Tag Archives: Aquarium

Breeding Angelfish Part 11 –Raising the Fry Naturally

Previously we went over how to artificially raise the fry. Now we will go over raising the fry naturally.  Next we will go over growing out the baby Angelfish.

Naturally raising the fry requires very little work on your part. The parents do all of the work for you.  Unfortunately, it is very common for the parents to eat the babies, so most breeders artificially raise the fry.  There are advantages to naturally raising the fry over and above that it is much easier.  Angelfish fry will eat some slime off the parent’s side for the first few days.  Unlike Discus, they can survive without the slime and will immediately start eating other food.  This slime is very high in protein and contains antibodies that help the babies fight off disease.  Naturally raised fry will grow much faster at first and will have more resistance to disease throughout their lives.

There is also the enjoyment of watching your Angelfish raise the fry. They will stay mostly around the parents for the first month and the parents will zealously guard them. When a baby strays to far, the parents will mouth it back to the main school.  This is done by both the males and females.  There is nothing more rewarding than watching your large Angelfish parents and the fry swimming around the tank as a loose school.  I find this fascinating and it has always been my favorite part or the hobby.

Things you should remember. These babies will be very small and weak, so you will need to turn off all filtration, except for a sponge filter.  You can also take the sponge from a sponge filter and put it around the intake tube of an over the side filter.  Canister filters are two powerful to put the sponge on their intake tube.  The biggest mistake that you can make is to do a water change in this aquarium with water that is not EXACTLY the same temperature.  Angelfish fry are extremely sensitive to temperature shock and will die if you do a water change with water that is more than a few degrees different in temperature.  With that said, Angelfish fry are also very sensitive to ammonia burn, so you will need to do daily partial water changes.

Start adding a small amount of live baby brine shrimp to the tank within 24 hours of them becoming free swimming. Drip it directly over where the fry are located. Be careful how much you add as if most is uneaten, it can foul the water and lead to ammonia burn.  After two weeks, slowly reduce the amount of baby brine shrimp you add and slowly start adding crumbled beef heart flake. After a month, they should be eating exclusively beef heart flake.  By the end of one month, they will be about ½ inch.  At this point they are much hardier and you are pretty much out of the woods.  They will reach the size of a dime in about three months.

Breeding Angelfish-Part 7- Infertility

We have previously gone over the problem of Angelfish eating their eggs while spawning, or shortly thereafter. We will now go over fertility. Next we will go over what happens once the eggs hatch, but before the fry are free swimming. Fertility is an issue with Angelfish and will vary drastically between different pairs. Some pairs will be totally infertile; other pairs will be infertile at first and then will become fertile. On pairs that are fertile, the percentage of fertile eggs will range from just a few to, best case scenario, about 90% fertility. The amount of fry produced can vary from just a few to a couple of thousand. There are three main causes of infertility in Angelfish. The first one is mechanical and is caused by the male not doing his job and fertilizing the eggs. The second and third are biological and are due to either the eggs or sperm being genetically or chemically infertile. When Angelfish lay eggs, the male should follow the female on a fertilizing run as soon as she does an egg laying run. Some males only make the run after every two or three egg laying runs. It is my experience that these males tend to have a lower fertility rate. Some males will not fertilize at all. These tend to be the males that also are most aggressive on eating the eggs. There is very little you can do to change these males. Some Angelfish are infertile due to water chemistry. To optimize fertility, water temps should be kept constant between 84 and 88 degrees. Ph should be kept constant at 6.5. Heavy filtration, if possible, is a big plus. I try and avoid doing water changes at this time. The hatch rate is the best when the water is soft. Fluctuation in any of the water conditions while the eggs are developing will result in infertility. So once you put them in the hatch tank, DO NOT change any water conditions. Angelfish that are genetically infertile will never be fertile. Please note that keeping water temperatures above 96 degrees for over a week will usually result in the permanent infertility of Angelfish. Some Breeders have been known to purposefully sterilize the Angelfish they sell to keep others from being able to breed the strains they have developed. We would never do this.