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Fish Tank Forum • View topic - Breeding Bristlenose catfish
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Breeding Bristlenose catfish

Planning on breeding fish or already breeding them.

Breeding Bristlenose catfish

Postby Mick » Mon Apr 20, 2009 8:33 pm

Before I start this article I would like to state that there are various methods for breeding this fish but I have found this method to work for me!

When I start a breeding project with these fish I have found the easiest way to obtain pairs is to purchase a group of juvenile fish and let them pair naturally. Just adding one male and one female will not guarantee success. One of the problems incurred when starting out with a group of juveniles is that they are very difficult to sex until their famous bristles appear. This may result in several males being in the tank together, if given a large enough tank there should not be a problem but don't keep them confined or major squabbles may arise.

When you are sure that you have a pair it is best to move them into their own breeding tank so that they can get on with the matter in hand without being disturbed.

Setting up the tank
A large tank is not necessary for breeding purposes, choose one with a long footprint though so that you have the space to add several potential breeding sites in the form of caves or lengths of piping. As with all of my breeding tanks, I prefer to use air driven sponge filters and the temperature should be set to 25-27 deg C. If possible also try to create some nooks and crannies with driftwood, this will benefit the parents and make them feel more at ease. Run an airline to keep the water well oxygenated and set the pH of the water so that it is slightly acidic. Keep the water quality high with regular water changes and I always keep the lighting subdued.

The spawning process
The male will choose a spawning site from all of the options that you have provided for him and invite the female into the area to deposit the eggs. As they prefer to spawn secretly you may have to keep checking the tank closely in order to spot if spawning has actually taken place. The eggs should be a orange colour and the male will , at this stage probably drive the female out of the site while he tends the eggs and fans water over them. At this stage remove the female as he will defend the nest with vigour.

Raising the fry
After 5 days, the eggs should darken in colour and the fry will begin to hatch. The male will continue to defend the fry who will not leave the nest just yet. Any that slip out will be replaced by the male. It is only when the fry are free swimming that the male should be removed, now you can feed them and look after them yourself. As with all fry tanks regular water changes are a must, I always do at least 10% water changes on a daily basis, whichever species of fish that I am breeding.
Do not attempt to feed the fry until the yolk sacs have been fully consumed, once this has occured add some fresh vegetables into the tank, these need to be slightly blanched before doing so. For this I normally use a leaf from Romaine lettuce, do not attempt to give them newly hatched brine shrimp until they are slightly larger. After a couple of weeks you can also start adding algae wafers and crushed flake for the fry to consume.

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