Angelfish are among the most recognised and widely kept of all aquarium fish. And it isn't a surprise, with their beautiful flowing fins and air of elegance. However, often is the case that people are warned off from purchasing these fish due to rumours that they are highly agressive. I have had 7 years of experience in keeping freshwater tropical fish, and few are as peaceful as the Angel. On the occasion that there is agression, it is often due to territorial spats or a breeding pair preparing to spawn. I have three Angels, a breeding pair of 'wild-type' silver Angels, and a single marble Angel. The marble is by far the larger and more dominant, but as soon as the other two prepare to spawn he often retreats into a corner after a brief round-off with the other male. This is typical of ALL cichlids, and I often have the same behaviour from my Discus. My Angels live temporarily in a 96 litre tank, along with 5 relatively small Discus and various shoaling Tetras, before they are moved into their new 240 litre Amazon Biotope later this year. Despite a common rumour of Angels eating small Tetras, I have found this not to be the case if the Angels are bought small and after the Tetras. This means that the Angels are forced not to look at them as food items as at this stage the Tetras are too large for this. I have never, not once, had an occasion where any of my Tetras have ended up as Angelfish dinner. I highly recommend buying Angels in groups of 4-6 or in a pair, as when bought singly they often become over subdued and lose much of their patterns and colouration. A small group allows them to establish a pecking order and increases the chance of getting males and females. Keep the pH low (around 6.0 - 7.0) and the water soft and tannin-stained (achieved by adding bogwood). A fantastic fish for all aquarists, I recommend Angels to any cichlid keeper or an aquarist who hasn't got fish too small to be considered as food items to larger Angels.
I have a 100 liter Angelfish tank which is the favorite of my three. One tip is to give them a lot of space and have tall skinny plants for their bodies to swim through. I recommend water sprite, swords and vallisneria.
Angelfish are by far the kings and queens of the aquarium. When it comes to breeding, instead of taking the eggs out and raising them yourself, try letting the parents raise them. I've been fortunate enough that all my breeding pairs raise the spawns, and I'm finding that more angels would be willing to if you just gave them a chance.
Angelfish are actually very peaceful and good community fish if you buy one about the size of a gamecube game. They are very sensitive to water changes such as a sudden burst of ammonia and nitrates. I usually change 30-40% of the water weekly. These fish also donít grow very quickly. And if you buy a small one, it usually grows up as a peaceful fish. Donít leave them with any fry or neon tetras, as they will see them as food. They also like rocky terrain to hide at night. When they lay eggs, they become very territorial and will attack a fish approaching too close. Other than that, they are quite peaceful, but are over exaggerated like betta fish.
Our 2 angels were one of the first fish my fiancee and I put in our 60 L tank (bought small and young). Without doubt one of our favourites! Ours are peaceful and not territorial. However, when we introduced our siamese fighter (a week later) they would chase and nip him till he ended up cowering in the corners of tank. This lasted for not much longer than 2 weeks, and now they swim around each other a lot with no problems. Their stripes tend to show more in the evenings and they look magnificent! Getting very big too! They definately know when it's dinner time, as they follow our every movement frantically as if they've never been fed! Very curious too, getting close to other fish almost 'sniffing around' them (the others don't seem to be bothered by this). I'd hate to see one without the other, as they copy each other's every move, which is very amusing to watch. Obviously it is tempting to get more, but I think these two do just fine in a pair. One of the few fish we have that I would hate to lose.
I've got a young lone Marbled Angelfish about 5 cm long and the odd thing about him is that he has no long trailing fins. He's never had them. Angelfish seem to be be very aware of what is going on outside the tank and will swim away from a stranger. My wife and I feel he has a real personality, he's not fussed or bothered when we go up to the tank and putting food into the tank doesn't cause him to shy away like the smaller fish.