Are Angelfish Aggressive? 5 Ways to Reduce Their Aggression

Are Angelfish Aggressive?

It’s no secret that angelfish are among the most popular saltwater aquarium fish. However, many people are unsure if they are aggressive or not.

Some say that angelfish are semi-aggressive, while others believe they are only aggressive when they are not well cared for.

The truth is, angelfish can be aggressive, but it really depends on the individual fish. Some angelfish are more aggressive than others, and some may never show any aggression at all.

Still, if you don’t provide this fish with a good environment and care, it will show aggressive behaviors.

This guide will help you understand more about angelfish’s aggression and provide some tips on how to prevent it.

Reasons Why Angelfish Chase Each Other

1. They See the Other Fish as a Threat

Freshwater angelfish are not always the most peaceful tank mates and can sometimes be quite aggressive towards one another.

This is especially true if they have been introduced to a new tank, as each fish will see the other as a potential threat until it has been shown otherwise.

They may attack or chase each other around to establish their place in the pecking order.

2. They Are Playing

Freshwater angelfish can also be seen chasing each other around as a form of play.

This is usually seen in juveniles who are still learning to behave and interact with others in their species.

They may see the chase as a game and will often stop once they have tired themselves out.

3. They Are Mating

Some freshwater angelfish, particularly the more sedentary species, are known to spawn throughout the year.

When doing this, the male will chase the female around to get her to spawn. Once she does, he will release his milt, and the eggs will be fertilized.

No matter the reason for their chasing, it is important to keep a close eye on them as there is always a risk of injury.

If one fish is chasing another too much or if they are fighting for a prolonged period, you should try and separate them by moving the aggressor into a separate angelfish tank.

4. The Female Angelfish are Trying to Protect their Young

Freshwater angelfish are known to be quite protective of their young, and the females usually take on this role.

When a female sees her young being threatened or chased by other fish, she often becomes aggressive to protect them. This can result in some serious chasing and fighting between all the fish.

5. They Are Stressed

It is essential to provide your angelfish with suitable tank size and excellent water conditions.

They will be irritated and uncomfortable if you don’t satisfy their requirements in this area.

So don’t be shocked if your angels have evolved into extremely aggressive species because you didn’t care for them properly.

6. The Tank Is Too Small

Although angelfish live in schools in the wild, in a home aquarium they will claim their own territory.

When the tank is too small, each fish will lack adequate space to feel secure and comfortable. This will lead to an increase in territorial and dominance aggression.

How to Stop Angelfish Aggression?

1. Choose Suitable Tankmates from Different Aquarium Levels

Most of an angelfish’s life is spent swimming near the water’s surface in the top layer of the water column.

As a result, tankmates from lower levels are preferable since they won’t constantly be in the angelfish’s territory and won’t feel threatened by them.

2. Provide Them with the Suitable Water Parameters

Ensuring the water parameters in your tank are suitable for angelfish is extremely important in keeping them healthy and stress-free.

Water pH levels for angelfish should be 6.5 to 8.0, with 0 being the ideal level of nitrates and ammonia. They also prefer a temperature range of 72 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Offer Them Plenty of Hiding Places

Freshwater angelfish feel much safer when they have plenty of places to hide.

Providing them with caves, plants, and other objects that they can shelter in will help to reduce their stress levels and make them less likely to be aggressive.

4. Give Them Enough Food

One of the main reasons why angelfish become aggressive is because they are not getting enough food.

When there is not enough food in the tank, they will start competing for what is available.

To avoid this, ensure you are feeding them enough food and that it is of good quality.

5. Avoid Aggressive Tank Mates

Avoid any fish that has been labeled as aggressive, such as card-carrying fin nippers like tiger barbs, certain tetras, and Skunk botia. These species will only aggravate the angelfish’s aggression.

Here is a youtube guide showing you 5 ways to reduce angelfish aggression.

Are Angelfish More Aggressive Among Themselves Or Towards Other Fish Species?

This depends on their tank mates. If they live with peaceful fish, angelfish will leave them alone.

But if their tank mates are aggressive, the angelfish will become aggressors themselves.

Also, they sometimes show aggression among their own species to establish dominance.

Do Angelfish Fight to the Death?

Angelfish aren’t known for fighting to the death. However, if you have a small tank with two male species that always fight, may one of them get injured and, in turn, die. To avoid this, only keep one male angel at a time in your aquarium.

Can Two Angelfish Males Live Together?

In theory, two male angels can live together in the same tank, but it’s not recommended.

The dominant male will likely bully or attack the weaker one to assert his territorial claim, which can lead to injury or even death.

However, If you want to keep more than one in the same tank, your best bet is to have a very large freshwater tank – at least 100 gallons or bigger is recommended.

Can a Female Angelfish Attack the male?

If a lady angelfish doesn’t like her guy, she will attack him!

Let me share with you my experience with my angelfish. I had two angelfish before, and after laying eggs, the female changed into an aggressive fish, which is understandable since she’s trying to guard her eggs.

So, I tried to put it in a separate tank, but she was also attacking her male! As a result, I decided to split them up, and after she had calmed down, she was fine with all of the tank inhabitants unless the male angelfish, she attempted to attack him again!

This means a female angelfish can become aggressive towards a male because she just doesn’t like him!

Can Angelfish Eat Other Fish?

Angelfish eat smaller fish in the wild as a part of their diet. In a fish tank, angelfish can easily kill and eat neon tetrasguppies, glowlight tetras, swordtails, and other small freshwater fish species

So, the answer to this question is yes. Angelfish can eat other aquarium fish; however, it depends on the size of their prey.

Are My Angelfish Fighting Or Mating?

The mating dance of angelfish could seem like bullying or fighting at times. This involves the males pursuing the females around the tank at high speed.

If you observe two angelfish locking lips or “kissing,” it’s most likely a male and a female attempting to breed. However, if you notice this happening with 2 males, it’s probably going to be a fight.

FAQs

Will Angelfish Kill Each Other?

Angelfish have small teeth, so they are unlikely to kill or harm other fish in a community tank.

Do Angelfish Attack Each Other?

Angelfish are vicious territorial fighters who will harass and attack each other in an attempt to win the affection of the females.

Will Removing Non-Dominant Fish Reduce Freshwater Angelfish Aggression?

This will not work. You’ll be better off cutting out the dominant fish who continues to bully the others.

If I Have a Mated Pair of Angelfish, Will They Produce Viable Offspring?

It depends on environmental factors. The fry (baby fish) needs clean water with the correct pH and temperature. The parents should also be well-fed so they can produce healthy eggs.

However, if the setting is stressful they will consume the eggs.

Do Angelfish Bite Humans?

Angelfish are notorious for biting both fish and people. While the bites can be fatal to tiny fish species, they aren’t much worse than a nibble for humans.

However, we recommend you do not touch the fish with your bare hands because it might lead to later problems.

Should Angelfish Be Kept in Pairs?

Angelfish definitely do well in pairs. When you put a collection of angelfish in one tank, pairs will soon form, which may take a dominant position in the tank over the others.

Are Angelfish Easy to Keep?

Angelfish are easy to keep if their basic needs are met. They require a clean tank with the correct pH and temperature. Also, they need plenty of space to swim and hide.

What Fish Can Live With Angelfish?

There is plenty of fish that can live with angelfish. However, you should be careful that there aren’t tank mates with aggressive behavior.

Some good examples are:

  • The dwarf gouramis
  • Platies
  • Plecos
  • Swordtails
  • Some species of tetras such as lemon tetras
  • Guppies
  • Mollies
  • Corydoras catfish (in a school)
  • Bottlenose plecos
  • Keyhole cichlids

Do Angelfish Need a Special Diet?

Angelfish are not fussy eaters and will accept most types of food. However, they do require a diet rich in protein to stay healthy.

A good diet for angelfish includes:

  • Bloodworms
  • Brine shrimp
  • Daphnia
  • Krill
  • Mysis shrimp
  • Plankton
  • Worms

Do Angelfish Play Dead?

Angelfish do not play dead. However, they have been known to float upside down at the surface of the water when they are dying.

Do Angelfish Get Lonely?

Angelfish do not generally get lonely because they are social creatures that live in groups. When they are the only fish in the tank, they may become stressed which can lead to health problems.

Do Angelfish Sleep?

Angelfish do sleep, but since they don’t have eyelids, it’s hard to tell when they are sleeping. They will usually rest at the bottom of the tank or in a hiding place.

Do Angelfish Need a Filter?

Angelfish need a filter to remove toxins and waste from the water. A good filter will also help to maintain the correct water temperature and pH.

Last Words

Angelfish are beautiful, elegant creatures that make a great addition to any freshwater aquarium.

However, they can be aggressive towards other fish, so it’s important to choose their tank mates carefully.

In addition, providing them with live food will help satisfy their predatory nature and reduce their aggression.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article and found it informative. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below.