Seeing angelfish spawning in your tanks isn’t a rare occasion. However, witnessing the eggs hatching is a different story. More than once, I waited for days to eventually find out the eggs were not even fertilized. Over the years, I learned that the eggs’ colors matter. Some variations may suggest they are rotten, for example. So what color should angelfish eggs be? How are they supposed to look when they are healthy?
Angelfish eggs should feature translucent amber or brownish colors. That would suggest they are fertilized, and probably hatch in the following days. If the eggs turn white, it may indicate they are not at all fertilized. This will end up with rotten eggs, covered by fungi.
As we move forward, I will show you in which cases your angelfish’ eggs may feature the wrong colors. Also, I will present a few useful techniques to deal with this issue and ensure you will be able to enjoy healthy, young angelfish fry.
What is The Right Color For Angelfish Eggs?
Angelfish are easy to breed. So long as you have two angels of the opposite gender in the same tank, it will take them mere days to spawn. But the process of nurturing and rearing their young is a far more complicated process.
Some amateur fish owners believe that angelfish are the most significant danger to their eggs. And they are not wrong. Angelfish are volatile creatures that have been known to eat their eggs and fry. This is why fish owners prefer to separate eggs from their angelfish parents once they are laid.
They think that, by placing the eggs in a separate tank, they are guaranteed a healthy stock of fry. But that is not true. Just because your angelfish eggs have escaped the threat their parents pose doesn’t mean they are guaranteed to hatch.
Fish owners obsess over the color of their angelfish eggs because it speaks volumes about their health. For the most part, angelfish eggs should be translucent amber or brownish (as in the picture below). The presence of this color means that your eggs are fertile and healthy.
If your eggs turn white and opaque, you should worry. They are not necessarily dead, but their chances of hatching adequately are quite low unless you take immediate action. This is why you are encouraged to pay close attention to your angelfish eggs once they are laid.
Watch the color. Ensure that it stays within the appropriate range. This is the only way to determine whether or not your eggs are healthy. If they keep dying, even if you can’t save them, you can identify the causes and resolve them before the next batch of eggs arrives.
But what causes eggs to change color like that? Why do some of them die as a result? Well, this can be credited to quite a few factors. Let’s dive right into it.
What Causes Angelfish Eggs to Change Colors?
1. Fertility Issues
This should be your first consideration. When a female angel lays eggs, the male angel must fertilize them. If he fails to play his part, the eggs will turn opaque and white, essentially dying. If your eggs are changing color, you should consider the possibility that your male angel has failed to fertilize them as required.
The male does so by hovering over the eggs, releasing its sperm. Unlike other fish, angelfish do not give birth to live fry. The female lays unfertilized eggs instead. Try watching your angels and see if the male is spending time near the eggs. If he doesn’t, the eggs probably change colors due to infertility.
2. Fungus Development
If the male angelfish isn’t to blame, if he’s playing his part but the eggs are still changing color, you can blame fungus. Creatures that live in water are vulnerable to fungal infections. Eggs are no different.
If they are turning white and fuzzy and infertility isn’t the cause, the only other explanation is a fungal infestation. In that case, you may find the following video handy. This guy had explained what to precisely do in case you suffer from fungi issues (including the known methylene blue):
3. Bad Water Conditions
The conditions of the water are going to determine whether or not your eggs hatch successfully. For instance, angelfish do not react positively to water with a significant concentration of nitrites and ammonia. Their eggs and fry are no different. You cannot expect them to survive in water conditions that are not conducive for their kind.
If you suspect that is the issue in your case, I highly suggest you read an article I’ve written on how to keep angelfish eggs alive. I mentioned there a few techniques to ensure your angels’ eggs will eventually hatch, including the precise water conditions (pH, temperature, and so on).
4. Harsh Water Flow
The water flow is one of those aspects of fertilization that fish owners rarely consider, especially if they are new to angelfish rearing. If your eggs are changing color because they haven’t been fertilized, before you blame your male angel, consider the water flow.
Ensure that it is not too strong and that it doesn’t wash the sperm off the eggs (preventing fertilization from occurring). Angelfish do require filters for oxygen and waste replacement, although it is essential to place it strategically. If possible, place your breeding surface at the most distant corner, away from the water pump.
5. Poorly Managed Migration
As was mentioned above, if your angelfish parents are eating their eggs, you might have to move them to a new tank to protect them. However, the process of moving them could do more harm than good. In fact, by merely handling them, you could introduce fungal infections to the eggs.
You must also understand the importance of acclimating your eggs when you move them to a new tank. If the change in the parameters is too abrupt, it could kill them. It is equally important to ensure that you don’t keep the eggs out of the water for too long when you are making the transfer from one tank to another.
What to do When Angelfish Eggs Change Colors
To be clear, it isn’t always possible to identify the factors causing your eggs to die. In fact, most experienced fish owners understand that dead eggs are just the norm. You cannot expect every single angelfish egg in your tank to hatch.
A significant number is going to die regardless of what you do. Fortunately, angelfish produce so many eggs that, even when the majority die, you still have plenty of eggs leftover. Even if all your eggs die, angelfish spawn every few days.
So, you don’t have to worry about suffering a shortage of eggs. You have plenty of opportunities to keep experimenting with your angelfish. Eventually, you will find your footing. This is the advantage of angelfish. They breed too quickly and frequently, and every failure you encounter provides an opportunity for you to learn and grow.
That being said, if you hate the idea of your angelfish eggs dying, there are things you can do to ensure that they never change colors. There are steps you can take to keep them healthy and whole.
How to Keep Angelfish Eggs From Changing Colors
First of all, it is worth reiterating the fact that you cannot save all your angelfish eggs. And if you approach this task intending to keep every single one of them from turning white and furry, you will encounter frustration.
You have to accept that you will lose some of your eggs regardless of what you do. Focus on saving enough to allow a generously sized school of angelfish to emerge.
However, if your eggs are changing color because they haven’t been fertilized, try to find out why your male angelfish is failing to perform its work. Start by studying your angels. Some people think that their male angelfish have refused to fertilize their eggs when, in truth, they don’t have male angelfish in their tank, to begin with.
A female angelfish won’t need a male angel to lay its eggs. If you only have female angelfish in your aquarium, they will continue to lay their eggs in the absence of a male. Some people think that the laying of eggs comes about when male and female angelfish mate, but this isn’t true.
Each sex has its own role to play. The female lays the eggs, and the male fertilizes them. You are encouraged to study your angels carefully because male and female angelfish look similar to one another.
The physical attributes separating them are so faint that amateur fish owners are likely to miss them. That is particularly true when the angelfish are young and appear almost identical. Some fish stores could also sell you two female angelfish without knowing it. These mistakes are common.
Before you attempt to identify the issues preventing your male angel from fertilizing its eggs, make sure you have a male angel in the tank. If you don’t have a male angel, buy one and add it to the tank. It will solve all your problems. Either way, here is a useful video to tell the differences between male and females angelfish:
If you know for a fact that your tank has male angels, but your eggs are still turning opaque and white, try to identify the reasons why your male angels are failing to do their work. Angelfish may fail to fertilize their eggs because of the distractions in their vicinity.
In that case, move the tank to a location that doesn’t have heavy human traffic. You should also discourage people from tapping on the glass of the aquarium. If the presence of hostile fish is exerting too much stress to allow your male angels to fertilize their eggs, move the mating pair to a separate tank.
If poor feeding is the issue, talk to a fish expert. They will design a diet that you can use to augment the physical and mental health of your angels, giving them the impetus to spawn without issue. If the fish are merely shy, add plants and decorations to the tank behind which they can hide, especially in the face of hostile tankmates.
If the eggs keep falling prey to fungal infections and bacteria, keep the water clean. Remove all waste, dead eggs, dead plants, and any other element that might corrupt the tank. You are also encouraged to perform regular water changes. Watch the temperature and pH. Keep these parameters within the appropriate range.
It was mentioned above that the wrong water flow could wash the sperm off your angelfish eggs, preventing fertilization. But that only happens if the eggs are too close to the filter. Your tank needs a filter that can produce a flow powerful enough to keep your eggs clean.
Adult angelfish usually do this work. They are always rubbing their fins over their eggs, removing fungus, dirt, debris, and the like. If you choose to separate the eggs from their parents, an active filter will keep them clean and free of fungal infections.
If all else fails, if your eggs keep falling prey to fungal infections, attack them with chemical compounds. One of the most popular is methylene blue. If you treat your water with the stuff, it will keep fungal infections away.
Commercial fish farmers use products like povidone-iodine and hydrogen peroxide. There is also formalin to consider, though it must be handled carefully, using the appropriate gear. It is dangerous to humans.
Studies have found hydrogen peroxide to be quite useful. But the temperature matters. Higher temperatures make it toxic. You are better off sticking with tried and tested products like Methylene blue.
Angelfish breed and spawn quite easily. However, it is quite common to see their eggs eventually rot and turn white. Their healthy color is translucent amber or brownish. If they appear brighter, it may indicate they are not fertilized. The most common reason for that is trying to mate two female angelfish.
Angelfish do not require fertilization to lay eggs. Therefore, they may seem breeding even when there is no male nearby to release its sperm. Make sure you understand their appearance differences adequately before introducing them to your tank. You may also consult the pet store owner and buy a breeding pair from advanced.
I hope my article had shed some light on what color angelfish eggs should be. Hopefully, you will be able to raise your angelfish fry someday. Even if you fail in your first attempt, do not give up. Try my suggestion above to fix your issues and become an expert in this field.