Updated: Aug 18
At approximately 5 days post-hatch, these little guys are currently in a stage colloquially known as "wigglers." In just 2 to 3 days, they'll enter the "free swimming" phase, where they will be able to swim around the water column and begin eating tiny foods such as Hikari First Bites.
The most fascinating thing about this clutch, though, is that the parents were previously thought to both be females, as they both can be seen depositing eggs from ovipositors each time they "breed" with one another. This has happened several times. But this time, even though both were seen depositing eggs, one was also fertilizing the clutch. This means that one of them has fully functioning reproductive organs associated with both males and females (the correct term for this would be hermaphroditic). This is almost unheard of in cichlids, the family to which Angelfish belong (other popular cichlids include Oscars, Convicts, and Discus). Angelfish are, in almost every case, gonochoric (sexually binary). Clearly, this is an exception!
Below you can view a short video of them wiggling on the leaf, which is the third place the parents have placed them. Check it out!
The above video was taken by our Technician, Skylar, on August 7th 2023.
This video was taken on August 18th. You can see that most of the babies have very full bellies, which indicates the ones that have the highest chance of survival.