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Dumbo spawn attempt 1

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This was my first attempt at spawning Betta

Parents unrelated Salamander Halfmoon Dumbo Plakats -photos are of my fish but they are not my photos they remain the property of fishchicks.com.au.

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This pair are around 4-6 months old. I conditioned with live black worms, frozen beefheart and frozen brineshrimp for a week initially and put them together in a 20" aquarium with a heater, plant stems, floating plant and a polystyrem cup. The water temp was 28 C and was 80% RO water with some minerals added and 20% aged Pura tap water . I also added some IAL tea to colour the water slightly.

Initially the female was in a chimney and then when a lot of courtship has started and a small bubble nest evident I put them together. The female was full to bursting with eggs and seemed very receptive to the male. The entwined several times but nothing seemed to happen. The girl continued to sit under the nest but the male started to warn her off and became very savage with her. She fled strewing eggs all over the tank. I put her back into her chimney overnight and in the morning the bubble nest was much bigger and the male was wiggling around her chimney wanting her out. I released her again and basically the same things happened she was under the nest he chased her, she spilled eggs and hid. I left them for about 4 days but by this time the girl wasn't interested and just wanted to hide so the couple were put back into their own tanks.

Edited by Taismum

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ATTEMPT 2

I left her to repair her wounds - just a few frayed fins- if she had been seriously attacked she would have come out earlier.

I conditioned the pair again as above but for 2 weeks

2/4/15

I put them together into the spawning tank set up as before but with the addition of bubble wrap. At 9.30 am they were released together and courtship started immediately . Within half an hour they were wrapping under the bubble wrap that had a reasonable size nest and the female became stunned while the male collected eggs, she then presented head down to the male and started again.. By 2pm there was a much larger nest that had a lot of eggs in it. The female was no longer under the nest so i gently removed her to her own tank. She had hardly a rip on her

3/4/15

I was devastated when I looked in on the tank- the nest was broken and I couldn't see a single egg however the male was hovering under the bubble wrap so I left him in peace. Later in the day I managed to look under the bubble wrap through the glass and could see there were indeed eggs- he had moved the entire spawn!

4/4/15

at 9.30 am I checked on the eggs and was delighted to see tails- lots of tails. So far it had been a textbook spawn. By 6pm fry were already starting to fall to the bottom and the male picked them up and put them back into the nest. I removed a small amount of water and replaced it with similar temp water. The sponge filter was on very low not moving the water at all. I glad wrapped the tank over the lids so no cold air could get into the tank although the room was sitting at 24 C

5/4/15

The fry were free swimming - I counted 30 -so I took the male out and gave them a feed of VE. Small amount of water taken out and replaced. 2 brine shrimp hatcheries setup and a third one ready to go for tomorrow. 3 feeds of VE given

6/4/15

Quite a few more fry seen - they are so tiny I couldn't see them initially. Siphoned out 2 dead babies. BBS had hatched so have started to give small feeds of them plus will also put some more VE into the tank just incase the BBS are too big. I have live stem plants in the tank from my shrimp tank so hopefully there will be some pickings on them for the fry too. I started up the third BBS hatchery so now have 3 to supply me with enough for a couple of days. I will set them up fresh again on alternate days so I have a constant supply. Fresh water added- water level still not quite half way up the tank.

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Thank you I'm very happy and excited at the moment.

There seems to be an awful lot of fry swimming - it seems like each time I feed more fry appear. I expect a percentage will not survive and I need to read up on what to look for to cull any deformed fry.

The BBS have hatched well using the system Brenton Tomlinson wrote up not using an airline. I am keeping them on top of the tank to keep warm and facing them away from the light so I can harvest them easily using a torch. So far it's all working well. I am still giving VE as well as the BBS. I can't tell if the fry are eating my eyes can't pick it up but the fry are more active just after I feed them so I think they are chasing their dinner.

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7/4/15

Fry doing well . There are a lot of them! There is a noticable size difference within the spawn which I find interesting- there are a few big bruisers in there and they aren't a week old yet! I'm being very careful to put food all over the tank so they all get a fair share. No dead fry seen today. Added 500ml of fresh conditioned water to the tank but didn't take any out today. Still adding 1 portion of VE plus about 3 lots of BBS 4 times a day. I'm home all day anyway so little and often is how I will try and do it over the next week or two.

I have some very very fine Betta pellets for later and also frozen worms and beefheart that I can grate. I have managed to keep a batch of black worms alive in the fridge for a few weeks now with daily water changes so I can try to cut some worms when the babies are bigger- I will get fresh ones for them though don't want to take any chances.

My next major concern apart from culling deformed babies will be finding enough jars for them but I have a few weeks before that becomes an issue. It is still all going very textbook like - things are happening just as they should - I'm still very happy and excited

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I was interested to see why a lot of fry were up against the back wall of the aquarium, this has a window behind it so is slightly lighter than the front of the tank. They were feeding! I had put BBS into the tank a little time before and I guess they were attracted to the brightest area of the tank. There they were my little fighters having a great time catching the BBS. It was very cute! I have increased the amount of brine shrimp I put in at each feed now because there are quite a few babies and I can't see any BBS still swimming in between feeds. I will have to start siphoning water out every day I think given the number of fry and the amount of BBS I'm putting in I don't want dead BBS fouling the water. I guess you eventually get an idea of how much to feed. Hopefully when the fry are a bit bigger it will be easier for me to see a change in their little bellies, my eyes just can't pick it at the moment. There is still a distinct difference in size - I hope to get some pictures tomorrow if the camera can focus on them.

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8/4/14

Spawn still doing well . No obvious dead fry on the bottom of the tank. Still seems to be a large number but not in the 100's thank goodness :rolleyes: . I'm still using the airless method of hatching brineshrimp but noticed yesterdays batch didn't hatch as well as the first 2. Still a good enough number for the amount of fry I have but I can see I should add a light for warmth as Brenton has shown. I might try 1 batch in a conventional hatchery and compare hatch rates just out of interest. With only 1 spawn at a time I don't need a huge amount of brine shrimp. I'm putting mixing 1 batch together each day to give me a free hatchery so there are mixed size brine shrimp in the oldest batch- I realise that the BBS are most nutritious while very young and while they still have their eggsac but the slightly bigger ones give the fry something to chase until the next feed. (I find it hard to throw away perfectly good food so will try to grow them up for the bigger fish)

The fry all appear a pink colour ,no dark ones in amongst them but then I don't really know at what age they colour up -more reading for me- the more I do the more I realise just how little I know but it's all good and I'm really enjoying the experience so far. You may have noticed I do tend to have verbal diahorreah LOL can't help my self comes from years of writing nursing reports! :D

Edited by Taismum
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If you're interested in growing the brine shrimp a bit you could add some food for them. I sometimes crush algae wafers to a fine powder using a mortar and pestle, and add it to the container. Be sparing with it. Just a pinch. With growing brine shrimp I think air will be important I think but see how you go without. It will be an interesting experiment. I change the water daily. But I haven't taken a particularly scientific approach so I can't say if this is really necessary.

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Thanks for that. I will put all the left overs into a container- can probably find a spare air outlet for them - and give it a try- nothing to lose anyway and nice snack for the adults if it works!

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8/4/15

My oh my there are so many babies in my tank. They all seem a very good size and apart from the first 2 I haven't seen any dead ones. I'm still feeding about 4 times a day and their little bellies look full. I siphoned some dirt out with an airline hose and then had to spend an hour trying to catch 6 fry out that got suctioned with the dirt even though I tried so hard to be careful. I'm amazed that there are so many when initially I thought I had 30 , they seem to be multiplying all by themselves!!!

I have put more live plants in to give them hiding places and turned the filter up just a touch - the floating plants help to stop the bubbles disturbing the water surface.

Is there a period when the fry are most susceptible to die? A particular age when they are most at risk?

I'm using a 20" aquarium and taking out 500 ml of water and replacing it with 1 litre of aged water warmed to tank temp with a small amount of IAL tea in it. I'm leaving the light on for 12 hours so they have their last feed about 8 pm then lights out.

I wasn't expecting success so quickly and still haven't sourced my jars for separating them . I wanted to use 2 litre drink bottles but don't drink enough soft drink so will have to buy something. Looks like I will have to go shopping as I can't find anything on line

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During the first 6 weeks or so I would watch out for velvet and ich. Adding 1 tsp salt per 4 litres seems to help prevent it. I know salt is quite controversial and some people think it's a myth. I've done both and find it too much of a coincidence that fish get sick when I haven't been adding salt.

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Thank you. I always used salt for my fish tanks until I changed over to shrimp. I can't say I ever had velvet or ich outbreaks so I still like to put a bit in the tanks.

9/4/15

Fry still looking good, eating well and seem to be growing well. I will get the camera out this afternoon and try to get a few pictures. Just added 1 litre of fresh water today no siphoning out. Cutting back on the IAL tea as the tank is showing a lot of tannin in it which I don't mind but I don't think the fry need it if they are healthy - or is that why they look so good? - will think about that!

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9/4/15

tried so hard to get a decent picture but just couldnt focus on them.I am putting these few up for my own interest although the quality is poor. Also a couple of pictures of dad, he is around 4-6 months old and i havent had him very long but his fins are growing quite fast. he is a halfmoon plakat dumbo but his fins are quite long compared to my other plakat male although the other one is a crown tail.

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Looking great. :)

I'm the same as Bettarazzi, always get losses when small amount of salt isn't added to water.

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10/04/15

Fry still doing well. Made a huge blunder yesterday as I thought I didn't have quite enough brine shrimp I used the ocean nutrition baby brine shrimp. I should have realised but didn't think that there would of course be far more BBS per dropper than my own hatched shrimp. So I put a dropper full of food into the tank and ofcourse there were BBS EVERYWHERE!!!!!! I used a little siphon and sucked out as much as I could- damn I will never put anything into the tank without thinking again- write that a thousand times and remember it!!!!!!!

Anyway water seems fine today but I'm going to do an ammonia test and if there is any ammonia I will have to do a big water change- several actually to get rid of it completely -luckily I have RO water that is in a holding tank so have lots available only need to add some minerals to it but at least it's aged water. Will document my findings tonight. I could so kick myself!

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Well that was a very lucky escape no ammonia present in the water. I am just about to add 1 1/2 litre fresh water to the tank now but as I took out nearly 1/2 litre last night I won't siphon any today.

I've also set up an extra brine shrimp hatchery so I don't run out -I probably had plenty but I put all the left overs into an air run hatchery and had just fed it so didn't want to use them. :lookaround: I have 3 hatcheries going today plus my older BBS container so should be fine. :D

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My fry come from 2 dumbo parents and today on some of the fry the pectoral fins are very noticeable , not on all of them and I noticed on the few that hang around the front of the tank and I can only notice the difference when I look down on them rather than through the glass side on. Wishful thinking maybe but I'm hopeful.

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11/4/15

No change today. Fry still doing well, water change done, no dead fry seen. They are growing quickly and I just love watching them chase the brine shrimp. I added some more stem plants to the tank today and they quickly went to investigate this new stuff!

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Yes I'm hoping the Dumbo gene will come through. I understood it to be recessive but having 2 unrelated dumbos has maybe increased the odds? Let's hope they continue to develop. As this is my first spawn I might be seeing what I want not what is just normal.

This is all so satisfying - I'm going to be devastated if something goes wrong! I've bred live bearers before but never egg layers that need so much more care, I just love it!

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If both parents are dumbo and it's a simple mendelian recessive then you should get dumbos in the offspring. I'm not certain it's that simple. But I would be surprised if some dumbos didn't turn up in the fry. How much the pectorals will extend is another matter. It will be interesting to watch regardless.

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I haven't been able to find a lot of info about the genetic side of the dumbo -probably wouldn't understand a lot either unfortunately- I know you need to watch for asymetrical fin growth -both parents have lovely symetry on their pectorals and the male has quite long fins -they seem to be getting longer but don't impinge on his ability to swim. When I first got him he used to rest on the substrate but he has lots of leaves to rest on if he wants and I haven't seen the resting on the substrate anymore- maybe being in a 30cm cube has given him more space to swim and strengthen his muscles. As he is an import- I didn't import him directly he was on an Australian auction site - I would expect he had previously only been in small containers.

12/4/15

The fry seem to be growing very quickly and are bigger than the size charts I've seen but I can't get them close enough to the front of the tank to get a ruler up against them. I will have to tape a measure on the tank to try and get a proper size but they definately look bigger than 1 week.

Tank siphoned and fresh water added. I am still feeding 4 times a day but wonder if I should cut back to 3 or maybe because I like feeding them I might continue the 4 feeds but cut back on the amount they get. Will think about that one! Still no deaths that I can see and they look pretty straight -no noticable defects yet but again probably a little small to be able to see properly.

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15/4/15

everything going much as before. Babies growing quickly and pouncing on their food . Noticible pectoral growth continues on some of the fry- not sure if this is a male related issue or hopefully Dumbo genes coming through butit is more noticible on the bigger fry.

Still not finding any dead fry when I clean the tank so I still have a moderately large spawn.

As to the feeding I have kept to the four feeds a day and am actually increasing the amount each day as most or all of the BBS have gone by the time the next feed is due.

I have found that my best hatching results are in the upturned bottle with air. I am using the same water recipe for the airless hatching as the bottle but not getting as many hatching although i put less eggs in the airless one but only to match the smaller amount of water that goes in. I haven't had to use the "dead" ocean nutrition ready hatched BBS again so I'm still hatching enough but it's nice to have the other on hand just incase. It stays usable for 6 weeks from opening and by that time the fry will be eating a variety of foods anyway.

I have these babies in a 20" tank and haven't quite reached the top with fresh water yet. I need to think about either dividing the spawn into 2 x 20" tanks or transfer them all into my oversize 30" tank -its's built to the dimensions of a normal 3 ft tank but was specially made 30" long for me. Holds about 110 litres from memory and I think the 20" holds 30 litres but I must check that again as I haven't done so for a couple of years so could be wrong. I was going to use the larger tank as a holding tank for 2 litre bottles for the boys but I have several other divided tanks I can use for them - I can house 14 males separately in 3 tanks plus I can divide the 2 x20" tanks if I use the bigger tank as a grow out tank. Given the size of the spawn that might be the better option so they have room to grow and swim. ( Gee I go on a lot!)

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