Large murrels (C.marulius) breed in the month of February and March. They build a simple nest by collecting pieces of aquatic weeds and arranging them together in a small circle. After eggs have been laid among the weeds and fertilized, the parents fan them by flapping their pectoral fins under the nest. After the eggs hatch out, the hatchlings feed for some time on the zooplankton. The parents then herd them into a close-knit group near the surface and, swimming below, they lead the young ones out to feed in richer waters. After about three months, when the young ones are about eight centimetres, the parents deliberately disperse them and if they do not disperse, the parents themselves set upon them.
A small species, C.punctatua, has been reported to breed from the month of June to October and its larvae measures 1.5 centimetres. They feed on planktonic organisms such as copepods and other minute aquatic animals. Commercially, murrels are popular and fetch high prices. They are carnivorous in habit, feeding largely on small fish and insect larvae. Due to this habit they are unwanted in piscicultural ponds but it has been found that exclusive murrel culture based on artificial feeds is practicable.