If you plan to breed your money to make money...forget it. It is alot of work and they don't sell for very much anyway. Become a dog breeder. But if you're looking to have fun, aren't discouraged by some work, and have quite some time to spare, stick with the fish. So if you're still interested, let's continue.
- Steps For Breeding -
( Note: I've never bred my fish, but this is all information from research I've done)
Getting your goldfish to breed can be very tricky and attention demanding. The basic goals you need to accomplish are a temperature change from about 50° to 75° Fahrenheit over a month or two's time. This makes it seem like Spring and will make the fish's maternal instincts kick in and make them want to do...well...what they need to do to make little baby fish.
Another thing you will need is a nice little nursery for our little fry. This means preparing a shallow spot in a separate tank less than 1 ft. deep with plenty of live plants. If you're worried that the fish aren't going to breed feed them some live fish such as brine shrimp or sea monkeys. They won't survive in your tank but they will live long enough to be eaten. Bloodworms, preferably frozen, are a nice alternative. Then the fish will breed in the middle to second half of the temperature change and lay their eggs within a day or two.
You'll know they are getting ready to do it when the male chases and harasses the female and she'll become very plump and round. The fish never actually have sex! The female lays the eggs and the male fertalizes them. The eggs will be gobbled up by all the fish in the tank. So seperate them, not all of them because most goldfish will lay up to 1,000 eggs and nobody wants that many fish. Separating them can be extremely tricky. The catch is they can't touch the air. So take a cup and fill it with water. Keep the cup completely submerged. Then gently gather some of the eggs, and place them in the cup, all under water! Then take the cup to the nursery tank (you already prepared) and place the cup in ther. Be sure that the water is the same temperature! I'd leave the cup in there because it lessens the risk of damaging the eggs physically.
After about a week or less they'll hatch and they will eat their yolk sacs that their born with and then immediately start looking for food. Buy yourself some goldfish fry food and some edible plants to keep them well fed. They'll grow fairly fast and after a while can be weaned to start eating grown up goldfish food. Now is the heart wrenching process. Due to genetics, some goldfish will be deformed. As soon as you realize that they are deformed you must kill them...The most humane way to euthanize them, that I've found so far, is to freeze them in a bag of water in the freezer.
I'd wait till their larger than a quarter at least before looking for some buyers. Selling them too early will result in extremely sensative fish that won't be able to handle the average hobbist's mistakes. Now remember that you shoulden't expect more than $5 a fish or less. But if you can't sell them give them away or keep them. Be sure to offer a deal to your local Pet Shop or put up an ad at your local Veteranarian Office. During the time of breeding you should never, ever change the water at all. The water should stay the same during the whole ordeal.