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FishDeals.com | Breeding Aquarium Fish
Breeding Aquarium Fish

There are so many resources on the web dedicated to breeding fish, I would be dumb to try and duplicate even a portion of it. Below are some tips and tricks to making it successful. Make sure to research your individual species for breeding instructions, breeding habits can vary widely within species.

Anyone who wants to breed a given species of fish should check specific resources to find out about the particular species that they want to raise.

Breeding Overview: Key Points, Tips & Tricks

  1. There are ton's of resources on the web search: Google, Yahoo, Others.
  2. Most fish fall into one of 6 categories: mouth brooders, egg layers, shell dwellers, bubble-nest builders, egg scatterers, and livebearers.
  3. There are many fish that are considered "oDd-BaLlS." They don't fit into any one category.
  4. Fish do best when they are conditioned to breed. (really healthy frequent feedings, no pickers or predators around, very good native water conditions)

Egg Layers Overview: Key Points, Tips & Tricks
Fish Types: Corydoras, Catfishes, Cichlids, some Rasboras, Angelfish.

  1. In most cases parents may make a meal of the fry so itís best to remove the adult fish after fertalization.
  2. Female begin to lay eggs, The male follows after her and fertilizes them.
  3. The Female will want a surface on which to lay her eggs. Usually some nice rock will do well. Or large leafy plasic plants.

Livebearers Overview: Key Points, Tips & Tricks
Fish Types: Mollie, Halfbeaks, Guppy, Platy, Swordtails.

  1. JAWAW. Just Add Water And Wait.
  2. These are usually the easiest to breed. If you have females, you feed them & change the water. In about 4-6 weeks most will spit out live small fish.
  3. Patience is the key here. The easiset way to breed these is go to Petsmart, pick out a few really fat female mollies or platies and feed them good.
  4. Once a livebearer is pregent they can stay that was for up to 2 years.
  5. Most Female livebearers you buy in the store are already pregent or male. (Female gouramis are hard to find)
  6. Livebearing fishes ( Guppies, Halfbeaks, Mollies, Platies, and Swordtails ) differ from egg-layers when differentiating between the sexes. The male's anal fin is known as the gonopodium, while others have a notched fin. The female's anal fin is fan-shaped.

Egg Scatterers Overview: Key Points, Tips & Tricks
Fish Types: Barbs, Danios, some Rasboras, some Characins and related species, Goldfishes.

  1. Egg-Scatterers breed when ready (often once a week), quite spontaneously, and spawn.
  2. The eggs may be non-adhesive or adhesive, falling directly to the riverbed or becoming caught in aquatic plants.
  3. There is no parenting, eggs flow where ever they fall. (A large marble floor is recommened for these types.

Bubble-nest Builders Overview: Key Points, Tips & Tricks
Fish Types: Betta Splendens ( Siamese Fighting Fish ), Gouramis, some Cichlids, and a few Catfishes.

  1. The male will display (Show off colors) for the female and construct a bubble nest, an intricate floating nest of air bubbles held together by mouth secretions.
  2. Usually the mail wraps around the female squeezing out her eggs.
  3. The male collects them, places them in the nest and then gaurds them until they hatch.

Mouth Brooders Overview: Key Points, Tips & Tricks
Fish Types: Some Cichlids, some species of Betta

  1. Mouth brooders are called this because of the parentís habit of protecting eggs and young in their mouths.
  2. They will dig in gravel, especially at breeding time, so your tank can get re-arranged easily.

Shell Dwellers Overview: Key Points, Tips & Tricks

Fry Overview: Key Points, Tips & Tricks

  1. Do not give food to your new brood (Fry, small fishes) until they are able to consume it otherwise it will decay and pollute the tank.
  2. Fry do best on several feedings a day. Only small amounts of food should be given as leftover food will spoil and affect the health of the fish.

 Overview of Fish Breeding/Spawning/Conditions

 Ask a Question about Breeding Aquarium Fish

Breeding Specific Fish Types:

# Image Type of Fish Things to Remember
1. Zebra Danios
Brachydanio rerio
  • Condition the zebras with the best food possible.
  • They readily eat their fry.
  • Fry hatch in 48 hours and grow rapidly.
  • Breeding Sources:

    Breeding triggers:

    • Changes in water temperature, direction of change dependant on species.
    • Changes in water depth, direction of change dependant on species.
    • Changes in feeding, usually increase in live foods.
    • Changes in tank mates, usually separate and re-join male(s) and female(s) or introduce new fish together.
    • Changes in water quality, usually cleaner water of a pH more closely matching that found in the wild for the species of interest.
    • Changes in lighting, usually increase in day length.
    • Changes in tank decor such as the addition of java moss for egg scatterers or small clay flower pots or PVC pipe for cave egg depositors, etc.
    • A healthy ecosystem in the aquarium or pond including a nice growth of algae (for the fish to spawn on and for microorganisms to grow that will feed the fry).

    It may take a combination of the above triggers to initiate spawning.

    Some species of fish like corydoras catfish are triggered to breed by large water changes (~50%) with slightly cooler (a few degrees F) water. The actual triggers are the decrease in temperature, decrease in water hardness, and cleaner water. Others like goldfish are triggered mostly by light changes (usually coupled with temperature changes as well). As light increases in the spring, they begin breeding. These species may need their light timers changed with the seasons to breed if kept inside. Other fish like danios and live bearers are triggered almost entirely by an increase in water temperature. Labyrinth fish often are triggered to breed by a decrease in water depth. Most fish require a combination of changes to initiate spawning. Each species is different so it is important to know that species' spawning triggers. Another way to initiate spawning is to feed the fish live foods like brine shrimp, tubifex or black worms, daphnia, etc. This mimics the abundance of live foods in spring and also gives the fish the extra nutrition required to produce vast amounts of eggs and sperm. Feeding fish to induce spawning is called conditioning. Often during conditioning, the male(s) and female(s) are separated. When re-joined, they are often ready to spawn.

    Separating parents from eggs and/or newborns:

    Except in the case of some species of cichlids where the adults protect the young or in a few other cases of unusual fish, the eggs or newborns and their parents should be separated. This not only prevents the parents and other fish from eating the eggs and/or newborns, but also allows more controlled rearing of the young. If you only desire a few offspring, the eggs and/or newborns can be left with the parents. With many species, a few should survive. With others, like zebra danios, the parents will absolutely eat every last newborn they can reach. Fry can be placed in breeding nets until they are larger if only a few are collected. If many are collected, they should be treated as below under fry care.

    Know a good breeding source? Send it here, Ask An Expert

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