Strange Angel Behavior When Moved To Breeding Tank

Bizarro252

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Hello!
I have had a set of amazing angels for a little over two years now (pic attached) and they live in a 40B community. They breed together every month or so but have never made it to parenthood because of the others in the tank, and the tank is located in the living room so they get spooked.

I have a 20L that I have had cichlid fry in for months now and finally sold them all so I tore the tank down, leaving both the sponge filter and HOB internals in tank water while I just cleaned out the tank. It is bare bottom so no substrate to worry about.

Anyways I refilled the tank with about 80% new water, dosed with prime and stressgaurd and topped the rest off with water from the tank they are in now. Once the water degassed and got to within half a point of PH of the tank they were in I put them in a pitcher of half new tank water, half current tank water and let them chill in there for 10 min or so, then added them to the 20L.

They immediately sunk to the bottom and kinda floundered around the bottom of the tank on their sides, completely horizontal, they were breathing quite hard as well. I grabbed the net to pull them out and as soon as I went to they stood upright, still sitting on the bottom of the tank and breathing hard but at least not laying down anymore... I watched them carefully for the next 2 hours and they are now both up off the bottom in the middle of the tank and breathing normally.

What the heck! I dont know if the pressure change (of the depth difference in the tank) or just the movement stress messed them up for a bit there..or what. They have not been netted in 2 years so maybe they just freaked...They also are used to a canister so maybe the sound of the sponge filter bubbling away just freaked them out...

Any thoughts here? I tried to do everything right!
 

Herkimur

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Did you have bright lights on ?
Did you have the lights on above the aquarium right after they moved in?
 

Bells87

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Well...when I first got my angelfish, I kept him temporarily in a 2.5 gallon tank (hes a juvenile and I only kept him there for 2 weeks). He would do that sometimes when I would stick my hand in to avoid my fingers I guess?

Im not sure what the exact cause is but it could just be them adjusting...although 20L seems a bit small for them..are they adults?
 
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Bizarro252

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Well...when I first got my angelfish, I kept him temporarily in a 2.5 gallon tank (hes a juvenile and I only kept him there for 2 weeks). He would do that sometimes when I would stick my hand in to avoid my fingers I guess?

Im not sure what the exact cause is but it could just be them adjusting...although 20L seems a bit small for them..are they adults?
20 Gallon, not liter

Did you have bright lights on ?
Did you have the lights on above the aquarium right after they moved in?
Yes, I did, well not right above them, I had the light and lid completely off the tank but the room light was on. I was kinda thinking the bare bottom freaked them out since they had never experienced that, at least not while in my care.

I checked on them this morning and their color (stripes) are back and they are in the middle of the water column, thank goodness. I think they were just not happy, like I said they have not been moved at all, or even netted in over two years.
 

Ste

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Hello!
I have had a set of amazing angels for a little over two years now (pic attached) and they live in a 40B community. They breed together every month or so but have never made it to parenthood because of the others in the tank, and the tank is located in the living room so they get spooked.

I have a 20L that I have had cichlid fry in for months now and finally sold them all so I tore the tank down, leaving both the sponge filter and HOB internals in tank water while I just cleaned out the tank. It is bare bottom so no substrate to worry about.

Anyways I refilled the tank with about 80% new water, dosed with prime and stressgaurd and topped the rest off with water from the tank they are in now. Once the water degassed and got to within half a point of PH of the tank they were in I put them in a pitcher of half new tank water, half current tank water and let them chill in there for 10 min or so, then added them to the 20L.

They immediately sunk to the bottom and kinda floundered around the bottom of the tank on their sides, completely horizontal, they were breathing quite hard as well. I grabbed the net to pull them out and as soon as I went to they stood upright, still sitting on the bottom of the tank and breathing hard but at least not laying down anymore... I watched them carefully for the next 2 hours and they are now both up off the bottom in the middle of the tank and breathing normally.

What the heck! I dont know if the pressure change (of the depth difference in the tank) or just the movement stress messed them up for a bit there..or what. They have not been netted in 2 years so maybe they just freaked...They also are used to a canister so maybe the sound of the sponge filter bubbling away just freaked them out...

Any thoughts here? I tried to do everything right!
Could be water pressure, the smaller the tank the smaller the pressure so the fish needs time to acclimate to the changes.. but it could be anything, like mmaybe an unknown natural angelfish behavior to drop horizontal if they sense predators?
 
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Bizarro252

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Or maybe just stress from being moved.
Ya, seemed like quite the over-reaction, never seen that when I have brought fish home from the store, or even out of a shipping package and this was just across the house! But it very well could be and seeing how they are fine now I think that is luckily all it was.

Could be water pressure, the smaller the tank the smaller the pressure so the fish needs time to acclimate to the changes.. but it could be anything, like mmaybe an unknown natural angelfish behavior to drop horizontal if they sense predators?
That could be, they just looked so paniced, I love these guys they are my first and only mated pair and I was freaking out! Good news is they seem back to their normal selves this morning - WHEW!

@bizaliz3 have you ever seen this when moving your angels? Also wondering if you do any covering of panels on your tanks when your pairs are breeding, they are now tucked away in a corner in my office instead of in the middle of the living room and that should help them not get spooked as much.
 

Ste

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Just wanted to tell you, its better to breed angelfish in a pond, they feel much saver.. ive done it several times and got a good batcheach time. Try it
 
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Bizarro252

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Just wanted to tell you, its better to breed angelfish in a pond, they feel much saver.. ive done it several times and got a good batcheach time. Try it
I dont have access to a heated pond
 

Ste

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I dont have access to a heated pond
Dont need to, if u r in a non tropical country then nvm, but my pond is never heated also no filter, yet VERY CLEAR water and i could say its cold in there, yet the fry are big, the parents are aggressive which i think is good. Well, good knowinh u
 

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Pfft your angels might be drama queens. (Plus you mentionned it had been a long time since they had last been netted)
 
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Bizarro252

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Just an update, they must have just been freaked out. They were a little shy yesterday and were not interested in eating until I got some brine shrimp in there lol.

This morning I checked on them again and the male was back to his normal self, placing himself between me and the female and doing what I call his 'SUP BRO!' dance, where he kinda jabs forwards at me, protecting his female

Put the breeding cone in there I made out of some PCV - we will see!

@bizaliz3 trying to ping you again have you ever seen this when moving your angels? Also wondering if you do any covering of panels on your tanks when your pairs are breeding, they are now tucked away in a corner in my office instead of in the middle of the living room and that should help them not get spooked as much.
 

bizaliz3

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I'm sorry I didn't get notified of the first mention :-(

I definitely do notice my Angels have a little bit of stress when I switch them to a different tank even if I do acclimate for a while. They will be lethargic at first and maybe hide in the corner. But they come around pretty quickly. I've never had them actually lay down on the ground like you described. I would probably freak out if mine did that and Id think something was seriously wrong with the new tank!! Lol

I think no matter how long you acclimate them there's still going to be a little bit of getting used to for them. Especially if they havent been netted or moved in two years!

I'm really glad to see that they're doing better! That's great news :)

I've never actually done any covering of any panels. But I do try to minimize the activity around the tank if I know that they're getting ready to spawn.
 
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Bizarro252

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I'm sorry I didn't get notified of the first mention :-(

I definitely do notice my Angels have a little bit of stress when I switch them to a different tank even if I do acclimate for a while. They will be lethargic at first and maybe hide in the corner. But they come around pretty quickly. I've never had them actually lay down on the ground like you described. I would probably freak out if mine did that and Id think something was seriously wrong with the new tank!! Lol

I think no matter how long you acclimate them there's still going to be a little bit of getting used to for them. Especially if they havent been netted or moved in two years!

I'm really glad to see that they're doing better! That's great news

I've never actually done any covering of any panels. But I do try to minimize the activity around the tank if I know that they're getting ready to spawn.
Thanks! And ya, I was FREAKING out...standing over the tank, net in hand ready to scoop them back out...but they started to improve. I wonder what the heck could have caused that, it was like they lost their bearings. They stood upright, resting on the bottom of the tank for about a day, then are back to normal today. Perhaps it took them a bit longer just because it is not something they have experienced since they were juvies haha. Glad to see them better myself, I would be rather mad at myself if something happened to them just because I wanted to try and let them breed!

It was dark this AM but I will try and get a pic of them tonight... Have you used 20 longs for hosing adults for any length of time? I have some stuff in there for them to hide in, and its bare bottom (another thing I think maybe freaked them out since they could see their reflection below them) and wondering if they will be OK in there for say a few months, or more. Heck if they like it in there I may be able to try out turning the 40 into a discus grow out and hope to get a pair of them as well!
 
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Bizarro252

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I think that the water may contains chlorine and chloramine as by your description they sound like they were going a bit lethargic try adding a dechlorinator and refilling the tank
The tank was filled with ~80% new water treated with Prime and the remainder water from the tank they transferred in from.
 

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oh okay I was just think from the top of my head and also after thinking about it try lowering the water level for 8-10 hours and see what happens then slowly increase the water level over the next 12 hours
 
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Bizarro252

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oh okay I was just think from the top of my head and also after thinking about it try lowering the water level for 8-10 hours and see what happens then slowly increase the water level over the next 12 hours
Interesting idea, they were in a 18" deep tank and now are in a 12" deep tank so if anything they are under less pressure so not sure if that will help in this situation. I have seen what you are talking about when a fish has been shipped they are not used to the pressure of the height of water above them so sometimes you need to lower it and slowly raise it. I have only seen that with Discus though, where they lay flat if the water is to deep
 

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I know it works for discus that is one of the reasons I suggested it is because angel fish are (when full grown) a similar size or at least at my LFS
 
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Bizarro252

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I still have no idea what happened, but they are alive and well, have had two spawns in the tank since I move them. They ate the first one after they were wrigglers for about 2 days. This time they hatched like 4 days ago, they have moved them twice and not eaten them, so crossing my fingers they let them live
 
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