There are a lot of factors that need to be considered before undertaking the ambitious project of goldfish breeding. Since most fish enthusiasts breed fish indoors in a controlled environment, we will go into detail about how to make the necessary preparations in order to establish a successful breeding program.
Goldfish breeding is not an exact science. Placing goldfish in a tank or pond and waiting expectantly for babies to appear can be disappointing. Goldfish require specific equipment in order to breed successfully in captivity.
For breeders who want goldfish to breed in a tank environment, there are a few things that are necessary to begin the process of goldfish reproduction.
Not only will a tank suitable in size with filtration be necessary, but a tank setup is necessary for the fry (goldfish hatchlings). A heater for both tanks, plants, and a sponge filter and air pump for the fry tank.
Goldfish must be of both sexes, of course. However, the fish must reach maturity before you are able to sex them. Maturity is reached around one year of age. However, the sex of a goldfish can only be determined during the breeding season. It is best to have more males than females in the tank to increase the chance of reproduction.
Male goldfish will have white pimples or breeding tubercles on their gill flaps and on the pectoral fins. Females will have a deeper body to hold their eggs and a larger vent. The fry tank should be filled from the larger breeding tank to a depth of six to eight inches.
Wild goldfish breed in the spring. It is the change in temperature that induces breeding. This will need to be replicated in the indoor breeding tank.
To do this, first lower the temperature of the tank to between 50 degrees F and 54 degrees F. When you are ready to begin your breeding program, raise the water temperature each day by 3 degrees F until the water temperature reaches between 68 degrees F to 74 degrees F.
Watch for the physical changes in the goldfish. The male will also display a spawning behavior by chasing the female and poking her in the abdomen. The female will then find a place in the tank to hide and lay her eggs. She will attach them to nearby plants. The male will then locate and fertilize them.
Care must be taken to remove the eggs as soon as the male has fertilized them. Otherwise, they will wind up on the male’s menu. If you have multiple males, then this will increase the number of males that will feed on the newly fertilized eggs. Therefore, the eggs must be removed from the tank and be placed in the smaller fry tank as soon after fertilization as possible.
It is a good idea to place one or two breeding mops into the breeding tank in order for the female fish to have a solid surface on which to deposit her eggs. The mop or mops can then be easily removed with the eggs attached, and placed in the fry tank. A mop can be made very easily by using a skein of yarn that can be purchased almost anywhere craft items are sold.
The color of the yarn does not matter, but the darker the better in order to see the eggs once the female has attached them to it. Place the yarn in boiling water in order to kill microorganisms. Once it has boiled for a few minutes, remove it from the water and rinse it off. This will remove the excess dye in the yarn. It will also allow the yam to sink to the bottom of the tank.
Once the skein of yarn has dried, find a hardcover book that is as close to the height of the breeding aquarium as possible. Measure a piece of yarn the exact width of your book, cut it off, and lay it aside. Wind the yarn around the length of the book until it is as thick as possible.
It is not necessary to use the entire skein. Once the desired thickness has been achieved, cut the yarn from the remaining skein. Tie a knot in the middle of the piece of yarn that was put aside earlier. Cut the wound yarn in the middle away from the book. Use another strand of yarn and tie it to the top of the mop. Use this piece to wind around the top of the mop to form a ball.
It is a good idea to soak the mop for several minutes to allow for any excess die to bleed into the water. There you have a nice, secure place for the female to lay her eggs and to make them visible to you.
Improving the diet of the goldfish will make them healthier. Slowly introduce them to non-pellet food. Two good choices are brine shrimp and live black worms. Do not overfeed them. The uneaten food will sink to the bottom of the tank and pollute the tank. Feeding small amounts three times a day is sufficient.
Water cycling is important to maintain the necessary water quality to keep the fish healthy. Cycle the water at a 20 percent ratio every day and add a water conditioner to neutralize harmful chemicals and remove chlorine.
The temperature in the fry tank must be mimic the temperature in the breeding tank. If there are both light and dark-colored eggs in the breeding tank, keep only the lighter ones, since they have a greater chance of hatching.
Goldfish usually hatch within two to seven days. If there are still eggs in the tank after 10 days, this usually means that the eggs were not fertilized. Do not feed the babies as soon as they hatch.
The hatchlings will stay at the bottom of the tank for the first two or three days. They do not need to be fed during this time. Once the babies are swimming vigorously around the tank, then it is feeding time.
The babies are still too small during this time to eat regular fish food. To make a ’baby formula’ for the hatchlings, hard boil an egg, break off a small portion of the yolk, mix it with water from the fry tank, shake it up until cloudy, and place a few drops in the tank. Store the rest in a sealed jar in the refrigerator for later. Prepare a fresh batch every few days to ensure that the food is always fresh.
Once the fry is big enough they can be placed in the main tank. Caution should be taken, however, to make sure that they are bigger than the adult fish and too big to be sucked into the filter.
How do goldfish have babies in a pond?
It is far more difficult to monitor the breeding of goldfish in an outdoor pond. If you have a typical pond with live plants and rocks, finding the eggs once laid by the female will be very difficult.
It is always best to keep pond goldfish to a minimum in order for the fry to have a fighting chance at survival. It is never a good idea to remove these pond-bred hatchlings from the pond and put them in an indoor tank. The difference in water temperature, water quality, and other factors will play a large role in whether or not they survive.
Some of the hatchlings will survive if there are only one or two males in the pond. If you decide you want to take the eggs out of the pond before they hatch, have another pond or indoor tank prepared ahead of time. Just remember that nature has a way of taking care of its own and some of the babies will survive without any intervention.
To be successful at breeding, and if this is the main goal, breed them indoors in a monitored environment.
It is a good idea to note that hatchling goldfish is a black or gray color. This is a natural way for them to evade predators, especially adult fish. They will take on the natural orange color around one year old. Keep in mind that they are not considered adults until they are around two or three years old.
Now that we have covered the important question of how do goldfish have babies, we can see that time, money, and patience are key factors in having a successful breeding program. Take on this challenging venture only if you can put the necessary effort needed into it to make it successful.
Goldfish can be fun pets to have around. Breeding them is an entirely different issue. Before you begin your journey into the world of goldfish breeding, take the time to plan the course of action you wish to take. Do not go headlong into this venture without the necessary preparation. Otherwise, you may be disappointed when no babies come along.
How do goldfish have babies in a glass bowl?
Do not keep goldfish in a glass bowl. There are several reasons why this becomes a death sentence for the fish. Goldfish need a lot of room. They do get bored. The water in the bowl cannot be properly regulated. The water in a bowl is stagnant and will become toxic to the fish. There are other reasons as well, but note these and use a well-set-up tank.
Here’s wishing you much success and many babies.