Aquarists often start small with a 10-gallon fish tank and a few fish. Over time, as their aquariums grow larger and more complex, they begin to consider breeding the animals.
Below are a few of the tips that a beginning fish breeder can use to successfully pair up fish species.
- Determining fish sex - Species of fish are usually classified as sexually dimorphic or isomorphic. Dimorphic fish can be distinguished as males or females by their coloring, shape and size. Isomorphic fish are harder to tell apart but can be distinguished by genital papilla, which is only visible when they are spawning. Another characteristic of isomorphic are that the males can be a bit bigger and ladies have round bellies. It may take some time before one becomes an expert at sexing isomorphic fish.
- Conditioning and picking parents - When picking parents, an aquarist has to ensure that the species can effectively mate and produce hearty, attractive offspring. They should also condition the two fish by feeding them well and ensure they are healthy and up to the challenge.
- Live or Egg - Hobbyists should also carefully consider whether they want egg layers or live-bearers. Beginners often choose live-bearers because they are easier to spawn.
- Get them in the mood - the right food and water can make your chosen parents more likely to mate. Live foods like larvae or other types of bugs the fish may be partial to can help get the fish ready to mate.
Once success is achieved and fry (baby fish) are born, take care to keep the tank environment conducive to their growth and health. Changing the water, feeding the baby fish and removing any malformed fry will ensure your baby fish grow into wonderful adult fish who add to your aquarium's charm and natural beauty.