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. To protect the eggs from being eaten and improve the survival rate of baby fish, veteran breeders often make spawning mops for the fish to deposit their eggs. 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. People even use them with livebearers (or fish that bear live young) because the many strands of the mop provide dense cover for the fry to hide between. This is how to make two types spawning mops that you can use 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. Depending on the species you are breeding, you can make a floating mop, sinking mop, or a mop that attaches to the tank wall.
1. Gather the materials 100% acrylic yarn 2. 1. 100% acrylic yarn 2. The mop will need a flat, hard object at the desired height. 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 excess ends of your knot around the cork, rock or suction cup.
1. The mop should be rinsed in tap water. 2. Depending on which species you are using, wait several days to two weeks after fish have spawned. Move the eggs in the mop into a container with an air stone or breeder net. Some people like to transport the whole spawning mop and the eggs together, while others prefer to grab the eggs with their fingers.
Instructions for Ricefish Spawning Mop
Regular yarn mops do not work as well for certain species like Japanese medaka ricefish because the yarn strands are too free-flowing. For the eggs to be released from rice fish, stiffer bristles are needed to rub against.
1. Gather the materials: 1. A pool noodle that has a hollow in the center. Scotch Brite pads (without cleaning chemicals) Cutlery and kitchen knife 4. Scissors
1. Use a knife to cut off a half-inch of the pool noodles using a cutting board.
1. One pad can be used. Position it horizontally in a landscape orientation. Begin at one of the corners of the pad. Make a vertical cut upwards, stopping approximately 1/2″ from the top. Make several vertical cuts along 1/4″ of the pad to create the “strands”.
1. Roll the pad up so the top 1/2″ looks like a swirl, and the bottom 1/2″ appears like a skirt.
1. Stick the spiral end on the mop through central pool noodles disc.
1. Rinse the spawning mop without any soap and place it in the aquarium.
1. After spawning has taken place, you can move the eggs, whole spawning mop, into a separate grow-out tank, specimen container, breeder net, or other container.
Good luck with your breeding ventures. If you have raised too many fish from your eggs, you may want to sell them to your local fish market or other fishkeepers. This will help to sustain your aquarium hobby. Read our article How to Breed Aquarium Fish to Profit.