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Breeding Siamese fighting fish, or males, is a great hobby. Nevertheless, it should be taken seriously. If you have enough time, money, knowledge and responsibility to provide the necessary conditions for breeding males, then this can become a worthwhile occupation.
Cockerels belong to the labyrinth species, and are attractive in their unusual appearance and behavior. The distinguishing features include such signs:
- These fish do not need a large-volume aquarium; they are able to live and breed in small containers. Male or female cockerels are content with one liter of water.
- Fish of this species do not need additional sources of oxygen, so there is no need to install compressors. This is due to the fact that the males are the owners of an organ called the labyrinth, which allows them to breathe air.
- Breeding and mating games of cockerel fish is an amazingly fascinating sight that deserves special attention and requires the creation of certain conditions.
These qualities allowed the fish to become popular among beginner and experienced aquarists.
How to distinguish a male from a female
Those for whom the breeding of males is a means of earning or a kind of hobby, you need to know how to determine the sex and distinguish the male from the female. This is not difficult to do, because there are a number of differences between them, which can be noticed when the fry of the cockerel fish have reached the age of 3 months.
Under normal conditions of existence, males of this species look much more “elegant” and brighter than females. However, if the females for one reason or another experience stress associated with moving or human intervention, the intensity of their color may change and not be inferior in brightness to the color of the male, and then it will not work to establish the sex on this basis. There is another way. To determine the gender, you will need to pay attention to the fins, in males they are large and outwardly resemble sails.
Breeders who live in males need to know that the reproduction of these aquarium fish is possible if certain conditions are created for them. This process contains the following steps:
- The choice of a pair.
- Preparation for spawning.
- Spawning fish of cockerels.
- Baby care.
In order for the fish to spawn and breed successfully, you must responsibly approach each stage.
For breeding, it is important to correctly choose a pair for the fish. Best for these purposes, males aged 5-6 months, but not older than one and a half years, are suitable.
The fact is that in individuals who have lived for more than 16-18 months, problems with reproductive abilities are not uncommon. In such cases, the fry of the cockerel fish are born with defects, and the mortality rate is high.
If one cockerel fish lives in the aquarium, but further breeding is planned, you will need to buy a pair from a breeder with a good reputation. Buying a male or female in a pet store is not worth it, because sellers may not have information about the exact age or intentionally mislead the buyer.
Preparation for spawning
Cockerel fish spawn and breed without any particular problems if they have certain conditions. First of all, you need to equip a spawning aquarium, which must meet the following requirements:
- have sufficient capacity and hold 40-50 liters of water,
- have a partition so that two places form in the tank, for a male and a female,
- be suitable for placement of aquarium shelters and planting of floating plants.
To create favorable conditions for fish, it is necessary to equip spawning with a sponge filter and a heating device. To make the fish feel comfortable, the temperature of the aquatic environment should be 27-28 degrees. It is not recommended to pour a lot of water into the tank, it is enough to fill it with 12-15 cm and put in a quiet place.
In addition to aquarium equipment, successful breeding requires proper feeding of the males. 14 days before the start of spawning, they should receive “live” food such as:
Before eating, the insects will need to be crushed and given to the fish in such an amount that they are able to eat in order to avoid clogging of the aquatic environment.
It is important to pay attention to the behavior of males. An indication that individuals are interested in each other is considered to be an excited state and a demonstration of their own appearance when they spread their fins and gill covers. But if the fish are aggressive, you will need to pick up a different pair for the female and the male.
Since roosters are fish with character, capable of being aggressive towards their brethren, the spawning process looks unusual.
First, the male builds a nest of air bubbles. To do this, he swallows oxygen, and then spits it out, due to which a lump of foam forms. Caviar fish roe is kept here and fry are kept until a certain time.
Before spawning begins, the male person behaves aggressively towards her partner, striking her. Then, changes take place in the ritual dance when a pregnant female shows her partner imaginary eggs on her stomach, which provokes a new attack.
The male wraps around the partner, putting pressure on the abdomen, which causes the release of caviar and milk. After that, the cockerel picks them up and carries the nest. Since the aggressive male is able to cause significant harm to the female and offspring, after completion of spawning, they are sent to their place.
Watch a video about preparing fish for spawning.
Cockerel fry do not differ in survival, and therefore the care and maintenance of juveniles requires a special approach.
First of all, it will be necessary to take care of nutrition in advance, which must be prepared 1-2 weeks before the appearance of fry. As feed use:
After 10-14 days, a microworm and a finely chopped tubule are added to the diet of young animals.
In addition to proper nutrition, it is necessary to take care of the comfortable conditions for keeping young animals. This requires:
- To equip the aquarium with a compressor, since the respiratory organ is finally formed in fish only by the age of 20-22 days.
- Gradually reduce the temperature of the aquatic environment to 22-24 degrees.
- Replace 4/5 of the water volume daily.
- After 3 weeks, move the young in a spacious vessel of 100 liters.
When the fry reach the age of 3 months, it is possible to determine their sex with accuracy. And after six months, the fish are already capable of breeding.
Subject to the above rules and recommendations, breeding males at home will not cause difficulties even for a novice aquarist.
Watch a video about the breeding of males.