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Fish Tank Forum • View topic - Breeding Goldfish in the Aquarium
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Breeding Goldfish in the Aquarium

Planning on breeding fish or already breeding them.

Breeding Goldfish in the Aquarium

Postby Mick » Tue Mar 30, 2010 4:21 am

One aspect of keeping goldfish has to be the achievement of getting them to spawn and produce young, although this can be more difficult in the aquarium than leaving them to their own devices in the garden pond, it is possible and very rewarding when you raise your first batch of young. In the pond they goldfish will breed when the water temperature rises, this can happen twice a year but in the aquarium the room temperatures should keep the aquarium water fairly constant so theoretically the goldfish breeding could happen throughout the year if they are given the right conditions. It may take some time to get conditions right but eventually with a lot of patience successful breeding pairs will produce a lot of juvenile goldfish for you.

To make this project work for you there are certain pointers that need to be adhered to, getting things right from the start will increase your chances of success. A lot of the success is down to selecting quality stock for the breeding pair, look for perfect body shape, it could be you are wishing to breed the fish from parents with unusual markings, take your time and even though it may cost you more select the best fish you can. Sexing goldfish is impossible when they are juveniles, it is better to buy a group of six fish,, from this group you are bound to end up with some males and females. Goldfish can only be sexed as they mature, males will have a more slender body shape whilst the females body will be slightly plumper. As spawning season approaches the males will develop white spots (tubercles) around their gill plates and also along the leading edge of their pectoral fin. This group will need to be kept in a suitably sized tank that is cycled until they show signs of being interested in each other. Goldfish are normally at a breeding age when they reach 3 years old or 6” in length but as expected there will always be exceptions to this rule.

In cooler climates it may be necessary to artificially heat the water up to 72 deg F (22 deg C) to re-create the natural warming of the water in outside ponds. The fish will now need conditioning for a few weeks with a high protein diet, in an outside pond the fish would have slowed right down on their feeding over the winter months and as the water temperature increases their feeding requirements also increase, this is what you are replicating in the aquarium. Strong and healthy fish will produce eggs that have a higher success rate, keep them fed well and they will breed. It is during this time that many breeders will set up their spawning tank.

Setting up your spawning tank for goldfish breeding
The minimum tank size for spawning should be at least 20 gallons. The temperature will need to be set the same as your main tank and it must be cycled. Use sponge filters for the filtration, not only are these easy to maintain but they are easy to regulate the water flow and can act as a potential spawning site. There is also no chance of fry being sucked up into the intake pipe, this is the last thing you want to happen. Add some spawning mops or floating plants, these will also give the eggs somewhere to stick to and will give the future fry some form of hiding place. Goldfish will eat their own eggs if given the chance, this is the last thing you want when attempting to breed them. In the main tank the goldfish will let you know when they are ready to spawn, the male will chase the female around the tank, their colours will intensify and the tubercles will appear on the male. At this stage it is time to move the potential parents into the spawning tank. It may take them a couple of days to settle down, they may spawn on the next daybreak, this is purely pot luck. You will need to keep a close eye on the spawning tank as once the eggs are laid it is time to place the parents back into the main tank before they eat the eggs. Another sign that spawning is imminent is when the male rubs along the side of the female, when the eggs come they will be spread all over the tank sticking to the plants or spawning mops and the water may go slightly cloudy. Remember to always remove the parents once spawning is complete.

Fertile eggs should have a pale yellow appearance, any eggs that remain white are not fertilised, after 2-3 days you should be able to make out the eyes of the fry as black dots inside the eggs. At between 5-7 days the eggs should hatch and the fry are visible with their yolk sacs attached. They will consume the yolk sacs initially so do not add any food until they have completed this. Once free swimming the fry can be fed a diet of newly hatched brine shrimp or infusoria.
Happy breeding!!!!

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