Golden shiner will spawn in aquaria, but only if two conditions are met:
around 16 hours of light per day and a temperature at or near 25C (77F);
both are required for gonadal maturation. Provide spawning mops or live
plants as a spawning medium. Incubate the eggs at 24C (75F) with 10 hours of
light. Provide the smallest foods possible (rotifers, green water,
infusoria) for the first week or so, then switch to brine shrimp nauplii.
Golden shiner are commercially propagated for forage and bait in artificial
ponds throughout the southeastern US. Three methods are used: the wild or
free spawning method, the egg transfer method, and the fry transfer method.
In wild or free spawning, golden shiner spawn on natural vegetation (grasses
or Spanish moss) or artificial spawning mats (washable air conditioner
filters or similar material) placed level along the shore at a depth of 1-2
inches. Eggs and fry remain in the pond until they are large enough to
harvest. Mortality due to predation from insects, however, is high. Egg
transfer is the most common culture method. In this case, ponds are stocked
with adult golden shiners, and spawning mats are added when water
temperatures reach 21C (70F). When mats are covered with eggs, they are
transferred to a "growout" or nursery pond that has been fertilized with
inorganic and organic fertilizers to stimulate plankton production. In the
fry transfer method, eggs hatch before they are moved to a growout pond.
Fishkeepers at home can experiment with a scaled-down culture method by
placing several adults into a wading pool with furnace (or air conditioner)
filters placed in the pool at a 45 deg. angle. Remove the eggs and hatch in
aquaria as described above.
Sexual maturation is size dependent; 5-7 cm (2-3 in) appears to be the
It should be noted that while golden shiner seem to relish duckweed in the
aquarium, they are planktivores in the wild, so make sure they get some
meaty foods too.
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