There are many mouthbreeding fish. These are fish species that carry their eggs in their mouth until they hatch out and the young fry can swim on their own. The live fry may live in the mouth for up to 30 days. There are maternal and paternal mouthbreeders, though sometimes they will switch back and forth, depending on the breed.
You should know before breeding your fish which brood type they use. The seller will be able to inform you of this, or you can look it up online. Typical mouthbrooders include most cichlids, Jawfish, some types of Betta and Tilapia. If they are mouthbrooders, there are a few things to take into consideration if you intend to keep a breeding pair.
First of all, mouthbrooders do not usually eat while incubating the eggs in their mouths. Adding food to a tank where a fish is incubating eggs means you will end up with more algae in a shorter amount of time, so it's important to avoid this. In some cases, the incubating fish is able to eat around his or her eggs, but this is not typical.
Several females for each male will be needed if you are breeding seriously. When a female lays the eggs and picks them up in her mouth, you'll need to move her to another tank, preferably one with minimal decoration and only a spot for her to hide. She will release the baby fish 2-4 weeks after being moved.
As soon as the fry are released, it is important to move the female to another tank where she will be fed well for at least 2-3 weeks to help her recover. After this, she can be placed back into the tank with the male for further breeding.
Mouthbrooders can be difficult to raise since they tend to be quite aggressive, but with the separation of tanks, itís quite possible.