Setting Up 55g Angelfish Tank - Need Help

Tahir
  • #1
I have only had Tetras for the one year I've been into this hobby now, having large-sized Tetras in a 30-gallon tank and small-sized ones in a 15-gallon tank. I wanted a 3rd bigger tank to introduce some more Tetras, but my wife insists she wants Angelfish exclusive if we are going for a 3rd tank. So, have been trying to get familiar with Angelfish and their nature/habitat. I was planning to go for a 45-gallon tank with 3 feet length, but a fellow hobbyist suggested I go for a minimum 55 gallon tank if it's going to be exclusively for Angelfish, and also mentioned that Angelfish like tall tanks, so more than a long one, it should be a taller tank. I have many queries, the whole works about setting up an Angelfish tank, but I will start with these two first:

  1. I like Altums and I want to have 6-8 of them minimum and 10-12 if possible, juveniles. What would be the ideal size in terms of gallons for such a set-up? And how many Angelfish (Altums) can I have in a 55-gallon tank taking their future adult size into consideration?
  2. What should be my tank measurements/specifications in terms of length, height and depth for housing the above-mentioned numbers of Angelfish?

Let me start here and then get to the next stage and more guidance from here
 
Littlebudda
  • #2
Personally I think a standard 55gal is not tall enough for altums at all and they are higher maintenance as most are wild caught.
 
Tahir
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Personally I think a standard 55gal is not tall enough for altums at all and they are higher maintenance as most are wild caught.

How tall is good enough for an Altum Angelfish tank?
 
Littlebudda
  • #4
Sorry been busy getting kids to bed.
Unless you get a custom made you will want to get a 4ft 90gal as that gives you 24inch height altums are going to get 10 inches fin tip to fin tip so that extra 3 inches makes a huge difference
 
Tahir
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Sorry been busy getting kids to bed.
Unless you get a custom made you will want to get a 4ft 90gal as that gives you 24inch height altums are going to get 10 inches fin tip to fin tip so that extra 3 inches makes a huge difference

Thank you for those suggestions. I toyed around the idea of making it 18 inch tall, then 21 inch tall, but somehow, in my head, it seemed fair to have a height of 24 inches, and you just confirmed it.
 
Tahir
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
So, I guess it has to be a 48 inches x 24 inches tank, length and height wise. Depth?
 
Littlebudda
  • #7
90 gal will be 18 deep
 
freak78
  • #8
You have to see a full grown altum in person to grasp the true size they can be. If you want Altums a 55 will only be a grow out Tank for them. You will definitely need the height of a Tank like was mentioned. Currently my altums are in a 125 which is 21 inches tall. But their final tank will be my 220 which is 30 inches tall. But altums are some of the coolest fish I've kept so far, they definitely like to be with their own kind.
 
bopsalot
  • #9
Altums are absolutely stunning and awesome, but research carefully before getting any. They are for advanced aquarists IMO. You could easily do a pair of regular angelfish in a 55 gallon, though. You could try more, but aggression and territoriality become likely issues. There are some amazing breeds available from internet breeders, including blue varieties, and orange kois, and double blacks. Good luck, angels are my favorite fish!
 
Tahir
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
Altums are absolutely stunning and awesome, but research carefully before getting any. They are for advanced aquarists IMO. You could easily do a pair of regular angelfish in a 55 gallon, though. You could try more, but aggression and territoriality become likely issues. There are some amazing breeds available from internet breeders, including blue varieties, and orange kois, and double blacks. Good luck, angels are my favorite fish!

Now, after reading all the input from a few of you from here, and also after researching some myself, I have come to the conclusion that I can only have a 78-gallon new tank at the max - length 42 inch, height 24 inch (especially because it's Altum I want), depth 18 inch.

Does that sound okay for 2 pairs of Altum (or could I have 5 of them?).

I did take into consideration your input here, about Altum recommended for advanced aquarists; I have only had experience caring for various types of Tetras as yet. But would still like to pursue this idea.

I also am considering the idea of trying out regular Angelfish, even my local aquarist suggested that - that he can get me an attractive mix of varieties. Just being open.

You have to see a full grown altum in person to grasp the true size they can be. If you want Altums a 55 will only be a grow out Tank for them. You will definitely need the height of a Tank like was mentioned. Currently my altums are in a 125 which is 21 inches tall. But their final tank will be my 220 which is 30 inches tall. But altums are some of the coolest fish I've kept so far, they definitely like to be with their own kind.

As mentioned above, a 78-gallon tank with these specifications:

length 42 inches
height 24 inches
depth 18 inches

Does that sound okay for 2 pairs of Altum? And can I have five of them?
 
freak78
  • #11
I would say start with the more common angelfish variety and Work your way to the altums.
 
bopsalot
  • #12
Research altums carefully. Do exactly what the experts recommend. That tank sounds a little small, but I'm no expert. There are a couple people on the forum who keep altums, maybe start a new thread, or search the forum and reach out to the experienced members. I've never kept altums, but I've thought about it. They are expensive and wild-caught. They are exactingly sensitive to their water conditions, and you have to mimic their natural conditions quite particularly to get good results. I've heard they often come with parasites from their native environment. They get much larger than the more common P. scalare angels. I've heard that the aquarium should be 48 inches tall for adults, and I'm no expert, but that sounds reasonable given their proportions. Not saying you couldn't do it in a shorter tank, but I wouldn't try it unless I had a very solid idea of what I was attempting. That's why I say it's best left to advanced aquarists. Altums have a reputation for being pretty sensitive and unforgiving of mistakes.

Regular angelfish look pretty similar, and if you look around, some internet breeders have some amazing specimens available for reasonable prices. They come in spectacular breeds - orange kois, blue varieties, double dose blacks, marbles, really beautiful fin varieties etc. And regular wild-type silvers look awesome too and are similar to altums.

I would recommend learning all about P. scalare, the common aquarium angelfish. Learn here, not at the pet store or the wild west internet. Read some threads in the angel forum. Learn about their aggression towards each other from others' experiences. Learn how to keep them properly. They are pretty peaceful and hardy if kept correctly. Then go get that 78 gallon and keep 2 of them. They are suitable for a well thought out community if you want a more exciting tank. Each fish choice should be thoroughly researched here, and people will be more than happy to sort you out. Hope this helps!
 
freak78
  • #13
This all depends where you get your altums. Mine are kept in 8.2Ph tap water.
 
bopsalot
  • #14
This all depends where you get your altums. Mine are kept in 8.2Ph tap water.
Yeah, I suppose if you could locate someone who was breeding them, or a LFS that sells altums that were tank raised, they might be more tolerant of aquarium water conditions. Good point. In the past, the vast majority of altums were wild-caught, but that could be changing, I don't know.
 
freak78
  • #15
I get mine from an importer who receives them at smaller than dime size. Them he acclimates them to his tap water. This last batch he got in 800 and 600 survived to adulthood.
 
Tahir
  • Thread Starter
  • #16
This all depends where you get your altums. Mine are kept in 8.2Ph tap water.

My aquarist says he can get me Altums, he just needs to place the order and import them from Singapore. I live in Bangalore, India.

Thank you bopsalot, freak78 and Littlebudda, for taking the time and educating me, I truly appreciate all the suggestions and guidance.

After much thought, yes, I've decided to study P. Scalare Angelfish a bit more time here on this forum section on Angelfish and start with them. I shall let Altums be my long-term goal, someday in the future when I have learned to keep and care for regular Angelfish.

Research altums carefully. Do exactly what the experts recommend. That tank sounds a little small, but I'm no expert. There are a couple people on the forum who keep altums, maybe start a new thread, or search the forum and reach out to the experienced members. I've never kept altums, but I've thought about it. They are expensive and wild-caught. They are exactingly sensitive to their water conditions, and you have to mimic their natural conditions quite particularly to get good results. I've heard they often come with parasites from their native environment. They get much larger than the more common P. scalare angels. I've heard that the aquarium should be 48 inches tall for adults, and I'm no expert, but that sounds reasonable given their proportions. Not saying you couldn't do it in a shorter tank, but I wouldn't try it unless I had a very solid idea of what I was attempting. That's why I say it's best left to advanced aquarists. Altums have a reputation for being pretty sensitive and unforgiving of mistakes.

Regular angelfish look pretty similar, and if you look around, some internet breeders have some amazing specimens available for reasonable prices. They come in spectacular breeds - orange kois, blue varieties, double dose blacks, marbles, really beautiful fin varieties etc. And regular wild-type silvers look awesome too and are similar to altums.

I would recommend learning all about P. scalare, the common aquarium angelfish. Learn here, not at the pet store or the wild west internet. Read some threads in the angel forum. Learn about their aggression towards each other from others' experiences. Learn how to keep them properly. They are pretty peaceful and hardy if kept correctly. Then go get that 78 gallon and keep 2 of them. They are suitable for a well thought out community if you want a more exciting tank. Each fish choice should be thoroughly researched here, and people will be more than happy to sort you out. Hope this helps!

Regular wild-type Silvers sound very interesting, I will learn more about them and see if I can have such a pair also in my group of Angelfish.

Just one more thing If I go for regular (P. Scalare) Angelfish:

[1] I need not have a 24-inch height, right? I can have the height at 18 inches for the regular Angelfish?

[2] And is a 60 to 75 Gallon tank suffice for 5-6 numbers of P. Scalare? I want it to be an Angelfish exclusive tank (not a community tank).
 
bopsalot
  • #17
1. Yes, 18 inches high would be fine for P. scalare. 24 would be better, though.
2. Having 5-6 angels in a 75 gallon would be pushing it. It might work, but you'd be dealing with some aggression, I'd think. It could get bad. Some people crowd angels together, so crowded that they don't even try to establish and defend territories, but IMO that is stressful for the fish and asking for trouble. When they are young and innocent, it's nice to watch a whole flock of angelfish in a tank, so peaceful and serene. As they mature, the trouble starts, but fish sellers will not inform you of that. I'd try 4 max in a 75 gallon. If you're lucky, you'll get 2 breeding pairs that'll stake out each half. But have a plan to separate them if things get too intense.

I don't know for sure if a crowded tank of angels would work long term. Maybe someone here has such a set up and you could ask? Good luck!
 
Littlebudda
  • #18
1. Yes, 18 inches high would be fine for P. scalare. 24 would be better, though.
2. Having 5-6 angels in a 75 gallon would be pushing it. It might work, but you'd be dealing with some aggression, I'd think. It could get bad. Some people crowd angels together, so crowded that they don't even try to establish and defend territories, but IMO that is stressful for the fish and asking for trouble. When they are young and innocent, it's nice to watch a whole flock of angelfish in a tank, so peaceful and serene. As they mature, the trouble starts, but fish sellers will not inform you of that. I'd try 4 max in a 75 gallon. If you're lucky, you'll get 2 breeding pairs that'll stake out each half. But have a plan to separate them if things get too intense.

I don't know for sure if a crowded tank of angels would work long term. Maybe someone here has such a set up and you could ask? Good luck!

Plenty of plants to break up sight lines and make territories is your safest bet
 
Tahir
  • Thread Starter
  • #19
Upon much thought and consulting, I have decided to just go for a 36" x 18" x 15" (that would be a 42-gallon) custom-made tank with just a juvenile pair of P. Scalare (hoping they pair up) and a few other Angelfish-friendly species of fish. On those lines, which fish should/can I add that are very compatible with Angelfish?
 
Mcasella
  • #20
1. Yes, 18 inches high would be fine for P. scalare. 24 would be better, though.
2. Having 5-6 angels in a 75 gallon would be pushing it. It might work, but you'd be dealing with some aggression, I'd think. It could get bad. Some people crowd angels together, so crowded that they don't even try to establish and defend territories, but IMO that is stressful for the fish and asking for trouble. When they are young and innocent, it's nice to watch a whole flock of angelfish in a tank, so peaceful and serene. As they mature, the trouble starts, but fish sellers will not inform you of that. I'd try 4 max in a 75 gallon. If you're lucky, you'll get 2 breeding pairs that'll stake out each half. But have a plan to separate them if things get too intense.

I don't know for sure if a crowded tank of angels would work long term. Maybe someone here has such a set up and you could ask? Good luck!
It may of they are males that have no females to compete over, I have three females and a half grown juvie together with no bloodshed/injuries.
 
bopsalot
  • #21
Upon much thought and consulting, I have decided to just go for a 36" x 18" x 15" (that would be a 42-gallon) custom-made tank with just a juvenile pair of P. Scalare (hoping they pair up) and a few other Angelfish-friendly species of fish. On those lines, which fish should/can I add that are very compatible with Angelfish?
Yeah, that should work. Angelfish do well with lots of different tropical fish. Their aggression is usually directed against one another. But a breeding pair can terrorize a 42 gallon community, they get very territorial at spawning time, which can happen often under good conditions.

Most South American tetras are fine, some warm water bottom dwellers, lots of other fish really, but you want to avoid very small fish that the angel might view as prey. Full grown angels have been known to swallow neon tetras. I even have a dwarf gourami in with my angels, but he is a pig and eats everyone's food. Make sure your fish are temperature compatable, using multiple reliable sites like seriously fish and fishbase.se. A lot of internet sites (even fishlore) have some inaccurate temperature ranges on fish, so be careful. Angelfish like it around 80 degrees. I'd recommend posting a new, separate thread about specific stocking ideas. The experts will sort you out and tell you if something is compatible or not, and give appropriate suggestions. Have fun! Angelfish are my favorite.
 

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