Art by Alexander Vasiljev, Copyright © 2017


Tuesday, April 29, 2014


For my first spawn I used widely suggested acrylic yarn mops as a spawning media (see my earlier post "The Eggs"). Acrylic yarn is cheap and the mops are easy to make. They do catch a lot of eggs. However, besides these pros, I found some cons. Being in the water, the yarn gets entangled and the ranchu were getting caught in it. Second, after the eggs hatched, the larvae still was hiding inside the yarn mops. It makes it very hard to remove the mops without loosing some ranchu larvae. Gently shaking the larvae from the mops didn't help completely. Lastly, I found that removing stuck in the yarn dead eggs and other debris is not easy and it is a hassle to keep the mops clean and ready for the next spawn.

I quickly started to look for an alternative. Another often used DIY spawning media are plastic Poly Shakers and Green Pom-Poms, being a more expensive alternative to yarn. Still, I kept searching and exploring other possibilities.

Again, I though about artificial aquarium plants. Previously purchased plants were not quite suitable for spawning, being stiffer than I though and having many leaves, that would be hard to clean. I needed something very durable for multiple use, something easily cleanable, and something very soft and not abrasive to the fish. That something appeared to be "Hairgrass" from Aquatic-Flora, manufactured by Deep Blue Professional. It answered all my requirements. These artificial plants are made of soft and firm, non-toxic silicone-like plastic. Having a slightly higher cost than Poly Shakers, I hope it will pay back on a long run. And it looks very natural indeed.

I bought six "Hairgrass" plants 9 inch (23 cm) long (they also come in 6, 11 and 18 inch length). After dismantling them, I ended up with 12 individual rosettes. Using glass bead with a string through, I inserted the bead inside the rosette and threaded the string out through the rosette. I can bundle these mops in any way I need and with weights attached to them, they can be placed on the bottom of the pond or be suspended from the surface.

As I run this media through a spawn or two, I will post an update.

"Hairgrass" turned spawning media

Glass bead inserted inside the rosette