Do all fish reproduce by ovulation (laying eggs)? How do fish give birth? Do fish even give birth? In this article, we’re answering all questions about fish reproduction.
Reproduction, ensuring the continuity of species, is undoubtedly a priority for all living beings, including fish species. The offspring fish that emerges is crucial for the survival of the species.
How can you tell when fish are about to reproduce? Can fish give live birth? Read on for detailed information.
How Do Fish Give Birth? Do Fish Actually Give Birth?
Depending on whether they are wild fish or aquarium fish, they reproduce in various ways. The most common mode of reproduction in fish and many aquatic animals is laying eggs. The reproduction rate by laying eggs is 97%.
When a female fish is ready to reproduce, depending on the species, it starts to carry eggs in the lower abdomen or throughout its lower body. However, these fish eggs have not been fertilized yet and do not contain a baby fish.
So how do these eggs turn into baby fish, and how does the reproduction process work? Is there a fish that gets pregnant from eggs and then gives birth? How do fish give birth?
Fish release the eggs they carry within, onto various surfaces or directly into the water once mating occurs. Shortly after male fish fertilize these eggs, embryos develop within the eggs.
Depending on the species, the eggs hatch anywhere from 1 day to 1 week, and the baby fish start their lives swimming freely. Besides these, there is a small section of fish species (3%) that have a different reproduction process.
In these species, the process begins with the eggs being fertilized inside the female fish. During mating, the male fish fertilizes the eggs inside the female, and these eggs hatch within her. After a few weeks, the mother fish gives birth on her own, ranging from 1-2 offspring to hundreds. It is crucial not to stress the fish during this process by avoiding sudden water changes. Otherwise, your fish might get stressed and contract Ich or “white spot disease.”
How Do Aquarium Fish Give Birth?
One of the most commonly kept fish in aquariums is guppies, which are livebearers.
Common live-bearing aquarium fish include:
- Swordtail fish
- Molly fish
- Platy fish
- Guppy fish
- Endler fish
- Velifera fish
If you’re wondering how an aquarium fish gives birth, you can watch the video below.
How Do Goldfish Give Birth?
We have generally answered the question of how fish give birth, but how about the most common aquarium fish worldwide, the goldfish? Is the goldfish among live-bearing fish?
Most fish reproduce by ovulation (laying eggs). Goldfish are one of the species that reproduce by ovulation and are not classified as livebearers. Unlike live-bearing species, goldfish hold their eggs inside until mating time. For this reason, we do not see pregnant goldfish.
After mating, they release their eggs onto the ground or various surfaces for male goldfish to fertilize. The fertilized eggs hatch within a few days, and the baby goldfish start swimming freely.
How Can You Protect Baby Fish?
In an aquarium, other fish (including the parents) will try to eat the fry if given the chance. If you wish to raise the fry healthily, they must be moved to a separate tank, equipped with the necessary equipment such as an air pump, filter, and heater.
If you’re unable to set up a second aquarium, it’s essential to create ample hiding spaces. This can be done using plants, rocks, and aquarium-safe natural roots.
When Should You Feed the Fry?
The ideal time to feed the fry varies depending on the fish species, but for many aquarium fish, you can start feeding them on the same day they are born. As food, you can use high-quality powdered feed suitable for fry or produce artemia (brine shrimp) to feed them. For more on producing artemia, you can visit YouTube.
How Can You Tell if Your Fish is Pregnant?
Identifying a pregnant fish requires some experience. While pregnancy is easier to detect in guppies, it’s a bit harder in fish like mollies and swordtails.
For guppies, you can determine pregnancy by:
Checking for a black area behind the female guppy’s belly, known as the gravid spot. This spot will turn darker as the fish’s pregnancy progresses.
The belly of the pregnant fish will swell a bit more every day, giving it an appearance as if it has overeaten.
As the pregnancy advances, the female fish will breathe more rapidly, and her gills will move faster.
As birth approaches, your fish will become less active and will seek hiding spots.
The image below belongs to a pregnant guppy.
If you have both male and female live-bearing fish, rest assured that they will mate within a short period, and you will see fry in the aquarium.
Feel free to leave any comments, opinions, or questions.
How Do Fish Give Birth?
97% of fish reproduce by laying eggs. The 3% minority, which includes some aquarium fish species, gives live birth.