Having angelfish in your tank is going to be a great experience. These beautiful fish will add color to your tank, and they’re pretty fun to observe as well.
If you have recently started caring for angelfish, then you could still be learning about them. Perhaps you’d like to breed them so that you can have more fish.
This is a great idea, but it’s good to know the basics so that you can understand what to expect. If you’re completely new to this topic, then you might be wondering whether the angelfish are going to take care of their young or not.
Do angelfish care for their young or do they abandon them once they hatch? Continue reading to learn everything that you need to know about this topic.
Angelfish Do Take Care of Their Young
Angelfish definitely take care of their young, but there’s a lot to learn about this topic. Under normal circumstances, angelfish are going to be very protective parents.
When two angelfish form a pair, they’re going to find a good spot for the female to lay eggs. Once the eggs have been laid, the male will fertilize them.
At this point, the parents will do their best to defend the eggs from threats. In the wild, the angelfish will need to chase away potential predators that will try to feed on the eggs.
The male and female work in tandem to ensure that the eggs survive. Eventually, the eggs will hatch, and the angelfish fry will remain attached to the yolk of the egg for several days.
Once the fry reaches the “free swimmer” stage, it’ll be swimming around with the parent fish. The parent fish will continue to protect their young at this point in time.
Many experts who have observed angelfish while they’re caring for their young have noted that they will protect them for quite a long time. The parent fish might protect the angelfish fry until the stage where they grow fins.
After this time, the angelfish fry will be considered to be a normal angelfish. The parents will then go about the rest of their lives.
Things Don’t Always Go as Planned
Of course, what is described above will be the ideal situation. The reality is that things don’t always go so smoothly.
Angelfish can indeed be great parents that will protect their young. However, these fish can also sometimes choose to eat their young.
This might seem quite bizarre when you think about it from a certain perspective. Angelfish seem to be wired to protect their young and they put a lot of effort into doing so.
Why would an angelfish choose to eat its young if it knows that it’s supposed to protect them? There are several reasons why this might occur.
Sometimes angelfish simply aren’t mature enough to know what to do during the mating process. A young pair is likely going to make more mistakes than a mature pair that has gone through the process many times.
There have even been situations where male angelfish have not fertilized the eggs properly. This can happen because the fish is stressed or because external factors are distracting the fish.
Things can go wrong when the eggs get fertilized too. Sometimes one or both of the fish won’t do a great job defending the eggs.
It could be that the angelfish will decide to eat the eggs for no apparent reason. Although, there could be a perfectly good reason for the fish to eat the eggs too.
Reasons Why Angelfish Sometimes Eat Their Eggs (and Babies)
It might seem incomprehensible that angelfish would eat their eggs and babies. They don’t always do this, but this does sometimes occur.
One reason why angelfish might eat their own eggs has to do with resource management. They might not be confident that they can care for all of the eggs.
The parent fish are responsible for providing all of the eggs with oxygen. Eating some of the eggs might allow the others to survive.
Angelfish might choose to eat the eggs if they need the energy to survive as well. The same thing can happen when the eggs have hatched.
In a fish tank, angelfish will often eat the eggs or the angelfish fry when they’re experiencing stress. Stress can make the angelfish panic and act irrationally.
This is why many people put angelfish pairs into breeding tanks to try to reduce stress as much as possible. It keeps the fish from having to worry about competing with other fish in a community tank.
You Could Care for the Eggs Yourself
Caring for the angelfish eggs yourself is an option if you’re worried about the fish eating the eggs. You could remove the eggs from the tank and then do your best to take care of them.
This isn’t recommended for beginners, though. It’s kind of difficult to take care of the angelfish eggs, and making mistakes will be quite easy.
Angelfish are equipped to do everything that they need to do to help the eggs. As a human, you’ll be able to give the eggs the necessary oxygen using air stones, but it will be tougher to protect them and keep them clean.
Regardless, it’s good to know that this is an option. It could be a safer option if you’re having issues with the angelfish eating the eggs or eating the fry.
Angelfish will defend their young vigorously in most situations. These fish are known to be good parents, but sometimes things do go wrong.
You might wind up having a pair of angelfish that do everything right to protect their young. It’s also possible to get a pair that will make mistakes and wind up eating their young.
This is quite a difference, but things do usually get better as a mating pair gains experience. A young and inexperienced pair will be more likely to mess up than an experienced one.
Hopefully, this information will make it easier for you to know what to expect when your angelfish lays eggs. Just keep caring for the fish and try to keep the fish from experiencing stress so that the eggs have the best chance of hatching.
Jeff has always enjoyed having pets, but as a child, he was drawn to his family’s fish tank. Being able to maintain a small ecosystem and observe the behaviors and interactions in the underwater world peaked his interest early on and has kept him hooked until this day. On Avid Aquarist, Jeff shares everything he’s learned about helping aquatic life survive and thrive in a home aquarium.