How to Tell If an Angelfish Is Pregnant

Angelfish are egg-laying fish. They are oviparous. They lay eggs when the eggs are ready to hatch while the male fertilizes the egg. Angelfish do not get pregnant. They are only full of eggs.

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 and a distinct papilla show. Also, the Angelfish will become lazy and inactive.

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

Angelfish are not live-bearing fish which means they lay eggs rather than give birth to live fish.

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.

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, So they can potentially produce a lot of offspring.

Having said that not every egg will hatch, In-fact commonly 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.

Once the eggs have hatched and babies have come out these will also be eaten by other fish.  It is important to have as many hiding places in your tank as you can give the babie angelfish to 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

Do Angelfish Eat Their Babies?

Signs That Show 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. This consequence is because the Angelfish cannot give maximum protection to their eggs from other fish.

Therefore, you should pay attention to your Angelfish when they are ready to lay to provide possible protection and care for them.

The first thing you can notice when your female Angelfish is ready to lay is the protruded belly. The female Angelfish’s stomach starts to grow big whenever they are full of eggs (roe). When they are full of eggs, they are ready to spawn.

You can easily see the protruded belly when you look at them from above. The belly pops out from the side, giving you a sign of ‘pregnancy.’

Another significant feature you can notice is the laziness and inactiveness of the female Angelfish. You will see that the female Angelfish are not as active as before. It becomes lazy, probably because it is full of eggs and wants to be careful carrying the eggs.

The female Angelfish becomes a little bit aggressive towards other tank mates. They seem protective and territorial. You can also notice the Angelfish trying to keep certain places clean in the tank. They clear these places to serve as their spawning site.

They also start pairing. You will even notice that the Angelfish will begin pairing. The female and male Angelfish start pairing with each other to fertilize the eggs while the female lays the egg. You will notice Angelfish that are ready for spawning while grooming each other.

With all things being equal, it is sure that your Angelfish is full of eggs and ready to lay. So it would be best if you prepared for the coming fry.

How to Differentiate Your Male Angelfish from Your Female Angelfish

Before checking if your female Angelfish is pregnant, you have to distinguish the Angelfish that is the female from the male. Identifying the male Angelfish from the female Angelfish isn’t very difficult. One of the most common ways to know a male Angelfish is to notice his aggressiveness.

Male Angelfish are usually territorial and also more aggressive than females. Male Angelfish are known to be offensive towards each other over mating partners, food especially when it is limited, space and territory, etc. Thus, you can notice that the gentle Angelfish is the female, while the aggressive one is the male.

Male Angelfish possess 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.

You can also determine which Angelfish is the male or female after spawning. When the female is laying the egg, with a close look, you can tell which Angelfish is laying the egg and which one is fertilizing it. With this, you know the female is the one that lays the eggs while the male fertilizes it.

The male Angelfish usually has a hump right above the nose. This hump is referred to as the nuchal hump. This hump is not present in females.

You can also tell by taking a look at a tube located between the ventral fins and the anal fins. This tube becomes visible during the spawning period. In male Angelfish, this tube is thicker than the tube in the females.

Checking all these factors, you can tell what sex your Angelfish are. Singly, these factors can’t give an utterly accurate answer. But together, they can provide actual results on whether your Angelfish is male or female. Be sure to carry out your check very well.

Conditions for Breeding in Angelfish

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, and nutritional conditions.

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.

Angelfish are tolerant when it comes to the pH of their tank water. But it would be best if you provide them with the optimum pH condition so they wouldn’t stress themselves.

The pH should be kept steady. Swaying from one pH to another might cause the Angelfish not to breed or, in the worse scenario, die. 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.

The tank should be big enough to contain both the parent and the offspring. It should also be big enough to keep away other tank mates from the eggs. The tank should hold some decorations that beautify the fish tank and protect the eggs and parents.

You should also ensure that the fish tank is always clean. Get rid of food leftovers from the tank as soon as possible.

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.