ANGELS AT CHRISTMAS

by

Malcolm Short, Ryedale Aquarist Society

I purchased a Koi Angel from Petland that I just had to have when I saw it, my wife then said to me that I must get another one to keep it company, so a month later I saw another one I liked at Aquatic Finatics so purchased this one. They are both kept in a 4ft tank, along with Rainbows, Syndondontis, Corydoras and Congo Tetras, they all get on fine with no problems.

Early November they spawned, but the eggs were eaten the first night.

A week before Christmas, they started to clean the leaves of an Amazon Swordplant, at one end of the tank and this became very intense over the remaining days, then they both made sure no other fish were near, in fact they chased all the fish to the other end of the tank, even the Syndontis. I checked the water and the temperature was 78o-80oF and the pH was 7.0.




Then on Christmas Day, I went to look at my fish in the afternoon, and was amazed to see the Angels spawning on the leaf, it was really interesting to watch the female gently go over the leaf and lay eggs, with the male following to fertilise them.



I had seen them after they had started, so was only able to observe them for the last twenty minutes. I then kept looking in on them, to see them chasing the other fish away, and gently fanning the eggs, both fish did both of these chores in turn. However, the other fish were trying very hard to get to the eggs so the Angels' work in keeping them away became harder and harder. I had to think what to do, as I did not want to lose them, and also I had no spare tank.

I then came up with my plan, as it was Christmas we had a jar of Quality Street, so I emptied the sweets out, I then filled this with water from the Angels' tank, and transferred the leaf full of eggs to the jar. The jar was then stood in another tank, to keep a constant temperature, and I put a gentle airstone in so as to keep movement over the eggs like the parents would do.

I hoped they were fertile and that I would be able to hatch them, to this end I kept a close watch on them, only to see some eggs fungus over, the next day. Using a magnifying glass I kept looking closely and was sure I could see the young developing.

On the Wednesday I was delighted when I came home from work and went to check on them, to find that there were quite a lot of babies had hatched.


This then gave me another problem as I still had no spare tank, and the jar would soon be far too small so, a trip to my local aquarist shop to buy another tank, a 30 tank, and this was set up straight away.


By the Sunday 1st January the fry were free swimming so I transferred them to the new tank, and kept checking them throughout the day. I started feeding them Liquifry, mind this was the one for livebearers as I was unable to get the egglayers variety anywhere in Scarborough, anyway I knew the fish could not read so it should be OK!

On Monday 2nd January, the fry were very active and most of them were swimming around in two shoals, one much larger than the other, the remainder remained in a couple of groups on the bottom of the aquarium. The fry swimming around were quite fast, and moved around the aquarium with ease. I estimated there were a few hundred fry.

The following day I noticed they were now in two shoals, swimming close together, an interesting point was that each shoal occupied one end of the tank, with no fry in the middle, in the evening when the lights were turned down, the fry went to the bottom into two balls, still at their own end of the tank. This behaviour continued for a week, when the behaviour changed in that a number broke up from the shoals, and the fry began to swim all over the tank. Was the behaviour a way of protection I do not know, however it was at this point that a number of the fry died.

A week later a large number of fry had died, and I estimated to have around 100 left. The remaining fry were now starting to get deeper bodies, and were very active, some of the fry were bigger than the rest, but I was unable to sort them into sizes as I had no other tanks available, so had to leave them all together. By now some were a lot lighter in colour than the rest, and some had black markings on them, so I was expecting to get some different colours when they became adults.

I was feeding the fry three times a day on a mixture of dry foods, crushed very fine, and as they got bigger increased the size of the food. They soon got used to feeding time, and would eat it with relish.





It was when the fry were four weeks old that their size just seemed to rocket, and took on the proper Angel shape. It was at this point that a couple of the fry seemed to become the bosses, and were the first to the food, and chased the others away. There were a number of fry that never grew so these were culled out, this would leave the stronger and healthier fry more room to grow.


I also selected 6 that I wished to keep, and grow on to hopefully provide more breeding stock. By this time I had moved some of fish about and had a spare tank, so the six fish I had chosen were transferred to this tank.

The parents have since spawned again, once again I was able to observe them spawning, and again they chose an Amazon Sword leaf. However not having any spare tanks, could not attempt to rear them artificially, and the eggs were eaten, I do not know if the Angels ate them or other fish were guilty, as once again they had spawned in the community tank. I am very pleased with the results as I never set out to breed these fish, and only purchased two Angels from two different shops, both for a community tank. For them to actually be a male and female and then pair up was a surprise. I plan at some point in the future to attempt to breed from the parents again, but in a tank on their own, and hopefully for them to hatch and rear the babies.


Last updated March 2006

                  TOP OF PAGE