bottom mid and top fish. A lot fall into the mid, a decent group fall into bottom and just a few fall into top. But I find space goes unused that could have activity by selecting the right fish like schooling tetras won't really spend much time at the bottom, so I wouldn't count them with cories.if they shared the same tank space I count them.

Of course building like that creates a lot of activity and a heavy bioload. You want to build slowly towards it and not do it all at once, let the beneficial bacteria colony size up to the amount of fish you have. Going too fast can overwhelm the colony with too much waste and fish die from ammonia that can't be broken down.

Personally I like to have a plan of what I want it to be, and build towards that. If schooling or shoaling, I like to do those first because it's usually a bigger group, then bottom feeders, anyone else, and then angelfish last. Reason being if angels come in first they might have already claimed territory and they won't give it up easily. If the come in last they really just drift about and don't settle to an area. Less territorial and defensive they act as if it's not "theirs" and kind of just get along rather than chase off other fish, they're more likely to share the space as long as the others aren't territorial and claim areas.
 

Jordon

Copies do shoal. It's why I suggested Dwarf so they will stay smaller and you can have a group of them together working the bottom.
If doing copies though the substrate type is important, you don't want anything that will cause mouth abrasions to wiskers or barbells all bottom feeders you have to think on the substrate before doing it, gravel are too rough, I'm sure Cory keepers can recommend a substrate that doesn't damage them as they do their thing.
Oh for sure. If I did them, my substrate would be mostly sand and botanicals with smooth river stones.
 

Flyfisha

Hi Jordon welcome to fishlore.

If it’s not to late to reconsider or rethink my suggestion is to make cardboard cutouts of a single 8 inch tall angel and place that on the outside of the tank. I have always wanted angels but am not sure if I want even one our 55s.
 

Jordon

Hi Jordon welcome to fishlore.

If it’s not to late to reconsider or rethink my suggestion is to make cardboard cutouts of a single 8 inch tall angel and place that on the outside of the tank. I have always wanted angels but am not sure if I want even one our 55s.
This is a brilliant idea. Will definitely use to get a sense of scale.
 

SparkyJones

8" is pretty unrealistic in my opinion, I've had many and grown many to maturity,around 5" is pretty normal and the average, but there are the exceptional fish that get to 6" diameters. I've had 4 out of at least 100 that grew exceptionally large to 6" + with finnage pushing them out to 8" in height, it's not normal though, and neither is 3-4" sized adults but there are small ones at full grown also. about 5" diameter body is realistic and what to expect. 6" is about the maximum length from mouth to tail tip, and if tall finned and long ventral fins it could in theory be 8" if you want to measure that way, but the body size is more like 5" on average. I've seen some really big Altum Angels though, every bit of the 8" max and more, Scalare don't get that big usually 5-6" fully grown. Leopoldi is the smallest at 5" maximum size, usually around 3" diameters.

I"d say about 5" overall size, with the fins would be what is average without getting into minimums and maximums, somewhere around there. 5" diameter would be a fair gauge of size to go by most all will be around this size if scalare.
 

Flyfisha

As a recreational fishing person in Australia we measure fish including the fins. I realise adding the tail is not a universal way of measuring. Australia does not have the size and species selection available of angels. Thank you SparkyJones for pointing out the wider selection of varieties I will bear that in mind in further .

Jordon when my wife wanted rainbow fish i cutout a school of 6 inch fish which helped use go with the dwarf species that say at 4 inches ( including tails )
 

Similar Aquarium Threads

Replies
3
Views
286
Addictedtobettas
Replies
3
Views
1K
LittleMissSaasha
Replies
9
Views
489
Thunder_o_b
Replies
4
Views
596
penguin02
Replies
7
Views
578
IchthyPen

Random Great Thread!

New Aquarium Stocking Threads

Latest Aquarium Threads

Top Bottom