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Freddy 04-25-2010 02:59 PM

When will angelfish start breeding?
Hey everyone, I haven't been around in a while, because I got kind of bored with my angels for a while. They didn't do much at first. I'm planning on breeding them, but unfortunately, 3 of the original 6 have died. The most recent one was the runt, a little angel that was very small and had huge, cute eyes. The runt had a weird way of swimming too, it was so funny to see all the big angelfish just not moving over on one side of the tank while the runt swam as fast as he could to come and see who was looking at the tank. A few days ago, I found what I think was one of the runt's fins while vacuuming gravel, and the runt had been missing for the past two days, so I think I should start watching the tank more closely. Anyway, of the 3 left, every once in a while two of them will pair off and swim together. But then I'll come back in 30 minutes and they'll all be together. Then the next day a different pair will be swimming around together, and then later the pair will be different again. The angels are now a little bigger than silver dollar size. At what size do angelfish start breeding?

bettababy 04-26-2010 02:32 AM

It sounds as if you may have all of 1 sex in angelfish left. Typically when angels pair they start defending territory together, even before spawning begins.
To say when they will spawn is difficult... they spawn when they are mature enough and have bonded with another fish of the opposite sex. The fact that they are consistently either swapping who they hang out with and then spend a lot of time together in a group tells me they are all likely the same sex. What size tank are they in and how much decor is in the tank?
The 3 pairs I have now all began spawning at about 9 months old. Typically, if paired by then, 8 months to a yr old is the earliest I would expect it, their bodies wouldn't be mature enough before then... and then, for as long as they live they're capable of spawning. They would have to get pretty old to be too old to spawn, and most don't live to that age.

Freddy 04-27-2010 05:26 PM

I have them in a 29 gallon right now. Last night I put in a sponge to cover up the filter intake and make it safe for any fry in the future. This morning my little sister woke me up to tell my my black angelfish (that's what she calls the blue-ish one) was dead. I went over to the aquarium, and it was stuck in between the back wall and the sponge. I freed it, and it began swimming around. I checked this afternoon and its left and top fins are torn on the outside. First, what should I do to help it heal, and second, should I buy 3 more that are about the same size for a better chance of breeding?

bettababy 04-27-2010 06:30 PM

As long as the water quality is good and the fish are getting a nutritious diet, the fins should heal fine without any help.

As for adding more angelfish... first I would wait until the injured fish is healed completely, to help avoid infection or complications from fighting. Secondly, I wouldn't put 6 angelfish into a 29 gallon tank... thats just asking for trouble. 3 angels in a 29 gallon tank is even very temporary (while they're small) because they get too large and territorial. The smallest tank size I would suggest for a pair of angelfish is 55 gallons. In 29 gallons they would die before they'd get a chance to spawn, as that tank size isn't even big enough for 1 adult.

If you want to attempt 6 angels in 1 tank, I would suggest at least 90 gallons, and whatever size tank it is should be heavily decorated at all levels (lower, middle, upper) to allow each fish its own territory and for pairs to claim territory for themselves. My 3 pairs started out in a 90 gallon and had to be separated due to aggression levels, and that was a tank very heavily decorated. (You can see a pic of it in my aquariums section if you click on my name). They chewed each other up badly even in that much space.

Also, IF you get a pair and they lay eggs, that doesn't guarantee you're going to get fry. If there are snails in the tank, they eat angelfish eggs quickly... as do other fish, even when the parents work hard to protect them. Young angels are not always capable of fertilizing the eggs, and its not uncommon for them to eat their own eggs within a day or 2 of laying them. Breeding angels requires patience, diligence, and space. The best way to ensure you get fertile eggs that hatch would be to keep 1 pair of angels as the only fish in the tank (after you know for sure you have a bonded pair), run a sponge filter and turn off any other filtration when you notice they begin laying the eggs (which helps to ensure they get fertilized), and then to pull the eggs out if possible, and hatch/raise them in a separate tank. Offering the angels some tall pieces of slate will help encourage a pair to lay eggs on the slate, but angels quite often use intake tubes of HOB filters, and even the tank glass. If the angels choose a spot where you can't easily remove the eggs, then it would be best to move the parents to another tank after they finish laying them.

Best of luck to you!

bettababy 04-27-2010 06:35 PM

I just noticed your note about a 10 gallon for raising angelfish fry. 10 gallons isn't going work for such a thing. Angelfish can lay up to 100+ eggs at a time... even newly hatched fry would find that very crowded and keeping the water clean enough would be near impossible. Minimum size for the fry would be 30 - 40 gallons, and by the time they are dime sized they would need something much larger.

Please remember you are talking about fish that grow quickly and get large (5 - 8 inches for standard angelfish, some wild ones can get as large as 10 inches).

Freddy 04-28-2010 09:13 PM

Well, all the breeding stuff I've read says the minimum for a pair is about 25 gallons, and that 10 gallons should be fine for raising fry. However, I wasn't planning on keeping them there. I would move the young angels to the 29 gallon and put a divider between them and the parents, so the parents wouldn't attack them while defending their eggs. I could remove every other spawn if needed. My LFS buys angels at dime size, how long would it take to raise a spawn to that size?

BTW, I've set up the tank specifically for angelfish breeding, so there are several spawning surfaces and a sponge over the intake of a power (HOB) filter, to keep fry from being sucked in. The 10 gal. has a sponge filter. There are no other fish in the angel tank, but I was thinking of putting a snail in the 10 gal. to clean up any food that fell on the bottom. I would still do water changes and vacuum the bottom, but it wouldn't have to be as much.

bettababy 04-29-2010 11:42 PM

I'm not sure where you've been reading, but in those sized tanks... its not going to work, that I am very sure of. I have been working with angelfish for over 20 yrs, and breeding them for almost as long. The other thing I am sure of is that if you attempt to put 6 angels into a 29 gallon tank, they'll do ok if they are very small, but once they begin to grow and mature, they will either pollute the water faster than you can keep it clean or rip each other apart while fighting over territory. Either way, expect dead fish. I'm sorry if that is blunt, but I don't know any other way to say it. Even 1 pair of angels in that size of a tank is temporary until they mature and grow a little bit.

As for the fry in a 10 gallon tank... beyond a week or 2, that isn't going to work either if you get a full spawn. A mature angelfish can lay up to 100+ eggs each spawn. That's a lot of fry. As for splitting the 29 gallon in 1/2 with a divider for fry and parents... also not going to work. There just isn't enough room in that size of a tank to do such a thing.

Freddy 05-01-2010 06:18 PM

I don't know, different people say different things... But I'll definitely look around at my LFS and see what they have. Thanks!

Freddy 05-02-2010 10:47 AM

Oh, and earlier I said they were silver dollar size. I meant half dollar. The people at the LFS were a little confused when I called asking for angels that were silver dollar size.:-?

bettababy 05-03-2010 02:43 PM

Confused about angels that are silver dollar size? If you are referring to silver dollar as the coin, that isn't anything uncommon to ask for, as adult angels get much larger than that. It sounds as if the lfs doesn't know a whole lot about angelfish.

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