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Old 06-11-2013, 11:00 AM   #1
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Exclamation Angel bullying

I have a medium sized cobalt angel being bullied by a bigger black lace angel. This is primarily an angel tank. They all came from the same dealer and same tank. This just started yesterday and am puzzled by the sudden behavior. I feel bad for the cobalt. What can I do to help?
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Old 06-11-2013, 11:31 AM   #2
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Hi Buckfin, I have a couple quick questions for you.. How big is your tank? and How many Angels do you have?
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Old 06-11-2013, 03:55 PM   #3
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We need answers to the above questions before any advice can be given. I've kept angels for over 30 years and currently have 12 adults in a 220g 100% planted tank.
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Old 06-11-2013, 07:14 PM   #4
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55g planted w 5 angels, 6 panda cats 2 clown plecs and a rubber lip plec. Just started the angel tank bout 3 weeks ago.
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Old 06-11-2013, 07:45 PM   #5
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What are their body sizes... dime, nickel, quarter, etc. You said it's a larger one being aggressive correct? Is the tank planted? Are plants tall enough to break the line of sight? Is just this one angel being picked on? Something that can often help is to remove the aggressor to a bucket and totally rearrange your tank. Then put the aggressor back in. This can often work BUT if it doesn't and the behavior continues it would be wise to return the aggressor.
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Old 06-11-2013, 08:07 PM   #6
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The aggressor is much bigger than dollar size while the victim is a tad bigger than dollar size. Plants and driftwood do break up line of sight and he can get to safety. The big one actively pursues him sometimes.
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Old 06-11-2013, 09:00 PM   #7
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There may be a couple of things happening:
Angels have a natural hierarchy and this may just be one showing the other "who's boss". If there is chasing but no damage, I'd not be too concerned.
Second: Since they sound like they could be of breeding size, this could a sign that the aggressor has chosen a mate and is trying to keep any potential rival from butting in. You would need to watch to see if there is a certain fish that this aggressor stays close to or "protects". If you see this, you would be wise to separate the pair as breeding pairs will wreck havoc on other Angels in THEIR tank. That or they need to be separated to prevent pairing.
Depending on the why for the aggression determines the proper course of action. If this is a breeding situation, line of sight will not really solve our problem. Rearranging the decor will not help the situation long term.
If this is a hierarchy situation, they need to work it out. HOWEVER, it is up to you to decide how much bullying your fish can handle. I recently had a situation with a couple of medium Angels that had been together for about a month. They were in the same tank when I bought them (probably are siblings), they adjusted to my tank no problem. They ate the same foods no problem. I added a new food (FD Tubifex) and after the first feeding, one fish beat the crap out of the second. Torn fins, missing scales, shredded tail. I have no idea why. Luckily I had the tank separated to house 2 male Bettas so I just separated the pair. The victim took about 2 days to regain it's usual feeding regime and now is once again an aggressive feeder. You may be faced with the same thing.

If you are interested, there is a running thread in the breeding forum titled "Wigglers at last!!!" It's all about Angelfish with contributions from current breeders, new breeders and a former commercial Angel breeder (me ) It might help answer some of your questions regarding Angelfish.

Hope this helps
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Old 06-11-2013, 10:31 PM   #8
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Great input Andy....Ok...I don't see any pairing off of anybody. There is just one apparently dominant angel. He chases everybody. I have a three bamboo shrimp in there and just watched him TRY to pick on one. Shrimp would have none of this and fought back. But this one angel is bossy. I bought them all together. When feeding time comes....everybody eats peacefully and gets their fill. I am perplexed by this.
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Old 06-11-2013, 11:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckfins View Post
Great input Andy....Ok...I don't see any pairing off of anybody. There is just one apparently dominant angel. He chases everybody. I have a three bamboo shrimp in there and just watched him TRY to pick on one. Shrimp would have none of this and fought back. But this one angel is bossy. I bought them all together. When feeding time comes....everybody eats peacefully and gets their fill. I am perplexed by this.
As you can see from my own experience with the worm incidence, you can throw the fact that you bought them together out the window. At this point, that means nothing.
I'm seeing a similar situation with some new Angels I recently picked up. These are fish from 4 different stores. 2 silvers: 1 reg, 1 veil), 2 Gold Marble, 2Marble Veils, 4 Koi (3 veils, 1 reg) The largest fish is the reg. Koi. The most aggressive fish is the smaller reg silver. I watch the silver veil chase the Gold Marbles, then chase the reg Koi, then get chased by the Reg. Silver, who then chases the Gold Marbles and butts heads with the Reg Koi. Separated in the tank ( It's a 30 Long) are the 2 Marble veils and 1 Koi Veil. The larger Marble chases the smaller Marble who in turn picks at the bigger Koi veil. ( A regular comedy act. ) The biggest difference between this and what happened with the 2 Black Angels ( my worm fighters) is that these other fish are just "busting chops" with each other. There are no injuries or prolonged attacks. Everybody eats when food comes in. ( I do have 1 Koi Angel that I had to separate from the pack because of the psychological stress from being amongst the bullies. It was cowering in the corner, not eating and running away anytime a fish moved in the tank. It's been close to a week now by himself/herself and I believe I have the fish's mojo back. It's now eating more foods and not running when I feed it. I have high hopes for a full recovery. But this only happened by taking it away from the other fish. I even moved the fish out of the tank that this one is now in so there are no fish in it's eyeview besides some Guppies 2 tanks over. ) With the Black Angels, one got hurt so quick action was necessary.
In your case, if the bully isn't doing damage (physical or emotional) you can just to wait it out and let the fish all learn their place. If there are any signs of distress from the other fish, you have to remove either them or the bully to another tank. Wait until these other fish become more dominearing before returning the bully to make his way back into the pack.
That's how I would handle this.

Hope this helps
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Old 06-12-2013, 06:14 AM   #10
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That's really good advice their Andy. Thanks for sharing your expertise with us. Found that to be a really good read.
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Old 06-12-2013, 08:32 AM   #11
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Im glad that you have so much expertise Andy. This info is extremely helpful and insightful. The advice is much appreciated. I hope u don't mind if I approach you for angel advice in the future. You and Rivercats seem to have the pulse on these fish. It has been a long time since I have kept them and it's like going back to school again.
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