If you are new to the aquarium hobby you may think that breeding aquarium fish involves some complicated procedure that only experienced hobbyists can handle. The truth is, however, that even beginning aquarium hobbyists can achieve success in breeding aquarium fish if they are equipped with the proper knowledge. In order to spawn your fish you simply need to learn the basics about breeding and apply that knowledge to the specific requirements of the species you are trying to breed.
Basics of Breeding Aquarium Fish
The first thing you need to know about breeding aquarium fish is that they can be divided into two categories based on the type of breeder they are – livebearer or egg layer. Livebearers undergo internal fertilization and give birth to live fry. Egg layers, on the other hand, may spawn via either internal or external fertilization and the young are born in eggs. If your fish are egg layers, you may need to delve a little deeper to determine which type of egg layer the species is. Egg laying species of fish may be egg scatterers – fish that scatter their eggs among fine-leaved plants – or they could be egg depositors which deposit their eggs on flat rocks or hide them in caves. Some species build nests for their eggs or actually take the eggs into their mouths where they will be protected until hatching.
Breeding Tank Requirements
While each species of fish may have certain requirements for breeding tanks, the general principles remain the same for most species. The breeding tank does not need to be large – a 15- or 20- gallon tank should be sufficient. In order to facilitate easy cleaning, keep the tank bottom bare with the exception of fine-leaved plants for egg scatterers and broad-leaved plants or flat rocks for egg depositors. Outfit the tank with an aquarium heater to help maintain a stable water temperature and install a sponge filter in one corner of the tank. A sponge filter will provide the necessary mechanical filtration and will provide a place for beneficial bacteria to grow while producing a current gentle enough that eggs and newly hatched fry will not be put at risk. Once you have the basic setup for your breeding tank completed you can make adjustments based on the specific requirements of the species.
Spawning Aquarium Fish
Before introducing your fish into the breeding tank it is wise to condition the breeding pair on healthy live foods for at least a week. Once you introduce the fish, keep a close watch on them to be sure they get along. Some fish will spawn readily upon being introduced into the breeding tank while others may require several hours or even days to breed. During this time, monitor your fish to be sure the male does not overly antagonize the female. After spawning has occurred you may want to remove the parent fish from the tank so they do not eat their eggs. Some species exhibit parental care behaviors, however, in guarding and feeding their young so do some research beforehand to determine whether your fish will do so.
Additional Tips and Considerations
As is true of any aquarium, maintaining high water quality in the breeding tank is extremely important. If the water quality in the tank is poor, your breeding pair may not be inclined to spawn. If spawning does occur, poor water quality could lead to an increased risk of the eggs succumbing to fungus. To keep the water in your breeding tank clean and clear, consider adding a mesh bag full of EcoBio-Pebbles to the aquarium. EcoBio-Pebbles are made from porous volcanic rock and are infused with beneficial bacteria and essential nutrients. After the bacteria have been introduced into your breeding tank they will multiply rapidly to form a colony that will help establish and maintain the nitrogen cycle, keeping your tank water pure and healthy. By keeping the EcoBio-Pebbles in a mesh bag you can keep the bottom of your breeding tank bare for easy cleaning while still benefiting from the water clarifying quality of the pebbles themselves.
April 19, 2012 at 9:45 AM Comments (0)