Angelfish are one of the most popular aquarium fish because of the grace and beauty they add to the tank. They are freshwater fishes that are naturally omnivorous. They have to feed on the right food to keep them healthy and help them reach optimum size. However, taking care of angelfish is not as easy as most other freshwater aquarium fish. You need to understand them and meet their demands. One of the significant challenges with angelfish is keeping them together in the same tank.
Keeping more than one angelfish requires advanced husbandry, consistent effort, big tanks, proper planning, and a bit of luck. The need for these requirements is because of the territoriality of angelfish. It is best to keep just two angelfish together in the same tank. You can start by keeping 5-6 angelfish together when they are young and wait for them to pair up in twos. You can then house the two together in the same tank because they would get along.
Keeping more than two angelfish together might not work out well except you are very experienced, and your tank is big enough. This condition is because of the territoriality and aggressive nature of angelfish. However, you can still manage the situation by using a big tank with lots of aquarium plants to provide them with enough hiding places.
Overall, keeping multiple angelfish together is not easy, but it can be made possible with proper planning, good water quality, a large tank, and a proper diet.
General Behavior Of Angelfish
Angelfish, like most other members of Cichlids, are aggressive and territorial. They usually form small hierarchies and fight to defend their territory against invasion by similar species. They typically fight by locking lips, and the result of their fight is generally brutal. Also, they usually prefer to compete than cooperate, thereby highlighting why keeping multiple angelfish together can be challenging.
They are particularly aggressive towards the members of their school, and they are less likely to bully other members. Angelfish usually weave in and out of aquarium plants and pebbles to secure a hiding place for themselves. They can also hide in an overcrowded tank because they are an immensely showy fish.
As part of their territorial nature, angelfish fiercely defends their eggs and take care of fry for up to two months until they are enough to protect themselves. They are one of the few species of fish that look after their young ones and protect them.
In general, angelfish rarely interact with each other outside competition and mating. They would rather fight than cooperate or move together. Likewise, they don’t have a coordinated swimming pattern or cooperative schooling and foraging.
Angelfish Habitat And Tank Conditions
Angelfish is one of the most demanding aquarium fish when it comes to tank and environmental conditions. In the wild, they are native to the Amazon River and its contemporaries in South America. They naturally prefer slow-moving streams, floodplains, and swamps located along the Amazon River Basin.
In aquariums, angelfish can thrive well in warm water that is a little acidic with little or no salinity. The optimum temperature for angelfish is usually between 75-82°F. Similarly, they perform better at almost neutral pH [6.8-7].
Likewise, they like it when there is light penetration in their tanks. Consequently, they thrive better in clear water with shallow depths. This preference is because angelfish will need up to 8-12 hours of light per day. The source of light can be directly from sunlight, but any other aquarium light that can mimic the ray from the sun will work just fine.
You can imitate the natural habitat of angelfish by using plants that are native to the Amazon River. These plants include Amazon sword plants, Brazilian waterweed, and java moss. These plants can also provide a suitable hiding place for the fish to protect them and help them find rest.
If you intend to keep multiple angelfish together, you should have a large spacious tank. The large tank will help each angelfish maintain their territory and reduce the rate at which they fight. On average, you will need at least 10 gallons to keep a single angelfish in the tank. Therefore, you will need about 20 gallons if you are holding a pair together in the tank. The tank should also be big enough to accommodate the height of the angelfish.
Angelfish In Community Tanks. Who Are The Best Tank Mates?
Angelfish live together with several unique aquatic species in the wild. Amazon River Basin, which is their natural habitat, accommodates a lot of unique marine species. The Amazon River basin has a dominant number of freshwater fish, including Oscars, Discus, and Bended Cichlids.
In aquarium tanks, angelfish can handle being in the same container with larger tetras, rainbowfish, gourami, Corydoras, larger rasboras, medium-sized catfish, mollies, plecos, as well as other cichlids. However, angelfish might not like to have non-fish companions around. They can even prey on crustaceans and invertebrates if they are kept together in the same tank.
Likewise, you should avoid keeping angelfish with more aggressive cichlids like Oscars, and Convicts.
Likewise, fin nippers like barbs should be nowhere close to the tank of angelfish because they can harass your angelfish and rip off their trailing tail.
Similarly, it would be best if you were careful while keeping multiple angelfish together. It is better to house as a single species in the tank because they can from territories and hierarchy within their schools. They would rather fight than forage together, and their competition for dominance can be very engaging.
Angelfish is reputable for being one of the most popular species of fish in the aquarium. They are semi-aggressive and can grow up to 10 inches over their lifespan of close to 10 years. It is great to imagine how beautiful and gracious the tank would be in the presence of multiple angelfish but is not as smooth as it appears.
Keeping multiple angelfish together can be challenging because of their temperamental and territorial nature. Even when they are in a school of about 5-6 in the tank, they still fight for hierarchy, and they often pair up in twos. Each pair can then be kept in a different aquarium tank.