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My first batch of angelfish eggs

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My first batch of angelfish eggs

Post  Akasha on Thu 04 Sep 2014, 15:25

Just when I'd decided to move my angels into a tank on their own and I go shopping to buy decor for the tank I come home and what have they done ... or are in the process of doing ..

Laying their first batch of eggs on an anubias leaf!

I'm a little surprised they are doing this so soon but nature has taken it's course! So the female is laying them and the male is following her so he know's what to do ... whether he's old enough to fertilize them remains to be seen!

I did notice the female had dropped her breeding tube late last night but I couldn't see anything from the male so I didn't expect eggs today.

So now what? I've bred cichlids before so I've got a basic idea but what are the chance these eggs will be fertile from angels that are so young?

There's a piece of me telling myself these eggs don't stand a chance in a community tank even if they are fertile though Neutral
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Re: My first batch of angelfish eggs

Post  fancyfins on Fri 05 Sep 2014, 16:28

Akasha wrote:There's a piece of me telling myself these eggs don't stand a chance in a community tank even if they are fertile though Neutral

If the eggs are not eaten by other fish in the tank, then soon after they go freeswimming they most likely will be. Additionally, breeding and raising fry in a community tank places a lot of stress on the parents, who might just decide to eat the eggs or fry themselves. That could possibly set them back as a parent raising pair if allowed to continue. Could you perhaps set them up a breeding tank all to themselves?

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Re: My first batch of angelfish eggs

Post  Akasha on Fri 05 Sep 2014, 17:12

Hi fancyfins, I'm in the process of setting up my old Juwel rekord 800 just for this breeding pair of angels. My Dad has just tried to lift it out of the shed and into my flat but it's too heavy for him to manage on his own and it's too heavy for me to help him so it will have to wait until we can find someone strong enough to help.

So far the eggs are doing okay, the parents are keeping other fish away from them but a lot of the eggs arn't fertile. They now seem to be removing the unfertile eggs from the leaves. At first I thought they were starting to eat them all but they're removing just the white ones and leaving the fertile one's alone.

I'm not expecting much from this first spawn but they might surprise me
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Re: My first batch of angelfish eggs

Post  Pterophyllum on Fri 05 Sep 2014, 19:01

Sounds like a good pair, so even if they don't make it this time, it looks promising for the future.

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Re: My first batch of angelfish eggs

Post  Akasha on Fri 05 Sep 2014, 19:40

Hi Pterophyllum, they're doing really well. They've surprised me at how well they are doing for their first go. They seem well bonded as a couple and are staying together. He's patrolling to borders when any other fish comes too close he chases them away. She's sticking close to the eggs. She's not fanning them all the time, I'm not sure if that's normal for angels. She'll come and fan them and then sit next to the leaf and them go and fan them a bit more.

I've just seen them cleaning another leaf ... not sure if that's them preparing to move them? Just a guess.

They've more or less cleared the leaf of the infertile eggs, leaving all the fertile one's alone. Is that normal for angels?

Sorry, lots of questions that you've all probably heard before on a weekly basis!
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Re: My first batch of angelfish eggs

Post  Pterophyllum on Fri 05 Sep 2014, 22:14

Different fish seem to follow different patterns, but everything you've described is is pretty typical. It's quite common for them to move the wrigglers when they hatch, clearing the fungused eggs & cleaning in preparation for moving are both good signs that they're likely to be good parents, as is having a clear demarcation of duties, rather than fighting over who gets to fan them.

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Re: My first batch of angelfish eggs

Post  Akasha on Sat 06 Sep 2014, 10:04

well late last night they got into an altercation with my female curviceps. She wasn't doing any harm, she just wanted to sit and rest in the area near the eggs and the angels didn't like it. A battle ensued and about 10 minutes later both angels were in the middle of my tank kicked ten bells out of each other and viciously lip locking ... the eggs were unattended. Needless to say all the eggs have gone this morning.

In a way it works in my favour, I normally water change on a weekend and I was nervous of water changing when the angels were sat on eggs. I was worried it would stress them and have them abandoning the eggs. It also gives me time to set up the other tank for them to go into alone. From what I've read it will be around 2 weeks before they are ready to spawn again?

They certainly did very well though with the first spawn - much better than I expected so I'm hoping it's as you say. They're a good pairing and they are going to be great parents.

The plan with the new tank is an amazon biotope. I know they say it's best to keep a breeding set up as bare bottomed but this tank will be in my living room and I'm going to be looking at it all day for possibly years to come. I was doing some research into biotopes and I was reading that the leaf litter in the biotope inspired tank is a great feeding ground for fry. I already have a bag of playsand from a well known chain store (the one that pretty much sells everything and uses aliens in their adverts!) and I bought a piece of redmoor wood for decoration. My lfs has 3 plants on order for me (red cabomba, heteranthera zosterfolia and a liaeopsis) so I'm just waiting for two big strong boys to lift me the tank out of the shed and into my flat. I'm hoping to be able to move the angel pair in the next 2 weeks but that will depend on when they look like spawning again. Now I know what the signs are with these two I should be able to judge it.
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Re: My first batch of angelfish eggs

Post  Akasha on Mon 15 Sep 2014, 11:26

Yesterday I moved this pair of angels into a tank on their own. Life in the community tank had become a nightmare as these two were ruling the roost and the rest of my fish had more or less gone into hiding.

The day before I moved them they were going through the same process I saw the week before they laid the first batch of eggs. They were being vicious with each other - both have torn fins. There was a bit of lip locking but not the prolonged lip locking that I'd seen the day before the female dropped her breeding tube.

I was trying to find the right time to move them as I was worried that moving them right before a spawn might damage them in some way.
I checked to see if the female had a displayed breeding tube or not and I couldn't see anything so I got on with the job and moved them.
They spent the rest of yesterday in the dark as they seemed really stressed. They're just starting to pick up now and moving around the tank finally. I've just seen them cleaning a leaf so it looks like they're relaxing.

What I want to know is - by moving them have I delayed the spawn that looked like it was coming? And also can someone put my mind at rest that I've moved them at the right time. I saw a video on the net where a guy had water changed just before a female angel laid some eggs and she died ... it's put the wind up me a little that moving a female that's ready to spawn might have me with the same outcome
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Re: My first batch of angelfish eggs

Post  fancyfins on Mon 15 Sep 2014, 15:43

Akasha wrote:What I want to know is - by moving them have I delayed the spawn that looked like it was coming? And also can someone put my mind at rest that I've moved them at the right time. I saw a video on the net where a guy had water changed just before a female angel laid some eggs and she died ... it's put the wind up me a little that moving a female that's ready to spawn might have me with the same outcome

In my experience I can say that moving a female (or a pair) does not seem to interrupt the breeding cycle.  I have had pairs begin laying eggs in a breeding tank within hours of being moved.  As for the video,,, I suspect something else was at play that caused the death of the female.  Your pair, if properly conditioned and cared for should do fine in their new tank.  Give them a bit of time to get established and you should be good to go.  jmho

Hope this helps.


Last edited by fancyfins on Mon 15 Sep 2014, 15:44; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : shoe lace was untied....)

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Re: My first batch of angelfish eggs

Post  Akasha on Mon 15 Sep 2014, 16:14

yes, thank you helps a lot as I was so worried I'd harmed them in some way.

From the small bit of research I've done on angelfish breeding I've gathered that they'll spawn every couple of weeks - unless they have free swimming fry. The first spawn was about 10 days ago roughly so I'm expecting them to be spawning again quite soon and going by what you've said, moving them won't interupt that. It'll interesting to see how they go with the 2nd batch of eggs now there is nothing to disturb them.

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Re: My first batch of angelfish eggs

Post  Akasha on Sat 20 Sep 2014, 18:33

they're in the process of laying the 2nd batch of eggs now. Fingers crossed this batch get further than the last lot
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Re: My first batch of angelfish eggs

Post  Pterophyllum on Sat 20 Sep 2014, 18:52

Good luck

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Re: My first batch of angelfish eggs

Post  Akasha on Sat 20 Sep 2014, 19:57

thank you. I think she's about finished laying now. She's covered an anubias leaf completely but it's too early to see how many are fertile, plus I'm staying away from their tank so I don't stress them.

I'll keep you all posted with how this second spawn goes Smile
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Re: My first batch of angelfish eggs

Post  Akasha on Sun 21 Sep 2014, 09:52

About a quarter of the eggs are infertile this morning which is better than last time. Last time it was about half of them. I've no doubt they'll start removing the infertile one's at some point like they did before.

So I've come here with a question. Sunday is my normal water change day and the angels tank has had the angels in a week and so I'd normally be looking to change a small amount of water today but now they have eggs I'm worried about stressing them.
I wondered what the advice is about water changing when they have eggs and/or fry?
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Re: My first batch of angelfish eggs

Post  Pterophyllum on Sun 21 Sep 2014, 13:48

Personally, I don't water change when parents are tending eggs or fry, unless things are starting to look desperate! Many parents won't mind, but why take the risk?

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Re: My first batch of angelfish eggs

Post  Akasha on Sun 21 Sep 2014, 15:19

that makes sense. With these two being very young parents I'm being careful not to stress them now they have eggs again. They go mental when I go to the tank to feed them so I can imagine a water change would be too much.

I'm happy my filter is doing a good job. I've tested the water daily (until the eggs appeared yesterday) and there's no ammonia or nitrite present and the nitrate is only about 5 - ish.

So I'm probably best keeping a watch on the nitrates and if that starts climbing up too high then risk a water change?
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Re: My first batch of angelfish eggs

Post  Akasha on Mon 22 Sep 2014, 19:14

well it looks like they've abandoned the eggs again the same as last time, and at the same point. They've gone back to lip locking at the other side of the tank.
The eggs are still there but they are all alone. What will happen to them now I don't know. In the community tank they'd be eaten but because they just have the parents I'm guessing they might still hatch but whether the parents will ignore them, eat them, or attempt to raise them ... well I'll have to wait it out and see
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Re: My first batch of angelfish eggs

Post  Akasha on Tue 23 Sep 2014, 10:45

I turned the tank lights on this morning to see some furry looking eggs. For some reason they'd not removed the infertile eggs this time (last time they removed them within a day of them turning white) so this morning all the white infertile eggs were nice and furry. I thought "oh well I may aswell wipe them after breakfast" and went off for some food. As I was eating both parents when to the eggs and started pecking at the leaf, then I saw them spitting out the eggs. Perhaps they've not abandoned them then! Once they'd finished they went into lip locking mode and battering each other about - it looks so violent! When I went to check what they'd done with the eggs I was surprised to see they've removed the furry eggs, leaving the normal looking one's behind! I was expecting to see a bare leaf!
I have no idea what is going on with these two angels ... one minute I think they're not interested in their eggs the next they're cleaning them. This is my first attempt at breeding angels so I only have the breeding of my laetacara curviceps and bolivian rams to compare them with and the angel process is very different so far. Both the rams and curviceps fanned their eggs constantly and never left them - the parents swapping places often for the other to seek food etc. The angels are only fanning them now and then - I maybe see them fan them a couple of times a day but I'm not watching them 24 hours!
With the rams and curviceps I'd be starting to see the odd wriggler today but I've no idea if the angel eggs will hatch in the same time scale ... perhaps someone can give me an idea of timescale so I know what to expect

Thanks in advance Smile
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Re: My first batch of angelfish eggs

Post  Pterophyllum on Tue 23 Sep 2014, 12:05

Some angel pairs seem to get things right straight from the off, others take a good few attempts to get things right. Eggs normally hatch after about 48 hours, so it sounds like they were moving a few newly hatched wrigglers.
One thing I've noticed sometimes is that one fish seems to misunderstand what it's partner is doing, so one fish starts to eat the fungused infertile eggs & the other one thinks it's eating their babies, gets upset & they start squabbling. Another bone of contention is when one parent decides to move the wrigglers from A to B, whilst the other thinks they should be left where they are.
Leave them to it, they'll probably work things out, if not this time round, hopefully in the next couple of attempts!

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Re: My first batch of angelfish eggs

Post  Akasha on Tue 23 Sep 2014, 16:28

well I've just come home and the eggs are missing from the leaf and there's no sign of wrigglers anywhere and I've had a good check.
I've taken it that they've eaten them ... either that or their blooming good at hiding wrigglers!

I've taken my opportunity to do a water change as according to my new test kit there's 0.05 of Nitrite in the tank. According to the kit that's still in the 'ok' band but I don't like seeing any Nitrite or ammonia in my tanks
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Re: My first batch of angelfish eggs

Post  Akasha on Fri 26 Sep 2014, 20:36

Just an update on my breeding pair and the eggs that I had. I'd hoped they'd hidden the hatching eggs when they removed them from the leaf but I've given it a few days and I still can't see any wrigglers or free swimming fry so I've taken it they did indeed eat the eggs.

So I'm now looking toward the next spawn which will be their third. and looking for some advice in case I'm doing something wrong.

The set up I have is the breeding pair alone in a 110 litre tank (it's a Juwel rekord 800) the tank has been set up like a amzon bio-tope. I've added a layer of sand and planted the tank with red cabomba, twisted vallis and lilaeopsis. The only plant I've added not from the amazon area is Anubias plant and I've added that as this pair seem to like laying eggs on this plant. I've also added some leaves from my tigar lotus plant that is in my other main community tank as they seemed not like the light. I'm hoping in time that the cabomba will grow enough to create the shade for me and then I can do away with the lotus leaves.

So, the stats are: Ph 6 (my tap water is naturally very soft where I live so perfect for the central/SA cichlid. I have now got the nitrite down to zero, zero ammonia too and my Nitrate is around 40.
The temp is around 25/26.

This pair of angels are very young - I only bought them as 50p sized babies in July but the male appears to be fertile as the eggs have been fertile ... there was around 50% infertile with the first batch of eggs and about 25% with the second. I'm expecting him to only miss the odd one or two with the next batch.

The obvious things I've noticed: Well they don't stay close to the eggs and fan them constantly - not sure if that's right or wrong as I'm new to breeding angels (but not new to breeding SA cichlids)
After a couple of days with each spawn they've got bored and left the eggs completely unattended and gone into the pre-breeding mode of lip locking and 'biting' each other. Again is this normal?

The last batch of eggs were layed on the Saturday evening and disappeared from the leaf sometime Tuesday afternoon. There was no sign of wriggling tails but the eggs were the nice creamy colour that I've come to know as fertile eggs. The male removed the solid white eggs that were going fury on the Tuesday morning.

Feeding: I feed twice a day, morning and evening. I feed New Era Cental/SA cichlid pellets every morning. Monday, Wednesday and Saturday evening they get something meaty from the freezer - I have Mysis, Artemia and Bloodworms and I try to rotate it. The other evenings I just give them some more pellets.

Currently they appear to have had a falling out. One is sat in the plants and the other is being a general pain in the wotsit trying to get some attention. I get the feeling the one in the plants is the female and she's sent the male to coventry for eating her eggs - I know that's giving fish human emotions lol
They are more active with the lights out though so I need to try and find a way to give them more shade.

Okay, that's about all I can think of so if there's anything anyone wants to add or offer then I'm listening. Perhaps the problem is that they need to grow up some more
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Re: My first batch of angelfish eggs

Post  Pterophyllum on Sat 27 Sep 2014, 22:38

At present I have 5 pairs in five separate breeding tanks, most have been there for over a month, most have laid several batches of eggs, so far only one pair have raised them to free swimming stage, unfortunately, not unexpectedly, as these are an albino pair, the young didn't thrive. The most important thing I'm doing to help them all along is giving them time to get it right, good food, clean water, and disturbing them, and their environment as little as possible.
My only concern with your pair is that they do seem to be squabbling more than I would consider normal, although strangely, of my five pairs, the only pair I've considered splitting because of aggression is the albino pair.

Your water is fine, although personally I'd probably tweak the temperature up a degree or so, your decor is great, as long as the one hiding in the plants isn't getting physically battered and damaged, they'll probably settle their differences in a day or so.

Angel behaviour with eggs is very varied, some fan constantly, some occasionally, some rarely. When you approach the tank, some will come to see you off, some will guard the eggs, some will cower at the rear. some remove fungused eggs, some ignore them, some move the wrigglers almost constantly, some leave them where they hatch. When they go free swimming, some bring them to the front of the tank to show them off, some hide them away at the rear, some take them to the top of the water, some keep them close to the bottom. Some keep them in a tight shoal, others let them roam freely around the tank.

Perhaps the problem is that they need to grow up some more
and also time to practice what they're doing.

I know it's frustrating waiting for the big day when they get things right, but the waiting makes the big day all the sweeter when it finally arrives Very Happy

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Re: My first batch of angelfish eggs

Post  Akasha on Sun 28 Sep 2014, 10:12

thank you very much, that answers all of my queries and now I know I've just got to be patient.

Regarding the squabbling ... the female is the aggressive one and always has been. She was originally bought with another angel but that angel was harbouring hexamita, infected my tank and then died which left my female smokey blushing all on her own for about 10 days while I treated the tank and got all the fish looking well. I added the male smokey blushing as I was coming to the end of the hex treatment thinking that if he was harbouring hex aswell then he'd be treated too. Unfortunately the female didn't take very kindly to a new baby angel being added to her territory and it was touch and go for a few days as to whether I'd end up just having one lone angel. That was when I found you guys here as I was needing some angel specific advice that I couldn't get on another generalised fish forum that I'm a member of. I then went on to add two more young angels and the aggression calmed down. Of course by then wildreddeer had sexed all four angels for me and soon after the two smokey's started pairing up.

I think she probably got into the habit of bullying him and even though they've paired up she still bullies him from time to time. His fins are nibbled, which works in my favour cos if I want to tell them apart I only have to look at the fins and the one with nibbled fins is the male!
When I talk about them 'biting' each other what they are actually doing is whipping round and round in a tight circle really really fast. It last minutes but it looks like a dog fight! Once they've done they seperate off for maybe half an hour and then go back to sitting together ... it's not behaviour I've seen before with any fish but for all I know it could be perfectly normal angelfish behaviour!

I forgot to say when I was talking about their tank set up that I've added some oak leaves as I'd read about them being a good food source for fry ... I was also hoping they would release some tannins and stain the water but not much is coming from them. What I need is to try and find an alder tree and get some cones I think as that seems to be the best way to stain the water. If I can stain the water a bit it might help the lighting issue.
The problem with Juwel tanks is their lighting system. If one bulb blows or is removed then the other doesn't work which means there's no option to tone down the brightness and when you have a light coloured sand as substrate the brightness seems to stress the fish
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Re: My first batch of angelfish eggs

Post  Pterophyllum on Sun 28 Sep 2014, 15:49

which means there's no option to tone down the brightness
Paint, or a paper bag wrapped around part of the tube & held in place with a couple of elastic bands. Don't over do it or the tube could overheat, but half the tube won't harm.

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Re: My first batch of angelfish eggs

Post  Akasha on Sun 28 Sep 2014, 18:32

won't there be a risk of the bag catching fire from the heat?
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Re: My first batch of angelfish eggs

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