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Why Are My Angelfish Eggs Turning White? (Common Causes)

Why Are My Angelfish Eggs Turning White? (Common Causes)

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This post is written to the author's best knowledge and is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. In addition, this post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Angelfish are beautiful and it makes sense that you would want to breed them. You want to have more angelfish so that you can continue to enjoy having them in your aquarium.

So long as you understand the basics of breeding fish, it shouldn’t be that hard to accomplish. The female angelfish will lay eggs that will then be fertilized by male fish.

However, you might notice that not everything is going as planned. If you see that many of the angelfish eggs are turning white, then you’re likely not sure what is going on.

What causes angelfish eggs to turn white? Is there a way to keep this from happening?

Continue reading to get more information about angelfish and why eggs might change colors. After getting all of the important information, you’ll be able to have a much better understanding of the situation.

Why Angelfish Eggs Sometimes Turn White

The reason why angelfish eggs will sometimes turn white has to do with fungus. There might be times when females will lay eggs that don’t get fertilized by male fish.

When this occurs, bacteria that exist inside of the fish tank will start to compromise the eggs. After some time, the eggs will start to have fungi spores show up on them.

Eventually, this is going to turn the eggs white. If you’re seeing white eggs in the fish tank, then that means that those eggs were unfertilized.

There isn’t really anything you can do to keep this from happening to unfertilized eggs. It’s going to happen eventually because the eggs need to be fertilized for new fish to be born.

What you want to focus on is figuring out why the eggs are unfertilized. If you know that you have male fish in the tank, then you should expect that the males would fertilize the eggs.

Fertilized eggs will not turn white. There must be something that is making the male angelfish neglect the eggs.

Why Would Male Angelfish Neglect the Eggs?

Child Tapping on Fish Tank Glass

Now you’re wondering what is causing the male fish to neglect the eggs. Under normal conditions, male fish would fertilize the eggs and everything would go as planned.

There must be something happening that is causing the fish to lose interest in the eggs or they’re becoming distracted in some way.

This is actually a more common issue than you might think. Many new angelfish owners wind up encountering this issue.

It’s pretty typical for male angelfish to avoid fertilizing eggs when they’re stressed. The fish in the tank could become stressed for a number of different reasons.

Determining the cause of the stress might take a bit of time. It could be that the angelfish are unhappy with the condition of the tank.

If you aren’t placing the fish in a tank that is optimized for angelfish, then there could be issues that need to be corrected. Try to ensure that you’re providing the fish with an adequate environment where they will feel comfortable enough to fertilize the eggs and look after their young.

When you’ve ruled out the fish tank and environmental issues, you’ll want to consider whether your actions are causing the fish to feel stressed. As you might expect, doing things such as tapping on the fish tank to get the attention of the fish will stress them out.

Also, male fish can become distracted when you do things like this. It could be the case that the males are too distracted to take the time to fertilize the eggs.

You should also know that angelfish need to feel comfortable to want to fertilize the eggs. They won’t do it if they’re worried about the safety of the eggs.

Generally, female angelfish will lay eggs when it’s time no matter what, but the males won’t fertilize the eggs if they don’t feel it’s safe. You might be able to encourage the male fish to fertilize the eggs by giving them more privacy and ensuring that you don’t do things such as tapping on the fish tank.

Hopefully, you can make some changes so that the fish will start doing what they need to do to make viable eggs. It shouldn’t be that hard to turn things around so long as you’re willing to put in the effort.

Consider Moving Your Tank

If you have an inkling that the angelfish are stressed or distracted, then you might not have the tank in an ideal location. It’s common for people to place fish tanks in places where the fish can be easily observed, but this isn’t always best for the fish.

Since males need to feel comfortable to be able to look after the eggs and fertilize them, it makes sense that they would have issues when placed in high-traffic areas. You could have them in a busy and crowded section of your home where the fish don’t feel safe.

Consider putting the fish tank in a different spot that will give them the privacy that they need. You’ll likely notice far fewer issues with eggs remaining unfertilized if you make this change.

It’d be better to have your fish in a location that isn’t too lively. You might also want to keep the fish tank up and away from the reach of children.

Kids will often tap on fish tanks and try to observe the fish a bit too closely. Actions such as this scare the fish, and it can easily keep a male feeling too nervous to fertilize the eggs.

You should also consider whether your other pets are scaring the fish. Sometimes people forget how frightening cats and dogs can be to fish.

Cats might jump up near the fish tank and paw at the glass. It’s pretty normal for cats to take an interest in fish tanks, but you can try to put the tank in a room that is away from any other pets that you might own.

The Presence of Other Fish

Angelfish in Community Tank with Many Other Fish Species

The presence of other fish can sometimes keep the male angelfish from doing what they need to do. Not everyone takes the time to place their fish in breeding tanks to keep the eggs safe.

If you really want to breed angelfish successfully, then it’s a smart idea to place a male and a female angelfish in a breeding tank. This gives the fish the best possible chances of successfully fertilizing eggs and taking care of things until the fish can hatch.

In a standard tank, you might have angelfish paired up with other types of fish. It’s pretty standard for people to have multiple species of fish in the same tank.

Sometimes angelfish might choose to lay eggs when it’s time for them to do so. However, other fish might attempt to eat the eggs.

This can prevent the angelfish from being able to fertilize the eggs properly. Its stress caused by having to worry about other fish devouring the eggs.

You can keep this from happening by using breeding tanks properly. It won’t be hard to set things up so long as you have the room for a breeding tank.

How to Tell If Angelfish Eggs Are Fertilized

Often, fish owners won’t even notice when angelfish eggs turn white. This is because the fish are very popular and new owners don’t necessarily know what viable angelfish eggs look like.

If the angelfish eggs are healthy and they get fertilized, they should look like translucent amber or they will have a yellow color. Other colors will be a sign that there is a problem.

Knowing how healthy angelfish eggs are supposed to look should help you out. You’ll be able to determine whether things are going well or if there are things you need to fix.

Being an observant fish tank owner is definitely a good thing in this case. Even if you’ve had angelfish eggs turn white, you’ll be able to change things so that the next time the females lay eggs everything will be fine.

Some Fish Tanks Make it Easier for Eggs to Turn White

Platinum Angelfish in a Freshwater Aquarium

As mentioned earlier, the fish eggs will eventually turn white if they aren’t fertilized. This is going to be more likely to happen in certain fish tank environments.

When the eggs change color like this, it’s happening because of the presence of bacteria. Some fish tanks might have more bacteria than others, and this will make it easier for the bacteria to grow.

It seems that it’s more likely for the eggs to turn white when the fish are being kept in a saltwater tank. Since most angelfish are kept in freshwater tanks, it should be easy to make some fine adjustments to give the eggs a better chance.

There are situations when fungi will enter the tank when you’re transferring fish from one tank to another. Try to be mindful of situations like this.

Understand that the best thing that you can do is encourage the males to fertilize the eggs. Simply keeping a good tank setup and providing the fish with what they need should suffice.

Male Infertility Could Be the Cause

Have you considered whether the male fish in your tank are fertile? Sometimes it winds up being the case that the males in the tank are infertile.

If this is the case, then there isn’t anything that you can do to turn things around. You’ll simply have to get a different male angelfish and try to see if things go better.

It isn’t possible to treat fertility issues in angelfish. This simply happens sometimes, but it isn’t the most likely reason why the eggs are turning white.

Regardless, it’s wise to consider this possibility if you’ve ruled out other reasons why the fish aren’t fertilizing the eggs. When you buy a new fish, it might be a lot easier to get positive results.

Are You Sure That You Have Male Fish?

Female Angelfish

Another interesting problem is that sometimes people mistake female angelfish for males. Have you made an error when pairing up angelfish for breeding?

Remember that a female angelfish won’t need a male to be present to lay eggs. If you only have females in the tank, then the eggs will wind up turning white over time.

Perhaps you bought what you assumed was a male fish and it actually turned out to be a female? It’s worth looking into when you’re still scratching your head about why the eggs aren’t getting fertilized.

If you did make a mistake like this, then you shouldn’t be embarrassed. It’s a more common mistake than you realize, and it should be simple enough to get a male angelfish that will be capable of fertilizing future eggs.

It can be hard to tell male and female fish apart. You might want to get an expert to help you pick out what you need so that you can start breeding fish.

Did the Eggs Get Laid Near Fast-Moving Water?

Perhaps the male did try to fertilize the eggs. Sometimes fertilization will be unsuccessful when the eggs are positioned in a bad spot.

For example, a female fish could lay eggs near a source of fast-moving water. The male could spray the eggs like normal, but the fast-moving water would wind up washing everything away before the eggs could be properly fertilized.

Sources of turbulent water in tanks can be problematic. The breeding location should be free of turbulent water sources to give the fish the best odds of successfully fertilizing the eggs.

So long as you know that this can be an issue, it shouldn’t be too tough to look out for problems. You’ll be able to keep the breeding tank free of fast-moving water so that things will be fine.

Should You Remove White Angelfish Eggs?

Angelfish Eggs on Leaf

Eggs that turn white aren’t going to be of any use to you. They aren’t going to produce new fish since they’ve reached a point where they’re no longer viable.

It might not be necessary to manually remove the eggs from the tank, though. Often, when the angelfish realize that the eggs aren’t viable, they will choose to eat the eggs.

So the fish in your tank might clean up the problem for you. If the fish don’t eat the eggs in a timely fashion, then you should remove the eggs from the tank and discard them.

It’s not going to be helpful to have white eggs cluttering the tank. Thankfully, it’s not hard to remove them if you do need to do it yourself.

You’ll likely see that the fish will just eat them, though. There are situations when angelfish will even eat viable eggs.

When angelfish are stressed, they might choose to eat the eggs. This is because the fish don’t think it’s safe to fertilize the eggs so they choose to just eat them and try again at another time.

Pairing Angelfish

Pairing angelfish properly is crucial when you’re trying to get good results with breeding. You need to wait until two angelfish truly form a pair, and then you’ll want to place that pair in a breeding tank.

To determine when you have a mating pair in your fish tank, you’re going to want to look out for certain signs. One sign involves the angelfish twitching their fins a lot.

Another telltale sign is when the angelfish lock lips and begin to shake each other. This is the big sign that you’re waiting to see before you place the pair in the breeding tank.

Simply wait for the magic to happen at this point. Eventually, the female will lay eggs and the male should fertilize those eggs if all goes according to plan.

If you want to try to make two fish form a pair, then you could try keeping only one male and one female in a tank together. Theoretically, this should cause the fish to form a pair, and you’ll be able to get them to breed.

Final Thoughts

There’s a lot to consider when you notice fish eggs turning white. This is a sign that the fish eggs have fungus growing on them, but it also means that the eggs are unfertilized.

Unfertilized eggs will eventually turn white as they continue to be exposed to bacteria. Some fish tanks will have more bacteria than others, so this can take more or less time depending on various factors.

You can try to limit the bacteria that is present in a fish tank to give the fish more time to fertilize the eggs. This can be done by simply keeping a breeding tank in an ideal setting.

There will sometimes be issues that will prevent the fish from fertilizing the eggs. A male might not fertilize eggs due to being stressed or distracted.

Change this by moving the tank to a better location or altering how you interact with the fish. You’ll also want to verify that you have a male fish to fertilize the eggs since it can be difficult for beginners to differentiate between male and female angelfish.

When all is said and done, you’ll be able to see the new fish spring to life if you make the necessary changes. It should be easier to avoid issues with white eggs now that you know what to do as well.

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