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Re: Fresh food for fry?

John Falk wrote:
> Many thanks, all.
> Are there any additional "clean" live foods that can be kept in the tank in
> case fry hatch rather spontaneously?

Daphnia. If you have enough light to support green water, they will 
reproduce and the baby Daphnia make great baby fish food, with no tank 
fouling. Float a mosquito egg raft on the water, too. Be prepared to 
catch any wrigglers that outgrow the babies, tho.

> I have a microworm culture, but find that fouls the water easily if you
> happen to pick-up some culture media when adding to the tank.

Yes. There's a new worm we just got into the Bay Area that lives much 
longer under water than microworms (mini-mikro worms, the German 
originator called them). Vinegar eels also live a long time in the tank.

> What is the most common cause of fry death, given a BBS diet and daily,
> treated water changes?   It must be something I am doing, as I have a 100%
> failure rate.


> How do you know if you are adding too much dye to the hatch water?    Should
> it be light or medium green?   I read Wright's old message about "tanning"
> the egg sack with dye to the point where the fry can't break free.

Message may be old, but it is still true, AFAIK.

> What color should the eggs be to ensure they are still healthy?     

Clear to very pale amber. The dye should be so weak and removed soon 
enough that the eggs aren't colored much, if at all.

I rarely use dyes, but when I do it's a pale, pale green 50-50 mix of 
acriflavin and methylene blue. I do several 50%+ water changes the first 
day or two until the water is virtually uncolored again.

> If they
> turn a dark color is there still hope, or have they gone bad? 

Depends. All eggs get darker as the embryo develops and very black spots 
appear as the eyes mature.

>     Is there
> a rule of thumb on incubation time?   

Two to three weeks on most plant spawners at reasonable temps. Shorter 
if warmer. Fp. and Nothos can go much longer and some cannot water 
incubate at all.

> Is there a way to help safely prevent
> fungus in hatch water?   

Remove dead eggs. Fungus does not hurt them, but bacteria kills the egg 
and then fungus feasts on the carcass.

> How does fungus affect the hatch rate?      

Not at all, IME. Dead eggs fungus and wouldn't hatch anyway. The fungus 
comes on *after* death or gets on bacterially-infected infertile eggs.

> Is
> there a place to purchase culture of "clean" micro foods for fish?     Is
> there a way to clean the media from microworms?

Never dip into the media. Wipe the worms from the clean side of the 
container. If they don't crawl the walls, you may have too much air 
circulation. They won't climb dry surfaces very well.

>  Is it hazardous to accidentally place BBS cysts in with the shrimp when
> feeding fry?    Can they choke?  

I've heard they can, but have never experienced it, so I don't worry 
about it. I usually get nearly 100% hatch, so shells are just not in 
with the bbs, anyway.

> When water is replaced, should it be clean,
> treated water, or that from an established tank?

Fresh. Tank water still may have traces of ammonia, etc., that can 
seriously stunt the baby fish or even damage eggs.

> I apologize for all the questions, but right now I am a bit inundated in
> eggs, and can't seem to get the process right unless it is by extreme
> accident.       I have read books, but for some reason, this hobby just
> isn't so cut and dried.

Amen to that, Brother John!

Coupla (4?) useful rules:

Fertile eggs almost never die and fungus, until you kill them. If they 
are clear at day 2, they were fertilized.

Velvet is quite invisible on baby fish. It is in almost all fish tank 
water, so gradually raise the salt level in your hatch water to about 3 
tsp. per 5 G, to make it less infectious. You can put enough acriflavin 
in with babies to stain the water a very pale yellow, if you think 
Velvet is killing them.

Always, without exception, have some snails handy for the baby tank as 
soon as you start feeding them. Otherwise, the uneaten food will decay 
(in a matter of an hour or so!) and Velvet becomes inevitable as the 
babies are weakened by the decay products. Healthy babies, in really 
clean water tend to never get Velvet o/e. I love my ramshorns, even 
though I have caught them eating eggs (fresh-laid only).

Free advice, as always, is still worth every penny. :-)


Wright Huntley -- 209 521-0557 -- 731 Loletta Ave, Modesto CA 95351

"The right of self-government does not comprehend the government of others."
                                 -- Thos. Jefferson --

That's what Independence Day is all about, isn't it? <www.self-gov.org>

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