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Old 08-03-2012, 11:37 AM   #231 
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Apparently I can't count. There are EIGHT blond snails.

Anyway, I found a temporary solution to the dilemma, scrounged up an extra heater and now have a very attractive and stylish snail bucket.

I really like these little guys. When they're not pooing up my tank and easting my lotuses.

In strohi news -- apparently the dominant male and female are just practising, as the male hasn't any eggs in his mouth at all. He just did a huge yawn, so maybe he swallowed them or they aren't really breeding yet..

All the same, I'm not wasting time in learning how make a BBS hatchery.

More pics tomorrow. I am loving the ketapang leaves so much. And so is Om-Nomnom, who is just in heaven, apparently sucking gunk off these leaves is the best thing ever. His little tail hasn't stopped wagging all day.
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Old 08-03-2012, 05:02 PM   #232 
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Strohi are mouthbrooders. If you notice him hiding a lot more and looking like he has a big mouthful of something then he is holding eggs. He will usually hold for 10-14 days after which he will release his fry.

Usually the first few times they swallow them especially if they are startled, but some dads are really good and will hold through anything (my channoides male held through two tank transfers even after being netted and moved about).

The only thing you have to watch is that the female doesn't breed him to the point of starvation since the whole time he is holding he generally does not eat anything. This leaves the female ready to go as soon as the fry are released and so you have to sometimes remove him or her until he has fattened up again.

Also I think strohi eat their fry although I found that lot in a 12 inch cube with their parents.

Bad luck about the snails haha. It's why I was always wary of getting them even though they do well in soft water. I just keep my three tough-as-nails pond snails.
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Old 08-03-2012, 05:34 PM   #233 
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OMGOMG. OMG. He has a mouthful of eggs. Squee!





I have no idea what to do now, lol. Should I start looking for grindal or VE cultures? BBS?

How exciting is this?! Do you think a tank divider might help the littlies' chances of not getting eaten by their aunties?

I wish the tank was a little older, so there'd be plenty of microlife. I'm an utter idiot for throwing out my holding tank water for the plants.. it was crawling in micro-critters.

Thanks for the tip about the male - again, might a divider be okay for helping him rest up? I am not sure I could manage yet another tank.. since it looks like I'll need one for the snails until I can rehome a few.

Really, the Waterhouses are brilliant - they don't eat living plants and suck up gunk really quickly. They'll be on algae pellets and zucchini before long, at the rate they're cleaning this tank. I'm a bit worried about keeping four of them fed! So maybe I can ask around for Melb. folk with algae problems..

And it seems the blonds only really go after certain species of plant. Like my poor bloody lotus! - I found the root stub floating this morning as they'd eaten off all the roots and there were five snails trying to eat it all at once. They'd make terrific pets in themselves, though - quite entertaining, really.
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Old 08-03-2012, 05:42 PM   #234 
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Congrats on the eggs. I told you they are easy as to spawn.

If you can manage to come over to my house (I am so broke at the moment lol) I can give you some of my thriving VE culture, some of my equally thriving MW culture as well as some grindals and white worms if you would like.

If not, Jodi-Lea sells all of these I believe except for white worms though it will take a little while for cultures to mature enough to harvest from.

Let me know if you are interested and I will get some sorted for you.

I just pulled five juvenile fry out of my tussyae tank. I thought there were only two but since I had turned the heater right down accidentally and nearly killed everyone in that tank, I found I actually had five.

Wild bettas spawn like crazy if you give them the right conditions. It's why I got over mouthbrooders as they are the worst and OMG the number of fry they can give you in one go haha
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Old 08-03-2012, 05:51 PM   #235 
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Yes! Please. I'd love some cultures. I can come to you, no worries, and thanks heaps for that. Sure you don't want a Waterhouse snail?

Maybe a half dozen blonds?

Agh, you're scaring me now - what kind of numbers are we talking?

Congrats on the tussyae spawn, too. :)
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Old 08-03-2012, 05:59 PM   #236 
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Well in a 12 inch cube full of moss my male spawned as soon as he was fattened up again and I would say he spawned about 4-5 times while I had him. However, I would say a large number of fry were eaten or swallowed (the female and him would scrap while he was holding because it was a smaller tank) so in the end I had around 13 or so.

I did have a few deaths due to jumping, a couple of random ones when they were younger and one that seemed to get attacked by its siblings after I put it back in after jumping out.

However, you see people with species like macrostoma, patoti and channoides/albimarginata, and if you are conscientious with removing the fry you can end up with fairly large numbers of them.

I hate raising fry hence why I just leave mine in to fend for themselves haha. Otherwise I end up with them everywhere.
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Old 08-04-2012, 08:44 PM   #237 
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Ok.... I'm officially jealous... I wish I lived closer to you girls!

oh ya and I like snails. lol. haha

Good Luck... hope the new fish babies hatch. Can't wait to hear all about it.
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Old 08-04-2012, 10:11 PM   #238 
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Thanks, JB! You really ought to come visit Australia some time. It's a pretty great place. I love living here. :)

Maybe you could smuggle home a few watersnails, since you like them and all..

LBF, I wouldn't be too disappointed if he ate the eggs this time out. I just don't feel prepared well enough for baby fish, and nor is the tank! It's nice and dark at the moment, really beer-coloured (REAL beer, not that watery stuff Americans drink, ha ) with lots of ketapang. I probably won't keep it this dark, but while there's eggs or very young fry I figure it can't hurt.


I am actually quite surprised at the role the female has taken - she guards the male from the Looky-Lous (my collective name for her sisters, haha) quite aggressively and patrols their chosen corner of the tank.

Really, the whole process has been fascinating. I've just had a truly rotten week of insomnia and haven't had the wherewithal for posting my thoughts on it, but I really must keep a written account I think.

First the pair seemed to be 'sparring' as I would imagine males to - both were flaring (in their funny, beardy strohi way) and doing a highly ritualised set of motions involving head shaking, circling each other and short, jerky motions as well as the inevitable chase-and-nip.

During this, the male was fully coloured, a dark blue-black with iridescent green outline on his fins through to royal blue.

The female was tiger-striped in olive green and deep yellow to pale brown, occasionally darkening.

One thing I notice about these fish is that they change colour/pattern with the light, a bit chameleon-like, clearly as a means of protection from threats above and/or below.

The Lookies all coloured up as well with the same tiger-pattern, while the pair progressed after a day or so to more 'affectionate' (ie, less violent) behaviour, flirting and herding each other around and deciding on territory. So - I think they're all girls. Poor Blue..

Then they started wrapping, which went on for most of a day and night, with the eggs being noted in the male's mouth during the early hours of the morning. The male is very subdued, and 'fans' the eggs in his mouth with gill motions while he lurks in the jungly plants, and the female makes sure nothing bothers him.

I don't expect this cosy scene to last beyond the release of the fry.. but it's very cute while it lasts.

More pics tomorrow, I hope!
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Old 08-06-2012, 03:58 AM   #239 
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Well.. the male isn't holding eggs any more. He must've swallowed them. I don't know whether to be glad or disappointed, ha.

The other four juvies are most probably female - at least two stripe up heavily whenever Mister Blue deigns to pay them a little attention.

Anyhow, I got busy and took a few update pics of Cleo and Cole's tanks, and some of the strohi girlies arguing and being cutie-pies, etc.

I've thinned Cole's tank out quite a bit, moving a few swords to the strohi tank and generally getting it a bit neater now it's settled. The center (where the pale stone is currently a marker..) needs some sort of feature.. I am thinking a Thai style buddha head. Irish is insisting on a skull because Cole is the MAN and must have something less peaceful since he's such an aggressive sod, in his opinion. Daughter rolled her eyes and asked why I don't just hang a Jesus on the cross figurine in the tank, if I want to be all religious about it..

I am opting to ask YOUR opinions, dear readers. What would be a nice (and for Daughter's sake not religious and/or cheesy, and for Irish's sake, a bit on the macho side, and for my sake NOT a skull..) decoration feature for the NPT?

Cleo is even more plump, as you can see. I saw a few of the Zoidbergs still managing not to be eaten this week, and since Mrs Z isn't berried any more I think Cleo's fat from picking off shrimplets..

I've included a few pics of Daughter's new betta Aang, who is adorable and very pretty. She is taking great care of him, and he loves his new tank. She wants a new 10 gallon planted set up (he's currently in 8 G), for Christmas, which I have agreed to.

The strohi are just cute as can be. I adore them. :)
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