I know this is an unpleasant topic, but I'm curious about other people's culling practices. Personally, this is my first spawn, so I'm still figuring all this out. I'm still in the process of culling the weak, tiny, and deformed babies from my orange x cello HM spawn. I'm doing stage 2 of my culling process tomorrow, at 10 weeks. Stage 1 consisted of rounding up as many tiny/deformed fry as I could catch, and taking them down to my LFS to feed to the oscars at 6 weeks. Since then, I've had a few that needed to be culled for humane reasons: these have been fed to, get this, my hamster. I've heard of folks using frogs to cull fry, but mine seems totally uninterested. So, I figured I'de give the hammy a try, he eats anything. This is so much easier than driving down to the LFS, and its very quick.
How about y'all? How do you cull? And when? What do you consider the most humane way of culling deformed or weak fry?
I feed my culls to larger fish and once they are too big to be eaten-I decapitate or drop them in ice water and freeze-since the ice water put them in shock as soon as they hit the water and dead within seconds. Personally, I didn't like the clove oil overdose method because they seemed to struggle too long for my taste.
When I was raising my orphan baby opossum, she helped me cull that year.
I've not had a spawn yet, so I cant attest to that. But when I was going through my columnaris and dropsy outbreak I ran out of clove oil so I started using vinegar, I'd just cup whoever it was that was pineconing and add a bunch of vinegar and walk away for like 10 minutes. when I came back they were dead. I hate seeing them suffer, and I know that vinegar isnt the humanest method, but thats all I had and it was faster than letting them die on their own.
I prefer clove oil for adult fish. I recently had to put down my 7in fancy goldfish. I added clove oil gradually, so he went to sleep first. I ended up using 2 tablespoons in a large tupperware container. It was really peaceful, he just slipped away. Won't be using it in plastic anymore, though. Had to throw the containers away they were so permeated with clove.
While I do agree fish feel pain, they lack the wiring in the bran to perceive pain the way mammal do. Fish are instinct driven-fight or flight-eat or be eaten. Regardless, I don't like for them to suffer and want the method I use to be fast.
Morius, it really all depends on how you take care of them. The pros might be able to raise 95% of their spawn while beginners who haven't done their research may raise 5%. I would say that most of the fry die in the first stage of life probably, but I've never counted.
First two weeks with mine, under 15 died from just being weak. After that 4 died... Three unknown (too weak of immune system is my guess) and one was snagged by a larger sibling and died at her mouth -_-; So I have 229 left. xD