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Foster Parents are Truly Angels

Written by Anita Hovanesian

I have been housing two breeding pairs of Angel fish in a 29 gallon tank with a tank-divider between them.  Up until now, I have always confiscated the slate upon which they laid their eggs and hatched the fry artificially with great success.

One day, both pairs spawned simultaneously.  Hoping that the parents would not know the difference between the fry, I left the eggs.  Both sets hatched beautifully and the proud parents herded their babies around within their “stalls”.  The babies soon found openings through which they could escape into the other side.  Several days went by and I noticed that the fry on the left side were dwindling in number.

After a few more days the left side was completely empty of fry - just the two lonely parents remained to wonder what happened.  I decided to try something new.  I netted up some fry which I had raised separately from their parents and introduced them into the left side.

Suddenly the male dashed forward and gobbled up most of them before I could stop him.  I watched in horror as he chomped down on them and seemed to swallow.  Then, to my surprise, he spit them all out into a corner and rapidly pumped his dorsal fin in warning.  He was probably saying, “And if you guys think you’re going somewhere, just try it!!”

Both parents on the left side continue to care for their new foster children very diligently, as do the pair on the right side.  Apparently they are unable to tell whose is whose and do not seem to mind if their brood grows larger in number.  I find that fry raised with adult Angels are much healthier and seem to grow more rapidly; therefore, if foster parents are available - try it.  (The pair must have spawned recently and for a time cared for their young - otherwise they will eat the new babies thinking they are food!)