Let's talk about...goldfish breeding

Discussion in 'Goldfish' started by poeticinjustices, Jul 1, 2014.

  1. poeticinjustices

    poeticinjusticesWell Known MemberMember

    All right...something funny is going on in my tank. Let me go over the events.

    1) It's not uncommon for me to see my ranchu, Rex, picking on my lionhead, Motley. It sort of looks more like aggression than breeding behavior...HOWEVER

    2) The other day, I saw Fritz, Rex AND Lola engaging in what looked exactly like breeding behavior, bumping, chasing, nudging each other's vents. Here's the thing...they were all behaving as males, like against each other haha. Now Motley had just swam through the group of them. Is it possible that she released the pheromone there and confused them?

    3) Today, Lola and Fritz were both exhibiting breeding behavior on Motley. It was very clear. But then Fritz and Lola would start exhibiting the same behavior against each other, both behaving like males against each other again.

    I'm aware that in an all-male tank, goldfish will chase each other and it DOES appear that Motley may in fact be the only female in the tank, in which Lola is to be renamed. I'm thinking Lolo, cause it's funny, or Tiny, cause he is.

    Here's the other thing...they are all rarely small. Motley is for certain the largest but she's maybe just over 2" from the longest point on her head to the longest point on her fin. I'm aware they are all pet store fish and likely smaller than they should be but they are really small, I certainly would not guess they are 2-3 years of age, which is supposed to be the point at which they reach spawning maturity, yes?

    Should I make an attempt at hand-spawning Motley? For all the bumping and chasing I witnessed no eggs fell from anyone. It also seems occur at the same time of day and in the exact same area of the tank.

    Weird, right?
  2. Claire Bear

    Claire BearWell Known MemberMember

    PI, I let nature take its course with my guys. If they want to they will-unless you are anxious to get more goldies? :)
  3. OP

    poeticinjusticesWell Known MemberMember

    Haha no. Well...yes. Always. But not right this second. I guess what I'm really trying to do is assess breeding maturity as it relates to age and size.

    Like, do male goldfish have to be of a certain age to respond to the pheromone the females release to induce bumping/chasing?

    And if Motley is already releasing this pheromone does that mean she's actually 2-3 years old and sexually mature? That seems so unlikely give photos of her at the store a month before I purchased her, she still had baby goldfish coloring (muddy brown) and though she's clearly the oldest and largest of the group, she's still not very big. Nor have I actually seen any eggs. I'm just wondering because I believe goldfish grow more slowly after hitting sexual maturity and, if they're already there, I'm concerned they may be severely stunted. They are so small. Motley's body is just about 2" and Lola (now either Lolo or Tiny haha) is barely over an inch long in body (not including fins).

    So I have this weird feeling like they aren't going to grow much more if they are already showing breeding behavior, you know? Which makes me sad. I'm doing what I can to grow them out a bit but goldies no likey the protein so it's hard and I just have to let them do their thing mostly. But I'm curious.

    I'm just wondering if this behavior actually indicates sexual maturity. I have not seen a single sign of eggs though. Motley has always been a little uneven, slightly rounder/more protruding belly (she's kind of square shaped haha) but I've held her before, no eggs, nor did the breeding behavior produce any. So could she actually be releasing pheromone before reaching sexual maturity and the young boys are responding to that? Kind of like a goldfish version of when elementary school kids pick on each other to communicate crushes haha.
  4. Claire Bear

    Claire BearWell Known MemberMember

    Hi PI and I am tickled reading your post! You remind me of me a few years ago-prolific writer and curious about everything. I always needed an answer.
    Let me just say, I think they have more growing to go and I think when they are ready for egg laying.
    Anyway, glad you are interested in their health and future. :)
  5. OP

    poeticinjusticesWell Known MemberMember

    Haha. That's just a nice way of saying I talk (type) too much :p. I really am not an endless chatterbox in person there's just something about the written word for me. I feel like Faulkner all stream of consciousness. I start to write one simple thought and the rest just comes spilling out haha.

    I think you're right though, at least I hope you are. I'm just really surprised to see the breeding behavior. Motley's tail has been chewed up constantly the last couple weeks. I'm on edge with V's fin rot coming back but I think it's been so long it's probably not fin rot for her so I assume it's just from the breeding behavior. I was just surprised to see it in such small, presumably young fish. Anywho, I'd just like to see them get big and strong. It'll be weird in the 75g while 4 little pet shop (ah nostalgia...I loved those toys as a kid) and 3 giant ranchus. I may just end up keeping a couple of them in the 29g if the difference gets too severe and stocking the rest of the 75g with, oh I dunno, more ECR ranchus? :p

    I have a problem. I need help. I say I want to try other fish but after meeting these guys in person, man, I just want more.

    EDIT: I feel better now having read this...

    This quote in particular -
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2014
  6. millca

    millcaValued MemberMember

    Did your ECR ranchus arrive today? Pics please.
  7. OP

    poeticinjusticesWell Known MemberMember

    Yes they did and they are so beautiful! With a happy surprise...three ranchus instead of two! I knew I was getting one free ranchu but two...WOW! I am so glad I made the decision to buy them from ECR. I was a little scared at first with the additional ranchu but it just means I may have to keep my 29g as another goldie tank when everyone grows up and I am just instantly in love with these fish, all of them :) They are pretty shy and the trip was stressful so it's difficult to get good pics but I did post a thread about it with a few photos here...


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