Fish Breeding in the Aquarium

Guppies are without a doubt the easiest tropical fish to breed, with the potential exception of convict cichlids. Aquarium hobbyists have a saying: 'simply add water to spawn guppies.' It's also a very appropriate idiom.

All you need for guppie breeding is some fairly clean water and at least one male and female (but it's suggested to maintain more females than males.) Because these fish are livebearers – and their young are born fully developed – they tend to have very good survival rates for young. Guppies are notorious for overpopulating aquariums with their fry, so the true challenge is persuading them to stop reproducing.


Platies, another livebearer, are almost as simple to breed as guppies. However, platies aggressively seek their fry, in contrast to guppies, which seldom consume their young. Unless their tank contains thick floating plants and many hiding spots, baby platy's survival chances tend to be very poor.

Fish multiply like rabbits (or, to be more precise, like guppies) if a female is kept in a breeding tank and then removed as soon as the baby is born.


Mollies are difficult to fish to breed, even under ideal circumstances, and are not advised for beginners. However, if mollies are cared for properly, they will produce an incredible number of offspring.

In addition, many of the fries will reach maturity when housed in an aquarium that contains solely members of the species and abundant aquatic vegetation. However, if they're housed in a public aquarium, it's unlikely that any of the fries will get it out alive.

The Ameca Splendens Corporation

The popularity of these fish has waned in recent years, so finding them may be challenging. Also, they aren't popular because of their fin-nipping habits, which make them undesirable in communal tanks.

They are, nevertheless, very simple fish to produce, having a unique mode of reproduction. There are livebearers in the Ameca Splendens family of fish, but their reproduction is more like that of humans than other livebearers while being officially one. The trophotaenia acts as an umbilical cord for the fry. Sometimes, even after the fish has given birth to offspring that are less than half her size, trophotaenia will remain connected to them.

Cichlids from Prison Aquariums

When it comes to breeding fish, these are some of the finest options you'll find in the aquarium industry. Unlike other fish, convict cichlids are fiercely protective of their eggs and young. They will attack any other fish in their tank, no matter how big or little, in order to keep their young away from danger. Convict parents have even been reported to have killed mature Oscars during breeding.

When maintained in a dedicated breeding tank, however, the whole breeding process is something that every aquarist should see at least once in their lifetime. Conspicuous breeding makes it almost difficult to prohibit a prisoner from reproducing. After just a few months, an aquarium is overrun by the progeny of convicted criminals.

Cichlids with a Red Mouth

Firemouth cichlids, one of the first aquarium fish to be maintained, aren't as common as they once were, but they're still one of the simplest fish to produce. Convict cichlids show similar levels of parental care, but they reproduce less often and are less aggressive.

In an aquarium, seeing a mother and child cichlid protect their eggs while fanning them is one of the most beautiful things you will ever witness as an aquarist. However, while mating, these cichlids become aggressive and may chase away any surrounding fish.

Cichlids from the Kribensis genus

Khibenism is an easy-to-breed species of tiny riverine cichlid. Unlike other bigger cichlid species, these fish show good parental care without being too aggressive. However, they do protect their eggs and young. As a result, keeping a separate breeding tank for each species is highly advised.

Some people like to catch Zebra Danios

Hardy and simple to produce, these fish are ideal for beginners just getting their feet wet in the aquarium hobby. Despite the fact that these fish will reproduce constantly in an aquarium with other people's fish, an aquarist is unlikely to ever see any zebra danio larvae. The adults and other fish will usually eat every egg and fry that hatch in the tank.

Zebra danio fry must be raised in a dedicated breeding tank if they are to survive. In order to keep the eggs safe from hungry adults, the breeding tank's bottom should be lined with marbles. As soon as the fish have spawned, remove the adults from the aquarium immediately to ensure the safety of the eggs and fry that are still in the tank.

Red-bellied Black Crappie

Rosy red minnows are an egregiously underestimated species that can only be found in aquarium feeders and bait buckets. In spite of their modest beginnings, these fish are among the simplest to raise. Apart from cichlids, they're the only freshwater fish that exhibit parental affection.

How to Raise Fish in Captivity

Even though it may seem like a simple task to just put a male and female fish together, breeding fish in a home aquarium requires advance planning and close attention to detail in order to be successful. In order to successfully propagate a species, you'll need to do your study on the species' mating behaviors and ideal living circumstances before selecting a healthy parent candidate for each sex. This would need careful engineering of factors like water temperature, pH level, illumination, and surrounding flora to improve the chances of fertile fish breeding successfully in your aquariums. Changing the surroundings helps the parent fish to "set the mood" and ensures a successful pairing.

Part 1: How to Breed a Fish

Ensure each sex has a healthy adult fish to compare. The first stage in fish breeding is determining the fish's biological sex. This will be more difficult than searching for variations in their genitalia, in contrast to other animals. Species may have very different biological makeups, but there are a few characteristics to look for regardless. When it comes to Cichlids, females tend to be rounder and have less prominent vents, while males tend to be more colorful and have an occasional tiny hump on their heads.

Only breed fish from the same species in your aquarium. Even if two species may successfully reproduce, the resultant hybrid is likely to be weak, deformed, or infertile.

Fish that are ill, wounded, or malformed should be avoided. They're less likely to have healthy children as a result of this.
Whether you're stumped on how to tell if your fish is male or female, take them to a veterinarian or breeding specialist who can help you out.

Step 2: Continue Fish Breeding

Set up a separate tank for the fish's parents. This tank is often referred to as a "spawning tank" because of its function. The mating pool is reduced to two when the parents are isolated in a spawning tank, increasing the likelihood of pair formation. It also gives you the freedom to experiment with the tank's settings without worrying about upsetting the other non-mating fish in the colony.

Most fish need a spawning tank with a volume of 5–10 gallons (19–38 l) or more. You should maintain the circumstances in the new tank as similar to the old as possible while transplanting the parent fish, and make the required changes very gradually to assist the fish to become used to the new environment.

Step 3: Continue Fish Breeding

Make the fish stronger by conditioning them. While you're trying to get your fish to mate, feed them a nutrient-rich, high-protein diet. A proper diet will aid in their growth and development, as well as improve their chances of becoming pregnant. Keep in mind that children will be healthy if their parents are. For Bettas and Angelfish, the most common live food is brine shrimp, white worms, or daphnia, which may be either fresh or frozen.

Fish should be in the condition for about 2 weeks before mating.

Learn about the natural diet of your parent species so you know what to feed your breeding animals in the beginning. Fresh herbaceous plants and live foods like brine shrimp work well for most fish.

Step 4 of the Fish Breeding Procedure

Do some research on the fish's mating behavior before you try to breed them. Make an effort to understand the natural reproductive habits of the fish before attempting to pair them up. To accurately replicate breeding circumstances in the natural, you must know what a species searches for in a partner, how it lays its eggs, and how it copulates.

Consult a fish encyclopedia to learn more about your species. There are books and guides on aquarium breeding that may help you learn more about the process.

Step 5: Start Breeding Fish

Improve the water quality in the holding tank. Use your acquired knowledge of your ancestors to make the world around them more friendly. Temperature, chemical and mineral balance of water, and other environmental factors may affect whether or not fish mate. To alter the water's chemical composition, you may have to utilize an additional heating element or soften the water.

82–88°F (28–31°C) of water temperature, a pH level of 6-7, and moderate to low light are all requirements for breeding Discus and related species.

How do I know if my fish are mating?

Female fish deposit eggs that are then inseminated by the males in pairs or groups. Whether you want to know if your fish are spawning, you'll need to be able to observe and make deductions. Only if you have a male and a female fish in your tank will they effectively reproduce. Although some crossbreeding is feasible, it is usually necessary to have the same breed to have successful mating.

Early Warning Signs

Some of your fish will begin to exhibit indications of mating even if they have not yet spawned yet. See if there are any fish that form pairs or if there are any groups of males that seem to be interested in a certain female. Silver-dollar fish males will aggressively pursue females around the tank, as is the norm with this species. When males brush against females in other species, such as the parrot or the oscar fish, their bodies wriggle or vibrate. They'll also sometimes cling to one other's lips. The mating procedure and the nest are just around the corner once this courting stage is over.

Putting a Hummingbird House on the Roof

When the female bird is ready to breed, she will start constructing a nest. She'll use her wings to create a nesting depression in the gravel, where she'll lay her eggs. Some species lay their eggs in a nest made of sand, while others do it without one. The process of constructing a nest is a clear indication that an animal is mating. If she hasn't done so previously, the female will choose a partner after she has a large nest.

Hatching and Reproduction Patterns

When the female lays her eggs, the spawning process officially starts. The female will stand guard over the nest, while the male will make sexual advances toward her. The female will lay her eggs at some point, and the male will fertilize them. No matter what species she is, you will see her lay eggs in the nest, so keep an eye out for them. The amount of time that elapses between laying and hatching varies by species. It takes around a week for the silver dollar fish to hatch, while other species may take up to a month or more.

Protecting the Eggs

The female bird defends its nest after she has laid her eggs. The nest of a parrotfish is guarded by both males and females, but that is not the case for many other species. Other fish in the aquarium will go for the eggs and try to devour them. As the fish compete for the eggs, you may see a few skirmishes.

One last thought

In terms of fishkeeping, breeding fish is a worthwhile endeavor that everyone should attempt at least once. Although the more abundant fish are tempting, it's best to prepare ahead for the inevitable fish fry famine that will surely follow.