This report is a summary of several breeding attempts

Another of our angelfish pairs have started spawning! Actually, by the size of tonight's spawn, I'd say they've been busy for a few weeks and we just haven't noticed.

This pair was sent to us from Quality Marine, so we are grateful for their support on this project. As with most wild caught fish, this pair had lost some weight by the time we received them. They immediately took to LRS reef frenzy, and LRS fertility blend, which they are fed twice a day. After a few months, they've gained back all their weight and are now in breeding condition.

The breeding tank is 150 gallons. This pair uses every bit of it too!

The bellus larvae are doing great still. We've lost maybe 10% or so, tough to say for sure. Having a hard time keeping them fed while working full time. Fortunately they are at the size to feed on larger prey items, so introducing rotifers tonight.

Videos of their spawns

We've started a big batch of bellus angels this past weekend. This is the most angelfish larvae that we've started with, so it'll be very different compared to past angelfish attempts.

Here's a video showing some bellus eggs that we harvested. You'll notice that healthy fertile eggs float, while infertile eggs sink to the bottom.

Here a video of the eggs developing after the spawns.

Took a hyperlapse video yesterday showing a bellus angelfish hatching from it's egg.

Got a good picture showing the bellus prolarvae. This is only 50% of the spawn at most. The prolarvae in this photo are barely 3-4 hours old.


After 3 days, the prolarvae develop the mouth, eyes, gut, and fins. At this point they are nearly ready to begin feeding. First feeding typically starts late day 3, or into day 4.

Here's a video of the larvae in the tub at day 3 -


Here's a day 4 photo showing food in the gut.


This is a critical first stage for angelfish, as very few food options available are small enough for larval angels to eat. The next 20 or so days will be fairly uneventful, the muscle along the spine will thicken and compress as they flatten into a typical angelfish shape.


Around 20ish days they should reach flexion, which is when we expect to lose most of them. After that, it's fairly smooth sailing till settlement.


This caption is from the book The Origin and Evolution of Larval Forms

Bellus larvae at day 7

We got to day 15 on that last batch of bellus, but lost most of them around day 8 due to our copepod cultures not producing enough to keep up. After day 8, we kept them alive on rotifers, and scrapped this batch to prepare for the next.

Everyone's already seen the angels at day 7, so we'll wait till the weekend to start sharing larvae pics again. Instead, I wanted to share video of their food!

We harvest copepod eggs and nauplii from our parvocalanus cultures to feed the larvae. This is one of the best first feeds for angelfish and other tiny fish larvae.


Here's an updated picture under the scope. We can clearly see the spinal cord in the tail is still straight, so they have not started flexion yet. This gives us an idea where they are in development.


We are now at day 28, and have about 20 angels that are past flexion.


You can see the tip of the spine curves up in the tail, marking an important developmental stage of the larvae.

Bellus3 Bellus6 Bellus7 Bellus8 Bellus9

We've got juvenile bellus angels! Here's one at day 87!



Text, pictures and videos: Chad Vossen



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