The Fish Guru

From Fry to Fully Grown: Best Feeding Practices for Fish Development

Fishkeeping is an exciting and rewarding hobby that requires an understanding of fish spawning and proper care for fish fry. For those who are new to the hobby, the different types of spawning methods can be overwhelming.

In this article, we will discuss the types of fish spawning and how they affect our fishkeeping practices. We will also tackle the best practices for caring for fish fry, from housing to tank conditions.

Understanding Fish Spawning and Types of Spawn

Fish spawning is the process of reproduction in fish. It is essential to understand the different types of spawning methods and their characteristics to provide an environment that suits the fish’s needs.

Bubble Nest Spawning

Bubble nest spawning is a type of spawning method used by aphrophils to create a nest made of bubbles. The male fish secretes a mucus layer to prevent the bubbles from breaking apart.

This type of spawning is commonly seen in betta fish.

Mouth Brooding Spawning

Mouth brooding spawning is a method where the male fish holds the eggs in his buccal cavity or mouth until they hatch. This is commonly seen in Malawi cichlids, Tanganyika cichlids, arowanas, cardinal fish, and snakeheads.

Livebearing Spawning

Livebearing spawning is a type of spawning where the fish gives birth to live fry. This is commonly seen in livebearers such as guppies, mollies, platies, and swordfish.

Egg Burier, Depositor, and Scatterer Spawning

Egg burier, depositor, and scatterer spawning refers to the way fish lay their eggs. Some fish bury their eggs in substrate or hide them in plants, while others scatter them around.

A common example of a fish that buries its eggs is the killifish. Caring for Fry: Housing and Tank Conditions

Fish fry are delicate creatures that require specific conditions for survival.

Here are the best practices for housing and tank conditions:

Three Main Options for Housing Fry

There are three main ways to house fry: in the same tank as the adults, using a tank divider to separate them, or using a breeder box. Using the same tank as the adults is not recommended as the fry may become food for larger fish.

A tank divider, such as a plastic or mesh barrier, can be used to separate the adults from the fry. The breeder box is a separate container that is placed inside the tank and is ideal for raising small batches of fry.

Importance of Tank Conditions

Tank conditions play a crucial role in the survival of fish fry. Here are the key factors:

Water temperature: The water temperature should be stable and suitable for the species of fish.

Sudden changes in temperature can stress and harm the fry. pH: The pH level should be within the acceptable range for the fish species.

It is essential to maintain stable pH levels as fluctuations can harm the fry. Hardiness: The water hardness should be suitable for the fish species.

Some fish prefer soft water, while others thrive in hard water. It is important to research the water hardness needs of the species you are raising.

Ammonia levels: Ammonia levels should be kept at zero, as even low levels of ammonia can be toxic to fish. Stable water parameters: It is important to maintain stable water parameters, such as nitrate and nitrite levels, to prevent stress and harm to the fry.

Environmental Hazards

Environmental hazards can pose a risk to fish fry. Here are some to consider:

Filtration: Filtration is important in providing clean and safe water for the fry.

However, strong filtration can create strong water flow that can harm the fry. It is recommended to use a sponge filter or pre-filter to reduce water flow.

Water flow: Water flow should be adequate, but not too strong as it can harm the fry. It is recommended to use a gentle flow pump or control the flow with a valve.

Sharp edges: Sharp edges, such as aquarium decorations, can be harmful to the fry. It is recommended to use smooth-edged decorations or protect sharp edges with a mesh.

Other fish: Other fish can be a threat to fish fry. It is recommended to separate the fry from other fish until they are big enough to defend themselves.


In conclusion, understanding fish spawning and proper care for fish fry is essential in fishkeeping. By knowing the different types of spawning methods and the best practices for caring for fry, we can provide a safe and healthy environment for our fish to thrive.

Feeding fry is a crucial aspect of fishkeeping as it provides nourishment and promotes healthy growth and development. In this article, we will discuss the different stages of fry development and the best feeding practices.

Different Stages of Fry Development

Larvae: The larvae stage is the first stage of fish development and begins shortly after hatching. At this stage, the fry is still attached to the yolk sac and does not consume external food.

Yolk sac: After the yolk sac is absorbed, the fry enters the yolk sac stage. At this stage, the fry can consume small amounts of food and still depend on the remaining yolk sac for nutrition.

Newly hatched fry: Newly hatched fry transition to feeding on small live organisms, such as infusoria and liquid food. Juvenile fish: At the juvenile fish stage, the fry can consume a variety of foods, including frozen and live foods.

Liquid Food and Infusoria

Liquid food and infusoria are commonly used to feed newly hatched fry. They are easy to digest and provide essential nutrients for the fry’s growth and development.

Liquifry is a liquid food that comes in powder form and can be mixed with tank water. It is high in protein and ideal for newly hatched fry.

Algae or green water provides a natural source of infusoria, and it can be produced by exposing a container of tap water to sunlight for a few days.

Egg Yolk

Egg yolk is a readily available and affordable source of protein and nutrients for fry. Hard-boiled egg yolk can be crushed into small pieces and fed to the fry.

It can also be spread on a nylon sheet and held in front of a water current to simulate natural feeding. However, overfeeding with egg yolk can lead to poor water quality and harm the fry.

Brine Shrimp

Brine shrimp is a live food that is high in protein and ideal for feeding juvenile fish. It is available frozen, or as live eggs that can be hatched at home.

Brine shrimp can also be enriched by feeding them with special food to enhance their nutritional value.

Flake Foods

Flake foods are a commonly used food source for aquarium fish, including fry. However, it is important to note that not all flake foods are created equal.

High-quality brands offer a complete nutritional profile that caters to the needs of different fish species. Some brands also offer powdered flake foods that make it easier for fry to consume.

Feeding Practices

When feeding fry, it is crucial to provide small and frequent feedings to prevent overfeeding and poor water quality. Here are some feeding practices to consider:

Feed small amounts of food multiple times a day

Remove uneaten food to prevent decay and water pollution

Monitor water parameters regularly to ensure a clean and safe environment

Avoid overfeeding to prevent digestive problems and stress


In conclusion, feeding fry requires attention and care to provide adequate nourishment for their growth and development. By understanding the different stages of fry development and the best feeding practices, we can ensure that our fish thrive in a healthy and conducive environment.

Feeding fry is a critical aspect of fishkeeping, as it promotes healthy growth and development. The different stages of fry development include larvae, yolk sac, newly hatched fry, and juvenile fish, each requiring different food sources.

Liquid food and infusoria, egg yolk, brine shrimp, and flake foods are some of the commonly used food sources for fry. Feeding practices should include small and frequent feedings, removal of uneaten food, monitoring of water parameters, and avoiding overfeeding.

By understanding the best practices in feeding fry, we can ensure the proper nourishment and growth of our fish.

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