Equipment for spawning

I am far from any sort of an authority on spawning and rearing techniques, but I have learned some lessons. Assuming you are dealing with a typical 500-egg spawn, here are some suggestions to get you started. This equipment is just to deal with the fry; you still need other tanks for the adults that you will spawn.

  1. Aquariums: two 10-gallon tanks and 2 20-gallon long tanks. This should get you through the first 6 to 8 weeks, assuming you cull down to about 25% of the original population. However, if you want to get really aggressive growth from the fry, you will need lots more space.
  2. Heaters: heaters to hold the hatching temperature steady at 68 degrees Fahrenheit and then raise the temperature for the fry to 74 degrees will give good results and rapid growth.
  3. Filters: this is religion, but I would start with a seasoned air-driven sponge filter in each fry tank. Once the fry are mobile and fairly strong (one month?), you can introduce a power filter with a carefully protected intake sieve. I put a plastic pot scrubber over the end, and then a filter bag over that. Finding a way to season the filters, to avoid cycling the fry tank is a really good idea.
  4. Aeration: you will need air pumps to drive the sponge filters and I would recommend a good air stone in each tank too. You will need some valves so that you can control the flow. And of course if you hatch brine shrimp you will need significant aeration for that too.
  5. Live food for starting the fry: this is not a requirement – I know several breeders who use dried food from birth – but will usually give the best results. If you use brine shrimp you will probably need to buy a can of eggs and put together some sort of hatchery. And get or make brine shrimp nets. I assume one of the 10-gallon tanks is used for brine shrimp for the first 5 or 6 weeks.
  6. Culling equipment: you need some sort of dish that you can easily scoop fry in and out of and a net or baster or something for removing the culls.
  7. Miscellaneous: lots of large and small buckets, bits of rigid and flexible tubing, nylon mesh, … hard to say. You will inevitably encounter unique problems and develop unique solutions.