I am going to be attempting to spawn a pair next week, and I have a few questions on details, because I want to make this as stress free as possible!
1. When siphoning out water during WCs, is there any way to ensure I don't suck up any fry?
2. What do you do with fry during WCs? Do you remove them or leave them in the tank? How do you do a 100% WC if you leave them in?
3. When do you start WCs? Is it after the fry are free swimming and after their first MW meal?
4. How soon after you feed do any leftovers need to be siphoned out before it starts rotting? Do you just do 100% WC after each feeding?
5. How many MWs need to be fed at each feeding? I have 3 cultures of MWs going at the moment. Is that enough?
I think these are my main concerns. At least, all i can think of at the moment.
Thank you! Yes I only plan on MWs exclusively for the first few days, and then starting on BBS. I bought the kind of bbs in a jar, Lamb said they worked well for her. If I have to though, I will hatch BBS, I just wanted to try the easiest way possible, since my kid (he's almost 2) is kind of needy now.
I assumed it was 100% WCs because I had seen people saying that they did 100% on grow out tanks...perhaps I'm remembering wrong!
1. I use airline tubing when my fry are young to do water changes, but even then I still will end up with one or two fry in the bucket. I always make certain to go over the bucket with a strong light to make sure I don't tip anyone down the sink.
2. Like MattsBettas has said, you don't literally do a 100% water change on your grow-out. You don't want to be moving your fry around needlessly, especially when they are younger and a lot more sensitive.
3. I have done plenty of partial water changes when the fry were still in the nest being tended to by the male, and I haven't lost any fry. However, I think it is best to slowly just add water at the start, rather than try and do a traditional water change. If you are concerned about debris on the bottom, you can always use a turkey baster to carefully suck it up.
4. I tend to feed and then do a water change a couple hours after once everyone has a full stomach. However, it's really up to you, and as long as you are not leaving food (particularly microworms) to rot on the bottom for days at a time, you should be fine. Based on my experiences, I find it generally takes a day or two before you start to see signs of live foods like microworms decaying.
5. There is not set number for how much needs to be fed and I wish good luck to anyone trying to count out the right amount. I honestly think it is best to slightly underfeed than slightly overfeed. So be conservative at the start and if you think your fry look hungry, you can always add in some more.
I agree that microworms are a poor choice of food. I only use them when my fry are too small to take BBS. They are not very nutritional and have been linked to ventral fin problems.
Thank you both, I thought of something else, does the spawning/grow out tank need a CFL if I just have floating plants like hornwort and water lettuce? Also, the snail question, can a snail be kept in there?
I planned on covering it with plastic wrap, so I don't thinks light would even work through that.
Light will work through plastic wrap or else all my plants would be dead.
Water lettuce and hornwort are generally pretty light hungry so I imagine you would need some sort of artificial lighting.
Also as an aside, I would be hesitant to use hornwort in a spawning tank only because if it melts you are going to have a big mess to clean up. I only ever got it growing happily in one tank and I found it was quite a temperamental plant.
Yea you're right about the hornwort, it's the best I've got though, and it seems to be growing really well in my sorority. I'm afraid to buy something from my LFS and then use it with fry, who knows what it'll have on it...I found a snail leech in my tank from their plants before.
What would be a better plant suggestion to keep with fry? Maybe someone on here will have something they are willing to sell at a reasonable price. I was considering java moss, but I don't have any atm. And how much would I need? A few handfuls?
Also, another question....the male can build his bubble nest on an IAL, right? They sink in a few days though, would it be sufficient to tape it to the edge or something, to keep it up top?
If you don't disturb the IAL it should stay floating long enough for the fry to become free-swimming. I have some in my tanks that have been floating for several days now.
If you are concerned, you can use bubblewrap or a styrene cup cut in half to encourage nesting instead.
Haha maybe I am just unlucky with my hornwort. It seems people can either grow it or they can't so maybe yours will be fine.
I personally like java moss in spawn tanks although I know some people find it annoying when it comes to doing water changes. A couple of handfuls should be fine as a little goes quite a surprising way.
Mayaca fluviatilis is a really fast-growing plant that can be left floating and will tolerate tropical temperatures. It is really cheap here so I assume must be the same overseas.