Kelly, there is an old addage that has been proven correct over and over again for decades: "The less you mess the better the success. "
You and I basically started with trying to get pairs at the same time. I took about 12 quarter to half dollar sized fish and divided them up between 3 tanks (for color matching purposes). I now have 2 pairs and a trio plus I lost a pair, all because I followed a basic principle: I gave them the right environment and let the fish do the work!
Give the fish enough room, a good healthy environment, a balanced diet and time and the fish will do what they do naturally. Give them some place to breed on and leave them alone. Basic aquarium habits and a stable environment are all you really need to get Angels to breed. It's really not rocket science.
In my opinion, using the divider is not necessarily the best. It tells me the tank is too small for the amount of fish you have in it. My trio is in a 15 gal
tank. It has become apparent that the 2 females are not going to spawn simultaineously for now so I have a spawning site on both sides of the tank. All I did was add enough plastic plants( 3) into the middle of the tank to break up the view between the 2 females. They do see each other and charge each other whenever one gets too close to the middle of the tank but that's as far as it goes. The male swims between the 2 sides with no problems. The point is that there are 3 fish, in a 24" long tank that are both breeding and not killing each other. If your female ( or unknown gendered fish) is beating up the other fish in the tank, either remove her or remove the other fish that are being picked on. That simple! If you are trying to pick a mate for it, just stay back from the tank and watch your fish. REALLY WATCH THEM! THEY will show you who they have paired off with if you let them. They chase every other fish away except for THAT one. Those are the 2 fish that should be put together into their own tank, either the one they are in or in a new tank. ( I've picked pairs of Angels out of tanks filled with 15-20 Angelfish in them just by standing still and watching the fish. Anyone can do that too if they just have some patience. ) If it chases all of them, it has not paired off yet. You just have to bear it for now. Battle scars are typical in breeding Cichlids. Most breeders don;t look so great over time. That's the nature of the beast.
Lastly, if you added breeding Angelfish to your tank and they are not breeding, the first question is "WHY would you ever add a breeding pair of fish to a tank full of other fish?" That's just asking for trouble! The fact that they are not breeding again should tell you that YOU are doing something wrong as they have already shown that they are willing to breed with each other. Fix THAT before you move on.
Ok, this is actually my Lastly
, Regarding your comment "Maybe I'm just not cut out for this.", making mistakes is the part of the hobby everyone needs to go through. You are supposed to learn from those mistakes and not repeat them. The reason others are having better success with their Angels is because they are making less mistakes. That's all. If you do the same thing, you will have the same results. I promise
remember, water is not the same everywhere so asking us what our PH is or hardness is or whatnot is not going to definitely help you. You need to match the water parameters from where you got your fish from. That's #1. Yes, they can LIVE in any water but they won;t necessarily breed in any water. Especially in the case of your breeders, MATCH what they spawned in before and if you give them that right environment and diet, they will spawn again. Medicating dings and dents is one of the fastest ways to stop a fish from breeding. Meds tend to suppress the fish's natural desires to breed. A healthy fish can handle those dings and dents so if your fish are effected by them, I can tell you that your fish are not healthy or in a healthy environment (which is also why they aren't breeding.) You will need to fix that.
So there you have it, in a nutshell, what is necessary to do to get your fish to breed. If you cannot do it, just enjoy your fish then. No one says you HAVE to breed your fish. Maybe you'll need to take a step back and just let nature take it's own course. They can breed for years so if it takes a while, it's no great shakes. Stressing over breeding fish seems to me to be a terrible waste of such an enjoyable hobby, especially when it's not that difficult to do. You do have to follow the rules tho. No shortcuts. Enough tanks, enough space or you're wasting your time.
Hope this helps