Here’s a unique way to take your love for your aquarium hobby and turn it into a way to make some extra income. Why not breed and sell aquarium fish. You could start by selling them to your friends and family who might be interested in having their own aquarium system and even though this market may be limited, there are opportunities out there if you search them out.
Start locally by visiting the place you bought your fish and see if they are interested. It’s quite possible the original seller might be glad for the opportunity to buy fish without having to pay freight expenses.
Of course, it might be best to start slowly and learn all about how to keep fish successfully, before rushing out and spending lots of money. However, once you’ve learned the ins and outs of breeding, you’re in business. This really isn’t that difficult to do. If you have about ten fish together in a tank, there are sure to be some males and some females and breeding will occur naturally if your fish are healthy.
An effective way to stimulate spawning is to change 20% of the water every day. However, make sure the new water is de-chlorinated and is the same temperature as the water taken out, otherwise stress will result.
Mollies are one of the easiest fish to breed and any male can mate with any female even though the size and shape might be different. Their main requirement is lots of water, as they don’t do well in small aquariums. Eight adult Mollies can be bred in an aquarium of about 40 gallons. Mollies bear live fish rather than eggs like most other females do and they like their water temperature at about 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, you should add a tablespoon of aquarium salt for each five gallons of water.
To encourage breeding, the females need to be fed freeze-dried bloodworms, dry flakes, and a few live or frozen brine shrimp each day. Three live Black Worms each per day will also be helpful. Make sure there are only a few males and plenty of females in the water because, for a female, being chased by several other fish is too stressful and not very conducive to pregnancy.
Obviously, it’s important to prevent the baby fish from being eaten by others. So gently place the Molly into another aquarium just before she gives birth – you’ll notice her size increasing – or your could buy a special contraption called a net breeder to keep the babies safe until they’re older. The fry (baby fish) must be fed three times a day with a bit of finely powdered fish flakes. When they’re about an inch long, which will take from one to four months, they can be released from their protective net.
Another fish excellent for breeding is Pink Convicts. Start by getting 8 or 10 little ones and raising them together. When they’re mature, they’ll pair off and build a nest in the gravel or a cave under a rock. The female will then lay eggs and both will guard them until they hatch in three or four days. What’s good about convicts is the babies are hardy and easy to raise, however, they are generally much more aggressive than Mollies.
You can do the same for Angel Fish. One problem with buying a mature pair is their bond may be lost when they are moved to a new home. So get several young ones instead and raise them together, and they will pair off naturally. You’ll know who’s paired off with whom when you see two of them working together to chase the others out of their territory.
Breeding and selling aquarium fish certainly won’t make you rich, but it’s a fun hobby and quite amazing to watch nature at work.
Glenn Cutforth is a writer, eBook publisher and graphic designer.