Fish Breeding Tips
Fish Breeding for Beginners
If you want to create best environment for your exotic fish species in your aquarium, you need to know to some vital tips about fish breeding. Many different paths can be taken, depending on the kind of fishes that you want to breed. Each aspect matters, from the space allocated to the fishes to the food and the care that they will need to receive.
Breeding exotic fishes
The first thing to do when deciding to breed your freshwater exotic fish is to distinguish between the sexes of the fish. Some preparations will be required. Make sure you have a way of keeping track of the changes that you do, which will include temperature, food, when females lay their eggs, etc. Be prepared with a journal and make sure you keep your dates correctly. One thing to keep in mind is that most tropical fish are dimorphic or isomorphic. Dimorphic species will be easily distinguishable between sexes, as each one will have a specific distinction. Sometimes it related to physical appearance, sometimes the difference is a bit more subtle, and it may refer to total body mass when mature. Generally, when a fish species is dimorphic, the male will be the one that offers a more interesting visual spectacle they will be colored more intensely, they will have larger fins, etc.
In isomorphic species the only way to distinguish the sexes, and even then with a lesser probability is to check the genital papilla, which is only visible when the fish is spawning. It is for these kinds of species of fish that you need to keep a better track of the male and female populations and to keep them separated, in different tanks to better plan your breeding strategy.
How to select the parent fishes
For exotic fishes, you will want that the offspring to have a very interesting aspect, be colorful, reach a good dimension, etc. Therefore, you need to use the help of selective breeding, to catch the exact kind of look that you are after. Of course, for a better population of fishes, more than just one pair of fishes will be required, but the technique for selection is the same. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to proceed:
- Select mature specimens: A fish will only be able to produce eggs or sperms when it has reached sexual maturity. Therefore, know how much time it takes for a specimen to reach adulthood.
- Select the physical traits that you want to perpetuate: Select your fish according to the characteristics that you are most interested in. However, do not think that if you are selecting, for instance, only yellow fishes, the offspring will have the same color. Sometimes characteristics of the parents will lay dormant in the genetic code of the specimen and can be triggered in the offspring without you having any influence on these. However, for the most part, the characteristics of the parent fishes will be translated to the offspring generations, even if some of the characteristics will not be readily available in the offspring.
- Compatible parings: This is hard to assess, as some species will simply not tolerate partners unless they've spent a lot of time together, sometimes months at an end.
- Mismatching coloring: If you combine different colored species, the offspring will not be a cool, interesting blend between the two. Quite on the contrary, the offspring will simply look bland, having a color that has nothing to do with that of the parents.
- Same species breeding: Some people mistakenly try to breed two different species. It can be a simple mistake due to similarities between the fish species or it can be a mismatch that is perpetuated from the beginning. No matter what it is, you need to remember that interspecies breeding is simply not recommended. The offspring, if they will hatch at all will be sterile and thus you will not be able to perpetuate them any further.
How to take care of the parent fishes
In order for the fish to produce offspring, you need to insure that they will get the right kind of food; they will have the right kind of temperature and also enough space to produce good quality eggs. Flake foods that are readily available in pet shops that have been imprinted with a good dose of hormones (depending on fish species as well) will condition the fish to be more eager for conception.