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How to Hand Breed Your Goldfish

Hand breeding is very important for everybody who wants to become a successful goldfish breeder. Female goldfish can produce hundreds of eggs per cycle, but a number of factors including other fish and improper tank setup can significantly lower the number of hatching fry. By hand breeding your goldfish and separating the eggs from your standard tank, you can greatly improve the number of fish you are able to spawn.

Before You Hand Breed Goldfish

Prior to hand breeding your goldfish, it is crucial to prepare them. Male goldfish will develop sexually as the females develop eggs. A few things you can do to prepare to breed your goldfish are:

  • Feed heavily, four times a day, for a couple of weeks
  • Maintain water temperature of 70F
  • Perform small water changes (around 15%) at least twice a week

Most Efficient Way to Hand Breed Goldfish

Once you have female goldfish that have developed eggs you should wait until they release some naturally (early during the spawning process, females may be too sensitive for hand breeding), and then prepare to hand breed in a separate, small container.

Goldfish Eggs
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  • Transfer enough water from your tank to the small container to provide a few inches of water enough for your goldfish to be comfortable in.
  • Take your male goldfish (or use multiple males) and hold them carefully with towards the front of their body and the right hand near the ventral fins. At this point, very lightly apply pressure down the length of the males body until you see him release milky colored milt into the water. Swirl this milt around to evenly distribute it throughout the container.
  • Next, perform the same task with the female, applying even less pressure on her underside, until she released her eggs into the small container of water.
  • It is very important to immediately swirl the eggs once they are released from the female. Goldfish eggs become very sticky once they come in contact with water, and will not properly fertilize if left to clump together.
  • 5. Once you have hand bred your goldfish, let them rest for 20-30 minutes by themselves before being released back into your tank.

What to do After Hand Breeding Goldfish

After you have hand bred your goldfish, it is important to keep the eggs separate, in a small incubation tank. There are a few things to keep in mind here:

  • Keep the water temperature at 70F
  • Run the water through a UV lamp for 48 hours following hand breeding
  • Be sure to use low flow rates for water circulation
  • Use sponge filters in order to protect small and developing fry from being caught in your system

By following these simple steps, it is easy for anyone keeping goldfish to successfully hand breed them. Hand breeding has a number of advantages over letting breeding occur naturally in your tank, and normally results in a much higher rate of survival for your eggs and hatching fry.

Video Training of Hand Breeding


Goldfish Club

Goldfish Society of Great BritainAmerican Ranchu Society North American Veiltail Association Blue Egg Phoenix Preservation Society