What Kind Of Fish Have Unusual Breeding Practices?

Sockeye salmon is one of the fish who has some unusual breeding practices because both of the sexes turn red from being green heads before spawning. Sockeyes would mostly spawn in the streams or the logs until the eggs sink at the bottom.

You will know if it’s spawning season according to the changes in the stream’s smell.

Check Out: Top Fishing Accessories

Reproduction Of Fishes

Hermaphroditic Fish

All fish can reproduce by sexual reproduction – when the sperm cells of the male would fuse to the egg cells from the ovaries of the female fish. Most fish species are hermaphrodites, meaning each of them has individual ovaries and testes.

For a hermaphrodite, they can produce only one gamete, egg, or sperm at a time, and then the gametes would cross-fertilize by another species. Hermaphroditic species can switch sexes, to alternate producing sperm or eggs during reproduction.


Another unusual kind of reproduction is the parthenogenesis, meaning the egg cells can still develop without the presence of a sperm cell. In this process, the offspring are the exact copy of the parent.

This type of reproduction seems to show in bony fish and 2007, it is confirmed that an isolated female hammerhead shark can reproduce on its own.

Breeding Labyrinth Fish

Labyrinth fish are also called anabantoids, meaning they are bubble-nest builders. The one responsible for the nest is the male fish. Male fish would maintain the nested bubble, while the female fish rests for comfort.

Male fish would entice the female to stay in the nests and induce them to spawn by embracing them. At the same time, male fish are getting aggressive in protecting the female fish.

Breeding Cichlids

Cichlids would fall into different categories of “substratum-spawning” or “mouth brooders”. This would only mean that cichlids would either lay eggs of the substratum or they fry their eggs into their mouths to prevent the harm that may happen.

Another distinction of cichlids is whether they are monogamous or polygamous.

For the monogamous cichlids, they are allowed to interact in the aquarium freely and most of them are very aggressive claiming their territory while the polygamous cichlids can maintain their territory while consorting freely among each other.

Breeding Killifish

Killifish are mostly sexually dimorphic, which means that the males are usually more vibrant and colorful than the female ones. Other characteristics of the male killifish are they have larger and anal fins.

They can be distinguished into two groups: bottom spawners and egg-hangers. Bottom spawners are the ones burying their eggs one substrate while the egg hangers spawn on plants.


There were more fish that have a unique process for spawning like perches – archerfish that are bred commercially in Australia on a fish farm. About 10,000 eggs were hatched every spawning season and this strictly in fresh water only.

Other fish that have unusual breeding practices are Characins, Cyprinids, Rainbowfish, Goldfish, and Catfish. Understanding the fish spawning methods and season can help you either in your fishing or taking care of them in the aquarium.