How to Breed Angelfish

Breeding Angelfish

The Setup
20 gallon aquarium
Air line, airstone
Hang on back filter
150 watt heater
Spawning slate
Piece of driftwood and plants eg Java Fern

Water is around 78 degrees farenheit
Use 2 parts pure RO water to 1 part aged tap water for s higher hatch rate

Now add one well conditioned, well fed angelfish pair

Today I am going to talk to you about my method for how I raise my angelfish. These two you’re looking at here are a mated pair of zebra angels that I pulled out of the community tank. They had already laid eggs there several times and I thought this time I’ll put them in the breeding tank setup and hopefully they can raise a batch for me.

That is the female . They’re already cleaning the slate.This is following this mornings 50% water change with pure RO water and both of their breeding tubes are down. I have been feeding them with some live white worms and any minute, any hour now they should start the spawning on that slate. So here they are about an hour later. They are starting to make practice runs on the slate. Still no eggs and unfortunately I had left for about an hour and when I came back they had already laid the eggs and I missed the whole process so so because of that I’m going to show you another pair laying their eggs in another tank and here is the other pair. They have already started to lay their eggs on the side of  the glass this time and that is the female there against the glass. You look closely and you’re going to see that little pink nub where black bar hits belly and that is where the eggs actually come out of. Its blunt and kind of short in the female and thin and pointed in the male. That’s the male down below her so when she starts to lay you’re going to see that she’s going to put her pelvic fins up against the glass. Those will be her guide as to how  far down she has got to go and start laying them and that is the male’s cue to come up behind her fertilizing the eggs and he is going to keep doing that as long she keeps laying eggs until they’re all done. They’re going to hover in front of the eggs for a bit and fan them until they hatch.
Angelfish wrigglers
So now we’re at the stage called wrigglers for obvious reasons. These little guys  will just sit there on the slate and wiggle around exercising their tails as they absorb their egg sacs. The parents may move them to another location so just be aware of that. Don’t think that they have eaten them you have had a good look around. I may want to put some filter floss over the intake of the filter like I did to prepare you for when they start  becoming free swimming so they don’t get sucked in there. Speaking of free swimming here we see the parents swimming over the tank picking up stray fry and putting them back on to the slate and just as fast as they do that the fry all get off and start swimming around again and exploring heir tank so for that reason I really don’t do water changes at this time, the filter is still running. The water quality is good for a couple of days. I don’t want to stress the parents or accidentally suck up any other fry. If you do bother the parents they’re likely to eat the fry at this point in time, so just leave them alone. It’s fine for a day or two so now a little over a week later since they’ve laid the eggs. The fry are fully free swimming and the parents will keep them in a tight little school or in this case two schools, one at the top and one at the bottom and you’ll seek out any stray fry somewhere else in the tank and go run after them and suck them up and spit them back into that school and there they’ll protect them pretty fiercely at this point.

Brine shrimps At this time you should be ready with your newly hatched brine shrimp that should have been started at least a day ago if not two days ago and you should be doing a minimum of three small feedings preferably four even five. You should look at your fry’s bellies making sure that after each feeding that they are going to be full of shrimp. You can actually see their bellies turn orange and if you don’t see that you’re probably not feeding enough shrimp and if they’re not eating the shrimp try a little crumbled up hard boiled egg yolk. Just rub it between your fingers and make a small cloud and watch out for the parents biting your fingers and they will probably eat that without any hesitation. Don’t forget about the parents eiher. I feed them some freeze dried califrnia black worms and some frozen bloodworms at his time in small amounts because we ar not doing big water changes and you want to keep them happy and not even thinking about munching on any of those fry. So if yu have got to this point you are doing something right. Keep it up! Now this is one of the first times I’m feeding these fry with brine shrimp and you can see that the parents are really aggressive, really going after the net even though it means I’m no harm but they don’t know that. I’ve actually seen them jump two inches out of the water to bite that net. So as the days go on I want to keep feeding them. In this case they are on the other side of the tank so you you want to feed where those fry are so they don’t have to swim too far to find that food. You want the food getting at the bottom and fouling the tank without too much of it being the parents they want to take a few bites of it as well that’s fine it’s a good example for the fry.

Here you can see the fry are growing quite nicely, getting a lot bigger. This means you have to feed them even more brine shrimp and obviously also means you’re going to have to a little more the water changes so at this point I am doing about a thirty percent water change a day. Thats after five feedings of shrimp. The plants help as well too . If you have plants in there that’s going to help a lot with keeping the water somewhat cleaner. You can see these guys have a healthy appetite. And here we can see that the fry are starting to develop a little bit of the longer fins and they are swimming around the tank more independently exploring everywhere and pecking at different surfaces looking for food at this point. It’s a good idea to start introducing some larger and new kinds of food to them to help them grow.

Here I’m giving them their first feed of white worms. Normally I’d start with the smaller grindle worms but since my culture crashed I have to make do with the white worms. The parents love these things and the fry surprisingly will gobble them up as soon as they figure out that’s their food. They’ll inhale them. The one thing with white worms, people say that they’ve got a pretty high faat content so I try to restrict it to once every couple of days or at the very most once a day. Don’t feed these exclusively because of the fat content so alternate feeding of white worms maybe on some flake, maybe a little bit of beef heart, at this point along with keeping going with the brine shrimp so they have their staple food.
Angelfish fry
And isn’t this a nice sight. The babies have finally become perfect little replicas of their parents aand you can start to see the patterns that they’re going to have into adulthood and the colors and also any kind of defects or deformities which you may want to start calling for at this time. They’re both dime sized at this point. I like to move them to a bigger tank once they hit about nickel to quarter size. So these guys are almost there. Maybe another week or so and they’re going to look like this. Some of these guys are approaching nickel size. You are not quite there yet but you can definitely see the pattern starting to form and the growth rate is evident there. As you can see, the lack ones at the bottom seem to grow a lot smaller than silver ones for some reason but they are just about ready to go into the 90 gallon tank now.

Here they are now in the 90 gallons.There’s a little over a hundred fish in here so it is a little less than a gallon per fish and those are my water ageing containers, where the chlorine leaves the water before I do my water change and a few of my discus for another video maybe and these guys are going to be fed mainly beef heart from now on a little bit of freeze dried bloodworm and they are going to grow like weeds. So as you look through this tank you can probably see all the different kinds of patterns and shapes you are going to have and there’s over 100 fish there so there is no way that for me I am going to keep a hundred fish when they to full size. Thats going to be a handful and a lot of food so I have pretty much got to figure out a way to get rid of most of them except for maybe the ten, fifteen maybe twenty fish that I want to keep to form breeding pairs and once they form breeding pairs I can sell them for some good money or just experiment with breeding them. So how am I going to get rid of about 80 or 90 fish. Well I could go online to Gigi or Aquabid or any of those sites. I won’t get very much money for them and the trouble with that is when you try to get rid of fish that are of lesser quality when people come over and they want to buy them they suddenly see the ones that look a lot better and those are the ones they want to buy and you end up with the worst fish, the ones that you didn’t want. You could just grab the whole bunch of them that you don’t want and head over to your local fish store and try to palm them off on that but a lot of times you’ll get like a dollar 50 if you’re lucky, for fish. Even sometimes 50 cents for fish and it is really hardly worth it. So the way that I found is the best way is I look up all my local aquarium clubs and they usually have two auctions, one in the spring and one in the fall for all the clubs for the most part and it is just a matter of waking up early on the day of the auction, have your fish ready to get bagged and a little bit of elbow grease. You’ve got to bag those fish and box them and actually bring them down to the auction. I find that most of them sell and you get some pretty good prices and at the end of all of the round of auctions you have enough money there to pay for your food for the fish for that whole year, maybe buy a heater for your tank or pick up something cheap.

So I show you guys a little bit of what the auctions are all about here:

Next lot is 1272. We have two black angefish…………….

The total auction sales in the fall for me was just over $400.00. I made nearly that much in the spring auctions. It is not enough to pay the mortgage but mre than enough to buy beef heart and brine shrimp eggs for a year and then some!