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Old 06-13-2021, 05:50 PM   #1
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Do Angelfish Pairs Break Up?

I have 4 angelfish. A pair that have laid eggs every couple of weeks for over a year now, and 2 other ones that tend to keep to themselves. They have their normal angelfish differences, lip locking etc just prior to laying eggs and can get aggressive towards the other 2 angels during this time too. Nothing too violent. Never seen anything i would call bullying though.

The pair seem to have had a break up. The male is now hanging out with one of the other 2 and the female is hiding on her own and looks to be being bullied by the new pair.

Is new pairs forming in angelfish a thing?

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Old 06-14-2021, 11:12 AM   #2
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I've seen that too. They act a lot like us humans.
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Old 06-14-2021, 11:34 AM   #3
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Thanks.

Update: Ive had to take the female out of the tank. Got herself jammed in the corner, looked pretty beat up. The "new" pair dont seem to be a pair anymore though.

Funnily the female is the largest fish in the tank being a couple of years older than her mate and normally doesn't take anything from anybody. Makes me think something else is up.

Doing some general medication as a precaution and will see how she is in a week or so. She is one of my favourite fish, the angel in my profile picture. She seems much happier now though.
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Old 06-15-2021, 06:01 AM   #4
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It happens. In my case the female decided to join with a new male and pretty much nearly killed the male. Had to remove him. I tried to put him back in a few times (after several months vacation in another tank) and each time the female immediately went after him forcing me to remove him again. Guess she remembered her old flame.
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Old 06-19-2021, 01:04 PM   #5
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Further update.

She looked much better after a few days on her own, nipped fins healing etc. The male of the pair was obviously missing her, looking grumpy and not eating.

So, after 5 days i returned her to the tank. The male was delighted with her return. They immediately paired up again. The fish that previously bullied her however immediately attacked her. Nearest ive seen a fish kill another fish. The male did his best to protect his mate, but just couldnt consistently stop the other fish from getting serious bites in.

So i have now removed the aggressor. The female is doing well, looking really happy. The old couple are inseparable again.

What to do with the aggressor? Currently in timeout. Does a timeout really work? If so how long should i keep him/her (im really not sure, but always thought a male) seperate for?

My current plan is to keep the aggressor in timeout over the weekend and try and reintroduce it and watch carefully. I currently dont have anywhere to keep it long term, and am not able to get a new tank at the moment. So if that doesnt work out i need to rehome it. I have a few options there.
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Old 06-19-2021, 02:04 PM   #6
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Is the aggressor a female ? My guess is she wants the male and when you reintroduce her she will immediately attack the female; after all she is stronger and ..... chances are pretty good this is what she will do whether you have her in timeout for a day or a year.
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Old 06-20-2021, 07:21 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jake37 View Post
Is the aggressor a female ? My guess is she wants the male and when you reintroduce her she will immediately attack the female; after all she is stronger and ..... chances are pretty good this is what she will do whether you have her in timeout for a day or a year.
I had always assumed a male, but now thinking female. Funny thing is the aggressor is much smaller than the fish that is being picked on which is the biggest fish in the tank and has never backed down in her life before. For some reason she just doesn't seem to want to defend herself now.

Ill give it a go with the timeout, otherwise my neighbour and brother both have tanks the aggressor can go in. I was planning a new tank, but dont want to put an angelfish in there. For now it can stay in QT tank, even though its on the small side for a long term home. A few local fish stores will also take unwanted fish.
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Old 06-23-2021, 01:13 PM   #8
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Further update.

After 3 days on timeout in my QT tank i decided to return my aggressive fish to its normal home. My established pair seemed to be getting along fine again and female was looking much better and much happier.

Anyway, in it goes. I had totally failed to notice that my established pair was in the middle of laying eggs. So, obviously not in a mood to take crap off anyone. How will this go?

Egg laying at one end and would be aggressor at the other. They stay away from each other for 5 or 10 minutes. After a while the aggressor starts to re-explore his old home and quickly gets chased away from the newly laid eggs. A few stand offs later and the aggressor gets the message. Old pecking order re-established and i have a peaceful tank again, at least for the moment.

Did the timeout work? I dont think so. The aggressor went straight back and attacked the female again. But, giving the female a break gave her chance to get some stamina back and reintroducing the aggressor while the established pair where egg laying and not in a mood to be disturbed possibly helped with them regaining dominance.
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Old 06-26-2021, 01:42 PM   #9
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IMO angelfish are among the most aggressive amongst themselves. Even in a good sized tank (55-gallon or so) any number of young angels will wind up as a single mated pair that need to be kept away from all other angels. No competition for a mate means no fighting. As you know they're also aggressive to most fish smaller than them.
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Old 06-26-2021, 01:58 PM   #10
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IMO angelfish are among the most aggressive amongst themselves. Even in a good sized tank (55-gallon or so) any number of young angels will wind up as a single mated pair that need to be kept away from all other angels. No competition for a mate means no fighting. As you know they're also aggressive to most fish smaller than them.
Never had any issues with aggression with these particular fish until recently. The fish being aggressive and trying to split the established pair is getting a bit more mature now (2 years old i think, i think i got it a few months prior to pandemic) and must have felt it was time to upset the established order.

Anyway, everything seems to have settled down again. I think the break gave the female time to restore herself, and reintroducing the aggressor while the pair where egg laying meant it ran into them while they where not in a mood to be disturbed. Ill keep an eye on things obviously.

The female is the biggest fish in the tank, significantly bigger than the aggressor, so im surprised she wasnt able to look after herself better. But its always the angry little ones you need to look out for.
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Old 06-26-2021, 02:17 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Aiken Drum View Post
Never had any issues with aggression with these particular fish until recently. The fish being aggressive and trying to split the established pair is getting a bit more mature now (2 years old i think, i think i got it a few months prior to pandemic) and must have felt it was time to upset the established order.

Anyway, everything seems to have settled down again. I think the break gave the female time to restore herself, and reintroducing the aggressor while the pair where egg laying meant it ran into them while they where not in a mood to be disturbed. Ill keep an eye on things obviously.

The female is the biggest fish in the tank, significantly bigger than the aggressor, so im surprised she wasnt able to look after herself better. But its always the angry little ones you need to look out for.

Sounds good for now but don't be surprised when the aggression returns.
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