How to Care for Young Fish in Your Aquarium


Getting your fish to reproduce is one of the aquarium hobby’s most exciting aspects. You might one day see a little baby fish darting around the tank if you take good care of your fish and feed them well. Even though unintentional fry are always exciting, there are a number of techniques to improve their chances of survival or maximize your catch if you intend to sell them for a profit.

Keep the parents away from the eggs.

Many fish may cheerfully consume their own eggs that they just laid a few seconds earlier without displaying any parental concern for their young. Therefore, preventing the eggs from being eaten is the first task. Depending on the species and how they lay their eggs, choose one of the following techniques:

You can create areas for the eggs to be laid if they are sticky, such as spawning cones, dense plants (such java moss or frogbit), porcelain tiles, or yarn spawning mops. You can relocate the spawning spot to a more secure area once the eggs have been laid.

You can remove the parents from the tank if the sticky eggs are put on aquarium glass or other immovable items. A manual way of gathering the eggs involves rolling them off with your fingers or a plastic credit card.

Some African cichlid species are mouth brooders, holding their eggs and fry in their mouths for protection. To avoid the kids being ingested by accident, to prevent the fry from being released into the main tank, and to give the mother more time to recover from her tasks, some breeders prefer to strip the female of the eggs (or fry). Do your homework to find out more about stripping eggs and the approach that is most effective for you because this is a complex subject that is beyond the scope of this essay.

Take the Fry out

Even when the fish hatch from their eggs, they are still in danger. In addition to keeping the fry from being eaten, separating them from the adults also makes it possible for them to develop larger and more quickly since there is less competition for food. The babies should also be kept in a smaller container so they don’t have to use as much energy swimming to get to their food. The fry can survive in the same tank and water conditions as the parents in a net breeder or breeder box with a clump of moss for cover. For livebearers, which give birth to live young rather than laying eggs.

Move the newborn fry to a bigger grow-out tank when they are older and stronger so they have more space to swim around in. To avoid cannibalism and minimize competition for food, you might need to divide the fry into different tanks based on size if some of them are growing more quickly than others. If necessary, diseased fry can be removed throughout the sorting process to stop the propagation of defective genes and avoid providing customers with unhealthy fish.

Offer a Lot of Cover

A dense jungle of real aquarium plants also serves the same purpose if you prefer something that seems more natural. Java moss, Pogosteman stellatus “octopus,” water sprite, and floating plants with bushy roots are some of our favorites for colony breeding (like dwarf water lettuce and frogbit). Some species like a group of rocks with just enough space between them for the young fish to get through. Furthermore, small constructed caves and aquarium ornaments can serve as locations for fry to hide if they are being pursued.

Keep the water quality high.

Since you’ll be feeding the fry frequently at first, think about performing daily or several water changes each week. No one wants to unintentionally vacuum up any infants, so this stage might be a little worrisome. A turkey baster is a handy tool for gently draining little amounts of water while cleaning a breeder net or small container. You can also make a tiny aquarium siphon for grow-out tanks out of airline tubing. Rubber band one end of the tubing to a chopstick before submerging it in the aquarium’s water.

Feed Small Foods Several Times a Day.

Fry, like human infants, have tiny mouths and stomachs and must constantly eat throughout the day. Fish are born with a yolk sac that provides nutrition until they are robust enough to swim independently and search for food. Then, if possible, kids need several little meals throughout the day, up to three times. For larger items, you can use an automatic fish feeder or set alarms on your phone.


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