Angelfish Egg Stages Explained – A Guide for Beginners

Angelfish is one of the most beautiful species in the aquarium, but it also has an interesting life cycle.

The first stage of its life starts when eggs are fertilized and laid by the female.

They will then hatch into planktonic larvae that live near or at the surface of open water until they metamorphose into juvenile fish with spiny fins after approximately two weeks.

They will then migrate to coral reefs, where they develop for about six months before becoming sexually mature adults.

In this article, we’ll go through the stages of angelfish eggs, from how a pair chooses each other through their different life stages to adulthood.

Angelfish Egg Stages

Angelfish are not live barriers; rather, they are egg layers that lay eggs, and then the eggs will hatch and transform into fry, then they will grow and mature.

The procedure usually begins with two angelfish in your aquarium forming and becoming united, which is when they join together and start laying eggs across your tank.

Before the female angelfish starts laying her eggs, the male and female angelfish carefully clean the area where the female will lay the eggs, ensuring that no debris remains.

Angelfish usually lay eggs in leaves, on the tank side, and on the filter intake or heater. It might take as much as 24 hours to clean the spawning site she selected.

Surely, you don’t want your angelfish to deposit the eggs on a heater, in the tank itself, or on anything else that you can’t remove from the tank.

As a result, providing them with a slate or some other detachable spawning site is the best method to ensure everything goes smoothly.

Laying the Eggs Stage

After the spawning site has been cleaned, the female lays her sticky eggs row by row, and the male angelfish brush over them to fertilize them.

Angelfish eggshells are transparent and smaller than the length of a straight pin.

They generally produce 200, 300, or 500 eggs when they lay their eggs. It all depends on how well you feed them and whether or not you change their water enough.

If eggs are not fertilized, they will grow a white fungus on them. Angelfish will ensure that the eggs get enough oxygen by aerating them and keeping an eye on them.

Additionally, if some eggs develop fungus, decay, or get dirty, the angelfish pair will remove infected or mucky eggs to avoid spoilage or fungus on the other eggs.

Angelfish Eggs
Angelfish Eggs

Larval pre-hatching stage

After approximately 60 hours from being laid, the eggs enter the larval pre-hatching stage. At this point, an angelfish larvae will be fully developed and curl itself around the yolk sac.

The eggs will go from translucent to transparent, with developing hearts and active blood flow visible if looked at under a microscope.

Wigglers Stage

Angelfish eggs hatch after three days, but the fry will not become free swimming until much later. They’ll be in a form called wigglers for the next few weeks.

The wiggling motion you will see in their tails gives them their name. Their tails will become visible, and they’ll start moving back and forth or side to side, making a wiggling motion.

The baby angelfish can’t do much at this point; they simply sit for another three to four days and consume the egg yolk sac within their eggs.

When their food supply gets cut off, they’ll start eating baby brine shrimp or whatever their owner is feeding them. You may also have nasty algae in the tank; they will go for it.

And then, three days later, these small boys will have more defined characteristics, so you’ll be able to see them much more clearly, and they’ll begin to move a bit more.

Angelfish Wigglers Day 4
Wigglers Angels

Free Swimming Stage

Give them a week, and they’ll be free-swimming; this is when they start swimming correctly and don’t cling to the services, and it’s called the “free-swimming stage.”

The fry will swim around actively searching for food or anything else that can fit into their tiny mouths. 

Once they become free-swimming, give them about a month, and they’ll start developing shapes. They will all begin to develop, but they won’t yet appear like angelfish

You can see and discern how they’re forming their bodies, shapes, and features. However, you won’t be able to detect any color for the first three months, and you’ll never know what an angelfish looks like after that.

When they’re about three to four months old, they resemble angelfish but are considerably smaller, aren’t that big, and this is when taking care of them will be simple. They’ll be much easier to take care of when they’re a little older.

Adult Stage

The color of your angelfish is the most important aspect. It takes roughly six to eight months for an angelfish to reach adulthood when they are at their most beautiful. 

At this level, you should ensure you’re keeping the water quality up for these guys. 

It would be best if you used sponge filters since your angels are susceptible to death at this stage, and it’s not unusual for your angelfish fry not to survive.

So you want to ensure that you’re following through with your water changes to improve the likelihood of your fry surviving.

When fish are juvenile, they need fewer water changes and more food.

It’s a lot of fun keeping angels when they’re bigger and more medium-sized. They’re social, and they always want to eat. If you nurture them correctly, you shouldn’t have any problems.

Here is a youtube guide showing the life cycle of an angelfish from egg to adult.

How to Care for Angelfish Eggs?

1. Prepare a Breeding Tank

If you want to give the angelfish eggs the best chance at hatching, then you need to prepare a special breeding tank.

You should set up the breeding tank before the female angelfish lays its eggs. This will give you time to ensure that the water parameters are correct and that the tank is ready.

Also, a separate breeding tank will reduce the chances that the parents might mistaken their own eggs for prey and start eating them.

2. Acclimatise the Eggs

To successfully breed the eggs, it is important to maintain similar conditions when transferring them to a new tank. This means having the new tank set up and ready one day in advance of the transfer.

In general, the water temperature should be between 72 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit, while the pH level should range from 6.8 to 7.8.

3. Daily Maintenance

Although a filter is important, you will also need to do daily water changes of about 10% to maintain water quality.

To prevent the spread of disease, it is necessary to remove any eggs that are damaged. Also, adding a fungicide would be helpful in controlling the spread of the disease.

4. Control the Water Flow

If the filter is too close to the eggs, there is a chance that the sperm will wash off of them and fertilization will not occur.

Therefore, you should place the filter away from the eggs, or choose a filter with a very low flow rate.

5. Keep the Eggs Oxygenated

The eggs need well-oxygenated water to hatch, so you should consider using an air stone connected to an air pump in the breeding tank.

Otherwise, the eggs might not get enough oxygen, and they will die.

6. Fight Off Fungal Infections

Fungal infections raise the risk of death for the eggs, so you need to act quickly if you notice any eggs that are starting to turn white.

To fight off the fungus and protect the eggs, you can treat the water with methylene blue.

How to Remove Unfertilized Angelfish Eggs?

The most natural approach to remove unfertilized or malformed angelfish egg is with aquascaping tweezers. It’s simple to use and won’t cause any damage to the eggs.

If you don’t remove the eggs, the fungus will continue to grow and eventually kill the egg, so it’s important to act quickly.

Do Angelfish Eggs Need Light?

The eggs of the angelfish do not require light, but the parents do. If there are no lights on at all, the parents will panic.

When they get panicked, they will start eating their eggs as a defense mechanism since they will see the eggs as a threat.

To avoid this from happening, you should keep the an adequate aquarium light in the room so they can see what’s going on.


Do Angelfish Eat Their Eggs?

Occasionally, fish will eat their own eggs in order to make up for the lack of food and energy they are experiencing.

Also, when the tank is overcrowded, they might mistaken their own eggs for food. However, this is not a common occurrence and does not happen often. 

How to Tell If Angelfish Eggs Are Fertilized?

In general, the color varies between amber and brown. However, if you see that the eggs are white, it is likely that something went wrong, and they are not fertilized. 

How Do Angelfish Fertilize Their Eggs?

After the female angelfish lays the eggs in rows, the male fish brushes up against them to fertilize them.

When the deed is done, you’ll find sticky, transparent angelfish eggs all over the spawning location. The eggs can be tiny and tough to spot with the naked eye.

Do Angelfish Lay Eggs Without a Male?

Female angelfish can lay eggs without a male present. However, the eggs will not be fertilized, and they will not hatch.

If you want your angelfish eggs to hatch, you’ll need to have a male and female angelfish present.

Where Do Angelfish Lay Their Eggs?

Angelfish lay eggs in rows on any vertical clean surface they can find, including leaves, tank heaters, breeding slate, or even the tank walls.

Why Won’t the Male Angelfish Fertilize the Eggs?

The male angelfish might not fertilize the eggs if it has no experience. Even though angelfish spawn often, a pair needs more than a couple of cycles to figure out what to do.

However, you don’t have to worry. It’s normal for the first few spawning cycles to be unsuccessful, but you should give them time because taking care of the eggs is a delicate task.

Angelfish Keep Laying Eggs on the Filter, Glass, and Heater. What Should I Do?

Angelfish typically lay their eggs on vertical surfaces, so you’ll need to provide them with another option.

You can introduce a breeding slate or the Amazon sword, which has vertical leaves that are ideal for egg laying.

Additionally, try to cover the filter and heater or simply change their location. By doing this, you’ll give the angelfish more space to lay their eggs.

How Often Should I Feed Angelfish Fry?

Angelfish fry should be fed several times a day. It’s best to feed them small amounts of food so they can digest it easily.

To avoid overfeeding, only give them as much food as they can eat in two minutes.

Last Words

Angelfish are great. I’ve been breeding them for several years, and they never get old. They’re gorgeous fish that want to eat constantly, so taking care of them is extremely satisfying.

They will grow if you feed them daily, clean their water daily, and ensure their temperature is constant. 

 I really recommend angelfish to anyone looking for a new challenge or who wants an exciting new pet!

We hope you have enjoyed this article as much as we did. If you still have any questions, please share them with us in the comment section below.