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. We can increase their survival rates by using a breeding box in an aquarium to keep the fry contained and protected from larger fish.
What is a Breeder Box and how does it work?
A breeder net or box is a container used to temporarily hold tiny babies, eggs, or even sick fish that need to be isolated while they heal. Many breeder boxes can be attached to the side or surface of an aquarium to allow fry to share the same water with 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 a length of airline tubing that is approximately 18-24 inches (45-60 cm) long. Attach the Ziss breeding box’s air stone (attached to the end of the airline tubeing) to the other end.
1. Fit the air stone inside the water lift channel so that the air stone rests at the bottom in front of the grate and the airline tubing exits out the hole at the top.
1. Place the water lift channel on the vertical ridges of the breeder box starting at the bottom.
1. You can choose whether to attach the aquarium’s breeder box using the bracket or hanger. Attach four suction cups to the bracket’s corners. The clear tab located on the other side of the water lift channel is the one that protrudes and curves downward at a 90 degree 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. Insert the downward tab into another of the rungs to adjust the height or depth at which the aquarium houses the breeder box. The large, plastic screw should be inserted into the hanger.
1. Attach the breeder container to the fish tank. The loose end of the airline tube without the airstone should be hung outside 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. Hang the breeder box on the aquarium rim using the hanger. Then tighten the screw with your fingers until it is in place.
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 a second length of airline tubing that is long enough for the air pump to 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. Place the fry, eggs, or sick fish inside the breeder box. For babies’ shelter, you can add live plants or other decorations.
1. Cover the top of your breeder box with a lid. The lid has a hole that can be used to feed the fish or open the lid easily.
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. You can wipe the Ziss box sides with a toothbrush or an algae scrubber if they start to grow algae.
How much time do you allow fry to stay in the breeding box? The babies must be big enough that they won’t fit in the mouths or the mouths the adult fish. Before you put them back in your main tank, Livebearer fry may take up to 4 to 5 weeks.
What to do with baby fish that you don’t like? You can give them to friends or donate them to a chain of pet stores. Or you could sell them to your local fish shop. Learn how to make extra money with fish breeding in order to help your aquarium hobby.