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How to Breed Fancy Goldfish (pictures too)


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Fancy Goldfish Breeding

 

Preparing fancy goldfish to breed:

 

Make sure to do large frequent water changes on the tank with the desired breeding fish. This means about 80% WC per week. You will also need to raise the temperature of your water to about 76 F. Think of it as mimicking spring. Big water changes=rain, warmer temps rising + more food = plenty of food for fry to survive and grow fast. I also notice that my goldfish tend to spawn when it actually rains, and early in the morning. I would usually catch them when I was headed out the door for my 8am class…needless to say I was late those days hahaha. Even though I simulate it through water change I think they can still sense the natural pressure changes. There are two times of the year that work best for goldfish breeding and that is spring and fall, but it is easiest in spring since nature is working with you.  

 

Feed high protein foods to encourage the growth of eggs in the female. I usually feed a large variety of foods (saki hikari purple bag, omega one pellet, soilent green gel food, blanched organic spinach, and frozen brine shrimp and blood worms). The blood worms and brine shrimp work the best for me to get my fish full of eggs.

 

Breeding:

There are two approaches to this, hand spawning and natural spawning. I will go over both and the pros and cons of each; I personally use hand spawning. If you see your fish spawning and missed most of it, no worries! If you keep up your breeding prep routine your female should be ready to spawn again in about 14 days.

 

Natural: This tank needs to only house the fish you desire to breed and no others. Provide the goldfish with an area to spawn. That can either be a handmade “spawning mop” or a bunch of anachris. The male is going to push the female around a lot and she will want something soft to be pushed into for laying the eggs. With this method you sit back and let the fish do the work. After they have finished spawning you can either move the plant or mop with the eggs out of the tank, or move the parents out, they cannot be kept together. Goldfish will eat their own eggs.

 

Pros: Fish are not as stressed due to less handling, may not know who parents are if fish are not removed from community tank

Cons: Males can be rough and damage the female’s fins and scales, must have enough tanks to house all the breeding pairs you wish to make

 

Hand spawning: Have the container you will raise the fry in filled and ready. I recommend a 10-20 gallon tank for raising eggs, but you will need to upgrade it later on. When you observe the female starting to drop eggs gently pick her up and move her into the container you will raise the fry in initially. Very gently, with no more pressure than you would use to push on your eyeball, slowly press down the sides of the female and aid her in laying her eggs. Swish around the water every once in a while so the eggs don’t stick together in a clump, otherwise they may develop badly. Then select the male you want to be the father. Do the same thing to him and gently rub his sides until he releases milt. You want enough milt to make the water a little cloudy. You can choose more than one male for this if you desire. Or have more than one fry tank and have half the female’s eggs in one and half in the other and choose two different males. I personally like knowing exactly who the parents were so I know if I want to use them again in the future. Return the parents to the main tank and stir the water with the eggs and milt.

 

Pros: Can keep all fish in main tank or pond, know exactly who the parents are, less chance of the female being injured by the male(s)

Cons: Possibility of rupturing female’s ovaries if not careful when handling. (I have never had this happen), stressful to fish

 

For both methods:

 

Let the eggs sit for 30 min to fertilize and then perform a water change on the tank with the eggs. Make sure to match the temperature exactly. This is to not shock the eggs and to remove the unused milt from the water that would otherwise go bad and create an ammonia spike.

 

Then add a heater to keep the temperature stable, an air stone to keep water circulation and it is not required but you can use some methylene blue to prevent fungus from spreading from dead eggs to healthy eggs. Have a turkey baster ready and check the eggs daily to remove dead/infertile ones.

 

Fry:

The eggs will hatch between 4-7 days depending on temperature, higher is faster. I also find that it depends on the breed. My orandas would hatch around day 4-5 while my ranchu took 6-7. Once you see eyeballs in the eggs they will hatch in 24-48 hours. This is also the best time to set up a brine shrimp hatchery as baby brine shrimp is the best food for fry.

 

Once the eggs hatch the babies will not be able to swim long. They usually dart out of the egg and then find somewhere to rest. They will not need to be fed for the first 2 days because they will absorb the yolk sac on their bellies.

 

Once the yolk sac has been absorbed they should be swimming and beginning to search for food. Have your baby brine shrimp ready to feed them. They love hunting down the tiny moving shrimps. If any fry are not swimming or are stuck on the bottom, cull these; their swim bladder is not forming properly.

 

Over the next few weeks you will feed baby brine shrimp, clean the tank with a turkey baster or airline tubing as a siphon, and cull any that are not developing the traits needed to survive or do not fit the specifications of the breed you are raising. As they grow upgrade their tank.

 

If anyone is interested I can go more in depth on this for Side View Ranchu fancy goldfish.

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Fantastic write up! 

 

How many eggs on avg?

 

Eggs just start to drop when they are ready?  Or is there something else to look for?

 

Is there certain things to look for in the males that are ready for ...um... milting?

 

How do you tell the difference between male/female?

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