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[Killietalk] RE: watched eggs don't hatch if they're fungused....
Thanks for the on and off list replies re: the absence of fry from my wetted peat. Sorry about the double posting--I tried to send the first e-mail, then didn't see it posting on the killietalk archive listing, so wrote again in case it got mislaid.
You confirmed my suspicions--that the hatch should have been quick--that's why I waited to wet them until I could watch the peat after wetting.
I was pretty sure I had eyed up eggs: I had been ignoring them as long as I could stand it, and about 2 1/2 months after collecting them, I checked one of the bags of peat, and found lots of what I thought were eyed up eggs--although I couldn't find any pictures as clear as Ron at FarEast posted, I did my survey under a dissecting scope at the lab so had a very clear view of them, and they looked just like the very clearly eyed up eggs in the middle of his picture. I didn't see any heartbeats, and it hadn't been 3 1/2 months as suggested for N. guentheri in the beginner guide, so I waited another month to be sure all the eggs had enough time, and then another two weeks before I got the tank cleaned & setup & lots of microworm cultures ready for them. So they were 4 months on peat before wetting. I kept them in ziplock bags--maybe that was a mistake?--but the peat stayed just damp--a few drops of water on the sides of the bag. And I didn't check them before wetting, because I didn't want to handle them any more than necessary when they were ready to hatch.
Last night I brought some of the wetted peat and the remaining portion of dry peat back to the lab and checked them under the dissecting scope again. In the wetted peat, there was only one egg that looked like it had hatched--a partially decomposed fry was still attached to the empty eggshell--and the rest were eyed-up but looked a little shriveled within the eggs, and there was a fine hairy fungus over the outside of the shells. I didn't find any eggs in the unwetted peat--maybe I didn't distribute them evenly when I collected them and put them there.
I think I should have wetted some of the peat when I checked it 6 weeks ago. That aside, however, I'm wondering what happened to the eggs in the meantime. Did they dry out too much? Did they just go too long before I wet them (too long past eyeing-up)? Did they fungus after (or worse, because of) handling when I was examining them under the microscope? The light amount of fungus present might have started only after wetting, and may not have been the problem at all.
Unfortunately, I lost the female soon after collecting the peat, so I don't have more eggs on peat to work with right now. Maybe I can practice on some gardneri eggs--I know they don't require a dry period, but they will tolerate one, won't they?
diane brown in st. louis
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