Mbreedi it does seem to tend to snowball on you, doesn't it? We've always loved keeping fish and when we were able to get back into it, we decided to focus on bettas and breeding. We're really enjoying it.
Our goal is to raise 100 to adulthood. If we can manage that we'll join the IBC and try some showing.
The lesson for this weekend was; Floating plants ONLY in the fry tank!!
We had in there some anarchis, some java moss and a potted up blue pickerel weed.
~ Craft mesh makes awesome pots for aquatic plants. You can make them any size and shape to fit a variety of plants, needs and tanks. Just not fry tanks.
When all the new fry were in the tupperware (actually the exact container is this; http://www.glad.com/food-storage/containers/deep-dish/ I really like it, but be careful picking it up filled with water, it wants to flex) vanished, I was very puzzled as to why. I still am, but I also started examining the larger fry tank the container was floating in for things other then fry.
A day later, I saw ... a leech!!!! I don't know if they prey on fry, but it was up on a leaf on the pickerel weed, and I thought "To heck with it, let's just break down the tank!"
And so that's what I did. I drained water from the tank into another "glad" through an airstone, so I could keep the same water for the fry, minus any nasties. Then, I carefully caught the CT fry with a baby food jar.
There are 4. Now in their own glad container, with a bit of very clean java moss and anarchis from a different tank. They are not pleased. They feel better with the plants in there though. Three are the same size and the last one is about half the size, but fast as lightening. It took me 3 times as long to catch that one as all the others combined.
Once I was really sure I had all the baby bettas out, I took out every plant and leaf, shaking them carefully and putting them into a separate container of water, just in case I missed someone.
I did the blue pickerel last. I shook out the roots and Holy aquatic life!! There were bloodworms and caddis fly larvae and the leech's little brother, and some evil looking, bright red, segmented, wormy-looking insect, about a half inch long.
~Some species of caddis fly have carnivorous larvae
~Ramshorn snails will eat the protective silk cocoon some species of caddis fly larvae spin
~A truly startling amount of life can hide in the 4x4 inch roots of a blue pickerel weed
I left the tank set up for 24 hours and checked it several times in case I missed someone, but no, we're down to 4 baby bettas from that spawn. And there is something in that tank that is a nocturnal predator. It was empty save for water, bugs and some detritus. There was a good amount of mosquito larvae in there along with everything I shook out of the pickerel weed roots - but not this morning! There's less then half the amount that was there last night.
In a few minutes, the water and bugs will be poured out into the back yard, the tank thoroughly rinsed out with the hose, and set up again.Once I've got some pairs conditioned, we'll try again.
The CT 4 will remain in their glad until I can get a net breeder box, and they can grow in that in the community tank - we're going to see if the presence of other fish and the strong filter negates the growth hormone effect.
I think the floating plants can be saved, but the blue pickerel weed was executed for it's crimes of harboring the enemy and accomplice to fry murder.
LOL have never heard of capital punishment on plants, no fair trail either, you evil dictator. I have a couple banana plants in our fry tank. have not seen any problems with them. We have at least 50 fry still swimming strong. Have been getting a lot of green algae though.
The Crowntail 4 are doing GREAT!!
Eating and swimming and growing. I wish they were growing a bit faster, but hey, who doesn't.
They're getting big enough to see fins besides the tail, and I think I can see some ventrals, so the microworm heavy diet I fed them in ignorance may not have done any damage.
~Microworms are the easiest food, but not the best.
~It is really easy to supplement with just hatched mosquito larvae. Just keep some aged water around, and daily put a bit into a plastic shoe box, keep it outside. When you siphon the fry tank, replace the water using the aged water from the shoebox, which will have lots of mosquito eggs in it.
It took me so long to update this because I didn't want to do one more update without pics.
~I am finally getting better at taking pictures of fish!!
I'm thinking they're going to stay white for a long time, because the parents are both white/iridescent bodied, the father with red fins, the mother with multi.
~Next I need to work on decent pics of Mom and Dad.
We are conditioning some pairs to try another couple of spawns. We're undecided about re-spawning the parents. Right now our goal is colorful pets and learning how to raise fry, but I finally broke down and got a nice starter red pair that may throw a few show-worthy fry, as DD wants to join the IBC and show.
~I have learned that I am NOT getting better at taking pictures of fish, that was apparently a fluke. Or, just the odds, out of hundreds of pictures (I love digital cameras <3 ) a couple had to turn out well.
So, no pics for this update.
Which is a shame as we finally have some COLOR!! The biggest of the Crowntail 4 has some red showing on his fins. WOOT! You can also see that he does have ventrals and the crowntail trait is now readily seen.
Sadly, they are now the Crowntail 3. Speedy, the runty one, and the only one who had a name, never did grow significantly and finally passed. I am hoping we will not get down to 2, as I am nursing another through a swimbladder issue. It seems to be improving though, so I am hopeful.
As they grow, they are finally trying new things in their diet, besides mosquito larvae and microworms. They are finally taking some frozen brine shrimp. And they really, really love Drosophila larvae, I had some colonize a microworm culture, and the fry really greedily hunt them down and eat them
~ Even if you use cool, scientific terms like Drosphila larvae, your 13 yo will still refer to them by their common name of "Disgusting little fruit fly maggots, eyeww, Mom, I can't believe you touched them."
The biggest news is we had another spawn! A salamander butterfly male with a dark-bodied, red finned female (the one you sent, whatsupyall). I'm hoping for butterflies in a variety of colors.
~ In my (admittedly small) experience, I've had about 1 out of every 3 spawn attempts result in spawning. The rest, the pairs are either not interested (I once separated 2 pairs, put them with their opposite partners out of frustration and had 1 pair spawning 2 minutes after introduction, which leads me to believe that sometimes they just don't like each other and others it's love at first sight. Sadly, the male tore the nest apart, for reasons unknown) or tear each other up enough that I'd rather separate them then risk them.
But this spawn went beautifully. A classic, textbook courtship, a rather tender mating and both partners came through with no damage besides a couple of small nips to the fins. The Salamander was an exceptional father, calm, collected, but dedicated and attentive. A big difference from the frantic state that the crowntail male was in.
The new spawn are 13 days old, from hatch date and doing well. They are impossible to count, as I have a lot of leaves and plants in the fry tank, but there were well over 100 when they became free-swimming.
*Now, I had planned to do an experiment in raising, taking a few fry aside at a week old and feeding them nearly exclusively on microworms raised on a bed of high-protein soy-meal, rather then the usual, low protein oatmeal or mashed potatoes.
~ While a regular microworm culture has a smell, a soymeal one has an odor best described as "putrid" or "vomitus". However, they grow and reproduce ridiculously quickly, I see bigger microworms then the mashed potato culture and they have lived for over a day in the water. And the fry, do, in fact seem to grow better, though that is still inconclusive at this point.
However, the tranny died on the car, and I couldn't get brine shrimp eggs to feed the others as a control group (in fact, they're lucky they're not living on ramen with the rest of us. Transmission work is not cheap) so they had infusoria and egg yolk for the first several days, and now soy-fed microworms, mosquito larvae and Hakari first bites.
They are growing wonderfully! I believe they are bigger then the crowntails at the same age. I haven't seen any bodies while cleaning the tank and when I spot a fry, they all have full bellies.
~ On spotting fry; fry from strongly colored parents are far more visible then fry from lighter colored ones from above. I could not see the crowntails at all from above, but from below, they looked like little silver bubbles.
The multi spawn are dark little Vs from above. From the side, they are impossible to spot until they move. You'll be staring into a tank that holds nothing more then a couple of mosquito larvae that have gotten too big to be eaten and then there will be a little dart and there it is! And then you spot another, and another, and then 3 by the leaf, and the first one, who is now holding still, has again vanished as if it never existed.
We are still very much enjoying our hobby, and I have a very nice pair of reds set up, who will hopefully spawn in the next few days. Wish me luck!
The Crowntail 4 are now sadly down to 2. The runty one who never grew didn't make it, and the one who I thought was having a swimbladder issue, on closer inspection, had a bent spine. :(
But the other 2 are doing GREAT! I think they are a male and a female. The female is still plain, clearish white but the male has a strong red blush on his fins and the brightest, reddest ventrals I've ever seen. DD is hoping they both stay that colour, she wants a solid white girl for her sorority.
Spawn 2 are also doing great. Definitely growing faster then the first spawn. They are taking newly hatched mosquito larvae with great delight. Tails are already very distinct and I am VERY excited by the variety I've gotten!! Many are deltas, but some have a very good spread and I may get some half-moons. There are clearly a couple of veiltails.
But, most exciting and rather unexpected - I have double tails!!
I knew the mother had a DT parent, but clearly the father carried the geno too, because at least 25% of the fry are DT, and there are a couple with very even lobes and it will be exciting to watch them develop.
You can already see that there will be a good bit of colour variation as well, as some are darker, some are lighter, and some are clear/white. So if I get some butterfly markings too, I will have gotten everything I hoped for from this spawn.
So far, no luck on spawning another pair. The weather has been weird here and it has been in the 90s to 100 degree range days, dropping down as low as the 60s at night, with large swings in barometric pressure as well, and I think it's throwing them off, because no one has been interested. None of my males have even built a nest all week, and some of those boys absolutely delight in nest building.