Why does hard wa­ter af­fect spawn­ing?

Practical Fishkeeping (UK) - - Species Showcase -

Fish eggs have some­thing called a mi­cropyle, where sperm gains en­try. In some soft­wa­ter fish, the sperm of a male car­ries a cal­cium mol­e­cule that has a cat­alytic ef­fect on the eggs as the sperm en­ters, caus­ing the shell of the egg to harden and to seal the mi­cropyle.

In hard wa­ter, where cal­cium is present and freely avail­able, the eggs can be trig­gered pre­ma­turely, mean­ing they can­not be fer­tilised.

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