How to keep single angelfish happy


Fish Crazy
Aug 9, 2021
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United Kingdom
So I have an angelfish tank of various sizes and pairs. All is well but I had an aggressive male that was bullying basically the whole tank. I have moved him to my community tank (cardinals, rummy nose etc) and to my surprise, he has been very well behaved to the smaller fish. I think it’s because they are fully grown tetras and it is not his territory. The only thing is, I prefer having angelfish in groups/pair, but he was far too aggressive to other angelfish. Although he seems happy in the community tank, I feel bad he is alone. Is there anything I can do to make him
Happier. E.g. Playing games when I feed him, trying to make him chase my hand,
Putting a mirror up? I don’t want to stress him but I also don’t want him to just float around by his self and be depressed?

He doesn’t seem depressed but just wandering!


Fish Gatherer
Oct 14, 2011
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Eastern Canada
He wants his own territory. A mirror says he is being challenged, if he even reacts. You can talk to a Cichlid with your hands - I've stopped fights for example with hand motions outside the tank. But I was telling the fish, by imitating their display, that something bigger than them was very annoyed and ready to fight. It made them quiet down, but it was a challenge. So that won't calm him.
BTW- hand motions are a behavioural study trick. I am crazy, I suppose, but that action isn't a symptom....

If he is hyper-aggressive with his own species, he has to be a loner. Any other fish that he sees as competition will upset him.


Professional Cat Herder
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Tank of the Month!
Dec 18, 2011
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Way out yonder
How big is his tank now? Angelfish are difficult because they are naturally very social, but they can also be aggressive. The only way I've found to keep them in a semi-natural state is to keep at least five of them in a large tank (mine are in a planted/aquascaped 150g). That way they can interact, but they have room to get away from each other when they want to. They aren't all that different from people, that way.

I kept a solo angelfish in a 30g tank by himself, and he was healthy and active. Was he "happy"? I don't know. He wasn't telling. But seeing how much the angels in my 150g interact with each other, I think they're better off.

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