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. This artificial spawning media is not required for live aquarium plants. They are easy to transport and do not break any roots or leaves. 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. Follow these simple, step-by-step instructions for making two types of spawning mops for your aquarium fish.
Instructions for Yarn Spawning mop
This mop is popular for spawning goldfish, rainbowfish and tetras. You can choose to make floating, sinking, or attachable mop depending on which species you are breeding.
1. Gather the materials: 100% acrylic yarn 2. Cork (for a floating mop), small rock (for a sinking mop), or suction cup (for a mop that attaches to the tank wall or bottom) 3. 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. You will need to cut a 12-inch to 24-inch length from yarn. Then, use the yarn to tighten the knots that are wrapped around your notebook.
1. Slide the yarn strands onto the notebook. Then, cut the loops at either end of your yarn knot. Trim the mop if you find that the yarn strands have become too long or are not even.
1. Then, tie the excess knots around the rock, cork, or suction cup.
1. Place the mop in the aquarium by rinsing it with tap water. 2. Depending on which species you are using, wait several days to two weeks after fish have spawned. Then move the eggs in the spawning mop into a breeder net or specimen container that has a gentle air stone in it. Some people transport the entire spawning mop with the eggs, while others like to pick out the eggs with their fingers or tweezers.
Instructions for Ricefish Spawning Mops
Regular yarn mop does not work well with certain species of Japanese medaka ricefish, as the yarn strands tend to be too fluid. To get the eggs off rice fish, they need to have stiffer bristles that they can rub against.
1. Gather the materials A pool noodle that has a hollow in the middle. Scotch Brite pads (without any cleaning chemicals) Kitchen knife and cutting board 4. Scissors
1. With a knife or a cutting board, cut a 1/2-inch circle from the pool noodle.
1. Take one pad and position it in a horizontal, landscape orientation so the pad is wider than it is taller. Begin at one of the corners of the pad. Make a vertical cut upwards, stopping approximately 1/2″ from the top. Make multiple vertical cuts every 1/4 ” along the bottom of the pad, thus creating the “strands” of the mop.
1. Roll up the pad so that the top 1/2 ” of the pad looks like a spiral, while the bottom “strands” of the pad spread out like a skirt.
1. The spiral end of your mop should be stuck through the middle pool noodles disc.
1. Rinse the spawning sponge with water and then place it in the aquarium.
1. After spawning has occurred, move the eggs or the entire spawning mop into a breeder net, specimen container, or separate grow-out tank.
We wish you the best of luck in your breeding efforts. You can sell excess fish you have hatched or raised to support your aquarium hobby to your local fish market or other fishkeepers. Find out more about How to Breed Aquarium Fish to Make Profit.