Triggering spawning and raising good quality fry
Prepare the fish to breed by feeding them lots of high protein foods such as tubifex worm cubes or live food. This will make the females very large with eggs and fat. This will help the quality of the fry you are about to raise. If you just want to breed them, the above part is not necessary.
If your tank has a heater, turn it down to about 70? for a period of a few days and then daily increase the temperature by a couple of degrees until it reaches about 75-78?. If you do not have a heater, do a relatively large water change (about 40%) with colder water. Make sure your tank has some nice soft, bushy plants (preferably live) for the eggs to be laid in.
Spawning usually happens in the early hours of the morning. When the fish look like they have finished, take the plant out and put it in a separate tank. Ideally once the eggs have been laid, grab hold of the male and female that were spawning in the tank with the plant in and gently squeeze along their belly to their anus. You should be able to see eggs and milt being squirted out. Please, please, please do not try this if you are unsure. Squeezing an ?unripe? fish could kill it!
Now you have your eggs. Keep the tank in a warm room. Temperatures of about 76? are ideal and will make the fry grow quicker but it is not essential. The fry should hatch in about 5-7 days. Wait to feed them for a few days yet as they are still absorbing their egg sacks. Feed them crushed flakes and pellets as well as liquid food if you can find it for the first week. If you can, hatch out some brine shrimp and feed them to your fry. You can buy these kits from your LFS. They should have 3-4 feedings per day but be sure to get rid of any food left over from the last feed or it will dirty the water. Start making small water changes after a couple of weeks. If you are feeding crushed pellets and flakes, try putting it through a sieve or tea strainer to make sure that the particles are small enough.
After the first week, try feeding them some freeze dried tubifex crushed up. Also put this through a sieve. This is the time for the first culls. If you see any obviously deformed fry, then it?s a cull. From now on, only cull when necessary.
If the fry have a varied diet and plenty of room then they should reach 2 inches in 4 months.