The following is a list of equipment that may be needed for a fish breeding project. The equipment needed will depend on the species of fish being bred, so having all of these on hand is not necessary–but having the right ones can be vital.
Acriflavin/methylene blue – Some hobbyists add acriflavin or methylene blue to the water to combat fungus issues with the eggs.
Baby fish food – There is commercially made food for baby fish that is small enough for them to eat. Some people also culture small foods, such as infusoria (see infusoria entry).
Breeding tank – The breeding tank can vary in terms of size, dimensions and even water level.
Conditioning – Conditioning means getting the parents in the mood to breed. Depending on the species, this can include feeding live foods, doing large water changes, raising the water temperature, etc.
Egg crate – Egg crates can be used as tank dividers or a safe place for eggs to fall after spawning. Egg crates differ from egg cartons; they are plastic grids that allow water to flow through.
Floating plants – Floating plants, such as water sprite and hornwort, are often spawning sites where fish lay eggs. They provide protection for eggs and fry from predators until they can fend for themselves.
Flowerpot – Flowerpots are often used by cichlids when they’re breeding. Flowerpots can be used in a variety of ways — upside down with a hole large enough for just the female, cut in half and laying on the side or even whole laying on the side.
Free-swimming – This refers to when the fry can swim by themselves in the water. They are hatched and no longer clinging to aquarium glass or other objects. Some fish are born free-swimming, and others take a few days to develop.
Infusoria – This baby fish food is very small. It can be purchased or cultured in jars by leaving out some lettuce in a jar filled with aquarium water in a well-lit, warm place for a couple of days.
Live food – Live foods, such as decapsulated brine shrimp, are good to feed to the adult fish you want to breed. These foods are rich in nutrients and keep the fish healthy.
Marbles – Some breeders put marbles at the bottom of the tank to allow eggs of certain species to fall into the spaces between them, so the parents cannot get to the eggs and eat them.
PVC pipe – PVC pipe can act as a cave for certain fish that like to spawn in the privacy of a cave.
Slate – Some fish spawn on a piece of slate (or similar medium) set at an angle against a tank wall.
Spawning mop – A spawning mop is usually made of yarn that is knotted together and floated at the water’s surface on a cork. Like floating plants, spawning mops provide certain fish a place to lay their eggs and for the fry to hide in until they are free-swimming.
Sponge filter – These are are gentle filters that can clean a tank but that are not dangerous to fry. Other filters may suck in fry and kill them.
Tank divider – Tank dividers can be made of egg crates, glass or acrylic. They keep fish away from eggs (so they are not eaten) or aggressive parents away from other community fish. These dividers will always have allow water flow to all areas of the tank, so the water quality doesn’t diminish.
Want to read the full story? Pick up the August 2009 issue of Aquarium Fish International today.