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Will Angelfish Fry Survive In A Community Tank?

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Quite often, my angelfish spawned in the community tank. Since they share it with other fish of different kinds, frequently, the fry didn’t survive. Breeding them in separate tanks is the natural solution. However, I kept wondering whether or not angelfish fry can survive in community tanks. That is the more complicated question I was determined to answer.

No, angelfish fry won’t survive in a community tank since it typically features fish that see the newborns as food sources. However, you may increase the chances of survival by introducing dense vegetation, providing adequate feeding schedules, or using a separate breeding box.

These solutions may sound easy. However, they require intense attention and practice for implementation. Keep on reading to learn more about how I was finally able to grow my angelfish fry in my community tank.

Also Read: Angelfish Fry Care

Can Angelfish Fry Survive in a Community Tank?

Angelfish fry will probably not survive in a community. Everyone knows that angelfish are not picky eaters. They will consume anything that can fit in their mouths. This is why you shouldn’t keep them in the same tank along with much smaller fish. Your angels will simply eat them.

Unfortunately, other fish are not that different. You have to understand that the species that share your angelfish tank are not necessarily mean or evil. They perceive fry as a food source. 

So if you have angelfish fry in a community tank, their chances of survival are meager. This is also true for eggs. However, for some people, the death of the angelfish fry doesn’t always matter.

People keep angelfish fry in community tanks despite their low survival rate because, in many cases, they don’t wish to buy separate aquariums. For many breeders, the fact that their angelfish fry might get eaten isn’t a source of concern.

This is because angelfish are very easy to breed. If you have a male and female angelfish, it won’t take them long to bombard your tank with eggs and fry. For many people with community tanks, this is a concern.

If those eggs hatch and the fry are allowed to mature, the community tank will suffer from overcrowding. And because many times they don’t own bigger aquariums, such fish owners are more than happy to see their angelfish eggs or fry get eaten. 

Some people even go so far as to take away any potential hiding locations in their tanks to decrease the chances of the eggs and fry surviving. Of course, this method doesn’t necessarily guarantee that all your angelfish fry will die.

However, most fish owners are perfectly happy to tolerate one or two additional angelfish if they survive the culling. Some of you might even wish to increase the angelfish fry survival rates. As you’ll just see, there are a few things you can do about it. 

How to Keep Your Angelfish Fry Safe in a Community Tank?

You can’t protect fry in a community tank, at least not entirely. If you have adult fish in the vicinity, you cannot guarantee the security of the fry. That being said, there are ways to improve your fry’s chances of surviving in a community tank:

1. Keep The Adult Angelfish Calm

First of all, it is essential to understand the role your angelfish play in this equation. Angels are good parents in most situations. Nevertheless, they have been known to eat their own eggs and fry.[1] The factors driving such behavior will vary.

In some cases, they are merely stressed because of the poor water conditions, stimuli from the environment around the tank, improper feeding habits, poor lighting, etc. But these issues can be remedied with ease. However, some angelfish are aggressive, and there is nothing you can do to change their behavior. 

But for the most part, if you can position your tank in a quiet location with proper lighting, and if you can feed your fish appropriately while maintaining the quality of their water, they will watch over their eggs and fry.

You can trust them to protect their young from other fish that want to eat them. In fact, it is during this pairing stage of the breeding process that angelfish become aggressive.[2] They are so determined to protect their young that they will lash out at any creature in the tank that looks like it might pose a threat. 

That being said, angelfish find it hard to protect their young in a community tank. There are far too many enemies, and the angels can’t fight them all. Even though most angelfish are great parents, don’t rely on them to protect their young in a community tank.

Some people have been known to accuse their angelfish of eating their young falsely. When they first hatch, the young fish stay rooted to the breeding ground. If they wander off for any reason, or if they fall off, their parents will scoop them up using their mouths and deposit them back to the breeding surface. 

But some people are unaware of this behavior, which is why they will panic the moment they see their angels snapping fry into their mouths. Keep observing to determine what is the case in your scenario.

2. Try a Breeding Box

Assuming that a separate breeding tank isn’t available, the next best option is a breeding box. This box is attached to your tank from the inside and allows water to flow through it. Think of it as a small hatching unit.

It is typically used with fish like guppies that give birth to live fish. The guppy is placed in the box until it gives birth. Then it is taken out of the box to prevent it from eating the fry. The young guppies are then raised from within the box. The owner feeds them baby brine shrimp and tiny worms until they are large enough to eat ordinary fish food.[3]

At this point, they are thrown into the community tank with the rest of the fish. You can try placing your angels in a breeding box, only taking them out when they have deposited the eggs. 

However, some people argue that the box will exert undue stress on the angelfish. If that is the case, wait for the angelfish first to lay and fertilize their eggs. Only then place the eggs in the box to hatch and mature. Either way, you can trust the breeding box to keep your fry safe.

3. Stock Your Tank With Plants

If buying a breeding box is also a challenge, and if you don’t want to go through the hassle of making one at home, add some plants to the aquarium.

Construct a dense cluster in the corners. Use a string to tie several plants together. The floating island you create will give your fry a place to hide. 

You can also use plastic plants. You have probably heard that angelfish need plants in their tanks because they use foliage to hide. This practice will also keep their fry safe. However, it is worth noting that plants can’t guarantee the safety of your fry. 

Determined fish can still get to them. The fry could also wander out of the cluster. However, the presence of plants in the tank is likely to increase the number of fry that ultimately survive. If the plants are failing to deliver the appropriate results, use decorations and rocks that are large enough to provide crannies in which the fry can enter to hide. 

4. Dilute Your Aquarium From Fish

Clusters of plants won’t do you any good if your tank has too many fish. Avoid overcrowding at all costs. Full tanks make fish unnecessarily aggressive. These, in turn, are likely to eat angelfish eggs and fry in community tanks.

Make sure that your tank is large enough to prevent your fish from resorting to violence because they feel the need to fight for the limited resources in their vicinity. Nevertheless, it is worth mentioning that a ‘crowded tank’ is a subjective term.

Some of you may consider companion density differently. In general, you should keep the aquarium in a way the fish do not interact with each other much. If you see they nibble on each other quite frequently, you probably need a bigger tank. However, if they swim freely for extended periods, you probably have a sufficient one.

5. Keep Your Fish Well Fed

Make sure you keep the inhabitants of your tank adequately fed. As was mentioned above, to most fish, eggs, and fry are food. If you are underfeeding the fish in your community tank, they are going to start looking for alternative food sources. Even if you have thick clusters of plants, the hungry and determined fish in your tank will keep searching until they find the fry hidden within. 

Also, underfeeding has direct consequences for your fry. If you’re not providing enough food to satisfy the adult fish in the community tank, you can trust that the fry is not eating enough either. If your adult fish are so hungry that they are always on the prowl for the newborns, the prey will probably go hungry as well due to the energy spent on the run. 

Some people use food as a distraction. They sprinkle small amounts into their tank whenever it looks like the adult fish are giving the fry too much attention. The foods draw them away for a while. You can do this every time the fry are swimming freely in the tank. 

6. Spread a Mesh at The Bottom

Placing a netting mesh at the bottom of the tank is another effective method of keeping your angelfish fry safe. The meshing is small enough for the fry to swim through, but it is too large for adult fish to follow. Your mature fish will still catch and eat some stragglers. But the fry hiding on the other side of the netting will remain safe. 

Nevertheless, keep in mind that waste and leftovers tend to accumulate at the bottom. If your fry doesn’t have much space for swimming, it may be exposed to high levels of ammonia and nitrates.

Therefore, if you choose this method, I highly suggest that you replace the water in your tank more frequently. You should also use foods that sink instead of floating flakes. Otherwise, your fry might not get the nutrition they require. 

Growing Angelfish Fry Safely Outside The Community Tank

The easiest way to protect your fry is to take them out of the tank the moment they hatch. Experts would encourage you to locate the eggs the moment they are laid so that you can retrieve and deposit them in a breeding tank. This way, the fry will hatch in a safe environment where you can keep an eye on them.

You could also place your spawning angelfish pair in a separate tank to ensure that their eggs are laid in a safe environment.

This has nothing to do with protecting your angelfish fry in a community tank. In fact, you are basically running away from the problem. However, the approach isn’t relevant to people who aren’t interested in getting a brand-new tank just for that purpose. Still, it is worth mentioning since this is the only way to guarantee your fry are entirely safe.

Also Read: How Long Do Angelfish Fry Take To Grow?


Growing angelfish fry in a community tank is a challenging task. It is particularly complicated because other fish, including the angels themselves, may see the newborn as a source of food. To increase the chances of survival, you should strive for minimal interactions.

The best way to do so is probably by introducing dense vegetation in the aquarium. This will provide the fry with sufficient hiding places. You may also use a netting mesh at the bottom or a separate breeding box.

Either way, I wish you the best of luck in raising your angelfish fry. Even if you fail to do so in the first attempt, don’t give up. Eventually, the results are astonishing.


  4. Featured Image: Flickr