Why do I breed my fish?

Telmatochromis temporalis eggs. Photo by author.

My decisions to breed cichlids and raise fry are rooted in three places (in no particular order):

  • The challenge
  • The enjoyment
  • Economics

I embrace the challenge of breeding, and that challenge varies by species. Some are easy and take no real effort or knowledge. Some are very difficult. Of course, there are also practical obstacles that keep me from embracing every challenge – availability of species, tank requirements based on species size, and other reasons. The excitement and sense of accomplishment that result from having a successful spawn is palpable to me. Even if a species is relatively easy to breed without special knowledge, it is still exciting. It means that I’ve created an environment in which the requisite variables are all present.

The innate behaviors of cichlids are incredibly enjoyable. Like many cichlid enthusiasts, I have favorite species. But as much as anything, I get great enjoyment out of watching spawning behavior, from the mating dances to nest/territory and fry defense, it is all fascinating. However, I won’t purchase and breed (or attempt to breed) a species if I’m not attracted to it in the first place. There are lots of species I could try to breed, but I like to enjoy keeping those species first.

Lastly, fry provide me with a source of exchange value with my LFS. I trade them for either fish credit or store credit.


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