Breeding Fish For Fun And Profit

  1. C

    CATfish87 Initiate Member

    I hope to open my own pet store in the future and specialize in fish and reptiles but that is several years down the road. In the meantime I want to gain experience keeping and breeding fish. If I plan to breed a good chunk of my own stock for the store, I need to know how best to breed them.

    So for those of you who breed fish, do you dedicate a tank to each species? What size tanks do you use for breeding and rearing fry?
     





  2. BottomDweller

    BottomDweller Fishlore VIP Member

    I breed goldfish, platies and danios currently.

    For the goldfish I use 20 gallon tanks to condition and spawn the adults. I raise the fry in a 10 gallon for up to a month then they get split up into a few 15 gallons and 20 gallons. Once they've reached a decent size (around 2") they get moved to the 200 gallon pond. Once they are big enough they get moved to the 1600 gallon pond with the adults.

    The platies breed in the community tank. The majority of the fry get eaten before I catch them. I put any fry I can catch into a breeder net. After a couple of weeks they get moved to a 5 gallon or 10 gallon until they are big enough to go in the main tank.

    I do not intentionally breed the danios. If I notice a female very suddenly becomes a lot thinner I wait 2 days then clean out the filter media into a bucket of tank water. I almost always find 50+ fry. The fry are split up into a few 10 gallon tanks until they are big enough to be given away or for the community tank.
     





  3. TexasDomer

    TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    What species are you interested in breeding? Breeding and fry care vary greatly between the species, and it's hard to get broad and general advice when they're so different.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    C

    CATfish87 Initiate Member

    I know my question was really broad. Basically once I get into a space where I can have multiple fish tanks I want to begin breeding some easy species like livebearers (mollies, platy, and guppies), bristlenose plecos, and and maybe goldfish.

    Eventually I'd like to make it a part of my business and I'd like to breed as much of my own stock as possible so I'll eventually get into many different species. So I'm trying to get an idea of tank sizes for breeding and raising fry.

    What type of goldfish do you breed?
     
  5. TexasDomer

    TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    The common livebearers are easy to breed, but they're also not worth much unless you get into the expensive and rare colors or species. It'll be hard to make money off the species you have listed.
     
  6. BottomDweller

    BottomDweller Fishlore VIP Member

    Commons, comets and shubunkins. 20 gallons is small for breeding singletails but they are very shallow long tanks and the fish I breed from are usually around 3". If the singletail goldfish you were breeding were much bigger you would need a bigger tank.
    I hope to start breeding fantails soon too.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    C

    CATfish87 Initiate Member

    That's just what I'm going to start with. Eventually I'll also branch out into tetras, catfish, cichlids (both African and South American, other plecos, angelfish, etc. If it can be bred in captivity, I'm going to give it a shot. I just have to start with the easy stuff first. One of the first I'll breed is betta.
     
  8. TexasDomer

    TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    It might be better to concentrate on a few species at a time. And there's a reason most LFS don't breed their own fish to sell. It's not very profitable and it takes a lot of time and care. It's not really feasible on a large scale, for most people/stores.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    C

    CATfish87 Initiate Member

    I just want to be able to have control over the quality of animals I sell. I currently work in a pet store and we constantly have issues with disease and poor quality fish.

    So maybe breeding my own won't be the best option but I at least want to breed some of them. Mostly goldfish, betta, and plecos.
     
  10. BottomDweller

    BottomDweller Fishlore VIP Member

    Bettas might not be the best fish to start with
     
  11. TexasDomer

    TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    If you can get stock tubs, goldfish would be a good way to go.
     
  12. OP
    OP
    C

    CATfish87 Initiate Member

    Why?
     
  13. TexasDomer

    TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    They require a lot of tanks to raise fry.
     
  14. BottomDweller

    BottomDweller Fishlore VIP Member

    The whole process is difficult and time consuming. When the bettas actually breed the female often ends up badly injured. You need to be prepared to spend time helping her recover afterwards. All of the male fry and any particularly aggressive females will need their own tanks which need to be heated to around 80f. The fry need very clean water and live foods.
     
  15. BettaPonic

    BettaPonic Well Known Member Member

  16. TwoHedWlf

    TwoHedWlf Well Known Member Member

    It's probably more accurate to say it's only feasible on a large scale. You'll need to breed dozens of species, and in volumes to supply a single shop, a handful to a few hundred/ week. And then you're competing with breeders and importers that supply hundreds of thousands of fish/week and can do it cheaper than you can.

    Running an LFS as a business: Cool
    Breeding as a hobby:Cool.
    Selling the odd hobby bred fish in the LFS: Cool
    Trying to fully or largely supply the LFS by breeding: Probably not feasible.

    Also, after running an LFS all day probably the last thing you'll want to do after work is have anything to do with fish.
     
  17. vikingkirken

    vikingkirken Well Known Member Member

    I think @TexasDomer had the right idea about rarer species of livebearers. They won't be hard to breed, and you may make a little bit of money. You just have to be willing to lay out a bit for good stock to start you off. At any rate, it seems like a decent place to start.
     
  18. t

    tjander Well Known Member Member

    Also won't you need to add new fish to keep the gene pool diverse? If your pair mate and then there children mate and so on and so on your going to get a pretty messed up fish I would think.
    My advise is study up and get a degree in fish biology along with some business classes. Prepare yourself with a good education.
    Might not be a bad idea to start working at a LFS.

    I love my local store and the people there are pretty good mostly, but darn if I would want to work there cleaning tanks scooping out dead fish, putting up with customers who think they know everything and know nothing... I liken it to the garbage collectors happy someone will do it but not for me.
    Good luck on your dream.
     
  19. grantm91

    grantm91 Fishlore VIP Member

    just get some platys or something easy and nuke proof, all they do is breed eat and poo, grow the fry to a half inch and throw them on a second hand site for a dollar a piece. I sold some of my gf sisters platy fry after i grew them a little, its not in my interest really I'm not in to platys at all not to offend but they have no appeal what so ever to me but even i found it a little fun watching them grow. Something like thats a nice little starting point. I currently have some white convict fry I'm raising for fun its awesome lol 0dab1118c54f4adc0603d15c9a11283b.jpg dec427105991ae250eff1e7c7dd9db80.jpg look at there little crib haha. 8f90aa833e840987222b2a4c17d76094.png get into hatching baby brine and watch them fry grow like they on test and hitting the the gym.