How to Save Your Baby Fish with a Breeder Box
Most fish do not show any parental care toward their offspring, so when they lay eggs or give birth in an aquarium, the next generation can easily become a quick snack for the adults. Babies in the wild will use camouflage to avoid predators. They also swim to shallower waters and hide behind dense vegetation. In an aquarium, we can help increase their survival rate even more by using a breeder box to contain the fry and protect them from larger fish.
What is a Breeder Box and how does it work?
A breeder net, also known as a box, is a container designed to temporarily house tiny babies, eggs, and sick fish, while they heal. Most breeder boxes float at the water surface or attach to the side of the aquarium so that the fry share the same water as the rest of the fish. We like the Ziss Premium breeder box. It prevents the water from stagnant, getting dirty or being low in oxygen. The box can be connected to an air pump to bring in water and it also comes with three mesh screens to ensure maximum water flow.
How to Install the Ziss Breeder Box
1. You will need the following materials: Ziss Premium Breeder Box Airline tubing, Air pump, Check valve – Optional Air valve
1. Cut an 18-24 inch length of airline tubing (45-60 cm). Attach the Ziss breeder kit’s air stone to one end.
1. Install the airstone in the water lift channel. Make sure that the airstone rests on the bottom of the grate.
1. Place the water lift channel on the vertical ridges of the breeder box starting at the bottom.
1. Select whether to attach the breeder box to the aquarium using the hanger or the suction cup bracket. Attach the four suction cups to each corner of the bracket to use the suction bracket. Find the clear tab on the breeder box (located on the opposite side from the water lift channel) that juts out and turns downward at a 90deg angle. To lock the bracket in place, insert the tab into the bracket. Slide the bracket vertically up to lock it in place.
To use the hanger, slide the clear tab from the breeder box into the hanger’s rung and slide it upwards. (To adjust how high or low the breeder box hangs in the aquarium, try inserting the downward tab into another rung.) Tighten the large, plastic screw into the hole in the hanger.
1. Place the breeder box in the fish tank and secure it to the side of the aquarium wall. The end of the airline tubing should not touch the tank. The top of the box should be slightly higher than the water line. – If using the suction cup bracket, press the breeder box into the tank wall until the suction cups engage and the breeder box is firmly attached. – If using the hanger, hang it on the aquarium rim and use your fingers to tighten the screw until the breeder box is fixed in place.
1. Attach the check-valve to the loose end on the airline tubing. The flapper is a horizontal or colored bar that faces towards the aquarium.
1. If necessary, place the air pump so that it can reach an outlet. Cut another length of airline tubing so that the air pump can reach the check valve. Connect the air pump and check valve using the second piece of airline tubing. The air pump should be plugged in and bubbles should appear in your breeder box’s oxygen stone. If you do not see bubbles, it is possible to either check for air leaks in the check valve or turn the check valve upside down. – Optional: If you would like to add an air valve to control the water flow in the breeder box, cut the second length of airline tubing into two pieces and attach an air valve between the air pump and the check valve.
1. The breeder box should contain the fish, eggs or fry. You can also add live plants or other decorations to provide shelter for the babies.
1. The lid should be placed on top of the box. The lid’s hole is for feeding the fish and opening it easily.
Frequently Asked Questions About Breeder Boxes
How do you clean a breeder box?
The breeder box may become a breeding ground for fish waste and uncooked food. You can easily get rid of them by using a turkey baster. If the sides of the Ziss breeder box start growing algae, you can use a toothbrush or algae scrubber to wipe them down.
How long should fry be kept in the breeder container? The babies should not be too big to fit into the mouths of adult fish before they are added back into the main tank. This could be 4 to 5 week for livebearer fish.
What do you do with baby fish you don’t want? Once the fry are older and capable of eating flakes and pellets, you can give them away to friends, donate them to a pet store chain, or consider selling them to your local fish store. Find out how you can make some extra cash by breeding fish to support your aquarium hobby.