Why Are My Cichlid Egg Turning White? Should I Worry

Have you noticed that the eggs your cichlid is laying are turning white?  Is this something you need to worry about? Why Are My Cichlid Egg Turning White?

When cichlid eggs do not undergo proper fertilization, they will turn white and maintain this color for a few days before they eventually die. It is most likely a result of a fungus attack on the eggs.

It is important to separate the affected eggs from the good ones to prevent the fungus from spreading.  The below video shows this process

YouTube video

If you are suffering from fungus in your aquarium I would recommend you treat your water with something like an aquarium water treatment kit (Available On Amazon) For more information about white fungus take a look at this article I wrote about it.

What Does it Mean When Cichlid Fish Eggs Turn White?

When your cichlid eggs turn white, you have to take immediate action as there is a problem. Your cichlid fish egg can only turn white due to two reasons; fertilization problem or infection.

  • Fertilization Problem : If the male cichlid does not fertilize the eggs after the female lays them, the egg will start turning white. When the eggs turn white, they become sterile and begin to die. You will notice the eggs changing from white to shades of brown or grey as they die.
  • Fungus Infection : The fungus infection mostly affects eggs the male do not fertilize. The fungus attacks the ones not fertilized and can spread to the fertilized ones. You have to remove infected eggs as soon as you notice them become white.

If you are suffering from fungus in your aquarium I would recommend you treat your water with something like an aquarium water treatment kit (Available On Amazon)

Below is a picture showing the white eggs

Cichlid Egg Turning White

How Can You Tell if Cichlid Eggs Are Fertilized?

To know your cichlid eggs’ fertilization status, you will have to check the eggs from a close range. The eggs are small. Therefore, you might not be able to scoop them up into your hands; you have to move closer to the tank and examine the eggs. Fertilized eggs usually have tiny black specks, which you will look out for in the eggs.

The black specks might not appear until after two or three days. You have to be sure the black dots are not there and the eggs are becoming white before concluding the fertility status. Ensure you do not dispose of fertilized eggs.

 How Long Does it Take for Cichlids Eggs to Hatch?

After the female cichlid lays the eggs, and the male fertilizes them, it will take 10 to 15 days before they hatch. After hatching, the mum cichlid keeps the babies in her mouth for about two weeks till they are old enough to fend for themselves. During this stage, she will occasionally let them out of her mouth for them to feed.

How Many Eggs Do Cichlids Lay at Once?

The number of eggs a cichlid will lay depends on three things; its species, size, and how matured it is in the reproduction game. Cichlids having a large size with much experience in childbirth will lay more eggs than beginner mothers with small size. Generally, cichlids can lay from 160 to 1600 eggs.

Conclusion

Your cichlid eggs will turn white if the male does not fertilize them. It can also turn white if fungus attacks them. Whatever reason your egg is turning white, you should pack them away from other fish to prevent further troubles.

If you are suffering from fungus in your aquarium I would recommend you treat your water with something like an aquarium water treatment kit (Available On Amazon)

Cichlids are aggressive but hardy freshwater fish with colorful appearances. They belong to the family Cichlidae and grow to various lengths, with the smallest growing to about 2.5cm and the largest growing to about a meter. Cichlids can be difficult to rear if you are not breeding, as the males will end up killing one another over territories.