View Full Version : New to this - surprised by eggs - need info

05-15-2008, 08:27 PM
Greetings to all!

I've got a community (non angels) tank and my wife gave me a pair of angels for Valentine's Day. This past Monday I noticed that one of them was quite "pudgy" so I looked up information about how to know what sex they were. I read all about their spawning and being able to tell their sex by their papilla.
The very next day (Tuesday) they went into the egg laying mode, preparing, then laying eggs on the filter intake. Surprise!

Well, I've read all about it at this site and others and thought that I understood what was going to happen. Some of the eggs turned white pretty quickly. Some are still a translucent gray. No sign of color, no sign of tails. My assumption was that if they were not fertile they would turn solid white. It's been about 52 hours or so.

I have not made any special effort to cause this or encourage the hatching. The temp of the water is about 76F. The two angels are still dutifully fanning them, removing white eggs and protecting them.

My question is: Are these translucent ones unfertile? I'll try to upload a picture. The picture shows the white eggs and the translucentones. The female has picked off all the solid white ones.

This tank is where I work and I'm leaving now so I'll check back later.
Thanks in advance!

05-15-2008, 10:39 PM
Congratulations! The eggs that didn't turn white are fertile and should hatch soon

Lady Hobbs
05-15-2008, 11:28 PM
Yeaaaaaa.......time to run out and buy another tank. LOL

I love your angels. I seem to prefer the wild silvers. Nice fish.

05-15-2008, 11:50 PM
Thanks for the responses.
I had read that I would see a little color (yellow) in the eggs and tails begining to form. I have seen neither.
The angels are very cute doing their duties. I have always loved angels because they purposefully move. They go where they want and tilt and look at things.
They are fanning the eggs and are very protective of them.
I wasn't expecting this and am not ready to start another tank. I'm just going to let nature take it's course on this first batch. I'll put some plants in a corner and let the fry try to hide there.
The tank was in need of a good cleaning just when this happened. There is a rust colored long and whispy algae growing in quite a few areas. I had read that this may be because of fish waste buildup in the gravel. I don't know if I can wait too much longer to do some housekeeping and I don't have the time or resources to start another tank.
It's been fun so far just watching all of this.
Thanks, I'll post any changes.

05-16-2008, 12:59 AM
The only sign of development you'll see before they hatch is tiny black dots, eyes, and that is very unlikely.

05-16-2008, 01:03 PM
OK. This morning I still don't see any visible "sign of development". Both mom and dad are slowing picking the eggs off and spitting them back where they came from. I have seen some of them stick! Can't be good for the little fellas.

I had read that the parents would "move the fry" but I thought they'd take them from where they were laid and put them in a safer, more horizontal area, not try to spit them back where they came from.

I know I said I'd let nature run it's course but its hard to watch the parents stumble through this process, if that's what they're doing.

I don't have another tank to put them in. I do have a thin flexible piece of pexiglass that I could use to try and divide the tank. The fry would be in the part of the tank that has the filter intake. And I don't know how mom and dad would react to being able to see the little fellas and not get to them. I have an aquarium breeding net enclosure that is about 6"x3"x4" that hangs off the top of the tank that I bought at Walmart (so much for nature running its course!). But how to get the eggs/fry in there. Remove the filter intake pipe that they're on and put the pipe in the enclosure?

nervous new parent!

Lady Hobbs
05-16-2008, 01:16 PM
It would not be unusual for the parents to eat the eggs the first few spawnings. It takes them awhile to get it all figured out sometimes. They are more liable to eat them with other fish in the tank, as well, as they get nervous and don't want others getting to them.

Generally, when you know you have a pair ready to breed, put the pair in a bare bottom tank with a sponge filter and something for them to spawn on. An upright plant, pipe, piece of slate, etc. When the parents spawn, move the parents back out and add some fungus med to the spawn tank.

This is if you want to have fry and keep them. If not, just leave the fry in with the parents and let nature take it's course. They will spawn over and over again so you'll have many chances.

Algenco is our resident angelfish expert. He breeds and sells them by the ton and can help you a lot with your questions on this adventure into parent land.

05-16-2008, 03:22 PM
Your eggs have hatched, what the Angels are "spitting back" are the babies. The parents will pick up the fry several times per day, roll them around in their mouth and spit them back out.

Baby Angels have a cement gland on the top of their head which produces a sticky fiber similar to spider web, this is what enables the fry to "stick" in place.

The "fiber" production continues for around 3 days until the fry become free-swimming, by picking the off and cleaning them the parents are attempting to keep odors that may attract predators to a minimum.

05-16-2008, 03:48 PM
Very cool!

One thing I find fascinating is that both parents are trying to move the fry to the picture of the plants that I have as a backdrop. They both go over and stare at the picture, try to clean the plants (that aren't there) and have spit eggs at it. They really think those plants are there!

I have put two new fake plants in the front of the aquarium, near where the fry are, in an attempt to have them place the fry there. Both parents have investigated the new plants but I haven't seen them place any fry there yet. There is a natural, broad leaf plant near the fry but it is covered with the rust colored algae I mentioned earlier so I don't think they've consider this a good place for the fry.

Thank you very much for helping me through this. This has been very helpful and informative. Hope I'm not being a pest by posting all these updates!

05-16-2008, 04:23 PM
Not a pest, keep us updated!!! I won't be much help on angelfish questions but am intrested in how it goes with you :)

05-16-2008, 06:19 PM
Man....it's like they're trying to keep plates spinning on sticks! I'm exhausted just wathcing them! They are going non-stop. They spit one on and three pop off!

The other fish in the tank are getting tired of being herded into the other half of the tank and are more regularly venturing into the angels teritory. Between chasing the intruders off and sticking the fry back on I'd imagine they're getting pretty tired. I guess they must do this even at night!

This tank is at work and I normally feed them on Friday afternoon before I leave and they make it till Monday morning. I'm going to have to come in tomorrow and Sunday to check how things are going.

05-19-2008, 03:58 PM
OK, just wanted to catch everyone up on what's happening.
Saturday the parents moved them about a 1/4 way around the filter intake pipe that they had laid them on. They were still dutifully cleaning them and warding off intruders.
When I came in yesterday (my tank's at work) they were all gone off of the intake pipe. I thought "Oh, oh. They've been eaten."
My son had come along with me and asked what they (used to) look like. When I told him, he said "there they are on that plant"!
Sure enough they had moved them to a big leaf.
Today they are still on the leaf, wiggling away.
Occasionally one will get away and be quickly snatched up by a zebra danio.

So, my question now is this: If I let nature "take its course" is there any hope for survival when they become free swimmers? There are plenty of other fish in the tank ready to gobble them up.

I'm considering letting them gobble them up and then get ready for the next batch which if I understand correctly could be in just a few weeks.

I'm just so impressed with how well the parents are doing on their first try!

Thanks. This has been fun and educational!

05-19-2008, 04:16 PM
Most likely they will be eaten, it's possible that a few will survive.
I would let nature take it's course. If any survive the parent will hold off spawning again for a month or more while they care for the young, if they get eaten expect another spawn in a week or so.

Good luck !

05-19-2008, 04:21 PM
Wow, that quickly?

I better get ready for the next batch. I've read about putting a piece of slate in the tank for them to use to lay the eggs on. I do need something removable to make it easier to get the eggs out.

05-19-2008, 05:38 PM
Wow, that quickly?

I better get ready for the next batch. I've read about putting a piece of slate in the tank for them to use to lay the eggs on. I do need something removable to make it easier to get the eggs out.

I hope you get lucky and they use it, place the slate in the area they spawned in

05-21-2008, 06:13 PM
Well.....that was fun while it lasted!

Yesterday the fry were still attached to the leaf. They had little tails and I could begin to see black dots for eyes. One week from being laid.
As I watched them occassionally one would "take flight" but then come back to the leaf pretty quickly. Maybe it didn't mean to.

Anyway, this morning when I came in (my tank's at work) all were gone. The parents were back at the front of the tank greeting me.

I've taken this opportunity to do a little housekeeping. I'll prepare for the next batch by watching at yard sales for an extra tank with accessories.

Thanks to everyone who jumped in to help this first timer! I'll let you know if it happens again. It was definately a source of entertainment here at work.

05-28-2008, 02:48 PM
Here we go again!
Yesterday they started cleaning the pipe where they laid the eggs last time. I knew I didn't have much time but I'm not ready yet. I did not get the piece of slate yet.
So, this morning they started laying eggs again! This is only 1 week after the others were eaten and only two weeks after they laid their first batch.
I'm not ready!

05-28-2008, 03:33 PM
If you want to keep the babies, maybe take out the other fish in the tank for now. Good Luck with this batch, everyone has so much luck with getting babies, I only breed livebearers, which you dont have to do anything to get.

05-28-2008, 07:36 PM
I really thought I was going to be ready this time but I didn't get it together.
The zebras in the tank were pretty aggressive, going in as the eggs were being laid and trying to pick them off. I had a thin flexible piece of plexiglass that I put in to seperate the tank. The only bad thing about this is that the eggs are on the filter intake tube which means they are on the filter intake side of the partition.

05-28-2008, 08:18 PM
Can you put zebras in another tank for a little while? That way the angels could have the whole tank to themselves, plus you got to remember I really dont know anything about angels but think it would be worth it to get the zebras out of tank.