You may have noticed your angelfish gently pressing their lips together and wondered what this behavior was all about.
This is a form of communication known as “kissing.” While it may look cute, a lot is going on behind those smooches!
Angelfish usually seal their lips while mating or fighting. They’ll lock their mouths and roll against the notion of injuring each other during a fight.
In this article, we’ll explore the different reasons why an angelfish kiss and how to prevent this in your tank.
Do Angelfish Kiss Each Other?
Yes, angelfish do kiss each other. However, they don’t pucker up as we do. When two angelfish kiss, their lips touch but don’t actually pucker. This form of kissing is more like pressing or rubbing their lips together.
In humans, this behavior only happens between two romantically involved people.
On the other hand, angelfish engage in this type of kissing for various reasons. Maybe they are mating, fighting, or trying to show dominance and be aggressive over another fish.
Here is a youtube guide showing two angelfish kissing.
Why Do Angelfish Lock Lips?
Angelfish Lock lips for two main reasons, mating or fighting. They rarely kiss for any other reason.
However, if you’ve never seen this behavior, it might be difficult to tell the difference between the two. Here’s a quick breakdown:
In most cases, an angelfish kiss aims to start the breeding process. Angelfish that are prepared to breed will choose a partner and engage in a lip lock with them, signifying that they’re ready to mate.
You’ll notice the following indicators when angelfish are ready to breed, as well as lip-locking:
- The female will develop a bloated belly
- The female will tend to be more aggressive
- Paired angelfish will begin grooming one another
- Paired angelfish will choose a spawning site and clean it together
- They will flash their fins and peck at each other
Angelfish will often lock lips as part of their aggressive behavior. They may be trying to assert dominance over another fish or establish their place in the hierarchy.
This especially happens when there are too many males in a tank, and they are competing for the attention of a female.
The factors driving this aggression can be:
- Angelfish are most frequently engaged in territorial disputes and aggressive pursuits of other fish that threaten their territory
- Female angelfish are more aggressive while defending their young
- Males are more inclined to battle other males who try to steal their partner
- When a female rejects a male’s advances, he might not leave. he might try to kiss the female instead
Are My Angelfish Kissing, Biting, or Fighting?
Although lip-locking is sometimes linked with kissing, it’s frequently accompanied by biting and fighting.
When identifying differences between the three, you must learn to tell them apart.
Next time you see your angelfish lip-locking, check for the following signs:
If the angelfish gently touch their lips without aggression, they will probably kiss. This mating behavior always happens between a male and a female ready to breed.
If this is the case, you will not notice any other aggression such as biting or fins being flared. On the other hand, you will notice the pair dancing around each other and maybe even cleaning a spot in the tank together.
Within a few days, fertilized eggs will appear in the tank, indicating that the lip-locking approach was kissing.
Angelfish have teeth. When locking lips with another fish, they may bite using the teeth on their protruding jaws, which they use to grasp and pull their food.
If you see your angelfish biting during a lip-lock, it’s not a good sign. This is usually an indicator of aggression and may develop into a fight.
Sadly, the bitten fish’s eating capacity might be affected by mouth injuries. So, you must monitor the situation and see if it escalates.
Angelfish use their mouths to fight. When battling, angelfish will start by lip-locking and biting each other, then nip at each other’s fins and swim into one another after they break free. This behavior can result in significant injuries and even death.
The following symptoms can identify fighting:
- Tears around the mouth and fins
- Missing scales
- Damaged eyes
- Dislocated jaws
However, injuries are typically acute and easy to detect. If your aquarium contains an angelfish that has been battered, it’s probably time to take it out for a rest period.
How to Prevent Angelfish From Lip Locking?
You can’t stop your angelfish from locking lips, but you can take steps to prevent fighting and biting. Here are a few tips:
1. Make Sure the Tank Is Big Enough
Imagine being locked in a small room with someone you don’t like for hours. You would get agitated too!
The same thing happens to angelfish when they’re kept in a tank that’s too small. A cramped space doesn’t allow for enough swimming room and causes stress, leading to aggression.
To avoid this, ensure your tank is at least 20 gallons (75 liters) for a pair of angelfish.
However, the bigger, the better. A larger tank provides more area for the angelfish to explore and find their own space. This is essential since angelfish are very curious fish that like to investigate their surroundings.
2. Feed a Sufficient Diet
It is essential to provide your fish with the quantity and the correct type of fry food they need.
If you provide a small amount of food, don’t be surprised if the angelfish start biting each other out of hunger. Humans do, let alone fish!
To ensure your fish are getting enough to eat, feed them two to three times a day in small quantities.
As for the type of food, angelfish requires a balanced diet that includes high-quality dry food and meat.
Also, live or frozen food such as brine shrimp, daphnia, and bloodworms should be offered a few times a week.
3. Change the Water Less Often
Changing the water less often is a quick and easy method to soothe irritable fish.
According to Science Mag, angelfish communicate their social rank by releasing urine and bile into the aquarium’s water. The chemical signals produced help to maintain order in the tank.
Researchers replaced the tank with water to see how angelfish would react when these chemical messages were diluted.
They discovered that aggressive behavior, such as wrestling, increased as the angelfish struggled to establish a new hierarchy.
On the flip side, when the water wasn’t changed, the angelfish returned to their old habits.
Because of this, you should reduce the duration it takes to change your tank’s water to avoid conflict and discourage misbehavior.
4. Reset the Hierarchy
Angelfish use chemical signals to assert their authority. Removing the domineering angelfish’s territories forces all fish in the tank to begin again, reducing dominance behavior.
The relocation of the tank’s layout also allows certain peaceful angelfish to establish a new territory, allowing them to find a new home.
To do this, you will need to remove the most aggressive angelfish and place them in a different tank for a few days. Replace the outdated water with new to ensure that chemical messages are erased.
When you acclimate the angelfish to the aquarium, keep an eye on their actions and repeat the process with various fish until things calm down.
5. Move Breeding Angelfish to a Separate Tank
Angelfish will defend their eggs and fry from predators and dangers while developing.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to move the breeding pair to a separate tank, where they can produce their eggs in peace and for the health of your other fish.
6. Add Hiding Places
If an angelfish feels insecure or threatened, it will often hide away to avoid potential confrontations.
You can reduce stress and make your fish feel more secure by providing plenty of hiding places.
To do this, add rocks, caves, or plants to the tank so your angelfish can easily escape if they need to.
Can I Keep Two Angelfish of the Same Sex in One Tank?
If you want to keep two angels of the same sex in one tank, you will not encounter any difficulties. The most essential thing is to ensure that the tank is big enough for both fish to have their own area.
Can a Female Angelfish Produce Eggs Without the Male?
Female angelfish produce eggs even if they do not have a male companion, but these eggs will not be fertilized and will eventually become opaque.
How Do I Know When My Angelfish Are Mating?
It will become apparent when your angelfish are mating if you pay attention to their behavior for a while.
You’ll notice that the female fish has a protruding belly and is agitated. If your male angelfish are cleaning one other, it’s an indication they’re ready to mate.
What Are Some Signs That My Angelfish Is Not Feeling Well?
Some signs that your angelfish is not feeling well include lethargy, hiding, and a loss of appetite. If you notice any of these changes in your fish’s behavior, it’s important to take action quickly.
How Many Eggs Does a Female Angelfish Lay?
A female angelfish can lay anywhere from 100 to 1,000 eggs at a time. The number of eggs produced will depend on the size of the fish and the conditions of the tank.
What Do I Need to Do After My Angelfish Lay Their Eggs?
After your angelfish have laid their eggs, you’ll need to remove the parents from the tank. This is because they will likely eat the eggs.
You can either move the parents to another tank or relocate the eggs to a separate hatching tank. If you choose to do the latter, you’ll need to provide aeration and high water quality.
Angelfish kissing may seem cute, but it’s often a sign that something’s wrong. However, keeping an eye on your angelfish and providing the ideal environment can discourage this behavior.
We hope you enjoyed this article and found it helpful. If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to leave them below.