Friday, 12 June 2009

Goldfish Babies

We have baby goldfish.....AGAIN!

I accidentally dropped the temperature too abruptly when changing the water in our 50 gallon tank. I brought the water level right down to the top of the fish who were on the bottom of the tank. There are 10 fish of varying sizes. The largest is a 3 year old female named Cocoa who is about the size of my closed fist. She's the only female in the tank. The only time you can really sex goldfish is in the Spring. The males will sport small white spots on their gills and sometimes front and dorsal fins. My males were not sporting their spots currently.

1 of 1 informed me early in the morning a week or so ago, getting me out of bed might I add, that her goldfish was spraying eggs and I had to come and rescue them because the fish were eating them all.

"Hello! I'm Sleeping!" Was my reply. "Plus the last batch of fish was fathered by a fish whom is now deceased. The new guys just don't have it in 'em honey."

"No Mom, they're fertilized probably! Come and get them!!!!!" she yelled anxiously.

By the time I got upstairs they ate all but a few eggs. We counted 3.

Goldfish eggs are sticky and stick to the sides of anything they touch. Including the other fish. I pulled out the ornaments where we saw the eggs and put them in a bowl of tank water with a bubbler. Turns out there were at least 7 eggs hiding on the objects.

Once hatched the fry look kind of like mosquito larvae. Personally I need to use a magnifying glass to get a really good look at them. Even then they just look like lines with dots on the end.

They have an egg sack that remains for a couple of days around their heads so they don't have to eat until it's been consumed. Now comes the hard part. Keeping the water quality up until they are big enough to be in a tank with a filter.

Apparently goldfish rarely successfully breed in a tank. Usually this only happens in ponds. Somebody forgot to let them know this! This is our third generation in about 5 years. Next time maybe I won't drop the temperature so abruptly.


BONNIE K said...

I have never heard of this.

Bella Rum said...

Wow! That was interesting and informative. I never knew!

Kurt said...

Snails are the same way. And the babies are so cute!

VE said...

Well I must say...dropping the temperature in water wouldn't get me to reproduce...

Serena said...

What a very interesting post! Hopefully, they will make it to adulthood. I've never had much luck with goldfish, I'm afraid. They seem to live for yonks as long as I don't clean the tank. When I clean the tank, they die within a month....and yes, I always follow the proper water quality instructions to the letter.

Anonymous said...

the same thing happened to me our friends were moving away so they gave us all their goldfish (9) 1 female and 8 male we didnt know that at the time the next day the female started spawning so we took out the ornaments that we saw some of the eggs on and moved it into a bowl with water inside now i have know idea what to do since this is my first time with goldfish. Can somebody please tell me what to do??

Perpetual Chocoholic said...

Anonymous....what I did is make sure the container you have them in should have no more than 6 inches of water(any deeper and the pressure is too great for the eggs to hatch. Preferably water from the original tank (it will have some microscopic food in it for when they hatch) or water that has been conditioned. A 10 gallon tank is perfect, filled up part way. Put in a bubbler NOT a filter. They will get sucked up if you use a filter. By bubbler I mean use an air stone/rock with is attached to an air pump.

They should hatch in 3 to 5 days. If any of the eggs are white or fungus covered they are likely not fertilized or have died.

Once they have hatched they will still have their egg sacks around their head for a couple of days. This provides ample food and there is no need to feed them anything at this point. When they have the eggs sacks around their head they will swim freely but stick to objects and the side of the tank for rest. Once they no longer appear to stick to things they have consumed their egg sacks.

There are prepared fry foods for fry which is tiny, but I found that it contaminated the water quickly and more often than not the fish fry died. I had the best luck by feeding small amounts of BABY brine shrimp starting a couple of days after they hatched when they were no longer "sticking" to the sides of the aquarium.

You will need to change some of the water to keep it fresh since there is no filter once you are feeding them, but only change a bit at a time as to not shock them.

As they grow and start to actually look like goldfish and not sticks with two eyes, you can make the water slightly deeper.

Once they are large enough to go in a tank without being sucked up/or swim into a filter, you can add one. They will never need a heater as goldfish are from the carp family and prefer cool water.

If you have more questions, please feel free to e-mail me directly.