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This website is dedicated to Ol'Conrad.  He passed away shortly after Christmas, 2013.  He had made stupendous contributions to our hobby through his dedicated and careful breeding of aquatic animals.  He was a good friend and best buddy of Pete's and will not only be missed greatly by Pete, the hobby will forever have lost a valuable friend and asset. But his progeny will live on forever in his memory.

EGG LAYERS, so far - Java Rice Fish, Angelfish, Danios, Betta splendens, Barbs

These fish release the eggs, which are then fertilized by the male. The egg layers can be separated again into sub-categories according to how they care for the eggs. Some are egg scatters that scatter the eggs over
 the bottom. Mouth brooders carry the eggs in the mouth. Some build nests to hold the eggs.

Egg-scatterers: These species simply scatter their adhesive or non-adhesive eggs to fall to the substrate, 
into plants, or float to the surface. These species do not look after their brood and even eat their own eggs.
These, often schooling, fish may spawn in groups or in pairs. Often there is a large number of the small
 eggs laid.   The fry hatch quickly.

Egg-depositors: These species deposit their eggs on a substrate (tank glass, wood, rocks, plants). 
Egg depositors usually lay less eggs than egg-scatterers, although the eggs are larger.

Egg-burriers: These species usually inhabit waters that dry up at some time of the year. The majority of egg burriers are annual Killifish which lay their eggs in mud.
The parents mature very quickly and lay their eggs before dying when the water dries up. The eggs remain in
 a dormant stage until rains stimulate hatching.

Mouth-brooders: Are species that carry their eggs or larvae in their mouth. Mouth brooders can be broken up into ovophiles and larvophiles.

Ovophile or egg-loving mouth-brooders lay their eggs in a pit, which are sucked up into the mouth of the female.
 The small number of large eggs hatch in the mother’s mouth, and the fry remain there for a period of time.
Fertilization often occurs with the help of egg-spots, which are colorful spots on the anal fin of the male.
When the female sees these spots, she tries to pick up the egg-spots, but instead gets a mouthful of sperm, fertilizing the eggs in her mouth. Many cichlids and some labyrinth fish are ovophile mouthbrooders.

Larvophile or larvae-loving mouth-brooders lay their eggs on a substrate and guard them until the eggs hatch. After hatching, the female picks up the fry and keeps them in her mouth. When the fry can fend for themselves, they are released. Some eartheaters are larvophile mouthbrooders.

Nest-builders: Nest builders build some sort of nest for their eggs. The nest is usually in the form of bubble-nest formed with plant debris and saliva-coated bubbles (labyrinth fish, catfish), or a excavated pit in the substrate (cichlids). Nest builders practice brood care.http://www.aquariumsite.net/Egg%20Layers.htm





This page will be a constant work in progress. As I learn more, as I can find contributing authors and as I can get Ol'Lotsoffish to find time to write something on this subject, the page will change. So - the wise man
 and the wise woman will be back often. 
Java Rice Fish by Pete/Ol'Lotsoffish


Man it's a nice day here in NY and I have all the doors and windows open plus I am cranking out some real good tunes right now. I love afternoons like this. As some of you know I am a real big fan of those Java rice fish I sell here once in a while so I am going to take an hour or so and write some great instruction for breedimg them. Ain't my job awesome? I am sort of expanding on my business right now and have been juggling a whole bunch of responsibilities around and burning the candle at both ends most days

So I am going to take a little break and spend a little time on this for you folks. Anyway, if you care to read this entire article I think you might end up giving these awesome fish a try. They REALLY are very cool fish to work with and I have sent these fish out as "free bee's" to some folks and they actually end up getting totally in to them too. They are sort of addicting to work with actually.

I currently have these Java rice fish, Oryzias Melastigmas oh and that's another thing. These are NOT Oryzias javanicus. Because I call them Java rice fish a lot of folks make the mistake of thinking they are Oryzias javanicus. These are Oryzias Melastigmas. Keep that in mind if you discuss these fish with somebody.

Like I was saying, I currently have these Java rice fish in 3 different tanks in the fish room. Actually make that 2 tanks and a one gallon glass jar. LOL! I have been raising some fry in a jar just cuz I like screwing around doing wacky stuff like that in my fish room sometimes. As far as egg layers go I think these are one of the coolest Egg layers somebody could work with and I have sort of got breeding these down to a science. This first tank you are looking at is where all the breeding is taking place-
What you are looking at is simply a 20 gallon long with a bunch of floating plants in it and a large group of Java rice fish swimming around underneath those floating plants. I have a sponge filter in it and the tank is running at about 82 degrees. Java rice fish like it warm. Next I am going to show you a close up if some fry I photographed in those plants. These fry are VERY tiny and I can't even see them at this size with out wearing my reading glasses and using a flash light to light them up with.

 I use that clip on light to keep those plants alive and it allows me to see these tiny fry better. This tank has about 60 fry like you see in the photo's in it right now. Those fry will not leave the cover of those plants. They stay in those plants right below the surface 24 hours a day right now.

I also had a bunch of wrestling half beaks in this tank the past few weeks so all the fry these Java rice fish were producing were getting eaten by the Half beaks, but that's OK. That was actually my plan at the time and it worked out fine for everybody except those rice fish fry. LOL! I knew as soon as I pulled the last one of those Half beaks out I would almost instantly start seeing these fry so I wasn't worried about it.

By the way, it take about 14-18 days for Java rice fish eggs to hatch which is a long time for eggs to incubate but that's normal for these particular fish. Java rice fish DO NOT eat their own eggs so the long incubation period really isn't a problem. Java rice fish ALMOST never eat their own fry either UNLESS you have absolutely no cover what so ever at the surface.

With no surface cover I seldom end up having fry survive and I assume the adult rice fish do eat them but I have NEVER actually seen one eat one of their own fry so it also could be the fry won't hang out at the surface and they just end up starving trying to hide somewhere near the bottom of a tank.




Below is a photo of 2 Males. The way you sex these fish is by looking at the anal fins. Males anal fins ALWAYS have that saw tooth look to them and females have a much smoother anal fin like you can see in the above photo. 

Did you notice that female actually has her eggs dangling out of her in her photo.? The first time I saw that "bunch of glass grapes" dangling out of one of my females my heart skipped a beat I thought that was so cool. She will swim around like that for about 24-48 hours while all the males in the tank go crazy displaying to her and each other in an attempt to be the lucky guy who gets to mate with her before she decides to "hang" those eggs in the floating plants. How frigging cool is that folks?

Now what will happen is since you will have a group of these fish in your tank you will just keep seeing more and more of these fry at the surface of your tank each day and even though there will be a certain degree of live foods swimming around in those plants they will end up eating all that stuff very rapidly so you have to start feeding those tiny fry right away.

I have found that by far the easiest food to feed these tiny fry is 05-50 Micron Golden pearls Oak leaves are a must because adding them to your tank will create a LOT of live foods for these fry to feed on also.

Lastly, and this is IMPORTANT for you to know. For "unknown" reasons these are the absolute HARDEST fish I have ever tried to photograph. When these fish are feeling good and swimming around in a tank their eyes GLOW this awesome blue color. In fact, and I kid you not, it looks like they have a built in light bulb right in their eye, their eyes GLOW so brightly.
Without exaggerating I bet I have taken at least 2 thousand photographs of these fish trying to catch that glowing eye with my camera and I just can't do it but once you actually have these fish you will end up seeing that and it will freak you out. I am totally serious about this folks. Really! And when you do see it, try taking a photo of it. I bet you can't do it. LOL! 
The breeding is the same principle for the Oryzias woworae

except, rather than all the plant coverage it is best to float a spawning mops for the female to deposit her eggs in. This variety are egg and fry eaters and once the spawning mops have the egg clusters, then remove the mops to a hatching tank with the water at the temperature, 82 degrees. Feeding is the same.

First, forget everything you have read in books, on the web or what friends, or clerks at the LFS may have told you. When it comes to raising angel fish, you need to flush the contents of your brain cells down the toilet. And start fresh. Depending on the fish, breeding can be fairly easy as they do that themselves and seem to enjoy the creation of life. That is, if you provide the correct atmosphere for their foreplay. 

First and foremost is water quality. Clean water is a must! By clean water I do not mean, to buy the newest filter medium, nor the best, most expensive filtration system on the market. All that crap is a waste of your hard earned money. And, puts the money into the pockets of the fat cats who profit from your inner need to have the best of everything for your hobby. So, on to clean water. 

The Python 100 ft No Spill Clean & Fill is my choice to assist me with clean water for all my tanks. These do come in various lengths and they are all the best ever! Not everyone needs a 100 feet Python! All you do is attach the unit to a household facet, follow directions and suck old water and debris out of the tank and down the drain, or route it outside and water plants. 

To prevent removing silly fish who have to explore the action, or tiny fish, be sure and attach to the action end, a piece of fabric window screen, fastened with a rubber band or what ever you choose. The action of the same equipment is then reversed by a flip of the facet to re-fill the tank, and a gizmo on the Python unit. There is no need to carry buckets! That is for masochists. If you use well water, you are good to go, just get the new water that comes out of the facet at about the correct temperature. 

If you have treated city water for instance, just dump the amount of needed dechorlinator into the tank as you start to refill. You do not remove any livestock but, be sure and unplug the heater unless, you need an excuse to buy a new one, cause you broke the old one by leaving it out of the water and still plugged in. You need to remove and replace about at least 80% of the water. Remember, your old brain cells are now devoid of bad information so let this new stuff plump the cells back up. You can do these water exchanges weekly, bi-weekly, or every third week but - no longer. Except with fry, they require water exchanges even more often since they are being fed much more often, or should be! Best is daily!

NOW - here is where raising fry comes into the picture with YOU forgetting even more of the old methods you know or have read or been told about.Fry needs to be fed multiple times daily, and because of their need for proper food amounts and the difficulty for me, at least, to judge how much these little buggers are eating, I start all my newly free swimming kids on an every other day 80 - 90% water exchange. For such exchanges you do need to be very careful to avoid the swarm of little active free swimmers. They are really cute! And as they get bigger and eat more they get a water exchange daily!

Anyhow --- Ok, water quality is dealt with. Put that in your brain cells and process it much like a search engine on the computer sorts thru new information and places it all in the proper order of importance. Let your brain work before you absorb anything new. Now is the time to go grab a bite to eat - make coffee - visit the porcelain throne, whatever.

Ok, now, that you are back we will discuss food for these fry. Whoops before I go on, if your water is now being kept super clean for your breeders, and you are feeder nutritious foods ( we will discuss that shortly) and they are still not doing their courting dance, here is a little trick Ol'Lotsoffish uses to trigger breeding frenzies. You know the breeding temperature of your tank water is normally fairly warm, like about 80 degrees, but when you put in the fresh water, put in water with the temperature in the low to mid 70's depending on your preferred breeding temperature . This temperature change will trigger a mass orgy with the fish!

In the picture below, are two females spawning. Yes, two females. The genetic instinct for reproduction is so strong females will pair up if there is a not males around to pair up with. What was interesting about this pair is that the first day one female laid her eggs while the second female kept watch and stood by keeping the predators away. Then, during the night all eggs were eaten but, that new day the second female laid her eggs with the first female watching and standing guard. Notice the eggs on the Madagascar Lace plant leave and the interest of the other fish in this community tank.

Every egg layer has it's own methods of reproduction and this is pretty much standard information and you can look at this pages TOD to learn more. In fact, I have had my common Corys reproduce in my 125 gal community tank and I did nothing to encourage it. There were not many survivors but I realized my small cory school had increased. And of course I had seen tiny free swimmers before that but, I had no hope any would survive. I had just considered those to be natural food for the tank's inhabitants.



When you decide you want to breed your angels, or hell - some will when you are not planning it. If this happens for you then leave all well enough alone and let nature do it's thing, providing you have in place the proper plants, wood, rocks, whatever.. OR, you can remove the parents and hand raise the fry yourself, or remove the eggs if they were laid on a removable object. If you opt for the latter, make sure you have some Methylene Blue on hand to place in the hatching container's water, once the parents and any other fish are no longer present. Follow the directions on the bottle. The wise person will have also made sure there are no snails to consume eggs. You may also need to pluck fungus eggs out with a finger nail inserted under the bad egg or tweezers. You will need excellent aeration for good water flow around the incubating eggs, for instance with an air stone.  

Do not use any filtration while the eggs are working and none even after they become wigglers. That is the part of life a fish reaches as it prepares to be a real fish and not an egg, and the fry is forming but the egg sacks are still attached. Once the egg sacks are fully absorbed, at this point you need to add filtration and NOW start doing water exchanges. The water exchanges should be done a fourth of the water every day until there is no blue coloring left in the tank. At that point you can go to the massive exchange of 80 -90 percent every other day or daily if you have the energy. 


Filtration is a must, even tho you are doing frequent water exchanges after, the fry are free swimming. By filtration I do not mean expensive tank filters, wet/dry crap, hanging filters and so on. All you need is a sponge filter powered by an air pump. In the beginning the free swimmers are so tiny they can be sucked under the bottom of the sponge and be trapped and actually drown. To prevent this, you have the choice of no filter at all yet, or do as I did.

 I placed the foot of a nylon stocking over the sponge unit and secured the stocking in place. The stocking prevented the small fry getting stuck under the sponge. Make sure the sponge base is settled flat on the bottom of the tank, when you do use one. With the stocking in place the fry will not get sucked under the lower portion of the sponge nor trapped under the base when properly placed .


Need another throne break? Or need to grab some juice, sandwich what ever. Do it now. Let those brains cells process the information. And by now you might be able to allow some old information on the subject to surface and join with what you are reading.Ok, now to the meat of this page. 

FEEDING THOSE FREE SWIMMING FRY and raising them so that you have the maximum numbers of survivors. And, you need to supply what they need to be able to survive since they are not in nature in the ideal conditions, baring of course the predators. The most important thing you can do is, as soon as your water has been exchanged enough after, they are free swimming is to drop several dried hardwood leaves into the tank. Ol'Lotsoffish sends these out quite frequently. Many confused people find them in his boxes of goodies when they have won an auction. He is not trying to get rid of leaves off his lawn. 

He is wanting you to use these in your tanks. They are awesome to help the biological filtration get started in new filters, be it expensive kinds or the wonderful sponge filters, such as those that KensFish.com sells. It takes about a week, after being dropped into the tank for minute microscopic life to start growing. This life is known as infusoria and in the bygone days of old, before Ol'Lotsoffish, hobbyist would take dried lettuce and drop it in for the same reason. 

The hardwood leaves are much better for the purpose. Of course you need to use some common sense and gather dried leaves from the ground after they have naturally been shed by the trees and lain around for a few weeks til nice and dry. AND collect where you know there have been no pesticides nor herbicides used. Also, do not, I repeat do not wash the leave before putting them in the tank. You will rinse away any of the good stuff nature put on them. If they are really dirty and you can not stand the thot of putting them in your pristine tanks the, simple gently brush them off with a new unused paint brush that you bought just for that purpose. Or if you are a non smoker and still have great lungs - then just blow on the leaves.

Meanwhile, while the leaves are producing their first crops of infusoria you still need to feed your newly free swimming fry. You can not wait a week for the infusoria to grow. FORGET THE OLD STAND BY OF NEWLY HATCHED LIVE BRINE SHRIMP!! Do a total disk erase of your brine shrimp feeding files. Hey, go ahead do hatch the stuff if you wish, cause I know old habits are hard to break. BUT what do you feed if a batch fails, what do you feed then? They die from starvation!!! Many batches of fry are lost to starvation. So, here is the answer and the information is free. 

Get a bag of Lotsoffish's Mix #2 as it is small enough even newly free swimming angelfish fry can eat it. It is sold on this web site under the obvious page, where to spend your loot. LOL


Among other awesome ingredients, Lotsoffish Mix #2 contains decapsulated brine shrimp eggs that, have been found to be much more nutritious than newly hatched brine shrimp. A person can buy frozen new hatched brine shrimp but there again it is more as a treat for the fish rather than a good solid nutritious food and it makes the owner feel good. Mix #2 is a mix of decapped brine shrimp eggs, SECRET STUFF, golden pearls, earthworm flakes, plecocaine, astaxanthin, canthaxanthin, lutein, and beta-carotene not necessarily mixed in that order. AND for smaller fry, there is even a Mix #1.


Below in this video, is a feeding frenzy of 4 month old angel fry eating Lotsoffish Mix #2. These fish are dark marble and it does make it difficult to see individual fish when, they are competing to eat first. Normally, when I feed I spread the food across the top of the water but, for this I thot a group eating frenzy would really get the point cross. Only MORONS will continue to try to raise egg layers using their own newly hatched brine shrimp! Do ya get it?

Do you think I am nutz. That is your problem and you will continue to have poor results from your hatchings. In January of 2011, I had my very first breeding of angelfish that, I hand raised. My brine shrimp eggs were old and the hatching of it had been a laugh and frustration. I had, several months earlier started using Lotsoffish Mix #2 and remember Pete saying how great a food it is for newly free swimming egg layers, who are much smaller than livebearer new dropped fry. BTW my livebearer fry eat it like candy! There are no picky eaters when it comes to Pete's food. 

So, I made the decision to throw out my old, large can of brine shrimp eggs and just start my fry on Lotsoffish Mix #2. I trusted Ol'Lotsoffish. HA! I did not loose a single fry! I did have a very few fry, that by nature, just did not develop correctly and they were pulled out and used as natural food for other fish. And there were damned few of them as I had conditioned my breeders on Lotsoffish Mix #2, and Veggie Flakes, Earthworm sticks from Kens FIsh. I did not even have access to live food!!!! That is how complete their diet was. Ken's has even other awesome selections of foods to chose from. 

http://www.kensfish.com/

Take my advice, stay away from the mass produced fish foods so heavily pushed by ads and pet store salespeople or vendors. I had fed what I thought was the best foods, for years, and never had the fish I now have today, feeding as I now do. Lotsoffish and Ken's stuff ROCKS!!


Because you are feeding your fry 4 to 6 times a day you can give them a variety of foods. I always fed the biggest meal of the day in the first feeding of each day and it was always Lotsoffish Mix #2. Then the other meals were a variety of Ken's stuff. Micro worms are nice too but, more as a treat as from what I am aware, are not quite that nutritious. 

As the fish getting bigger, white worms are great too if you can keep the worm culture alive. I can't.

I gotta get a new batch from Lotsoffish and try raising them in a bottom drawer of my frig. I think that will work.


Remember you will be doing very frequent water exchanges and large amounts too. As the fish grow and you are able to better judge their bulging tummies after a meal and you can see they are getting enough, you will be able to adjust how much you feed and start to work down to a feeding to 2 or 3 's per day and you will gradually be able to do less frequent water exchanges. The thing to keep in mind is that better growth and fin development comes from awesome food and clean water through - frequent water exchanges.  

You will also need to keep an eye on the sponge filter and remove it on occasion from the tank while, doing a water exchange and squeeze the sponge several times in clean water that is dechloriated, so as not to kill the biological filtration bacteria. I do not advise switching out the old sponge with a new one. You will loose your fish if you do. Just keep it rinsed and do not throw out the yucky brown rinse water. Pour it on your house plants. They will show their appreciation.

If you have some nice duckweed or other floating plants, growing fish like them to play in and munch on. Once your fry is free swimming you can also add some bristlenose cats or corys to help with keeping the possible excess of over feeding down to a dull roar. In my opinion, it is best to over feed young fish, and do frequent water exchanges. You will have a very low mortality rate providing, you do not do something stupid. I am not going into what something stupid is. You will know when you do it.Anyhow, enjoy raising your egg layers. And by raising them on the foods I did, you can continue to feed them the same foods into old age and retirement. Karen

Below is a video I took awhile back, July 20th or so, 2011, of 5 from my angel fry that were free swimming January 11, 2011. I plan on getting a least one breeding pair, hopefully 2 pairs out of these. BTW the green floating stuff is
 Kens Veggie Flakes. I needed all the fish to stay for their starring roles.
September 26. 2011 I was so surprised to see my 2 year old adult breeding pair of angelfish had spawned in the
 125 gal community tank AND raised some to free swimming. I am leaving them alone to see if they can raise up some young. The following is a video of them guarding their young. Watch closely and you will see them chase away
 other fish, herd stragglers back into the fold of the family as well as scarf up stragglers, swish them in their mouth
 and spit them back into the family.
The video below is of a pair of mine, who at the age of just 7 months had paired up and were now starting to breed. This is a young age for them to do this but, it just goes to show what clean water and top foods and feeding will do.

The male has the solid black tail and the female has the white stripes in her tail. 


"He brings out that 10 year old kid in me who had
An aquarium in the house with what I now know what was a siren in it.
The tub in the basement had a baby alligator in it
The backyard swimming pool, tubs, garbage cans at different times had Carp, bluegills, bullheads, turtles, frogs, salamanders, snakes, lizards ..
Since I cant go back to being 10 and move to New York ..
Hey Mang! Show me them Darters you got!!"
-Yeahbut


Breeding Angelfish by Ol'Karen
Breeding Danios
guest author Dennis Ball
http://www.ballaquatics.com/



   There are almost as many ways to set-up danios for spawning as there are hobbyists who keep these fascinating fish. The first problem we encounter when spawning danios is that they are notorious egg eaters. We need a way to keep fish and eggs apart. Over the years I've used live plants, spawning mops and marbles to cover the bottom of the tank hoping to separate the breeders from the spawn. While all these methods work well enough, there are several problems with them in my opinion. Just as they let the eggs fall to the tank bottom they also let everything else fall through as well. This can often cause fungus problems with the eggs and ruin the spawn. Also, it can be hard to tell if the fish have spawned when you can't clearly see the tank bottom.






   Another way of using the plastic canvas involves just cutting it so that it fits the tank snugly from front to back, but it is left wider than the tank so that it forms a U when inserted into the tank.

  You can use a sponge filter or just some PVC pipe to hold the canvas up off the bottom of the tank. 
   I prefer the canvas to other methods because you can clearly see the eggs after the fish have spawned, and once you remove the canvas, you have easy access to the tank bottom for cleaning, water changes, etc. The canvas can be dipped in a mild bleach solution for easy cleaning between uses.

  OK, that's our first problem solved, let's move on to the next. Newly hatched danio fry are very small and unable to eat baby brine shrimp as a first food. As such, we need to make provisions before we spawn our fish. Well we should anyway. If you are caught short and have an unexpected batch of danio fry here's the old-school method of feeding the fry. Simply disolve some hard boiled egg yoke in some water and feed a few drops several time a day. Be very careful as too much will quickly foul your water and ruin your spawn. 
   Given a choice, I use green water as a first food. It's easy to produce, just drop a handful of grass clippings into a bucket of old tank water and set it in the sun for several days. It won't foul your tank water like prepared foods and if you put enough into the fry tank to tint the water a light green color, they will have food when ever they want. I try not to tint the water too green, as it can be difficult to do water changes without get fry if the water is so green that it is hard to see through.

  My second choice of fry food is 5-50 micro sized Golden Pearls. This food was developed as a replacement for brine shrimp and it's design helps to hold it suspended in the water column. The 5-50 micron size is just like dust – perfect for the tiny mouths of our fry. 
   My solution to these problems, plastic canvas! Plastic canvas can be purchased in many of the big box stores and any good hobby shop. You can use the plastic canvas in a couple of different ways.

  Using some nylon yarn, it's very easy to build a basket to hang in your tank. The basket pictured is sized to completely fill a 5.5 US gallon tank, but the wings that support it stick out far enough that it will also work in a 10 US gallon tank as well. I only fill the tank so that there is about 2” of water in the basket. This way the eggs don't have far to fall before they fall through the bottom of the basket and the fish can't circle back and eat them.
   ****************************************************************************************************************************************************************************
            Now that we have the two biggest problems solved, let's move on to the easy part, getting the fish to spawn! 
                                                                           
                               
                               TOD

Get caught with barely visible fry and food to big for their mouths?  Never fear, if you had a mortar and pestle you could smash the particles to a powder if you need.
Breeding my Betta splendens, this is the experience of one well known hobbyist who, you can find on Aquabid.    Mike  AKA  River11

http://www.aquabid.com/cgi-bin/auction/search.cgi

I'm not doing all those jars, so if all goes well I'll be taking orders for un sexed bettas.

These I believe are Black Red Dragon Butterfly HM bettas. Got these at the St. Louis auction back in Nov. I only have the pair so either these two spawn or this is my last report.  

guest author Mike



female
male
Alrighty then, it's day two of this magical mystery tour of a fish type I haven't spawned in over 45 years.

He's starting to build a bubble nest under an Anubia leaf I put in the tank.

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Tank set up with filter running and the over flow of filtered water is going into the lantern  globe to keep water movement to a minimum.  
Notice  the nest in the left hand corner
Introduced the female in with the male this morning. Did a partial water change and bumping the temp up from 79 to 82. 
The pair are getting acquainted.
Hello sports fans, here we are in day four and we're getting a spawn as I type this.
Notice how she lays her body into position so he can embrace her.
As the male squeezes the female, eggs are released, fertilized and slowly drop to the bottom.  Then the male swims down, picks the eggs up, returns to the nest and spits them into the bubbles.  

Sometimes a female will help with these duties, while other females will eat the eggs if she is faster than the male. :(
About 2 days after spawning, the eggs will become wigglers.  That is baby fish with their egg yolks still attached. It will be about another 2 - 3 days before the yolks are fully absorbed and fry are now free swimming.
It is at this stage the male is no longer needed to care for his brood, his reproduction instinct will leave and he might just have a nice meal, if he is not removed.
Look closely and you will see tiny tails protruding below the bubbles.  The nest is not red but white.  What you are seeing that is red is reflection from outside the tank.

WHERE'S WALDO?
OK, yesterday I finally pulled the female at 5pm, spawning ritual went on for over six hours. It's obvious when to remove the female, the male commences to put an ass whooping on her and will no longer let her near the nest.

I have a solid colored makeshift Tupperware lid covering the tank and used the light that comes with the tank to let some light shine through last night; so the male could tend the eggs. You can see the eggs in the photos below..

I used a Coleman lantern globe for the female when she was initially placed in the tank, I hung the tiny power filter on the side of the tank and let most on the overflow spill into the globe to protect the nest from being disturbed. Read somewhere that a breeder uses part of a styro cup for the male to anchor his nest and would probably use that instead of an Anubia leaf next time.

Normally the female is kept in a tank full of baby plecos anyone who has them knows how dirty their tanks are no matter how many water changes you do, so I decided to put her in a breeder net inside a large tank to recover. Her fins are a bit ripped up and missing some scales.

Just want to remind all, this is almost "real time" posting. It's not necessarily a report of a "how to do it" breeding success story. It might be a "how not to do it". I say this as I watch the male stand guard but pretty much let the nest fall apart without showing the excitement he did. Even if we do get a hatch, still got to feed these guys which will be too small to accept live BBS, make sure they don't get sucked into the filter, why don't I see as many eggs as yesterday and so on. I've got plans, but "I'm just saying".

Can anyone find Waldo in that photo? I see some tails hanging from the nest but don't see many. I hope I'm wrong. Using an anubia leaf to anchor the nest seems to have been a bad choice, the nest spread out too much. The filter might be an issue also. I'll keep you posted.

With the male still in there, tiny fry just dart up into the nest, they're not swimming horizontal yet. I've also seen the male grab them and spit them up into the nest.

Mike 

Hey Frank - thanx for these amazing photos you took!  Remember - 
send Ol'Lotsoffish an invoice for the useage of these!!
I am often asked if I separate my male & female fish when preparing to spawn them. Sometime I do and sometimes I don't. If your fish are fairly young and in good condition, they are most likely spawning a couple times a week already. If you separate the sexes, you will have a bit more control over the actual spawning event. The theory being, after being apart for several days, the fish will spawn soon after being put together in the breeder set-up. On the other hand, if they are in good condition as mentioned above, they will often spawn the next morning after being place in the breeder set-up anyway. It's six of one and a half dozen of the other, take your pick.

To keep things moving along here, let's say we have separated our fish for the past week. We have been feeding them hi quality prepared foods, frozen foods and any live foods we have on hand. We have a clean and sterile breeder tank equipped with our plastic canvas set-up and ready to go. I like to add the females to the tank first. About an hour before lights out in the fish room. Just before we turn off the lights, add the males. With a bit of luck, our fish will spawn at first light the next morning.

  This is where having kept the fish separate often pays off. If the fish had been kept together, there's a chance that they just spawned yesterday morning in their regular tank. If that's the case, they will need to spend a couple days in the breeder set-up before they will spawn again. If after 2 or 3 days the fish haven't spawned, it's time to remove them from the breeder set and get ready to try again after another week of conditioning. Don't get discouraged! With a bit of patience and perseverance you will succeed! 
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   OK, it's the next day and we have a successful spawn and eggs are clearly visible on the bottom of the tank! 
  This image show Zebra Danio eggs about 4 hours old. At this stage they are still very clear and colorless. Egg development time depends very much on your tanks water temperature. In cooler water the eggs take a bit longer to develop and hatch.
   Here are our Zebra eggs at 60 hours old. It won't be long now, you can see the tiny fish developing inside the egg.

  A good estimate for hatching time would be around 72 hours with water temperatures in the 76F - 78F range. 
  After the eggs hatch, it will be a day or two before the fry become free swimming. They will lay on the bottom of the tank or attach themselves to the glass. Resist the urge to feed the fry until they are free swimming. Until they are, they will not take food and you will only ruin your water quality and perhaps spoil your spawn in the process.
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  When raising fry, I like to keep them in a small tank for about the first 30 days. I believe it's easier to see that they are fed well in a smaller set-up. I also believe in frequent large water changes in my grow-out tanks. Hi quality water is every bit as important as hi quality food when grow-out fry.

I hope this article shows that spawning your fish is not hard. With just a little preparation, spawning your fish and raising the fry can be very rewarding. For many hobbyists, it's just another step in the continuing adventure that is aquarium keeping. The best of luck with all your breeding projects!

Cheers,

Dennis 
Betta splendens


TOD

Okay, here goes, I'm about to reveal my secret for the perfect infusoria culture, it has been a tight secret for a very long time and now you are about to receive it.

Just take an ordinary pint jar and fill it either with water from a filter that has been in a tank going for a very long time, or more easily pull over to the side of the road and gather some water from a canal or pond.

Go to the grocery store and buy a turnip. Yes, a turnip. Peel the turnip, cut the white inside part into small 1/2 inch cubes. Take the pint of water and drop two of these cubes into the water,they will float like ice cubes. After 5-6 days the turnip pieces will have started to decompose and will be filled with visible infusoria.

I take a three cc syringe and put the open tip onto a floating turnip cube and push it gently just under the surface drawing water into the syringe from the side of the turnip. If you take a clear shot glass or similar vessel, and fill it with the water you just gathered from the turnip cube you will see hundreds if not thousands of tiny one celled creatures moving about. Simply dump this into the fry tank a few times a day.

On keeping the culture going, just get a second pint jar, fill it with water from the aquarium, put two cubes in it, wait two or three days for these cubes to start decomposing and draw out some infusoria from the first jar to inoculate the next. You can keep cultures going till the end of time like this.

When I was breeding tetras for selling I did this and a good jar of culture lasted a week to ten days. If you start fresh jars on a cycle you can have fresh culture always ready.

Why turnips? They have the perfect consistency, they are porous,,they float, they're cheap,,,they are clean and this eliminates all that nonsense of using lettuce, yeast, crap, you name it.
The advantage of doing it this way is that you will always have a clear culture, no green water, no stink, perfect culture. 

   compliments of - tpetsfl   Lake County Florida

click here
Barbs  contributed by tpetsfla,  Bill
   If you ever want to try to get a big load of fry from them you can do the following.

  Seperate some males and females for a week or so, feed them well.

  Set up a breeding tank. Make it a bare ten gallon tank with no filter, no gravel, no plants,,,just bare.

  Go to Joanne's fabrics or some similar store and buy a yard of black nylon mesh,,,the holes are about 1/8 inch wide. I take a rectangular piece of this and drape it down into the tank about a half to two thirds of the way depending on the species.

  So you have a bare ten gallon tank, this mesh, draped over the tank and pushed down into the tank like a big net.

  Add water to the breeding tank, bring the water level to about twice the body depth of the fish. They will have the distance of the tank to swim back and forth and nothing but mesh below them for the eggs to fall through.

  After conditioning the fish for a week or so,,,,,put them in the breeding tank just before you go to bed,,,,with the lights off.

  When the sun comes up, the ambient light in the room will come up, and they should start breeding. The eggs will fall through the mesh.

  Since their eggs are somewhat adhesive, some will stick to the mesh,,,but in my experience, the action of the parents swimming and stirring things up while spawning usually jars the eggs and most of them will fall through the mesh.

  When they are done spawning, you simply lift the mesh up with the breeders in it,,,,put them back in their tank,,,,,you now have a bare, clean tank with a bunch of eggs on the bottom that can be monitored with a flashlight and magnifying glass.

  Go back to my description of how to make infusoria and have that ready to feed for a few days and then be ready to follow up with live baby brine shrimp.

  One further note,,,once spawning is complete,,,and you get the fish and the mesh out,,,,,lower the water level down to just a couple inches above the eggs. This will keep the resulting fy more concentrated in the tank and will ensure they get plenty of food. Place an airstone right at the surface to cause a small current that will distribute the food.

  As the fish start eating and growing, you can add water to the tank. Once they are actually swimming and hunting down brine shrimp you can start doing water changes.

  Bill 


This is just 2 pair of Odessa's set up for breeding.  Notice, I did not use the method as described by Bill. Therefore I will get a much smaller hatching.  Karen