Have you ever wondered do angelfish like to be in groups? That’s always the question that is questioned by a lot of people when they start to raise this species.
My luck has frequently turned out to be quite bad when trying to grow large quantities of angelfish at the same time in my aquarium. There was always fierce competition and aggressive behavior.
It was at that point that I started wondering if angelfish should be kept in pairs at all or do they need to be in groups? I was just thinking perhaps they are more comfortable on their own?
As a result of those years of experience, I have discovered a few interesting facts about this specific topic.
It is true that angelfish have to live in groups because being in shoals reduces their stress level and allows them to conserve energy.
Further, it aids in the establishment of social hierarchy by making mating, breeding, and social hierarchy establishment possible.
Lastly, the angelfish will not become indifferent because they will be kept in groups, rather than on their own, which is usually what happens when they are kept isolated.
While there are benefits to being in a group, there are also certain disadvantages associated with it.
It could end up overcrowded and suffering from high levels of ammonia and improper pH levels if you take the wrong steps when setting up your tank.
You can read on to learn more about how to grow your angelfish both as a group and an individual in order to better understand.
Do Angelfish Like To Be In Groups?
This question has both positive and negative answers.
The communal nature of an angelfish enables them to live in groups in their natural habitat since that’s what they do.
It is still possible to find a way for angelfish to survive and to grow if they are not combined with one another.
The subject has been the subject of research by a few researchers. The study conducted on angelfish over a period of time found that those kept in isolation showed a reduced amount of activity over time as compared to that of angelfish in groups.
In the study, it was found that the angelfish behaved differently upon being introduced to the isolated tank, once they were introduced to it.
After they were introduced to it, however, they then became indifferent to it.
Several studies have shown that feeding frequency shows some correlation to angelfish health as a result of another study that deals with the fish.
They have been observing that after the retreat from isolation the angelfish are eating less frequently as a result of the retreat. The angelfish have been doing this for a minimum of ten days.
Let me break down the three scenarios below in order to better understand what I am trying to say.
As they’ll show you different scenarios, they’ll help you comprehend if your angelfish is suited for the circumstances in which they’re placed.
Scenario 1: Companionship With Angelfish
First off, the habituation process starts with a lone angelfish that has been in contact with as many other angelfish of the same species as possible.
It is a reasonable question to ask, then, for a situation like this, how many angelfish are required?
This depends on the specific situation and can range anywhere from 3 to 5. Angelfish prefer to shoal in the first spot due to the fact that they are obligate arthropods.
A fish will swim together if it is in the company of another fish. This creates a hierarchy of social relationships among the angelfish. It is quite impossible for them to accomplish this goal if they are alone.
Once they have to adapt to their unfamiliar surroundings, they will then need to change their habitat as well as their behavior to survive.
As a result, my personal recommendation would be that you stick to a few companion fish for your angelfish based on my own experience. A maximum of three companion fish should be sufficient.
Scenario 2: Companion For Mate-finding
The second scenario will enable angelfish to survive and thrive if the first scenario is no longer possible.
It is important to remember that an angelfish usually sticks with his mate as much as possible when it is not in a group.
Although this is also the case for fish living in aquariums, it is something that is particularly true for those who live in natural settings and aquarium animals as well.
Using your aquarium as a model, you can recreate the conditions that the fish are living in. You might consider adding at least a pair of spawning fish if you are not able to introduce a large number of angelfish.
It is important that you pick both a male and a female, according to a professional recommendation.
You can ask a pet shop if they have angelfish already paired or you could purchase a pair that has already been paired if you are in doubt.
The angelfish will be able to thrive and thrive whenever there is a company for them to live with.
It is important for the angelfish to be able to establish a social hierarchy with a mating companion in order to establish a sense of social hierarchy as well.
The habitat of these animals in the Amazon basin will thus be somewhat similar to their natural surroundings.
Consequently, they too will be more naturally acclimatized to their new environment more quickly.
Scenario 3: Isolated Among Community Fishes
So, what if you couldn’t introduce the companion angelfish even if you could introduce the host angelfish?
In this case, it would be a good idea to include fish that are compatible with the angelfish so that the catch is more diverse. This includes the following types of fish:
As you can see, there are just a few species of angelfish that are compatible with them.
However, as you can see, they truly are not limited in this respect. It is a good idea to check online before introducing any fish to your aquarium if you don’t know whether they are safe.
Two main factors should be taken into consideration when you select the species:
As angelfish are often known to devour small fishes, they shouldn’t be too small to avoid being eaten by angelfish.
In the same way, a few kinds of tetras that I kept in my tank often caused me the same type of trouble.
The fishes should not aggressively attack the angelfish on sight or they may cause the fins or tails of the angelfish to be damaged.
I recommend researching online or visiting the pet store beforehand in order to determine whether it is suitable.
You will find that this will make it that much easier for you to choose the right community fish to live alongside your angelfish if you keep these two things in mind.
This is more comfortable for a one-person angelfish tank as well if that is what you wish to do.
There are at least three scenarios in which angelfish can survive. This depends a lot on whether or not the grower is able to take care of them.
I began by stating that the answers to the question are mixed, and I believe that that is the reason why I began by saying so.
Is It Beneficial To Angelfish To Live With Companions?
It is a shoaling fish known as the angelfish. It can only do that with the help of other companions who are in the same tank with it. Shoaling is a beneficial action, including the following advantages:
Stress Is Likely Reduced By ShoALING
As a general rule, fish that are shoaling tend to be safer than those that are not. This would seem to be logical since it would lower their chances of being eaten by predators.
Therefore, their stress levels will be on the lower side when they shoal in the aquarium when they are shoaling.
In a tank, for instance, you cannot maintain the same conditions that you might find in the wild.
Both the sizes and the arrangement of the animals in the tank differ greatly from those of their habitat in the Amazon. Despite this, we should be glad that something is being done.
Match Making Made Easier
The angelfish are more likely to find a mate if they are in a shoal. It is clear that as we raise the number of fishes, their chances of finding a breeding partner will increase.
Then your angelfish will have a better chance of thriving and flourishing at a rate which will be faster.
The fish should be kept within a reasonable range so that there is no competition and no aggressive behavior.
As a result, you should ensure you have a sufficient amount of angelfish based on the rule of thumb we mentioned above.
Fish shoals are mainly formed because of hydrodynamic efficiency, which is one of the reasons for their formation.
Since it takes less energy for the group to move around when swimming, there is less energy required to swim.
As the fish swims and floats with their companions, each is supercharged with kinetic energy.
Due to the shoaling effect, your angelfish will consume less power when they shoal together.
Obviously, with time, they are going to be more energetic and healthy, so it is to be expected that they will be in good health.
There Will Be Less Indifference
According to my experiences, sole angelfish come out of deep water slower and practice hiding behind plants.
As a result of this, they will become sick, and unable to withstand the harsh conditions. They seem to be more confident when living in groups and have a higher sense of self-esteem.
Because we must not reflect human characteristics upon fish, it is difficult to determine which behavior is preferred.
I have noticed, however, that by sharing their tank with other angelfish, I have been able to observe their health and longevity far longer.
What Is The Ideal Number Of Angelfish You Should Keep Together?
You probably wonder how many angelfish should actually be present in a group of angelfish if you wish to keep the angelfish together.
To address this, I am going to look at what is the ideal group size as well as what is the minimum group size.
I am going based on my past experience and views in order to address this issue.
Group Size That Works Best
In order to get the best results with angelfish groups, there should be five to six of them. If you want to keep them in the tank, however, it is important to make sure that it is big enough to keep them.
In a standalone situation, the area may appear to be large enough, however, in a multispecies setting, it is important that other species have adequate room as well.
You need to ask yourself if you can accommodate the ideal group size after you have taken that into consideration.
Whenever I introduce a 30-gallon aquarium to two angelfish, I’m upping the chances of success.
You cannot just put two angelfish into a thirty-gallon tank if, for instance, you have thirty gallons of water. Using the sixty-gallon tank as an example, you would introduce four water gallons, and so forth.
Minimum Number Of Participants
It is your best option if you are unable to adhere to the ideal number of participants, at least stick to the minimum number of participants.
In my experience, I have found that the minimum group size for angelfish is three. I have heard this from other fish growers as well.
Obviously, you will need an aquarium with at least 30 gallons of space to grow a whole group of angelfish and this tank will provide you with peace of mind.
I believe that this is, in part, due to the fact that we have made the first conclusion, that angelfish behave better during group activities.
It is possible for you to grow one by yourself if you have no other option. But you should take into consideration that these aren’t optimal conditions.
Are Angelfish Capable Of Living Alone?
As I have mentioned above, angelfish can live on their own. However, you should ensure that when they are alone, they do not become too indifferent, there are steps you should take to make sure that they do not get bored.
There are several ways to avoid this issue, such as setting up your tank to avoid this problem. These arrangements will be discussed in more detail in the subsequent sections.
You should ensure that the tank in which you are going to keep the fish is not completely clear as the first step to take.
Adding some boulders or plants with wide leaves will certainly help with this. Angelfish will be able to find hiding places in these structures since they will resemble the Amazon habitat.
If you are planning to keep no more than one angelfish, it is advisable to introduce some community fish, such as those mentioned above. Nevertheless, you must ensure that they are not aggressive in nature.
I believe that it is important to ensure that there is an ample supply of food, especially during the early childhood years.
You should even take precautions if the tank contains a single angelfish and a number of other community fishes.
The competition will be reduced to a minimum this way. Don’t overdo it, however (two feedings per day is sufficient for most dogs). In addition, make sure that the child is provided with a balanced diet, with a variety of food items.
In order to achieve the proper pH level and temperature of the water, it is important to observe the prescribed confines around it. pH should be between 6.4 and 7.5, and 78 degrees Fahrenheit to 84 degrees Fahrenheit should be reached.
You will be increasing the chances of your lonely angelfish living for as long as it lives on your care and attention.
It is imperative to provide the most suitable aquarium conditions to allow angelfish to thrive as closely as possible to their natural habitat.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Angelfish Groups?
I have pointed out above that angelfish can live alone, although generally, it is best for them to be in groups.
However, for some, working with another company does have some disadvantages, especially for those that there are a lot. The good news is that they can be avoided or can be resolved.
Companions are most likely to have a negative experience with their full tanks. The angelfish might be in a situation where they are stressed, even if they are in a shoal.
Additionally, angelfish that live in a group will most likely compete for food with other angelfish that are present in the group. The result is that their nutrition may be less than satisfactory.
There is also the possibility that the level of nitrates in the tank may increase, which, in turn, might alter the pH values in the tank.
It would result in the angelfish being stressed and malnourished if that were to occur. So, in order to avoid overcrowding in your tank if you intend to keep the angelfish in groups, it is necessary to keep them apart from each other.
There is a social hierarchy established among Angelfish when they are in a group. Sometimes, though, the other members of the group may not accept the new social standing immediately.
A pair of angelfish might act aggressively towards other angelfish if they are in such a situation.
Due to this, even though some angelfish are close in species to each other, they may suffer from an attack.
There has also been thought to be an attack during mating season when some angelfish compete against one another.
In order to get things back to normal with your angelfish, you may want to observe them from time to time and, if necessary, isolate those who are aggressive.
Unless the damselfishes can get along and form a large group instead of small pairs, they may start shoaling as a result.
Video About Angelfish In Groups
Angelfish are able to survive on their own, but keeping them as a group provides them with tremendous benefits.
Although a relatively small aquarium can easily accommodate a lot of angelfish, there are a few drawbacks.
However, if you have a preference, then that is what is important to you. In addition to pointing out the advantages and disadvantages of both methods, I have outlined their key benefits as well.
As for the decision to buy or not, that lies entirely with the owner of the tank. As long as you do it right, an angelfish can survive and thrive under either condition.
Annette M. Chaney is an experienced marine biologist with over 20 years of experience as an aquarist and fishkeeper. She started her first aquarium at a young age, filling it with frogs and goldfish obtained from the ten-cent pet store.
Annette grew up caring for and breeding African Cichlids, which led to a hobby in high school that doubled as a profitable means. Attending Reed College gave her time to solidify herself as an accomplished aquarium caretaker with an eye for sales. After that, from 2009 – 2013, she studied at Roger Williams University – one of the most prestigious universities for Aquaculture and Aquarium in USA. She is the founder of AquariumCircle since 2010