Feeding baby angelfish fry

What Do You Feed Angelfish Fry? — Just Fishkeeping

(Last Updated On: May 24, 2021)

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Angelfish fry are so small and delicate that only certain foods are suitable for them. Baby brine shrimp and micro worms, for example, are small organisms and full of vital nutrients. This allows the tiny mouths of the fry to handle the food. It also gives them the resources necessary to grow to a large size at a rapid pace.

Baby brine shrimp, vinegar eels, and micro worms are the best foods for angelfish fry. These can be fed as soon as the fry reach the free-swimming stage. Prior to this, fry are sustained by their remaining yolk sacs and do not need to be fed. Once the fry are prepared for meals, they will need to be fed 2-4 a day.

Commercial fry foods are available, but you can use hard-boiled egg yolk slurries if live food is limited. To increase the odds of your delicate angelfish fry surviving, provide them with a varied diet. Choose more than one type of live food, and avoid frozen or dried kinds. As soon as the fry are free-swimming, offer a meal, since the tank’s natural infusoria cultures won’t sustain them for long.

What Do You Feed Baby Angelfish?

Angelfish fry are very small when they first hatch. Don’t mistake this tiny size for a tiny appetite. Angelfish fry need lots of nutrient-packed food, provided in multiple feeds each day. Rich, high-quality food is essential for increasing the number of fry that survive.

Experienced angelfish breeders maintain cultures of various foods to ensure that angelfish fry remain healthy. These include:

  • Brine shrimp
  • Vinegar eels
  • Micro worms

Although cultures can be quite pungent, they allow you to produce high-quality food easily. In the early days of free-swimming, fry can only eat freshly hatched brine shrimp and micro worms. Anything else, including older shrimp and worms, are too big.

Can Angelfish Fry Eat Frozen Food?

Frozen options aren’t as nutritious or ideal in the first few weeks. They will suffice if that is all that you can source. The same applies to other commercially-available foods designed for fry at all stages. Be sure to thaw or pre-soak them before feeds.

If you want to offer a varied diet, or can’t find food small enough for baby angelfish, use:

  • Hard-boiled egg yolks
  • Egg yolk powder

When Do Angelfish Fry Start Eating?

Angelfish fry are sustained by their still-attached yolk sacs for the first week of life. In a way, they are eating from the moment they hatch.

Fry begin eating external food sources toward the end of this first week. This is when the yolk depletes and the fry must rely on food provided by yourself, or by natural cultures in the tank.

Will Angelfish Feed Their Fry?

Angelfish parents will protect their eggs and fry with a single-minded drive. They will not, however, provide food for their young. Unlike some species of fish, angelfish make their babies fend for themselves.

You may see the adult pair hovering over their fry as they become free-swimming and begin searching for food. This is a protective instinct, not the adults guiding fry to food sources.

Be aware that if you reach into the tank to feed the fry, the parents will attack you. It can be startling, especially if your angelfish usually respond in a more friendly way.

Unlike other cichlids, the teeth of the angelfish are located in their throat, not their jaws. Their bites won’t hurt overly much.

Will Angelfish Eat Their Fry?

Parent angelfish can eat their own young. This may be the result of stress or confusion. They may also eat a few of their eggs before they hatch. This is a natural behavior, serving as a way for the parents to remove dead eggs from the clutch.

It’s also very common for other fish in the tank to devour the fry. Even placid corydoras won’t pass up the chance to gobble up an isolated fry. Because of this, many people offer angelfish pairs their own tank for breeding.

If the eggs have been laid on a small object you can move, you can attempt to place it in a fry net before the little ones hatch. This will allow you to feed them separately and avoid new parents gobbling up the young.

When To Feed Free Swimming Angelfish Fry

At first, newly-hatched fry sustain themselves on their remaining yolk pouch. The name given to fry at this stage is ‘wrigglers’, as they will wriggle in place for roughly 4 days. You do not need to feed fry during this stage. The yolk provides a complete diet.

Once fry become free-swimming, they will detach from the nesting surface. For another 1-2 days, their yolk pouch will keep them sustained. However, you can begin feeding fry as soon as they are free-swimming. Do not wait any longer than a day or so before feeding. This can lead to massive die-offs, as these delicate fry perish quickly.

Angelfish grow at a rapid pace. To fuel such growth, they need to eat high-quality food multiple times a day. This amount should increase if they aren’t confined to a nursery tank and have to compete for food. Pipette droppers can be useful for ejecting water laden with food close to fry, giving them first dibs.

How Often Do Angelfish Fry Need To Be Fed?

Angelfish fry need to be fed multiple times a day. In breeding tanks free of competition, an ideal number is 3-4 feeds per day. Spread these throughout the day, so that the fry have food near-constantly in their bellies.

Every clutch will be slightly different and may thrive more on different feeding regimens. At the minimum, all fry clutches should have 2 feeds a day.

If you can only do a morning and night feed, offer the fish slightly more food. If you are able to feed them 3 or more times a day, slightly decrease the amount in each feed. Fish will over-eat very easily. Be sure to remove any uneaten food to stop it from rotting in the water.

At 3-4 months of age, the fry will have become juveniles and you can settle down to 2 feeds a day. Revista Brasileria de Zootecnia found that twice-daily feeds were optimal for healthy growth in juvenile angelfish. These feeds also prevent over-eating.

Feeding Baby Angelfish Fry

Angelfish fry are delicate life forms. They will die very easily, and certain foods increase their odds of survival in these early days and weeks.

As small creatures, fry will also struggle to fit certain types of food in their mouth. You need to pick the meals carefully. Here are the best options for different stages of life:

Pre-Made Food

Adult and juvenile angelfish can happily have pre-made foods comprise the bulk of their diet. These foods include:

  • Flakes
  • Pellets
  • Freeze-dried options

Young fry, on other hand, cannot eat this. The nutritional value of dried foods is not high enough to meet their needs. Likewise, the food is too large for their mouths.

Once fry are over a month old, you can begin incorporating pre-made foods into their diet. These foods should only compose a quarter of their diet. Live or frozen foods should fill the rest.


Owners are spoiled for choice when it comes to pellet foods. Hikari First Bites and Aquamunch are two options designed specifically for feeding fry, with the former being tailored for carnivorous fish.

These foods are nutrient-rich and made for fry, even those that are freshly hatched or born. Although these products can be a complete diet, it is best to include them as part of a varied diet.

Angelfish fry, babies, and juveniles can be fed these foods. At the later stages, however, they will be too small for the fish.

Crushed Flake Food

Flake foods are designed to float at the surface. That makes them unsuitable for fry and young angelfish. Adults can be fed flake foods, as can juvenile angelfish over 3-4 months of age.

Flake foods are often labeled as a complete diet for any fish. They can be. However, if you are trying to encourage your angelfish to breed, offer them high-quality foods alongside flakes. This enables larger clutches of healthy eggs to be laid.

You can finely grind up flake food in emergency food-shortages and mix it with water to create a slurry. This is not suitable as a regular part of a fry’s diet, and should only be used rarely in between live culture foods. For example, if your brine shrimp culture isn’t yet large enough to be used for multiple feeds each day, choose the slurry.

Live Foods

Live foods are the best type to offer carnivorous or omnivorous fish at any stage. Angelfish fry benefit from having live foods, especially in their first weeks of life.

Scientific studies have even proved this, with Revista de Biologia Tropical finding that live foods over commercial options are better for growing angelfish. Live foods must still be a certain size for very young fry.

Brine Shrimp

Brine shrimp are the top-recommended food for angelfish fry. They are highly nutritious. Freshly hatched brine shrimp are perfect for angelfish fry, even in the earliest days.

You can scoop up the brine shrimp with a pipette, spoon, or shot glass and tip them directly into the tank. A pipette is the best option if there are other fish in the tank, as you can disperse the shrimp directly over the fry.

Aquarium shops occasionally maintain their own brine shrimp breeding setups. This allows you to buy newly hatched shrimp as needed. You can also set up your own brine shrimp culture, which many breeders will do out of convenience and to save on costs.

You can even order brine shrimp eggs. There are many hatchery kits and a variety of DIY setups. Brine shrimp are quite popular as a food item, and freeze-dried and frozen options are available. Some nutrition is lost in this preparation process, but they are still good options.


Infusoria is a name given to the micro-organisms that live in bodies of water. These organisms include:

  • Algae
  • Euglena
  • Amoebas
  • Stentor

In the wild, these little critters are what angelfish fry eat. In your fish tank, the same will occur if any exist.

However, the infusoria population in your tank is rarely large enough to sustain the fry. For this reason, many aquarists will maintain an infusoria culture.

This is a great food source for newly hatched angelfish fry, as the organisms are tiny and nutritious. It is quite simple to develop this culture, although often unpleasant due to the odors produced.

  • Take a sample of your aquarium’s water and place it in a larger food container.
  • Add a food source, like yeast, and set the container in a sunny spot.
  • After a few days, the water will hopefully become cloudy with micro-organisms.
  • Extract and provide meals to the fry in the same way you would for brine shrimp.

Bloodworms for freshwater angelfish are often the larvae of midge-flies. In the wild, many critters feast on these worms, including angelfish. Adult angelfish love live bloodworms, and young angelfish will happily scoop up small worms.

Bloodworms are occasionally sold live, but are most easily available in freeze-dried and frozen forms. No matter the form, bloodworms should only be given to juvenile or older angelfish.

Even then, bloodworms should be given to them 1-2 times a week, as this food can cause constipation. Bloodworms are not suitable for fry.

Micro Worms

Unlike bloodworms, micro worms are suitable for angelfish fry. You can even set up a culture so that you have tiny, nutritious worms as needed.

Micro worm cultures are widely available and very easy to set up and maintain. All you need are:

  • A container
  • Yeast and instant oats
  • A starter culture

Worms are ready for harvest in 2 weeks, so you’ll need to have this prepared in advance. Micro worms are a great live food for fry and young angelfish.

Vinegar Eels

In spite of the name, vinegar eels are actually tiny roundworms, and not the parasitic kind. They’re:

  • Easy to culture
  • A great food source for fry
  • Can survive in the aquarium for a day

As such, all the fry have a chance to eat at every meal, not just those that reach the table first. It also means the odds of leftovers rotting in the aquarium are minimal.

Even fish too small for baby brine shrimp can suck vinegar eels down easily. Live cultures are easy to DIY, and you can buy starter cultures in a variety of places. Wine bottles, or any container with a long, thin neck, are ideal.

Eels take roughly 2 weeks to grow to a harvestable age. As such, this is a culture you’ll need to prepare in advance. When they are ready to harvest, you can remove them from the vinegar culture before offering them to your fry. This is because the culture liquid is toxic to all fish.

To extract vinegar eels, stuff a cotton ball into the neck and top the bottle off with an inch or so of aquarium-safe water. Overnight, the eels will wriggle through the cotton to reach the fresh water. Use a pipette to suck up the eels and feed them to your angelfish fry.

Do Angelfish Fry Eat Algae?

Angelfish fry will eat algae, alongside other infusoria. These are an omnivorous species, however, and algae alone will not be a complete, nutritious diet.

Green water cultures can be useful if you want to breed herbivorous fish alongside angelfish fry. You can also feed your brine shrimp cultures with green water.

  • Create a green water culture by filling a clear container with aquarium water.
  • Place this container somewhere with lots of direct sunlight.
  • In a few weeks’ time, you’ll likely have a thriving algae culture.
  • Extract the algae as needed and feed it to your fish or other culture critters.

Angelfish can eat algae at any age, including as new fry.

What Do Angelfish Fry Eat In The Wild?

In the wild, angelfish fry will eat whatever they can fit into their mouths. This includes micro flora and fauna, like algae, micro worms, and other tiny invertebrates.

Angelfish have such large clutches to increase the odds of some individuals reaching adulthood. The wild waters angelfish natively live in are full of dangers. Only a small percentage of fry will survive long enough to reach adult size.

Homemade Food For Angelfish Fry 

Aside from live cultures, there are two types of homemade foods you can whip up for your angelfish fry. These are great for feeding unexpected clutches, or those that need food before your live cultures are ready to harvest.

It is best two intersperse other food sources throughout these homemade options. Also note that these foods can quickly foul the water. You’ll need to do frequent water changes and remove any uneaten food from the tank to minimize this.

Hard-Boiled Egg Yolks

Hard-boiled egg yolks are a great homemade food for angelfish fry. You can prepare this in advance or as needed, and store leftovers in the fridge for 2-3 days. To prepare this food:

  1. Cook the eggs for 7-9 minutes in gently boiling water.
  2. Allow the eggs to cool completely before separating the yolks from the whites.
  3. Mash the yolks into a powder.
  4. Add a small amount of your aquarium’s water to a portion of this powder and create a slurry.
  5. You can also get egg yolk powder to create a slurry.

For fry, you want this slurry to be liquid enough that it can be sucked into a pipette. This will make it easier to disperse the food near the fry, so none goes to waste. Once the fry are over a month old, you can add ground-up fish flakes to the slurry for added nutrition.

There are commercial foods made specifically for fry fish. However, these do not pack the same punch as live baby brine shrimp, micro worms, or vinegar eels – the best foods for fresh fry.

As the fish mature over a few weeks, commercial foods can be integrated into their diet. There is always the option of creating hard-boiled egg yolk slurries for an emergency feed too.

How to Keep Angelfish Fry Alive? (7 Easy Steps) – Pet Fish Online

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Countless times I’ve seen my angelfish spawning. However, it was challenging to prevent the newborns from dying. It was only a year ago was when I dug into the topic more deeply. Luckily, I’ve found a few techniques to keep the angelfish fry alive.

Keeping angelfish fry alive involves these steps:

  1. Raise either the fry or the angelfish parents in separate tanks.
  2. Choose a peaceful environment for the tank, away from human traffic.
  3. Stick with relatively gentle sponge filters.
  4. Keep the water temperature around 80-degree F.
  5. Replace 10% of the water daily.
  6. Introduce vegetation to provide the angelfish fry with hiding spots.
  7. Feed the fry with vinegar eels or micro worms, which are both nutritious and tiny.

These seven steps should increase angelfish fry survival rates. However, each one features its own nuances. As we move forward, I’ll elaborate on each technique and show you what I use to grow my angelfish fry successfully.

Keeping Angelfish Fry Alive 

Angelfish are mature enough to spawn within the first nine months of their lives. They tend to reproduce every ten to fourteen days. And it usually takes three days for the eggs to hatch. During that time, the angel parents will care for the eggs, protecting them from tank mates that might eat them, removing fungus and debris, and also eating infertile eggs.

But what happens when the angelfish fry finally enter the picture? How do you keep them alive? In an ideal situation, this is what typically happens:

  • When the eggs hatch, the fry remain attached to their yolk sac. You don’t have to worry about feeding them at this point. They can survive on the yolk sac, which they will eat until it disappears. This is when they become free swimmers.
  • At this point, you can start feeding them brine shrimp. They must be fed two or three times a day. They need a lot of nutrients to survive. Otherwise, they will waste away. You also have to change their diet as they grow. 

For instance, you can start with baby brine shrimp when the fry first hatch. But after three weeks, you should switch to adult brine shrimp. Some people depend too heavily on flakes and pellets. And while such food is perfectly acceptable for angelfish fry, you should only use it as a supplement rather than the main meal.

  • If you feed them as required, your fry should reach 16mm in size within two months. At this point, you don’t have quite as much to worry about. While you have the option of raising your fry away from their parents, you should know that angelfish don’t spawn as much when they have fry in the tank.

In fact, they won’t spawn while caring for their fry.[1] Not until the present batch has grown and no longer requires their assistance will they finally produce more eggs. If you prefer to raise your angelfish fry separately, don’t be too surprised if your angels inundate your tank with new eggs and fry every few days.  

The process detailed above describes the ideal situation. But there are many fish owners whose conditions are not perfect; people whose fry keep dying for reasons they cannot quite fathom. If you count yourself among these individuals, there are several steps you can take to reduce the death toll among your angelfish fry, including:

1. Keep The Fry Out of The Community Tank

If you wish to guarantee the safety and security of your angelfish fry, keep them out of a community tank. You can separate the parents before they even lay the eggs, giving them their own breeding aquarium.[2]

You can also take the fry away, leaving the parents in the community tank. To do this, you must provide your angelfish parents a slate upon which they will lay and fertilize their eggs. 

Separating the fry is a simple matter of taking the slate with its eggs out of the community tank, placing it in a separate container (2.5-10 gallons), and waiting for the eggs to hatch.

The approach you take will depend on the temperament of your angelfish parents. If they are peaceful, the fry can stay with them in a separate tank. Also, if the other creatures in the community tank are friendly, you can choose to keep the fry in the shared aquarium, trusting their angelfish parents to protect them.

If the parents are volatile enough that you think they might eat the fry, take them away. If you go with this approach, consider that the fry take about twelve months to grow and reach maturity. I’ve discussed that in this article I wrote, and even showed a few tips to make them grow faster.

2. Maintain a Peaceful Environment

If you have chosen to leave the angelfish fry with their parents, keep the tank in a peaceful, quiet location – away from extensive human traffic.[3]Avoid harsh noises and lighting. Such disturbances will cause the sort of stress that could compel your angelfish parents to eat their fry. 

Some fish owners will go so far as to place a plastic covering over the tank. But this tactic has challenges associated with it. You have to add peepholes that are strategically placed to enable you to observe the activity in the tank. Otherwise, every time you remove the plastic, you could startle the angels. 

Regarding lighting, I highly suggest that you take a look at an article I wrote about whether or not angelfish like light. In there, you’ll find a few techniques I’ve learned that keep my angels calm, even when turning the bedroom lights on and off.

3. Get a Balanced Filter

Regardless of whether you have your fry in their own tank or the same tank as their parents, you have to use the right sponge filter. You need clean water that is free of waste, uneaten food and debris to maintain the health of your fry. Otherwise, the resulting buildup of substances like ammonia could cause them great harm.

This is where the filter enters the picture. It should be powerful enough to keep the water clean but not so powerful that it sucks the fry in. Some filters are not powerful enough to suck your fry in, but they produce such a powerful flow of water that it tires the fry out. This isn’t good for their health either. 

As you might have already seen in the video above, sponge filters are considered best for the fish fry. They are gentle, and the newborns aren’t likely to get sucked in. Personally, I’ve been using the AQUANEAT Aquarium Bio (link to Amazon) for years, with great success.

However, don’t expect the filter to do all the work. You are also advised to remove uneaten food from the tank. The same goes for fry that die. Take them out of the aquarium before they corrupt the water. 

4. Take Care of The Water Temperature

Some people prefer to leave their tanks at the mercy of the weather conditions in the vicinity. They see little point in artificially manipulating the temperature of the water in the tank because the weather in their area is warm or cool enough to keep their tank within the appropriate range.

Whether or not this is true, with fry, you need to add a heater to your tank. You can’t expect that the sunbeams, coming from the window of your sitting room, will keep the water at the 80-degree F mark (which is what your angelfish fry need). Colder water could prove detrimental to their health. This is why you are encouraged to keep a thermometer on hand. 

This is where heaters step in. If you are interested, feel free to check out a review I’ve written regarding my favorite water heater. That was the only one that kept the degrees stable enough to raise my fish fry successfully.

  • Monitor the temperature of the water to ensure that it is always within the appropriate range. 

5. Replace The Water Regularly

You can’t maintain the quality of the water in the tank by simply adding a filter and removing uneaten food. You must also change the water regularly. Some fish owners will encourage you to replace half the water in the tank daily. 

But it is possible to change too much water too frequently. This can cause such drastic fluctuations in the pH that it harms your fry in the process. Some people have lost angelfish fry this way. This is why I recommend water changes of no more than 10 percent of your tank’s size. Try to do so each day.

6. Introduce Vegetation

If your fry and their angelfish parents are sharing a community tank, give them as much foliage as possible. This will provide them with a place to hide. Add plants like Anacharis and Hornwort that are tall enough to provide sufficient cover for the fry. 

If you are interested, here I wrote about all the plants I could find that angelfish don’t typically eat. These kinds would probably flourish in your tank and provide your angels with long-standing hiding spots.

While there are plenty of good reasons to add plastic plants that require no care, you should know that live plants keep the water properly oxygenated. Your tank will be a healthier place for your fry if you have live plants. They will keep the water balanced, debilitating the growth of algae and eliminating some of the waste.[4]

7. Stick to Balanced Meals

Endeavor to provide a steady supply of food to your community tank. If the fish in the tank are fed as required, they are less likely to eat your fry. Food will also keep them distracted. 

The dietary requirements of adult angels differ from those of angelfish fry. The nutritional needs of fry will change as they transition from one stage to stage. As wigglers, they are still attached to their yolks, which they will proceed to eat. 

Once they separate from the yolk sac, the survival of your angelfish fry will depend primarily on your ability to feed them appropriately. 

In the earliest moments of their free-swimming lives, they can feed on small micro-organisms called infusoria. These can be found naturally in tanks with plants. This is another reason why you should grow live vegetation. 

Infusoria is perfect for fry because the creatures are so tiny, and they are still learning to eat. Eventually, you can start feeding them newly hatched brine shrimp. The reason remains the same. The fry are tiny, so they need equally small food. 

Additional options include vinegar eels (link to Amazon), which are a non-parasitic class of roundworms that are also nutritious and small enough for fry to eat. The same goes for micro worms. While you can buy all these food options, some people prefer to rear them from home.

If you don’t have any of these foods on hand, feed your fry boiled egg yolk. Boil an egg, remove the shell and the egg. Once you’ve retrieved the yolk, dissolve it in a container of water. This can be done by placing the yolk in the water and shaking the tank vigorously until the egg has dissolved.  

At this point, the yolk has broken into pieces small enough for your fry to consume. For some people, it might be easier to feed the fry egg yolk powder, Hikari first bites and other commercial food options. 

  • The objective is to ensure that the essential nutritional requirements of the fry are met. 


Growing angelfish fry is easier said than done. These gentle creatures require specific conditions; otherwise, they won’t survive. The most prevalent mistake is feeding them with adults’ flakes. You have to consider that fry have smaller mouths.

Also, if you choose to keep them in the community tank, make sure you introduce vegetation. Plants will make it easier for the little ones to survive. They will be able to hide between the leaves from predators. Although, the safest way is probably keeping the newborns in a separate tank. Just make sure the environment is peaceful and that you replace the water regularly. 

Either way, I wish you the best of luck in keeping the angelfish fry alive. I’m sure you’ll eventually find the right balance. Just don’t give up if you fail to do so in your first attempt.


  1. http://www.aquaworldaquarium.com/Articles/TonyGriffitts/Spawning_and_Raising_Angelfish.htm
  2. https://www.wisegeek.com/how-do-i-care-for-angelfish-fry.htm
  3. https://fins.actwin.com/articles/freshwaterangels.php
  4. https://animals.mom.me/baby-angelfish-care-5984.html
  5. Featured Image: Flickr

Scalar in a beginner's aquarium - Your aquarium


The angelfish is an exceptionally beautiful aquarium fish, and with what poetic names its admiring owners did not supply it: both the winged leaf and the floating crescent ... The angelfish is originally one of the most favorite fish of aquarists - it has such a fantastically unusual body shape, and let it be painted not too bright, but very diverse, soft and beautiful. In addition, the behavior of the scalar is active, and she does not have to be accommodating. The conditions of detention must be treated responsibly, here you will need to fulfill much more conditions than with ordinary guppies or cardinals. The water must always be very clean, and the food of high quality.

In the wild, angelfish live in small rivers in South America, where the current is weak and aquatic vegetation is abundant. They love reed coves near the banks of the Orinoco and Amazon rivers. The body of the scalars is high - up to twenty-six centimeters, but short - only fifteen centimeters. That's why they look disc-shaped. The fins are very long, which is what makes the scalar look like a celestial crescent. On the chest, these cichlids have thread-like fins, sharpened towards the ends. Distinguishing males from females is not so easy: males are large-lobed and round, and females are plump and angular, but these differences are not too obvious.

The most common silver scalar with vertical black stripes. There are usually four stripes - through the eye, two on the side and the last on the caudal peduncle. The back is usually darker than the abdomen. Breeders have worked a lot with this fish, and now the color of the angelfish varies in a hundred ways - from silvery olive to green and gray, from black marble to smoky gold, there are angelfish not only in two, but also in three colors at the same time. Veil forms of angelfish are very common. No list of derived forms of this species, probably, will be complete. There are half-black and albinos, smoky and red smoky, just red and chocolate, just phantom and two-spotted, white and blue angelfish, lace zebra angelfish, cobra angelfish, leopard angelfish, red-golden-marble and red-half-black, simply pearl and pearl with gold, even scaleless and diamond ... And you can list for a very long time.

Fish are schooling, loneliness depresses them. If an aquarist buys a pair of angelfish, they quickly get used to each other, even both subsequently remain faithful to their partner. They are usually kept in small groups of four or six. Such a team immediately fulfills many rules: the best food always goes to the largest couple, and all other conditions are always better for them. These hierarchy rules are strictly enforced. If there is a single fish in the team - without a partner, she also gets access to food as a last resort. The collective cannot live without a renegade: if the outcast is removed, either one fish or the weakest pair of all will immediately appear in his place. With a larger flock and in a large aquarium, such problems usually do not occur. Angelfish are shy, you need to be very careful: do not knock on the aquarium, do not suddenly turn on the bright light, otherwise the fish may even lose their color from fright.

Since most often these aquarium fish grow large, they will also need a roomy housing. Two pairs of angelfish will feel fine in a container of at least sixty liters. The width of the tank is not so important, but in terms of height they will need at least forty-five centimeters of water space. The optimum temperature in the aquarium is from twenty-three degrees to twenty-six, and it is better not to experiment in this regard, pets can simply get sick. The water must first of all be clean, and therefore a bottom filter or a canister filter is needed, every week it is necessary to change the water in the aquarium up to one-fifth of the volume and at least twice a quarter thoroughly wash the entire aquarium. Here we must not forget the fact that scalars do not like a strong current. Therefore, the filter should not create inconvenience for them in the form of violent outbursts of water.

Angelfish love light, and the lighting may well be bright. But abruptly turning on or off the day is not recommended. Vegetation in the aquarium should be dense, but swimming space is also necessary. Surface plants are just the best option: they dim excess lighting, and angelfish feel safe. It is better to pour coarse sand with fine gravel at the bottom of the aquarium; angelfish are not one of those fish that will dig in the ground. You can build decorative rocks, put a couple of picturesque snags, make a gorge and a cave. All this without a single sharp corner, so that the fish that wants solitude does not get hurt. Safety first.

What to feed the scalar is not a question, it eats almost everything, the main thing is to equip a feeder. Of course, the food must be of high quality, but the choice here is huge - daphnia, coretra, live bloodworm, dry food, granular, flakes. Angelfish and algae are eaten by biting off plant leaves. You can give these fish minced seafood, chopped meat of mussels and shrimp.

Why do we need a feeder? Angelfish are moon-shaped, rounded fish, it is very problematic for them to take food from the bottom. You need to know and remember that it is these cichlids that are prone to gluttony, you need to control the size of the portions eaten. And it’s better to underfeed, because from overeating the fish get fat and live much less. Do not get upset and worry if the angelfish suddenly refuses to eat. Her body requires a certain number of hungry days. The angelfish will return to its normal diet in a few days. However, even if she is starving for a week or more, it is also okay.

Like other cichlids, scalars are individualists by nature, it is quite difficult to find them normal neighbors that suit both sides. The choice of other fish in the same aquarium with angelfish can always be decided only by trial and error. Although, it is definitely impossible to add barbs and cockerels to them. Angelfish are slow, but still cichlids, their small mouth is the mouth of a predator. They observe territoriality, and during spawning they can attack other fish in a whole flock, protecting future offspring. All other inhabitants of the aquarium will shyly huddle in the corners, afraid to stick their nose out. Each new fish in the aquarium is always the target of persecution by angelfish, they can peck it to death.

If, however, the angelfish grew up in a common and sufficiently spacious aquarium at the same time as other fish, the world may be preserved. Even neons, which are their natural food in the wild, can survive. If you add barbs to the aquarium, the beauty of the angelfish will come to an end, all their luxurious long fins will be bitten. If you add cockerels, the angelfish will not give them a quiet life. The fight will start not for life, but for death. However, before moving in, it is impossible to predict exactly how this or that fish will behave. Cockerels are also not all choleric, if a phlegmatic person comes across, it will be beaten.

The best neighbors for scalars can be thorns, these flocking fidgets will not allow themselves to catch up, and therefore scalars will pretend that they do not notice them. Also good are fish that live in the lower layers of the aquarium, where angelfish do not swim. They live quite amicably with swordsmen, and they look excellent together, especially with black scalars - red swordsmen. Catfish suckers will offend the angelfish: they suck from a wide side, where they cannot be reached, and eat the scales of the angelfish. And these predatory habits can only be smoothed out by increased feeding of catfish. But it’s better to keep and not jeopardize the wonderful colorfulness of aquarium angelfish.

An aquarist should also feel sorry for the wonderful neon with the beautiful guppies. Even if they get along in the same aquarium with scalars, one cannot hope that sooner or later they will be eaten imperceptibly late at night. These fish live well with zebrafish, some catfish, with gourami, but in no case with goldfish - they are gentle, vulnerable creatures, with a different feeding regime, and the scalars pluck them clean - all veils, all fins.

Before the onset of puberty, it is problematic to distinguish between a female and a male, and even then it is difficult. The male has a fat deposit on the forehead in the form of a tubercle, similar to a hump, the thoracic keel is prominent - convex, when it turns to the front position - the wedge-shaped structure of the body is clearly visible. The wedge is sharp in the male and blunt in the female. The dorsal fin of males is more elongated, it is distinguished by transverse stripes at its end: females do not have more than six stripes, but males have seven or even more. However, artificially bred scalar fish are sometimes impossible to distinguish by these signs. These are marble, golden, albinos. It is easier to distinguish between a male and a female by behavior when pairs are formed before spawning, but this is not much easier either. Females can sometimes play the role of a male in the mating game - real artists.

Angels, as already mentioned, independently form pairs and observe fidelity in marriage. Ready-made couples cannot be separated - they will suffer greatly and get sick. A new alliance is next to impossible. It is not difficult to determine the existing pair - they always swim one after another and keep close, and the male tries to pinch the female in any corner of the aquarium. If an aquarist decides to breed angelfish, they need to be kept in optimal conditions for the development of reproductive products for quite a long time. The water temperature is not lower than twenty-seven degrees, live food - bloodworms, tubifex, daphnia and the like. Fish raised on dry food tend to be smaller, paler and rarely capable of reproduction.

If conditions are right, angelfish are very prolific - they can spawn every two weeks, but the eggs must be removed immediately. The couple is kept together before spawning, otherwise the males will not mature, the females inspire them. Three or four times a week, you need to partially change the water in the aquarium (and it is better to add distilled or boiled water, hard water will interfere with spawning. Plants with large leaves are definitely needed, and some aquarists put a piece of ceramic tile or plastic in the aquarium, angelfish love this area These fish do not need a separate spawning ground.0005

Finally, the female's belly is rounded, and the male's behavior changes dramatically: he guards the territory, cleans the surface where it is planned to spawn. Spawning usually occurs in the evening, lasts up to an hour and a half. The female fills the prepared surface in even rows, followed by the male and fertilizes the eggs. It turns out about seven hundred or eight hundred eggs. All cichlids take care of their offspring zealously, but not for long. After two or three days, their joy fades and you no longer want to protect the caviar from other fish.

However, there are cases when the male and female take care of the offspring until the moment when the fry begin to feed on their own. As soon as spawning is over, the parents start guarding, fanning the clutch with their dorsal and pectoral fins, picking up the fallen eggs, and eating the whitened ones. It is a pity that usually this care ends quickly, it would not hurt the fry. Very often by the morning the caviar is eaten. That is why aquarists who breed angelfish always transfer eggs to another tank almost immediately - two or three hours after spawning.

For the maturation of caviar, an incubator is needed, which is not at all difficult to prepare. They take a small aquarium - five or ten liters, half fill it with water from the general aquarium, and the other half with distilled water. You need a heater that keeps the temperature at thirty degrees, as well as an air atomizer. The plate with caviar must be installed in the tank so that it is slightly washed by the current, but without air bubbles. For the sake of prevention, you need to add special remedies for fungal infection.

Very useful small plants - riccia or duckweed, which will work as a biofilter, regulating the level of nitrogen. Infusoria and rotifers will quickly multiply in such thickets, which will serve as excellent food for the emerging fry. Lighting cannot be turned off. Whitened eggs must be constantly removed, and for this a tool such as a pipette is perfect. The larvae will appear in two days and hang on sticky cords.

After three days, future fry can already be seen - their heads and yolk sacs with food. The larva is held by a cord, from which it is constantly trying to free itself, and therefore is always in motion. But the cord will not break soon. Sometimes you need to endure seven, and sometimes all twelve days. And then the fry begin their swimming. Everything has already been eaten from the bag, and therefore the fry should immediately begin to be fed. Small angelfish eat mashed yolk and dry food. But this is not enough, live food is needed - daphnia, ciliates. Usually on the fifth day after spawning, aquarists begin to grow brine shrimp in a volume incubator. Fry are often fed - five times a day at least. The filter in the incubator must be closed in advance, for example. Kapron so that the fry do not climb into it.

If the caviar was of high quality, there will be a lot of fry. Some part must be deposited so that a maximum of two fry per liter of water, otherwise the level of nitrite and ammonia will jump sharply, and this is detrimental for babies. Water needs to be changed every day by about a third, the remains of food must be removed. After a month, the fry will already look like an angelfish, then they are seated again so that each has at least four liters of water. And you can feed the fry at this age with finely chopped tubifex, bloodworms, and gradually accustom them to live food. Soon they will meet their own parents in a common aquarium. Breeding angelfish is, of course, troublesome, but very interesting, but most of all, the result always delights.

Text : Lyudmila Garkavaya

Tags: fish aquarium fish scalar fish

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Angelfish, angelfish maintenance, angelfish breeding, spawning, fry, sex differences, maturation, fish breeder, angelfish body shape, food, live food, breeders, fish obesity, protection offspring, cichlids, aquarium fish, fish

The number of dark transverse stripes or whitish gaps at the back of the dorsal fin must be at least seven in males and not more than six in females.

A fish breeder who wants to get numerous full-fledged offspring from angelfish should not prepare males and females separately for spawning. Practice has shown that if females can be ready for spawning regardless of the presence of males in the aquarium, then the preparation and maturation of reproductive products in males occur only in the presence of females.

Ignoring this practically proven provision leads, at best, to an insignificant yield of fry, and most often to obtaining completely unfertilized eggs, since females placed in spawning aquariums, prepared separately from males, spawn before males prepare for spawning. Some of them will participate in the mark, while others are able to eat eggs during spawning itself, which is completely excluded when males are prepared for spawning.

The shape of the body creates great inconvenience for the fish to accept food from the bottom of the aquarium. Therefore, she prefers to catch the bloodworm during its fall, and only when hungry, bending over, takes food from the bottom of the aquarium.

Taking a bloodworm or several worms, the scalar does not swim away like other fish, but grabs them one by one - up to 30 bloodworms at once, until it is full.

Live food (bloodworm, coretra, daphnia and cyclops) is the best and essential food for the angelfish. It is advisable to feed twice a day, 15 pieces of medium bloodworms for each adult fish.

Moscow amateur VV Shepelev uses small tadpoles as food for angelfish, and SG Ionov uses smoothies and grebes, which is of interest for areas where there is no fishing for bloodworms.

It should be borne in mind that special increased feeding of spawners before spawning can lead to infertility. The fact is that if abundant and varied feeding has a beneficial effect on the development of young organisms, then it also has not only not positive, but even harmful significance when feeding adult producers.

This phenomenon is very dangerous for scalars. Many amateurs have large and beautiful angelfish, they toss, and fry most often do not exist. This is, of course, the result of obesity producers. It should be borne in mind that, as experiments show, both males and females are equally exposed to obesity.

Related article Angelfish (Pterophyllum scalare)

Pterophyllum scalare belongs to the category of fish that actively protect their offspring. Their excitability during the period of spawning and its protection is so great that they do not spare themselves in protecting future offspring. It is enough to lower some object, a net or just a finger into the aquarium in which there are eggs or fry, you can immediately feel a strong blow from the parents, repeating one after another until they are left alone.

If spawners are constantly and specifically protected from external influences, then it is often enough to drop a net into the aquarium and catch one of them, as the second one remaining in the aquarium, in most cases, immediately eats eggs and fry. This happens most often with angelfish, which are not accustomed to the net and react painfully to its appearance in the aquarium.

If landing of one of the parents is nevertheless necessary, then this must be done carefully, having previously separated it with glass, and then the disturbance caused to the left one will be much less, and the probability of saving eggs and fry is certainly greater.

Observations of the behavior of angelfish during spawning and protection of eggs in conditions resembling natural ones, that is, in an aquarium with a large number of fish, showed their exceptional concern for their offspring. They use everything to protect it and show absolutely no inclination to eat caviar.

Interesting pictures were observed when a small weak couple managed to drive a large group of angelfish into the far corner of the aquarium.

Numerous experiments on breeding angelfish in aquariums measuring 40x30x40 and 50x33x27 cm at a water temperature of 24-26 ° C gave good results in terms of fry yield and proved the possibility of using these more favorable conditions, both in terms of the most expedient use of aquariums, and at significantly lower costs for heating water in them.

The aquarium intended for spawning is thoroughly washed , and its bottom is covered with well-washed river sand for one third of its length from the back side. The sand is washed until there is no turbidity when it is mixed.

It is not necessary to cover the bottom of the aquarium completely with sand, as the fry in all cases fall from the leaf onto the sand and it is more difficult for their parents to collect them on the sand than on a clean bottom of the aquarium.

Very often it was observed how parents took sand in their mouths and scattered it to see if there were any immature fry among them.

The part of the aquarium covered with sand is planted with plants such as sagittaria, cryptocoryne, aponogeton or egg-pods. Then the aquarium is filled with two-thirds of good water from the general aquarium and one-third of fresh settled water - this provides the fish planted in it with conditions that differ little from the usual content and, on the other hand, conditions for the best exit of fry.

When the aquarium is prepared and the water temperature in it is brought to the water temperature with the usual content of fish, spawners are allowed into it, and then the water temperature is raised to 24-26 ° C, and from this moment the most interesting part of the observations begins.

Once in another aquarium, the spawners get used to it for some time, and then excitedly swim around the aquarium, choosing the most convenient place for spawning. Most often they choose broad-leaved plants for this, but sometimes they opt for aquarium glasses and even air hoses.

At this time, a wide leaf (or several) of aspidistra or dracaena should be lowered into the aquarium, which, as a rule, attract the attention of producers, and they begin to carefully clean it. This lasts from 2 to 5 days, and at this time their sexual products finally mature. The duration of this period is determined by the specific characteristics of the female, while, however, the old ones prepare faster than the young ones.

Having completed preparation, the female swims over the leaf and lays eggs on it, sometimes in neat rows, sometimes without any system. The male swims over the eggs and fertilizes them. On average, females lay up to 500 eggs , and sometimes more.

Before they have finished spawning, spawners start fanning the eggs with their pectoral fins and the flexible part of the dorsal fin. Unfertilized eggs turn white on the second day and manufacturers carefully remove it from the sheet. Sometimes caviar does not have sufficient stickiness and falls from the leaf at the time of spawning and fanning it. The fanning of the eggs lasts up to 36 hours or more.

After that, fry hatch, which the parents repeatedly transfer from one place to another. In the upper part of the head, the fry has a small hair-like process that keeps it on the leaf, glass and other objects.

After 5-9 days, depending on the temperature, there are no longer eggs on the leaf, but fry trying to leave it in masses, but the parents catch them for some time and throw them back onto the leaf.

But then the time comes when the parents themselves pick up the fry, take them from the leaf into their mouths and throw them into the common flock that keeps around the parents.

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