A Guide to Breeding Angelfish

A Guide to Breeding Angelfish

Whether you are doing it for fun or making a profit, breeding Angelfish is a gratifying experience. Although it may look intimidating, it is actually much easier than you think!

Things You Need
There are a couple of things you may want to consider getting for your Angelfish pair. A filter covering is a good idea if you have a HOB (hang on the back) filter or a canister filter. Place the filter covering on the intake of the filter to ensure no fry gets sucked in. You can also get a breeding slate or a divider if you need it.

How Do I Know What Gender My Angelfish Is?
Sexing Angelfish is near impossible if they aren't currently breeding. When they are young, males and females look identical. However, in general, I have found that males are more aggressive toward each other than females are when both genders are present in the tank.

If your Angelfish already started to breed, their breeding tubes will be out. Female Angelfish have a breeding tube that looks like a cylinder. Male Angelfish have a pointy and short breeding tube. For additional info refer to this post made by @isabella
Top Picture - Female (Isabella)

Bottom Picture - Male (Isabella)


How Do I Know My Angelfish Are Starting To Breed?
Angelfish display many signs that will signal that they are breeding. Some signs you can look for include: being more aggressive than normal, pecking at different surfaces around the tank, and having their breeding tubes out. Once they have their breeding tubes out, they will, in my experience, lay eggs in about 1-2 days.

It is crucial to have a good surface for the Angelfish to lay their eggs on. This surface can be a tall plant (Anubias and sword plants work great!), a breeding slate, or any hard surface around the tank. Angelfish have been known to lay eggs on unconventional surfaces such as the heater or the aquarium glass. Additionally, try to keep water flow low as it may cause the males' sperm to not reach the eggs.

After the eggs are laid, make sure there is some type of water flow present to aerate the eggs and keep them clean. Angelfish parents do this naturally by fanning their pectoral fins at the eggs.

I Have A Community Tank
You can breed Angelfish in a community tank, but it is not a good option. It is likely that the other fish will eat the eggs/fry and that the presence of the other fish will stress out the already tired Angelfish parents. Angelfish parents may eat their eggs if they feel that the environment is no longer safe to raise fry. The Angelfish may also end up harming the other fish in the tank in an attempt to keep their fry safe.

To overcome this problem, try getting/making a tank divider. Make sure the holes in your tank divider aren't big enough for your fry to swim through. If you are unable to get a tank divider, try opting to get a dedicated tank for your Angelfish.

They Laid Eggs, What Do I Need To Do Now?
There are two ways to go from here; let the parents care for the eggs or separate the eggs from the parents and raise the eggs yourself.

Letting The Parents Care For The Eggs
This is a gamble. First-time parents are known to eat their eggs during their first 2-3 batches. However, if you want to take this risk, just let the Angelfish do their job! Be sure to leave the aquarium lights on during the night as for some unknown reason it causes the Angelfish to not eat their eggs. Have patience with your Angelfish, it may take them a couple of tries to learn how to be good parents.

Some cool behavior to look out for include:
  • Angelfish Fanning their Eggs: The Angelfish do this as a way to reduce the chance of fungus covering the eggs. They continuously bring new water and oxygen to the eggs.
  • Moving the Eggs: Don't worry, your Angelfish are not eating their eggs! It is very common for Angelfish to take the eggs/fry in their mouth and relocate them. If you watch closely, the Angelfish will spit out the eggs/fry where they're supposed to be.
  • Eating White Eggs: Angelfish will eat white eggs (white eggs aly dead eggs). Don't worry, they are not eating healthy eggs.
  • Guarding the Eggs: Angelfish get attached to their eggs and are very dedicated to guarding their eggs. They may even try to fight you through the glass if you get too close!

Taking Care Of The Eggs Yourself
If your Angelfish keep eating their eggs it might be best to raise the eggs yourself. To do this, you will need to set up another tank with an air stone (To provide water flow for the eggs), a heater, and a filter (A sponge filter is best as it can both serve as an air stone and doesn't require a sponge filter intake covering). Also, consider investing in Methylene blue to prevent the eggs from being overtaken by fungus. Transfer the eggs into the new tank (Make sure it's cycled!) and place the air stone/sponge filter in the tank so that the outgoing bubbles are close to the eggs.

For Both Of These Setups...
In both of these setups, there are a couple of things you need. Some of these things include:
  • Frequent water changes: Angelfish fry are very sensitive to changes in water quality. Make sure to do constant water changes to ensure the water quality is top-notch.
  • Temperature: You want the temperature to be around 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Angelfish hatch and grow faster in warm water.
  • Food: For the first 8-9 days, the fry will feed on their egg yolk sacks. Once they start free swimming, you have to start feeding them. Feed them throughout the day in small portions. Be sure to not overfeed as overfeeding can result in water quality issues. Some food options include:
    • Baby brine shrimp (BBS): A popular food for Angelfish fry as it is very nutritious. You can get your own BBS hatchery from Amazon. You want to make sure to feed the BBS to the fry the day the BBS hatch as this is the period when the BBS are the most nutritious. Fun fact: Sea monkeys are baby brine shrimp!
    • Hikari first bites: Hikari first bites are another great option to feed your Angelfish. You can find them at your LFS.
    • Vinegar Eels
    • Infusoria
    • Microworms
    • (For more information on feeding, visit this article)
Why Are My Eggs Turning White/What Color Should My Eggs Be?
Eggs turn white when they die. It is a sign that fungus has gotten the egg. If ALL your eggs turn white, likely, your male didn't fertilize the eggs. This can just be because the male is still getting the hang of breeding. However, if this problem persists, it might be because you have 2 females or that your male is infertile.

It is very common for some of the eggs to turn white, don't worry, it's just part of the process. You can manually remove the eggs if you are raising the eggs separately, but it isn't necessary. If raising the eggs on your own, you can prevent eggs from turning white by using methylene blue and by providing water flow (via air stone/sponge filter) to keep the eggs clean and sterile. If everything is going well, angelfish eggs appear to be translucent, orange, or brown.

Good luck with your future Angelfish breeding adventures! It may seem like an intimidating process, but as long as you follow the steps in this article, you will be a great Angelfish parent!


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Great info. Thanks.
Very Useful!! I would like to breed angelfish soon and this helped a ton!!
This is a great article, very informative!!
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