Angelfish

plebian

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I just purchased 7 juvenile angelfish and have been impressed with their appetite. I feed them 3-4 times a day and they practically leap out of the aquarium when I start to drop some food in. I feed them 3 different brands of granulated food and freeze dried blood worms and they eat all of them with relish. It's a big change from the eating habits of my discus. My discus eat like spoiled kids, grudgingly picking at their food. They're adults now and did show more enthusiasm when they were juveniles, but nothing like the angels.
 
I used to know a guy who ran a 150 tank angel hatchery, supplying the stores in a good sized city, out of a small basement. It was an insane place, worse than anything I've ever created. The indoor humidity in his house was terrible in winter.

He swore that young angels could die from overeating. He said it was a common cause of death of juveniles, and he measured food very carefully (several times a day). I think angels are the golden retrievers of the fish world. But they grow very fast.

I used to feed the ones I bred 4-6 times a day on weekends, and at least 3 times daily during the workweek.
 
I want angelfish, that’s pretty cool. The angels i used to care for werent like that
I was never really interested in angelfish. Mainly because I didn't care for their natural coloration, and compared to discus even the color morphs are boring. Also, they don't have the complex interrelationships that discus have, which I why I find discus so interesting.

Still, I do kinda like the black marble variety. Our very small LFS had some and my wife really liked them. At less than a dollar apiece I decided to purchase some just out of curiosity. I really enjoy the juveniles. They are very active and growing out nicely. I plan on adding them to my main tank with the discus just to see what happens.
 
I used to know a guy who ran a 150 tank angel hatchery, supplying the stores in a good sized city, out of a small basement. It was an insane place, worse than anything I've ever created. The indoor humidity in his house was terrible in winter.

He swore that young angels could die from overeating. He said it was a common cause of death of juveniles, and he measured food very carefully (several times a day). I think angels are the golden retrievers of the fish world. But they grow very fast.

I used to feed the ones I bred 4-6 times a day on weekends, and at least 3 times daily during the workweek.


I've never had great success with angels as juveniles. I would say about a 50% mortality rate. I wonder if overfeeding was the problem now that you say that. We feed display tanks once maybe twice a day and they aren't severely overfed but now that has me thinking. I did get a nice group of Peruvian Altums that came out fantastic but your normal cookie cutter angels never did well for us. All the other tank inhabitants were always ok
 
I was never really interested in angelfish. Mainly because I didn't care for their natural coloration, and compared to discus even the color morphs are boring. Also, they don't have the complex interrelationships that discus have, which I why I find discus so interesting.

Still, I do kinda like the black marble variety. Our very small LFS had some and my wife really liked them. At less than a dollar apiece I decided to purchase some just out of curiosity. I really enjoy the juveniles. They are very active and growing out nicely. I plan on adding them to my main tank with the discus just to see what happens.



Most of the time discus and angels are fine but every once in awhile you'll get an azzhole angel that's mean and will chase everything in the tank. I've had to rehome a few angels because of this and not just with discus. Some of the most beautiful tanks I've seen are planted with discus, angels and some sort of tetras.
 
Also, they don't have the complex interrelationships that discus have,
I don't agree on this, with my angels there is a definite hierarchy, but it changes from time to time. Right now I have two females competing for access to the large male, no out right battles but a lot of positioning to place themselves in the better access zones and cajoling the male to chase off the other female. I find angels to be some of the most interactive fish both with myself and with their surroundings.

I could see a single angel breeder saturating the market. I was breeding angels a couple of years ago and produced over 500 juveniles that I sold locally till they didn't want any more. I still have them breed but I don't do anything to save the fry and they do not survive long in the tank as it is now.

I concur with what @GaryE mentioned. My first few batches it was easy to over feed the juveniles, if I had a lot more mortality when they were just getting into juvenile stage when I feed them a lot. I keep to what they can eat in 30 seconds. If you have a sponge filter your juveniles will also feed off it.
 
Most of the time discus and angels are fine but every once in awhile you'll get an azzhole angel that's mean and will chase everything in the tank. I've had to rehome a few angels because of this and not just with discus. Some of the most beautiful tanks I've seen are planted with discus, angels and some sort of tetras.
Not just angels. I had a discus that would pick a fight with a female discus every hour of every day over a period of 3 months. I finally had to remove it.
 
If you have a sponge filter your juveniles will also feed off it.
The juveniles I have are now more than 1" long (SL) and they are still actively feeding on micro fauna in the water column. They are absolutely voracious. I'm afraid my cardinal tetras are now going to lose one of their favorite sources of food, at least until the angels get a bit larger.
 
It's funny how we see things. I've kept Discus, and found them impossibly docile and boring. I had wild caughts, and they settled in and lived long. Their behaviour just didn't appeal to me, and I'll never try them again.
Before I moved to where I live now, I had some wild caught Colombian scalare that grew very large. They were constantly stirring things up, working out rank, challenging each other, making me think they'd breed and otherwise being interesting to watch. I didn't think they'd survive the 800km move in winter, so they went to a friend. I miss them, and if I could get wilds again, I would jump at it.
I'm not right and you're not wrong, but it's funny how 2 people can look at 2 species and see opposite things.
 
I'm not right and you're not wrong, but it's funny how 2 people can look at 2 species and see opposite things.
It's not that I'm seeing "opposite things", I've never kept angelfish so I haven't really observed their behavior. But from everything I've read, the older they get the more territorial (anti-social) they become. Maybe that's false, like so much Internet drivel. But if true, it's the opposite of discus. Discus fight when young, then mellow with age (mostly). I could write a long dialogue on the interactions I've observed with discus, but it wouldn't change your position and that's not what I'm trying to do anyway. As I've said, I've never kept angels so maybe everything I've read about them is wrong. The truth is, for reasons that are far too complicated to get into here, I decided to experiment. The angelfish are an experiment. So far I'm intrigued. I'm curious to see how it will shake out once the juveniles reach adulthood.
 
So far, the angels have been a welcome addition to the community. No problem at all with the other fish. I was surprised to find they are fin nippers. Mostly, they just bother each other, but they do occasionally nip at the discus. Not enough to be an issue. One of the angels was sensitive to anti-parasite treatment. Once the others realized it couldn't defend itself, they got after it. Nipped the fins nearly to stubs. I removed it before it almost certainly met its death.

This is very different behavior from discus. Discus tend to rally to one of theirs that's ailing, not attack it. Different strokes for different folks.

I have had to adjust my feeding method, since the angels are aggressive surface feeders. Discus tend to prefer foraging from the substrate, so I've had to pre-soak the granulated food so some of it gets to the bottom before the angels get to it. Other than that, they get along famously.
 
I was never really interested in angelfish. Mainly because I didn't care for their natural coloration, and compared to discus even the color morphs are boring. Also, they don't have the complex interrelationships that discus have, which I why I find discus so interesting.

Still, I do kinda like the black marble variety. Our very small LFS had some and my wife really liked them. At less than a dollar apiece I decided to purchase some just out of curiosity. I really enjoy the juveniles. They are very active and growing out nicely. I plan on adding them to my main tank with the discus just to see what happens.
I agree with some things but not other; i find the angels interactions a bit more complex/less predictable then the 10 wild discus i have. They do bicker a tiny bit and i suppose it might change as they get older (they are around 5 inch but haven't displayed any sexual tendency that i would expect at their size); angels were always a headache once they reach maturity. I had as many as 15 in a 120 but once they hit maturity the relationship would break down usually with a dominant female slowly reducing the numbers to 4. This is very different than for example my Krobia which get along fairly well despite both pairs breeding once a month (i have 5 - guess the poor 5th is a loner). The rules are simple - stay a foot away from our frys and we could care less what you do - that's for the krobia. For the angels - well the dominant female - i don't like you please leave or die.
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Truth be told i've only ahd the discus about 3 months and a bit of that time was in qt; so they have only been settled in their 180 for about 6 weeks.
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One big advantage of angels is temp requirement as the wc disucs i have get real pouty if the temp drop below 82.5; and heckels would require closer to 88; angels i find are happy at 78 but you can go to 76. Of course since i also love wc rams they make excellent tank mates with non-heckle discus.
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The discus have changed a bit over the past 8 weeks as they get used to how i feed them; but they do get very pouty if i don't feed them at least a few black worms.
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I hear wild altum are very close to discus in behavior but domestic angels can be mean - though i have had sweet hearts that have gotten along with everyone. Long term i'm getting out of angels - i've just decided there are more interesting fishes and i have limited space in my 550 and 600. I think long term the angels and wc festivum will be replaced with a couple of chocolate cichild (though i worry they might eat the headstanders); i've also developed a special liking for l dorsigera (esp the wc blues).
 
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I thought I'd post a photo of one of my angels. My best guess is that it's about 3 months old.
Angel_Uno_2024-04-02.jpg
 

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