Equipment And Breeding Fish

Equipment And Breeding Fish

The first and foremost need for successful spawning of many species is space. Fish often become territorial when their breeding time approaches. Most males are very aggressive during this time, and will chase away any potential competitors. This becomes especially dangerous for the younger fish, and more so if they are unable to get to a safer place, out of reach of the aggressive male. The primary need of fish that are going to breed is enough space for them to chase, hide and move. There are species that needs very little space and that don’t get especially aggressive, such as the very popular Guppy.

Some species of fish get into the spawning mode when they are fed highly nutritious food. Thus it is a good practice to give the breeders some special attention. This kind of special attention aims at bringing the fish to their topmost reproductive state. If you have some extra aquariums, place the two sexes separately in the two aquariums.

A delivery aquarium is advisable when your fish are ready to spawn. This will save the fry from being eaten up as food by the other fish. A tight cover should be placed on the aquarium as some fish species can become very nervous during this stage and show a tendency to jump. The conditions in the delivery aquarium should be as close to those in the original aquarium as possible. This will save the parent fish from any undesirable stress at such a critical stage in the breeding cycle.

A special aquarium for rearing fry is also advisable. This can be the same aquarium as the delivery aquarium if the parents are moved from the aquarium once the eggs are laid. If the species guards their young, they should not be removed until they have stopped rearing the fry and started to prepare for a new spawning. The needs and requirements of fry are very different from bigger fish. They need special kinds of food, at least till they grow a bit bigger. Filtration too has to be varied in order to accommodate fry. As the fry start developing you can perform a 10% water change the first few days, and than raise this up to a 40% water change every day to keep the water clean. Clean water helps keep your fry healthy and fast growing. Optimal survival of the fry is ensured if you segregate the fry depending on their size. The fastest growing fry are almost always the males. The bigger fry will eat the smaller ones if they are not separated.

Some people use a breeding trap as the place where the female livebearer can drop her fry. The fry are thus out of reach as they will be dropped into a separate plastic compartment attached to the rim of the aquarium. If the breeding aquarium is too small to accommodate the female, the chances of her miscarrying while struggling to escape are very high.

The spawning aquariums for different kinds of fish should be set up according to their particular characteristics. Egg scatterers will eat their own eggs. So, care should be taken that their eggs fall away from the reach of the parents. For small species of this kind of fish, a 5-10 gallon aquarium would be the best. The parents should be removed after spawning. If the fish lays non-adhesive eggs, it is better to put nylon netting just above the aquarium floor. The eggs will then fall out of the reach of the parents. In case the eggs are adhesive, then they will be laid among the leaves of plants.

Egg depositors should get aquariums decorated in accordance with their egg depositing behavior. If they are the types that care for their young, the parents can stay in the aquarium after laying the eggs. It is advisable to provide these fish with broad-leafed plants, flat stones, upturned flowerpots, coconut shells, or rocky caves. If your fish species inhabit rocky areas in the wild, they will appreciate caves or flat stones as breeding sites, and so on. Putting in plants and caves will give fish a sense of security even if they are not plant spawners.

Mouth brooders can be left in the main aquarium even when they are spawning because the eggs as well as the young are well protected by the parent. Brooding does however bring out aggression and brooding fish can cause harm to any other fish in the aquarium. For this reason alone, it may be better to put these fish into a new aquarium while they are breeding.

Setting up a new aquarium for breeding purposes is fairly easy. You do not have to go through all the steps and wait for the Nitrogen cycle, plant your aquarium etc since you can use water and bacteria from your established aquarium. An additional aquarium for breeding purpose need not be very big. Usually an aquarium with a capacity of 2-6 gallons would suffice for most fish. The best way to set up your aquarium easily is to take water from your existing aquarium and use this to start your new aquarium. Since the fish are being transported from the old aquarium, they will already be acclimatized to this water. Using a foam filter for a few weeks in your old aquarium will help you collect a good quantity of beneficial bacteria that can be easily moved to the new aquarium. Decorations and plants can be kept to a minimum for most species. Changing water in this aquarium regularly is a must. The best way to clean out the material wastes in this aquarium is to siphon it out using a flexible pipe. Keep in mind that it is easy to siphon out some fry also along with the waste. So, it is best to siphon out the waste into a clean bucket. This will help you to save any nosey fry.

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