They're very hard to breed, so read carefully
Breeding Small Characins
• 1 breeding pair of course (they're easy to sex since the female is more rounded then the male
• 5 gallon tank
• Black spray paint
• Piece of cardboard big enough to cover the front of your tank
• 3 day old water, which is a bit acid and soft (pH 5.5 - 7, dH 1-2, temperature 75 degrees)
• A regular lid but without the lights being on, especially not once the eggs are laid
• A sponge filter which should be matured in a different tank until you will need it for the spawning tank
• A self made spawning mop
• Some cabomba grass
• About 1 inch gravel for the bottom
• And at least a 20 gallon outgrow tank
• Take your 5 gallon tank and spray 3 outsides with black spray paint, the front site leave just as it is, it will only be covered with the cardboard piece, set the tank up 3 days before you put in your breeding pair, with gravel, cabomba and the spawning mob.
• Condition your male and female separate with high protein food such as frozen blood worms and dried frozen brine shrimp for at least 1 week.
• Once your female is very round, you will know that she's ready to be spawned.
• Put your breeding pair into the tank in the evening and once they're settled you will notice that the male will chase the female around the plant and the spawning mop.
• The next day the eggs should be laid and you can take out the adults and black out the tank completely with the piece of cardboard, leave the tank just alone and in peace.
Caring for the fry:
• The fry will hatch about of 30- 40 hours later, and will be free swimming after another 4 days.
• Now you can remove the front cover, put your well matured sponge filter in set on low and start feeding your fry with Infusoria or Liquid fry food, but don't feed them too much, because you won't touch the water for another 10 days, you don't clean their tank in the first 2 weeks of their life.
• When the fry is about 1 week old you can start feeding them with newly hatched Baby Brine shrimp.
• When they're about 2 weeks old, you can start introducing powdered flake food.
• Now you can start doing partial water changes, but only about 1 cup full a day and gradually moving up to 25%, but don't forget you will need to replace the water with the same acid and soft water, as you have in there now.
• 3 days before you move your fry will be moved into the outgrow tank, you will setup the 20 gallon tank the same way you have your spawning tank, that means the same acid and soft water.
• You can move your fry into the outgrow tank when they're about 8-9 weeks old, the best way to do so, is by taking out the sponge filter and the mop, removing the lid from the spawning tank and submerge the spawning tank slowly into the outgrow tank. Turn it a bit to the side to help the fry to emerge into the bigger tank, as soon as all fry are out take out the spawning tank right away.
• Once they're settled in, like 3 days later you can start doing every other day partial water changes of 5% with a gravel siphon, and replacing it with just regular tap water which should be aged for 24 hours and of course be treated with conditioner. Gradually increase the amount of water you change, but think that it should be increased slowly in a period of the next 3 weeks.
• Also at 9 weeks you can start introducing regular flake food.
• When they're about 12 weeks old, they should be eating just regular flake food and ordinary harder water, just like all your other fish
• At this point they're also big enough to be sold and you should have a batch of about 4 dozens of fry, if you did everything right and where lucky enough to raise the fry to be a juvenile. If you want to have more then just 4 dozens of fry, just do the whole conditioning process for a week after spawning them and spawn them right after a week, but only if you have enough tanks and space to do so.
They're a species which are very hard to breed, but once you get it done, it's amazing to watch them grow. You will need to have lots of patience to breed them.
Hope that helps