Fry Care

Ok, so your fish have breed, you have 5000 eggs what to do now?

Your goldfish eggs should be kept in water which shouldn't be more the 6 inches deep. In deeper water the water pressure is to much and can damage the fry and make it hard for them to reach the surface.

Water temperature should be about 70 - 80 degrees F (20 - 25 degrees C). It can be slightly lower or higher as well. The warmer the water, the quicker the eggs will hatch. At about 75 degrees the eggs will hatch after 90 hours.

After 24 hours of the eggs being layed and fertalized some will become clear and others will become white. The white eggs are unfertalized eggs and should be removed where possible. These eggs will quickly grow fungus on them which can spread to and kill other eggs.

Once the fry hatch they will be 'tiny stick fish' with eyes. For the next 2 days they will not eat anything because they have not yet developed a mouth or internal organs. Instead they will absorb what is left of their yolk sac. During this time they will be mostly motionless and suction themselves to walls or plants or anything else they can grab ahold of. It is not necessary to filter the water at this time, although some people do.

After two days the fish will fill their air bladders and start swimming normally looking for food. In about 24 hours there will be thousands of little hungry eyes which need to be fed.

The fry will eat anything it can fit into its mouth. Brine shrimp is often fed to young goldfish. Shrimp eggs can be bought at most pet shops which come with instructions on how to hatch them. They will also eat any single celled animals in the water, paramecium, algae and daphnia to name a few. They will also eat egg yolk which can be prepared for them.

Some breeders start their fry out on flake food immediatly. It is difficult to find flake food which is as rich in nutrients as live food. It is also hard to break the flakes down into a small enough powder that the young fry can eat it.

Feeding your fry is difficult because they are so small. You must put enough food in the water that they can find it, but not so much that the water goes bad. Keeping a continuous supply of live food infront of them is always the best, but that is often not possible. It is often best to put enough food in that it will be eaten within a few hours, then add more again. By doing many water changes, changing 50% or more a day, you can help keep the water fairly clean as well.

Baby goldfish will grow quickly and soon will require a lot of food. Raising a thousand tiny fish is a lot of work and making sure they live in a clean aquarium is also a lot of work. You will have to cull out your fry from time to time, keeping only the best ones.

If you have an outdoor pond it is a good idea to keep the fry in this water. If not in the pond itself when you do water changes be sure to change the old water with water from the pond. The pond water is full of microorganisms which they can eat. Water changes should be done daily to keep the fry in as clean as water as possible.

As the fish grow they will need to be given more room to swim. Although a hundred fry can live in an icecream pail for their first week this becomes just too crouded for them by the third week. As they get larger they can start to be fed flake food as well. By 4 or 6 weeks they should be eating flake food two or three times a day.

[Introduction | Water | Plants and Food | Breeding | Fry Care | Types of GoldFish | Sick Fish | Pictures]


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©1999-2004 Peter Sadlon