Over the years, I found it extremely difficult to keep my angelfish eggs alive. Sometimes the tank mates consumed them. In other cases, the angelfish parents themselves were the issue. However, over the years, I’ve learned a few useful techniques to keep the angelfish eggs alive. Now, I am more than willing to share it all with you guys.
Keeping angelfish eggs alive involves these steps:
- Move the breeding pair to a separate tank – let them lay eggs in a peaceful environment.
- Once the eggs were laid and fertilized, separate them from the parents.
- Maintain ideal water conditions for larval development (78-86 Degrees F and pH between 6.5-6.9)
- Introduce docile tank mates, such as mollies, platies, swordtails, and dwarf gouramis.
- Clean the water regularly to prevent fungi.
- Make sure that the male angelfish indeed fertilized the eggs.
Nevertheless, keep in mind that these techniques require intense attention, and small deviations may end up with rotten eggs. As we move forward, I’ll go into each step in more detail.
Keeping Angelfish Eggs Alive
If you want new angelfish, find a pair of sexually mature angels and place them in the same tank. Make sure the temperature and pH are appropriate. You should also place a slate at a 30-Degree angle in the tank. This is where your angels will lay your eggs.
In most cases, angelfish don’t need coercion to breed. The average spawning can produce hundreds of eggs. They won’t all survive. But if you want as many of them as possible to reach the hatching stage, if your objective is to keep them alive at all costs, keep the following in mind:
1. Move Breeding Pairs to a Separate Tank
If your angels live in a community tank, you are encouraged to move any breeding pairs to a separate one. To most fish, eggs are just another source of food – including the parents. If you allow your angels to spawn in a community tank, they will spend a lot of time defending their eggs against the other fish.
Unless you are confident that your angels can protect their eggs from every other creature in the tank, you are better off separating them. The eggs should be laid in an environment where the parents don’t have to worry about them being eaten.
This method doesn’t just protect the eggs. Your angelfish parents will do everything in their power to protect their young ones in a community tank. But such continuous conflict isn’t good for their health, especially if their tank mates are aggressive species. By taking the parents out of the community tank, you also give them peace of mind.
2. Separate The Eggs From The Parents
The goal of moving angelfish parents to a separate tank is to give them a peaceful space within which they can lay and then care for their eggs. This approach increases the chances of their eggs surviving. However, it does not guarantee their safety.
Adult angelfish have a reputation for eating their eggs. Some people blame this behavior on the aggressive streak for which the species is known, but that is only partially true. Angelfish are individuals with distinct personalities. While some will manifest the aggressive tendencies that have made their species famous, others are quite docile.
However, there are plenty of docile angelfish parents that eat their eggs. The factors driving this behavior will vary. If you can identify and resolve these factors, you can permit your angels to care for future batches of eggs.
But if you don’t know why this behavior keeps manifesting and you doubt your angels’ ability to keep the eggs safe, you are better off taking the eggs away and raising them yourself. The easiest way to do this is to provide a slate upon which the angelfish will lay their eggs.
Once the eggs are in place, you can take the slate out of the tank, inserting the eggs into a separate space from where you can raise them securely. You can achieve the same results by using a turkey baster to suck the angelfish eggs out of their old tank without harming them.
Once you move the eggs into a new tank, some people encourage you to fill it with water from the old tank. You are also encouraged to place the eggs over a bubbler. Angelfish parents keep their eggs clean and healthy by fanning them from time to time. They also use their mouths as cleaning tools where necessary. The bubbler will play these roles.
Some people claim that you have to keep the eggs submerged in water when you transfer them. Apparently, they shouldn’t come into contact with air. But other fish owners move their fish eggs without submerging them all the time, and they haven’t encountered much in the way of challenges.
It is worth noting that eggs hatch within five days. So you don’t have to care for them for that long. And you don’t need another full-size tank. A heated goldfish bowl will do just fine. Add an air tube. This will circulate the water.
Nevertheless, if you don’t have another bowl or container, you may still act to stop the parents from eating their eggs. Here is an article I’ve written about this particular phenomenon. I explained there what I typically do to make the adults more friendly to their own eggs and lower the chances they will choose to consume them.
3. Maintain Ideal Water Conditions
The only way to guarantee the survival of your angelfish eggs is to take them away from their parents. However, your angelfish will do a better job of caring for the eggs. As such, if it is possible, find a way to keep the eggs with their parents.
If the adult angels keep eating their eggs, identify the cause. Sometimes, you have nothing to worry about, especially in cases where your angels are spawning for the first time. These creatures learn to breed through experimentation.
If they have never spawned before, they probably don’t know what they are doing. Don’t blame the parents for eating their eggs during these initial attempts. If you give them additional chances, they will eventually find their footing.
In other words, don’t be so quick to conclude that your eggs belong in a separate tank simply because their parents ate the first couple of batches.
If inexperience isn’t the cause, look for potential sources of stress. Stress can drive angelfish to act irrationally. Is the tank large enough? Overcrowding can compel fish to conclude that resources are limited. This can lead to cannibalism, sometimes as a means of conserving resources and other times as a consequence of stress.
You should also consider the water conditions. High levels of ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates, inappropriate temperature and pH levels; these elements can cause distress in angelfish, pushing them to overreact.
Give your angelfish parents a clean tank, one where the water is changed regularly, and the temperature and pH are monitored to ensure that they are within the proper range; 78-86 Degrees F and 6.5-6.9. A clean, healthy tank with water kept in the right range will produce healthy angelfish that are less likely to eat their eggs.
4. Get Better Tank Mates
As was mentioned above, if your angelfish live in a community tank, they will spend quite a bit of time protecting their eggs from the assaults of their tank mates. If you can’t afford to separate the angels and their eggs, surround them with friendly species with whom they can live peacefully.
Odessa barbs are a terrible idea. The same goes for Buenos Aires tetra. Prioritize live-bearing species like mollies, platies, and swordtails. You can also create a relatively conflict-free tank with dwarf gouramis.
Of course, the presence of friendly fish in the tank won’t necessarily guarantee the security of the eggs. Even docile species will resort to violence if their aquarium is too small. To avoid unnecessary violence, buy large tanks.
If you keep losing eggs to other fish, add plants. Angelfish need the foliage to hide. They can also use the plants to defend their eggs. Fish are not the most intelligent creatures. They don’t hunt for things they cannot see. So long as the eggs are out of sight, your angels’ tank mates will ignore them.
If you wish to go with this approach, there is another issue to consider. You should think ahead about what to do once the eggs have hatched and the angelfish fry become free swimmers. On that matter, you may find another article I’ve written useful. In there, I discussed whether or not angelfish fry will survive in community tanks, and what to do to increase the survival rates.
5. Fight Fungi
If you’ve chosen to leave the eggs with their parents, you can trust the adult angelfish to keep the eggs clean. That includes removing any fungus that might develop in their ranks.
However, if you are rearing the eggs away from the parents, you must take active steps to keep fungus away. Fortunately, this is usually a simple matter of adding some methylene blue to the water.
Nevertheless, the substance has its limits. Ultimately, you are better off keeping the fungus at bay by maintaining proper hygiene. Keep the water as clean as possible. Make sure you identify and remove all the dead eggs.
You should add methylene blue all the same. But the substance should be a safety net rather than your primary means of fighting fungus. Even if you’ve chosen to keep the eggs with the parents, you can still use methylene blue. Sometimes, the adult angelfish need help maintaining the eggs free of fungus.
You may suspect the eggs developed fungus once they turn white. In this article, I discussed that phenomenon and offered a few useful techniques to fight that issue. That also involves active steps you may take as an observer, who is standing outside the tank.
6. Consider The Fertilization Issue
Sometimes, angelfish eggs will develop fungus because they haven’t been fertilized. In such cases, no amount of methylene blue will save them. Once the female angelfish lay their eggs, the males have to fertilize them.
However, if this doesn’t happen, the eggs will go badly. Male angels could refuse to fertilize their eggs for any number of reasons. Sometimes they are merely inexperienced. In other instances, they are distracted.
This is why you have to keep tanks with breeding pairs in quiet places. The presence of human traffic can become a distraction, especially if people keep knocking on the walls of the aquarium. If you can isolate your angels in a location free of external stimuli, the male will eventually play his role.
Some people think that angelfish eggs should be placed in the dark. They encourage fish owners to cover their tanks. But as of this moment, there is no concrete evidence suggesting that the presence or absence of light impacts the health of angelfish eggs.
But where fish are concerned, there is a lot of experimentation. There are fish owners who swear that their eggs thrived when they covered the tank. Don’t be afraid to experiment.
Keeping the angelfish eggs alive is a challenging task. Most of it is because the parents themselves play different roles. Sometimes they may present an aggressive behavior and eat their own eggs. On other occasions, they desperately fight to protect them.
The key here is to provide the parents with a stress-free environment. Place the aquarium in a peaceful area and narrow down the tank mates to docile ones. If none of these had worked, you might try moving the eggs to a different tank. Sometimes separating the parents is the only way of solving this issue.
Either way, I wish you the best of luck in keeping your angelfish eggs alive. I surely hope my article had assisted you. Remember, the right approach is to experiment. Don’t give up if you haven’t seen results in your first attempt. It takes time.