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Guest sunshine_g

How Do I Stop Them Breeding?

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Guest sunshine_g

I have two big shubs; one is a male whom I've had about four years and the other, a female, I added about a year and a half ago. When I bought my second shub the sales assistant told me that fish don't breed in domestic tanks so I wouldn't have to worry... but now there are an additional five shubs in my tank, currently about 4-6cm long.

How can I stop them having any more babies? I don't have the time or money to add to my tank setup very much, seeing as I just had a baby myself! Currently they're all still in their tank (which is about 90 liters I think), but I have an old bathtub that I plan to convert to a pond for the bigger fish, and will hopefully be building a proper pond in the next few years. We're rural so our water supply is rainwater off our roof - it just goes through a sediment filter, and I don't treat the tank at all.

Would appreciate any advice :)

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You have 7 shubunkins in a 23 US gallon size tank? Congratulations on raising 5 shub babies but I dont think you will be having any more.

Fish do breed in domestic tanks as 100's of members here including myself and yourself will testify, but one thing that is extremely unlikely is for these fish to have any more fry.

Reasons below:

#1 Fish emit stress hormones when they are in confined spaces. Shubunkin fish are streamline fish that ideally need 20 gallons for each fish, this rule gets more lax as the space increases so for example a pond can be very overstocked and the fish will feel far less stress than comets/commons in a smaller space slightly less numerically crowded. When you got your second fish last year, you were just about okay in a 23 gallon at a pinch and with good care and water. The fish would have felt comfortable, not stressed and hassled. Now your situation is different and so is theirs. There are 5 extra fish to compete with for food, water, territory, oxygen and swimming room. Stress levels are way higher. 500 or 600% higher. It matters.

#2.In the event that the female feels low stress and sprays eggs again, any eggs the female fish spray will be eaten by so many inhabitants. You had 5 survivors last time from maybe (usually about) 200 minimum eggs. Survival odds decrease statistically with every mouth in that tank.

At that time, there were only 2 fish to eat the eggs. Next time there will be 7 fish ready and willing to eat those eggs.

Supposing some eggs hatched in that tank and were not eaten, where would the fry hide this time with 7 watching waiting fish who see anything under 1cm that smells like food and moves fast as bait?

If your fish are chasing each other in circles chances are good they are overcrowded not engaging in breeding behavior this time round.

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I would find homes for all but one. Or get a larger tank. Those fish need 20 gallons each and that is just a starting off spot.

When you see eggs to take them out and you well have no more babies.

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Guest sunshine_g

Right, given the scathing replies, I measured my tank and it's actually 124 liters (about 32 US gallons), although, like I said, I have an old bathtub that I'll be converting to a pond soon!

So my current plan is to transfer all but two shubs to the outdoor bath/pond, and the bath will be filled from the water in a gully that runs through our property (since we won't have enough tank water over summer to keep the fish going without running out of house supply). Then I'll keep an eye on them and when they're old enough that I can tell what gender they are I'll segregate them, hopefully catching them before they breed again.

I am aware that fish shouldn't be overcrowded in tanks - like I said I was advised that they wouldn't be breeding, otherwise I would have put the female back in the store tank and brought home another male instead. What I was hoping for was some advice about how I could discourage breeding and egg-laying in future - for example, where do fish typically lay their eggs? I never saw eggs in the tank.

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I would only keep one in that tank and move the rest to a 120 gallon pond or bigger.

Other then removing the eggs I have no idea how to stop them them from breeding. I have yet to have this problem and when and if I do and I can't find the eggs I well remove the babies. I well either depose of humanly as possible or add to my friends goldfish pond if she has room.

BTW everyone was polite and kind I saw not one scathing reply.

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If my reply sounded like a lecture I apologise. Long posts can look like that but it was not my intention.

I just tried to give you some facts.

Breeding can be stopped completely in cold water. Lower temperatures. Fish do not breed usually in cold winters.

Of course lowering temps can be extremely dangerous- and difficult if the water is very warm -and it needs to be done extremely slowly.

Another alternative and sure way to prevent breeding is to separate males and females.

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Guest sunshine_g

Thanks Trinket, apologies or getting antsy - I normally find myself explaining to people that no, I am not putting more fish in my tank! (most people I know have ridiculously crowded tanks and treat their fish as disposable pets which I get very frustrated with).

Obviously they are overcrowded at the moment in the tank - the babies seem happy enough but my big shubs just don't seem as happy as usual. Absolutely no chance of getting them too cold; I've already shifted them to the coollest spot I could find and I'm still having to add water everyday just to keep the temperature in the low 20s (we live in the southern hemisphere so are in mid-summer now).

I'm still thinking about it, but I think I'll have to split the parent pair, with one staying in the tank with one of the babies, and the rest going in the pond. Then I'll just have to hope I can figure out the gender of the babies before they can breed again.

I know there's not much research to support it, but I do think that fish build and maintain relationships with one another, so I feel a bit bad about splitting up my two big shubs.

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I agree they do develop bonds of some sort. I had to separate a "pair" and the male was very lost for while and susceptible to disease as a result. But if you can compensate the loss with a larger space perhaps there is some comfort there?

The other interesting thing is that there are pairs. That some females will not release eggs unless there is a male of preference in the tank. So there are tanks with female/male mix of the right age and in health etc who will never breed.

I have also lost a female fish to over breeding so that's a concern too. In a pond of course these worries are not as concerning as the rather artificial tank set up most of us have.

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