Our experienced team of editors and researchers contributed to this article and tested it for accuracy and completeness.
The number of sources used in this article: 5. You will find a list of them at the bottom of the page.
The wikiHow content management team carefully monitors the work of editors to ensure that each article meets our high quality standards.
Angelfish are the favorite fish of freshwater aquarists because of their unique appearance. With triangular bodies, wide stripes and long fin, these easy-to-maintain fish paint any freshwater aquarium. Originally from South America and mainly found in the Amazon, these attractive fish are well adapted to be kept in properly equipped aquariums that suit their needs. Under correctly created conditions in the aquarium, owners of scalars can become witnesses of how scalars are hatched from eggs and grow into adults. When you learn how to breed a scalar, you will succeed.
Necessary conditions for reproduction:
- water temperature 27–32 degrees,
- frequent fluid changes,
- slightly acidic and soft water,
- a sufficient amount of space (from 100 liters for a spawning pair, for a group of fish - from 200 liters),
- filtration and aeration,
- plants and shelters,
- daylight hours at least 10 hours.
Set up an incubator in a 5-10 L tank. Fill half of the vessel with water from the manufacturers aquarium, and the other half with distilled. Install the aerator and heater adjusted to 30 degrees. After an hour, place the masonry sheet in the incubator so that no air bubbles fall on it. Provide round-the-clock coverage. Add plants for biofiltration and growing ciliates, which will serve as food for fry.
Differences between male and female
Sexual dimorphism in fish is weakly expressed. It is easier to determine the sex in standard individuals than in albinos, golden and marble scalars.
- lack of fat bumps on the head,
- smaller size
- single front fins,
- ovipositor (genital organ) of a blunt form, in males - pointed.
Angelfish are monogamous. Pisces choose a pair of several representatives. The optimal acquisition of a group of 6-10, where the fish naturally find themselves and form their own pairs. You can select vibrant producers and provide reproduction artificially. This option will not give a guaranteed result.
The hierarchy in the general aquarium is built independently. A pair of the largest scalars during reproduction occupies the best part of the general aquarium. Among couples, loners have the most difficulty, they are oppressed and driven, they get less food.
The puberty of scalars occurs in 6–12 months and depends on the conditions of keeping, breed and health status of the fish. Females spawn on leaves, soil, and sometimes on the surface of the filter.
Create good conditions for future offspring. You will need containers for spawning and keeping fry. A week before spawning, feed future parents with protein and quality feed:
- a pipe maker
- specialized feeds.
You can determine the readiness of the scalar for spawning by the rounded abdomen of the female and the aggressive attitude of the couple to other inhabitants. Fish drive away neighbors from their designated place for spawning. Put steam in a prepared aquarium with similar water parameters. The female lays 100–500 eggs, which are later fertilized by the male. After spawning, they look after the clutch until fry appear. Parents fan their eggs with fins, removing the unfertilized ones from the masonry.
After 2-3 days, larvae hatch from eggs.
At first, they are weak and motionless, they require special content.
- Only fry hatched from eggs are enough 2 liters of the volume of the aquarium. For a monthly fry, there should be at least 4 liters of water. Seed young growth as they grow. Lack of space leads to improper development.
- Juveniles are very sensitive to the purity of water. Change a third of the fluid daily.
- It is important to choose a filter that will not drag the fry into it. Close the bottom of the filter with a capron.
Stage fry occurs in 6-12 days. At the age of a month, fry acquire the features of adults and a more complex structure.
When the fry dissolves in an egg sack, they begin to feed. They eat 5-6 times a day. For feeding fry suitable:
- egg yolk,
- small bloodworm.
The experience of aquarists-breeders
Among the aquarists there are many who shared their experience in breeding angelfish with others. Enthusiasts breed eggs on their own, and someone trusts this business to the fish-parents. There are cases when spawning of a scalar becomes a surprise to an aquarist.
- Do not separate the formed pair, for fish it is a lot of stress. With a new producer, offspring may not work.
- Do not lay gravel on the bottom. In improperly selected soil, caviar is easily damaged or washed off when cleaning the aquarium.
- Change the temperature of the water smoothly. Too sharp temperature drops will cause fish shock.
- The maximum temperature is 32 degrees. At too high temperatures, water is worse saturated with oxygen, and scalars may faint.
- Provide peace to the parent fish. Usually, scalars take care of the offspring, but stress can lead to eating offspring. Feed the fish on time and monitor the quality of the water.
- Prepare spawning from 100 liters with standing water. Adjust temperature and water parameters. Provide a place for laying eggs, such as a sponge or spawning cone.
- Wait for the scalars to form pairs.
- Put the pair into a spawning aquarium.
- If a couple eats caviar, grow it artificially. Transfer the eggs to a clean jar. Treat the water with fungicide, and then acriflavine, provide oxygen. The temperature should be 27 degrees.
- The next day, carefully remove the white eggs with tweezers.
- The fry will hatch after 60 hours. Begin feeding 5–6 days after hatching.
- Transplant fry into a large aquarium when they begin to swim in a flock.
Breeding angelfish is a process that is interesting to watch. The first successful experience of breeding fish occurred in 1914. Since then, aquarists have learned to breed scalar at home.
Since it is important to maintain a high temperature for these fish, it is necessary to equip the aquarium with a heater. When choosing, pay attention to the temperature range to which this appliance can heat water.
In addition, it is necessary to install a compressor, a filter, put a thermometer in order to be able to track the temperature. If the aquarium is in the shade, it is necessary to install lighting. It is worth remembering that scalars are rather shy fish, so you should turn on the lighting carefully or not turn it on at all. On top of the aquarium, it is advisable to cover (or purchase a container with a lid), as the fish can jump out of the water.
Reproduction of scalars in an aquarium implies, among other things, the need to properly feed them. However, these fish are not too demanding on food. They eat live food beautifully: tubifex, bloodworms and other types of this food. At the same time, they quietly switch to dry food. However, it must be borne in mind that the shape of the body does not allow scalars to raise food from the bottom. Therefore, it is best to acquire those types of food that will float to the surface and sink very slowly. For the proper development of angelfish, the reproduction of which depends on its physical condition, it is important not to overfeed it. Usually feed them twice a day. Keep in mind that these creatures do not understand when they are saturated. They can eat much more food than they really need. In this case, the fish will become obese and lose their ability to reproduce. To prevent this disease, it is necessary to arrange a “fasting day” once a week. This means that they do not need to be fed that day.
For those who care about multiplying scalars at home, it is very important to determine the gender of existing individuals. However, it is quite difficult for scalars to do this. More precisely, before puberty is completely impossible. The main difference between adults is the dorsal fin. In males, it is more elongated. In addition, the number of transverse stripes on it for males should not be less than 7, and for females no more than 6 pieces.
But even experienced aquarists can find it difficult to correctly determine the sex of the scalar. For this reason, it is recommended to purchase either individuals that have already given offspring, or to take an already formed pair. If this is not possible, you need to take a dozen fry with wide and long fins. Among such a flock will surely be representatives of both sexes. These fish will form pairs themselves, giving the owner the opportunity to decide which one to use in reproduction.
Breaking the existing pairs is not recommended, as this is a strong stress, after which the fish may never again enter into a "relationship". It’s easy to recognize a couple - they stick together, the male drives the female into the corners, swim everywhere one after another.
It is very important to know that it is necessary to equip a special aquarium for spawning angelfish. Reproduction in a common aquarium for these fish is almost impossible.
A couple of producers, it is advisable to feed a lifetime with live food. In extreme cases - frozen. Fish that received dry food are often not capable of reproduction, not large enough, have a pale color.
With proper care, scalars are able to lay eggs every 14 days. But for this you need to remove the laid eggs.
To stimulate spawning, the water temperature is increased by 2 degrees, several times a week they change up to 10 percent of the water. It is advisable to add boiled water with reduced hardness. Aquarium fish angelfish, the reproduction of which we are interested in, prefer to lay eggs on plants, so large leaves, pieces of plastic, tiles should be in the container.
Spawning itself most often lasts from 40 to 90 minutes. The female lays eggs on the cleaned surface of the leaf, after which the male fertilizes it. The process is repeated several times, in total 700-800 eggs in one clutch can be laid.
After a couple of days, the shells of the eggs break, turning into cords, on which the larvae hang. After 4 days, you can already see the heads and yolk sacs, from which the larvae receive food. They move constantly, trying to free themselves.
After a week or two fry gain freedom. Now they need feeding. For this, it is necessary to pre-prepare live food for fry: daphnia, ciliates, artemia. Kids need to be fed 5-6 times a day. In addition, you need to place a filter in the incubator, for safety, closed with a nylon stocking. The density of fry should be about 2pcs. per liter of water. If there are more, then you need to put it in another aquarium. Before one feeding, a third of the water is replaced, before removing the remaining food.
After 30-45 days, small scalars acquire a characteristic shape, after which they need to be seated with a density of 4-5 liters of water per fry. Fish of this age are fed with small bloodworms, live food, and chopped tubule. Very soon, you can move the fry into the usual aquarium for this species.
Scalaria, the care and reproduction of which is not too simple, have several types. The most common of them: black, gold, white, blue, veil, koi, marble and red.
All these species differ only in appearance, and the content, care, breeding remain the same for everyone.