Probably the most rewarding thing about tropical fish keeping is watching young fish grow from birth to adult size. You can take immense pride in achieving this, but is particularly true for the more difficult species to breed. However beginners should be wary of jumping in at the deep end (so to speak).
Mollies Guppies, Swordtails and Platys are fantastic fish for beginners to breed. They are all live bearer fish types, ie the fish are born live and can swim from the outset. These fish come in an enormous variety of colours and patterns and are great for beginner breeders to hone their newly acquired skills.
Probably THE most important tip on breeding tropical fish that bear live young is to keep the baby fish, called fry, away from the rest of your community tank. Adult fish consider fry to be fantastic food, so “keep them apart right from the start”. If you don’t your breeding efforts will be in vain. In fact, even the mother and father will eat their own young as food.
Your best bet to avoid this fate is to use a separate breeding tank with lots of plants and foliage for the fry to hide in. Once the mother has given birth, she must be returned to the main tank quickly, in order that young fry can grow safely inside the incubator tank.
Water temperature and tank size are both very important when it comes to conditioning tropical fish. Each different breed of fish has a different best breeding temperature, so first determine that. Fish are conditioned to breed when the water temperature signals to them that it is breeding season. If you maintain this optimal temperature, the fish will be more likely to breed. As a general rule, larger tanks tend to produce larger numbers of fry in one birth as well.
Food is also an important factor in the conditioning, try to find out which is the favorite food is your particular type of fish. However as it isn’t always possible to obtain ‘specialist food’, nowadays a well balanced diet can be provided easily in the form of high quality flaked or similar prepared food. Bloodworms, frozen or live are excellent for conditioning most fish.
The joy that you get from breeding fish will be all the more if you follow these basic rules.
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