Fish Tank 3...The sequel

  crosstrainer 14:35 31 Jan 2009

Well, it seems I'm doing something right! Despite illness and a recent stay in hospital with my neighbour feeding / etc. I have a pair of breeding Angel Fish (I added 6 before the festive period) Was told that I'd be lucky to keep more than 4, and now they have gone from strength to strength.

I still have 5, and whilst they are bad tempered with each other, no serious damage has occurred to any of the other fish in the tank.

What's amazed me is just how quickly these fish have grown. They were very little when I purchased them, but were avid feeders from day 1, and are now all roughly 5-6 inches in height (excluding fins)

One of the chaps from the aquatic centre got very excited when I explained that two had "paired off" and were no longer fighting. He asked if he could come and have a look at them. He came, and confirmed that they are a pair and nearly flattened me by offering £250.00 cash for them.

Are fish really worth this kind of money? I know the Japanese pay ££ for Koi, but never though that tiny little Angle fish would grow to something commanding this kind of cash.

Told him I'd think about it...Kind of attached to them now.

  Curio 15:18 31 Jan 2009

As in all things, everything has a price - particularly if 'special'

  Cymro. 15:36 31 Jan 2009

"He came, and confirmed that they are a pair and nearly flattened me by offering £250.00 cash for them".

Get on Google or somewhere find their true value phone the man back and sell them to him double quick.

  crosstrainer 15:40 31 Jan 2009

He is a very honest young chap from the centre I purchased my tank and all fish from. I've looked around on the web and this seems to be about the right price for a "Bonded" pair.

Not convinced that I want to sell them anyway, although they would never breed in my (community) tank.

  Forum Editor 15:57 31 Jan 2009

but I've never understood why - it isn't that difficult to get Angel fish to breed, as long as you get the conditions right. If you have six fish you have around a 90% chance that a pair will form, and pairs formed naturally in this way are far more likely to be successful.

If you are serious about raising your own Angels you should remove the pair, once you see them 'patrolling' side by side, chasing the others away. The only alternative is to remove all the other fish in the tank, but it's usually easier to give the pair their own, smaller tank, and let them get on with it.

Give them some egg sites to choose from - a piece of plain glass leaning against the side of the tank, and a slate, or perhaps a small flat stone or two, they like spawning on vertical surfaces, and raise the water temperature to around 84F. I found it was best not to have any sand or gravel in the tank, I just put in a few big plastic plants.

When the eggs have been laid the parents start fanning them to keep a current flowing across them, and you may see them nipping the odd egg or two. They do this to remove infertile eggs, so don't worry. Don't keep the tank too brightly lit - the eggs do better in fairly low-light conditions.

I found that newly formed pairs often fail to hatch their eggs on the first attempt, or even on the second, so prepare yourself for that - they'll get it right in the end.

If you do end up with Angel fry you'll need to be fussy about water changes - they must have very clean water - so make partial changes every couple of days and do it very gently. It's important to try not to disturb the new parents.

Finally, it's not unknown for a couple of female Angels to form a pair and pretend to be parents, going through the whole routine, including laying eggs. The eggs obviously won't hatch because they'll be infertile. This happened to me on two occasions, and it's very annoying, but there's no way you can know in advance - you can't tell the sex of younger Angel fish from their appearance.

Good luck, I'll look forward to hearing the happy news.

  crosstrainer 16:06 31 Jan 2009

Thanks for the info. but to be honest, I was never planning on breeding fish, or having more than one tank.

Perhaps it would be kinder to let someone who breeds take charge of these two? After all I still have the others to look at :))

  Cymro. 16:18 31 Jan 2009

"Perhaps it would be kinder to let someone who breeds take charge of these two? After all I still have the others to look at :))"

Just think of all the fishy things you could get for the £250 you were offered for them.

  Forum Editor 16:23 31 Jan 2009

although I would wait a while to see what this pair does. If they're serious about breeding they'll start patrolling and chasing the other fish away from their chosen patch. You may also see them engaging in jaw-locking, which at first glance looks like fighting, but it isn't.

If they do all that you'll know they want to spawn, and they may well get on and do that. Unfortunately it will come to nothing - the other fish will try to eat the eggs,and there'll be strife.

In your shoes if I had someone willing to pay me £250 for these two fish I might be tempted to take his money and leave it at that. You never know, you might even end up with another pair.

  crosstrainer 16:23 31 Jan 2009

Good point! Not concerned about the cash, but I do know that this guy really knows and loves his trade. He breeds all kinds of different species has 12 tanks at home, and my regular feed / filter media bill could be £0.

Everyones happy then.

  crosstrainer 16:25 31 Jan 2009

That's exactly what they do now! Have removed themselves to a different area of the tank (near an open coconut shell which a ruby currently inhabits) and the mouth locking you describe is spot on.

Time to move them on I guess.

  Forum Editor 17:01 31 Jan 2009

They're getting set to spawn on that coconut shell, so don't waste any time.

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