How to tell if my angelfish is pregnant?

By Nadine Oraby | 2020 Update

If you are an angelfish parent, you must be waiting for the little ones to make your tank more beautiful. But do you know what are the signs that your angelfish is pregnant? I also wondered how to know when I’ll be going to have angelfish babies until I observed very closely and asked a few experts. Want to know when your angelfish is pregnant?

Here you go:

Angelfish are among those fishes that produce eggs. They aren’t livebearers. This means the female doesn’t get pregnant but she produces eggs that are then fertilized by the male angelfish. Your female angelfish will become fat, almost inactive, and will have a protruding breeding tube. You can also witness her laying the eggs if you look very closely. The male then fertilizes the eggs and takes care of the “fry”. The fertilization process isn’t easy and is based on the hit and trial method.

Let’s look deeper into the signs that your female angelfish is about to produce eggs:

How to know if your angelfish is pregnant?

Like betta, pufferfish, and many others, angelfish also produces eggs rather than giving birth to young ones. To identify the signs that your angelfish is producing eggs, you have to identify the female angelfish first. This is difficult but not impossible. You have to look very closely for a few things that are different in male and female angelfish.

Look for the following to identify male and female angelfish in your tank:

  • The male angelfish has a small hump just above the nose. This hump is called a nuchal lump.
  • The male angelfish are more territorial than female angelfish. That is why the male one is more aggressive in nature.
  • The male has pointed breeding organ (papilla) whereas the female angelfish has a flattened papilla. The papillae are visible during the breeding time. You would see something protruding out from both male and female angelfish during breeding.
  • You may see your female angelfish producing eggs if you look very closely. This will confirm that which one is a female angelfish.

Now when you identify how many male and female angelfish you have, you must also know the signs that will indicate that your female angelfish is going to produce eggs. These signs are:

Large belly

The most obvious sign that your angelfish might be “pregnant” is the large belly. If you notice the fish from the upper surface of the tank, you’ll notice that the belly is bulging out.

Large belly might also indicate constipation in fish. So, you have to look closer for other signs as well.

Lazy and inactive

When your female angelfish is ready to produce eggs, it might hide or settle somewhere rather than swimming around.

If you observe that your angelfish seem inactive, not willing to eat something, and also have a protruding belly then she might be going to produce eggs soon.

Again, laziness can also be due to some illness. So, don’t rely on only one sign.

Protruding papilla

If you notice that your angelfish has something protruding out from the body then don’t panic. This is the breeding tube that comes out as the fish has to produce eggs. The papilla would be somewhat flat in the case of female angelfish.

How to ease the fertilization (breeding) process in angelfish

Now when you know your female angelfish is going to produce eggs then it’s time to ensure fertilization.

Remember that the fertilization isn’t easy in the case of angelfish. It’s a hit and trial. Even if the eggs are produced, it’s not sure that they’ll be fertilized by the male angelfish. The parents can eat eggs! They can even eat the eggs once they are fertilized. But don’t be disappointed. After two or three tries, they become caring parents and make sure that their babies remain safe.

So, the fertilization process isn’t easy but not impossible. You have to be patient. You should provide a good environment for your breeding fish so that they produce healthy baby angelfish.

  • Make sure you changed water frequently to remove toxins from the water. Toxins and unwanted particles can hinder the fertilization process.
  • Provide protein-rich food to your fish. Even if they aren’t ready to eat, make sure you provide healthy food. But don’t overfeed your fish as well.
  • Once you see that the female and male angelfish are swimming side by side and seem protective then it’s better to shift those two fish in a separate tank. The fish should get space and their own territory where they have no fear. This will also decrease aggressive behavior significantly.
  • Don’t disturb your fish by tapping the tank or by any other means. They need a peaceful environment for breeding purposes.

So your angelfish might produce eggs but they might not be fertilized. But after two or three tries, the parents would make it and produce little angelfish that you’ll adore for sure.

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