3/5/15 several heart stopping moments over the last couple of days. Found a baby on its side in my floating plant so went to net it out and it shot off into the water! It was almost high and dry and I was so sure it was dead. It has now happened quite a few times with one even upside down on a leaf. I know the adults like to rest on plants and hammocks but seeing babies on their sides and backs was a surprise. Anyway they seem no worse for wear. One fry however had a large piece of freeze dried worm in its mouth and really looked dead, I picked it out and out of interest I pulled the worm out of its mouth and Lo and behold the baby started wiggling so back into the tank it went. I know there is a risk with feeding live worms but didn't think the freeze dried would cause a problem.
1/5/15 wEEK 4 can't believe they are 4 weeks today -! death today but pretty sure that it was a little one that got sucked up the hose when I was siphoning yesterday -it didn't look too bright when I put it back into the tank so hopefully that was the one. Just for good measure I tested the water and although the Nitrates are a bit high at 40 I think that was more to do with the beef heart they had for lunch and the tank was due for a water change. Ammonia and Nitrites 0 ph 7.5- I have stopped using a mix of RO and tap water as I couldn't make enough RO water to keep up with the water changes so gradually changed to treated tap water. They coped OK with the higher ph as it was done slowly over a week. Here are todays pictures -size difference is growing there are a few whoppers at 2cm and a few tiny ones at 0.6 cm. They are all munching on chopped up live black worms yumm
27/4/15 24 days today. Fry are eating freshly hatched BBS, ocean nutrition BBS, grated frozen beef heart, grated frozen brine shrimp, freeze dried black worms, chopped live black worms and a bit of dry pellets, there are live plants in the tank for them to pick at if they want. They are starting to show colour under normal light now as opposed to what the camera flash showed up. Some nice yellows, a few bluish and some red or salamander like dad. Pectoral fins on some are very pronounced. Top fin shape different on many of them. More play fighting noticed in the bigger fry, several seem to go after any that come too close so I guess they may be the ones to separate in a few weeks if they continue but at present seems more bluff than menace. Still no more deaths so things are going well but it's still early days and there are still a lot of fry . They are in 100 litre tank filled about 70% at the moment , the tank is a very deep one and I was reluctant to fill it to the top but they are swimming at all levels so seem to cope well with deep water. I have 3 sponge filters running in the tank with a slow to moderate air flow which doesn't worry them. Infact they spend a lot of time picking at the sponge. I think the fact that there are floating plants to break the bubbles and give quiet areas in the tank helps. There is a noticeable size difference between the largest and the smallest now. There is enough food for the small ones to have a chance to feed so I doubt it's a food shortage and I know it's normal to have size difference but it is a big difference.
Unfortunately being a beginner I jumped in and bred fish before looking into what the standards are. If I were to attempt another spawn I would set some specific goals and aim for that. Typical beginner just wanting to see if I could get a pair to spawn
I also didn't realise that the pectorals seem to continue to grow? He had much smaller fins when I first got him
they dont look as big here, definately a smaller proportion of fin to body than now I think, but they have grown a lot.
Yes they are a bit big. Not a show specimen I guess but when in full show he looks impressive. I initially bought him because I wanted to breed a very full finned type as I hadn't seen any for sale thought I would make my own but now I'm not so sure. When I first got him - he was an import although I didn't import him I bought him here at an auction- he couldn't swim for very long he always rested on the bottom of the tank - I thought there was something wrong with him - but I guess he had been kept in tiny bottles before he got here. Anyway he is in a 30 cm planted cube and now swims strongly , no more resting on the floor I think he just didn't have the muscles to be able to swim for long. I've seen a lot of the type I wanted now so don't need to breed one if I really still want one.
21 today -days that is! Fry are doing extremely well- feasting happily on the freeze dried worms. They are still getting a few VE and 3 feeds of BBS but the worms are a favourite. I will start giving a bit of grated beefheart too just prior to water change to be safe. The average sizes are between 0.5cm and 1 cm .I went a bit snap happy today so will add a few pictures later. I can't find my little swim bladder guy so it has rectified itself or it is hiding. I did a big water change and didn't find any bodies so it's still in there but with so many fry it could easily be hidden in the crowd.
The freeze dried worms were a great success today. As they softened more of the fry attacked them and they seemed to be eating it. I will put a piece up each day now for them to snack on. On a side note I noticed one of the bigger fry seemed to have a bit of trouble swimming properly - looks a bit like swim bladder problem. I had thought I saw one with it the other day but couldn't find it when I was searching. It can't be from the worms as they only started on them today. They have only had VE and BBS plus a pinch of very fine fry food started this week. Will see what develops - if I find the little guy again I will isolate it in a container in the tank to see if it resolves otherwise it might be my first cull.
20 days old today and continuing to grow very quickly -amazingly quickly. They have adapted to the larger tank very well and are much more spread out now. Still no deaths , pectoral fins in some continue to grow quite well.
I put a square of freeze dried black worms in the tank- squashed it against the glass and it's lovely to watch the way they are inquisitive about new things in the tank. Like a group of children egging each other on to have a look and touch it and then run away and come back again. Now that it's soft you can see them tearing bits off - I don't know if they are eating it but it looks like they are -it's keeping them busy at any rate.
I'm over being overwhelmed- hubby doesn't mind if I have to set up yet another tank for them as they grow. I willl just have to take it a day at a time and deal with the boys if and when they become a problem. Time to take some pictures for tomorrows post and try to get a general measurement of them, -I counted close to 200 yesterday then gave up as they started mingling too much. It will be interesting to see what colour they start to show over the next few weeks -at the moment they are all pink with a few starting to turn a slightly duskier pink.
I could cull the smaller ones. I guess it might be easier now rather than later? I understand it's early days and I could easily lose the lot but the worry of what to do with so many is a problem. I might look at taking out any that are not showing pectoral development so therefore possibly not Dumbo. It's just a bit hard for me to justify culling healthy babies but it would be much harder to cull healthy adults. I will give it a bit of thought. With a bit of luck the move to the new tank may take a toll on a few. :)
18 days today. I have moved them into the bigger tank today. Oh my there are so many of them it is scaring me. They are a very good size .
I have sponge filters and an air stone in with them -hope there isn't too much tubulance for them but there is a quiet area in the tank that they can rest in and plants to hide in. I'm thinking perhaps I should take out the airstone that seems to be agitating the waer the most.
If they continue to thrive as they are - still no losses- then I'm going to have a serious problem with having so many fish. I know I might still lose them but it is a worry to see so many. I thought I would be over joyed but not sure how I feel just now It is a bit overwhelming I'm afraid.
I put in a tiny bit of freeze dried black worm this morning and they were extremely interested in it. Don't know if they ate any but it looks like they were taking chunks out of it. Only put a very small amount in to see what they do.
Ihave a very fine granule that I can mix in with the BBS it's extremely tiny - it seems like they will try other food when they are going for the BBS- probably don't realise they are eating something different but at least they are tasting things even if they spit it out
Thanks Jaylee I mixed the ocean nutrition with some live BBS as stock was low and they cleaned it all up. I've got the VE out again and have setup an extra BBS hatchery plus changed the time of day I set it up. I do it in the morning instead of at night so they have a longer light time and the room is warmer. Should sort it out now :)