Breeding goldfish

Breeding goldfish

It’s not impossible to breed your goldfish, but it’s not as easy as breeding rabbits or gerbils.

The reason is that goldfish lay eggs in the water, rather than giving birth to baby goldfish. These eggs must be protected until they hatch, and the tiny baby fish (called fry) raised using special baby fish food.

The eggs are vulnerable to infection, and parents will give you no help, either. In fact, they may even eat the eggs, and so the eggs and baby fry will need their own aquarium or pond.

On the other hand, you can potentially raise dozens or even hundreds of baby goldfish from just one spawning, if you’ve got the time, resources and commitment.

You might even get the bug, and try and develop your own line of fancy goldfish. After all, no fancy goldfish occur naturally in the wild – they have all been developed by many years of selective breeding.

Key steps in breeding goldfish

Click on the links below (where available) for information on that specific breeding step.

  1. Choose the parent fish for breeding
  2. Separate the male and female goldfish
  3. Feed your brood stock to improve their condition ahead of breeding
  4. Prepare the special aquarium that you will use to raise your goldfish fry
  5. Reunite the male and female goldfish in early Spring in the breeding aquarium
  6. Watch your goldfish making love! Then remove the parents, and wait for the eggs to hatch
  7. Feed the babies baby brine shrimp, switching to other foods as they grow
  8. Maintain good water conditions in the fry aquarium
  9. Cull weak or deformed goldfish in order to preserve the genetic line
  10. As they grow, divide the goldfish out into more aquariums or ponds to avoid overcrowding.

We’ll be writing separate entries for each of the steps above in the next few weeks, so please do subscribe to the Goldfish Care Guide to stay informed.

74 Responses to “Breeding goldfish”

  1. Dear Friend,

    My Name is Nagaraj from India.

    I have been through your site and now I would like to ask few questions hoping that you will give me proper guidance.

    I have quiet a few Gold fish and sharks in separate tanks. Though they are doing fine, the only problem I face is their color.
    When I brought from a local store, their color was very bright (gold, orange, and black). But after a few weeks, their color started to fade.
    The Gold fishes whose colors were red and orange mixed with white, started to turn fully white. i.e., the gold and orange color started to fade.

    As far as maintenance is concerned, I change the water regularly and feed them properly. When I contacted the local stores for a suggestion, they try to
    reason with improper diet and make me buy different food they sell. Thinking that it may solve the problem, I tried many varieties of food but in vain.

    Kindly suggest me a proper remedy so as to bring back their color and to retain them.

    Thanking you in advance.



  2. goodday everyone: i have a goldfish in my home thru experiences i learned some remedies an technique regarding some of your problem which i loved to give an answer to your questions…1)separating the female fish alone without the male will not lay egg..the male is the one who’ll help the female to lay egg…2)after laying egg, remove right away the couple, they will eat the eggs…3)2-3 days after is the hatching…

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  4. Hi I have a small pond and my goldfish have produced babies but the majority are black will they change colour, the adult fish are ordinary goldfish

    regards Jan

  5. i have 7 gold fish and a filter but i want to know when are they going to have babies ans i also have guppies and one is fat does that mean it will have babies please help me

  6. what’s different between ranchu goldfish and lionhead goldfish?

  7. I have a 35-45 litre tank withe 1 fancy gold fish and 2 comets in it. I am going to get them a pond when they get to big but I need to know how big i should let them grow before I get the pond. Please help!

  8. Visit this website to find on the difference on ranchu goldfish and lion head goldfish:

  9. You’ve made some good points there. I checked on the internet to learn more about the issue and found most people will go along with
    your views on this site.

  10. My pond is well a stablished for 5 yrs plus. Still no baby’s any reason why.

  11. My gold fish is alone since 7 months but todaythere are alot of small transparent balls in her bowl..they look like eggs but is it possible??

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  13. I have a goldfish all by herself in a small tank. I noticed she’s been swimming crazily back and forth for a couple of days now. Yesterday I went to clean out her tank and she had layed her eggs all over the bottom of the tank. I know they are eggs because I googled it. Im guessing they’re not any good without a male goldfish to fertilize the eggs but I didnt expect my fish to lay eggs especially without a mate..

  14. I have a female goldfish and it just laid eggs without the male goldfish that i had in a seperate tank. I did not know that goldfish was pregnant and when it laid eggs i helped the goldfish get most of its eggs out by massaging gently on its stomach near the anal.

    I was wondering how to take care of a goldfish after it laid eggs.

    I had another goldfish that laid eggs, but 1-3 months or weeks (I’m not sure) after laying eggs it died. The cause of death was floating at the surface of the fish tank, bloated, wouldn’t eat, and won’t swim properly.
    I don’t want another goldfish of mine to die…PLEASE HELP!!!!

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  16. i have a goldfish tank woth fancy goldfish and 2 carp. i was cleaning the tank today and i found a small orange gooey thing floating along the bottom i picked it out and put it in a glass when i look at it with my eyes it just looks orange but then i shone a light on it u can see like a really wierd shape inside it? what could it be. its lile a black shadow inside the orange stuff… its about 1cm x 1cm … totally confused

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  18. It’s really a nice and useful piece of info. I am
    satisfied that you just shared this useful information with us.
    Please stay us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

  19. Hey! This post could not be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my previous room
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  20. Hi! I just got 2 young fantail goldfish. As soon as i brought them home, one of them began chasing the other. I know that you cannot sex goldfish until they are fully matured… but I am truly confused. I don’t exactly want a ton of baby goldfish to deal with, considering these are the first goldfish I have ever owned.
    Aadvise would be appreciated, thanks!

  21. Hi my fancy gold fish are going thru the motions of breeding he is always chasing her nudging and nibbling at her rear end she is dropping lots of eggs but i dont think my male is producing any milt they have tried a few times and still nothing … so i researched how to manually help the gold (if thats the right word lol) she let out alot of eggs when i pressed her stomach but him nothing came out …. is this normal? Is it that he hasnt matured enough?, is it i am not doing it correct or do you think he will be producing milt ?

  22. how do you know if your fish is a boy or girl

    how can you tell if you’re girl having babies

  23. What I did is separate the female and male for a week and feed them plenty of live foods and foods with rich in protein. I just observe if the female tummy is swollen and soft before I place them together.

  24. My female fancy has been pregnant looking for a month now. She’s been lying on her side next to the filter intake at the bottom for a good three weeks. Is everything still ok, or what can be done. Is she going to die? How long can she go without food? I’ve had the two of them for @ six years and this is her first pregnancy. I do not have any plants, just two rock structures in a 20 gal tank.

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