Will my fish choices get along?
Can you suggest some good additions to a community tank that would include angelfish, a male Siamese fighter and a Ruby shark, as these are the three types of fish I really like – if they are compatible, that is. Any advice would be greatly received. PETER STACK, EMAIL
BOB SAYS: I'm afraid that the three species you mention aren't likely to be happy tankmates.
Angelfish will, in all probability, bully and intimidate the Siamese fighter and, similarly, Ruby sharks have an oft-deserved reputation for aggressive behaviour and may find the fighter’s trailing fins too much temptation, especially if you choose a red fish. You might succeed with Angelfish and the shark, but it very much depends on the individual temperament of both fish.
If you decide to try these two species, I would recommend adding them as the last fish to the tank, and as small, juvenile specimens. Good tankmates to sit alongside these two would include decent-sized groups (10 or more) of deeper-bodied tetras such as Lemon tetra, Hyphessobrycon pulchripinnis, or perhaps Emperor, Nematobrycon palmeri, or Harlequin rasboras, Trigonostigma heteromorpha.
While it would be nice to add other bottom-dwelling fish such as Corydoras, there is always a risk that they will draw the attention of the shark who may see them as competition. It very much depends on the individual fish's disposition, but adding plenty of hiding places and growing lush, natural plants often helps.
Male Siamese fighter