Fish are Dating in my Aquarium

I was looking at the Golden White Cloud Minnows, and some of them were looking lumpy. I was worried, so I looked up fish diseases, vaguely remembering fish can get something called dropsy where they swell up. But it isn’t, and they all look perfectly healthy, just lumpy around the stomach.

So they are just full of eggs. Way more than half of them. It’s hard to tell because they school so skillfully that I can’t get a count. Or even be sure of their gender – the egg-packed ones are females, but are the others males, or just immature females? Are there any males? Well, it would simplify things a bit if they were all females, but it seems a bit much to hope for.

I thought that I’d checked it out and the minnows were not all that easy to breed before I bought them. There was a lot about raising temperatures and then dropping them to imitate seasons. Soft water. Lots of details. It should have been really difficult to get it all started. I don’t want a population explosion.  But here we are, a whole little band of egg-packing minnows. Apparently when they finally get around to it, they will spawn on top of some plants. At that point, probably the snails or the other fish will nom on the eggs and hatchlings, I hope efficiently.

At least, so far I’m not seeing courting behavior among the non-swollen-with-eggs fish. The boys are supposed to start displaying to each other, and showing off. In fact, all I see is the lumpy females playing chase with each other. Who knows what’s going on. Maybe I have a lesbian minnow commune here. Who knows?


15 responses to this post.

  1. It’s all the weed, maaaannn…


  2. Whoa. Sounds like a fun time. I hope you won’t end up like my tank….cichlids as far as the eye can see!


    • I’m pretty sure the gouramis will keep them in check.
      Hungry omnivorous fish.
      And lovely, though a bit crabby with each other.
      I will hope they pretty much clean up the eggs, though, since I tend to identify with the poor babies otherwise.


  3. You did keep the other tank, right?


  4. I just dug my wee 2.5 gallon aquarium out of storage, I was so happy to see it. I need to clean it before re-stocking and that I may not get to for awhile.


  5. I was told years ago that female egg-bearers* will not ovulate if there are no males present, so at least one of your fishies must be a boy. It would be interesting if they did have a lesbian commune going on there, what with the Supreme Court decision and all. But fish tend to be very utilitarian about sex, for good or ill.

    *I mean, fish that breed by laying eggs rather than giving birth to live offspring. I didn’t want to sound like, “well, who else carries eggs, duh.” 🙂


    • The minnows are being all very cool.
      Mostly they just swim back and forth, back and forth, back and forth….
      The lumpiness part of it is a little unnerving, though.
      I don’t really want a tank chuck full of little orange fishes, and something seems to be going on.

      The algae eaters are also mysterious.
      I can’t get a really good look at their ventral fins, which is usually a good clue on fishy sexual orientation.
      So I don’t know whether they are a reproducing pair or not.
      They alternate between ignoring each other and mad bouts of chasing, but don’t really seem interested in each other all that much.
      The informative boards say that if they mate, the male will get territorial with everyone, so I’m hoping they are just buddies.
      Just to keep the drama down.

      I’m discovering that I really like watching the clean-up crew a lot.
      The two kinds of corys keep busy fussing with the bottom of the tank.
      The otos and algae eaters mostly work on the glass and plant leaves.
      And the snails are just all over the place.
      Even the gouramis tear into bits of overgrowth.
      Bu there is lots of algae to go around, so it seems pretty steady state so far.


  6. Posted by SingingTuna on July 21, 2015 at 8:27 am

    Oooo!! Fish fry!!!
    Pregnant fish? Wow! Now I’m wondering if fish can throw up. What about morning sickness?
    Can’t wait to hear more about this. Somehow you made magic in that tank!


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