Caring for Freshwater Angelfish Eggs
Written by Katherine Barrington
Breeding freshwater angelfish can be a rewarding experience but raising the eggs to maturity may be a challenge.
When it comes to breeding freshwater aquarium fish, sometimes the most difficult task is caring for the eggs after your fish have spawned. Once the eggs have been laid you may need to remove the parent fish from the tank and then raise the eggs on your own. Raising angelfish eggs is not terribly difficult - you simply need to keep a few precautions in mind in order to improve your chances of success. The most important thing you can do to make sure that your angelfish eggs will hatch and that the fry will grow is to keep the fry protected and well-fed. If you can accomplish these two tasks you will be rewarded with a healthy school of angelfish.
Basics of Breeding Angelfish
Freshwater angelfish come in many different varieties, ranging in color from black, white and silver to bright yellow, orange and red. These fish are very attractive and make popular additions to the home aquarium. Part of the reason these fish are so popular, in addition to their good looks, is the fact that they are not especially difficult to breed. A single spawning can result in hundreds of eggs, though many of them will not hatch. If you take a few precautions, however, you can raise a large number of angelfish eggs into adulthood. Breeding angelfish starts with setting up a proper breeding tank.
Your breeding tank does not need to be elaborate - all you need is the proper water temperature, a mated pair of angelfish, and a piece of slate on which the angelfish can spawn. In the wild, angelfish prefer to spawn on the wide leaves of the Amazon sword plant but in a breeding tank a piece of slate placed at a 30° angle will work just as well. Raising the temperature of your tank a few degrees, in addition to adding a little bit of water from another tank in which angelfish are successfully breeding, can help to encourage your angelfish. Once your fish have mated and spawned, you next need to focus on caring for the angelfish eggs.
Caring for Angelfish Eggs
There are many different types of angelfish but all eggs can generally be raised in the same way. Once the eggs have been deposited on the slate you have the option to remove them from the tank and raise them in a separate location or you can leave them in the tank for the parents to tend. If you choose to raise the eggs separately from the parents then you need to place them in a large container of water from the tank and insert an airstone on a low setting to achieve water flow - you may also choose to treat the water with methlyene blue to keep off fungus. If you want to raise your angelfish eggs in the tank with the parents then you will need to take different precautions.
Once they have spawned, angelfish become very protective of their eggs - they may attack other fish who come too close, even their mate. To avoid too many aggression issues you can empty your tank of all other fish besides one or two of a mild-mannered species that can keep the angelfish from attacking each other but will not become a threat to the eggs.
Angelfish also have a tendency to eat their own eggs so you will need to keep a close eye on them if you choose to leave your angelfish eggs in the tank with the parents. Other fish may also be drawn to the eggs - plecostumus are particularly known to raid the eggs during the night when the adult angelfish are not keeping a close watch.
Caring for Angelfish Fry
After a few days the angelfish eggs will sprout tails and will begin to wriggle while still attached to the slate. After a few more days the eggs will absorb their yolk sac and detach from the slate to swim about the tank on their own. During this stage, the fry will begin to forage for their own food and, if left in the tank with their parents, the adult angelfish will have a more difficult time defending them. In order to raise a majority of the fry to maturity, it is essential to keep them fed. Commercial fry food is not an adequate diet for angelfish fry - in order for the fry to thrive they must be fed a diet of infusoria or newly hatched brine shrimp at least once a day (several times a day for best results).
Another important aspect of raising angelfish fry involves protecting the fry from hungry fish and other dangers. After the fry have hatched and begun to grow, removing any other fish from the aquarium can greatly increase the chances of survival for the majority of the fry. If you do not wish to remove your other fish, be sure to provide hiding places for the fry, like heavily planted areas, and avoid using a strong filter because fry can easily be sucked up into a filter. Some aquarium hobbyists use mesh netting in the bottom of their tanks to allow the fry to swim around where adult fish cannot reach them.
By following these tips you can successfully raise your angelfish eggs into healthy adults. The most important things to consider when raising angelfish fry is that the fry must be fed frequently and protected from being eaten. Most fry can survive twelve hours without food but, for best results, fry should be fed four or five times a day. With frequent feeding your fry will grow quickly and become more self-sufficient and, in time, you will have many beautiful adult angelfish to enjoy.
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