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07-11-2014, 03:55 AM #1
Breeding Rosy Red/Fathead minnows
I was hoping someone on here might have some experience breeding these common feeder fish.
About 3-4 months ago I bought 5 of the fathead variety at a very small size. They were all too small to tell genders apart. I put them in a 10 gallon tank and waited. It's a bare bottom tank, and the only decorations are 3 inch PVC T pipes (basic caves). About a month ago it was clear I had 1 male and 4 females.
Finally today I see that they've laid eggs. The male suddenly switched to breeding colors (not my fish, but same pattern). The male is guarding his cave and won't let anyone else in. You can see the eggs on the roof of the cave. Normal behavior based on what I've read. However, one of the females is now dead. Her belly was eaten and she was stuck on the filter. NOT normal behavior based on what I've read.
Could this female have died due to the male being territorial? Or could she have died due to the stress of laying eggs? I just finished reading a few online guides to breeding these minnows and no one mentioned the male killing anything.
The water is still testing 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite, as it has been since day 1. It's clearly a breeding issue. I moved the 3 females to an empty 55 gallon tank so the male wouldn't kill any more (assuming he did). Should I move the male in there too and leave the eggs alone in the 10g? Or should I leave the male in there until they hatch? Really just wondering what the best course of action is if I want the babies to live.
07-11-2014, 06:33 AM #2
Never bred them in an aquarium, and can't say why a female turned up dead, but I kept them in the backyard pond at my last house for years to eat mosquito larvae. They spawned every spring, and from what I could tell didn't eat fry. There would be a number of dead fry about 5-6 weeks after they spawned, apparently overcrowding would cause a die-off, but plenty still survived.
No filter on the pond, or even a pump to circulate water, but even with those on the tank the fry will rather quickly overcrowd a 10 as they grow.
07-11-2014, 06:45 AM #3
I know they'll overpopulate the 10g quickly. That's the goal. I'll feed the extras to other fish.
Thanks for the reply though. From what I've read it doesn't seem to matter what I do exactly because it seems I'll end up with at least a few babies no matter what. Just trying to maximize the number. My current plan is (since it takes 5 days for the eggs to hatch) let the male guard them for 3 more days (making 4 days total), then take the male out and let the babies hatch by themselves. That only leaves the final 24 hours or so for eggs to potentially fungus over, and no danger of the fry being eaten. Seems like the safest way to go, unless anyone else has a better suggestion.
Last edited by Zander; 07-11-2014 at 06:50 AM.
07-14-2014, 09:57 PM #4
Figured I'd throw an update out. I let the male tend to the eggs for 4 days. Just now removed him and put him back with the females. There are a lot fewer eggs now (he's supposed to have eaten any that were growing fungus and leave the healthy ones), but the ones there are are much bigger.
They're supposed to hatch in 5 days, which it is now day 5.
I'll try to post more when they hatch.