My husband and I "adopted" a 55 gallon tank that came with a number of fish, including 2 angelfish and 7 black skirt tetras. Unfortunately we've been having an issue with both species: the angelfish either fight like crazy (liplocking, nipping, etc.; the female had an infected eye when we took her in and is now blind thanks to him), harass everyone in the tank, or lay a bunch of eggs (they usually eat them all so at least we don't have a ton of babies, but they get very territorial with the others when this happens) and the black skirts have started aggressively fighting (they usually would play together, looked a lot like tag, but now they're actually causing harm to each other). We have been seriously considering rehoming them and getting new fish, but we weren't sure what would be compatible in our tank?

The other fish we have are: 4 neon tetras, 4 cory catfish, and 1 pleco.

The angels are the only ones picking on anyone outside of their own species, in fact everyone else gets along really well! If we did switch out the angels and BST, are there any more colorful AND peaceful options we could look into? We already plan on getting more neons since their school is so small at this time, but right now they're the only spot of color in a sea of silver and black. Thanks in advance for any advice you may have for us! :)


3 Answers 3


The other answers have addressed the fact that the Angelfish can be aggressive so I won't go too much into that. They have a bit of a stigma in the hobby and are often very aggressive during breeding (whether successful or not), although this is also true with a lot of other fish too.

Removing the pair may be the best option at this time. If you can't find someone who wants them, a lot of fish shops will be more than happy to take them back. Most of the time they are sold onto other people who may be better equipped to look after them.

In reference to your second question, your current stocking is not very limiting in terms of what you can get. As you correctly identified, you'll want to grab a few more tetras to stop the fighting for dominance.

If you're looking for a peaceful community fish then Rainbow Fish, Gouramis (not dwarves as they are often sickly), Swordtails and Mollies are all great candidates. Even some of the larger tetras (such as Congo and Colombian) can be a really great addition to your tank. The ones I've listed are by no means an exhaustive list but these are ones which rarely cause problems in tanks.

Remember, you're keeping these fish for you. If you're not that thrilled by the Angels, maybe it's time to change for something that you are really passionate about.


Cichlids are generally aggressive , angels are usually not so much as others. Getting a few more angels should help ; then one fish is not always the target.


Cichlids and angelfish are aggressive because they are breeding or they are defending their territory. I suggest that you put the angelfish into another tank and add more angels with it and let the other fish into a new tank.

Got a friend who is into angels, most of his gourami and tetras are dead because of the angels harassing them. In the end, his best move is to move the angels to a new tank with different kinds of angels and with multiple hiding spots for their territory.

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