Keeping angelfish in your home aquarium should be very satisfying. They’re very good-looking fish that move around gracefully in the water.
You’ll like observing the fish in the tank, and it’ll also be pretty fun to care for them. They’re easy to take care of even for beginners.
That fact might make it so that you’ll want to have even more of them. You won’t necessarily have to go buy more, because the angelfish might mate.
When two angelfish mate, it’ll give you the possibility of adding many more angelfish to your tank. If you’re new to caring for angelfish, then you likely know next to nothing about the mating process.
Read on to learn about what happens when angelfish mate. This will give you a good idea of what to expect so that you can help the angelfish to mate successfully.
It Starts with Two Angelfish Forming a Pair
The mating process begins when two angelfish form a pair. A male angelfish and a female angelfish will pair off so that they can mate.
Eventually, you’ll get used to what this process looks like by observing the fish. When two fish are forming a pair, they’re going to interact in certain ways.
The two might chase each other around a bit, and there will likely be a lot of tail shaking going on. At some point, the pair will lock lips and start shaking each other.
Don’t worry because your angelfish aren’t fighting with each other. This is an angelfish mating ritual that signifies that two fish have formed a mating pair.
Once the mating pair has formed, the female fish will start looking for a good spot to lay its eggs. The fish will likely start cleaning and preparing a place for the eggs.
The Female Will Now Lay the Eggs
Next, the female is going to lay the eggs somewhere. Angelfish can breed in a community tank or in a breeding tank.
If you wish to make things easier, then placing the mating pair in a breeding tank will be ideal. This will ensure that the mating pair won’t have as much to worry about when protecting the eggs.
Wherever the fish happen to be, they’ll look for a good spot to lay the eggs. Generally, the female will try to pick a location that seems safe and convenient for the eggs.
In the wild, angelfish often lay eggs on or near aquatic plants. Assuming that you have live plants in your aquarium, it’s possible that the angelfish will lay the eggs directly on a big leaf or something such as that.
Sometimes an angelfish will choose to lay its eggs in a very bad spot, too. For example, it might lay eggs on the side of the glass or on the filter.
Hopefully, the angelfish will choose a good spot that won’t endanger the eggs. The eggs are very hard to move for humans without damaging them.
The Male Then Fertilizes the Eggs
It will now be time for the male to come into play. A male angelfish has to go fertilize the eggs to make them viable.
The male angelfish will go spray the eggs to fertilize them. When the deed is done, the two fish will start to work together to take care of the eggs and protect them.
There can sometimes be issues where the male won’t fertilize the eggs. This happens when the male doesn’t feel that the eggs were placed in a safe spot.
For instance, if you place a mating pair in an empty tank, then the female might be forced to lay the eggs out in the open. This will seem very vulnerable to the male angelfish, and it might choose to ignore the eggs.
This is why placing aquatic plants in the tank with the angelfish is such a good idea. It gives them a good spot to lay the eggs that will ensure that the male will feel comfortable.
Using breeding cones or something such as that will also be acceptable. Just be sure to have good spots for the female to lay the eggs and the male should do its part just fine.
The Pair Protects the Eggs
The pair will be working together to protect the eggs until they hatch now. There are many things that need to be done to keep the eggs safe.
Of course, the two angelfish will work to protect the eggs from threats such as other fish. If any other fish attempt to get near the eggs, then the angelfish will work to scare them off.
They’ll chase them away from the eggs so that they won’t be eaten. The parent fish have to do a lot more than this, too.
The angelfish will be responsible for keeping the eggs clean and providing them with oxygen. They’ll work to ensure that the eggs stay safe so that they can hatch.
Once the eggs hatch, the angelfish parents will keep on protecting them. First, the eggs hatch and the larvae remain attached to the yolk for several days.
After this time, the larvae reaches the free swimmer stage, and it’s then considered to be an angelfish fry. Parent fish will continue to protect the angelfish fry until they have formed fins.
After this happens, the angelfish will be able to go back to normal. The mating pair should mate again at some point in time so long as you’re patient.
Important Things to Keep in Mind
The information above describes the angelfish mating process when things go pretty much perfectly. There are many things that can go wrong that will keep the angelfish eggs from hatching.
For example, sometimes the angelfish parents will get stressed. If the fish experience too much stress, then they might start making bad choices.
There have been many situations where angelfish have chosen to eat their eggs. Sometimes angelfish will even eat the angelfish fry.
This is very disheartening, but it’s another good reason to avoid stressing the fish. You want to try to give the angelfish a calm situation where they have everything that they need to thrive.
It’s also important to feed the fish as usual. You want them to have enough energy to do what they need to do, but overfeeding would be bad since it can lead to health problems.
Try not to do things such as turn the lights on and off suddenly. This can scare the fish, and they might panic and start eating the eggs.
Some angelfish enthusiasts will choose to take care of the eggs themselves. You could remove the parent fish from the breeding tank to eliminate the chance that the parents will eat the eggs or the angelfish fry.
Of course, this is going to be kind of tough. You’ll be responsible for giving the eggs oxygen and keeping them clean.
You can get the eggs the oxygen that they need by using air stones. This is simple enough, but it is easy to make mistakes if you’re a beginner.
It’s generally recommended to just let the parent fish care for the eggs if you’re new to breeding fish. You won’t experience nearly as much stress.
Angelfish parents get better at caring for eggs as they gain experience, too. A young mating pair will likely make mistakes, but an experienced pair will do a very good job.
How Long Do Angelfish Eggs Take to Hatch?
It should take the angelfish eggs around sixty hours to hatch. There can be slight variations in the amount of time it takes the eggs to hatch, but it should be close to sixty hours.
After the sixty hours have passed, the eggs will hatch and the larvae will enter the wiggler stage. This is the period of time where the larvae is attached to the yolk of the egg.
It remains this way for around five days. You aren’t supposed to try to feed the angelfish fry during this time.
Once the angelfish fry have reached the free swimmer stage, you’ll be able to feed them. The parents should keep protecting them during this stage until they have been able to form fins.
When you’re caring for angelfish eggs, it’s recommended to keep the water temperature set at 80 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s also going to be wise to keep a close eye on the pH balance of the water to avoid any issues.
Remember that the water is supposed to remain between 6.8 and 7.8. So long as you’re keeping an eye on things, you should be able to see the angelfish fry become fully-grown angelfish.
You’ve learned everything that you need to know about the angelfish mating process. It’s something that you’ll get used to seeing if you’re planning on breeding angelfish in your home aquarium.
Give your angelfish the right environment and you should be able to add many more angelfish to your fish tank. It can be very fascinating to watch the angelfish fry grow into adult fish.
Do your best to take care of the angelfish so that they can have an easy time caring for the eggs. Remember to avoid stressing the fish, and consider putting the mating pair in a breeding tank if you want to have the easiest experience.
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.