Ornamental fish keeping and its propagation has been an interesting activity for many, which provide not only aesthetic pleasure but also financial openings. About 600 ornamental fish species have been reported worldwide from various aquatic environments. Indian waters possess a rich diversity of ornamental fish, with over 100 indigenous varieties, in addition to a similar number of exotic species that are bred in captivity
Among the indigenous and exotic freshwater species, the varieties having good demand can be bred and reared for commercial purpose. Species that can be produced easily and popular as commercial varieties are coming under egg-layers and livebearers.
A beginner should start the work on breeding of any live-bearer followed by goldfish or any other egg-layer for getting acquainted with the procedures on handling and maintenance of brood fish and young one. Good knowledge on the biology, feeding behavior and ambient condition of the fish are prerequisites for breeding. Live food like Tubifex worms, Moina, earthworms’ etc. for brood-stock and larval stages need special attention. The larvae similarly need infusoria, artemia naupli, plantons such as rotifers and smaller daphnia during the early stage. A unit for continuous production of live-food is, therefore necessary for successful maintenance of the unit. In most cases breeding is easy, but larval rearing might require special care. As a supplementary feeding the farmer can prepare on-site pelletted feed by using local agro-produce. To avoid health related problems, a proper water quality needs to be ensured by installing biofilters. The ornamental fishes can be bred at varied periods of the year.
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