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Breeding Goldfish
and Raising Baby Goldfish Fry.
This page is about Breeding Goldfish and has information about spawning Goldfish, about the difficulty of determining the gender of Goldfish, and about raising Goldfish fry.
Breeding Goldfish - 3" to 3.5" Red Cap Oranda that is a nice size breeding goldfish.    We got an email shown below asking us for more information about breeding Red Cap Orandas, like the beautiful one shown in the picture to the left that's about 3" to 3.5" long.

Customer Comments

I was on your web page looking for information on how to breed my Red Cap Orandas.  I have found where I can purchase them, but nothing on how to breed them.  I have a female in the tank which has laid eggs.
I have another Red Cap in the tank with her, but I am not sure if my second fish is a female or a male.  Will either one of them eat the eggs, how long does it take for the eggs to hatch, Do I need to remove either one of them?  I was looking for answers to these questions and more. Can you help me?
Reply. Hello Mande. Sometimes Goldfish begin to spawn, when they've grown to be about 3" long, but usually they don't begin to spawn, until they're at least 4" long, and professional breeders use even larger fish that produce more eggs and more baby fish.

A female Goldfish can lay several thousand eggs during one spawning.

1. Determining a Goldfish's Gender
It's not easy to tell the male Goldfish from the female Goldfish. Professional breeders can often tell the difference, but it's difficult for them to explain how they do it.

Mature female Goldfish are usually plumper, and mature males have little bumps on their heads, called tubercles, that turn white and are easier to see, when the Goldfish spawn.

Click here for more information about determining the gender of Goldfish.

2. Spawning Mops
Goldfish spawn best in the spring after a cold winter. Most professional Goldfish breeders place floating "spawning mops" in the ponds with their breeder gold fish.

These spawning mops are usually made by cutting off 18" lengths of nylon rope. One set of ends is tied together tightly, and the other ends are untwisted to make a big fluffy mop.

Goldfish lay adhesive eggs that stick to the spawning mops.

Since Goldfish love to eat their eggs and baby goldfish, the mops must be removed promptly and put in another pond or large aquarium, where the eggs hatch into tiny Goldfish fry.

These Goldfish fry must feed on the microscopic life in the pond for several days, before they are large enough to start eating powdered food.

Click here for more about powdered food for baby fish.

3. It's January 18th 
and the weather has been unusually cold here in San Diego. The water temperature in the small pond by my front door is 48 degrees F. This is the coldest I've ever measured.

I looked at my Goldfish carefully to be sure that "he" is doing well, and I noticed that "he" has gotten quite a bit plumper.

In fact I think that maybe "he" is a female and starting to fill with eggs to lay in the spring.

Click here to see a picture of my Goldfish that was taken last summer, when "she" was still slender.

4. How to Stimulate Goldfish to Spawn.
(1)  Do a partial water change every day. Fresh water stimulates Goldfish to spawn. Remove up to 20% of the water and replace that water with fresh tap water.

Changing more than 20% of the water on one day may stress your Goldfish, even if you add Water Conditioner.

Click here for more information about Water Conditioner.

(2)  Improve the diet of your Goldfish.

Do not abruptly change the type of food that you feed your Goldfish, instead add some live or frozen food to their diet like brine shrimp or feed them a few Live Black Worms.

Click here for more about feeding Live Black Worms to fish.

(3)  Many Goldfish breeders separate the males and females into separate ponds, then put the males and females back together in the same pond to spawn.

This means you have to be able to distinguish the males from the females, which is not easy to do.

Books about Goldfish
The books shown below are listed on

You can click on the title or on the image of a book to go to the page at, where that book is listed and discussed.

In some cases you can preview several of the pages in that book.

Click on this image to go to, where you can learn more about this book.   Fancy Goldfish
A Complete Guide to Care and Collections
By Erik L. Johnson and Richard E. Hess
Fred Rosenzweig (Photographer)
176 pages
Click on this image to go to, where you can learn more about this book.   Goldfish Breeding
By J. Smartt, J. H. Bundell, E. Bundell  (Contributor)
Click on this image to go to, where you can learn more about this book. The Official Guide to Goldfish
By Goldfish Society of America
126 pages
Click on this image to go to, where you can learn more about this book. Goldfish: Everything ...
By Marshall E. Ostrow
94 pages
Click on this image to go to, where you can learn more about this book. Goldfish, Keeping and Breeding them in Captivity
By Spencer Glass
64 pages
Click on this image to go to, where you can learn more about this book.   Goldfish: An Owner's Guide
By Carlo De Vito, Gregory Skomal  (Contributor)
Click on this image to go to, where you can learn more about this book.   Chinese Goldfish
By Li Zhen, Ouyang Caiwei (Editor), Yan  Qiubai (Translator)
100 pages
Click on this image to go to, where you can learn more about this book.   The Essential Goldfish
By Maddy Hargrove, et al
92 pages
Click here for a complete list of books about Goldfish at
Click here now to go on to another page in this website with more Customer Comments and our Replies about Breeding Goldfish.
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