Breeding

Breeding is the ultimate achievement in keeping an aquarium. The highest prize in this regard is the successful breeding of Discus. To achieve this is the ultimate reward.

Once you decide to start breeding fish you must realize there is a lot of time but even more, a lot of money involved. Some of the things you have to consider when you want to breed fish is a safe environment, specialized foods, more attention to your fish and also even finding a pair of fish that will want to breed!

Generally, you will have to start out by obtaining up to two additional tanks. One tank is for your pair to mate in and one for your fry after they hatch. Why? Because usually fish need a very specific environmental setting to initiate the breeding process and the fry will need their own tank so the adults and other fish will not eat them! Also, the tank for the fry is generally different as far as filtration is concerned. As with every rule their are exceptions. Some adults actually tend to their fry and feed them nourishing foods that they excrete from their bodies.

You may want to start out with something easy like guppies (who breed very easily) or even Neon Tetras. It is not recommended to start out with more complicated fish unless you can deal well with the disappointments and heartbreaks. Also some breeds have never been able to breed successfully in captivity.

Generally, following are the steps you should take to breed fishes:

  1. Read up in-depth on the breeding requirements for the species you want to breed. The more information you have, the less time and money you will have to spend in the long run.
  2. Setup an existing tank or new tank to the right breeding conditions for the fish you wish to breed. Purchase fry cages/birthing wells.
  3. Find a mated pair, or at least a male and female of the species you want to breed.
  4. Maintain the lighting, water and feeding conditions that the pair requires for a successful breeding attempt.
  5. Look out for egg nests, enlarged bellies in the female, unusual swimming behaviors. Especially, look out for fighting between the male and female. If the fishes are fighting, that means that they are not compatible and you should try to replace one of the fishes.
  6. If required (by the species), separate the male from the female after breeding.
  7. Just prior to giving birth (if required by the species), place the female in the birthing tank. This way she can be easily separated from the fry after birth.