How to Make DIY Spawning Mops for Breeding Aquarium Fish
Many aquarium fish like to lay their eggs by scattering them or sticking them onto plants and various surfaces. Veteran breeders frequently make spawning mops to allow baby fish to place their eggs. This helps protect them from being eaten as well as improves their survival rate. These artificial spawning media are not necessary for live aquarium plants. They can be transported without damaging any plant roots or leaves. People even use them with livebearers (or fish that bear live young) because the many strands of the mop provide dense cover for the fry to hide between. Follow these simple, step-by-step instructions for making two types of spawning mops for your aquarium fish.
Instructions for Yarn Spawning mop
This mop is popular for spawning goldfish, rainbowfish and tetras. You can choose to make floating, sinking, or attachable mop depending on which species you are breeding.
1. Gather the materials 100% acrylic yarn 2. You can use cork for a floating mop or small rocks (for the sinking mop), and suction cups (for mops that attach to the tank walls or bottom). A flat, hard object that can be used to measure the height of the mop (e.g., a notebook, book or piece of cardboard). Scissors
1. Wrap the yarn around the notebook approximately 40 to 100 times. Then, cut the remaining yarn.
1. You will need to cut a 12-inch to 24-inch length from yarn. Then, use the yarn to tighten the knots that are wrapped around your notebook.
1. Slide the yarn strands onto the notebook. Then, cut the loops at either end of your yarn knot. Trim the mop if you find that the yarn strands have become too long or are not even.
1. Take the excess ends of the knot and securely tie them around the cork, rock, or suction cup.
1. Place the mop in the aquarium by rinsing it with tap water. 2. Depending on the species of fish, you may need to wait for the eggs to hatch before moving them into a container. Next, move the eggs from the spawning mop to a specimen container or breeder net with a gentle airstone inside. Some people will transport the whole spawning mop and eggs together, while others prefer to remove the eggs using their fingers or tweezers.
Instructions for Ricefish Spawning Mop
Regular yarn mops do not work as well for certain species like Japanese medaka ricefish because the yarn strands are too free-flowing. For the eggs to be released from rice fish, stiffer bristles are needed to rub against.
1. Gather the materials Make a pool noodle with a hole in the middle. Scotch Brite pads without any cleaning chemicals Kitchen knife and cutting board 4. Scissors
1. Use a knife to cut off a half-inch of the pool noodles using a cutting board.
1. Place one pad in landscape orientation. The pad should be wider than its height. Start at the bottom corner of the pad and make a vertical cut upwards. Stop approximately 1/2 inch from the top. You will create the “strands” by making multiple vertical cuts along the bottom of your pad.
1. Roll the pad up so the pad’s top 1/2″ looks like a spiral. The bottom 1/2″ of the pad is like a skirt.
1. Stick the spiral end of the mop through the middle of the pool noodle disc.
1. Place the spawning mop in the aquarium and rinse it with no soap.
1. Once spawning is complete, transfer the eggs or entire spawning mop to a breeder net or specimen container or separate grow-out aquarium.
We wish you the best of luck in your breeding efforts. You can sell excess fish you have hatched or raised to support your aquarium hobby to your local fish market or other fishkeepers. Find out more about How to Breed Aquarium Fish to Make Profit.