When do angelfish lay their eggs?

This article describes the steps from spawning to hatching of angelfish eggs.


In this blog

  • When do angelfish lay their eggs?
  • How do angelfish lay eggs?
  • What is the wiggler stage in the spawning or egg laying process of angelfish?
  • What are free-swimming angelfish fry?
  • Can a female angelfish lay eggs without a partner?
  • What is the best pH for raising angelfish eggs?
  • Can you feed the angelfish fry right after they are hatched?
  • What is the survival rate of angelfish fry?
  • Tips on caring for angelfish eggs
  • Summary 
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Reference

When do angelfish lay their eggs?

When angelfish mature in 6-12 months, they lay eggs every 7-12 days, depending on their age.There are several ways to know that an angelfish is ready to spawn. For example, a protruding belly or a slight color change.

Female angelfish can lay 100-1,000 eggs in a single breeding cycle. Also, a pair of angelfish may lay eggs every two weeks. This is especially true when removing angelfish from previously laid eggs.

Angelfish eggs are transparent and smaller than the head of a straight pin.

How do angelfish lay eggs?

A community tank is not an ideal breeding ground for angelfish, especially as the eggs and fry can be eaten by other fish in the tank.It is better to get a separate breeding tank for your angelfish.

A 40 gallons or even bigger breeding tank is recommended to house a pair of freshwater angelfish for breeding. Angels need to feel secure to do a good job and to reproduce freely. Their natural habitat is slow-moving water with many hiding spots such as roots and tall plants.

The angelfish couple meticulously cleans the area to be spawned before the female angelfish begins to lay her eggs.

Freshwater angelfish may spend up to 24 hours cleaning the spawning site, which could be a leaf, heater in the tank, or on a board you placed in the tank.

Ideally, you don’t want freshwater angels to lay eggs in the heater,or on something you can’t remove from the tank.So giving them a slate board or other removable spawning spot is the best way to make sure everything goes well.

When the spawning area is clean, females line up sticky eggs, & male angelfish brush and fertilize the eggs. Angelfish eggs are transparent and smaller than a straight pin head.

Unfertilized eggs will grow white fungus on them. Angelfish make sure to aerate the eggs for oxygen, and they are constantly protecting and cleaning their eggs.

If some eggs become infected with fungus, rot, or become dirty, the freshwater angelfish pair will remove them to prevent rot or fungus on the other eggs.

Fertilized angelfish eggs are translucent amber to brown in color. It takes a short time for fertilized angelfish eggs to fully develop into fry. So if the eggs in the angelfish tank are the right color, watch them develop often.

Angelfish eggs hatch in about 60 hours at 80°F. After that, the young fish are in the wiggler stage for another 5 days after hatching.Fry angelfish should not be fed until this free-swimming stage is over.

What is the wiggler stage in the spawning or egg laying process of angelfish?

The wiggler stage is the stage just after hatching. At this stage, the larvae are still attached to the spawning site by filaments protruding from the head.

Eyes, tails and internal organs are still developing in the larval stage. At this point there is no need to feed them as they feed on their yolk sac.

What are free swimming angelfish fry?

When the larvae of the angelfish eat the entire yolk sac, they become free-swimming.This happens about 3-5 days after hatching if the water temperature allows. At this stage, the eyes have developed and you can observe breathing under a magnifying glass.

Fry of angelfish mature sexually at the age of 5-7 months. And they will continue to grow for up to 12 months before reaching a plateau.

Can a female angelfish lay eggs without a partner?

Yes, angelfish can spawn without a mate. Female angelfish will still lay eggs with or without males. 

With adequate care, healthy female angelfish may begin laying eggs between 6 and 12 months of age. 

However, if these eggs are not fertilized by male angelfish, they will not produce any fry.

What is the best pH for raising angelfish eggs?

When raising angelfish eggs, you should aim for a pH of 6.8, and if the pH levels are alkaline, the white fungus will almost certainly grow on them and turn their eggs white.It is very important to maintain the right aquarium pH to avoid such infections.

Can you feed the angelfish fry right after they are hatched?

For the first two days, fry of angelfish can survive by feeding on microorganisms in the aquarium.

In the first few weeks of their development, the best diets for angelfish fry are arguably freshly hatched brine shrimp and microworms. 

Feeding these two foods to an angelfish baby maximizes survival and ensures healthy and rapid growth.

What is the survival rate of angelfish fry?

In the absence of parents, the survival rate of fry of angelfish ranges from 0% to 70%, depending on water, temperature and feeding consistency.

Survival rates are even lower in community tanks. It is very difficult for a parent angelfish to protect its fry in an aquarium full of predators.

Tips on caring for angelfish eggs

If you decide to remove your eggs from your tank because you are worried that the angelfish will eat them, you need to do everything you do as a parent after spawning.Make sure the eggs are oxygenated and protect the eggs from fungus.

Removing fry of angelfish from the aquarium increases your chances of survival. Or, if you don’t want to remove them, have enough leaves to hide and add a mesh net to the bottom of the tank to allow the baby angelfish to swim out of reach of adult fish.

Some angelfish keepers hatch the eggs themselves. They do this by removing the eggs into fresh, clean containers and adding cycled water and methylene blue.

If you want to protect angelfish eggs from fungal infections, you’ll need to treat the water with a fungicide like methylene blue, a natural dye with antifungal properties.


Depending on the age of the angelfish, eggs can be laid once a week or every 10 days, provided that the eggs are removed from the aquarium. If the female angelfish has an egg to take care of, the process will take longer.

Adult angelfish are easy to pair and spawn. They clean a flat vertical surface, lay their eggs on it and drive away other fish. 

Spawning occurs when the female lays her eggs on a prepared surface, and the male follows, fertilizing them.

Depending on the size and length of the angelfish, angelfish can lay 100 to 1000 eggs in one clutch. 

Each pair is capable of laying eggs once every two weeks or more if the eggs are separated immediately.

Fertilized angelfish eggs will be translucent amber to brown in color.

Angelfish eggs hatch at 80 ° F in about 60 hours. After that, the fry will be in the Wiggler stage for another 5 days after hatching.

Angelfish are known for eating eggs or fry. Most professional breeders remove them from their parents a few hours after they have laid their eggs in the hatching tank.

If the angelfish is not vigilant, do not breed the angelfish in community tanks as other fish can stress the angelfish and attack the eggs. Angelfish need a separate aquarium for breeding.

A breeding tank of 40 gallons or larger is recommended to accommodate breeding freshwater angelfish.

It is very important to maintain the correct pH level in the aquarium to avoid whitening of the angelfish eggs.

Frequently asked questions

What happens to unfertilized angelfish eggs?

Unfertilized angelfish eggs turn white  and die from a fast-growing fungus.

Can you breed angelfish in community tanks?

Do not allow angelfish to breed in a community tank, as other fish may stress them or raid their eggs if the angelfish are not alert. Angelfish require a separate aquarium for breeding.

Do angelfish eat their eggs?

If the egg is not fertilized within 2 days of hatching, it will either turn white or be eaten by the couple themselves under stress.

How many eggs do female angelfish produce in a single breeding cycle?

A female freshwater angelfish can lay between 100 and 1,000 eggs in one breeding cycle.

Are angelfish easy to breed?

Breeding angelfish is tough, but the first 6-12 months are exciting, and at the same time the eggs are constantly turning white due to a fungal infection, making it difficult to maintain mature eggs.

What triggers an angelfish to spawn?

The best breeding stimulus is to put the angelfish pair alone in a very big tank,such as 40 gallons or larger. The aquarium water temperature should probably be between 72-82 degrees Fahrenheit.