How Long for Angelfish Eggs to Hatch: Fertilization and Proper Egg Care

Angelfish are a popular aquarium fish species that come in many colors and can be very beautiful. Angelfish are also quite hardy, making them suitable for novice aquarists. In the wild, angelfish inhabit both open water and reefs. They feed mainly on small fish but will also eat crustaceans or mollusks if they get a chance.

Angelfish eggs typically take 60 hours to hatch, and angelfish require a 72-hour acclimation for the egg to develop fully.

Effective Tips for Proper Angelfish Egg Hatching

A good rule of thumb for angelfish eggs is to incubate them at around 80 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Angels spawn all year round, but the best time to hatch fry is in the late winter or early spring. To check your incubation temperature, use a digital thermometer that attaches directly to the water surface. 

What Do Angelfish Eggs Look Like?

The color of fertilized angelfish eggs will vary from translucent amber to brown. Once the embryo hatches, it will be of either brown or yellow color and tiny in size.

In addition, the newly hatched fry will have a series of black spots on their bodies.

How Do Angelfish Spawn?

Preparing Angelfish to Spawn

Angelfish can be propagated by purchasing relatively young fish that have been bred in captivity. You will also need to acquire a spawning tank, which you can typically rent from a fish store or online.

A 20-gallon aquarium is an excellent place to start for an angelfish tank. Angels prefer crowded tanks and will do better in a community tank than in an individual tank. For the initial setup, add some live plants and rocks more significant than the fish so the angels can rest on them. Angels require a few additional items for their tanks besides water, food, and decorations if desired. Aquarium air stones will help keep the water clean.

Breeding Angelfish

When establishing a breeding program, be patient. A healthy pair of angels can take up to six months to produce fry. When the time is right, add one male and one female angelfish to your tank. Your goal is to get them spawning – this will typically happen after two or three years of being kept together in captivity. Once they are spawning, you should see egg production building quickly. Artificial light may also need to be increased gradually to induce spawning. You can check to spawn twice daily with a bright light and a suitable aquarium monitoring device.

Steps to Angelfish Egg Fertilization

Angelfish Cleans Spawning Area

Angelfish will vigorously clean the spawning area with their mouths and gills. It would help if you induced spawning by gradually increasing light levels, or you can turn up artificial lighting higher to encourage spawning. Moreover, water changes should be made about once a week to ensure that the spawning area is free of excess nutrients and pollutants.


When spawning begins, the male and female angelfish will deposit eggs on the aquarium surface. The number of eggs will vary according to the size of your fish. Once spawning is completed, remove all unhatched eggs by gently raking them off with a spoon. Replace any lost or broken eggs as soon as possible.

Tank Maintenance

It would help if you kept the spawning area clean and free from debris, as this will help in the healthy development of the embryos. Additionally, you should gradually increase the water temperature to around 80 degrees Fahrenheit once fertilizes eggs hatch successfully. Once spawning has been induced, remove all other fish and plants from the tank. Add one cup of fresh or salt water per four gallons of the substrate in the breeding aquarium. This will help adjust the salinity levels for the fry. Spawning can last anywhere from 24-48 hours, so check back frequently to see if eggs have been deposited on top of the substrate or if they have hatched.

Larval Pre-Hatching Stage

The larval pre-hatching stage is when the fry will start to emerge from the eggs. Be sure to provide adequate food and water during this time as they will need nutrients to develop into healthy fish. Once they reach a length of about 1/2 inch, you can transfer them into an adult tank or set up some brackish system for further growth.

Wiggler Stage

When the fish reach the wiggler stage, they will start to swim around on their own. At this point, you can provide them with a proper diet and start training them using basic tank husbandry techniques.

Free-Swimming Fry

The free-swimming fry will reach maturity at around eight weeks and can be released into the open water. At this point, you should start providing them with a diet of live small fish so that they can learn to hunt for their food.

How to Care for Angelfish Eggs

Providing Correct Climate to Angelfish Eggs

For hatching, ideally, you should acclimate angelfish eggs when transferring them to a different tank for hatching. To do this, place the eggs in slightly cooler water than the new tank temperature – around 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not allow the water to get too cold, as this could kill the embryos.

Add Active Filter

Setting up an active filter is essential for keeping the eggs clean. This will remove any pollutants or debris that may be harming them. Moreover, an active filter will also provide oxygen and nutrients to the eggs.

Monitor the Water Flow

It is crucial to control the water flow in your tank so that it does not disturb the developing eggs. You can do this by using an aquarium divider or installing a waterfall.

In addition, you should check the water flow regularly to ensure it is not too strong.

Keep the Eggs Oxygenated

One of the most important things you can do for angelfish eggs is to keep them oxygenated. This will help to ensure that the embryos develop in a healthy environment. For example, your tank can add an air stone or bubbling water feature.

Avoid Fungal Infections

It is vital to fight off fungal infections when providing angelfish eggs with a clean environment and plenty of food and water. This includes keeping the tank clean, adding anti-fungal agents if necessary, and regularly changing the water.

Monitor Water Parameters

It is essential to monitor the water parameters in your tank regularly to correct any problems as soon as they arise. This includes checking for clarity, temperature, and hardness.

Maintaining a Clean Tank for Angelfish Eggs

Even after the eggs have hatched, you must keep your tank clean to avoid contaminating them with harmful bacteria or parasites. To do this, rinse the surface and walls of the tank once a week with cold tap water. You can also use an automatic fish feeder that dispenses small amounts of food daily so that waste doesn’t accumulate in the tank.