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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
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!!
Thank you! 馃グ My family gifted me a very nice camera a few years ago for fish and nature photography but I was scared to touch it until recently because I was afraid I'd break it or something. I only just started really using it after my son was born so I could get some frame-worthy photos of him. He won't sit still for a photo anymore though so the camera is now for fish. 馃槄
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
Well, I think tough decision time is approaching for the smaller fry. The majority have developed well and grown a lot but there are some runts who seem to be really struggling. One is lethargic and lies around on the bottom as if he's dead. The only reason I know he's not dead is because I tried to siphon him out, and he started trying to escape the turkey baster. I lost track of him after that but he's probably gonna have to go.

Another one has become a constant belly slider despite seeming to barely be eating anything at all. I wonder if she just has some innate swim bladder deformity that's keeping her from keeping up with her siblings.

There are a couple more that I'm not so sure about. They're just really tiny for their age but otherwise seem healthy. I probably won't cull them as long as they're swimming and eating well. I figure if they stay this small, the biggies will eventually eat them, but if they end up growing, that's great.

I could separate the biggies and the tinies into 2 separate growouts, but I would really prefer not to. I probably should step up water changes however. I did introduce a sponge filter a couple days ago as well. Water parameters are pristine.

Also, on the food front, after a bit of research in the IBC technical assistance library, I've decided to reintroduce small amounts of microworms, mixed in with BBS and grated frozen foods. I can see ventral fins on all of the normal-size fry, so it doesn't look like early use of microworms harmed them. Plus, relying too much on BBS seems to be causing temporary swim bladder concerns that I worry will become permanent. So we'll be a little lighter on BBS in the next week or so and see how that goes.

Growth and development concerns notwithstanding, I've noticed something cool: the fry are already showing little hints of iridescence when they move in bright light. I'm seeing little flashes of blue and white here and there. I'm really curious to know if this will be any indication of their adult colors, so wanted to make a note of it.

I'm also wondering if the combo of light/dark bodied fry in the spawn means anything. I wonder if the white/see-through babies will develop dark colors like their parents.

I should note that after being beat up during spawning, the female's colors have changed a bit. She is now showing thick scaling on her body, her base color has become richer and deeper, and her iridescent scales have brightened. She probably has both dragon and marble ancestors if I had to venture a guess. If that's the case then this spawn could come out really interesting looking.

I want to upload photos but the forum is giving me some guff right now. I'll try again later on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
Alright, here's some photos of my female, almost completely healed. Please excuse her giant poopy, she's been a bit constipated. I kind of can't believe that she's already eggy and showing breeding stripes again. I'm not planning to spawn her again at least until I see how her babies look, but maybe we'll back-cross if we don't get nice females from the current spawn. Her topline leaves a bit to be desired (she's a bit spoon-headed) but idk, I think she's pretty.

Plant Water Organism Insect Underwater

Plant Natural environment Organism Grass Fish
 

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OMG she really is pretty! So happy she is almost healed!!
 
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I'm also wondering if the combo of light/dark bodied fry in the spawn means anything. I wonder if the white/see-through babies will develop dark colors like their parents.
Exactly the same was going on with my guppy fry! In my case, the parents where light- bodied, but almost half of the babies had dark color! Of course, bettas are completely different, so this doesn't really mean anything!
 
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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
Exactly the same was going on with my guppy fry! In my case, the parents where light- bodied, but almost half of the babies had dark color! Of course, bettas are completely different, so this doesn't really mean anything!
Fish genetics are crazy, especially bettas. 馃お
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
More baby pics!

Atmosphere Air travel Aircraft Water Wing
Atmosphere Water Cloud Atmospheric phenomenon Fin
Fin Fish Liquid Tail Water
Water Liquid Underwater Fin Atmospheric phenomenon


Was feeling a bit worried about their growth rate today but I think they're on the smaller side of on target. Adding some MWs back into the mix occasionally seems to be helping. The big ones just keep getting bigger but some of the small ones are still very slow-growing. I'm still contemplating removing the smallest ones and seeing if they do better separated from the big fish.

I'm getting some grindal worms in the mail tomorrow. Once that culture gets established that will give them some more variety in terms of food, which should help with growth.

They all seem to have really big appetites, more so every day.

I've been seeing iridescence on fins and it's so exciting!

Water Liquid Plant Wildlife Darkness
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 · (Edited)
No major updates today. Just the usual goop siphoning and adding water. In the past day I've seen a some growth (but it could just be my eyes deceiving me). Only a couple of the fry are noticeably behind in development, everyone else is doing great.

Wish I had photos to share but was in a big rush today (an artificial one, there really was no reason for me to be rushed, but to reiterate, my boyfriend is a spoiled child) so I didn't get to take any photos.

I did, however, get to make a trip to my "local" (read: 50 minutes away) fish store. I was initially there for plants for a new project tank (danios!) and was pleasantly surprised to learn that they carry frozen daphnia. I brought some of that home and immediately tried it out since my hatcheries are lagging a bit behind my fishes' appetites at the moment (temperature outside is in the single digits so that's probably why). The bigger (hungrier) fry only took a few seconds to figure out that it was food, and the smaller fry followed their lead.

Also, I got some grindal worms in the mail today, so I'm hoping that keeping food for them will become a bit less high-maintenance in the next couple weeks.

Editing to add - just thought I'd recommend the places I go to for supplies:

Rock Beach Aquatics (Irondequoit, NY - I think they're planning an online store?) - The store is breathtaking, they work so hard to maintain a high standard.

Small World Aquatics (online) - They sell grindal worm starter kits and lots of other live food cultures, plus plants, and I think shrimp and shrimp supplies. The owners are also lovely people based on my online interactions with them.

Also, side note, I have tons of microworms right now. Two mature cultures that really, really need to be divided. If you're new to breeding bettas, I'd be more than willing to send them to you free of charge (I'll take care of shipping too - continental US) - just ask. The only condition is that you have to tell me about your breeding plans 馃榿

Same goes for vinegar eels but I haven鈥檛 checked on those cultures in weeks (they don't need much attention).
 

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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
OK, yesterday was one of those days when everything that could go wrong did go wrong. Not just in terms of the fry either.

We're staying at my boyfriend's house this week - few minutes down the road, but it's one of those rural roads that never gets plowed or salted in a timely fashion. When I'm over here I go home to feed/water change/check on my fish twice a day.

Past couple of days have been freezing. Saturday it got down to 1掳F with -15掳 wind chill. When I went back yesterday to check on everything, my pipes were nearly frozen with only a little bit of water coming out of the faucets. I got them running again without much issue but I can't believe that happened over the course of like 16 hours...

Then I go upstairs to feed the babies. My BBS did not hatch within the usual 36 hour window due to cold temps, but that's no biggie since they're taking frozen daphnia now too. However, when I looked at the fry tank I noticed they looked a bit lethargic. I took the lid off and checked everything and then realized that the water was getting colder by the second as soon as the lid was off. Checked the thermometer and the temperature had dropped to 72掳F. 馃槰

Yes, my fancy heater had shut off. I don't know why or how. I unplugged it for a couple minutes and plugged it back in and the light kicked back on, so I think it's heating again, but I couldn't wait and see because a massive snow storm was on the way, and I would have been stuck.

Boyfriend suggested I leave the space heater on in the fish room, but after hearing about so many fires started from space heaters recently I decided it wasn't worth it. I've lost spawns before but I can't cope with a potential house fire. So I'm just praying.

I tried to go back over later in the evening because I was extremely worried, but visibility was so bad I couldn't see past my own nose, and snow was very quickly packing down on the road. I turned around when I could safely do so (every driveway was snowed in already, the only thing that was clear and visible was a farm's access road) and prayed that my little fish would be OK.

On top of all that, I'm feeling a bit under the weather, my child decided that we were going to wake up at 3:30am today, and my dad is going in for surgery in a few minutes. I'm worried sick because he's older, the hospital is packed with COVID cases, and my mom doesn't have snow tires on but refuses to let me come out there with the truck to handle it. I'm in my 30s - it's time for them to let me look after them, but they refuse to accept help. 馃槓

Also, despite the holiday weekend, I managed to end up with work to do today. Ugh.

So basically I am a huge ball of stress and if I don't go prematurely gray after the way this weekend has been I will be shocked to my core.

Fingers crossed that I don't lose any (or many) babies due to temperature swings. If anyone has troubleshooting advice for Eheim Jager adjustable heaters I'd love to hear it. I'm assuming it got too hot at some point and automatically shut off. I guess once the sun is out and I can borrow the truck I'll head over and assess the damage.

Sorry for the only-semi-fish-related vent. Will keep you all posted as usual.
 

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Oh no! So sorry that this is happening. Hoping that your dad will get better, and that your fry tub will stay heated. Fingers crossed for you. 馃
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
Oh no! So sorry that this is happening. Hoping that your dad will get better, and that your fry tub will stay heated. Fingers crossed for you. 馃
Thank you. 鉂 Surgery went well according to Mom, and Dad is now recovering at the hospital. I'll feel better once I can visit him at home and verify for myself that the doctors didn't remove anything they weren't supposed to.

The heater seems to be working, it just seems to have un-calibrated itself, maybe because the room is a bit cold and I've increased the water volume over time. I still don't know what the problem originally was but I'm hoping that a warmer ambient temperature will help.

Only one (maybe two?) of the fry seem to have suffered any adverse effect. Unfortunately the one who is a bit sluggish and lying on his side is also the biggest one. 馃槙 Hoping he bounces back.

Good news is that they've done a good amount of growing in the past couple of days. Hatchery is still giving me a hard time due to temperature probably but they're doing alright with the frozen daphnia.

Wood Fin Fish Tints and shades Ceiling

Cloud Grey Cumulus Tree Sky

Feather Air travel Cloud Wing Beak

Insect Plant Wing Sky Fish

Cloud Sky Air travel Cumulus Font

Cloud Sky Cumulus Tree Horizon

Liquid Water Plant Sky Grey
 

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Discussion Starter · #52 ·
OK, now they're really starting to look like fish. I'll upload pics when I go over to do their evening feeding in a couple hours.

The heater is getting the aquarium back up to 79-80掳 now. I still have no idea what happened but all's well that ends well.

Adding frozen daphnia into the mix (and occasional microworms) seems to be both stimulating growth and helping prevent swim bladder issues.

I think this spawn has been a great example of why a variety of foods is so important. This experience, along with some reading I've done on the IBC Technical Assistance Library has kind of changed my mind about some things.

First of all, feeding microworms definitely correlates to missing ventrals, I don't think there's any arguing that point. I used to agree with the increasingly common consensus that the MWs basically rot on the bottom of the tank and burn off ventral fins. Now though, I think it has to do with nutritional deficiency and gene expression. So, by feeding MWs alongside BBS and other foods that make up for whatever MWs lack, I think you can make up for it. We'll see how it plays out but I've been observing ventrals on my fish despite continued (resumed?) use of MWs.

Second, I don't think BBS are the holy grail fry food they're held out to be. My fry love them, but there is absolutely a correlation with swim bladder problems and bouts of irregular swimming. Mixing BBS and MWs, I'm observing now, can cut back on that ill effect too. While I'd rather lose one or two out of 70 to swim bladder issues than have to cull or rehome an entire spawn with missing ventrals, I think it's possible to strike a solid balance and avoid both problems.

(To summarize points one and two, I think 2/3 BBS + 1/3 MWs is a solid feeding program during weeks two and three.)

Third, I regret nothing about introducing frozen foods early. Do I have to siphon more? Yes. Are the daphnia producing some really nice growth in my fish, evening out some of the BBS-induced bloating, and making my life a lot easier? Also yes.

I'm going to be stepping up to grindal worms soon but my culture is a bit slow to start. Might move the wormies down to a cabinet above the oven since they like warmer temperatures.

Anyway... wheeee I'm so excited!
 

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I'm glad your father is recovering. I know the feeling since I have a 90 yr old father who has to be rushed to the hospital from time to time.

I also glad to hear things turned out for the better. Hope they stay that way. Things should get easier since you'll have more food options as fry get bigger.
 

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Discussion Starter · #55 · (Edited)
Tonight I cleaned the bottom of the tub, added water, and fed BBS. While I was cleaning I found a dead fry. 鈽 it was one of the bigger, more developed ones.

I tested my water and saw that ammonia was (maybe?) ever so slightly up. Not even .25ppm but even a little is not ideal. Wondering if there could have been some other cause.

I think I'll split the growout into two tubs as soon as possible tomorrow and do a big water change in the process. Hoping I can get a bit of time to go into town for an air valve so I can run my spare sponge filter (and buy another tub - though I may have another lying around).
 

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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
Well, I found another two dead fry. Something is going on. I wonder if I'm overfeeding them. I'm slowly but surely dividing them up and giving them a big water change in growout #1.

Today was a total clusterjam for non-fish-related reasons (including a frozen pipe I had to thaw) so I'm hoping not to be at this until much later in the night but I'm certain I'll be awake for a while.

I'm not pleased to be sharing this but I think it's important to share both successes and failures, so here I am!
 

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Discussion Starter · #57 ·
OK, it's been a few days since I updated. The fry are doing really well since being divided into two growouts. Growout #2 has about 30 of the biggest fry and the rest are still hanging around in growout #1. They're still small but I've noticed they're growing faster, especially those that were moved to growout #2.

I've been increasing the number and volume of water changes and have some worries about shocking the fry every time but haven't lost any to that process so things are looking good.

Water parameters seem to be back to normal but I'll continue to monitor.

They're hungrier these days so today I'm going to work on setting up another BBS hatchery. The grindal worm culture is taking a while to get off the ground so I'm moving it downstairs into a drawer to see if the warmth and darkness helps.

I'm starting to see both red and black fins in addition to traces of iridescence which is cool!

Some pics:

Automotive lighting Sky Electric blue Tree Event

Automotive lighting Liquid Fish Sky Insect

Sky Wing Fog Wildlife Flight

Automotive lighting Gas Bumper Tints and shades Wood

Bird Wing Sky Water Wildlife
 
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