I need some angelfish help, and this is the most active forum I know of.
Long story short, I have a new angelfish tank (about 3 weeks). I noticed last night that one of them has been nipped up on the caudal fin. He/she is not happy. There is one angel that is a bit of a bully, but I have never seen the actual nipping. And it's also just not the one fish who is aggressive - but it's mostly just posturing and then backing down. This is the first injury.
My plan for this weekend is to totally rearrange the tank, put my monstrous amazon sword smack in the middle of the tank for limited visibility, and increase hiding places.
In the meantime, do I: A) remove the injured fish to a temporary tank (I have a fully cycled and heated 8 gallon), or do I B) remove the one I *think* is the cause of the nipping for a time out?
My issue with B is that I'm not positive it's that fish specifically doing the nipping. I'm afraid if I leave the nipped fish in there and remove the biggest bully, the next bully will just take over.
How big is the rip? My Sparklers pick on my Angel occasionally and she gets nips and rips but they heal pretty fast actually. I've never had a mind to take her out because of it, or them since it's nothing too serious but of course if it is more serious...
Do you just have two? Do you know their sexes? How large/old are they?
It's actually quite a bit of nipping. It literally happened overnight. Half of the middle of the caudal fin is gone.
I have 6 angels and 6 kuhli loaches in the tank. They range from about 2 inches to about 3 1/2 inches, and they are supposed to be all females but the store didn't guarantee it. It is a very good and trusted store though. I believe they would have done their absolute best.
I have been thinking about putting in some dither fish to maybe distract them.
I would leave them be, they're most likely establishing their pecking order same as a betta sorority would do. Just keep the water clean and if you notice any infection, then you can pull the fish to treat it, otherwise I'd just leave them there to establish their hierarchy. You can do a Meth Blue and Salt bath for 30 minutes just to ensure no infection can get to her but otherwise, don't pull her for an extended period of time.
I'm in now way an expert on Angels, but I have a little experience at least. I'm not sure if they will bond the same way Bettas can and gang up on other fish. It may help to have dither fish in there, it's up to you.
I keep trying to think if I can put the nipped fish in my 120 gallon community, but I think the combination of the fast water flow and all the other fast moving fish might stress her out more. I don't have any real nippers, and I think there's enough space but you never know.
My wife really wanted an angelfish tank, and I did do my research but I wasn't emotionally prepared to handle the aggression. It really seems very minor overall, but seeing the one fish all nipped up really bothered me. I almost pulled her out last night and put in her in the spare tank but then I thought that if I take her out I might not be able to put her back in the angel tank.
Thanks lil. You always have good advice, and I freak out very easily lol.
I am going to overhaul the angel tank tonight. I won't wait for the weekend. I'll increase the salt a little bit and maybe I'll pluck my school of harlequins out of the big tank to put in there as dithers. I was thinking also of getting some silk plants. I'm not usually a fan of fake plants, but in the interest of not having to wait for cuttings to grow in to give more cover for the angels maybe I will pick up a bunch of tall silks. I can always pull them out when the other plants grow in.
Yeah, as I said, I'm not sure if they have a similar mentality so it might be something you want to google if you have an Angel sorority and whether or not she could go back in after being taken out. I am assuming that it would just be she'd be lower on the totem pole so to say but it's just an assumption.
You could also have boys in there too, usually you can't sex them until they're much older and it's more about how they act rather than how they look usually. At least, that's what I've been told. I know I was able to sex my Angel around the 3 inch mark, she's very much a girl though there are still times I question it lol. I'm not sure at what age they pick mates either.
I'm planning on picking up a couple of 20 or 40 gallon tanks at the upcoming $/gallon sale at Petco in order to pluck out any angels that either end up pairing off (if there are any boys or I suppose lesbians). Everything I've read said it's rare for angels to actually form a pack and gang up on one fish. Usually the aggression is more spread out or there is one alpha who is the bully. Then again, this is all just what I've read and not from my own experience which is rough. All fish are different, and mine tend to break the "rules" anyway for some reason. This is all very stressful.
Haha yeah, I hear you; mine break the rules all the time like the fact you shouldn't keep different gouramis together and under normal circumstances, I obey this rule to the T but I put my Pearl in with my Sparklers and they're fine! Heck, it's the Sparklers that beat on the Angel! The Angel and the Pearl just sit there like "what am I doing here?" lol
Anywho, I sincerely doubt the Kuhli's are doing anything to the angels so it's most likely one of them is just annoyed with the group or whatever. It should spread out as they come to know each other and get to know their tank as well; it may take a while before they settle in.
Though I do have to comment on the "Alpha" position, in a pack of wolves, though the Alpha may be a little rough at times, s/he is the one that protects the pack and finds food for the pack, not the bully. I realize the terms are often confused but just wanted to set that straight somewhere. So on most terms you won't see the Alpha being a bully, you'll see the alpha breaking up the fights and trying to keep the peace. The bullies usually come from second in commands or even from the bottom of the hierarchy, trying to get their way to the top.