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A Diary Of Raising Fry W/ Photos!


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I had spent a lot of my time on the internet searching for information about goldfish fry and eggs, most of the photos I found were blurry and of no help.

Here are some photos of fresh 1-day-old eggs:


These eggs are not all fertile, but you can readily find descriptions online of how to tell if they are. It appears that my filters are the perfect spot for the eggs to attach and you can tell they are tiny by comparing their size to the fibers in the filter.

Because of the continued egg laying, I rinse my filters daily. If I do not, the water will begin to smell. Another way to tell if your fish has spawned is to watch and see if the males are chasing the female, and then later, the water will be milky and have an odd smell. Rinsing the filters daily also lessens the chances of any more fry hatching. The rest of this concerns the fry that I am currently raising.

I have at least 3 Oranda males perhaps 1 juvenile Black Moor male in with a single Calico Fantailed female. I am not sure if this is what has caused the increase in spawning or not, but I do know that until I added a rather aggressive male, there were no eggs dropped in over 2 years.

Day 1





These fry hatched on the material part of the filter cartridges within my 350B bio-wheels!

I went ahead and gently rinsed the filters in some shallow water in a large PLASTIC container and made note of all the fry.

Good portions of the fry were dead, leaving about 20 that were strong swimming with straight backs.

Go ahead and cull those with obvious defects, such as detached eyes.

The fry were transferred into a 20gal Long aquarium, with already treated water (Salt/Aquasafe, ph checked), a small portion coming from the main tank to add nutrients but a small enough amount to minimize the amount of potential threats. The water is about 11? deep.

Fry like to cling onto surfaces when they are newly hatched, you might notice they will use the surface tension on the top of the water to suspend/cling along the side (photo 1 & 2).

I strongly recommend the use of live plants with fry because of minimal stress and nutrients as well as providing them places to rest. Plants will provide oxygen to the fry without the need of aeration.

As you can see from the photos, they still have large egg sacs connected which shrink as they get older.

I have not started using any sort of filtration at this time.

On day 3 I will use a small tube to remove waste and the fry that did not make it to maintain water quality.

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Day 2:

Fry are still clinging. Some have started to swim horizontally.

Their egg sacs from yesterday are almost completely gone. They are just about ready to start feeding on the brine shrimp. I had tried to feed a small amount of brine at this point but there were not interested, leaving me to believe their mouth was not yet formed.



This is a good photo because you can see the rather clear form of the fry. As of this evening, they are still clinging to the walls but are spending less time swimming vertically. I have added aeration today as well, but have greatly restricted the amount of airflow. I would recommend air to at least move the water a small amount now that the fry are not clinging as much to the walls. I added a small 50W heater to the tank. The weather has turned colder now, and the water temperature is about 66?F at the highest during the day. Currently the heater is set to 78?F. My previous fry seemed to thrive in the colder temperature, but I have decided to compare growth rates with a higher temperature.


This is the current set up for the 20long. The little vertical lines you see in groupings are fry that are clinging along the walls.

There is a lot of debris on the floor and its bare bottom to ease the cleaning process.

Floating at the top is Moneywort & Anacharis. On the bottom is Green Hedge & Cabomba. Green Hedge is a terrarium plant. I do not recommend it for any sort of long-term usage. Cabomba however seems to do well with higher salt levels. There is no hood or lights on the tank. I will put up the hood in about a week after the fry are more developed and add brighter lighting. There is a small light facing the corner of the tank, but I have noticed the fry are sensitive to light and do not wish to cause them more stress.

As I am preparing to feed them live baby brine shrimp, I will need to set up my hatchery. (see Hatching Brine shrimp for Small Amounts of Fry (20 or less))

Day 3-




This is a super close up and the fry are already starting to look more fish like.

They are not quite as see through as they were before; both eyes are no longer visible. Several of the fry have started swimming horizontally:

While they are swimming horizontally, they still have taken no interest in the brine shrimp.

They have already started grouping together & seem to be moving closer to the light source.

The water temperature is currently at 78?F and they seem very content.

As of late this afternoon I have noticed a couple of them starting to attack the brine, they seem to stalk and stare for a while then move rapidly and strike. Their movement is VERY jerky and not smooth like adults.

I went ahead and spent 30 minutes siphoning up the debris and the dead fry, I used normal plastic air tubing, you must be very careful though because the fry still do not swim well and are curious and may be sucked up. Also, they are still resting on the bottom so be careful that you are removing what you want!!!

It is time consuming to siphon with such a small tube, but be patient, it is very important.

The fry that had died were already starting to mold so you must stay on top of everything!

I was also able to turn up the aeration almost to full. If the fry are in a shorter or smaller tank, you will need to adjust to avoid too much turbulence.

After siphoning, it is easier to count fry and there are approximately 15.

At about 7pm, this is at approximately 60 hours after I noticed the fry, they have started to eat.

Note: It is VERY hard to tell they are eating unless you are staring at them all the time. When they eat, they will either drift directly to the brine or strike suddenly. If they drift over to the brine, I have noticed they are the least active of the fry. This may later be determined as due to healthy/strength or even personality of the adult fish. I will keep a look out to see if those who are more aggressive in feeding grow faster.

If you want to see their mouths at this point, use a bright light, such as a flash light to aim indirectly at the fry, you can easily see them opening and closing them.

I still have not added any sort of filtration.

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Day 4

Taking photos is much harder now that they have begun to hide and hunt:


You can see they are more solid now that the day before, and they are eating quite regularly. I am not able to stick to an every four-hour feeding schedule so I feed as often as I can. The light touching the side of the glass makes it easier to tell when they are out of food since the brine shrimp will stay near the lights. Because of this, you will also find the fry staying closer to the light. Several enjoy swimming freely while some enjoy staying on or very near to the bottom and almost in a slither like action, munch on the brine.

Day 5

IMG_1493_1.jpgDay 5

Day 1 IMG_1377.jpg

Here you can see their tiny fins and broad heads. If you compare this to the very first photo, you can see how much larger they are now at day 5 compared to the same plant than on their very first day. The eyes are more developed; they have mouths and are very quick swimmers. As you can tell from the photo, they are still enjoying the algae that grow inside the tank and on the plants.

They have a ravenous appetite and quickly devour all the brine I put in.

Day 6


You can see in this photo the broad tail, and the deepening of colors along the back. Their supply of brine shrimp was getting low so I went ahead and heavily fed them today and made a new batch of brine that will be ready late tonight.

They had started spreading out within the tank, so I added a hood with a light.


I also went from the air stone to an air diffuser:


This allows fine bubbles to form and it comes with a suction cup. I have placed this over the heater in order to also better distribute the heat.

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Day 7


Finally, they have made it 1 week! I still have approximately 20 fry, so it is good that I have not lost any. When they get older I will be able to see if there are any flaws that I will need to cull from the group.

Day 8




As you can see from the first photo, some of the fry do not have a completely straight back, you can see the curve towards the tail. I will wait and see how drastic that curve is as the fry get older to ensure that it is not just from movement.

Overall, the fry are very healthy and eating very well; I had to adjust the heater almost to low today since the temperature went up to about 84?F. Even at such a high temperature the fry did not seem to mind and in fact seemed to enjoy being around the heater itself.

I again siphoned out about 1 gallon of water today, I still have not added a filter. I intend to add a filter when they are about a month old and capable of handling a power filter. Until then, I will regularly siphon the tank.

Day 9


Today I had to make a new batch of brine shrimp, they seem to be going through them very quickly, which is fine, it just means I feed them heavily the night before I intend to make a new batch, set it up, and come morning, they are ready with a fresh supply.

I have noticed that some of the fry appear to have damaged fins. I will watch them very closely to see if the fins grow back or if they have any problems surviving. For those of you who want, these would be the ones to cull.

Day 10


I like this photo next to the thermometer because you can see how really small they are. If you look closely, you can see the small opening for the mouth. Their bellies appear very rounded at this point and they have definitely become used to a feeding schedule. I have added a single algae wafer in there with them to get them used to the wafers and to add even more algae into their diet. When choosing a wafer for goldfish I make sure that the first ingredient is Spirulina Algae. If it is not, I will not buy it.

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Day 11



Today I added a large grouping of anacharis, which was pretreated to ensure there were no bacteria or parasites. I placed it in the tank in a small plastic pot to ensure ease of removal if for any reason I need to. So far, the fry are very curious about it, they spend small amounts of time tugging at it.

Tomorrow I will siphon the water. Perhaps next week add a power filter.

Day 12


Not too many changes occurring now. Some of the fry have solid black eyes, others have black and gold. Some of the fry are whiter and less green.

Day 13



This shot is dark in order to really show you the outline of the fry. You can really see the fin development, the wide head and broad body.


This bottom picture is an example of a deformity. This fry has developed without a tail fin at all. Those of you culling should cull this one. I personally am going to see how he copes.

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Day 14



As this photo shows, some of the fry are already showing their different colors. They are feeding on an algae wafer that has slowly fallen apart. You can see how small they are next to the Pond Snail next to them. The fry are approximately 00.5? long some smaller, some larger. The larger fry have also started to pick on those that are smaller. I do not think this will be a problem. I am however, paying close attention in case this develops into one.

1 month

This fry is one from a previous breeding, but gives you an idea of the large changes. The fins are much more developed and you can still see the similarities between this one and one less than a week old.


This fry is eating brine shrimp and algae, as well as feeding on the eggs the snails lay on the glass.

Water is at room temperature (70-72?F)

This is the set up for the one small fry. There are plenty of random plants and algae covered rocks as well as a bubble wand for smaller bubbles.

The filter is a small whisper filter made for 10gal tanks. The fry has had no problems with the current at all. It has been housed with the filter since it was born, but I would not recommend such a strong filter for a fry younger than 1 month.

The light on the hood keeps the tank at a constant temperature and does not need the use of a heater.

2.5 months


This fry started eating freeze dried Daphnia while eating brine shrimp at about 2 months of age.

It has shown a preference for thawed frozen bloodworms; run the cubes under hot water within a bowl then feed him 10-15 a day. The rest goes into the main tank.

3 Months


This fry has been moved completely off brine shrimp. It now eats the frozen foods that I thaw out for it. Usually, this is Spirulina enriched adult brine shrimp, blood worms, beef heart etc. He still is not on the Bio-Blend Goldfish food.

His length from nose to tip of tail is approximately 1.75?

Some of his fins are starting to show black, but other than that, he has maintained this coloring since he was about 2 months old.

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I hope you guys can find this really useful, and I hope that you dont mind that it is really long. I know that alot of people had alot of questions about the fry, and i know it is very hard to find photos.

So, i hope i helped!

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This one should be stickied!!! Or better, made into a permanent article in the website!!

My hat's off to you Sorsha! You made a darn fine effort. It's clear that you've written all of it beforehand prior to posting.

What a great post! Thx for sharing your experience, it will be useful for all of us here who's thinking into breeding our dear fishies!

Once more, :thumbs: !!!!!

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Thanks Guys!!! Yea, I went ahead and set it all up so I could quickly post it up :)

I'm excited to see all the different variations I will end up with. But I was reluctant to wait so long since Ive seen alot more posts lately about fry.


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I think that it may be my Moor, who might be a female, since these latest fry hatched out on the 27th, and i SAW my calico fantail lay the eggs on the 29th. And my moor is the only one old enough to have stars like the others, but without them really. there is a faint ash like tinge to the front fins, but no real stars. So, im thinking my he, might just be my other she :-D should be very interesting babies if this is so, since my males are orandas.

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EXCELLENT thread!!! i also think this one should be stickied or pinned or wahtever it's called. gosh such great pictures too!! you must have a very nice camera to be able to zoom that close. :D

thanks for all the info! i'm sure this will help a LOT of people! (maybe me in the future!!) :lol:

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Thanks guys! Im using a Cannon Power Shot a610 its 5MP with 4x optical zoom, as well as 20 different shooting modes. PLUS an option for really close objects. ive also found its all about patience with the photos.

Im glad you all like it!!! :D

Of course ill update with more photos when their markings come in more. :D

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The fry with no tail is doing VERY well. It is actually one of the largest fry in the group. Its movement is rather jerky but it moves just as fast as the other fry. It feeds just fine and is not picked on at all. If you do not pay close attention, you would never even notice that the tail was gone!

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That was fantastic!! You did a great job!!

Are you going to sell the babies? It would be so neat to really know exactly how old your fish is!!

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