TIP from FNM: Reproduction (Live Bearers)

Introduction to breeding tropical fish:

  • Live-bearers 
  • Egg layers
  • Mouth brooders

Fish hobbyist tends to want their fish to breed and have offspring. This desire might have come in wanting to accept the challenge of providing the correct environment for a favourite fish. It will require serious planning, time and additional aquariums to do it right. This is the outline of some steps you can take to achieve your goal in breeding your fish. 

Live Bearers

  • The first experience with fish babies is often the result of one of the live-bearing fish having babies
  • Mollies and Swordtails are common examples of the first parents in the aquarium, and often pregnant females will have babies after being bought from the store
  • These babies are relatively easy to raise
  • If not having separate aquarium to set up for the babies, one of the breeder traps will work.
  • Small plastic or net containers will attach to the trim of the aquarium, or float on the surface.
  • The pregnant females can be placed into the trap, and then removed after giving birth.
  • The babies can be fed baby food or regular flake food (ground into powder form, 3 times a day)


Guppy - (live bearer) breeding

  • Buy some plastic plant and pack them in a corner so that the female adult guppy cannot fit in
  • The babies will hide in the tiny spaces in the plants and you won't see them for two or three weeks after they're born because they'll be hiding in those plants
  • If you buy some real aquatic plants and put those in your tank, the baby fish will eat the organisms that are found of those plants and will grow fast
  • After a few weeks, when your baby fish gets big enough to swim with their parents without getting eaten, you'll see them emerge from the plants

Since it will usually take the babies 4-6 weeks to be large enough to be released, a separate rearing aquarium is a better option than a breeder trap. This could be a 5-20 gallon tank with a sponge filter and a bare bottom. Having no substrate makes it easier to see uneaten food and vacuum it out after feeding. Usage of plastic plants with plant weights to provide some cover for the fish.

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