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Old 12-09-2012, 10:50 PM   #1 
jibruno
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Unhappy Stupid question about fry feeding, please help

So i have done a ton of research and tried to spawn multiple times and i am always successful getting a nest built, getting my pair to spawn, having the eggs hatch and getting a ton of fry. but that is where i always mess up and for one reason or another they all die. for this reason i have stopped trying to spawn and after about a year i decided maybe i would try again. i have done hours of more research on feeding fry and im not sure if im ignorant but i cant find a definitive way to feed the little guys.

--This is where i need your help--

-i spawn in a 10 gal tank, once my fry hatch im not sure how to feed them because theyre all over the place, how do i ensure they all get enough and that i dont over feed.

I would just like some more detail on this part since this is where i always fail. my last spawn i had a few survive for 2 months, but they never got bigger than 1/4 inch before they died >< please help me become more succesful
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Old 12-09-2012, 11:06 PM   #2 
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To begin with, what are you feeding your fry? Betta fry are incredibly small and so their food needs to be a suitable size for them. When they are very young they will also only tend to eat live, moving foods so it is important that you have mature cultures on hand before you even contemplate spawning.

Microworms, vinegar eels and freshly hatched baby brine shrimp are the main three that people tend to use. Once the fry are older you can them transition them onto foods such as grindals, small pellets etc. However, when they are young it is very important that you are feeding something that they will and can eat.

Secondly, poor water quality is a big killer of fry in the grow-out. If you have a couple of hundred fry in a 10 gallon tank getting fed two-three times a day you are going to end up with a lot of waste product and ammonia being produced. Ammonia is toxic and young fry are particularly sensitive to it.

At some point, you will need to do daily water changes to avoid this. However, fry are also sensitive to extreme fluctuations in water conditions so you have to be careful to slowly drip water back into the tank to avoid shocking them. When they are young you cannot just pour a whole bucket of water in with them as this will most likely cause a large number of them to die.

Fry also do not do well with temperature fluctuations. You need to have a heater that is going to maintain a consistent temperature of around 82 degrees over a 24 hour period. If you get fluctuations you are going to find yourself running into problems such as velvet and ich. Both very nasty and both killers of fry.

Even if the fry are all over the tank, if you distribute your food evenly and provide enough for each fry to at least get some, you should get a large majority of them fed. If you end up with fry growing at a much faster rate than others, you can separate the runts out into a grow-out of their own and power feed them until they reach the same size as their siblings.
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Old 12-09-2012, 11:21 PM   #3 
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what i normally do- i had 3 micro worm cultures, a jar of vinegar eels and a bbs hatchery. i figured i would have all options to avoid worst case scenario of running out of food. i would use a Q-tip to feed them evenly through the tank and tried to make sure they all had something. with water changes i had a side tank with the same temp water as my breeding tank and would make sure the temp was exact before introducing it to the fry and would use a slow technique that would take 10 minutes for the whole pitcher of water to enter the tank.

maybe food isnt my issue but tank cleanliness? i would have a lot of debris on the bottom, after 2 weeks i ran a sponge filter on very low and had a apple snail to clean the tank. but maybe im missing something?

i appreciate the help trouble shooting
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Old 12-09-2012, 11:27 PM   #4 
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Have you ever tested your water for ammonia before? If the tank wasn't cycled prior and you have snails (which produce a fair amount of waste themselves) and the fry it could be a water quality issue.

Did your fry have big stomachs after eating? You should be able to see the food in their stomachs (white for microworms and orange for BBS) if they are getting enough food.

How often were you changing the water? Ten minutes might still be a little abrupt for the fry even if the water is the 'same'. I use an airline tube with a valve to slow the flow out of the water change bucket into the tank to a slow trickle when my fry are very young. Once they get to be a a month or so old, I gradually shorten the time it takes to change the water out.

That your fry are still quite small at two months may be that you are either not feeding enough or not doing large and regular enough water changes. Fry produce a stunting hormone which stunts the growth of the fish around them. Only way to remove it, is to do a water change.
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Old 12-09-2012, 11:32 PM   #5 
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i have never done a water test on my spawn tanks, but when i start up again i will make that a regular thing, my tanks were cycled. i will do more water changes and try to do a slower introduction. thank you for the advice.

are you saying the snails are a bad idea or do they just need to be done a certain way? also do you suction the bottom of your tank? if so how and when. thanks again
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Old 12-09-2012, 11:39 PM   #6 
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Yeah every time I do a water change on my fry tank I very thoroughly siphon the bottom. When the fry are very small I use an airline tube so as to avoid sucking them up.

However, once they get older and stronger I just use my gravel siphon tube (I remove that big plastic end piece that most siphons have on them) and use that in much the same manner. You just have to be careful as since it has a stronger suction you may end up with a few fry in your bucket.

I keep different species of betta which generally only give me a small amount of fry each time. Therefore, I have a different schedule for the amount and frequency of water changes I do.

You may need to ask someone who has more experience with breeding splendens about how often and how much to change the water out in a grow-out. My fry grow extremely slowly (takes a year to reach maturity as opposed to splendens who can reach it in a few months) so I don't really want to give you the wrong info.

In general however, anytime the ammonia reaches over 0ppm (even 0.25ppm can be deadly) it is time for a water change. This is why test kits become important.
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Old 12-09-2012, 11:45 PM   #7 
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thank you very much =]

if you dont mind i have a second question that maybe you would be able to help me with. this has nothing to do with breeding but i saw your sorority tank ans was wondering how many fish you have and in what size tank? also do you have other fish/shrimp ext. in the tank? i have a sorority with 8 females in a 30 gal, no tank mates, but im thinking about changing things up a bit. What do you recommend if anything?
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Old 12-09-2012, 11:53 PM   #8 
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I no longer have my sorority. Stupid me hadn't realised that my pH had crashed causing my cycle to crash and I lost around 90% of my females before I could rectify the situation. Sold off the rest since my heart wasn't into it anymore.

I tried out some Golden medaka in my sorority (I wanted to see how they would react to other fish and didn't want to put an expensive fish in there) and they managed to kill and half eat one in the five minutes I wasn't supervising. The surviving two got moved out as they were also being harassed.

I found my females rather predatory and so I didn't want to risk putting anything in with them.

I sometimes think something a bit active and boisterous such as danios might be a better option for a sorority. A fish species that is too peaceful may be bullied or possibly attacked. I know people have corydoras successfully living in with their bettas so that could be an option. Since they don't occupy the same areas of the tank as the females, they may be left alone.

It's really a gamble with bettas as to how they will deal with tank mates. I had a very docile male betta live with fish that were only an inch or so long. However, I also had a female who viciously attacked the three otocinclus I tried to add to her tank.

It's up to you really. Sororities can be volatile and implode for no reason whatsoever, so sometimes if things are going well I would be hesitant to swap them up too much.
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Old 12-09-2012, 11:56 PM   #9 
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thank you again
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Old 12-09-2012, 11:58 PM   #10 
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No worries. Hopefully you manage to get some fry raised up to maturity whenever you next spawn. It took me a long while until I got the hang of raising fry and it can be frustrating when they die and you don't know why.
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