Discussion in 'Breeding Fish' started by Isabella, Dec 7, 2005.

  1. IsabellaFishlore VIPMember

    I think my blue-blushing angelfish is pregnant! I observed a small "tube" sticking out of her belly. She and the other golden angelfish became strangely aggressive - they chase my neons around! This never happened before. Could it be a protective behavior during breeding? The other thing, which is very strange, is that the golden angelfish also has a very, very small (hard to spot it) tube under her belly. But it is nothing compared to the blue angel's tube. So now I am confused. Do males also develop some tubes, only smaller ones, during breeding? Or do I have 2 females? Can 2 females alone lay eggs, even if there is no male in the tank? Or is my golden angel a male?

    I am pretty sure at least one is "pregnant" because in addition they both swim around my amazon swords and "clean" them. They also clean the filter and heater! I really don't know what to do! I put the two angels in my 10 gallon tank, just in case, and provided some decor tilted diagonally because I heard they lay eggs on diagonal or vertical surfaces. Is there anything else I should do? How to care for anelfish fry? I have absolutely no idea what to do, and no experience whatsoever!

    Though the eggs will probably be eaten by the parents ... or if not, they probably won't make it anyway, right? I don't have any special breeder tank. In my 10 g. tank where I put the angels, there is a WhisperTetra filter (flow is quite gentle) and a fine black gravel. Should I increase the temperature? To how many degrees? HELP!
  2. ButterflyModeratorModerator Member

    Those are breeding tubes you are observing. The females will look almost like a ball point pen tip, the males will look like a pin. They are getting ready to spawn probably in the next couple of days.!! YAY!!!! The ten is ok for now.The temp needs to be about 80. after they spawn the eggs should be wigglers in 3-4 days and free swimming in 3-4 more days. Then mom and dad need to be moved back to their home tank. The filter is ok until they go free swimming at that point they need a sponge filter.If you could put a sponge filter in immediately it should be ready when they go freeswimming, then the whisper needs to be removed because it will suck the little tiny freeswimmers up. Yell if you have any more questions.
  3. IsabellaFishlore VIPMember

    So I have a pair! What are the chances that when you buy only 2 angels, they will be a male and a female? I don't think chances of that are great, yet here I go, with a pair of angels. It's definitely a surprise. I thought all the time that I had 2 females. I will buy a sponge filter tomorrow. But if I remove the WhisperTetra filter - which already has esteblished bacteria, and put in a new sponge filter that is devoid of any bacteria whatsoever, is that a safe thing to do? There will be no beneficial bacteria and I am afraid ammonia and nitrates will soar quickly.

    And I should remove the parents once the eggs become free swimmers? What if the parents eat the eggs before they even reach the free swimming stage? They never laid eggs before. When should I decrease the temperature back to normal?

    Carol, imagine that after I rurned off my computer (shortly after writing my first post about "pregnant" angel) and went to my room to see agels ... the eggs were already there! And I didn't see them spawn :( They spawned just after I transferred them to the Q tank, good timing I guess! Anyway, I don't know if eggs are fertilized or not, so I am posting you some pictures I just took of these eggs. Are they fertilized? If they're not fertilized, when will they turn white? They don't look white to me so far, they're rather transparent.

    But listen to this now. When I came to look at the eggs the angels were eating them :( Just like I thought. So I quickly removed the parents back to the main tank. Because, if they are to eat them, I prefer to have them separated from their babies. This way, if the eggs don't turn white, they have some chance of surviving perhaps? There are still many eggs left. I am slowly raising the temperature to 80F. Is 80F OK? And I am getting that sponge filter tomorrow because if these eggs survive they'll be free swimmers in about 3 days, as you said. But again, is it OK when this new filter has no bacteria whatsoever? I'm afraid ammonia and nitrites will kill the babies.

    OK, here are the pictures. The eggs are on a rock that I placed diagonally in the tank. There are also some eggs on the gravel.

    More pictures:

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    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 22, 2019 at 11:35 PM
  4. ButterflyModeratorModerator Member

    They look pretty good to me. They usually start to turn white within hours if their not fertilized. You can leave the sponge filter AND the whisper in the tank until the become freeswimming.
    Were they eating the eggs or cleaning them? Angels kind of mouth the eggs and get real close and fan them with their fins.
    As for temp, most angels prefer 78-80 degrees. the eggs should go wigglers Fri or Sat then free swim Tuesday or wed. so you have time to get the sponge seeded.
    Now your going to love this :D Everyday you need to do a 50% water change. I do 50% water changes everyday for the first 4 weeks. And yes I know thats alot of water changes.But you'll be well rewarded. Angel eggs and fry are super sensitive to any ammonia at all in the water.
    When they go wigglers they will be stuck to the rock by a cement gland(thats what it's called) on top of their heads. If they come loose they will stick to other things and each other. They will look like little masses of worms wiggling. Don't panic, this is normal. They are exercising their muscles so they can swim or so I was told. Hope I haven't confused you too much.

    Isabella I have the most marvelous book on Angelfish, I don't know what I would have done without it when I started out. Its called "Angelfish" A complete pet owners manual. It's put out by Barrons and is a soft back book. Most pet stores carry Barrons books. I have several of their books on different species of fish and they are really good. Think I paid about $8.99. If you could find one it will give you alot of peace of mind.
    But still any questions let me know, as you know I love talking about angelfish ;)
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 22, 2019 at 11:36 PM
  5. IsabellaFishlore VIPMember

    Thank you Carol for always helping me when I need it. I really appreciate it. Wow, 50% water changes every day for 4 weeks! Yeah, that is a lot of work! But I don't mind, if this is what growing angelfish requires. So I'll gladly do it. As for the eggs, it's been about 24 hours since they were laid and about 5 out of the whole batch on the rock turned white. The rest seem transparent. Does that mean they're OK and alive? Or can they turn white even after more than 24 hours? Thanks for the book suggestion - I'll get the book next time I'm in my bookstore.

    I wonder what the babies will look like (that is, if any of them survive). Will they be a mix between blue-blushing and golden angel, or simply there will be some of each kind? How many on average survive? How many babies should I expect? Plus, Carol, what food should I get them? And when to set the temperature back to normal (I usually set the temp. at about 77F).

    So the new sponge filter won't cause ammonia and nitrites to rise?

    Great thanks Carol :)

    Hi Carol, me again. I came back from my pet store not long ago. The owner said that if my fry make it, they'll take my angels. But what they also told me is that a 50% water change every day may actually hurt the delicate eggs and fry. Now I am confused. But it seems that indeed tap water (although dechlorinated of course) may be too hard on the tiny babies. But that's what they said. I want to know what you think Carol.

    I bought the sponge filter. They only had one kind. I am posting you a picture of this filter so that you can tell me if it's the right one. This filter is internal and needs to be connected to an airpump (I have an airpump). I think I'll have to disconnect the air flow from the main tank, so that I can use the airpump for the fry filter. Will my main tank be OK without airpump?

    What they also told me in the store is that it would be OK to decrease the flow of the WhisperTetra filter (for 10 g. tank) to lowest and that it won't suck the fry in. Here I am confused again. What do you think Carol?

    What's more, I bought liquid food for small fry - is that ok to feed them with? Plus, I bought tiny freeze dried blood worms that they can eat when they're larger. The owner said they grow very fast and healthy on these bloodworms. They can also be crushed to even smaller pieces for smaller fry.

    Um, I think this will be it. Sorry for making you read so much stuff! But I am really inexperienced with baby fishies and this is a first time I'm having these babies :) Well, IF THEY MAKE IT of course. Because like I said, there are some white eggs (but only some out of the whole batch). Is that a bad sign? Oh, and one last question - should I turn the light on and off for the fry? Does the light affect them somehow?


    Hmm, Carol, I don't think that this filter is good at all. But it's the only one they had. I think what I will do is I will put a stocking over the intake tube of the TetraWhisper filter so that it doesn't suck the fry in. Do you think I could do that? This way, all the bacteria will stay.


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    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 22, 2019 at 11:35 PM
  6. JasonWell Known MemberMember

    Forget about the pet store and listen to Carol, she has successfully reared angels.
  7. ButterflyModeratorModerator Member

    Isabella you can use teh whisper with some thing wrapped around the uptake tube, just watch the fry and maake sure they don't get sucked against the tube.
    I know the 50% water changes are alot of work but they are the number one best thing you can do for your fry. first it ensures an oxygen rich environment for the eggs and the fry are very sensitive to ANY ammonia. Your tap water as long as its dechlorinated is fine for the eggs and fry. Try to make sure its close to tank temp when you add it just like you would normally do.
    You can use the liquid fry food but I have found it fouls the water fairly easy and a water change has to be done after feeding. Since you need to feed about 3 x a day that means more water changes. When the fry go free swimming they will still have a yolk sac attached so wait until the next day after all are free swimming to feed.
    Oh heres a place to explain hatching BBS. You should be able to get the eggs at your fish store.

    I know this is alot of work but once you've done it it will all be clearer and then your fry will swim around and you'l wonder how you thought it was alot of work(it really is ;)
    oh and heres something to encourage you. My 1 day old fry :p

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  8. IsabellaFishlore VIPMember

    Thank you Carol. I am sorry to disappoint you but this time I will be unable to put your information to good use. They all turned white after 2 days :( I wonder of it's because they were not fertilized or because I did something wrong. Could unfertilized eggs stay transparent for almost 2 days? Like I said, I never saw when they were spawning, so I can't be sure. I knew that all of this was probably not going to work out but I did all this just in case. Maybe removing the parents was a mistake? But I really saw them eat the eggs, not just fan and clean them. I wanted to protect the eggs.

    Anyway, thank you for your help Carol. I will remember this information for the next time they spawn. That is, I hope they will spawn again. Once they have started breeding, how often do you think they may spawn? Besides, I see my sponge filter looks totally different from yours and I don't think mine is the right one. Maybe I should get another one somewhere online because they don't have anything in my store. How should I maintain such a filter? As for the brine shrip, don't they have it ready for the fry at the store? If not, how long does it take to grow them?

    OK, that's it. No more on that topic. All eggs are dead :( I hope they spawn again soon ... Any ideas what I did wrong?

    P.S. The picture of the little babies is beautiful!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 22, 2019 at 11:34 PM
  9. ButterflyModeratorModerator Member

    I'm so sorry they didn't work out this time. But now that they've started they won't stop. Angels frequently pick their eggs up in their mouth to clean them or move them to another site , so maybe next time you could leave them for a little bit and see. Sometimes they fungus and turn white no matter what you do.
    Now you have time to gather your stuff and be prepared, and find your book. There are numerous ways to do this and with a book you can read and re-read what you want to.Although i enjoy our conversations ;)
    Now heres another possibility, If you have two females they will still lay eggs. When they spawn next time if you see them you could tell for sure.
    Thanks for the kind comments on the fry. they are still tiny and that picture is magnified many times. The other pic is an example of how my tank is set up, by no means the only way to do it.
  10. MikeFishloreAdmin Moderator Member

    I know it took many, many times before a pair of mine started to actually look after the babies. I've posted a video on the angelfish profile page that shows the fish grabbing the little wigglers that break free and putting them back where they want 'em. So cool.
  11. IsabellaFishlore VIPMember

    Oh my goodness, Mike, this is the most beautiful angelfish video clip I've ever seen! This is so cute. They actually really do care for their babies. Too adorable :) As you can see, I was able to watch the video. Thank you for your post.

    Carol, if they get ready to breed again, I will try and see if the one who I think is a male, will fertilize the eggs. What if I have 2 females? Won't they get sort of "depressed" that there is no one to fertilize the eggs for them? I know this sounds like a silly questions, but they've gotta have their little feelings too! And just look at how they can care for their fry! Just lovely.

    Carol, I definitely won't stop if they breed again. I think I'll buy a new sponge filter like yours (what do you recommend for a 10g. tank?) and will ask about ready brine shrip for fry, and if they won't have that, I'll try to grow my own. What do you recommend for a surface to lay eggs on?

    Thanks again Carol, and I'll try to get the book soon. Take care.
  12. ButterflyModeratorModerator Member

    I thought I just posted but maybe not... If it shows up twice we'll all know for sure I'm lossing my mind LOL.
    Isabella I re-read thethread and noticed you were worried about disapointing me, Please don't for you listen very well and do your best for all your fishes and thats all anyone could ask.
    Mike the vids were really good. Thanks for sharing. The vids I have of my angel fish caring for their eggs is too big and I don't know how to shorten it :(
  13. chickadeeFishlore VIPMember


    I am sorry to hear about your angels. I hope you will have good luck the next time. It sounds like you are getting prepared!

    Thank you, Mike for that lovely film. I don't get to watch other fish in motion much and it was a real treat. It nearly brought tears to my eyes to realize just how tender they are with their young.

    Shalom to all,

  14. ButterflyModeratorModerator Member

    It's really neat to watch them. They will take their fry in their mouths and make a chewing motion and then spit them back where they want them. Now like all children angel fry don't always want to stay where mom and dad want them to stay, so mom or dad will chase them down, take them in their mouth and spit them where they want them to stay. Sometimes very roughly if they've had to do this alot. eventually the fry are swimming very good and mom and dad get exhausted chasing them down. Thats when I seperate them, at about 4 days.
    Most cichlids display such parental care, and its really amazing.
  15. IsabellaFishlore VIPMember

    Thanks Chickadee, I am really OK - just a little sad that the eggs didn't make it. But the angels will probably breed again, so I'll try again as well. Just wondering how long it will take them to spawn again.

    Carol, yes, that is amazing what they do. Could one keep the parents longer with the babies than four days?

    I have read that some cichilds (don't remember their name) take all of their eggs into their mouths and hold them there for as long as the fry become too large to fit inside the mouth. This is how they protect the young. They will not eat during that time, of course because they have mouths full of babies, lol. That may take as long as a month. This is a very interesting behavior - I think the most extreme form of protection of the young among fish!
  16. ButterflyModeratorModerator Member

    Those types of cichlids are called mouth brooders and there are a large variety of them.
    You could probably keep your angels and fry together more than four days after free swimming, mine always seem to get really tired chasing babies and have had them eat them after that period of time. Guess they get to looking more like snacks than babies. Don't know. Each pair is different, you could always try it. ;D