Angelfish Eggs 101: Appearance, Care, Hatching Time & More

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Discovering angelfish eggs in your aquarium can be quite an unexpected experience, especially if it’s a new occurrence for you.

What’s the best approach to nurturing these eggs? What number of them are likely to hatch? How can you tell if they’ve been successfully fertilized? And what steps should you take once the fry emerge?

Before we get started, here’s a short overview of what you need to know about angelfish eggs:

Size1-2 mm in diameter
ColorTranslucent, slightly amber
Hatching Time60-72 hours
Eggs per BatchVaries, often hundreds
Temperature78°F to 84°F (25°C to 29°C)
pHAround 6.5 to 7.0
HardnessSoft to moderately hard
AmmoniaNear zero
NitriteNear zero
NitrateLow, well-controlled

Also Read: Angelfish Care Guide

How To Tell If Your Angelfish Is Carrying Eggs

To tell if your angelfish is carrying eggs, observe its physical appearance and behavior closely. A female angelfish with eggs typically shows distinct changes in both.

  • Bulging Abdomen: The most noticeable sign is a bulging abdomen. Unlike normal fullness, this bulge is more pronounced, indicating the presence of eggs.
  • Altered Behavior: Females carrying eggs often become more territorial and may isolate themselves. They also exhibit cleaning behaviors, preparing a surface for laying eggs.
  • Color Changes: Look for subtle changes in coloration. The belly area may become slightly darker or display a more vivid hue, signaling reproductive readiness.
  • Appetite Changes: The female may show changes in appetite, either eating more voraciously or showing disinterest in food, as her body prioritizes egg development.

Also Read: How To Tell If Your Angelfish Is Pregnant?

What Do Angelfish Eggs Look Like?

Angelfish eggs are small and cylindrical, typically measuring about 1 to 2 millimeters in diameter.

They have a translucent, slightly amber hue, allowing a glimpse of the developing embryo inside as they mature.

The eggs are usually laid in neat rows or clusters on a flat surface, such as a leaf or a specially cleaned area of the tank.

Also Read: What Do Angelfish Eggs Look Like?

How To Tell If Angelfish Eggs Are Fertilized

To determine if angelfish eggs are fertilized, observe their color and development over time. Fertilized eggs will undergo noticeable changes, distinguishing them from unfertilized ones.

  • Color Shift: Within 24 to 36 hours, fertilized eggs shift from a clear or slightly amber hue to a more opaque, creamy white color, indicating healthy embryo development.
  • Mold Presence: Unfertilized eggs often develop fungal growths, appearing as fluffy, white mold, whereas fertilized eggs remain clear of such growths.
  • Embryo Visibility: As they mature, a tiny dark spot, the developing embryo, becomes visible in fertilized eggs, a clear sign of successful fertilization.
  • Egg Adherence: Fertilized eggs tend to adhere firmly to the laying surface, while unfertilized ones may detach or get easily removed by the parent fish.

Also Read: Fertilized vs. Unfertilized Angelfish Eggs

How Long Does It Take For Angelfish Eggs To Hatch?

Angelfish eggs typically hatch within 60 to 72 hours after being laid, depending on the water temperature and conditions in the aquarium.

Warmer water can accelerate the hatching process, while cooler temperatures may slightly delay it.

Once hatched, the fry emerge as tiny, free-swimming larvae, beginning their journey to adulthood.

Also Read: How Long Does It Take For Angelfish To Hatch?

Angelfish Eggs Stages

Angelfish eggs go through distinct stages before hatching, typically within 60 to 72 hours under ideal conditions.

This timeline includes fertilization, development, and hatching stages, each critical for the successful growth of angelfish fry.

  • Fertilization (0-1 hour): Right after laying, the male angelfish fertilizes the eggs. This stage is crucial, as unfertilized eggs will turn white and won’t develop.
  • Clear Development (1-24 hours): Initially clear, the eggs start developing embryos. You’ll notice a small dark spot, the developing angelfish, in each egg.
  • Embryo Growth (24-48 hours): The embryos grow rapidly, becoming more visible. The heart and blood circulation can be observed in the egg.
  • Wriggler Stage (48-60 hours): Post-embryo stage, the developing fry, known as wigglers, start moving inside the egg. This indicates imminent hatching.
  • Hatching (60-72 hours): Finally, the wigglers hatch into free-swimming fry. It’s vital to provide proper care and nutrition from this stage onwards.

Also Read: Angelfish Eggs Growth Stages

How To Care For Angelfish Eggs

Here are some basic steps to follow to ensure your angelfish eggs hatch properly:

1. Maintain Optimal Water Conditions

The health of angelfish eggs is highly dependent on the quality and stability of the water in which they reside.

Keeping the water parameters within the ideal range is crucial for successful egg development.

  • Ideal Temperature: Keep the water temperature between 78°F to 84°F (25°C to 29°C) using a reliable heater and thermometer for consistency. I personally use this Fluval E300 Advanced Heater (link to Amazon).
  • Stable pH Levels: Maintain a pH level around 6.5 to 7.0, using pH testing kits and buffers to prevent harmful fluctuations.
  • Clean Water: Ensure low ammonia and nitrate levels with weekly tests and perform 10-15% weekly water changes for cleanliness.

Also Read: Angelfish Breeding Guide

2. Ensure Proper Egg Aeration

Oxygenation of the water is essential for the developing embryos inside the angelfish eggs. Adequate aeration ensures that the eggs receive enough oxygen to develop properly.

  • Gentle Water Movement: Create a gentle flow near the eggs with an air stone or sponge filter to circulate oxygen evenly. My recommendation: Hygger Aquarium Air Stone (link to Amazon).
  • Avoid Overcrowding: Maintain one fish per 10 gallons to ensure adequate oxygen and avoid depleting it with a crowded tank.
  • Regular Oxygen Checks: Monitor oxygen levels using a dissolved oxygen meter, aiming for 7-8 mg/L, and adjust aeration as needed.

3. Prevent Fungal Infections

Fungal infections are a common issue with angelfish eggs, often leading to their demise if not addressed promptly.

  • Use Anti-fungal Treatments: Apply aquarium-safe anti-fungal treatments like Methylene Blue as recommended, following dosage instructions.
  • Remove Infected Eggs: Daily inspect and remove eggs showing signs of fungus or decay using a siphon or pipette to prevent infection spread.
  • Parental Observation: Monitor the parent fish for egg-eating or neglect, which can indicate infection or stress, and intervene as necessary.

Also Read: How To Keep Angelfish From Eating Their Eggs?

4. Provide Adequate Lighting

Proper lighting is essential for the health of angelfish eggs and can impact their development.

It helps simulate a natural environment and can influence the hatching success.

  • Natural Light Cycle: Mimic natural daylight cycles with 12-14 hours of light and 10-12 hours of darkness to support healthy egg development.
  • Avoid Intense Light: Use subdued or indirect lighting to prevent overheating or excessive algae growth, which can be harmful to the eggs.
  • LED or Fluorescent Lights: Opt for LED or fluorescent aquarium lights, as they offer consistent, gentle illumination suitable for angelfish eggs.

5. Isolate Eggs If Necessary

In certain situations, isolating angelfish eggs from the main tank can be beneficial for their survival. This can protect them from potential threats like other fish or poor tank conditions.

  • Use a Breeding Tank: Transfer eggs to a separate breeding tank equipped with similar water conditions and aeration for a controlled environment.
  • Parental Separation: If the parent fish show signs of stress or aggression towards the eggs, consider separating them to prevent harm to the eggs.
  • Controlled Environment: In a breeding tank, you have better control over water quality, temperature, and lighting, ensuring optimal conditions for egg development.

Also Read: How To Keep Angelfish Eggs Alive?

Feeding Angelfish Fry After The Eggs Hatch

Feeding angelfish fry is pretty stragithforwrd. Here’s a summary of what you should know:

Food TypeAge for FeedingQuantity to FeedFeeding FrequencyAdditional Notes
Infusoria3-4 daysSmall cloud, slightly cloud the water3-4 times/dayCultivate at home with vegetable matter
Microworms1 weekSmall pinch, dispersed in water2-3 times/dayCultivate with oatmeal or potato slices
Brine Shrimp Nauplii1-2 weeksSmall spoonful, spread out2 times/dayHatch in salt water with air stone
Crushed Flake Food3 weeksSmall pinch, finely crushed2-3 times/dayCrush into very fine particles
Daphnia4 weeksModerate amount, for active huntingOnce a dayCultivate in container or pond

1. Infusoria

Infusoria are microscopic organisms that serve as an ideal first food for angelfish fry, which are too small to eat larger foods.

These tiny organisms are easy for the fry to digest and are rich in nutrients.

  • Age for Feeding: Start feeding infusoria to the fry immediately after they become free-swimming, typically 3-4 days post-hatching.
  • Quantity to Feed: Offer a small cloud of infusoria, just enough to slightly cloud the water, ensuring the fry have constant access without overfeeding.
  • Feeding Frequency: Feed infusoria multiple times a day, around 3-4 times, to maintain a consistent supply for the continuously feeding fry.
  • Culturing Infusoria: Cultivate infusoria at home using a jar of water and vegetable matter, like a lettuce leaf, to have a ready supply.

2. Microworms

Microworms are slightly larger than infusoria and are suitable for angelfish fry that have grown for a few days. They are nutrient-rich and encourage healthy growth in young fry.

  • Age for Feeding: Introduce microworms when the fry are about a week old, once they have grown enough to handle slightly larger food.
  • Quantity to Feed: Provide a small pinch of microworms, enough to see them dispersed in the water but not so much that they accumulate at the bottom.
  • Feeding Frequency: Feed microworms 2-3 times per day, adjusting based on how quickly the fry consume them.
  • Culturing Microworms: Culture microworms using oatmeal or potato slices in a shallow dish, ensuring a continuous, fresh supply.

3. Brine Shrimp Nauplii

Brine shrimp nauplii are an excellent food source for slightly older angelfish fry. They are packed with protein and help in the rapid growth and development of the fry.

  • Age for Feeding: Feed brine shrimp nauplii to fry that are at least 1-2 weeks old and have developed enough to catch and eat them.
  • Quantity to Feed: Distribute a small spoonful of nauplii, ensuring they are spread throughout the tank but not overcrowding it.
  • Feeding Frequency: Offer brine shrimp nauplii 2 times a day, observing how the fry manage to eat them before adding more.
  • Hatching Brine Shrimp: Hatch brine shrimp eggs in a separate container using salt water and an air stone for aeration, ensuring a fresh supply.

4. Crushed Flake Food

As angelfish fry grow, they can start consuming more conventional aquarium foods like crushed flake food.

This food is easily digestible and can be adjusted in size to suit the growing fry.

  • Age for Feeding: Begin introducing crushed flake food when the fry are about 3 weeks old and showing good growth.
  • Quantity to Feed: Offer a small pinch of finely crushed flakes, ensuring the particles are small enough for the fry to eat.
  • Feeding Frequency: Feed crushed flake food 2-3 times daily, in small quantities to prevent overfeeding and water quality issues.
  • Particle Size: Ensure the flakes are crushed into very fine particles; larger pieces can be difficult for the fry to consume and digest. My recommendation: TetraCichlid Cichlid Flakes (link to Amazon).

5. Daphnia

Daphnia, or water fleas, are an excellent live food source for older angelfish fry, providing both nutrition and exercise as the fry chase them.

  • Age for Feeding: Introduce daphnia when the fry are at least 4 weeks old and capable of chasing and eating moving prey.
  • Quantity to Feed: Add a moderate amount of daphnia, enough for the fry to actively hunt and eat within a few hours.
  • Feeding Frequency: Offer daphnia once a day, ideally in the morning, to give fry time to hunt and consume them.
  • Culturing Daphnia: Cultivate daphnia in a separate container or outdoor pond to ensure a regular, fresh supply for the growing fry.

Also Read: Angelfish Diseases


How Many Eggs Do Angelfish Lay?

Angelfish typically lay anywhere from a few dozen to several hundred eggs in a single batch. The exact number varies based on factors like the age, size, and health of the angelfish. 

Larger, healthier, and more mature angelfish tend to lay more eggs compared to younger or smaller ones.

Also Read: How Many Eggs Do Angelfish Lay?

How Often Do Angelfish Lay Eggs?

Angelfish can lay eggs as frequently as every two weeks, although this varies depending on factors like the environment, nutrition, and the health of the fish.

In optimal conditions, with proper care and a suitable breeding environment, they may breed regularly throughout the year.

Also Read: How Often Do Angelfish Breed?

Should I Remove Unfertilized Angelfish Eggs?

Yes, it is advisable to remove unfertilized angelfish eggs from the breeding tank.

Unfertilized eggs can develop fungal infections, which can spread to the fertilized eggs and harm them. 

Removing these eggs helps maintain a healthier environment for the developing embryos.

Also Read: Why Do Angelfish Eggs Turn White?

Can Angelfish Lay Eggs Without A Male?

Yes, angelfish can lay eggs without a male present.

Female angelfish are capable of laying eggs even in the absence of a male, but these eggs will not be fertilized and, therefore, cannot develop into fry.

This process is similar to hens laying unfertilized eggs and is a natural part of the angelfish’s reproductive cycle.

Also Read: What Color Should Angelfish Eggs Be?

Do Angelfish Eat Their Eggs?

Angelfish may eat their eggs, and this behavior is not uncommon, especially among inexperienced or stressed parents.

Factors contributing to this behavior include stress, perceived threats in the environment, poor water conditions, or simply a lack of parental instincts.

In some cases, providing a calm and stable environment can reduce the likelihood of angelfish eating their eggs.

Also Read: Do Angelfish Eat Their Eggs?

Do Angelfish Take Care of Their Eggs?

Yes, angelfish usually care for their eggs, with both males and females engaging in parental activities like cleaning, guarding, and aerating them with their fins.

This care lasts until the eggs hatch and sometimes even into the fry’s early stages.

However, care levels can vary, and some angelfish, particularly inexperienced or stressed ones, might neglect or eat their eggs.

Also Read: Do Angelfish Lay Eggs?


For quick readers, here’s a short summary:

  • Angelfish eggs are small (1-2 mm), translucent with an amber tint, and hatch within 60-72 hours in water temperatures of 78°F to 84°F and pH around 6.5 to 7.0.
  • Female angelfish carrying eggs display signs like a bulging abdomen, altered behavior including territoriality and cleaning, color changes, and appetite shifts.
  • Fertilized angelfish eggs turn opaque white within 24-36 hours and show a developing embryo, while unfertilized ones may develop mold and detach.
  • Angelfish egg care involves maintaining optimal water conditions (temperature, pH, cleanliness), ensuring proper aeration, preventing fungal infections, providing adequate lighting, and isolating eggs if necessary.
  • Feeding angelfish fry involves a progression from infusoria, microworms, brine shrimp nauplii, crushed flake food, to daphnia, adjusting food type and quantity as they grow.