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Angelfish Breeding & Mating

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Freshwater Angelfish Breeding & Mating Tips

Angelfish are unlike other cichlids and cannot just be placed together as a pair in a tank and be expected to spawn. Angelfish prefer to select their own mates and pair up on their own out of a group of angelfish. The best way to get a breeding pair is to let a group of 6 or more grow up from juveniles together in the same tank. Just before they get to be about a year old males and females will pair up and the pair with then claim a section of the tank and chase others away. This is the most obvious sign that you have a breeding pair and at that point either the pair or the other angelfish should be moved to a different tank. The best option is to move the others from the tank and use the tank with the breeding pair as the breeding tank.

Goldhead Marble AngelfishAngelfish mating or spawning begins with the pair choosing a flat surface in the tank to lay the eggs upon. The surface is usually the leaves of a broad leaved plant or a flat rock or even a flat surface on the aquarium like the side of a filter. Proving a flat piece of plastic for a surface is ideal as it can be removed after to hatch the eggs separate from the breeding tank.


After the spawning surface has been selected the pair of angelfish will spend up to 24hrs cleaning the surface to prepare it for the eggs. Once the surface is prepared the female will pass over it laying her eggs on the spawning surface. The male then follows closely behind the female and brushes over the eggs fertilizing them. The pair may take up to 2hrs of repeating this pattern before spawning is complete. It takes 24hrs for fertilization to be complete. If removing the eggs to hatch in a separate tank you should wait 24hrs to prevent damaging them.

Zebra Long Fin AngelfishAfter spawning the eggs can be left with the parents to be cared for or can be removed to be hatched in a separate tank. Angelfish are very good parents and rarely will eat their own eggs or the fry once they have hatched. Most commercial breeders chose to remove the eggs for separate hatching because if the eggs are left with the parents they will focus their attention on the eggs and not spawn again. If the eggs are removed from the breeding tank the pair will usually spawn again within 10 days.



Step by Step Guide to Keeping and Breeding Angelfish





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