Breeding Aquariumfishes


Knowledge is most important. Without knowledge you don't get very far. Therefore I will provide some information and tips that hopefully give you some knowledge, that I hope will help you to become a good or better breeder.

For starters you can think of what species of fish you want to breed and see if it is a suitable species for you. Some species have never been bred in captivity, while others are so easy to breed that they spawn even if you don't want them to. It is an advantage if you can sell the offspring after you have raised them, therefore it's good to find out about the demand and prize on the market. When you have chosen the species you want to breed you should make sure you have a suitable aquarium for the purpose. If you do not already have one you can consider buying one in an aquariumstore, hire someone to build you one (or if you dare, build one yourself), or try to get one cheaper second hand. If you buy second hand you should make sure that the quality is high. Decorate the aquarium after the demands of the species.

When you have all the equipment you need and the aquarium has cycled, it's time for the fish. It's important to get hold of top quality breeding stock. Often it's good to obtain about six to ten young ones that can pair up while they grow. (That is if you have chosen a species that develop pairs, and if they are schoal spawners is also good to start with atleast this number of fish.) To get apropriate fish cheap it's good to have connections with other breeders where you can usually selects extra high quality specimens from several different batches and different parents. You easily get connections with breeders through an aquariumsociety.

You can also buy the fish in an aquariumstore. There are a few things that you should be aware of when buying breeding fish from an aquariumshop though, and I'm not just talking about price. There are limitations such as that you usually don't get to see the parents and earlier generations of the fish. It's also more of a hazard as the fish are more likely to carry diseases, as an aquariumshop is a very difficult place to keep free from diseases with new fish arriving often.

I'm not saying that you shouldn't buy breeding fish from an aquariumstore, especially since it can often be the best or only place where you can get hold of certain species and varieties. I suggest that when you do buy fish from an aquariumstore it should be from a good shop with staff that have solid aquaristic knowledge. You should also ask about what they know of the origin of these perticular specimens and write it all down for future reference. It is also good to be able to provide this information when you start selling the offspring. Avoid buying fish from the "bottom scrap" that is left after other buyers have already taken their pick of the best specimens. Instead you should be one of the first to choose from the fish that arrive to the shop. If you don't want the high risks involved, when buying newly arrived fish, you should book them (if necessary make a down payment) and let the shop quarantine them a week or two before you buy them. You need the best starting material you can get if you want to get high quality offspring from the fish.

Don't mix pure strains without reason. My advice is also to not choose deformed strains or specimens that can't even swim or see properly because I consider it to be cruelty to animals to keep such fishes. For example strains with extremely long veilformed multiped fins and shortened spines are common, everything to temptate buyers. Please don't contribute to this cruelty.

It's important to choose breeding stock without faults, to keep the species from degenerating because genetic errors can be transfered to the offspring. Never put fishes in lousy condition to spawn. When it comes to the breeding itself you shouldn't disturb the fishes in the aquarium. Naturally different species are varied in their sensitivity to this, most of them don't mind if you sit calm and watch, while some species even need covering of the tankwalls not to get disturbed. ;-)

Catch and remove parents of eggeating species directly after the spawn. If you use a filter make sure that no eggs have got into it during the spawn. The hatching time of the eggs vary a lot depending on the species and temperature of the water. Usually it's about 18 to 72 hours.

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© Copyright Max Strandberg