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Breeding Or Fighting?


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  • Regular Member

Hi guys, first off, although I have kept fantail goldfish since I was 5, I have very little knowledge of spawning as that all happens in the pond. All my goldfish, up to a year ago lived outside, and only the tropicals inside, and hence I have never witnessed the goldfish 'going at it' although I do have the outline of what is involved.

A year or so ago, a friend bought be a very thoughtful gift for my new indoor aquarium, a lovely, yet temperamental ryukin, who I am sure is male. Three weeks ago, my mother bought me a lovely white telescope/butterfly tailed girl.

Now after some research I have gathered the fact that she may be fat with eggs (as a matter of fact, I'm sure of it. Her body is the same shape as my female fantails prior to breeding), and my supposed male seems quite intent on chasing her, so intent that he runs the risk of damaging what is both my favourite, and most expensive fish.

Now, although I have (tried) to sex these two by looking at the vents, and I am 90% I got it right (Inverted male vent on ryukin, 'bump' vent on telescope) and they seem to be showing 'breeding behaviour' the supposed male is showing no breeding stars. He is also bumping her all over her body, not just on her vent and belly like seems to be described in most breeding journals I have read.

Now I have bred fighting fish, and let me tell you that can get aggressive, but this seems to be getting quite rough, which make me question if this is even breeding at all. The poor female is hiding in the plants in an attempt to escape. As a result I have taken one of those 1L clear plastic fruit containers with the holes in them and floated it in the tank as a improvised 'breeding bucket' some breeders use after the female has spawned to give her recovery time, and put the male/chaser in their until I can gather more info.

So in short:

Female is fat with eggs

'Male' is chasing female, but has no breeding stars

Behaviour from male is very aggressive, female is hiding in the plants.

Tank specifications:

80L (20 gallon)

Heavy filteration

Live plants


All spot on

Final note, all this behaviour happened after I did my additional large monthly water change (50%) (I also do 20% changes every week) Could this be a trigger?

So I guess my question is, Do I put the spawning mops in, release the male and let them go at it, or should I keep them segregated? I'm competent with raising fry, as I collect the eggs from the pond each year on the spawning mops, but have no idea what is acceptable breeding behaviour and what is just being aggressive!

Cheers guys!

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