Getting ready to spawn?


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I have a very small pond converted from a rock pond. It measures 6 or 7 feet long by maybe four or five feet wide and 10 or so inches deep. I've been removing some of the river rock to make more room for actual water displacement. It seems to have opened it up quite a bit, but has taken away some of the hiding places, I think.
I have some (last count, 8) Rosy Red Minnows.

A few minutes ago, I went out and topped off the water, maybe 5 or 10 gallons. I was surprised to see one of the fish swimming around (I think I may have disturbed her when I added the water). Anyway, she (I'm assuming) looked fat, not sleek like the normal minnow. I am thinking that she may be full of eggs. The only thing in the pond is a relatively small horn wort plant. I'm hoping that could be a little hiding area, if need be? I will let nature take its course, if she indeed is full of eggs (I want to say pregnant, but I read on here where they don't get pregnant, but egg bound ). Time will tell. 20200513_102641.jpg20200513_102541.jpg20200513_102443.jpg

The first pic should show the tiny fish. If, so, is she egg bound? The second pic should show the horn wort (as does the third pic). In the second picture, does the horn wort look OK like it's alive/growing? It's been in the pond a couple of weeks, I think. Three days ago, I removed quite a few rocks and made the water pretty murky (fine now), so the plant looks like it might be coated with a film of dirt? Or is it not doing well?
 
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addy1

water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins
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It still looks greenish, if so it will do fine Hornwort takes some time to get going, mine is around 5 feet tall.
 
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If your minnows are like my guppies, catch her in a clear glass jar/cup, and look at her belly right before her vent. You may see eggs, or if they are live bearers like guppies, a hunt of eyes. Being rotund in the back end is typical of gravid female's, and nothing to worry about unless she is struggling. A alternative to plants is to make a spawning mop or three to put in there. Use synthetic fiber yarn, wrap it around something like a toilet paper cardboard tube, tie off one spot, and cut opposit, making like a mop head. If you then secure it to a small rock, it provides places for females looking to spawn in private a place to do so, and places for fry to hide.
 
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Thx, for your response. I think I will let nature take its course right now. If she is "pregnant" (not so sure now), they should be ok, I would think. There are no known predators in the pond, that I'm aware of.

Although, last year I did see a snake among the rocks that did slither into the water. Surprised me. That was the only time I have seen it and I'm pretty sure it was before I put fish in the water.
 
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A little update. It's been two months since I posted, so I doubt that that fish was actually ready.
But, this afternoon I walked out and looked in to the pond, and to my surprise, I did see some fry swimming around. Took me completely by surprise. All I had for food was a cube of frozen brine shrimp, which I threw in. I'm sure it's too big for those little ones. I also had some goldfish flake food that I tried to pulverize (not very good) and sprinkled into the pond. I could not tell if they ate anything or not.

I'll try and post a picture (cell phone pic) of a couple of them. You will have to expand or zoom the picture to really make out any of the fry.
20200709_160533_HDR.jpg
 
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IPA

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I wouldn’t worry about trying to feed them unless you want too many fish. My theory is a few will find food in the pond, and a few of them will escape being eaten by the parents, grow and clean up the stragglers. For goldfish in a pond there is almost always plenty of food for them to survive without us ever feeding them.
 
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Red rosie minnows breed by laying eggs on the underside of the caves, and the males guard the eggs. Removing some of the rocks may have taken out some of cave surfaces for the red rosies to use, but they don't need a whole lot of space to begin with! Some people will place PVC fittings in the substrate to create artificial caves for the red rosies to breed in. At least, a lot of aquarium people do that.

The term for "pregnancy" that you're wanting is "gravid." Gravid means that a fish, reptile (and amphibian, I'm assuming) is full of eggs or live young. I have never noticed my female red rosies to show visible signs of being gravid.

The easiest way to tell if you're going to have a spawn in red rosies is to watch the males. They can disappear for up to a week guarding a clutch of eggs (though their eggs can hatch in as few as 3 days, I believe). If you see a male hanging out in a cave area, especially if he's not even coming out for food, then he's probably guarding eggs. He will chase any of the other minnows away if they get close.

I did not ever notice my red rosies voraciously eating the fry in the pond I had spawns in. They do not have massive clutches like goldfish, and I ended up with over a hundred and fifty red rosies in a 250 gallon pond (that also had fancy goldfish in it). I also didn't have to feed them. The babies eat microscopic organisms, and slowly eat larger and larger things as they grow.

Adding in food could increase the growth of the microorganisms they feed on, but it also risks injuring the water quality over all, so that's up to you!
 
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It's been very difficult to determine if the males are guarding a "cave". I have two (that I know of ) larger fish that I assume are males. All my fish have never really ventured out into the open with any regularity. These two males stay hidden under rocks right next to each other, sometimes retreating into the same spot. They have pretty much always just peeked out from under the rock, then, either turn 180° and go back under, or possibly swim out a couple of inches, then suddenly turn and dart back for cover. Been doing this for weeks, both of them.

The other day, I set an elongated rock on two other rocks, making an open ended type of cave only 6 or 8 inches from where they hide from. I did see one of the males take residence under it a little later. I think it was the next day when I noticed the fry.

That one male stays there now. I guess that's his home. I have seen a female, I think, join him under there, but, have also seen him, at times chase another fish away. This is just in the last couple of days.

We'll see how it goes the next few days. Although I'm trying to get some plants growing in there so they might venture out more, I'm not having much luck (sorry addy1). I'm trying. Still waiting.
I do have two little stands of horn wort that are finally starting to show signs of growth after two, maybe three months. I think I might have a couple of leaves of what looks like creeping Jenny trying to grow in the water submerged. Maybe another little something that might be trying to start. It's been a couple of months and I keep hoping that they will start growing some.
Well, thx all, for listening to the ramblings of an old man. I will keep you posted on things.
 
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I’d suggest going making friends with other pond folks in your area, or visiting a few local water ways. Oh and pothos likes water too, if you have that common house plant around. Just take a few cuttings, put them in the water. As for wild plants, be sure to clean them and disinfect them before adding to your pond.
 

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