Angelfish are popular among fish enthusiasts because they are beautiful and brightly colored. They are also easy to keep and rarely require special care. Angelfish are generally peaceful fish to have in the aquarium, but will Angelfish eat Neon Tetras? Angelfish are known to turn aggressive with smaller fish and eat them, including Neon Tetras. Angelfish can also eat anything they can sink their mouth into, not just Tetras.
Why will Angelfish eat neon tetras?
Angelfish will not only feed on Neons but will also turn on their kind if they are protecting their spawn. They will initially keep the harmony and make you think everything is peaceful until you noticed some of your Neon Tetras missing in the fish tank.
Angelfish will feed on your Neon Tetras because that is how they behave in the wild, so it will be no different once you place them both inside an aquarium. They tend to feel cramped, especially when there are so many small fishes swimming around them, and they will terrorize these small fishes so there will be fewer fishes cramping the space.
An Angelfish will start nipping at the fins of your Tetras if the environment stresses them. Unmaintained pH level, unstable water temperature, and incorrect feeding may bring this about. When the Angelfish is not getting enough of their food requirement, they will look elsewhere where their hunger will be satisfied.
The water quality is important to any type of fish, not just the Angelfish because as the water quality decline, the health of your fish will also be in jeopardy and their behavior suffers as well.
Introducing Neon Tetras to an existing school of Angelfish may not be the best idea. When you introduce the small Neon Tetras to several Angelfish, there is a high tendency that your Angelfish will feed on these newcomers, thinking that they are just an addition to the already cramped space. This is not at all something that Angelfish will welcome. It is true, especially when you have bigger Angelfish in the tank.
This fish will grow bigger than neon tetras, although, when they are raised together in the same tank while they are young, there is a lesser chance for Angelfish to terrorize the Neons. However, the Angelfish can also be unpredictable, and there is no assurance that they will not feed on the Neon Tetras if given all they require while having a perfect tank environment.
(You can find out what make good tank mates for neon tetras with our article – Best Tank Mates for Neon Tetras)
How to prevent your Angelfish from eating your Neon fish?
Get a large tank
A full-grown Angelfish can become large, so they need sufficient room to swim around without feeling cramped. Their aggressiveness lessens if they can move around freely. A larger tank will ensure that there is enough space for the fishes you place in the tank, and there will be areas for them to dwell.
A larger tank will also give you enough space to provide hiding places for the different fish you have in your aquarium. Some fish will have a safe place to hide, especially when being bullied by bigger fish. They will not be out in the open ready to be preyed upon by other fish.
Provide adequate feeding
When you don’t feed your Angelfish enough, or even any fish be ready to have stressed fish because there is no adequate sustenance. This is also the reason your Angelfish may nip at the fins of other smaller fish. Your Angelfish will think that they have these fishes at their disposal and will begin nipping at them every chance they get.
Angelfish are omnivorous and can feed on worms or crustaceans in the wild as they search the bottom of the river for food. If inside a tank, they can feed on shrimp pellets, color flakes, fish granules, even frozen and live foods if available.
When you provide your Angelfish with adequate feeding, this will minimize their chasing and showing hostility to the Neon Fish. They will not have the energy and think that it is just a waste of time to feed on the smaller fish.
Separate your Angelfish during breeding periods
The Angelfish can become more agitated when breeding, and this will require some precautions on your part. Separate them from other fishes so they will not feel threatened and will not get stressed. Breeding season can bring out the worst in this fish, making them highly territorial, getting hostile, and can kill fish they see as potential threats. They can also get highly aggressive that they will run after the smaller fishes, such as Neon Tetras, seeing them as villains.
Get the smaller-sized Angelfish
If you are to mix the Angelfish with Neon tetras, you might as well get the smaller-sized Angelfish instead of the bigger ones to introduce to the fish tank. Bigger Angelfish will surely prey on the Tetras.
Introducing the Angelfish to the Neons instead of the other way around may lessen the aggressiveness of the Angelfish since they are the newcomer in the fish tank.
Mimic the natural habitat of the Angelfish
You can add standing rocks, hiding places, and plenty of vegetation. You can also use artificial plants to help imitate the Amazon basin habitat where Angelfish, is found. Plants with large leaves that are standing vertically can be your best option.
Some ideas for tank decor include rocks and driftwood, ceramic caves, and other pots that can help your Angelfish become comfortable and stress-free with their environment.
Have a smooth surface with medium-grade gravel placed at the bottom of the tank so the Angelfish can have an area to forage for food. This is their usual activity in the wild, and mimicking such will help decrease their hostility and lessen their time bullying other small fishes.
Prepare the perfect water temperature and other requirements
The water temperature that Angelfish will prefer is between 76 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit, with a pH level anywhere between 6.5 to 7.5. A tap water source is not the best option since there are chlorides that are harmful to them. Using a water conditioner to neutralize the chlorine will be helpful.
Get the test kits for testing the tank water, so you are always up to date and sure that your fish have a healthy environment.
Get the correct ratio of Angelfish and Neon Tetras
You may opt to house a higher number of Neons while getting a few of the Angelfish. This is perfect for a large tank such as 55 gallons and above.
Do not get more Angelfish as compared to your Tetras. Doing so will just give way to Angelfish having more force inside the tank.
Provide the correct lightings for both
You may provide light for 8 to 10 hours every day using the aquarium light. With Neon Tetras though, floating plants and driftwood are helpful so they can get the low levels of lighting they require.
Monitor for any aggressive behavior
Checking out the behavior of the fishes in the tank is simple. You only need to see which fish is running after the smaller fish and separate said fish from the school. Place the highly aggressive fish in another tank so they will not cause stress to other fishes in the aquarium.
You can keep the hostile ones away from the rest and keep them isolated for a week or two. You will need to re-school them after and then repeat the monitoring and check if their behavior changed after the isolation period
Angelfish will terrorize weaker fishes, and if they see a fish that moves slowly and doesn’t look healthy, there is a higher chance that the Angelfish will bully the slower, weaker fish. With such a fish you may want to separate it from the tank to check if it is eating well or showing signs of sickness or having a disease.
An Angelfish being bigger can easily bully smaller fish and this is true especially for weak and sick neon tetras.
Observing is the key to guarantee that you are not keeping healthy and sick fish in the same tank. It is easy to pinpoint the sick neon tetras since they will lose coloration and have difficulty swimming.
Will Angelfish Eat Neon Tetras? - Conclusion
Neon Tetras can bring color to your aquarium, and the Angelfish can be another stunning addition that you can raise in your fish tank. Both have the same natural habitat, similar tank requirements, and their diets are alike.
It can be tricky at first, but it may be possible if you raise them together at a young age.
Providing them all they require to live a stress-free and healthy life is the key to help them thrive and live long. Making sure that their needs are met increases the likelihood that your fish will live peacefully and in contentment.
You may have some hit or miss when ensuring that the Angelfish will not feed on your Neon Tetras, and if it is better to keep them in one tank with a divider, this may be more advantageous for both fish.
Yes, it may require hard work and patience, but if you get it right, it will be something that will bring joy to you for years.