Breeding Gold Barbs
by Reet Thomas

Have you spawned anything yet? I hope you've been successful. This time let's go for something a little more difficult. The Gold Barb is still a relatively simple fish to spawn. Although, at times, it does take a little more patience; occasionally, it can be difficult to get them to spawn.

A 5 or 10 gallon tank will be sufficient. Clean the tank, fill and dechlorinate. Put in a filter and heater (75 degrees) and something for the fish to spawn in. I prefer to use a color fast nylon yarn; dark green seems to work great. Rinse it well in hot water and put it in the tank. Stir it around so it looks like a big clump of plants. The aquarium is now ready for the fish.

Gold Barbs are a little more hard to sex than Zebras but you should have no problem. Generally males are smaller than females but have a lot more black pattern. Once again, look at the fish themselves, the female will be much rounder and heavier. The male will be much more streamlined. If your fish are mature you should have no problem sexing them. Two males and one female work well but I prefer to use a pair because sometimes the second male doesn't spawn and instead follows the pair, eating the eggs as they are laid.

Separate the pair for a few days, this will usually speed up the spawning when you put the fish together. You can put the female in the spawning tank but make sure you siphon all the dirt out of the tank before you add the male. Replace the water you remove. Add the male in the evening before you turn off the lights, if everything goes right the fish should spawn the next morning. The male drives the female into the yarn where they will spawn. The eggs are rather easy to see and will be clear. Remove the pair and darken the tank. The eggs should hatch in 30 to 48 hours.

The fry can be seen clinging on the glass, you might want to use a flashlight because the fry are tiny and clear. Wait till the fry are free swimming before you start feeding. Use Liquid Fry for the first three or four days and then start feeding baby food for egglayers (these foods should be available at you pet shop). Try not to overfeed so as not to spoil the water, but remember, babies' stomachs should be kept full. Feed five or six times a day if you can, siphon dirt from the tank using a airline hose so as not to suck up babies. replace the water from an existing clean tank. You can remove the mop when the fry have grown some, take it out slowly, lightly shaking so you don't take any fry with the mop.

If you have had a successful spawn you are going to have to thin out the fry so to give the young plenty of room to grow. You can carefully move fry to another tank or you can feed some of the fry to your adult fish. I know this sounds terrible but otherwise you are going to end up with stunted fish.

Well, remember, everything does not always go as planned, so if you were not successful start over after you have got you fish back in condition. If breeding fish was to simple it would take all the fun out of it, and that GRAND MASTER plaque hanging on your wall wouldn't be that important.