Below is an article on fish breeding from the August 2013 newsletter. I’m reposting these as blogs so that they are searchable on our website.
This month I’ll talk about how we breed Blue Gouramis (Trichogaster trichopterus). This fish is the easiest of the anabantids to raise. They are eager and prolific spawners when in good condition.
We condition our breeders by placing a couple of dozen mature fish of both sexes in a 55 gallon vat on our system. The constant water flow from our recirculating system inhibits nest building by the males. We feed heavily, primarily with Simple Pet Products’ #200 and #300 Grinds, for about three weeks.
We set up a spawning vat by adding only about six inches of water, putting in a two to three inch layer of floating hornwort (Ceratophyllum demersum), and turning off the water flow and aeration. Then we net out the potential breeders and select a pair to spawn. For a male we pick a healthy well colored fish with nice fins. Females are selected by their girth; fat females are ready to spawn and produce a lot of eggs. The pair is added to the spawning vat in the late evening. The next morning the male should have built a loosely organized bubble nest. For those of you used to the nice compact and well organized Betta splendens nest, it is nothing like that. The nest is large, amorphous, and ragged. The bubbles tend to be scattered. We leave the pair together even after eggs are present. Males are not that aggressive toward the females. Most of the time we don’t bother to check for eggs, but about 3-4 days later we submerge a water plastic disk to see if the tiny fry are visible. If there are fry, we remove the adults. If there are none, we still remove them and place another pair into the vat. This is almost never necessary.
Once the fry are seen, we begin to drip system water into the vat by barely turning on the water valve. We also add a bucket of green-water daily (I’ll write soon about how we produce this easily and without effort) and feed fry powder and finely ground flake foods. To prevent the fry from overflowing into the floor gutters when the vat fills, we add a fry strainer made of open cell foam over the overflow.
That’s it. When the fry reach about a half inch we add #100 Grind food to their diet. At two inches we feed #200 Grind and begin to sell them.