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Chuckie

How I set up a spawn tank

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Hi guys, again this gets asked a lot so I thought I'd just do a post about what I put in a spawn tank. Lots of people do it other ways, but this works for me.

I use a tank that holds 20 - 30L. In it I put:

*lol* at least one whole IAL (you could also use banana leaf, black water extract, decaffeinated tea bag etc)

:) a small sponge filter with a control valve to turn the bubbles down to about 1 per 2 seconds. The sponge has been stored in a populated tank for at least 2 weeks so should be fully colonised with bacteria to control ammonia

:) a good sized pinch of shell grit (stops the pH spiralling down)

:) as many floating type plants as I can, including java fern, java moss, duckweed, foxtail/hornwart etc - whatever I have available

:( something the female can hide in eg a spare round sponge from an old sponge filter, a terracoto pot (make sure she can't get wedged in the drain hole) or similar

;) a square of bubble wrap for the male to nest under. I place this away from the shell grit so eggs don't fall into it.

;) No substrate, as the eggs would fall into the substrate and get lost

;) a few ramshorn snails (small if possible)

Another thing that works for me is to use strips of plastic (eg an old fish bag cut into strips) which you dampen and place over the gap between the lids and the edge etc. It sticks on by capillary action. This stops warm air escaping and helps keep it very humid in there.

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Ok.

This is how I do it.

Take 40 to 60 l tank

Under gravel filter (3mm gravel).

Plants if possible, on driftwood.

Plastic cup on the top, fix it to the front so you can inspect the nest.

Heater.

Clear 1.25l bottle with cut off bottom or floating clear container (one you use to hatch live bearers).

Black water developer.

Pimafix or Melafix (half of small bottle cup).

Same amount of antifungal (multicure or white spot disease treatment).

The tank must be mature, and I use my tank for various fish, and just before preparation I clean the gravel with siphon, change water, and put under gravel filter on highest flow.Put a small cup of of black water developer, pimafix and antifungals.

Next I introduce fish; the strong filtering does not bother them.

While filter works male is not that aggressive, and is unable to build the nest. And if he is aggressive I put her either in the floating container or cover her with plastic bottle (without bottom and cap).

This is important period where they can swim around and adjust to each other. Large tank is important so they can swim a lot and she can escape if chased. Feed them regularly with blood worm, and once she got nice round belly it is time to work on spawning.

Stop filtering next; remove water to the point that water level is 10-15 cm to gravel.

This time you have to separate her in the container or bottle if you have not done that before. Put female close to the nest to be, and observe. Soon both of them became frantic. He is trying to get her and can't. She can't get out, and can observe the nest he is making.

Wait for day or 2 maybe more, until she get vertical stripes, and point head down. If in container she can jump out herself when ready. If you use bottle, cut off top as well as bottom, so 1 cm of plastic is still above water level. That way she can jump out when ready. If jumping out does not eventuate, you have to take her out yourself. This is important time as male may be aggressive to the point you have to isolate her again, but usually it does not happen if both are ready.

Watch them spawn and take her out she is in corner. Start putting liquifry, and you should have Vinegar eels or micro worms ready. I remove male once fry swim around and he is not capable of keeping them in the nest.

If you start with liquifry earlier you should have some micro food in the tank already. Start putting small amount of vinegar eels or MW, and observe with magnifying glass that fry actually eat it; this is time to start feeding them more often during the day. 2-4 times works for me.

If fry does not have enough food I put green water 100-200 ml, problem is it can became so murky that I can't see the fry.

I do not use filter until they are 2-3 weeks since spawning, unless I use green water and then I filter intermittently few hrs a day early if water became too cloudy. Before starting filter, make sure that you add aged water to the level of the top of the filter tube, and filter very gently. You will be surprised how effective it is despite very low flow.

As soon as the fry is big enough to catch live baby brine, start hatching it regularly and feed at least twice a day, you will be surprised how fast they grow from that time.

Next step up are mosquito larvae, and live daphnia. This is time that you know you made it. I do not clean the tank or change water for a month.It is important that you introduce apple snail arround week 2 since spawning. It will eat eny uniten food from the bottom.

This is my method and I am curios to hear whether anyone else using similar method or disagree on anything I mention above.

It works for me and I have good survival rate, the number of fish depend on the number live fry I have at the moment father is taken out.

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awesome , thank you both for the suggested methods, is there a way you can trigger spawning by introducing rain water/raising water level or does the simulation of seasons not really make a difference?(i ask as to try and breed my african butterfly fish back in the day i had simulate summer and drop his lvl of water for a few days, then increased lvl with rain water/increased current to make them think it was summer/rain season) granted i know they dont like fast moving water but was curious if you think that would make a difference if you drop water lvl over 2 days and then introduce large amount of rain water?

Edited by Chris the betta boy

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Hi guys, again this gets asked a lot so I thought I'd just do a post about what I put in a spawn tank. Lots of people do it other ways, but this works for me.

I use a tank that holds 20 - 30L. In it I put:

( black water extract, decaffeinated tea bag etc)

a few ramshorn snails (small if possible)

Another thing that works for me is to use strips of plastic (eg an old fish bag cut into strips) which you dampen and place over the gap between the lids and the edge etc. It sticks on by capillary action. This stops warm air escaping and helps keep it very humid in there.

What's the snails for and can you use normal tea bags.

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Some people use snails to clean up uneaten food. I prefer not to because they can turn into a pest. I've never used tea bags myself. I prefer Indian almond leaves. Quite a few shops stock them now. But if you're going to try tea bags use decaffeinated as suggested.

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Ive had snails start snacking on the eggs before. I dont recommend them until the fry are a few weeks old

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