|Angelfish IV -- Breeding Your Angelfish|
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Pet World Visit
Female angelfish inspecting her eggs
Professional angelfish breeders use row after row of 10-gallon tanks with
sponge filters. They add a piece of
slate leaning at a 30o angle (not angel). This
makes them economical and easy to clean.
Clean water and a varied diet put them “in the mood.”
Warming the water five degrees also encourages them.
Pouring in a quart of water from a tank of other angels that are
currently breeding also helps
to trip their trigger. But on the
average, healthy angels like to spawn.
The so-called “mated pair” is really a relic of the past.
One healthy female and one healthy male become a mated pair quite easily.
In the wild, angelfish spawn on the leaves of Amazon sword plants.
They carefully clean the leaves to prepare the ideal egg-laying site.
The female lays rows of translucent, light amber-colored eggs.
The male follows behind (on his own schedule) and fertilizes them.
Both mouth and fan the eggs until they hatch.
Both remove white (dead) eggs. When
the eggs hatch, the parents move the fry from place to place to confuse
predators (and you). Watching the pair care
for their fry is one of the pleasures of fishkeeping.
Practical Breeding. In a typical breeding tank, angelfish spawn on slate. Professional breeders snatch out the egg-covered slate before either parent gets hungry for a tasty caviar snack. They rear the eggs artificially in a gallon jar of water from the breeding tank. They color the water dark blue with methylene blue to retard fungus. They use a slow airstone to replace the parents. (Airstones never eat angelfish eggs.) Some critics suggest that this decreases the inherited parental breeding activities. Mostly, it decreases parental egg eating.
in Community Tanks.
Many angelfish spawn in community tanks to the complete surprise of their
owners. More likely their owners never even
see the spawns. The angels lay their
eggs on the filter tube or tank wall. Good
parents will drive the other fishes to the opposite end of the tank.
Bad parents will help the other fishes eat the eggs.
of the Eggs.
After a few days you will have a slate full of “wigglers.”
The tiny newly hatched angelfish are nothing more than eggs with wiggling tails glued to
the slate at what will become their heads. They
slowly turn into tiny fishes as they absorb their yolk sac over the next several
days. In a tank with other fishes,
the parents go berserk protecting them from the other fishes.
They never do realize that the crafty plecostomus strikes at night.
Take your plecos out. The
plecostomus is armored enough to withstand the constant nips from the parents if
he decides to “clean their nest.” Take
out any snails too.
make better parents if you have another fish in the tank while they are caring
for the eggs. A slow “dither
fish” makes them more protective and less likely to beat up each other.
When fry become free-swimming, however, the parents have more trouble
protecting them from predators.
Care of the Fry. If you feed your fry commercial fry food, you will rear only a tiny fraction of the fry -- the ones tough enough to find their own food. They absolutely require newly hatched brine shrimp every day or you will lose them. Feed them several times a day for best results. These eggs are the reason angels no longer cost hundreds of dollars per pair. Don’t use the hatching instructions on the package. Don’t hatch the two teaspoons of eggs they recommend. About 1/20th of a teaspoon is plenty for your first hatch. Hatch your brine shrimp daily because the shrimp keep growing after they hatch. Older fry can easily eat the larger shrimps. Supplement with microworms.
Last Word. Keep your eyes open. New angelfish types pop up every day. No matter what, pick the ones you like. If you don’t find what you want at first, keep looking. Still no success? Breed your own varieties. LA.
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