Fish Eggs – An Exercise in Patience

Aquariums, like everything else in this world, experience change. Often, neglect will cause a change that is harmful to the occupants of the tank. These changes can get out of control quickly if left to its own course.

It seems that the bad things happen quickly, but bad is not the only kind of change. There can be good change, too. Plant growth, fish growth, and reproduction.

A few months ago, I lost a lot of fish. The source of the die-off correlated well with the installation of several identical new heaters. I’ve already blogged about it here, here, and here.

One of the survivors of the incident has turned out to be male. That’s good, because I lost the only adult male I had int he die-off. Breeding this fish is critical if you keep it because it is what we call an annual. That is to say, it has a very short lifespan of only about a year.

This afternoon, I noticed the male inside one of the PVC pipe “caves.” Shining a flashlight down the tube, I discovered this young male to be guarding a clutch of eggs attached to the inside of the pipe. I did not see any eyes in the eggs, so it’s possible the male has not figured out how to fertilize them yet. Still, it’s encouraging that he is behaving normally.

It’s always difficult to handle the breeding part. Hard to wait for the fish to get to breeding age. Hard to wait until the female has eggs. Hard to wait before moving the eggs into a nursery tank, adn hard to wait for the eggs to hatch. It’s hard, but it’s worth it.

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