How to Hatch Angelfish Eggs on Your Own?

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Sometimes the most difficult part of breeding angelfish is finding a proven breeding pair. Other times, getting to the stage when angelfish eggs can hatch is the most troublesome part.

When the parenting skills of your angelfish take a while to kick in, you may need to make certain adjustments to successfully hatch angelfish eggs.

Despite your angelfish falling short of their parenting skills, you can successfully hatch angelfish eggs on your own.

There are cases when the problem isn’t the parenting skills of your angelfish, but the environment in which the parents lay their eggs (e.g. a community tank).

To get you up to speed with the various scenarios that you may encounter when breeding angelfish, I’m going to give you some advice on how you can hatch angelfish eggs successfully, whether spawning occurred in a community tank or in a separate breeding tank.

How to Hatch Angelfish Eggs on Your Own?

There are various reasons why you may be forced to hatch angelfish eggs on your own and the most common reason is that your angelfish are in the habit of eating their eggs.

Various stress conditions may determine angelfish to eat their eggs, which I will discuss further down in this article.

However, if you notice this behavior in your angelfish, you’ll need to remove the eggs and hatch them in a separate container.

To make sure you can easily remove the eggs from the breeding tank, it’s best to place a spawning slate into the tank that can act as the spawning site for your angelfish.

Once the eggs are laid and fertilized, you should remove them to prevent them from getting eaten by the parents.

The way to remove the eggs is to lift out the spawning site from the breeding tank and place the eggs into a separate recipient, which has the same water temperature and parameters as the breeding tank.

Normally, when the eggs are left with the angelfish, the pair will take measures to clean the eggs, make sure oxygen reaches the eggs, remove fungus or rotten eggs, guard the eggs, etc.

Since the pair is no longer around to do all these things, you’ll need to take care of aeration, clean water and preventing fungus growth on the eggs.

Make sure the water in the hatching tank is at around 80 F and it’s clean aged water.

In order to prevent fungi, you’ll need to treat the water with an antifungal agent like methylene blue or Acriflavin.

The eggs also need a stream of bubbles that will deliver oxygen to the eggs. An air stone placed into the tank can help you with that. If everything is in order, in a few days, you can expect the eggs to hatch.

The following video explains how to hatch angelfish eggs on your own:

How to Hatch Angelfish Eggs in a Community Tank?

It may happen – perhaps even unbeknownst to you – that an angelfish couple will spawn in a community tank.

If you’re not prepared to care for angelfish eggs yourself, you may decide to leave the eggs with the parents.

I’m not going to lie to you – a community tank is not an ideal place to breed angelfish. Angelfish need a separate breeding tank to ensure optimal care for the angelfish eggs and fry.

Although it’s not impossible to hatch the eggs in a community tank, it can be difficult to provide the level of care that the eggs and fry require.

Still, if you notice that your angelfish spawned in a community tank, there are some measures you must take to ensure the safety of the eggs.

Under normal conditions, the angelfish pair will guard and care for the eggs until the hatch and will continue to care for the fry even beyond hatching.

They will provide the required aeration, they will clean the eggs, and remove rotten eggs or fungus.

However, since spawning happened in a community tank, you’ll need to watch out for other fish raiding the eggs, especially at night when angelfish may let their guard down.

Plus, angelfish become extra territorial during this time, so watch out for aggressive behaviors in the tank.

It’s best to remove fish that are too nosey, are bothering your angelfish or that are attempting to raid the eggs.

This is especially important, because if your angelfish become too stressed out, they may eat the eggs themselves, robbing you of the chance of seeing the eggs hatch.

To help your angelfish pair, add enough foliage into the tank that can serve as a hiding place for them and their future fry.

Once the eggs hatch, they’ll enter a wiggler stage, and then – a few days later – a free-swimming stage.

You can keep the fry together with the angelfish, however, there’s a risk of other fish eating the fry, which you can minimize by having enough plants in the tank that can shield the fry from other fish.

Alternatively, you can use a mesh netting in the tank to prevent bigger fish following the fry to the other side of the net.

Feeding the fry in a community tank and ensuring them proper tank conditions is much more difficult, that’s why breeders will without fail remove the fry into a separate tank where they can be properly cared for.

How Long Does It Take for Angelfish Eggs to Hatch?

If you have a breeding angelfish pair, it’s best to know how soon you can expect them to spawn and how soon you can expect angelfish eggs to hatch.

A cooperative angelfish pair can spawn in as short as a few days after they’ve been placed into the breeding tank, other couples may take some more time, especially if tank conditions are not optimal for them.

After the eggs are deposited, the pair will take care of the eggs in anticipation of the hatching. Angelfish eggs don’t take long to hatch and depending on tank conditions hatching can occur 2-3 days after spawning.

When eggs hatch, they don’t immediately become free-swimmers, instead they’ll stay attached to the spawning site for another 3-4 days.

Angelfish Eggs Stages

When breeding my angelfish, I really enjoy monitoring all the stages the eggs go through from spawning to hatching.

If you’re a first-time breeder, it helps to get an idea of the different stages the eggs go through, so you’ll know what to expect.

So, here there are, the stages of angelfish eggs:

  • Eggs are laid by the female (a good angelfish female can lay hundreds of eggs at a time);
  • The male angelfish brushes over the eggs to fertilize them;
  • In about 60 hours the eggs will have developed larvae that stay curled around the yolk sack (if examined under a microscope, heartbeat and blood flow can be observed);
  • Hatching signifies the last stage of the angelfish eggs, which then become wiggles (larvae are still attached to the spawning site, eyes, tails, and organs are still developing);
  • As the wigglers detach from the spawning site by consuming up their yolk sack, they become free swimmers.

The entire process from spawning to free swimming can unfold in 3-5 days, depending on tank conditions.

For the first two days after becoming free swimmers, the fry can feed on microscopic organisms in the tank, after which you’ll need to add freshly hatched brine shrimp to their diet and slowly transition to crushed flakes, then regular fish food.

Will Angelfish Eat Their Eggs?

I already touched on the phenomenon of angelfish eating their eggs. Now this won’t happen if you have a pair of angelfish that are good parents.

Good angelfish pairs show their dedication from the first moments the spawning happens, and you’ll see them hovering around the eggs, carefully guarding and inspecting them.

However, not everyone is lucky in picking out a good or experienced angelfish pair and may have troubles with them including the fact that their angelfish may eat their eggs.

Let’s see the reasons why your angelfish may be inclined to eat their eggs:

1. They’re first-time parents

Angelfish may not get parenting right on their first try. Therefore, it may happen that novice angelfish parents may eat their eggs the first time they spawn.

2. They’re in a community tank and other fish are raiding the eggs

An important reason why angelfish may eat their eggs in a community tank is because they’re overwhelmed and stressed out by the fact that they must guard their eggs from other fish.

3. They’re stressed out

Even if angelfish are bred in a separate breeding tank, they may be sensitive to noises, movements in their environment.

Therefore, placing the tank in a quiet place away from movement around the tank can make them feel more at ease. It also helps to cover the front of the tank, so they can’t see movement around the tank.

Final Thoughts

It’s not too difficult to hatch angelfish once you know what to do and what to expect. Although it’s best to leave the parents care for the eggs themselves, sometimes you’re left without any other option but to hatch the angelfish eggs yourself.

I hope this short intro on how to hatch angelfish eggs will serve as a good guide should you ever need to attempt hatching angelfish eggs yourself.

Author Image Fabian
I’m Fabian, aquarium fish breeder and founder of this website. I’ve been keeping fish, since I was a kid. On this blog, I share a lot of information about the aquarium hobby and various fish species that I like. Please leave a comment if you have any question.
Questions and Answers
Barbara Spilman June 24, 2020 Reply

Our Angels laid eggs on the tube to filter two days ago.

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