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Re: [Killietalk] Substrate for breeding Nothobranchius?
>I am new to killietalk.
>I was wondering if anyone could give me some good advice on which specific type of peat (brand names) can be used for breeding annuals (I am specifically interested in Nothos). I have had trouble with ending up with a lot of bark, twigs, etc. when I am done boiling and rinsing the current type of peat that I have been using.
You want to look for Canada Sphagnum peat moss, and it does come in
variable roughnesses. It is so much simpler most of us use Jiffy Peat
Pellets. They tend to be quite fine-grained, so are free of sticks and
twigs. While more costly than baled peat, the convenience and time
saving of not having to pick out all the junk makes them worth while.
>It seems like the eggs are turning white after a couple of days in it. It does not at all look like what I have been sent in the mail from Europe and elsewhere here in the US when people are sending me eggs.
White eggs are usually a fertility issue, and there is little
relationship to the peat. Infertile eggs turn white, and fertilized eggs
rarely do unless they are killed by an outside agency. The latter isn't
easy, so generally we suspect too-young parents or other fertility
problems when the eggs turn white more than once in a while.
> Is Coconut fiber OK to use or does it not allow the eggs to breathe enough?
I don't much like it, but many use it with great success. The kind I can
get is not true coir (fiber), but ground up coconut shells. It seems too
harsh and sharp to me, but YMMV.
> Any advice on where you get yours and specifically how you prepare it would be greatly appreciated.
I get my peat pellets from the nursery, but Ruth Warner sells the Jiffy
7 pellets through the Fish and Egg listing in the AKA Business News
Letter (BNL). First, remove the plastic net wrapper. I nuke a pellet in
a couple of cups of water in the microwave, then dump it into a regular
fish net for a good rinse under the cold faucet. At that point it nearly
all sinks, some of the water-softening property has been reduced and it
tends to not cause "pH Crash." Most free sodium ions and
ammonium/ammonia is also rinsed out.
>Has anyone tried using gravel instead and then gravel washing the tank weekly?
An old-timer's trick is to use Jersey Greensand (again from your
nursery) as a substrate. Nothos will spawn in it, and the eggs can be
stirred out and netted by a figure-eight wave of the net just above the
sand. It is much softer and less damaging to eggs than regular sand, I
think. You still need to store the eggs in peat for the proper diapause
> Thanks for your help!
Thanks for asking such good questions, Joa.
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