How Often Do Angelfish Lay Eggs?

Depending on the age of the fish, the female can lay eggs every 12-18 days. The rough estimate is about every two weeks, but it requires you to separate the couple from the eggs not to let them invest time in protecting or, in other cases, eating them. 

There are various steps you can take to alter the breeding process, but it’s vital to educate yourself about the signs and procedures, as not all breeding situations will be the same every time.

What Factors Influence How Often Angelfish Lay Eggs?

There are a few factors that influence how many and how often angelfish will lay eggs, and the following are a few examples that are the most popular and well researched:

  • The age of the angelfish will affect the frequency of the breeding. Older females breed more often than younger females, but they only differ by roughly a week. The older females will lay eggs every two weeks, whereas a younger female will take a week longer.
  • Couples will also breed more often if they are immediately separated from their first group of eggs. If angelfish live and breed in the same tank, they will start ‘parental duties’, which delays future breeding opportunities.

Most breeders have separate tanks they alternate the couple between. Once signs of breeding become apparent, they’ll put the couple in the ‘breeding tank’ to finish the fertilization process, after which they’ll put them back in their ‘natural habitat tank’ to restart the process.

  • Angelfish also breed more frequently if the conditions are favorable. This includes proper stimulatory activities for them and the appropriate natural elements like plants and subtle water flow.

Furthermore, ensure that all the technical aspects are sought after. For example, pH levels should be between 6 & 8, and water temperature should be between 78 & 86 degrees Fahrenheit, and keep the tank clean to avoid bacteria build-up.

Angelfish will also breed more often if they have lived in an ideal habitat for longer, usually more than six months.

Angelfish with Long Fins

What Can I Do To Encourage Angelfish To Breed?

All owners interested in breeding try to create ideal conditions for their angelfish to breed in. The following are a few tips and tricks you can use to encourage breeding and also speed up the process a little:

  • Keep the water temperature stable and approximately 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Ideal water temperature avoids unnecessary stress on the angelfish, which eases their vulnerability and increases breeding opportunities.
  • In addition, adding natural elements, like plants, gives them a sense of security which also reduce stress and is advantageous for breeding.
  • Increase their food intake but don’t overfeed. The idea is to provide them with more protein-rich foods to strengthen their cells and foresee healthy breeding.
  • The tank size (ideally between 20-29 gallons) and ample space for hiding will foresee a ‘safer area’ which encourages angelfish to relax and breed more.
  • Provide the angelfish with ideal space and objects to lay eggs on. Big leaf plants are usually the most effective, but as long as it provides enough space for the eggs to rest on, you can experiment with different options like smooth rocks or flat wood pieces.

How Many Eggs Do Angelfish Lay

Depending on the size and age of the fish, it’s believed that one cycle can produce roughly 100-1000 eggs, although there are various opinions about the number of eggs and angelfish that can lay in one cycle.

Some owners have only found success with numbers up to 500, whereas others have seen them lay more than a thousand. Keep in mind that the same factors that influence the possibility of breeding will also impact the number of eggs produced from a cycle.

At What Age Do Angelfish Start Laying Eggs?

Various sources and angelfish owners mention that maturity starts at six months. Some angelfish might take a month or two longer to reach sexual maturity, but you can expect coupling and the possibility of eggs after six months.

However, cycles that produce the most eggs will only happen years later when the female has reached her prime and is healthy.

How to Know When Your Angelfish Is Going To Lay Eggs

There are various plans you can follow and records you can keep assessing what time and day an angelfish might be ready to breed and lay eggs, but the following are some basic signs to look out for that indicate the couple is ready to breed and lay eggs:

  • An angelfish couple will separate themselves from the rest of the fish in the tank. Not only do they move around as a pair more often, but they also become more hostile to other fish that intrude on their space.
  • In addition, the couple will also start cleaning their chosen spawn site a lot more and become protective over it.
  • Although the male and female angelfish have different size papilla, they will grow larger on both genders when they are ready to breed.
  • Moreover, the female angelfish’s stomach region will also seem rounder and bigger during the breeding period.

How To Know If The Angelfish Eggs Are Fertile or not?

It’s important to distinguish between fertile and unfertile eggs as the latter becomes rotten and creates bacteria that will affect the former. Therefore, look out for the following signs to separate them:

  • Fertile eggs have a brown colorization but are also transparent, making it possible to spot some form of life (although this is not easy at the early stages). Unfertile eggs will be white (due to fungus growth) without the possibility of seeing inside them.
  • Fertile eggs also tend to stay attached to the object they were spawned on, whereas unfertile eggs might fall off.
  • Fertilized eggs also tend to float for longer before sinking to the bottom as they contain globules, which provide them with the noticeable characteristic of buoyancy.

Globule is tiny spheres of oil within the yolk sac of the larvae that differ in size and color but indicates life. Of course, unfertile eggs lack this characteristic.

How Long Will It Take Before The Angelfish Eggs Hatch?

Once the eggs have been fertilized, it takes 60-80 hours (about three days) for them to hatch. Remember to keep the water temperature at 80 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure a stable heated environment for the fish to grow naturally.


Mature female fish, older than six months, can lay eggs every 2-3 weeks, granted that they are separated from the clutch to avoid parental responsibility as this (hinders) the next cycle. Once the couple starts to breed and the eggs are fertilized, it will take approximately three days for them to hatch.