View Full Version : My newest angelfish breeding project

04-20-2017, 06:36 PM
I'm raising the fry in a seperate 5g tank, since the babies always dissappear within a week's time in my planted 33g breeder tanks with the parents.

But for some reason, I've been having problems raising fry lately, so I asked for help. These are the suggestions I've received:

Clean my nursery. I was keeping neocaridina shrimp, red ramshorn snails, and one baby orange laser cory in the tank. So I removed all the critters except for the snails and rehomed them into other tanks.

Next, use the parent's tank water for water changes. I moved all the tanks into the fish room for easier transfer. After I caught the shrimp and cory, I drained the tank down to 10%. Then I drained 5gs out of the parent's tank with wigglers. I filled the nursery with this tank water and set the temp to the same temperature as the parent's tank. I took a turkey baster and sucked up a bunch (but not all) the fry, to not peeve off the angel parents, I don't think they really notice I take some when I leave a few wigglers in the parents tank. I carried the baster with water and fry to the nursery and just squirted them out gently into the nursery.

After that, I refilled the parent's tank with aged primed water heated to the same temp as the tank.
So both my nursery tank and the parent's tank with fry get daily WCs.

So here goes the test, we'll see how this batch goes. I want to breed fish again, so I'm putting in a special effort, so here's hoping it pays off.

I raised the sponge filter so that the wigglers wouldn't get sucked toward it and cramped/squished. I also wrapped a natural colour nylon knee-high stocking around the sponge filter since the little fry still fit though.

Here's some pics of the moved tank and wigglers :) That white thing in the tank pic is a small piece of cuttlebone to keep the kh from dropping too low, and also for the snails.

I may add an IAL if I have some left and if you pros think it's a good idea.

04-20-2017, 07:30 PM
Mmmm looking good thumbs2:

04-20-2017, 08:14 PM
Thank you Joe, I appreciate your input. And thanks for the suggestions! I'm keeping my hopes up this time and documenting to help me figure out what I was doing wrong lately. Sometimes I guess I forget how I did it the last successful time. It's funny, my best turn out was the first spawn I ever raised artificially and didn't know what I was doing. It's not that hard to raise angelfish! :banghead:

04-20-2017, 09:09 PM
Every spawn is different don't worry ;)

04-20-2017, 10:08 PM
Keep us updated on how things works.

Thus far the plan sounds perfect.

04-22-2017, 06:14 PM
Tx mac! I appreciate that. I will keep you updated, it helps me and hopefully others as well :)

I just did a small WC with the parent's water. I'm using a baster to clean at this point, I could use an airline tube, screened with netting, which I will use when the fry start eating. I just don't feel large water changes are necessary or even a good idea while the fish are in this stage. I also removed the large ramshorns, 1) because they pooped too much 2) because although I don't believe they would intentionally hurt or eat a living baby, they would crawl over the babies and idk if that would squish them or cause deformities. The small tiny ones are still there, I've stopped feeding the tank right now (for the snails) and just baster up any baby snail poop and replace with parent's tank water at this point.

I lost track of what day it is, (for the wigglers) but if I were to guess, I'd say they will be free-swimming by Sunday evening, maybe Monday. I'll go back and figure it out later for sure.

And as far as die off, I counted maybe 25 yesterday. It was very hard to count yesterday, they were spread out all over and hiding in the wood. Today, I played "mama angelfish" and gently grouped together all the babies I could find with my baster. That made for easier cleaning anyway, and they seemed to like to latch on to the fissidens, (maybe some java mixed in, not sure.) But mama and papa Angelfish both keep the group together in their tank, so I figured I'd do the same....

Here's a pic of some of the babies today, how they've developed. It's hard to count, but once I scouted and grouped, I think I counted at least 22 today. Not all of them are shown in the pic I don't think.

04-22-2017, 07:04 PM
There are still babies in the breeder tank with the parents, I plan to add them to the 5g with the others when they need rescueing. This gives the parents another try at the same time AND I can compare growth and survival rates between the 5g and fry with the parents.

This is the parent's tank and wigglers. I was going to just take a few pics, but she got a string of moss or algae stuck on her lip and the babies all are stuck to the string. It was too funny not to record.


And here's some pics for those who aren't near WiFi, or simply enjoy pics :)

04-22-2017, 09:18 PM
That vid was indeed hilarious...it would bug the crap out of me if I were the momma, though :hmm3grin2orange:

04-22-2017, 09:48 PM
Yeah, I know, I felt bad, but I watched and she was spitting the babies free by the end. She was also smart enough to try wrapping the string around the DW tip.

04-24-2017, 08:39 PM
Here are Sunday's pictures. Some of the fry went free-swimming last night as expected. The fry in the tank with the parents were starting to buzz around the leaf hammock, parents were trying hard to keep them in bed, but when I fed them, they 'misbehaved' and scattered to eat the fry food.

In the fry tank, when I took the pics, they were not swimming yet, and they are hard to see, but if you can zoom in, you can see little black eyes. Later on I saw some were free-swimming, so I'd say the growth rate is about the same so far.

Temperature is identical in both tanks.

Last pic was posted by mistake (blush)

04-24-2017, 09:51 PM
And today's update at 5pm.

All the fry are free-swimming now. The ones in the 5g are staying at the bottom, and the fry in the parents tank are swimming against the currents of the HOB near the surface. I imagine this is harder on the little fry, but the survivors will be really stronger than say the fry that don't have to swim very hard, but don't tire out either.

The dad angelfish head-butted the camera at the end, "Get away! I'm warning you!"

04-24-2017, 11:21 PM
That was fun to watch...I just hope the parents aren't ready to feast, lol

04-24-2017, 11:47 PM
This is all such fun to follow along with -- thanks for sharing it!

The parental defending thing at the end was neat to see. They told you they'd had enough of your nonsense, already! haha silly fish

04-25-2017, 01:02 AM
That was fun to watch...I just hope the parents aren't ready to feast, lol

Tx! I'm keeping my eye on the survival rate. And intend to steal stragglers when the parents aren't looking maybe......Once I ever see a parent eating a baby, or their numbers go down quickly, I want to 'turkey baster' or siphon them out.

*in my WC on the 5g fry tank today, I used an airline syphon (first time using this) with a net screen on the intake end, watched very carefully and still siphoned up 4 babies! Luckily they were fine and I just transferred then back to the 5g out of the bucket I drain the water into with my turkey baster. It's the easiest way to move them around.

04-25-2017, 01:04 AM
This is all such fun to follow along with -- thanks for sharing it!

The parental defending thing at the end was neat to see. They told you they'd had enough of your nonsense, already! haha silly fish

I'm happy you are enjoying it :) I love to share what might work, how to improve, and it's all documented here in one place safe and sound hahaha.

04-25-2017, 01:43 AM
*in my WC on the 5g fry tank today, I used an airline syphon (first time using this) with a net screen on the intake end, watched very carefully and still siphoned up 4 babies! Luckily they were fine and I just transferred then back to the 5g out of the bucket I drain the water into with my turkey baster. It's the easiest way to move them around.

This is a good way to move fry, you could just siphon them up into a pitcher of tank water w/out the screen, then pour into the breeder tank

04-25-2017, 03:28 PM
This is a good way to move fry, you could just siphon them up into a pitcher of tank water w/out the screen, then pour into the breeder tank

Yep, I could, but I steal them when they are not free-swimming yet, so a baster works well. I tried syphoning then with a regular syphon when they were wigglers, but they were too sticky and the syphon wasn't strong enough to unstick them from the leaf. The turkey baster is much more precise I find, especially since I only took some of the wigglers and left the rest. Believe me, they are all bunched together at that stage and really tiny!

04-25-2017, 03:58 PM
Another angelfish pair in one of the 33g breeder tanks spawned last night. It's my Gold pearlscale/Platinum pair. The platinum male is notorious for eating the eggs when the lights go out on the tank, so I was going to watch and if/when he started, was going to save the eggs (clip the leaf with eggs and add to the 5g fry tank near the sponge filter output) BUT I missed it!!!! Awwwww:( Eggs were gone right after the light went out. At least I got a chance to video the spawn.....


04-25-2017, 04:11 PM
That was neat, sorry they ate the eggs, though

If you didn't tell me they were spawning, I would think something was wrong with them, lol

04-25-2017, 04:30 PM
Oh what a fun project. Good luck to you with the fry and sorry about the glutinous daddy eating his eggs. Counter productive dude! :slap:

BTW you have some absolutely gorgeous angels, both pairs are stunning!

04-25-2017, 04:51 PM
Tx Matt! Upside down spawning. Lol. They were eating the eggs that fell off, both parents. Maybe that have him the taste, idk. But I've seen him go at the eggs as soon as the light went off before.

Thank you Boundava, I actually have two more pairs at the moment, one in the third 33g and one in the 90g. I will include them in my breeding project if the chance arises.

The pair in the 33g are platinum/gold Marble, the pair in the 90g is gold marble (with a blue gene and pearscale gene) and gold marble pearlscale. They are all my fish (raised from egg) sauf the big male glutton platinum.

04-25-2017, 05:07 PM
Yep, I could, but I steal them when they are not free-swimming yet, so a baster works well. I tried syphoning then with a regular syphon when they were wigglers, but they were too sticky and the syphon wasn't strong enough to unstick them from the leaf. The turkey baster is much more precise I find, especially since I only took some of the wigglers and left the rest. Believe me, they are all bunched together at that stage and really tiny!

Great info, for any others who may with to try this, too

Basters are handy little tank tools!

Sorry your male ate this round before you could get any out, but thanks for capturing the video of them. It was a graceful act, like a slow ballet dance. They are so very pretty

04-25-2017, 05:14 PM
Tx Rivers! Yes! I agree. It's very graceful, angelfish just are. I'm trying to capture as many short vids and pics as I can for this thread to share. And how-to info :)

And if anyone had any more suggestions, pls don't hesitate to share them :)

05-04-2017, 05:20 PM
Well, I don't give up, but am incredibly frustrated and disappointed. The fry in the 5g nursery were doing great until Saturday. I had hardly any deaths. I counted at least 22 of them on Friday. I was doing daily water changes with the parents' tank water and slowly adding aged Primed water to the mix. I was very happy with the outcome. Saturday I had to leave the house in a hurry and didn't get back until 7pm. It was an emergency and I didn't have time to feed the babies. I can't see this being the issue, but I was down to 3 not so healthy looking babies on Sunday. I even changed the water Saturday, and fed them as soon as I got home despite the emergency. I feel like a real failure. I've never had issues like this before. I thought maybe the pH dropped because I was WCing with 100% tank water for the first week or so. I had just started adding a bit of aged/fresh water. But the kh/gh and pH were fine and as expected. I threw in an old IAL from one of the breeder tanks because I thought organisms liked to hide in these. Can't think of anything else.....
No temp changes, no mishaps, regular WC's, covered sponge filter. I even checked the filter hoping to find 20 babies had squeezed through and we're in the filter, but no.

So, things I'm gonna do to hopefully improve:

Move all the red ramshorns out. I moved the adults out and the babies really grew fast. I wonder if the snails out-competed the fry for food? Idk if that's even possible. I just can't figure this out and tired of trying to figure out what the heck happened???

I'm gonna get more food (even though I bought what was available) but I still haven't hatched my own BBS.

Idk, I can't think of anything else to do differently. It just drives me crazy because they were all doing so well Friday and gone just like that. No bodies, no nothing in one day.

Well, I'm going to try this again, I love all my angels, but if suddenly I can't raise the babies for some unknown reason, I'd rather someone who can to have the parent pairs.

05-04-2017, 05:43 PM
What was the ph of the nursery water?

Growing populations of snails can lower ph dramatically, especially in a small tank

Sorry for the losses, sounds like you have done everything right

05-04-2017, 05:54 PM
Sorry for your ongoing frustrations. Not sure why you are having all these issues.

05-04-2017, 06:27 PM
You'll figure it out Kat. Nothing is more fun than raising fry. Wish I knew more about angels so I could provide something more substantial than encouragement.

05-04-2017, 06:56 PM
Thanks everyone. I was embarrassed to even update this. I honestly never had problems like this in the 10+ years I was breeding angelfish on and off.

Matt: It had a pH of 7.4, same as my breeder tank. With daily WCs, I wouldn't think the snails could suck out all the calcium, but who knows? They are tiny, but they grew fast and there are a lot! They were just little dots a week ago, I could hardly tell they were snails. I never had snails in my tanks before though, so I'll remove them all when some angels breed again and I don't miss the spawn.

It does bother me that ramshorns don't do well in my other tanks, they etch so badly they don't reproduce unless the tank has lots of food. These ones are all perfectly beautiful. So it makes me think they are eating a lot of it.

05-12-2017, 05:41 PM
I have new fry! I stole a leaf from my 90g, two young gold marble pearlscales spawned and there's no way the eggs would have made it with the bushynose in there. I needed practice as well, so I tried hatching the eggs in my 5g nursery. Most of the eggs were not fertilized, but I got maybe 15 wigglers from that spawn. Then a day later, the same pair spawned as before, the gold marble/gold pair in one of my 33g breeders, so I sucked up about 25-40 wigglers and transferred them all to my 5g. After accidentally sucking up a bunch of wigglers whole doing a WC, I put all the wigglers in a dish to keep them together and make siphoning easier. I removed all the largest snails, let's see how these do...

Oh and a pic of the one baby that made it from the last fiasco.

05-12-2017, 05:47 PM
Congrats on the new fry

05-12-2017, 06:01 PM
That wasn't a very good pic of the fry in the dish. Here's a better one. There are two stages of fry in that dish. The lighter ones all in a group with no eyes visibly developed yet are the youngest. The older ones are hanging onto the fissidens moss and IAL remainders.

05-14-2017, 06:54 PM
The fry are almost free-swimming now, a few are already. I was trying to keep them in the dish, but a lot of them are moving around now :) I couldn't find them all at first, was wondering where they all went, this is the first time the fry hid in the floating frogbit roots. They are still wigglers in the pics. The eyes are now visible.

05-14-2017, 07:04 PM
Cool pictures Kat, thanks for sharing ;-)

05-14-2017, 08:15 PM
Congrats on the fry!:19:

05-15-2017, 12:36 AM
Awsome kat.

05-15-2017, 07:15 PM
Thanks everyone :) I'm worried like usual since I've been having weird troubles with fry lately. Some fry looked like they were tipping over and not swimming properly, so I'm trying not to worry and assume they are not free-swimmimg yet.

And then I couldn't find my lone surviver fry from the last spawn. I assumed it died and had no idea why. Needless to say, I was very disappointed and worried about the tank. I did a 50% WC with tank water from the parent's tank, added a bit of Prime and tested for ammonia, but the test was 0ppm. I actually couldn't sleep last night after the WC and went back down to clean the sponge filter. And there he was! The little jerk, he got caught in it. I sucked him up with the baster right away and put him back in the fry tank. I have now covered the whole filter with a knee high. The water I cleaned the filter in had cooled by a lot, the poor fry was swimming in very cold water until I moved him back on the tank. Here's hoping everything's ok! Always something!

05-15-2017, 07:24 PM
Neat pics of the fry, hope they do well this time

05-17-2017, 04:48 AM
Tx all! Here's a vid showing the fry in the 5g nursery day 2 of free-swimming.

So far, so good :)

No comments on the voice ;P I told HockeyNut he encouraged me to talk in vids more often, I keep my word:)

05-17-2017, 05:27 AM
Annnd.....a vid of the 10 fry tank.


I just moved both fry tanks from upstairs to the 'fishroom' a week or so ago, the move went fine, and I love having them in the same room as the parents, it makes it a whole lot easier to do WCs with the parents water. WHO, I can't remember if I said it in the other vid, but the baby population reduced by 75% since yesterday in their tank. I'm feeding them the same, but the parents must eat them occasionally. I should steal the rest soon.

I've said one been having trouble with raising babies lately, but I still always get a few occasionally :)

Let's how this batch goes better. I'm optimistic!

05-17-2017, 10:31 AM
Thanks for the great videos. The fry are super tiny and adorable and the 2.in the growout tank are beauties. Hope you can steal the rest of the babies away and its great to have another talker!

05-17-2017, 12:12 PM
Wow, that's alot of fry, lol....surely a bunch of them will make it for you

Can't listen to the vid right now, too many nosey roseys in the office....but I bet you sound Canadian..........:14:

Ooops, we aren't supposed to comment on the narration...sorry

05-17-2017, 12:39 PM
I didn't think so...she has a great voice.

05-17-2017, 07:21 PM
Ahhhh, thank you! I was always nervous like Kenny was, but that's it, let's start a talkers club :)

05-17-2017, 07:41 PM
Yeah Matt started me talking and now I can't shut up-I try, but then I just start talking! :blah:

05-17-2017, 09:27 PM
I love that you talk in your vids Nat. It helps explain your take on the tank and makes it more interesting, imo. I keep thinking I'll run out of things to say, and it'll be boring, but it's the vid that counts, and I never seem to run out of words lol

05-17-2017, 10:10 PM
I will watch the video once I get home from work angle.

Side note we need a YouTube channel dedicated for ac

05-17-2017, 11:03 PM
Lol thanks Angel.

Mac, thats a great idea on YouTube!

Ben is still with us, still lethargic and a bit slimmer. Will have to find some time to make some grub pie/bottom scratcher mix. It's the bottom feeders favorite.

05-17-2017, 11:08 PM
How were the temps in the upstairs fishroom today?

Is there even reason to run the tank heaters now?

05-18-2017, 01:24 AM
Temps were high again but today's 84 will be replaced with 75 and rainy tomorrow and 54 on Friday. Shrimp tanks are doing the 78-80 flashing, and the 75 gallon was solid 80 even with a gallon size plastic bag filled 3/4 of the way with a frozen block of water, which melted within 45 minutes. Since I just medicated this morning-can't do a WC because I don't have enough kanaplex to redose the tank-so I will check the temps tomorrow...we are very windy right now with a storm front moving in (tornadoes warnings in Iowa and WI again).

05-18-2017, 01:43 AM
Hunker down, stay safe

I just find it so ironic that you are having to float ice cubes/blocks/bottles before I have to, this year so far anyway

05-18-2017, 05:53 PM
Stay safe Nat! And tell Ben to hang in there too pls :)

The weather's very unpredictable now. The temp outside was 86f yesterday and 82.5 today. It's nice and cool downstairs where my fish tanks are now at 75f

05-18-2017, 07:20 PM
Btw, I tested the TDS in my tanks, being curious about the 10g I added the Pimafix to. Even after two 50% WCs, the TDS was still over 300! My breeder tank with the babies was 97. All the other tanks are under 100 or just over.

It really makes me wonder. Everytime I use meds, the TDS jumps 300%. That can't be good for a fish whose not feeling well.....

05-18-2017, 08:22 PM
Omg! I give up!

I can hardly see any fry??????

I skipped the WC last night, but it was clean enough. I just don't get it, they were doing so well, there was a lot last night. No bodies no nothing today except the odd fry. Do you think my older fry ate them? Just how do they go missing? I'm gonna check the filter in case, but I'm so flabergasted and dine trying at the moment. There's no reason for this!

05-18-2017, 09:02 PM
So I just WC'd the 5g and rinsed the filter again. I found two dead bodies and maybe 4 or 5 live ones.

Last night at 1pm, there were at least 30 feeding.

What gives?

I did see my older fry chasing some younger ones a bit last night, but I can't see how that little fish ate 20 or more smaller fish overnight?

05-19-2017, 05:41 PM
Well, I still can't figure out what I'm doing wrong these last few attempts. I've never run into this before, but maybe I was just lucky?

I'm racking my head, trying to figure it out. I'd like to find a microworm culture since mine crashed. I also couldn't find frozen BBS since I've started trying to breed my angels again. All I've had has been North Fin fry starter.

Amazon Joe, I'm looking into hatching my own as well.

05-19-2017, 05:53 PM
So the fry are appearing then disappearing?....what the heck?

05-19-2017, 06:02 PM
No. Just disappearing overnight all at once. This is the third attempt in a month and a half. This time I had no emergencies, cleaning the bottom everyday and keeping a very close eye, but they still escaped me while I was sleeping. I lost all but two the first attempt, all but one the second and I think all this time around. Sorry about the confusion.

05-19-2017, 06:06 PM
Sorry they are not working out, I have no clue what is going on.

05-19-2017, 06:14 PM
Tx Matt. I know, neither do I? I was about to give up, but now I want to try again with more food assortment like I used to do. I'm also not sure if I should go back to WCing with cycled water or aged Prime'd water. Thoughts?

05-19-2017, 06:21 PM
I think I'd try Primed water, maybe the used tank water has some nutrients missing or used up?...just a shot in the dark

05-19-2017, 06:41 PM
I know, I'm thinking that as well. The water is missing minerals I'm sure, the plants are missing fertilizers and it shows. It's not like angelfish need very many minerals, I mean, they prefer soft water with a low TDS, but maybe something important is missing. I'm gonna go back to maybe mixing the water and doing bigger WCs. Try that.

05-19-2017, 06:47 PM
Are you talking about hatching baby brine shrimp? My experience is mostly live-bearers but there is no better nutrition for most fry. They literally double in size in a few days. Growth rate is definitely about twice as fast and gets them out of the dangerous time quickly. Adults will eat the leftovers. I picked up the SF Bay Hatchery kit that uses a two liter soda bottle. Even comes with egg and salt mix packets. Kit isn't necessary but it was cheap and makes the operation much easier. About all you need is a small air pump and desk lamp to provide a little warmth for a fast hatch rate. They start hatching out in about 24 hours at 80F.

05-19-2017, 08:02 PM
I am trying to turn over the mental cogs. But there was a video that I watched ages ago about fry raising and parent tanks. The guy/girl can't remember had small clip on tanks that were on the side of the main tank with a small syphone and refill air line constantly cycling the water through the fry tank into the adult tank.

05-20-2017, 03:46 AM
Oooh tx OTF and mac! Both are very helpful comments :)

I have thought about a sump to run both fry tanks. Or something. Great thought!

05-20-2017, 05:22 AM
A friend of mine troubleshooting commented on my sponge filter. That is something I have changed. I used to use those black sponge filters with the weighted base until the base rotted out on me and I thought it was possibly leeching lead. So I replaced both filters in the fry tanks with the ones pictured. That's the one in my 10g. Since the tiny hatchlings get sucked up and apparently so can older fry in the 5g, I wrapped the whole filter in a knee high nylon. I posted a pic of the 5g today just to show the filter.

I got those things on Ebay, they are cheap plastic, with little gravel pieces on the bottom for weights. They also act as added biomedia (even though the gravel is smooth :doh:) to some extent I'm sure. The sponge is more floss than sponge.

Anybody have any thoughts on that?

She also thinks my older loner fry could have polished off the newly hatched fry. Could be anything.

And I tried to get a pic to show the size of the loner fry today.

05-20-2017, 05:53 AM
Here is the best pic at the monent I can get of the loner fry two days earlier than today's pic. IMO, now that I look at its size, I don't fully trust it. The dorsal fins weren't visible two days ago. The eyes were much tinier. Hmmmmm

05-20-2017, 03:22 PM
So you are thinking there's more than one "loner" left?

05-21-2017, 03:52 AM
I'm sorry, I mustn't be explaining it properly. I'm rambling too much maybe.

Ok, I have one loner survivor from the spawn 12 days before the latest one. I noticed this fish grew a lot over the last few days, just my shot in the dark, but I was wondering about the possibility that the older fry (single) ate all the newly hatched fry from the latest attempt. I'm just trying to figure out what happened, or what everybody thinks, if they've thought about it.

Anyway, thanks for giving it thought ;)

05-21-2017, 04:08 AM
No, that's the same fry two days later, after all the fry from the second spawn dissappeared at once. I felt he grew awfully fast the last few days. Just thinking some good nutrition live food would've boosted growth...:poke:
Idk, I was speculating whether or not I think the lone survivor ate the newly hatched. Looking at his size now, I wouldn't have trusted him with the newly hatched. Just trying to figure out what happened to the little fry.

Here's today's pics of the loner fry. He's really getting big fast. On top of that, when I was taking the pics, he was pecking at his reflection!

05-21-2017, 06:05 AM
Slowly but surely they are growing