How to Breed Freshwater Angelfish(reprinted from forums, originally posted by Tim) Angelfish are quite easy to breed, once you can find a pair. It is near impossible to sex angels, so you have to buy about six young angels and let them pair off themselves. Put the six into a 55 gallon tank and you will soon see when a pair is forming by the aggression towards the others. Once two angels pair, they stay together for life, and will not re-pair if one of them dies. They become mature at around 9 months old.
Once a pair has been formed, move them to a tank of their own. This needs to be 20 Gallons minimum and at least 18" high. Once paired they do not work well in community tanks, because they become very territorial and are real bullies to even the smallest of fish!
Feed the angels well on both flake and live foods for a couple of weeks and you will soon see the female start to swell with eggs. At the same time the egg tube will start to show. This is the easiest way to sex angels. If it is a female the tube will be quite large and round, males tubes are much smaller and conicle.
Prepare the tank with a slate or ceramic tile for them to lay the eggs on, but they may well choose their own spot anyway. As they get closer to laying you will see them cleaning their chosen site with their teeth, rasping any algae or debris from it. It is well worthwhile to treat the water with a little Metheline Blue at this time, to help prevent fungal growth on the eggs.
When they lay, the female will lay rows of eggs in straight verticle lines, the male following her, fertilising them. Egg laying can take a couple of hours and by the end of the process there will be anything up to 500 eggs.
Once laying is complete, they will take it in turns to fan the eggs. The eggs are light sensitive for the first few hours, so it may be as well to turn off the lights for a while.
After about 30 hours, you will be able to see movement amongst the eggs, as they start to hatch. Any in-fertile eggs will turn white and the parents will remove them from the clutch. The next few days, the parents will attend to the eggs, catching ones that fall and re-sticking them. I leave the lights on all the time during this stage.
As the fry grow, the parents become busier and busier trying to keep them in place. At this stage, the fry are consuming their yolk sacs, so there is no need to feed them. The parents can be fed as normal, and they will take it in turns to feed, making sure that the eggs are attended at all times. Angels are very attentive parents!
At about 6 days, the fry become free-swimming, although the parents don’t agree and will continually try to catch them and put them back! This is a good time to remove the parents, or the fry, whichever is the easiest, since this is when the parents will start to eat them! Out of a batch of 400, it is not unusual for only 10-20 to actually grow to adult size, mainly through the parents being over protective.
There are two ways to remove the fry successfully at this stage. I use a small air tube and siphon them off the slate, leaving about 325% for the parents to tend. The other way is to remove the slate from the tank and place it into the growing tank as it is. This method secures all the fry, but stresses the parents, which is why I use the siphon method. If you are not bothered about numbers, you can just leave nature to it’s own devices and see how many come through.
At day 7, you should start feeding them with freshly hatched baby brine shrimp. There are various ways of breeding brine shrimp, some of the common ways are dealt with in the articles section of this website. BBS will be the staple diet for the fry for the next few weeks, so you need a regular supply. At abour 6 weeks, you can start to introduce flake and other small foods to them. I tend to go for crushed flake food and BBS combination, gradually reducing the BBS over the next two weeks. Other foods can be micro-worms, blood worms, daphnia and prepared beef heart.
At 9 weeks, the angels will have grown to around 20mm and most pet shops will take them at this size. If you raise them for longer, the value goes up, so it may be worth keeping them for longer, if you have the space. remember that as they get bigger they need more room and this can be a governing factor on how long you keep them for.
Pictures These pictures were bought by aqua-fish.net from jjphoto.dk