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The Goldfish Gazette, Issue #011 -- Setting Up a Spawning Pond
November 30, 2014

Goldfish Care Tips and Guidelines

A Free Monthly Resource For Goldfish Enthusiasts
November 2014
Issue #011

In this issue
Setting up a spawning pond.
What's new on the Website

For those living in the Southern Hemisphere, the goldfish breeding season is well advanced.

Setting Up a Spawning Pond

A well set up spawning pond will maximize the number of fry from a spawning.

Even relatively small fish can produce thousands of fry, more than enough for most enthusiasts.

Most of these techniques were developed over time when I had my commercial operation. A spawning of a few hundred fry was more of a nuisance than a benefit as my raising ponds were set up for raising thousands of fry.
It just wasn't worth the effort to stock a pond with a few hundred fry.

The setup in the image above produced approximately 2000 Black Moor fry from one small 2 1/2" (body length) female and 3 males.

Simple Rules When Setting Up a Spawning Pond

  • Use a big enough pond. You won't have filtration running as the water flow will hinder fertilization, but it must be big enough so the fish feel comfortable. Use gentle aeration if you are concerned about oxygen levels.
    It doesn't have to be very deep, water depth 12 inches maximum. I use 80 gallon fiberglass ponds half filled to a depth of 7-8 inches.
  • Use clean water. The pond should have all loose debris flushed or siphoned out and a complete water change made.
    Goldfish are messy, and even a clean pond will rapidly start to fill with debris, especially if the fish take a few days to spawn.
  • No ornaments or plants. Apart from spawning equipment, there should be nothing else in the pond.
  • Tie spawning media together. Also tie it in one or two positions around the pond. The reason for securing the spawning media is because the female tends to drive into the media to lay her eggs which will cause it to move around the pond. If the female has to chase after the media, many eggs miss the media altogether and sink to the bottom.
  • Use spawning mops. I don't use plants for the fish to spawn on because they can't be sterilized, they shed leaves and most plants aren't dense enough. There is also the danger of introducing pests.
    Make sure the length of your spawning mops is enough to reach the bottom of the pond, even longer is better.

The last trick I use to maximize fry numbers is to cover one half of the bottom of the pond with clear plastic film.

Goldfish are egg scatterers, and those eggs that miss sticking to the spawning media tend to get pushed away from the media by the parents' thrashing tails. A large number of eggs end up floating away from the media until they eventually settle on the bottom up to two feet away.

If you intend using plastic film, check, check and triple check that the edges are held down securely with flat rocks or something similar, as I have had fish get under the plastic and suffocate.
If you are in any doubt, don't use it, just use plenty of spawning mops that are longer than the depth of water.

Don't be tempted to use the black plastic film as it causes extreme temperature increases as the sun strikes it.

To read more on this subject and tips on how to breed goldfish successfully click here...

What's New On The Website

Brine Shrimp

I thought it an appropriate time to update the brine shrimp page showing my hatchery and what the hatched nauplii should look like prior to harvesting and feeding to your fry.
Brine shrimp are by far the easiest first food source for your fry as they are so easy to hatch.

Read more…

Comments? Ideas? Feedback? I'd love to hear from you. Just reply to this e-zine and tell me what you think, or what topics you want covered.

Next Month’s Topic

How to cull goldfish fry.

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