If you are keen on breeding Goldfish, you should know that it’s not an easy task. It will take a lot of patience, a lot of space in the tank and quite a bit of money too. Don’t get into breeding if you think it’s going to be profitable, because it isn’t! Breeding goldfish is best left to a professional but if you still want to breed them, here’s how to begin:
Decide on the breed: You also must decide before hand what variety of goldfish you want to breed. Ideally, if you are a beginner you should decide on breeding a good quality single tail type fish like the comet.
Pair and choose the breeds: You must choose high quality goldfish to breed high quality goldfish. The goldfish you choose should be two-four years. A good quality goldfish would be assessed according to its finnage, body shape, size and color. They should be at least 4-6 inches or larger and very healthy. It’s better to breed with younger fish as the older ones might produce eggs that are deformed and infertile.
* The ideal female goldfish would be heavy at the rear, protruding on the left part of her body and her anal area would be soft.
* The ideal male goldfish would be a great chaser and there should be signs of his breeding tubercles on his gills and pectoral fins.
Begin with two females and three males. The idea is to have two males for every female.
Time to breed
Here’s the time plan to breed goldfish –
* You would need to plan a year ahead in the months of July or August. This is when most breeders sell their surplus fish at cheaper rates. If you skip this period than would find it hard to find a good breeding quality pair of goldfish.
* During the winter you must feed the fish and help them build enough body mass to last the winter and be ready for spawning in the early spring. By October or November, your fish would need less food and this is the time to not only clean the fish but also separate the males from the females.
Cleaning the fish: The solution you need to clean the fish is one measure of Terramycin, 80 drops of Formaldehyde and 6 drops of copper sulphate in four gallons of water. The solution should be at the right temperature and the fish should get enough oxygen to breathe. Allow the goldfish to remain in this solution for 20 minutes and then move them to a separate container of clean water while you prepare a spawning tank.
* Make sure you make the new tank a natural spawning area with bushy natural plants, artificial fibers or spawning mops and coconut fibers, all materials that can receive the spawn. Goldfish need such props for spawning.
Size of the spawning tank: You will need at least a tank that can hold 20 gallons of water. If the fish were bigger than you would need a bigger tank.
* Now that the fish are clean and the tank is clean too, do not feed the fish anything for the next two months except some amount of live food like insect larvae,worms, and brine shrimp. This preparation will help the females develop healthy and the males, milt that is needed to fertilize the eggs.
* If the winters are too cold in your area, you can consider using a heater.
* Watch the male goldfish developing breeding tubercles that look like white pimples on their gill covers and the pectoral fins.
* Watch the females become rounder body as it fills up with roe or eggs.
How do you spot the spawning moment?
* Spawning usually happens in the early morning.
* The colors of all the goldfish will look brighter then before.
* The fish would group together while swimming.
* The males will be chasing the females at random.
* Finally the active males zero in on one particular female and chase her more than before.
* The chase will intensify with the male getting aggressive and pushing against the female goldfish till she ejects her eggs.
* As the eggs are out the male will fertilize them by depositing milt over the eggs.
* The eggs will fall through the water, landing on plants. They stay in the same spot till they hatch.
* The spawning may begin again after some days of rest.
Point of note: Goldfish eat their eggs. Of the 10,000 eggs that are laid in one spawning session, hardly any will be left if the fish are not removed. So once the eggs are laid, move the parents back to another tank.
By Dane Stanton
Dane Stanton is an expert on goldfish health care. To visit his website visit http://www.goldfish-secrets.com for more information on Goldfish care and other aquarium related topics.