Breeding/Raising Angelfish

KMC
  • #1
Well, I am pretty much new to having aquariums. It started with one being given to me by a family member last spring, and I got hooked. So we ended up with two more aquariums.

We got two Angelfish from the local pet store and I fell in love with them! They are in their own tank. I had no idea what sex they were so just named them Harry and Loyd. Well low and behold Harry became Harriot when we noticed them pairing and her starting to show more female characteristics and Loyd more male characteristics (According to my extensive google research) lol

Well last Friday we noticed eggs on the filter....then upon closer inspection, those "eggs" had very tiny, almost invisible "tails" and were wiggling. As of now, they are very tiny translucent tadpole looking things, with easily identifiable eyes and pupils and if looking very close can see tiny side fins and little mouths "gulping". They are still attached to the filter (About half of them, the other half on a plant near the filter). Occasionally they break loose and attempt to swim but slowly sink to the bottom, in which mom or dad swoop in, scoop them up and "spit" them back where they want them.

Mom and dad seem to be taking good care of them which I read is not very common, especially with their first spawn! So that makes me quite happy.

A couple things I have noticed is that sometimes they will be gone and I think "Oh no! they ate them" Then next time I happen to look in the tank, they are back, sometimes more than I counted the previous time... so finally I watched and waited. Apparently mom and dad are not agreeing on the best spot for the babies. Mom wants them on the filter and the plant next to the filter... dad wants them in a "cup" shaped part of a plant on the other side of the tank, so they keep moving them back and fourth. This has been going on for days now. Is this normal? Babies seem just as active as ever still....and the numbers do not seem to be decreasing at all. In total, I have counted at least 30-40 in all three places combined.

Anyways, when should I expect them to start free swimming? Like I said, occasionally they break loose from whatever they are attached to and attempt to swim (some better than others) but if they bump into something or mom or dad catch them, they still "stick" to that surface.

Friday (Tomorrow) will be one week since I noticed them but I believe they were hatched by then being where they were wiggling and had tails... I guess I am just impatient and excited now...

Also any advice is appreciated as I am fairly new to aquarium keeping and completely new when it comes to breeding!

Google has been my go to guide, however I figured its about time I join a forum so I can ask specific questions based on my exact setups etc...

Tank info if needed:
10 gal tank (I know it is small, we have a 30 gallon that will become their new home for mom and dad, and may keep a baby or two)
Filter (Pantyhose over it to keep it from sucking up the fry as we do not have a sponge filter, again thanks to me googling lol)
An air pump
and a heater which last time I checked the temp was right at 78F
 
aliray
  • #2
Welcome again to the forum. bizaliz3 has started raising angels and I am sure will be along for words of encouragement when she reads this mention. I only have one angelfish and have had him for a couple of months and had never owned one before. Alison
 
bizaliz3
  • #3
CONGRATS!!! THAT IS SO EXCITING FOR YOU! I know the feeling. And yes, that is quite amazing that they have been that successful on their first try! Usually it takes several tries for them to fully understand the process It is equally unusual that they have done it in a 10 gallon. I am glad you have something bigger for them because 10 gallons is far too small even for a single angelfish! In fact, your 10 gallon would be perfect for raising the fry once you separate them from their parents. How long have you had your angels?

The fry will most likely be free swimming tomorrow. Mine are always free swimming by day 7. And it sounds like yours are right on track!

It is very common for the parents to move the eggs or wigglers around the tank. I remember the first time that happened with mine. I was devastated because I searched the entire tank and the babies were "gone". Turns out the parents shoved them up in the corner against the glass in a big bundle. It was funny. Then I got use to it. Mine have started to move the good eggs to a new location even before they hatch when other eggs start to die off (instead of removing the dead ones, they find it easier to move the good ones somewhere else and leave the dead ones behind. lol)

I highly suggest you look into getting a sponge filter. I think that is better for fry. Sometimes they can even get stuck against the pantyhose that are covering the opening on an HOB filter. So sponge filter would be best. Also, do you have any other fish in this tank?

I keep the temp at 80 for my angels and fry. I think 80-82 is preferred for fry. but don't quote me on that. LOL.

Have you read up on raising angelfish fry? I don't want to bore you with things you may have already read. So ask me any questions you want. I am new to angelfish breeding, but I have finally gotten the hang of it and would be happy to help you on your endeavor! Bring it on!
 
KMC
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
Thank you for replying! I was just drinking my coffee with my chair in front of the tank watching in awe lol. I seen a couple free swimmers!!! Swimming strong too, even through the bubbles, of course mom and dad are not ready for that yet... so they grab them and put them back on the filter, only for the same ones to break away and wander the tank again.

There are no other fish in the tank, just the two angels and now the fry. When would be a good time for me to move the parents out? And then how long until I can start thinning the herd? Have a few friends and family members interested in taking a couple off my hands once they are old enough.

I bought these two Angels in June or July I believe, and they have definitely grown a lot since then. I'm still in shock that not only did I end up with a breeding pair, but they are proving to be excellent at parenting!!!

I've done my googling here and there, but would love to hear how you go about it! Also the only pet store close to me is a petsmart (That's where these guys came from) I read that the fry need baby brine shrimp, frozen or live... hoping petsmart carries this... what do you feed and when do you start feeding them/how often do you feed?

Also looking into getting a sponge filter, will probably be picking one up tonight or tomorrow
 
bizaliz3
  • #5
They are so fun to watch aren't they? I could stare at them all day long if I could! lol

I have had a LOT of threads on here asking people about different issues I have had. My most recent issue is that my fry REFUSE to eat anything but LIVE baby brine shrimp. Even at 3 weeks old. They won't take hikarI first bites (never have never would), they won't take frozen baby brine shrimp. And it isn't that they aren't realizing it is food. They are putting it in their mouths and spitting it right back out. Very frustrating because I am tired of hatching BBS. Unfortunately it is the only thing that has worked for me. It is also healthiest for them. So if you are interested in putting together a really easy shrimp hatchery, I can help you with that. I think it is a good idea. But maybe the frozen stuff will work for you if you start them on it. I will try that the next time around. However I was never able to find frozen BABY brine shrimp at petsmart...they only have the adult brine shrimp. I only found it at a local fish store.

I think you can/should remove the parents now. They have done their job. And it would only cause problems having two adult angels and a swarm of babies living in a 10 gallon. Its nice that you can move the parents and leave the babies. I had to move the babies which is much more stressful!!

The babies need very clean water. They are very sensitive fry compared to other species I have bred. I do a 40% water change every single day. It is the combination of daily water changes and live BBS that allowed me to finally have a successful spawn. Up until I did those things, the babies never lived longer than a few days free swimming. I keep one nerite snail in the angel fry tank...just to help keep things clean. I feed the fry several times a day in small amounts so they always have food in their bellies.
 
ricmcc
  • #6
I like sponge filters for fry; they are far less likely to get sucked into an the inlet.
Congrats, BTW, both to you and the parents; you are right; nowadays, it usually takes them a few tries to get things right (I'm speaking of my fish here, I believe).
The adults will generally let you know when they are fed up, but really, you can separate them when you wish, as angels are quite often raised successfully in the complete absence of their parents.
I normally feel safe giving them to friends when they are about dime sized, although you can certainly wait on this awhile and let them grow.
I would separate them from the parents well before they reach dime size, however.
I also would not worry about the parents having a difference of opinion about just where to place them; my Dad always placed me in the inter city bus station, and look at how normal I grew up.
Congrats again, and do take pics, rick
 
bizaliz3
  • #7
The adults will generally let you know when they are fed up, but really, you can separate them when you wish, as angels are quite often raised successfully in the complete absence of their parents.

But since they are all in a 10 gallon, I think the adults should be taken out asap.

It is very fun to watch the parents raise the babies for a while, but 10 gallons is very small....

The OP will most definitely get an opportunity to watch the parents raise their young when they lay eggs in their 30 gallon But in the 10....I think mom and dad need to get out asap
 
Sinibotia
  • #8
For what it's worth, breeding angelfish in a 10 gallon is a time honored tradition I absolutely agree it's too small for housing an angelfish long-term but using them as breeding tanks has been done for ages. I don't like it but it's not surprising that they spawned. Personally I keep my breeding pairs in a 20H and a 29 gallon, respectively!

I would recommend keeping you breeding pair alone or with some corydoras in the 30 gallon. They will be VICIOUS.

For me my fry become free-swimming within 8 days of being laid so I imagine yours should start swimming any minute now! I also agree it's time to remove the parents.

I also agree with the sponge filter suggestion! I use them on all of my growout tanks except for the very biggest (my 55 gallon for growing out dime size or so)

One more thing is that to properly raise angels you need at least 4 tanks- a 30 gallon or so pair tank, a 10 gallon for freeswimmers, a 20 gallon for larger fry, and at least a 40 breeder or a 55 for larger fry. And this way you should be able to have new spawns in the smaller tank as soon as you move them up.

I recommend BBS for feeding baby angelfish along with hikarI first bites. Bizaliz knows my method for BBS hatching and feeding

I also recommend culling heavily. Angelfish have been bred to having horrible genetics. I recommend using The Angelfish Society standards when deciding which fish to keep. And don't sell any until they are at least quarter size, as until then there are plenty of defects that can show up.
 
bizaliz3
  • #9
Also looking into getting a sponge filter, will probably be picking one up tonight or tomorrow

You will have to leave the other filter on there for a while though or else you will lose your cycle and that will be a problem, you will have to start the nitrogen cycle over again.....I worry that you can't really change filters immediately in this situation. So for this first batch you may have to just stick with what you have but keep an eye on that filter intake and make sure no babies get stuck to the pantyhose. Get the sponge filter in there as soon as you can so it can start to get the beneficial bacteria built up on it so you can remove the current filter.

What kind of filter do you currently have on this tank? And what about the 30 gallon for the parents? is that tank set up and cycled? or do you need to cycle that tank still?
 
KMC
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
The other tank is set up and ready to go, looking into adding more tanks to our collection (Craigslist being my go to site because if I had to buy these all new at the pet store, I'd be broke lol)
However I have found some good deals... in which I can spend far less than I would if buying new... We really want at least one 50 or 55 gal.

How long does it take to hatch BBS? With these guys getting ready to be free swimmers any minute now, not sure if I would be able to get that going in time.... are there any possible alternatives to the BBS if petsmart does not carry them?

Well just called petsmart, they have brine shrimp frozen and freeze dried but they do NOT have Baby Brine Shrimp! Starting to get a bit panicky as I will need to feed these guys very soon! Any suggestions? It would be really disappointing to lose all of them

There is a petco about an hour away.... do they carry them?
 
Sinibotia
  • #11
BBS hatch in 24 hours typically. But you don't need to feed free swimmers until 24 hours after they're free swimming. I typically start a batch of BBS as soon as I see free swimmers so it's ready. It's very easy to do. But petsmart does not carry BBS.

You can use hikarI first bites but will likely experience heavy losses. Both bizaliz and I have had poor luck getting small fry to eat non-living food. I don't get my fry onto mostly prepared foods until around 4-5 weeks in. Before then I have to trick them into it by mixing it with live BBS.

You can get brine shrimp eggs through the mail for very cheap. I buy mine by the half pound, costs $30 including shipping, lasts me 3-4 months and it keeps forever. You can get smaller amounts for as cheap as $5 but with the size and frequency of angelfish spawns you will want more!

Petco doesn't have baby brine shrimp either. I recommend brine shrimp direct.
 
bizaliz3
  • #12
How long does it take to hatch BBS? With these guys getting ready to be free swimmers any minute now, not sure if I would be able to get that going in time.... are there any possible alternatives to the BBS if petsmart does not carry them?

It's usually about 24 hours for the baby brine shrimp. 24 - 48 hours depending on how warm the water is. But you will need brine shrimp eggs and aquarium salt.

There are alternatives like man made fry foods. But I personally have had no luck with anything else...

They really won't eat much in the first 24 hours of swimming anyway. They usually still have a little bit of their yolk sac left at that point...


 
KMC
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
What is the longest they can go without eating? I can order the eggs, but shipping will take a few days... then another day for hatching, that would be too long I think...
 
Sinibotia
  • #14
Mine have gone a day without eating once....

If you feed hikarI first bites for the few days before you get the eggs then you should at least have most of your fry survive. If you also buy some java moss that will help. My fry like to pick at the microorganisms in java moss (and it also helps water quality)
 
KMC
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
ok petco looks to carry the hikarI first bites, so will head out there tomorrow and pick some up and hope for the best until I get these brine shrimp going, in the mean time placing my order....

So can I make a homemade hatchery? Seen a few things about making those... any info about that is appreciated!!

Also what about this egg yolk trick I've been reading about? Has anyone tried it, Is it any good?
 
Sinibotia
  • #16
I haven't tried the egg yolk trick. I've heard good things but if the food isn't moving then my very young fry just won't eat it.

Yeah, you can make a homemade hatchery. In fact I prefer them. Bizaliz had a purchased hatchery that was actually inferior to the homemade ones that I think they use now?

Just cut a 2 liter soda bottle roughly in half. Then fit the top half inside the bottom half so that the cap side of the bottle is resting on the bottom center of the bottle (leave the cap on). You can measure to get it as close as possible when you cut it, so you can maximize volume. Then run an air line into the bottle with the airstone resting in the cap. Add 1.5-2 tablespoons of canning/pickling salt or aquarium salt and .5 teaspoons of epsom salt (optional unless you have very soft tap water like I do), plus .25-1 teaspoon of brine shrimp eggs (depending on how many fry you need to feed) and then fill the bottle with tap water (doesn't need to be dechlorinated). Shine a lamp on it and you're all set! (The lamp is actually very important! The brine shrimp egg hatching mechanism is triggered by light so run this light 24/7!)

Harvesting the brine shrimp is easy. Just turn off the air hose, let the hatchery settle out, and use a turkey baster or air line tubing to suck up or siphon out the brine shrimp from the bottom of the bottle into a coffee filter rubber banded over a cup. Then rinse the brine shrimp in tap water and empty the coffee filter into the tank. You may want to turn off your filter during feeding. Also, don't suck up the brown film on top of the hatchery; that's the brine shrimp egg shells which can clog their digestive tracts.
 
KMC
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
Sounds like I have everything to get started less the eggs, seems simple enough! Thank You!!! Now if only I could snap my fingers and have the eggs be in hand lol, so glad I found this forum! You guys have been EXTREMELY helpful!!!
 
Sinibotia
  • #18
You're welcome! I learned all of this from a guy who runs his own hatchery and has been breeding angelfish for 40 years, plus a guy who had been breeding them for 5 and has since moved on to discus. They know their stuff

Make sure you have your tanks cycled though! Fry are insanely sensitive to ammonia, nitrite and nitrate! You'll likely need to do daily or every other day water changes on the fry tank! Oh, and try to feed 3-4 times a day if possible! They eat a TON and grow quickly. Here's a video of my 6 week old fry! (There are german blue ram fry, zebra loaches and glowlight tetras in there as well)

 
KMC
  • Thread Starter
  • #19
We have full free swimmers today! Counted 30ish... I did not have a chance to go to Petco, but I gave the egg yolk trick a try and they were eating it!!! So I think they will make it!!!
 
Sinibotia
  • #20
That's fantastic! I'll have to give that a try then. Make sure to do a water change though as that is apparently very messy and will quickly foul your water.
 
KMC
  • Thread Starter
  • #21
Picture of Mom on left (Harriot, formerly known as Harry lol) and Dad on Right, Loyd
 
Sinibotia
  • #22
Those are pretty angelfish! Where'd you get them? Curious how the fry will turn out
 
KMC
  • Thread Starter
  • #23
They actually came from petsmart... and we were not very picky about which ones we got at the time.., just said we wanted a marble and a silver....there was a LOT in the tank so it would have been extremely difficult to select a particular individual ... super happy that pure luck of the draw got me these two fellas!! Could not be happier with them!
 
bizaliz3
  • #24
Those are pretty angelfish! Where'd you get them? Curious how the fry will turn out

My mom and dad angels are exactly the same... only backwards. My silver one is the dad. Their babies came out a mix of silvers and marbles. A Lady and the Tramp type thing lol

 
Sinibotia
  • #25
I got both of my pairs from breeders so they're color coordinated A redhead marble pair and a panda koi pair. But since koi angels are a phenotype and not a genotype they produce all sorts of offspring. My panda koi are actually heterozygous albino!
 
bizaliz3
  • #26
My angelfish parents look exactly like yours! Identical here are two of their babies (3 months old I think) and what you can probably expect to see

Edit... sorry I should have combined those last two posts



They actually came from petsmart... and we were not very picky about which ones we got at the time.., just said we wanted a marble and a silver....there was a LOT in the tank so it would have been extremely difficult to select a particular individual ... super happy that pure luck of the draw got me these two fellas!! Could not be happier with them!

That's so exciting! I know how you feel about the luck involved. My pair lived with other angels and they were both bullying the angels in their tanks. So I put them together in what I called a reject tank. Amazingly they became a pair. That was completely unexpected!

 

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Peacefantasy
  • #27
KMC Your Harriot looks like my HoudinA (formerly known as Houdini) Does her stripes disappear and reappear often too?
And Loyd looks like my young angel that I have yet to name. Thought about Oreo but..names are important to me so I shall wait
 
KMC
  • Thread Starter
  • #28
@ Your Harriot looks like my HoudinA (formerly known as Houdini) Does her stripes disappear and reappear often too?
And Loyd looks like my young angel that I have yet to name. Thought about Oreo but..names are important to me so I shall wait

YES her stripes fade and then get dark, I swear sometimes they even get thicker and thinner... didn't know if I was imagining it or if it was normal! I thought maybe it had to do with the lighting... but the lighting is always the same so...

The fry are thriving on the egg yolk mixture... it does cloud the water, but I have been doing regular maintenance to keep it as clean as possible and that seems to be doing the trick. So far pantyhose over the filter is working well, have not seen any get stuck to it and they swim by it regularly... Still have all 30ish lol hard to get an exact count with them moving around and staying basically in a cluster.

Trying to get decent pics, camera doesn't want to focus on them :/ lol

When can I expect to start seeing them resemble little Angels?
 
Sinibotia
  • #29
That's awesome! I just got a new batch of eggs myself Angelfish fry everywhere!

It kinda depends on how much you feed them, on the strain, etc. My fry start to look like little angels around 4 weeks.
 
bizaliz3
  • #30
Here are mine at 18 days as a reference. This is when mine really started looking like angels...

 

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Peacefantasy
  • #31
KMC that's so cool, we have twins
Ive done a bit of research on the fading stripes and its a bit controversial. But from what I'm gathering so far with mine is when she is really really calm, her stripes reappear. And boy are they bold.
When shes excited or cautious (feeding time, water change, spawning) they are invisible or hardly showing the slightest bit.
Its so tubular getting to watch her emotions change
 
tjander
  • #32
How frequently do angle fish reproduce? Seems like mine are about 4 times a year but I might be missing some events. I have not put much thought into raising the fry, as my guppies keep me busy. ( different tanks ). Thought I am thinking I could use the third tank to raise the fry. Not at the same time but one guppy batch then an angle batch?

Tom


 
bizaliz3
  • #33
How frequently do angle fish reproduce? Seems like mine are about 4 times a year but I might be missing some events. I have not put much thought into raising the fry, as my guppies keep me busy. ( different tanks ). Thought I am thinking I could use the third tank to raise the fry. Not at the same time but one guppy batch then an angle batch?

Tom

My angelfish if they're not currently dealing with babies will lay new eggs every 10 days

 

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