March 6, 2015
I purchased 3 angelfish for my 55 gallon tank and 1 was attacked by a CPO Dwarf Mexican Crayfish. He had been peaceful with my other fish and had been the one getting picked on in 2 other tanks. The 55 was his 3rd home, now he has been moved into his 4th. The angelfish was badly damaged and died the next day. Now I have 2 dime/nickel size angelfish and wonder if I should add another 1 since they are young or see if they can live peacefully with just the 2 of them since now they rarely leave each others side. I orginally wanted to get 5, as I've read on forums that is the best number to even out aggression in a 55, but the LFS insisted 3 was best. They have been in the tank together less that a week, so I'm assuming adding more of the same size won't upset them too much. Should I bump their numbers up to 5, 3, or leave them as 2?
November 3, 2008
First, crayfish should never be combined with fish. But you probably realize that now.
To the angelfish. This is a shoaling fish than should always be acquired in a group of five or more, or singly, or a mated bonded pair. Never acquire two (except a mated pair), three or four. The fish will quickly establish an hierarchy within the group, and the results of this can vary with individual fish but one is likely to be dominant. Weaker fish in small groups can be hounded literally to death in short order.
In your situation, I would acquire another three or four, and when you are ready (after quarantine for example) remove the two you have from the 55g, re-arrange the aquascape, and then add all five at once. Angelfish will fairly quickly establish their territory, which in small tanks (a 4-foot tank is not large to the fish) usually means the entire space and defend it against intruders. Re-arranging the layout and adding them together sometimes gets around this.
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