Select Aquatics of Erie, CO

                       Breeding the Puntius padamya "Odessa"

                                    Page 2 - Breeding Overview




                  Page 1:  Odessa Barbs,  Origins of the Odessa Barb

                * Page 2:  Overview of Breeding the Puntius padamya

                  Page 3:  Step by Step Specifics of How We Breed Them Here

                  Page 4:  An Easier (But less Yield) Way to Breed Them

                  Page 5:  Growth rates




                                              These fry are 9 days old, and some of the males from this batch grew into the males seen at right.

     These fish are egg scatterers, and release mildly adhesive eggs. The issues are saving the eggs so they are not eaten, and feeding the 
     young appropriately so that you lose as few as possible during their first 2 weeks. At the same time, oxygenation and water quality is
     everything for the new fry- and massive water changes (50% at least 3x daily the first week, 30-50%  3x daily next 2-3 weeks) must be kept
     up of prepared, aged aquarium water. I use relatively clean aquarium water taken from another established tank. There are a number of
     little things you will learn that will increase your yield, and I can share what I have discovered. Over the past 5 years I have spawned
     and raised the fry about 30 times, and I am still tinkering with the process. A long time in the making, this essay will reveal everything
     that we do here to get batches routinely of 500 - 1500 fry, generally from about 3 trios with each spawning.

     I refer in my instructions to using 3-4 males and 7-9 females in the breeding sessions I do here,  but everything described here can be
     done with a pair, or a trio, or whatever. I would not add more than the number of fish I use, however. Any more than what I use here
     in that size tank, and you may end up with far more fish eating eggs than producing them!

     Breeding these is one of the most rewarding things I do, but to bring a batch to the point of being divided up into their own tanks will
     take 30 days, and you must be home to feed 3x per day, doing a 50% water change following each feeding for at least the first 3
     weeks. Feedings must be done at 8-9am, 2-3 pm, and again at 8-9pm. Missing an evening feeding, for example, means the fish 
     will go from 2 pm until 8am the next morning. Odessa fry - like all very small fry, are no more than eyes and a tail that can be barely  
     seen. They generally cannot go more than the 12 hours that occurs overnight. Missing a single feeding can mean losing a substantial
     portion - over 50%, of the new fry.

     If you would like to breed them more than once, I strongly recommend keeping a journal of what you do each day (How long do you
     keep the adults together? When do you introduce the vinegar eels and how much do you feed? When do you start them on the baby
     brine shrimp?) I keep the adults together 2-5 days depending on when the females slim down, and what has proven to produce the
     most fry in my setup, etc. Vinegar eels will cloud the water, so you don't want to add them too early and fungus the eggs, but
     you want them there- alive- soon after the fry hatch. They start getting BBS about day 5-6, but keep both going during this
     period as their rate of growth - depending on when they hatch- will vary considerably. Microworms or paramecium should also
     work as a first food. the infusoria is there for those first 1-3 days before they start feeding on vinegar eels. It works
     perfectly for the new fish hatching out, and most engorge on the vinegar eels as soon as they can.

     I use vinegar eels here because they require no maintenance, and are always ready to go. I keep 30 2 liter soda bottles of cultures
     going. When I am feeding the Odessas regularly, I will go through 6 bottles a day (3 feedings, eels from 2 bottles each feeding).
     I have found than when starting at bottle 1, and going through to bottle 30, the bottles have about a week to replenish themselves,
     which works out just right. I routinely ship vinegar eel cultures to customers if you do not have any available in your area, simply
     email me at and we can arrange to get some out to you.
                                     Vinegar eels ready for next spawning                                                   To build this simple, effective Brine Shrimp Hatcher, Click HERE

                              You will need both Vinegar eels (or microworms, paramecium, etc.) and newly hatched Baby Brine Shrimp (BBS) to raise the Odessa barb fry.

     Though most sources claim this is a cold water species, I have found that they are most comfortable (their color and activity is best)
     in the upper 70ís. I tried to breed them at 72 degrees without much success, and eventually found that they breed eagerly at 77-78
     degrees. I use the white plastic "egg-crate" style light covering material to make a horizontal divider, cut to the breeding tank size.
     To that are attached single layer thick, green plastic cross-stitch backing material- attached with small plastic electrical ties.
     Adults are introduced above the divider with lots of Java fern, and eggs would fall down through the mesh, or stick to the plant leaves.
     The water level of the tank where the breeding takes place must stay low- 6-7 inches, or the young will develop air bladder problems,
     becoming belly-sliders. When that happens they can be put into a breeder up near the top of another aquarium, and raised there.
     About 75% will overcome it as they age over 1-2 months.

      An example of the Odessa divider that fits a 29 tall tank. Cross stitch backing is attached with electrical ties to honeycomb light
      diffuser sheeting. The plastic loop on the right, made with an electrical tie, is so that the divider can be easily lifted out of the
      aquarium with a hook at the end of a net handle. All these materials are easily available at Home improvement and hobby / sewing
      / quilting stores. Kitchen "scrubbies" are cut into strips, and attached with ties so the divider fits into the aquarium snugly.
      You will likely have to fuss with the divider a few times to come up with a construction that will keep any fish from being able to
      get through it.


                                                                             These young Odessa barbs are 30 days old.
      When beginning with young fish, females and males are separated as males sex out, which takes 6-8 months. Both males and females 
      are conditioned on frequent feedings of dry and live foods. The largest, heaviest egg-laden females with the best color are pulled, as well
      as the males with traits I am breeding for. A clean tank is prepared without little shrimp or snails present (as much as possible, but
      eggs inevitably come in with the plants taken from another tank). Clean aquarium water is added with a generous amount of plants, 
      and a couple airstones. Plants are divided up about 50/50 above and below the divider.

      Any healthy female that is old enough will fill with eggs, and stay that way until she breeds. Older texts used to present "conditioning the
      female" as a special time of frequent feedings of live food, leading to the goal of the female becoming full of eggs. Feeding a female
      well prior to breeding certainly produces healthier eggs, and being healthy is always a good thing just prior to breeding, but filling up
      with eggs is what females do. Any healthy female, regardless of diet, at least with these barbs, will fill with eggs as soon as she is old
      enough and well fed on whatever she is accustomed to.




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