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How Many Angels

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How Many Angels

Post  Akasha on Tue 29 Jul 2014, 12:57

Hi all. I've just got myself a pair of juvenile angels in the last month and there's bound to be a whole host of questions that pop up over the coming months. My first question was what type were they and I've had that answered but my next question is "how many angels is best"
My tank is a Rio 240 so it's 4ft long and nearly 2ft deep and inicially I was just looking to add 2 angelfish but last week I read somewhere that it's best to keep a minimum of four. Then I heard it was best to keep a minimum of 6 to a tank! I'm a little confused  Rolling Eyes 

My current stock is as follows:
2 laetacara Curvicep cichlids (now elderly and stopped spawning)
10 black neon tetra's
7 gold head purple harlequin rasbora
5 purple emperor tetra (also elderly and starting to 'drop off', lost another to age last week)
5 otocinclus
2 ancistrus cats
18 corydoras (mix of peppered, bronze and panda)

So I added the two angels to that list and planned to stick with that as I was concerned about over-stocking, but then after reading that they were better in a group I started to wonder if I've made a mistake. Should I have got 4? I'm asking now because if it's better for me to add another 2 then surely it's better to do it while they are still young?
I know angels, like all cichlids, can have an aggressive streak and I want to avoid fighting where possible. I'm really not too bothered about their sex, if they breed, they fight (seen it with curviceps and some bolivian rams I used to have ... WW3 broke out some days!) so I'm not keeping them for breeding purposes.

The only thing I've not mentioned is my water. I have natural soft water and my Ph runs at 6, although I'm currently running some coral in my filters to try and bring that up a little bit. I'm running two JBL crystalprofi external filters on this tank so I'm well filtered. I can't think of anything else you'd need to know.

Thanks in advance
Akasha  clown 
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Re: How Many Angels

Post  peaches on Tue 29 Jul 2014, 21:47

I think it depends what your aims are. Do you want to breed? I buy 6 because I want to get a pair from them, but it is also possible to have two in a community set up, and if they grow up together and get on OK, there is no reason why it shouldnt continue.
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Re: How Many Angels

Post  peaches on Tue 29 Jul 2014, 21:54

When they grow up, do watch the black neon tetras. It is not uncommon for angels to eat anything small enough to fit in their mouths. They are OK with some of the larger tetras though.
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Re: How Many Angels

Post  Pterophyllum on Tue 29 Jul 2014, 23:38

I find that, rather like african cichlids, the more you have (within reason) the less trouble you have. Certainly 6 wouldn't be an unreasonable number allowing for the other tank occupants. From time to time you may see a little bit of scrapping as pairs form and try to establish territories/guard eggs, but it's rare for any serious damage to occur.

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Re: How Many Angels

Post  Akasha on Wed 30 Jul 2014, 09:45

morning and thanks for the replies!

I did know the neons could be a problem in months/years to come with the angels. I read something years ago that said that angels prey on neons naturally in the wild so I was aware of it. I also read that if the neons were present before the angels were added (which they were in my case, my neons are all adult size) then the angels tend to leave them be. I've taken this with a pinch of salt and I plan to monitor it.
I've had my emperors around 3 years now, same with the harlequins, and they are starting to drop off but when I start thinking about replacing I'll replace with similar sized tetra's. I've enjoyed keeping both these types of fish and I may consider replacing with the same .... although I've seen an emperor that's a slightly different strain and it has a trident tail so I might look for those instead.

Anyway, back to the angels. Although my original plan was to just keep two and breeding them wasn't on my agenda at all I am now considering getting another two angels. It would be good if I could find a pair of white blushing as I think the contrast would look stunning but we shall see.
As for breeding, well I've bred my laetacara curviceps and raised several of their fry for my local fish store but when it came down to it I ended up giving them away for nothing as they didn't want the 2nd batch as the first batch didn't sell well. At the same time as curviceps was breeding I had a breeding pair of bolivian rams aswell in the same tank. They would set each other off and would always breed at the same time and the resulting aggression wasn't nice to watch.
I've been put off breeding a little bit. It's hard work for very little gain.
BUT ... these angels I have are lovely and I can't imagine having any trouble getting rid of their young so I am coming round to the idea of possible breeding. I have a 100 litre tank in the shed doing nothing ...  Laughing 

I may head out to my lfs this week and have a look at what they have and add another 2 ... watch this space  Laughing 
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Re: How Many Angels

Post  Akasha on Wed 30 Jul 2014, 10:08

I forgot to say .... when the lights came on yesterday afternoon 'Shadow' was sporting a war wound. A chunk of his dorsal fin was missing.
Just before going to bed the night before he was annoying my male curviceps and male curviceps was having none of it. I'm guessing Shadow pushed his luck a bit too far and got put firmly in his place!

I'm not sure why but my gut feeling is that Shadow is male. 'He's' certainly got the male cichlid "I'm boss" attitude. The thing is male curviceps has been the tank boss for about 2 and a half years and he ain't gonna give that up without a fight lol

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Re: How Many Angels

Post  peaches on Wed 30 Jul 2014, 12:23

Good luck!
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Re: How Many Angels

Post  Akasha on Wed 30 Jul 2014, 15:32

thank you, I'll keep you all posted Smile
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Re: How Many Angels

Post  Akasha on Thu 31 Jul 2014, 15:05

I purchased two more angelfish today from the same source as my other two. They still had some of these smokey blushing angels like my other two but I was looking for something different. My main goal was a white one and a white one they had. Unfortunately it was half the size of my current pair so I stopped and thought for a minute before buying. There was just one other in the tank the same size as the white one, this one was mostly grey with a coppery tint to it's dorsel. So I decided to take both of them and I'd set up my small 25 litre tank and put them in there for a couple of weeks to fatten them up and hope they double in size!

My guess would be that if I add the two new one's to my main tank the two existing angels will see them as bullying targets due to them being half their size.

If anyone thinks I've done the wrong thing then please let me know. I'm still fairly new to angels but not to cichlids so I'm basing my thoughts on knowing all cichlids will be aggressive to other cichlds, especially if they see weakness or size difference.

I'll add some photo's of the new pair once they've settled in a bit more Smile
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Re: How Many Angels

Post  Akasha on Thu 31 Jul 2014, 20:26

As promised ... one rubbish photo of the new arrivals




You can see how tiny they are which is why they are alone in my spare 'emergency' tank for now. I'm too scared to put them in with the bigger two just yet
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Re: How Many Angels

Post  Pterophyllum on Thu 31 Jul 2014, 22:30

A little bit of TLC & you'll be surprised how quickly they come on.

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Re: How Many Angels

Post  Akasha on Fri 01 Aug 2014, 10:09

they're both okay this morning. First thing I did was test their water for ammonia and nitrite. No nitrite but a tiny bit of ammonia so I fed them and let them finish and then did a 50% water change immediately.

The white one is quite bold and wasn't bothered by a water change but the other one hid in the corner. I can see a personality difference already.

I'll test the water again this afternoon. The sponges from the mini filter have been inside my external so I'm quite surprised that there isn't enough bacteria on them to support two baby angels. I've added some bottled bacteria aswell so hopefully it'll pick up bacteria quickly. The bottled bacteria is supposed to have an ammo-lock in it aswell so hopefully all will be well. If ammonia continues to be an issue then they'll have to take their chances in the main tank.

One question... common sense says to feed them a little 3 times a day at this size. Am I right or is twice a day enough?
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Re: How Many Angels

Post  peaches on Fri 01 Aug 2014, 11:50

Three times would be fine as long as you are on top of the water quality. I feed 2-3 times for most of my stock.
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Re: How Many Angels

Post  Akasha on Fri 01 Aug 2014, 12:30

Hi Peaches and thanks.

My main tank has always been fed twice a day and 3 evenings of the week I replace the flake & pellets for a block of something frozen. I keep in Mysis, Artemia and Bloodworm as that's the three they like the most and I rotate it so they don't get bored.
I have some frozen cyclops aswell which I got when I was raising some curviceps fry. The two baby angels should be able to manage it so I'll defrost a block and give them a bit of it. I can always throw away what they don't eat.

I'll keep a close eye on the water and as I said in my previous post - if it continues to be a problem they'll have to go in to the main tank earlier than expected and I'll just have to hope they don't get bullied by the bigger two
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Re: How Many Angels

Post  Akasha on Sat 02 Aug 2014, 09:06

Ammonia was up to 0.50ppm this morning so the babies have come straight out of there and gone into my main tank. There's no way I'm subjecting them to ammonia that high.

I was waiting for the biggest smokey angel (Shadow, the bully) to charge in but he's not even noticed! I've chucked in some food to occupy them and the two babies are eating so all's okay ... for now. I just hope that Shadow doesn't bully them too much
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