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Is Your Male Angelfish Not Fertilizing the Eggs? (4 Common Reasons)

Is Your Male Angelfish Not Fertilizing the Eggs? (4 Common Reasons)

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

When an angelfish lays eggs, it’s going to make you very happy. There’s a good chance that you could get some new angelfish in your aquarium soon.

However, there are times when the eggs get laid and nothing seems to happen. The eggs might even turn white after several days have passed.

The male angelfish doesn’t seem to be fertilizing the eggs as normal. Why is this happening and what can you do to get the male angelfish to do what it is supposed to do?

Read on to learn about some of the reasons why a male angelfish will avoid fertilizing eggs. Having this information could help you to get things back to normal so that you can see angelfish fry in your tank sometime soon.

1 – The Eggs Might Be in a Bad Location

Angelfish Eggs on Driftwood

It’s very possible that the female angelfish laid the eggs in a bad location. There are occasions when male angelfish will not fertilize eggs when they don’t feel that it is safe to do so.

Many angelfish enthusiasts have described male angelfish as “shy” when it comes to fertilizing eggs. They much prefer the eggs to be in a hidden location.

If the female decided to lay the eggs right in the middle of the tank, then the male might choose to ignore them. When the eggs aren’t hidden, the angelfish might assume that the eggs are too vulnerable in that spot and it isn’t worthwhile to fertilize them.

To combat this, it’s going to be wise to give the angelfish many options. You want to ensure that the female has various good places where she can lay her eggs.

One solid idea is to keep aquatic plants in the aquarium. In the wild, angelfish will typically lay their eggs on or near plants.

The plants help to keep the eggs hidden so that it will be easier to defend them against threats. If you can put good live plants in the aquarium, then that will help immensely.

Plants that have big leaves might be especially helpful. The female angelfish can lay the eggs directly on the big leaves, and then the male should feel comfortable enough to fertilize them.

There’s also the option of placing breeding pads in the tank for the angelfish. This will be a good place where the fish can lay the eggs, and it should be easy enough to remove the eggs if you wish to keep them in a separate tank.

2 – Stress Might Keep the Angelfish From Fertilizing the Eggs

Angelfish in a Community Tank

Stress has been known to keep angelfish from fertilizing eggs in the past. If an angelfish is experiencing stress, then it might not feel up to doing what it needs to do.

For instance, the angelfish could feel that it isn’t safe in the tank. Perhaps there are other aggressive fish in the tank that it feels it needs to compete with.

There are many things that can cause angelfish to experience stress. Loud noises can distract the fish, and it can make them feel uneasy.

Stressed angelfish are going to be less healthy than normal, too. When angelfish experience stress, it compromises their immune systems.

This can make them more susceptible to getting infections. If your angelfish appears to be duller than usual, then there’s a good chance that it’s stressed.

Water parameter issues can easily cause a fish to become stressed. You must keep the pH balance of the water between 6.8 and 7.8 to keep the fish healthy.

The water temperature is another important factor. You want the temperature of the water to remain between 76 degrees Fahrenheit and 84 degrees Fahrenheit.

Breeding temperatures are generally going to be on the high end. If you’re trying to encourage breeding, then keeping the temperature of the water at 82 degrees Fahrenheit is likely a good idea.

If you have children, then keep them from tapping on the aquarium’s glass. This can distract the male angelfish and will keep it from fertilizing the eggs.

3 – Inexperience

Inexperience can also keep a male angelfish from fertilizing the eggs. It might seem odd, but angelfish aren’t great at mating when they’re young.

A young, inexperienced pair will be more likely to make mistakes. Sometimes the male will be aloof and won’t do what he needs to do.

There might be instances where the male won’t fertilize the eggs properly for no apparent reason. As the pair matures and gains experience, it’s likely that things will go much more smoothly.

You might simply need to wait to see if things go better next time. Try to care for the fish to the best of your ability so that you’ll eventually see a set of angelfish eggs get fertilized by the male.

4 – Perhaps No Male Is Present

Female Angelfish

Have you considered whether a male is actually present in the tank? Female angelfish can still lay eggs even when a male isn’t around.

You could have misidentified one of the angelfish as a male. This happens sometimes, and it’s actually a very common mistake that beginners make.

If this is the case, then you’ll just need to go out and purchase a male angelfish. Hopefully, this will solve your problems.

You’ll get better at identifying the sex of angelfish as you gain experience. Don’t feel bad if you made a mistake.

What Does it Mean When the Eggs Turn White?

When the angelfish eggs turn white, it’s an indication that they have been exposed to fungus. Sadly, this means that the eggs are no longer viable.

Eggs that have turned white have also never been fertilized. When an egg has been fertilized by a male, it’s not going to be possible for it to turn white.

White eggs serve no purpose and you can remove them from the tank. Discard these eggs whenever you have the time to do so.

The angelfish might choose to eat the eggs as well. This is fine since it cannot harm the fish in any way, but you don’t need to wait for the angelfish to eat the eggs since it’d be faster to simply scoop them out of the tank.