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I have a ziss hatchery it comes with a glass thermometer and a hole in the top for space for a heater but mine didn’t include a heater. I like it waaay better than my recycled juice bottle that had a steady drip lol. Good hardware for sure. My only complaint is it is short and the release valve is on the bottom so I really have to squeeze my hand under there to turn the knob. It holds 2 liters of water too so big batches of shrimp if you need that much or just a little if you only need a little. I don’t use a heater in mine my house is about 75 degrees sometimes it takes a wee bit longer than 24 hours to hatch batches for me because of ambient temp
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
BBS hatchery is bustling now. Lots of little red tummies. Fed some VEs for the little guys but I think we'll stop microworms except as a back-up food for now. I'd say things are going...

Plant Human body Jaw Sleeve Tree


Water parameters are going to be FUBAR if I don't move this party to a bigger growout soon though. Probably going to get that set up Christmas night and move them as soon as they're looking a little bigger. It's going to be a big storage tote that I'll place a heater and filter in and gradually fill up with water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
My pop bottle hatchery stand is very effective but very leaky. Came home from Christmas festivities to find a bit of a mess. But I had more than enough BBS to feed the babies and there was no damage to my floor (I put the stand in a little tub) so it's all good.

Here they are - if you zoom a bit you can see their little faces:

Twig Terrestrial plant Organism Plant Aquatic plant


I thought I saw one (maybe two?) dead fry. Not sure if water quality is to blame or if they were just too small to eat BBS. Possibly natural selection, but regardless, these guys need to go into a bigger container ASAP.

Snails are proliferating too. They're helpful as they'll eat uneaten food but if you've ever had bladder snails, you know what I'm dealing with...

Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate. Here's my tiny little tree (featuring presents for my little human baby):

Light Christmas ornament Lighting Plant Decoration
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 · (Edited)
Woke up today to find some dead fry (about five) and some uneaten food. Siphoned the bottom and managed not to suck up any live ones. This is getting easier as they grow.

However, there's a noticeable size difference in the spawn, with basically two classes of fry: big chonkers (who are clearly eating BBS, based on the red bellies) and little bitty babies (some of whom don't seem to be taking to BBS). All of the dead ones were very small for their age so I suspect malnutrition. I'm adding a few MWs back into the meal plan for the tiny ones but only a tiny amount, and only for the next 36 hours. If they still fail to thrive after that, I'll have to just let natural selection take its course, as microworms aren't the best thing for the biggies.

The biggies prefer hanging out at the back of the container so are very hard to photograph without zooming in a lot:

Plant Twig Terrestrial plant Grass Fluid

Liquid Water Amber Fluid Wood


Update on the spawning pair: the female's fins are growing back very quickly and she seems happier than ever. She's overdue for a water change though so that's on the agenda for today.

I gave the male some flaring time and he decided to be absolutely beautiful:

Water Sky Sunlight Underwater Window


He could probably use a small water change too (and a glass cleaning, jeez), but I assure you that brown-ness is all tannins, it's not poopy yuck water. 🥰

Not sure if I've ever posted a photo of his heavily-planted, oak-leaf-littered terror cube, but here it is. He loves his plants and little hiding places:

Water Liquid Vertebrate Amber Fluid


Anyway, I'm planning to move the fry tonight before their evening feeding. We'll see how that goes. I would have liked to wait until they were bigger, but with so many fry (and snails) a shoebox is just no longer viable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
I did it guys, I moved the fry into the growout without shocking/killing them. 😭

I was scared to death because the last time I tried to relocate fry this young I lost most of them, probably due to rushing the acclimation process. The only reason I moved them this time was because of water quality. Nitrites have been up (which tells me ammonia was probably up too - I didn't test for it, so sue me, whatever lol), plus with 60+ fry it was going to get pretty crowded in that shoebox.

Also I've been noticing significant size differences and was worried that some babies are having stunted growth or being out-competed for food. This bigger container will let me distribute food more broadly which I hope will give the little guys a chance to catch up.

It took me about three and a half hours. A lot of that time was just letting the shoebox float in the big box.

Wood Rectangle Floor Flooring Hardwood

Wood Artifact Ingredient Flooring Rectangle


I dripped water in very slowly with a turkey baster until the shoebox started to sink and then pressed it down and kind of just let them swim out. Removed the shoebox and voila, new growout.

Wood Flooring Floor Glass Ceiling


And I accomplished all of this while my boyfriend was yelling at me too, since me having one hobby is an atrocity on par with literal murder.

Anyway, everyone in the house who isn't an enormous man child is doing well. Also, my small BBS hatchery worked out:

Food Tableware Ingredient Fluid Drinkware


Hoping to cut back on wasted BBS by using only half the amount of eggs and salt I'd normally use. This is one of those seltzer water bottles cut in half with old, plastic airline tubing stuck in it. That's literally all.

Hopefully this change of scenery will jumpstart fry growth!
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Haven't seen a single dead fry since moving them to the growout tub, and they all seem to be getting bigger. Some of them are already starting to look like real fish. Check this guy out:

Wood Twig Tints and shades Flooring Sand


Tiny Hatchery is working out great. I'm still hatching more BBS than I realistically need but I'm getting much better hatch rates and waste is closer to zero. I think I'm going to freeze leftover BBS into little shrimpsicles for when they fry are bigger.

Size differences are still significant. You can kind of see in this photo:

Liquid Water Window Fluid Lighting
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Taking photos of these guys is getting so difficult. They're super fast and my phone camera doesn't want to focus. Here's the best I could do this morning:

Sky Beige Tints and shades Liquid Landscape


I tried to get photos with my big camera too but I'm bad at photography so that didn't really pan out. Will probably try to mess with manual focus if/when I have some down time.

Most of them are growing really well now but there are still a couple of small ones. In the past I've observed that once jarring starts the little ones tend to catch up, and in some cases are the most beautiful fish of the bunch so I'm not planning to do any culling on that basis alone.

Speaking of culling, there are no early signs of deformities other than about 5 dead fry a few days ago. I am hoping that any culling I do in this spawn can be non-lethal - ie. giving away ugly-but-healthy fish as pets to my friends' kids. Arguably that's semi-lethal but hey, if it saves them from being clove oiled at least it's a fighting chance.

Another interesting thing I'm noticing is the early color differences. Obviously at just a couple weeks old they are a long way off from showing color but already there is a mix of very dark and very light fry. I'm wondering if this will still be the case in a few weeks.

Anyway, I siphoned some goop and added a small amount of water today. Most fry are big enough and fast enough to stay clear of the turkey baster now so cleaning is easier. I'll be adding a small sponge filter soon (with an air valve to keep water movement low and slow).
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
This morning I think I spotted a belly slider. 😱 I've never dealt with this issue before so I hope it's just an isolated incident and not indicative of a larger problem. I'm going to monitor for a few days but if the problem doesn't improve I'll have to cull. Going to be more careful about the amount I'm feeding as I forge ahead.
 

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This morning I think I spotted a belly slider. 😱 I've never dealt with this issue before so I hope it's just an isolated incident and not indicative of a larger problem. I'm going to monitor for a few days but if the problem doesn't improve I'll have to cull. Going to be more careful about the amount I'm feeding as I forge ahead.
What is a belly slider? Sorry. Just had to ask.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
What is a belly slider? Sorry. Just had to ask.
Sometimes when the swim bladder fails to develop properly, fry will swim abnormally. Usually that means either swimming tail-down, or sliding around the bottom on their bellies. It can be caused by overfeeding BBS.

This seems to have worked itself out though. No belly sliding fry as of last night at 11pm. Must have just been a temporarily overfull tummy.
 

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Sometimes when the swim bladder fails to develop properly, fry will swim abnormally. Usually that means either swimming tail-down, or sliding around the bottom on their bellies. It can be caused by overfeeding BBS.

This seems to have worked itself out though. No belly sliding fry as of last night at 11pm. Must have just been a temporarily overfull tummy.
Ok, thanks for explaining. Glad that they are doing better!
 
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Discussion Starter · #36 · (Edited)
Three weeks old today! Posted these photos on the 'gram today:

Atmosphere Leaf Wood Twig Sky

Water Plant Fluid Organism Twig

Water Fish Fin Plant Soil

Water Liquid Wood Branch Twig


I may be going crazy but I think I'm seeing a little iridescence in the second photo (left fish).

Past two days have been kind of rough due to work being busy/lake effect snow/human parenting taking precedence, so the fry only got one BBS feeding for two days instead of the usual 2-3 feedings. That's probably not a bad thing since a couple of the big fry were gorging themselves to the point of impaired swimming. All of that has resolved as of today's feeding.

I also crushed up some Ken's golden pearls and mixed in with the BBS. Only a few of the fry were into it. I'm planning to experiment with grated frozen foods (blood worms) for the biggies too. The snail population will help to eat up anything the fry don't consume. It's nice not to have to worry as much about that issue, I think I may intentionally introduce snails into future spawning setups (these ones were accidental).

Also... what are people's opinions on grindal worms? I've never used them before. I think I prefer to just push finely ground/grated frozen or dry foods at the 4-6 week mark but I've heard grindals are excellent for speeding growth. Would love to hear thoughts before I go ahead and buy a culture, as additional expenses mean I'll need to charge more for the adults if I want to break even, and I want to keep prices competitive for the LFS.
 

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1) 25 litres, Espresso the betta,2) 60 litres with 2 blue rams,3) my cat!
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That's a great shot! Makes me want to touch up my photography skills lol.
Thats EXACTLY what I wanted to say! AMAZING pic!! And while they are growing up, they are becoming moooooooore cute!!
 
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