How to Tell If an Angelfish Is Pregnant {How Often & How Many Eggs?}

Angelfish are egg-laying fish. They are oviparous. If you want to know how to tell if an Angelfish is pregnant, we should clear one thing up first.

Angelfish lay eggs. The male fertilizes the eggs. Angelfish do not get pregnant. They are only full of eggs.

There are still signs too look out for which I will explain in this article below.

How to Tell If an Angelfish Is Pregnant

The best way to see if your angelfish is pregnant is when a female Angelfish is full of eggs and ready to spawn, you will notice:

  • a protruded belly
  • distinct papilla show
  • lazy and inactive behavior

An angelfish will be pregnant for 20 – 40 days before laying eggs.

Pregnancy in angelfish can also be mistaken for illness. If you think your angelfish is pregnant it is important to monitor them as they could be ill and not pregnant. Allow me to explain further.

What Age Do Angelfish Breed and Lay Eggs?

An angelfish will become sexually mature:

  • at the age of between 6-12 months.
  • They can lay eggs every 7-10 days in the right conditions

The mother and father will prepare the area before spawning and will then protect the area once the eggs have been laid.  It is during this time your angelfish can become aggressive towards other fish.

You might need to make some changes to your tank if you have a community tank, Take a look at this guide I wrote about angelfish egg laying process.

How Many Babies Do Angelfish Have?

An angelfish will lay between:

  • 100 – 1000 eggs at any one time. 
  • They can also lay eggs every 7 – 10 days,
  • only 1% – 5% of the eggs will hatch in the right conditions

Most of the eggs will be eaten by other fish or creatures in the tank, Some eggs will also be infertile. It is important to have as many hiding places in your tank as you help the baby angelfish hide from predators.

Do Angelfish Have Live Babies?

No, angelfish are not live-bearing fish, They lay eggs in the aquarium and the babies will hatch from the eggs. Once the eggs have been laid the male angelfish will then fertilize them.

You can expect the eggs to hatch in about 4 days after being fertilized.

YouTube video

Do Angelfish Eat Their Babies?

Maybe. Most of the time, especially if they have already had a few litters, adult angelfish won’t consume their young. Because the parents will be preoccupied with the babies in the tank, keeping the fry with the parent pair will prevent another reproductive cycle.

Any fish that can fit in an angelfish’s mouth will be happily devoured. When your angelfish reach adulthood, these small 1 inch (2.5 cm) fish will become appetizing Fish that are at least 2 inches (5 cm) long are the finest choice.

Signs That Your Angelfish Is Ready To Lay Eggs

If you do not know when your Angelfish is prepared to lay, you might blame yourself for not paying enough attention.

Notice when your female Angelfish is ready to lay when you see:

  • the protruded belly
  • laziness and lethargy 
  • trying to keep certain places clean in the tank.
  • territorial aggressiveness 
  • pairing
  • grooming each other
  1. The female Angelfish’s stomach starts to grow big whenever they are full of eggs (roe).
  2. You will see that the female Angelfish are not as active as before.
  3. The female Angelfish becomes a little bit aggressive towards other tank mates.
  4. They also start pairing. You will even notice that the Angelfish will begin pairing.
  5. You will notice Angelfish that are ready for spawning while grooming each other.

How to Differentiate Male Angelfish from Female

Before checking if your female Angelfish is pregnant, you have to distinguish the Angelfish that is the female from the male. One of the most common ways to know a male Angelfish is to notice his aggressiveness.

Male Angelfish:

  • are usually territorial 
  • more aggressive than females. 
  • able to display a hump right above the nose. This hump is referred to as the nuchal hump.
  • possess a thicker tube located between the ventral fins and the anal fins.
  • have a pointed papilla while female Angelfish possess flattened papilla.

The papilla is the breeding organ for Angelfish, and it is always evident during the spawning period.

What Conditions Do Angel fish Need to Breed?

To bring out the best offspring from your Angelfish, you have to set certain things ready. There are conditions to be met to aid spawning in Angelfish. These conditions include:

  • tank conditions
  • water conditions
  • nutritional conditions
  1. The water must be changed regularly, and you should treat it to avoid complications. The pH of the water should be between 6.5 and 6.9. The range should not exceed 6.0 and 8.0.
  2. The best water temperature for the Angelfish is 82°F, and the limits are 78°F and 86°F. You should also filter the water very well.
  3. The tank should hold some decorations that beautify the fish tank and protect the eggs and parents.
  4. You should also ensure that the fish tank is always clean. Get rid of food leftovers from the tank as soon as possible.
  5. It would be best if you fed the parent with nutritional food. The food given to the Angelfish should be rich in protein as it will help both the parent and offspring.


Angelfish are easy to know when they are pregnant when you know the right way to go about it. Knowing if they are full of eggs or not isn’t the important thing.

The important thing is to prepare them for spawning. Provide the right and appropriate condition for them to spawn and be sure to get a good result afterward.

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Hello, I'm Jason. I'm the guy behind I volunteer at my local fish shop and I created this site to offer tips and advice on the fish I care for.