How Often Do Angelfish Lay Eggs?(Everything You Need To Know)

One of the most sought-after fish species for home aquariums is the angelfish. 

This tropical fish is available in numerous colors and sizes, making it popular among aquarists. Moreover, they can live for several years and reproduce rapidly. 

But when it comes to caring for angelfish eggs you’ll have to deal with various factors, providing just the right conditions for them to breed. So, today we’ve highlighted all the essential points related to angelfish and answered some of the most common queries to help you. 

Let’s get started, shall we? 

Do Angelfish Lay Eggs?

Fish either lay eggs or give birth to their live young ones, and angelfish belong to the former category. Female angelfish lay eggs after they are fully grown, producing 100-1,000 eggs at a time, depending on their size. 

Also, if you remove the eggs right away, the female will lay a new set of eggs within two weeks. However, leaving the eggs ensures that the female angelfish won’t reproduce until you relocate the eggs to a new tank.

Angelfish eggs stages

Angelfish undertake a brief yet elaborate breeding process right from laying the eggs to the time they hatch. So, note the following points to be well informed.

Tidying The Breeding Area

Angelfish begin cleaning the fish tank with the intention of breeding. Mating angelfish make it a point to tidy up the spawning site so that the female can lay the eggs. 

They are quite meticulous in this process, and it could last for a day. However, that doesn’t mean that the breeding area won’t change in the future. 

So, what are some of the egg-laying hotspots for angelfish? Well, any feature like the heater, tank wall, or even removable plants proves suitable for a cozy home. 

Many people place a designated breeding slate in the tank, which the angelfish might find convenient for laying eggs. If so, you can safely remove the eggs to a different tank before they hatch. 

Laying The Eggs

After the spawning area is spick and span, the female fish springs into action, laying all her eggs vertically. Like a well-oiled machine, the male quickly follows suit, and fertilizes the eggs by brushing them.

You’ll find several translucent eggs, smaller than a needle’s eye, sticking to the spawning area.

The period between laying and hatching is a crucial time, and this is when you can help as the caretaker. You must remember that angelfish breed only when the tank conditions are just right. And they are easily spooked, so it would help to avoid sudden movements or any changes to the tank condition. 

Understandably, some people place the fertilized eggs in a smaller tank. After that, it’s important that you conduct a water change for ¼th volume of the tank daily if possible, providing the ideal conditions for hatching. 

Moreover, constant monitoring is vital, and you need to remove the unfertilized eggs, thereby protecting the healthy ones. 

Pre-Hatching Eggs

Sixty hours after laying the eggs, the larva reaches one of its pre-hatching stages. As the larvae start to develop, you’ll find them curling their body around the yolk sac.

Additionally, the eggs’ color changes to a transparent hue, but other developments like blood flow and heartbeat are only visible under microscopes.

Wiggling the Eggs

If all goes according to plan, you’ll find baby angelfish wiggling inside the eggs, meaning fertilization was successful. The babies attach themselves to the egg’s yolk at this stage, which is eaten by them to develop vital organs.

The Fry Are Born

After 3-4 days, the larvae hatch from their eggs and are known as angelfish fry. All you need to do is feed them microorganisms, often found inside the tank, and monitor their growth.

What Do Angelfish Eggs Look Like?

Angelfish eggs are extremely small and look like very tiny pearls, not larger than a needle hole. At the right temperature, the female will give birth to sticky, translucent eggs that slowly turn transparent, thanks to the proper fertilization. 

How To Tell If Angelfish Eggs Are Fertilized?

The best way to determine whether the angelfish eggs are fertilized is by looking at their color. It usually varies between amber and brown, which is a clear indication of their health.

However, if the color turns white, it means that there is something wrong. You may still manage to rescue the eggs, but the key is to be proactive. It’s essential to be vigilant and monitor how the color changes so that you can prevent unfertilized eggs from damaging the good ones.

What Does It Mean When Angelfish Eggs Turn White?

If the angelfish eggs turn white, it’s a sign that things have gone downhill. When you find the color changing to opaque white, focus on saving the healthy eggs.

Usually, opaque white eggs are a sign of fungal infections, but there may be other factors as well, which we’ll discuss in the following section. The key is to closely monitor the eggs for signs of infertility.

What Can Cause Angelfish Eggs To Change Color?

Now, let’s discuss why eggs produced by angelfish parents sometimes change color; you can note these points to develop a clear idea. 

Mistaken Identity

At times, you may fall victim to a classic case of “mistaken identity” since both male and female angelfish look the same. Female angelfish have the unique ability to lay eggs irrespective of whether there are male fish in the tank. 

So, if you fail to have no male fish in the tank, the eggs remain unfertilized. This causes them to turn white and die due to the fast-spreading fungus. 


As mentioned, sometimes it’s important to remove angelfish eggs, in community tank to a separate enclosure. However, this is a sensitive process, and you need to follow the correct procedure. 

So, try not to keep the eggs out of the water for too long, which is only possible if you keep the new tank ready. If the eggs turn white after relocation, it points to a fungal infection or infertility. 


The best way to spot infertility is if the eggs fail to attain the amber color, instead they turn white straight away. It’s a sign that the male is infertile, and the only solution is attempting to breed a different pair of fish.

Negative Water Conditions

Another factor that has nothing to do with the fish but impacts fertilization nonetheless is the water condition. Too much ammonia or nitrates proves detrimental as both the parents and the fry find it challenging to adjust to the water. Hence, the eggs turn white.

Rough Water

It’s vital to regulate water circulation inside the tank, creating the ideal conditions for fertilization. Start by keeping the breeding slate in one corner of the tank, far from the surface pump.

Proceed to ensure that the water circulation doesn’t stagnate, leading to impurities while depriving the fish of oxygen. Similarly, heavy circulation will wash the sperm off the eggs, meaning it’s critical to strike the right balance.

Fungus Growth

The primary reason for angelfish eggs turning opaque white is a fungal infection. All the above factors could result in fungus attacking the eggs, meaning you need to be watchful. Also, keep the water clean and wash both tanks before transferring the eggs. 

If there are more white eggs than healthy eggs, it would help to add a fungicide, such as methylene blue. There’s no guarantee, but you might be able to save some of the eggs.  

Angelfish spawning
Photo: BillKasman

How Long Does It Take For Angelfish Eggs To Hatch?

Angelfish reproduce fast, and the eggs hatch without any hassle if you provide them with the right temperature conditions. For instance, it would be best to maintain the temperature at 80 degrees Fahrenheit to quicken the process. 

Overall, it takes around 60 hours for the eggs to develop, followed by a larval stage where it remains attached to a yolk for nourishment. Once each larva can fend for itself, it takes them 3-5 days to become free-swimming fry.

How To Remove Unfertilized Angelfish Eggs?

You must remove unfertilized angelfish eggs, preventing them from infecting the few good ones. Now, these tiny eggs are extremely delicate, so you need to use tweezers to separate the fertile eggs from the rest.

Take the breeding slate to the new tank and gently remove the fertile eggs with a pair of tweezers, dropping them onto any suitable surface. Then it’s all about providing the right conditions for hatching.

How To Prevent Angelfish From Eating The Eggs?

Aquarists who breed angelfish in community tank need to prevent other angelfish from eating the eggs. It’s usually a sign of stress, and there are even reports of the pregnant fish eating its own eggs. 

There might be several reasons for this, such as inexperienced aquarists, too much commotion surrounding the tank, and unfavorable water conditions. Naturally, it would be a good idea to choose a quiet and comfortable corner of your home to place the tank, ensuring that the fish can relax. 

Also, like humans, angelfish parents need a couple of tries before they learn the skills of raising the fry. So, if they don’t give birth to fertilized eggs in the first few attempts, you must remain patient. 

Furthermore, clean the tank and maintain the ideal water temperature and make the fish feel at home. Not to mention, you need to feed them well to reduce their appetite so that they don’t eat their own eggs.

How To Care For Angelfish Eggs?

To take care of angelfish eggs, you need to follow these steps. 

Preparing A Breeding Tank

It would be best to have a separate breeding tank so that you can remove the eggs right away. Doing so increases their chances of survival as parents are the first threat they face.

Then just like the adult angelfish, you need to ensure that fungus, debris, and other impurities don’t harm the eggs. You’ll need to act as the primary caregiver until they hatch. 

Acclimatise The Eggs

When moving the eggs to the breeding tank, it’s essential that the conditions don’t change. This entails keeping the new tank ready one day before the transfer so that the conditions are as similar as possible. 

Overall, the water temperature should be between 72 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit, while the pH range must lie between 6.8 and 7.8. Also, angelfish eggs dry fast, meaning you need to shift them in a water container. 

Daily Maintenance

We suggest installing an active filter, removing the tank of impurities. It speeds up the breeding process, ensuring that the babies will hatch in no time. 

Daily maintenance is a must, along with removing damaged eggs to prevent the spread of the fungus. Hence, it would help to add any suitable fungicide to arrest the spread of the disease. 

Managing Water Flow

Although you need to install a filter, you must purchase one based on the tank’s size. If the filter is too large, the sperm will wash away while the small filter fails to remove debris. You could also use the air stone, which is part of the air pump, to oxygenate the eggs.


How Many Eggs Do Angelfish Lay at Once?

There are different strands of angelfish that vary in size. So, depending upon these two factors, angelfish can lay anywhere between 100 and 1,000 eggs.

How often do angelfish lay eggs?

Pregnant angelfish can lay eggs every two weeks or even less than that if you remove the eggs right after reproduction. In case you decide to leave them in the tank, the parents won’t breed until you remove the eggs

Where Do Angelfish Lay Their Eggs?

Angelfish lay eggs in any spot that they can clean thoroughly. Be it a removable leaf, the tank heater, breeding slate, or even the tank walls; female angelfish lay eggs in rows on vertical surfaces.

Do Angelfish Lay Eggs Without a Male?

The female angelfish might be able to lay eggs without a male, but without a partner to fertilize them, the eggs may eventually die. It may so happen that you fail to distinguish between the male and female fish or the female chooses the wrong partner.

Other factors like the number of fish in the tank and available space also determine whether angelfish will spawn. Overall if the conditions are right, you can expect to find eggs in the tank.

Why Won’t the Male Angelfish Fertilize the Eggs?

If the male angelfish refuses to fertilize the eggs, it might be because he is a first-time parent. While angelfish spawn very frequently, it takes a pair more than a couple of cycles to figure out what to do.

You don’t need to worry, and it’s essential to give them time because taking care of the eggs is a delicate task. There’s a lot to do, and it’s pretty common for the first few spawning cycles to be unsuccessful.

How Do I Know Which Angelfish Eggs Are Fertile?

Fertilized angelfish eggs have a translucent amber-brown appearance, whereas an unfertilized batch will have an opaque white look. Good angelfish parents prevent the latter from happening by regularly cleaning the eggs of fungus and debris. 

Male Angelfish Eating Eggs, What to Do?

There are two primary reasons why a male angelfish will eat its own eggs: stress and inexperience. In terms of the former, several factors may lead to stress, such as a packed community tank, sudden movement, commotion, or changes to the water condition. 

It may cause the male to eat the eggs, or he may just be hungry. So, remember to keep both parents well-fed. Other than that, if the male is inexperienced in caring for the eggs, all you can do is give the pair time to figure out the breeding process.

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

Angelfish usually lay eggs on vertical surfaces, so you need to offer them an alternative. Introduce a breeding slate or the Amazon sword, which has vertical leaves, perfect for egg-laying. Additionally, PVC pipes work just as well.

Also, try to cover the filter and heater or simply change their location.


That’s all there is to know about angelfish and their breeding habits.

Hopefully, you now have a clear idea regarding the task at hand. Once they become adults, you can rest easy, as daily nourishment and a clean tank are all that the angelfish need to stay healthy.

But taking care of the babies is a challenging proposition, having its fair share of failures. That said, we believe our detailed guide provides efficient solutions, allowing you to keep this tropical fish happy.

Here’s, wishing you success. Bye!

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