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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Straight to the point: My girlfriend's angelfish constantly munch on her plants. Even directly after feeding time, they'll go over to the plants and start pulling them apart like a dog does to a stuffed animal.

Why? Does anyone else have this problem with their angelfish? Their are 2 angelfish in a 30g XH tank. BOTH fish do it. Are they taking out aggression?

Tank specs are:
30g XH tank
T5 Coralife light fixture
DIY Co2
100% EcoComplete
Dosing: Seachem Flourish, KNO3, KH2PO4, and K2SO4
Ammonia 0, NitrIte 0, NitrAte 0/very low, PH 6.8
Other inhabitants are:
6 SAE's, 1 common pleco
Food source:
Hikari Blood Worms
Tetra Flakes (fed twice a day)

Here is the poor Hygrophila polysperma 'Sunset' they just love to shred:




You can see the culprit in the pictures too.

Has anyone else witnessed this type of behavior from their angelfish. Only people with personal experiences please respond, I don't want 'guesses'.

Thanks
 

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Hi
I have 50 g tank full of angels and planted with vals, glosso, H.cuba, E. Tenneleus, hygrophyla difformis. In two years they have not damaged even glosso.
Angles tend to clean up a site when they are in spawning mood. However this cleaning is very gentle, maybe in your case this is happening.
one more thing, they might be picking up food from the surface of flower and it might be getting damaged in the process.
 

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How old are the angels? My angel ate on a specific plant at about a year of age. After about a month of that I took the plant out and she left the others alone. She also liked the algae wafers around that time.

There is another possibility as well. Angels as they are matureing try a lot of things once, and in the case of plants may need something they arn't getting from the food. But the heavy continuation may be a learned behaivior unwittingly reinforced by when you feed them. They are able to do cause and effect learning very well.

I nibble/eat on this plant you feed me... I like this, lets eat more plant get fed more.

I went through this with my angel. It ate on the anacharis, I fed it more. After a while I took the anacharis out because she wasn't letting it grow and it was dieing. At some point after that she took a leaf of hygrophila in her mouth like a sword swallower, caught my eye then spit it out and looked up at the surface. "I 'ate' a plant, now feed me."
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
How old are the angels? My angel ate on a specific plant at about a year of age. After about a month of that I took the plant out and she left the others alone. She also liked the algae wafers around that time.

There is another possibility as well. Angels as they are matureing try a lot of things once, and in the case of plants may need something they arn't getting from the food. But the heavy continuation may be a learned behaivior unwittingly reinforced by when you feed them. They are able to do cause and effect learning very well.

I nibble/eat on this plant you feed me... I like this, lets eat more plant get fed more.

I went through this with my angel. It ate on the anacharis, I fed it more. After a while I took the anacharis out because she wasn't letting it grow and it was dieing. At some point after that she took a leaf of hygrophila in her mouth like a sword swallower, caught my eye then spit it out and looked up at the surface. "I 'ate' a plant, now feed me."
They're around 8 - 10 months old. Yes, they do this all day long, i'm guessing they are just hungry little fish.
 

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How old are the angels? My angel ate on a specific plant at about a year of age. After about a month of that I took the plant out and she left the others alone. She also liked the algae wafers around that time.

There is another possibility as well. Angels as they are matureing try a lot of things once, and in the case of plants may need something they arn't getting from the food. But the heavy continuation may be a learned behaivior unwittingly reinforced by when you feed them. They are able to do cause and effect learning very well.

I nibble/eat on this plant you feed me... I like this, lets eat more plant get fed more.

I went through this with my angel. It ate on the anacharis, I fed it more. After a while I took the anacharis out because she wasn't letting it grow and it was dieing. At some point after that she took a leaf of hygrophila in her mouth like a sword swallower, caught my eye then spit it out and looked up at the surface. "I 'ate' a plant, now feed me."
So, what you're saying is that they need a good beating.:heh:
 

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Okay, I'm just going to read your title and assume that you're having a problem with plants eating your angelfish :rolleyes:

Seriously, though. Try feeding more plant based food to the angels. They may be trying to get something from the plants that they're missing in their staple diet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Okay, I'm just going to read your title and assume that you're having a problem with plants eating your angelfish :rolleyes:

Seriously, though. Try feeding more plant based food to the angels. They may be trying to get something from the plants that they're missing in their staple diet.
Sam lol.

Thanks, perhaps the Hygrophila polysperma 'Sunset' is now part of their staple diet. ;)

Seriously, thanks for the information. I heard about Angelfish eating the dying or dead parts of plants but never healthy parts.
 

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Okay, I'm just going to read your title and assume that you're having a problem with plants eating your angelfish :rolleyes:
:rolleyes: :rolleyes: Thats what I thought as well.:rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Is it JUST this one plant? If so I would be willing to bet its one of those odd learned behaviors.

OR another idea is are they getting enough fiber or greens in their diet? Maybe they don't think so and are watching their health...:cool:

-Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok, enough making fun of my title.

They're not just doing this to this one plant. They're doing it to all of them. They constantly peck at each other too.
 

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Maybe they're getting ready to spawn and they think the plants are invading their territory (were they dropped on their heads at the LFS)?
 

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That is about the age my angel was eating her greens. Try adding some spirulina flakes and see if you can coax them to nibble on algae wafers. Of course if you can get them to beg for a little bit befor you feed it will help make sure you aren't conditioning a responce to nibble on plants. Get their attention and hold it a little befor you feed them.

Mine grew out of it, so there is hope for the plants :)
 

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FYI,

I've had up to 10 angel pairs plus another 20 individuals in one large 80 gallon tank which also contained a large gold severum. The severum had a habit of ripping new leaves off my swords and even new shoots from my anubis. I tried feeding a daily dose of microwaved spinach, but I needed ever increasing quantities to keep him satisfied, i.e. he still managed to destroy most of my plants. The severum is now in one of my breeding tanks, pending disposal.

The problem remained because the angelfish had learned the same habit and once they got to breeding size, the males were capable of doing similar damage.

I now feed the angels the same spinach and, because they prefer it, that seems to limit the damage (10 large angels dont have the same stomach capacity as one large severum !). If I forget to feed them spinach for even one day they will start pecking at the plants again.

Some of the breeding pairs (not all) still continued the habit even when moved to my breeding tanks. I believe they need a "green" diet, as their only other intake is tropical flake and occasional treat of blood worms.

Note that even small angels and gouramis, clown loaches and plecos will love the same (blanched or microwaved) spinach leaves.

My procedure is this:
1) Wash a large spinach leaf thoroughly and drain off excees water
2) Strip the green parts off (i.e. to yourself dont burn wash thoroughly first and remove the stalks and stalk-like ribs on each leaf as they are too difficult to peck apart and just lie around on the bottom
3) Place green parts in a freezer bag and fold over the open end of the bag (dont tie it) and place bag on a plate.
4) Microwave for (30 secs) then leave to COOL (to AVOID STEAM BURNS)
5) When cool, drain the bag as the liquid WILL discolour the tank water.

Toss the greens in your tank and watch them tear into it.

Note you can repeat above for a full bunch of spinach and then divide into small quantities, and freeze them in small containers e.g an iced-cube tray.
I've tried other greens like lettuce but all the fish seem to prefer spinach.

It sounds like a lot of work but believe me your fish will be happier for it,
and you plants will thank you.

BTW, before spawning, angelfish often stop feeding. They appear to be eating off a plant leaf but are actually cleaning it for laying the eggs on it. When the eggs hatch they will often move the wrigglers to another (safer and easier to defend) location and then tend to them there until they start swimming. Cleaning the plant leaf is a sure sign that they are wanting to spawn (within next 1-4 days).

Good luck,
"angelbreeder" Australia
(new member of APC)
 

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1. Add substitute green matters with the hope that the fish will eat these instead of your plants.

2. Remove live plants and replace with plastic plants. Hopefully, the fish will un-learn this bad habit after a few months.
 
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