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Calling all Angelfish Breeders...got a ????? or 1k


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OK, I did some waterchanges just like normal on Sunday. I also mowed down a huge amount of water sprite in my angel tank. I have 2 angels and am not sure if they are a pair or not, BUT.....


They refused food for about 2 days and hid horribly for another day. I was really worried. I tried all sorts of foods. Then today, I find this in the corner....along with my 2 angels. I went to feed and they both came charging at me like 2 Rhino's. Now, I have bred Silvers and they are like clockwork on a slate. These two are nothing like them however. 


My silvers clean everything spotless. So this membrane looking stuff is new to me. And the eggs are very white, so I figure infertile? One fish is quite a bit larger than the other, so I may have 2 females in there. One is about 2 1/2 inches in diameter without fins, the other is silver dollar size (no fins). The ribbon fins are totally diff and the smaller has a different head look. So I was hoping for a pair. 


Pix first:  These are from my phone, so plz forgive.




Larger fish



My questions....

Will females lay without a male or without him being ready?

Are these even eggs?

Should I have given them a slate to let them try properly if these don't hatch? I will have to remove my filter or put a thick sponge on the HOB. 


any other help is much appreciated.  Thx for reading.

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Well, if they are a pair, and you have other fish in the tank, they will defense the territory.


When they breed, they won't hide, pretty opposite, very aggressive toward other fish.

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ok, well, that big one is different from the smaller fish. And that is the fish that will charge at me if even try to feed them. There are no other fish now but them in there. They both are out a bit more now that the Wonder is out. But they run back there every time I move close to the tank. Like I said, I have never seen that look either, but they seem to be very protective of it. And this is the first time I have ever seen that in this tank too. 


I tried to get a shot of the smaller one, but every time I get close, it runs to that corner and stays behind the plant. I put a slate in there and maybe they will use it and we can see better. They are coming out to see what that is now.




Not the greatest shot, but that is the smaller one. Pec fins are much shorter and the head is shaped a bit different. It stays in that corner for the most part, but came out to snag a few frozen bloodworms. Then it went right back. And it moves in the plants and behind stuff more. The bigger one is on the lookout, so its more in the middle of the tank. 


These angels were from a store and they were dime size or so, when I got them. My silvers came from a friend and they have kids and big dogs and they aren't afraid of anything. They spawn at will in any situation. These have been touchy from the start. Lesson learned. Buy more from Breeders. I just loved the bright goldish/orange on these even when they were small. My little niece says they have halo's. Lol 





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That's a female and theres nothing wrong with fish from pet stores Shes still small maybe she tryed laying eggs but was unsuccessful the first attempt if u only just put slate in the tank her eggs will have better luck next time

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OK, so....this IS a pair. You think. I was hoping. I have had them for a while. Again, the sizes are listed above and they have grown from about dime size. There was a third that I got, but it got tangled in a plant and ended up upside down during the night and when I got him loose the next morning, he died soon after.  :( And no, I have nothing against store-bought fish. I just meant they came from a farm probably with no human interaction until they were bagged. My silvers were originally store fish as well, but they were bought very young and kept in a household tank with lots of motion and sound and people looking and cleaning and moving. They are now about baseball size and aren't afraid of anything. When I clean their tank, the big male follows my hand around like he is inspecting my work. LOL


The slate is in and the smaller fish is very curious, but she is staying with that mess in the corner. I will leave it for 4-5 days and then I will clean it if nothing happens. I can't really think it will, but I will let her go thru the motions. 


ON the other side of the spectrum, I think....I may have the largest spawn EVER from my silvers. I may be looking for a new growout tank. lol And they are THE best parents ever. I was super lucky with them.  :bow: They are the bomb!

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it has been seen that 2 females will pair up and do the dance and one follow the other as one lays eggs. i need a good side shot of both and i MIGHT be able to tell if you have a true pair. its hard to tell if that was eggs or not. ive never seen a pattern left like is on your glass. mine laid eggs on the filter side. leaves, slate, anything they could really and i have not seen residue like that. mine would eat but take turns at it as well one would fan the other would eat.

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so I guess we are still going back and forth on the genders? I have put a black slate in and they were as usual, very cautious. But they have gone back to eating well, and after a water change today, they picked at the slate a bit. They are the only ones in that tank now and I have really debated taking all those plants out. They hide a lot, so I didn't want to make them feel left out in the open too much. .And wicca, I have never seen it like that either. Mine have always been super clean around the eggs. My silvers will use the heater if not given a slate or an amazon to use and they spend days cleaning whatever. It just "appeared" and they were acting so strange.  


They are protective of each other. While doing the change, if I was close to one, the other came charging. And that smaller one seems to be the boss. I cleaned the corner and we will see where it goes. I sort of thought the larger was the female and the smaller the male, just from behavior. But you guys tell me. I will try to get some more pix from full side views and maybe that will help. 


Thanks for all the replies. Maybe they will just spawn and we will know. lol

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Ok, just snapped some shots with my phone, its late and didn't want to drag out the ipad and such, so plz forgive my lack of photography skills(and the used tank scratches). 


This is the larger fish broadside. They really are totally shaped diff and they carry themselves different as well. This fish is larger, and has twice the finnage, but carries those tall dorsal and anal fins more back or almost clamped to the body sometimes. The body behind the pec's is more slanted down toward that anal fin as well. The pec's are very long and reach almost to the end of the anal fin as well. This fish's body is almost 2 1/2 inches without a tail. 



see that tube?  ^



This is the smaller fish. It is much more dominant. This one has much shorter pec fins, but carries the dorsal and anal very, um....erect for lack of a better term. lol  The body behind those pec's is more horizontal to the anal fin. He/she is always in charge and also controls what the other fish thinks it wants to do. This fish is about 1 1/2 inches without a tail. I thought this was the male all along. 






I just looked over and the larger fish is actively cleaning the black slate in there and the smaller one is close but watching. So....there ya go. My crappy pix of my purdy angels. I hate how at night pix turn so yellow. But you can see in that first shot a bit of tube on the larger fish. It is big. That is why I figured that was female. 


Either way, I am no rush to spawn them, but I am not going to stop them either. I have been beefing up the food regime and let them have the slate. I figure to let them try a time or two to see if they will be parents or just out for a bite, after they spawn. LOL


Thanks again for all the replies and any/all knowledge you guys will part with is appreciated. 




Edited by LunarValkyrie
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about how big are they. the smaller one looks to small. do you know age by any chance. i know angels are usually close to a year old before breeding. there are not tubes out yet they are much bigger than that. i will try to find pics of my moms pair i got some good pics of them and their breeding tubes

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Well, like I said earlier, the smaller one is about 1 1/2 inches (Just Body)...so I thought "he?" was young too. The larger is older and about 2 1/2 inches (Just Body). The store told me "she?" might be old enough by around Feb. The smaller one was only a dime size when I got it and I just wanted another angel for company. I have had them for about 4-5 months or so. And I don't know when they hatched out. Again, they came from a store. This LFS does keep very nice fish and she breeds some of her own bigger more aggressive cichlids. But she gets these from a customer about an hour away and they are always about dime + sizes. She gets these marbles and some silvers and sometimes gets black from him. 


I sell her convicts and guppies for store credit and she takes good care of them. They are still cleaning the slate I gave them again tonight, so I am just gonna let things roll along. I don't know if something went wrong with that original mess or if it was something else, but it hasn't come back. And they are alone so they can give it a try or just wait. 


I did (just in case) build my first "Fry Bottle" tonight. I have new convicts with eggs and they have been fry eaters the first two times, so I'm gonna try to save them.  IF these two angels do spawn, I may try to save a few and then let them have the rest to learn on. 


IF anyone is remotely interested in my bottle build, I have a pix attached and in the 75 with the Muncher Convicts.  The bottle is plastic and is airline run to suck tank water in thru the top sponge, down thru the bottle, thru the bottom sponge and pushed out the cpvc tube back into the tank. I have a rock in the bottom to hold it down and the sponge can seed for fry to pick on, or I have a slit in the top with a short tube to drop food into. In the shot, the short is capped. After I add fry, I replace this short tube with a long version that reaches out of the water. I can then just add food without them getting out or food getting lost in the tank. The trick is to keep that tube full of air and then the food drops all the way to the bottom. Or you can pull it up to the point it barely clears the inside bottom of the top sponge and then food will drop. You can also add your fry thru this tube if you find strays. A turkey baster will fit into the cpvc. 


This is filtered and fresh water all the time and its inside the tank, so temp and all is the same as when they hatch and start to swim. And it allows babies to pick at the sponge between feeding. You just have to remember when you feed to turn off the air for a bit to let the fry grab food before it gets sucked straight into the bottom sponge. Then after 5-10 mins, turn it back on. 


These con's are super parents until the fry start to free swim. Then its momma's night to eat out. :stuff:  She will chase and eat. Possibly due to her being a hybrid, IDK. (ConvictxHonduran Red Point) I hope to grab a few this time and try to save them too. That is dad in the shot. He is a normal con, but he has super long and pretty points (that you can't see) on his fins and he also has major teeth. I found that out trying to place this thing. He drew blood on the back of my hand. I have a 7inch Flowerhorn and a 5 inch Synspilum, and my little 4inch Convict draws blood. :lol:


It isn't pretty, but it works. The eggs are not in the pots either, she chose to hide them and lay on the side of the purple pot holding the fake plant. Right behind the ivy on the right side. I almost didn't find them, but I knew dad was doing some hard nipping when I did a water change yesterday. So I got a flashlight out and found them. Today wasn't nipping, it was downright biting. 




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I bred Blue Pinoy Angels and several others one year.  I would say the one with the tube is the female and she's getting ready to lay eggs.  What I observed from mine was that they would pick and area (one time it was the silicone on the corner of the back wall of the tank) and constantly clean it for several days.  Then the female would go up and down and lay eggs and the male would follow behind her and fertilize them.


They both defended the area from ALL other fish in the tank and would charge me when I tried to feed them.  I fed them earthworm flakes during this time which they seemed happy to eat.  Once the babies hatched I fed BBS which I hatched out daily, but the male would still charge at me when I put my hand over the tank. 


I was lucky to have a pair that actually not only raised their own babies (black striped) but when my Pearl Angels had their babies and they didn't want to look after them, I rounded them all up and dropped them in the tank at night with the Dark Pinoy pair.....next morning, they were herding their brood around the tank (both light and dark babies) they never knew the difference LOL 


They were the BEST parents I have ever seen and gorgeous too!  

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if your biggest one is only 2 1/2 inches they are both to small to breed. when they hit the 3 inch mark they should bet getting close to breeding age. if your angels are that small and breeding there is something wrong because they are super stunted. even my mom had an angel in a 10 gal tank and at a year old (breeding age) it was a good 3.5 inches if not a bit more

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ok, just to be clear here. Do you count tails when you say 3inches? Or are you just using the body size in diameter. Back when I worked for pet stores, they measured WITHOUT the tail. But now, some use the tail, some don't. IF you count the tails on mine, the larger one is definately over 3. And the smaller one is getting close. 


I have noticed after I cleaned the corner of that mess, they can't seem to get enough to eat. The are both bulking up. So maybe they are getting close to being ready. I am just letting them do their thing and feeding them well and keeping the water as clean as possible. 


Wicca - what temp do you keep your breeders at? My tank is about 78. I feed them flake, pellets and frozen food that I rotate around and I feed "less, more often". The seem to really like the frozen and pellets. The smaller one will jump on flakes, but the larger is more picky. 

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  • 2 months later...

Hey folks, 

I just took some quick shots of the same fish after 2 months of growing. They have also gotten a new tank, and a new roomie added. Now, can anyone gender these guys any better now?? Thanks for any advice. The two marbles had started chasing a lot. Mainly the bigger chasing the smaller marble until the silver got added. Now they are very calm and laid back. "He?" came from a local breeder. 


Remember the mess I posted first that I found on the glass? In this new tank, I have found that twice. But after the silver was added, it hasn't appeared. I found it exactly 2 weeks apart. The only thing in that tank is the angels. I really took a super long shot that I had a pair since I wanted marbles. But if that silver is any indication at about the same size.....are they both female and the silver is male?? You experts tell me. 


I was beginning to think this was male, due to the head shape. He is about 6" tall.



This one is smaller, maybe 5 1/4" tall. And the head is different as well as the shape of the body. 



This is the new roomie. He is all body and short finned, but still about 6" tall.


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  • 4 weeks later...

There are a couple of ways to tell a male from female, like slope of bottom of fish and angle of it, hump on head, and also size, but I know from experience that all those can be 50/50, the only true way to tell is to catch them in the act or right before the act and look at the breeding tubes. Males tubes are pointer then the female and the females will be alot bigger, my angel fish will breed every 10 days unless I take the eggs and raise them myself, I have also seen female go through courtship before. I have raise angelfish for 15 years, you stuff in your picture looks like they may be bad parents and are eatting the eggs as soon as they lay them.

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