How to Feed Angelfish Babies: The Complete Guide


No matter how many eggs Angelfish lay, fry survival rate is never a hundred percent.  That’s why feeding is utterly important.

Let Explore Fish World help you with tips and tricks to feed your Angelfish fry. But, before we delve deeper into the feeding dos and donts, we should know how to raise Angelfish fries and get them ready for healthy meals.

Will Angelfish Fry Survive In A Community Tank? Healthy Feeding Is The Key

If you weren’t aware that your Angelfish has paired, laid eggs, and hatched, then most of your eggs and fry could’ve been eaten by now by their tankmates.

The best chance of any Angelfish fry surviving in a community tank would be if you have lots of plants for them to hide in.

When you do discover the Angelfish fry, transfer them right away to their own grow-out tank using a turkey baster.  If you find this almost impossible, you can just leave them there and feed them baby brine shrimp so they’d grow healthier and faster. 

We suggest you find more information on Angelfish egg survival from our post “Why Angelfish Eat Their Eggs And How To Prevent It?”. Proper timing and understanding the signs may help you save them.

Best of luck to your lost fry.  We hope you get to it before the other fish do!

How Many Angelfish Fry Survive?

No fishkeeper in the world has ever reported that all of the eggs hatched and survived.  Casualties are common, as even the expert breeders can attest to.

Parent-raised Angelfish have a higher chance of survival if these don’t eat them.  Rates are about 50-80%.

Without parents, Angelfish fry survival can range from 0% to 70%, depending on the consistency of your water, temperature, and feedings.

Feeding Angelish Fry -1
Angelish Fry -1

In a community tank, survival rate is even less than that.  It’s very hard for parent Angelfish to defend their fry in a tank full of predators.  Most won’t survive.

How Do You Raise Baby Angelfish?

Your Angelfish pair will likely keep producing eggs every week or so.

For better control and Angelfish fry survival, you have to raise the babies by the batch.

There is a danger that bigger fry will consume smaller fry (cannibalism at its finest, folks) and you wouldn’t want that to happen.

Even if cannibalism doesn’t occur, remember that there will be an age gap for every brood so there will be differences in nutritional needs, and therefore, food at some point.

You wouldn’t want the smaller ones consuming food that are too big for them, and you wouldn’t want the older fry missing out on essential alimentation.

When Can I Feed My Baby Angelfish?

Once the babies hatch, they become wigglers.  At this point, the fry will be eating the yolk of the sacs so you shouldn’t be feeding them yet.

You can start feeding your Angelfish fry once all of them become free swimming.

How Long Does It Take Angelfish Fry To Become Free Swimming?

Angelfish fry become free swimmers about 3 to 5 days after mommy Angelfish laid the eggs.

Free swimmers may look like translucent tears with tiny dots for eyes.  Their eyesight is now fully developed and they can see and eat the food that you’ll give them.

Feeding Angelfish Babies
Feeding Angelfish Babies

Do Angelfish Have Teeth?

Yes, Angelfish have teeth.  They use them to digest their food.

But if you’re thinking that Angelfish can use these teeth to cause damage to other fish by nipping, that would be highly unlikely as these teeth are located in their throats.

Hence, they can’t pull other fish’s fin off with them. 

How Often Do You Feed Baby Angelfish?

Baby Angelfish need constant nourishment to facilitate maximum growth.

Feed your Angelfish fry no more than 4 times a day.  Portions should be small—amounting to what can be consumed within a minute or two.

This will ensure that they’ve digested the food from the previous feeding enough to not have too much.

Feeding Angelfish fry less frequently (even with a bigger amount) will result in malnourishment and weakness.

Make time to stick to the schedule so that your Angelfish fry will stay healthy.

Can You Overfeed Angelfish Fry?

Overfeeding can be very bad for Angelfish because they can eat themselves to death. 

If the babies had too much to eat, their digestive systems become clogged up.  It can be a cause of death.

Putting too much food in the water is also very bad for the fry as the water quality will decline and can cause death to Angelfish fry.

If there’s food falling to the bottom of the tank, you know you’ve given your Angelfish fry more than they can eat.

If you’ve already made that mistake, do a water change.

What Do I Feed Fish Fry?

So this is what your Angelfish fry’s diet should look like.

Baby brine shrimp is best for the first 4 weeks of your Angelfish fry. At 4 weeks, flake food should be introduced into the diet. At 6 weeks, you can switch them to adult food. 

These include microworms, freeze-dried tubifex worms, pellets, and other kinds of sustenance your pet store might recommend. 

Angelfish Babies
Angelfish Babies

As always, look at labels for ingredients.  Choose only the best for your baby Angelfish.

What Do Newly Hatched Angelfish Fry Eat?

Angelfish fry have very small tummies and mouths, so the food they should be ingesting should be small enough but with the right amount of nutrition.

Baby brine shrimp is the most recommended food for newly hatched Angelfish fry. 

There are also high-protein fish fry food mixes available at pet stores.  But read labels first and always compare with other available fish food before you purchase any.

As always, Explore Fish World recommends the use of live food before manufactured fish food products because they’re much more nutritious and organic.  They also don’t contain fillers that don’t really have any nutritional value to baby Angelfish.

What Is Baby Brine Shrimp?

Baby brine shrimp are tiny saltwater crustaceans with the scientific name Artemia.  When hatched, they’re about 0.4mm in size each.

Newly hatched baby brine shrimp is the best food you can give Angelfish fry.  They’re nutritious, organic, and can fit just right into those tiny Angelfish mouths.  Most of all, baby brine shrimp doesn’t contain pathogens that can be passed on to your Angelfish babies even though it’s live food.

Brine Shrimp for Angelfish
Brine Shrimp for Angelfish

What makes live food so enticing to Angelfish fry is the movements.  As natural predators, Angelfish love the challenge of capturing these wiggling crustaceans.

In the wild, baby brine shrimp live in seawater all over the world with very high salinity.

Because female Artemia produces dormant eggs, they can be stored for future use and hatched whenever necessary.  This fact has made them very useful to aquaculture. 

Baby brine shrimp has been used as fry food for as long as fishkeeping has been in practice.

Do Brine Shrimp Eggs Go Bad?

Yes, they can become stale and would no longer hatch.

Unhatched eggs can be stored for up to a year as long as the container is vacuum-sealed, kept in the refrigerator, and moisture hasn’t reached the eggs.

Brine Shrimp Eggs
Brine Shrimp Eggs

To prepare baby brine shrimp as fry meal, you’ll need to create a hatchery.

How Do You Make A Baby Brine Shrimp Hatchery?

You should begin hatching baby brine shrimp a day before your Angelfish fry become free swimming as you would need it for their first feeding.

To hatch baby brine shrimp eggs, you’ll need:

  • a clean bottle
  • a tablespoon of rock salt
  • a teaspoon of baby brine shrimp (straight from the container)
  • a pinch of baking soda
  • a lamp
  • a turkey baster
  • an air pump
  • plastic tubing.

The bottle should be tall and be able to hold about a liter and a half of water.  A plastic water bottle with a funnel-like top (when turned upside down) will do. 

This bottle will be used upside down with the cap on.  You can punch holes and hang it from a string, or you can cut up a similar bottle and use the bottom part as a stand.

The rock salt you purchase must be free from additives, including iodine and anti-caking agents.

How Do You Hatch Brine Shrimp?

You have to hatch baby brine shrimp from the eggs because Angelfish fry cannot digest the shells.

  1. Cut up a circle from the bottom of the bottle, leaving around half an inch around it.
  2. Flip the bottle and fill it up with a liter of tap water (no need to de-chlorinate as it will dissipate in a day).
  3. Add a tablespoon of rock salt and a pinch of baking soda.  The baking soda will help keep the water pH stable.
  4. Place a teaspoon of baby brine shrimp eggs into the water and stir until most sink to the bottom.
  5. Insert the plastic tubing all the way to the bottom of the bottle and connect the other end to the air pump.  Turn the air pump on.
  6. Switch on the lamp and focus the light on the water.  This helps keep the water warm and facilitates earlier hatching.
  7. After the recommended time of hatching (18 to 36 hours depending on the brand—read the label), turn off the air pump and remove the plastic tubing.  Wait 3 to 5 minutes for the baby brine shrimp to settle at the bottom of the bottle.  The shells (darker color) should float to the top of the water.
  8. Insert the turkey baster to the bottom and extract the baby brine shrimp.  They will look orange without the shells.
  9. Drop enough of the baby brine shrimp mixture into the tank to feed the fry. 
Freshly Hatched Brine Shrimp
Freshly Hatched Brine Shrimp

Some fishkeepers drain the baby brine shrimp with a fine net and mix it with tank water before serving.  It’s safe and clean either way.

Bon appetit, babies!

How Long Does Brine Shrimp Live After Hatching?

Live hatched brine shrimp can be stored in a container for 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator.

Make sure there is no spillage as they will smell!

How Do You Feed Egg Yolks To Angelfish?

Additionally, egg yolks are high-protein alternatives to the newly-hatched Angelfish fry’s diet.  They’re easy to prepare, not foul-smelling, and cheap.

Simply hard-boil an egg.  Let cool and peel off the shell and egg white.  Crush with yolk with a food processor or mash it.  The particles should be small enough for the fry to consume.  Drop a small quantity into the tank.

Make sure to clean excess egg yolks from the tank to avoid spoiling the water.

Do Baby Angelfish Eat Algae?

Angelfish are omnivores, meaning they eat both animals AND plants.

So yes, Angelfish fry eat algae.

The best kind of algae for Angelfish fry is spirulina, or blue-green cyanobacterium. 

Spirulina aids in digesting food.  And when Angelfish fry eat better, they grow better.  It also helps bring out the color in Angelfish.

A week after hatching, you can add some spirulina powder to their diet.  This can be done weekly.

Feeding your Angelfish fry algae or not (except for spirulina) is inconsequential. 

Can Baby Angelfish Eat Flake Food?

The Angelfish babies won’t put up with baby brine shrimp for so long.  The next step is to add other kinds of food into their diet.

Flake food is introduced to Angelfish fry when they reach their first month of life.

Some fry won’t take to flakes right away so make sure to introduce flakes with the baby brine shrimp, reducing the latter as you go.  Don’t wean them cold turkey or some fry might starve themselves to death.

Angelfish On Flake Food
Angelfish On Flake Food

If the flakes look too big for them, you can try crushing them before sprinkling some into the tank.

As with any other type of fish food, make sure not to give too much or they’ll rot in the bottom of your tank and muck up the water.

If you are interested in learning more about your fish behavior, check out the links below:

Does Fish Food Have An Expiration Date?

Yes, you should always check the label of the fish food to make sure you’re not past the best before date.1

Opened packages should be stored as prescribed to avoid spoilage before its expiration date.

Enjoy raising your Angelfish fry!

Taking care of your Angelfish fry should be enjoyed. For more general information on Angelfish care, head on to our post “How To Care For Angelfish: The Ultimate Guide”.

Whenever you feel like it’s becoming a lot of work, always remember that keeping fish as a hobby requires your passion and patience.  In the end, the calm, peace, and satisfaction you’ll experience is well worth it.

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