Ah, spring is in the air. You know what that means — birds are chirping, bees are buzzing, and animals are making come-hither eyes at each other. Fish and other aquatic creatures are also getting their groove on, which brings us to a rather unique opportunity for aquascapers: fish breeding.
Unlike cats and dogs, which can easily be neutered, fish usually come with all of their parts intact. That means that under the right conditions, you might hear the splishy-splashy of little fish fins as your aquatic pets procreate. Some people dislike fish breeding because it throws off the balance of the aquarium. Others delight in the beauty of life creating life. In fact, you might even be able to turn a profit off of your pets’ dalliances. Selling newborn fish to pet stores and other aquascapers can actually be quite lucrative. So, put on your Barry White tunes, because today we’re going to take a look at the fascinating (and profitable!) world of fish breeding.
1. Become a Matchmaker
You can’t lock two people in a room and expect them to start making babies. The same goes for aquarium fish — matching compatible fish is both an art and a science. The first step is figuring out how to determine the sex of your fish. In general, males will be more colorful while females will tend to have more subdued tones. Ultimately, you’ll need to do a bit of light reading or get expert guidance from aquascapers or fish distributors.
Also, some fish species just don’t get along. Some species of fish will relentless attack and possibly even kill other members of their species — talk about a lovers’ spat. Make sure that you don’t accidentally kill your expectant mother by forcing her to live alongside her homicidal mate.
2. Setting the Mood
If people are trying to set the mood, they like to dim the lights and cook a romantic dinner. The same is true for fish and other aquatic creatures. The best way to promote fish breeding is to set the mood by providing everything your fish need to procreate. That means plenty of food, correct water temperatures, good water quality, etc. The perfect conditions will vary depending on the type of fish that you want to breed, so make sure that you read up on your fish species.
3. Build a Crib and Watch Out for Baby-Eating Dingos
There are a dozen different places where fish like to hide their eggs: in plants, out in the open, on the substrate, under the substrate, in their mouths (believe it or not), etc. Make sure that the new fish mommy will have plenty of places to hide her eggs depending on what her species prefers.
Also, you have to watch out for infanticidal fish that would gladly gobble up fish eggs and young fish. In fact, some mothers might even eat their own babies! If you’re thinking about getting into the hobby of fish breeding, you should try to focus on species of fish that won’t eat all of your profits.
I’ve mentioned this a few times already, but by far the single most important factor in fish breeding is to do research on your fish. No two species are identical, so you have to customize your aquarium and your preparations to match the specific breed. If you do that, then you should have new bundles of joy in no time at all!