At AC Tropical fish breeding you will find a lot of information and guidelines that can be useful when you attempt to breed your aquarium fish, or when you suddenly realize that your aquarium is filled with eggs or fry. The level of the articles varies from very basic introductory articles to more advanced accounts regarding the breeding of more difficult aquarium species. If you do not find what you are looking for on this page, we suggest that you take a look in the species database as well since a majority of the species profiles contain breeding information. It is also advisable to look in the article category of the type of fish you want to breed since you often can find breeding information in the articles in other sections too.
Some fish will readily spawn in aquariums while others are very difficult to coax into breeding in captivity but this is on of the things that make fish breeding so interesting. There are also many aquarium species that have never been bred in aquariums and where each specimen has to be caught from the wild. Fish are either livebearers or egg layers. Livebearing fish give birth to free swimming fry and the offspring develops inside the female fish. Egg layers will instead release eggs that are fertilized outside the female fish. Eventually the eggs will hatch and fry will emerge. If you are a beginner aquarist and want to try breeding fish, livebearers are usually a better choice than egg layers, since there are several livebearing species that will happily spawn in aquariums even without any extraordinary care or treatment. Molly, Guppy and Platy are three examples of commonly kept livebearers.
Livebearers give birth to fry that look like tiny copies of adult fish. It is however common that the fry is protected by a duller and more camouflaging coloration and that they lack extravagant features that are found in mature fish. During the breeding period, the male will use his gonopodium to fertilize the eggs inside the female. The gonopodium is actually the anal fin of the male fish that has developed into a reproductive organ. After fertilization it will typically take four weeks before the fry is born. The fry is not born until it is developed enough to survive without any help from the parents.
Different egg laying species have developed different breeding strategies. Some are devoted parents that build advanced nests for their offspring or even carry them around inside the mouth, while others will simply release the eggs and let the current sweep them away as soon as they have been fertilized. Marine fish species will often release eggs that can float and stay hidden among plankton.
Egg laying species are usually divided into four basic groups: egg scatters, substrate spawners, bubble nest builders and mouth brooders. Fish species that live in rivers and streams are often egg scatters and they will typically let the current transport the eggs away and distribute them over a large area. The egg can also fall down to the bottom where the fry develop. Since egg scatters hardly ever encounter their offspring in the wild, they are likely to eat them in the aquarium since the enclosed space is an unnatural living environment. Substrate spawners will instead attach the eggs to some type of substrate to make it impossible for currents to carry them away. Some species will only use one specific type of substrate, and sometimes also vigorously clean it beforehand, while others are less selective. It is common for the male and/or the female to create a form of nest in the substrate. Bubblenest breeders will instead create a nest that is floating far away from the substrate. In most bubblenest building species it is the male that is responsible for building the nest and he will blow out tiny bubbles that he carefully glues together with saliva. Mouth brooders carry eggs and/or fry inside the mouth of a parent. Some species are maternal mouthbrooders while others are paternal mouthbrooders. Mouthbrooding will often be combined with substrate spawning.
Fish breeding Articles
Breeding Angelfish - Information about Breeding Angelfish
Breeding Bristlenosed Catfish - A short introduction to breeding Bristlenosed catfish
Breeding Discus - An introduction to breeding Discus.
Breeding Goldfish - An introduction to breeding goldfish
Breeding Mbuna Cichlids - An introduction to breeding Mbuna Cichlids
Breeding Oscar Fish - Introduction on how to breed Oscar fish.
Breeding Tiger Barbs - An introduction to breeding tigerbarbs.
Breeding/Rearing Aquarium Tanks - How to setup a good aquarium to raise fry in.
Choosing the parents - An introduction to choosing the right fish for breeding.
Condition the parents - An introduction about how to condition fish for breeding.
Equipment and breeding fish - An introduction to equipment and how to manage a breeding tank.
Failed breedings - An article about failed breedings and how one can prevent the same thing from happening again.
Feeding Fry - An article about how to feed your fry.
Fish Spawning Methods - A introduction to the different spawning methods that are used by fish.
Koi Breeding - An introduction to breeding Koi fish.
Raising fry - An article about how to raise fry.
Spawning Methods - An introduction to the different spawning methods that fish use.
Tips for effective breeding - A few tips on how to successfully breed and raise fish.
Central American Cichlids
Frogs and Turtles
Lake Victoria Cichlids
Marine Aquarium Fish
Responsible Fish Keeping
South American Cichlids
Tropical Fish Food