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. The wild baby will try to hide from predators by using camouflage and swimming in shallow waters. 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 what does it do?
A breedernet or box is a container to temporarily keep tiny babies, eggs or sick fish isolated while they heal. Breeder boxes either float on the aquarium surface or attach to an aquarium side, so the fry are able to share the same water with the rest of their family. 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. Gather the following items: Ziss Premium Breeder Box Airline tubing Pump Check valve – Air valve (optional).
1. Cut a length of airline tubing that is approximately 18-24 inches (45-60 cm) long. Attach the air stone (included with the Ziss breeder box) to one end of the airline tubing.
1. Install the air stone in the water lift channel. Make sure the air stone is at the bottom, just before the grate. Then the airline tubing can be inserted out of the hole at top.
1. The water lift channel should be attached to the vertical ridges at the top of the breeder boxes.
1. Choose whether you want to attach the tank’s breeder container to the aquarium with the hook or the suction cup bracket. Attach the suction cups on each corner to create the bracket. Look for the clear tab in the breeder box. It is located on the opposite side to the water lift channels. It will be at a 90deg bend and juts out. Insert the tab into the bracket and then slide the bracket vertically upwards to lock into place.
– To use the hanger, insert the clear tab on the breeder box into one of the rungs of the hanger and slide the hanger upwards. (To adjust how high or low the breeder box hangs in the aquarium, try inserting the downward tab into another rung.) Screw the large plastic screw into place.
1. Attach the breeder container to the aquarium wall. (The loose end of the airline tubing without the air stone should hang outside of the tank.) Position the top of the breeder box slightly above the water line. – Use the suction cup bracket to attach the breeder boxes to the tank wall. – Use the hanger to fix the box to the aquarium rim.
1. Attach the check valve onto the loose end of the airline tubing so that the end of the check valve with the flapper (looks like a colored or horizontal bar) is facing away from the aquarium and towards the air pump.
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. The second piece is for connecting the air pump to the check valve. After plugging in the air pump, bubbles should appear inside the breeder box’s oxygen stone. If no bubbles are produced, you may need to check for air leaks or flip the check valve around. Optional: To control the water flow through the breeder boxes, you can attach an air valve between your check valve and the air pump by cutting the second length.
1. Place the fry, eggs, or sick fish inside the breeder box. You can also add live plants or other decorations to provide shelter for the babies.
1. The lid will cover the top of your breeder box. The lid’s opening is for easy opening or feeding the fish.
A Few Questions to Ask About Breeder Boxes
How do you clean a breeding box?
The breeder box may become a breeding ground for fish waste and uncooked food. To easily remove them, use a turkey baster to suck out the debris. To remove algae from the Ziss Breeder Box sides, you can use an Alga scrubber or toothbrush.
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. Livebearer fry can be kept in the breeder box for up to five weeks.
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. Learn how to make extra money with fish breeding in order to help your aquarium hobby.