Learn How to Stop Angelfish Bullying: Protect Your Aquarium!

Last Updated on 2023-12-18

If you’ve ever owned an angelfish, then you know that they can be quite playful and curious. But their playfulness and curiosity can sometimes turn into bullying and aggression, especially if they are kept in a tank with other fish. In this article, we’ll explore why angelfish bully each other or other fish and how to stop them.

Why Do Angelfish Bully Each Other?

While it may look cute to some, aggression in angelfish can be harmful. Not only can it lead to physical injuries, but it also causes stress and behavioral problems. Why do these fish bully each other?

1. They Are Figuring Out Who Is The Boss

Bullying normally happens when you have more than one male angelfish. The group needs to figure out who’s in charge and who’s not. Most of the time, this is decided by low-level aggression, which people often think is playing. But if one of the males won’t back down, it can get more aggressive.

2. Too Little Room

Angelfish need a lot of room to swim and a tall tank because their shape means they need space both above and below them. You can figure it out with the help of a stocking calculator like aqadvisor.com. They take into account both the size and shape of your tank.

3. Too Little Food

A hungry fish can be very mean. Giving your fish not enough food is just as bad as giving them too much. Getting the right amount for your tank can take a few tries, but it is very important to get it right.

4. They Are Ready To Have Babies

When male angelfish are ready to mate, they fight with other males who bother them. Also, the male will always chase his female partner when they are about to have babies. It might look like he wants to fight, but if you look closely at the other fish, you should see that she has a rounder belly than most fish.

5. Not Giving The Women Space

While it’s nice to think that everyone gets along, male angelfish may harass the female if they don’t have enough space and places to hide. The female needs a place to lay her eggs and hide from aggressive males, so make sure she has plenty of caves and hiding spots.

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How To Stop Angelfish Bullying Other Fish

If you have an angelfish that bully other fish in your tank, you should stop it before any fish get hurt. There are many ways to solve this problem, which is good news. In this section, we’ll go over everything you need to know to stop an angelfish from being mean to other fish so you can keep your fish healthy and safe.

1. Give Your Fish Enough Food 

If an angelfish is hungry, it will bully other fish to get what it needs. Try giving your fish more food than you usually would, if you can, or give them the same amount of food more often, but in smaller amounts. This should calm them down when it’s time to eat. 

2. Get A Bigger Tank For Your Fish

At least 30 gallons (110 L) are needed, but more is always better. If your tank is less than 30 gallons (110 L) and you see a lot of bullying, get a bigger tank and set it up. Angelfish need at least 30 gallons of space for just two, but the more room you can give them, the better. A community tank should be at least 50 US gal (190 L) or larger. 

3. Add Rocks And Plants So That The Fish Can Hide

Give the other fish many places to hide so they can escape. If you don’t keep an angelfish in a tank by itself, it will fight with other fish occasionally. When this happens, other fish have to find somewhere to hide. Set up places for the other fish in your tank to hide, like rocky caves, water plants, and/or decorative items. 

4. Set Up A Den Near The Territory Of Each Angelfish

Angelfish will get mean if they have nowhere to hide. Put a big plant, rock, or piece of driftwood in the water where your angelfish likes to hang out and look around. Angelfish like to hide from other fish or when their tankmates are too much for them. If you don’t give your angelfish a place to hide, they might hurt other fish out of anger. 

5. Keep The Ph And Temperature Of The Water Healthy

Angelfish will act out if they don’t like the water they’re in. Angelfish may pick on other fish if their environment bothers them. Make sure the water is soft and a little bit acidic. Ideal pH and dH levels are between 0.6 and 1.2. Keep the water between 75 and 82 °F (24 and 28 °C). If you fix the water in their tank, your angelfish might stop bothering or biting the other fish. 

6. Less Frequent Water Changes For More Angelfish

When there is a lot of angelfish, big water cycles mess up the hierarchy. If you’re cycling and replacing 30% of the water weekly, try dropping that to 20% every two weeks. Angelfish mark their territory with chemicals and scents called pheromones. When a lot of the water is changed, things can go wrong.

7. Move Everything In The Tank Around

Remove your fish from the tank and try “resetting” everything else. Put your fish in temporary housing and drain the tank. Wash all driftwood, plants, stones, and gravel, then return everything to a brand-new spot. This will be like pressing the reset button for your angelfish hierarchy and territory. 

How Can You Tell If Your Angelfish Are Fighting?

If you have an aquarium with multiple angelfish, you must be aware of any signs of aggression or fighting. It’s important to recognize the signs of angelfish fighting so that you can take steps to resolve the situation and keep your fish safe and healthy.

1. Going After Other Fish

When your Angelfish start chasing other fish in the tank, you know they are mad. That means they have to leave their territory in the aquarium.

2. Facing Off

Two of your pets going face-to-face is another sign that they are fighting. The fighters will stand in the way that makes them look bigger by fully extending their fins and keeping eye contact with each other.

3. Charging

Your Angelfish are also upset when they move quickly toward each other. When the two fish that are charging each other get close to each other, they may be showing signs of aggression.

4. Nipping

Angelfish will nip the fins or lips of other fish in the tank to show anger. Nipping comes after other signs that the fight is approaching its peak.

5. Hitting Each Other Using Their Tails

Angelfish will hit each other with their tails (or other tank mates). If you see your angelfish hitting another fish with its tail, you can be sure it is mad.

Why Is Your Male Angelfish Bullying The Female?

Regarding fish, the behavior of male and female Angelfish can be very different. While some males may show signs of aggression towards females, this isn’t normal behavior. If you notice your male Angelfish bullying the female, it is likely due to a few different reasons.

1. Territoriality

Male Angelfish can become territorial when it comes to their tank. This means they may need to defend their space from intruders, even if it is a female Angelfish.

2. Competition

Sometimes two male Angelfish can become competitive over the same female, which can lead to bullying behavior. If you keep one male angelfish for every female angelfish, the female will be harassed a lot. The suggested ratio for a male and female angelfish is 1:2, so consider adding more females if possible.

3. Stress

If your Angelfish feel stressed or threatened, they may act aggressively towards the female to protect themselves. Remove anything that stresses out your male angelfish.

4. Poor Water Quality

Dirty or unhealthy water can cause stress and aggression in fish, which could be why your male is bullying the female. Do regular water changes and ensure your tank is properly maintained.

5. Inbreeding

If your male and female Angelfish are from the same gene pool, there may be a higher potential for aggression due to inbreeding. Inbreeding means that the genes of the two fish are too closely related, which can lead to aggression.

6. Lack of Space

Angelfish need plenty of space to swim and explore, so if your tank is too small or overcrowded, it could lead to aggression. Shift to a bigger tank to give your fish more room to move.

7. Lack of Food

If your fish aren’t getting enough food, they may become aggressive toward each other to get more. Giving your angelfish enough food may help them become less aggressive towards female fish.

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How Do You Stop Angelfish From Attacking Other Fish?

Naturally, it isn’t enough to know what causes fighting in angelfish. You must also do what you can to help them solve their problems. These steps will help you stop your angelfish from attacking other fish.

1. Make Sure They Have Their Own Territory

The first step to stopping aggression in angelfish is to ensure that each has enough space. Make sure that the tank you use for your angelfish is big enough for them all, and try to keep a decent ratio between males and females.

2. Provide Plenty Of Hideouts

If your angelfish have places to hide and take refuge, they may be less likely to engage in fights. Adding caves or decorations like driftwood can give them a place to go if they feel threatened.

3. Keep The Tank Clean

Unhealthy water quality is one of the leading causes of aggression in angelfish, so ensuring your tank is properly maintained and cleaned regularly is a must. Regular water changes and filter maintenance are key to happy, healthy angelfish.

4. Give Them Enough Food

Underfeeding can cause stress in fish, which can lead to aggression. Ensure your angelfish get enough to eat by feeding them high-quality food daily.

5. Feed Twice A Day

Spreading out your fish’s meals throughout the day can help reduce aggression, giving them more time to digest and feel full. Feeding twice a day is ideal for angelfish, but if you must provide only once, ensure they get enough food to keep them full until the next feeding.

6. Don’t Overcrowd The Tank

If your tank is too small or overcrowded, it can lead to aggression in angelfish. If the tank is too small, consider moving them to a bigger one or adding more decorations to give them enough space.

Why Have Your Angelfish Become Aggressive Suddenly?

Have you ever noticed that your angelfish have become aggressive suddenly? This can be a worrying sign, as it could mean something is wrong with your fish. In this article, we’ll look at five of the most common reasons your angel fish might have become aggressive. 

1. Territoriality 

Angelfish can become territorial in their space and often act aggressively towards other fish entering their territory. If you’ve recently added a new fish to your aquarium, this could cause aggression.

2. Lack of Space 

If there’s not enough room in your tank for all the angelfish, they may become aggressive as they compete for the limited space. Ensure your aquarium is large enough to accommodate the size and amount of angelfish you have.

3. Lack of Food 

If there’s not enough food in the tank or if it’s not distributed evenly, angel fish can become aggressive as they try to get what they need to survive. Make sure you’re providing your fish with enough food and that it’s evenly spread throughout the tank.

4. Stress 

Angelfish can become stressed due to several things, such as overcrowding, loud noises, or not having a safe place to hide. If your angel fish encounters these things, they can become stressed and aggressive.

5. Genetics 

Aggression is a trait that some angelfish are born with, so if you bought your fish from a store or breeder, it could be possible that the aggression is inherited. If this is the case, you may need to separate them from other fish.


Why Is Mated Angelfish Pair Bullying Other Angelfish?

Mated angelfish pairs can become very territorial and often bully or attack other fish that come too close to them. If the tank is too small, the pair may become more aggressive as they compete for resources and space. Moving the other angelfish to a different tank or adding more decorations to the existing tank can help reduce aggression. 

Do Angelfish Fight To The Death?

Angelfish usually don’t hurt each other when they fight; most fights end independently over time. But serious injuries or even death can happen if the fighting gets out of hand. You can try the things mentioned above to stop your fish from fighting if you are worried about it.

Is It Normal For Angelfish To Fight?

Yes, it is normal for angelfish to fight. Angelfish are often territorial and can become aggressive when they feel threatened or need more space. Providing enough space, food, and enrichment can help reduce aggression in your angelfish. 

Can You Keep 3 Angelfish Together?

In a 55-gallon tank, you could keep about 3 or 4 angelfish. Angelfish are very social fish that do best in groups of their own kind.

Do Angelfish Clean Each Other?

Angelfish often clean each other as a way to breed. Angelfish of both sexes will also flash their fins, face off, lock their mouths, and twist around. Once a couple is made, they choose a place to spawn and clean it up together.

Do Angelfish Bite Each Other?

Angelfish will bite the fins and tails of other fish when they are in a tank with other fish. But when two angelfish meet, they will bite each other’s mouths.

Learn How to Stop Angelfish Bullying_ Protect Your Aquarium!
Ultimate Betta Fish Care Guide
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