How to make DIY Spawning Mops For Breeding Aquarium Fish

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How to Make DIY Spawning Mops for Breeding Aquarium Fish

Many aquarium fish like to lay their eggs by scattering them or sticking them onto plants and various surfaces. Veteran breeders make spawning mop for fish to use in order to protect them from being eaten. Unlike live aquarium plants, this artificial spawning media does not require any light or fertilizer, and they are quite easy to transport without breaking any plant leaves or roots. Because the mop has many strands, it provides a dense covering for the fry to hide among. These are the steps to make two types of spawning mop for your aquarium fish.

Instructions for Yarn Spawning Mops

This popular type of spawning mop is commonly used with goldfish, rainbowfish, tetras, barbs, killifish, and more. You have the option of making a floating mop or a sinking mop depending upon the species that you are breeding.

1. Gather the materials 100% acrylic yarn 2. For a floating mop, small rock (for sinking mop) or suction cup for a mop that attaches on the tank wall or bottom (for a mop with a suction cup). Flat, hard object of the desired height (e.g. notebook, book, Bluray case or piece cardboard). Scissors

1. Wrap the yarn around the notebook about 40 to 100 times and then cut off the rest of the yarn.

1. Use a length of yarn measuring 12 to 24 inches to tie the yarn strands around the notebook.

1. Slide the yarn strands from the notebook. Cut the loops at each end of the yarn knot. Trim the mop if the yarn strands are uneven or too long.

1. Securely tie the knot around the cork, rock or suction cup by taking the extra ends.

1. Place the mop in the aquarium by rinsing it with tap water. 2. Depending on the species of fish, you may need to wait for the eggs to hatch before moving them into a container. Move the eggs from the mop into a container with an air stone or breeder net. Some people will transport the whole spawning mop and eggs together, while others prefer to remove the eggs using their fingers or tweezers.

Instructions for Ricefish Spawning mop

Regular yarn mop does not work well with certain species of Japanese medaka ricefish, as the yarn strands tend to be too fluid. Rice fish need stiffer bristles to rub against in order for the eggs to come off.

1. Gather the following materials: Make a pool noodle with a hole in the middle. Scotch Brite pads without any cleaning chemicals Kitchen knife and cutting board 4. Scissors


1. Use a knife to cut off a half-inch of the pool noodles using a cutting board.

1. Take one pad and position it in a horizontal, landscape orientation so the pad is wider than it is taller. Starting from one of the bottom corners of the pad, make a vertical cut upwards and stop roughly 1/2 ” from the top. You will create the “strands” by making multiple vertical cuts along the bottom of your pad.

1. The pad should be rolled up so that the pad’s top half looks like a spiral and the bottom “strands”, like a skirt.

1. Stick the spiral end the mop through middle of pool noodle disc.

1. Place the spawning mop in the aquarium and rinse it with no soap.

1. After spawning has occurred, move the eggs or the entire spawning mop into a breeder net, specimen container, or separate grow-out tank.

All the best with your breeding endeavors. If you have hatched and raised too many fish, consider selling them to your local fish store or other fishkeepers to help support your aquarium hobby. Learn more in our article on How to Breed Aquarium Fish for Profit.