Breeding Angel Fish

bare bottom angel tanksYou will need a fish tank, A sponge filter, 2 x 60 gallon tanks with hoods and lights, Amazon sword plants, 6-8 young angels, ph, hardness and nitrate test kit. The tanks must be 15-18 inches high.

Breeding Angel fish is a process. The process starts when the fish are juveniles. A group of 6 to 8 youngsters is chosen. They are placed in a 60 gallon tank and reared to adulthood.As the angelfish reach maturity a pecking order is established. When compatible males and females pair off with the usual mouth to mouth wrestling and start to stay apart from the others then you know you have a pair.To breed Angelfish, the preferred ph of the water is 6.7. The water temperature should be about 78F.
Buy a test kit and test the water. If the water is less than 6.5 then add sodium bicarbonate. If it is more than 7.2 add some sodium biphosphate.

healthy pair of breeding angelsYou will need a bonded pair of angels, male and female. The best way to do this is to buy a group of young angels about 8 is a good number but certainly not less than 6 angels. Then let them grow up together until they are about 1 years old. At this point there will be a lot of mouth to mouth wrestling where the fish will be testing each other for health based on strength and endurance. The angels themselves will select the best suited pairs.


When a pair separates from the rest of the group for several days then you know you have a pair.


amazon_sword_plantMove the pair to a clean tank with no gravel or floor covering. In the tank place several Amazon sword plants in pots and some pieces of slate or side of a clay pot.Now you need to prime the fish for mating. This may take about a week or more. Feed them with a variety of live food and frozen food four times a day.

Change 10% of the water per day with aged water. Maintain the ph of the aged water the same as the tank water. Siphon off all debris and droppings from the bottom of the tank to maintain cleanliness. Use a sponge filter in the tank. Never clean the sponge with tap water. Instead use a bucket of aged water and squash out the dirt.

If they don’t start breeding then increase the temperature to 80F. Then every day simulate rain by pouring aged oxygenated cooler water into the tank and use an air pump with an airstone to oxygenate the water.

Once the fish start to lay eggs, perhaps on on amazon plant or on a slate, absolutely minimise any disturbance to the fish tank. Remember fish detect vibration from footsteps. A disturbance may trigger them to eat their eggs. So it is better to leave well alone after they have spawned.

angelfish_eggsAdd some methylene blue or a similar fungicide to reduce the risk of fungus attack on the eggs.

Keep an eye on the fish, if they start to eat their own eggs, then they will have to be removed from the fish tank. But make sure they are eating the eggs and not just cleaning them and picking out unfertile eggs. If this happens then place an airstone underneath the eggs so that a steady stream of bubbles flows over the eggs. This should keep them clean the way that the adult angels clean the eggs.

Eggs hatch in 3 days and the young fry will become detached from the slate/plant at about five days. At this point the fry eat off the yolk sac that they were born with. Once this is absorbed about day 10, they can start to be fed live food. Baby brine shrimp newly hatched is the ideal food as well as microworms.

Culturing microworms

Culturing Brine Shrimp

Remember to change the water of the rearing tank every two days. About 5% water change with aged water is ideal.

Every week examine the young for any deformities. Any such found should be removed and euthanised to allow growing room for the rest of the young. Any young that die must be removed pronto before they rot and infect the tank. Do not handle the young fish at this stage.

After 3 to 4 weeks start weaning the young onto crushed fish flake food. About one feed in three could be dried food to start with.

After three months the young angels should be of saleable size.




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