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Raising Fry

Discussion in 'General Fish Talk' started by dogofwar, Oct 14, 2008.

  1. dogofwar

    dogofwar Global Moderators
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    Ted Judy gave a great presentation on raising fry and I thought that I'd share my main technique and see how others do it.

    Unlike Ted, I mainly raise decent-sized fry (cichlids and livebearers - no African Butterfly Fish, Rainbows, or tetras :) ).

    For raising and growing out fry I primarly use 2'x2'x1' tanks, which are about 33g but have a lot of surface area. I have a sponge and a box filter on each for filtration. No substrate and maybe a plastic plant and a flowerpot for hiding spots. I heat the fish room as opposed to most tanks, so the water is about 76-78 like most of my tanks. All of the tanks in my fishroom receive generous tap water changes, so all of the tanks are very similar in water characteristics.

    For mouthbrooders, I generally allow females to hold for a couple of weeks in the main tanks, catch them and place them in a net breeder in the fry grow out tank. I keep an eye on the females until they spit and then I take them out of the net breeder and put them in the grow out tank itself. The fry in the net breeder receive all of the benefits of the main tank (water volume, filtration, etc.) but are easy to feed (the food density principle that Ted talked about). I generally feed ground flake and high protein floating pellets (which they can pick at all day while I'm at work). Their mother can eat any food that the fry don't as it falls from the net breeder into the tank. After a few days of recovery, I put the female back in the main tank, where she can breed again.

    I can keep several batches of fry growing out in the same tank with this method. And as the fry get to 1/2" or so (too big for the net breeder), they're easy to transfer to their own tank (simply move the net breeder to another tank and dump it).

    For substrate spawners, I prefer to let the parents raise the babies. If it's a fish that I really want to make sure I get some fry from, I siphon some wrigglers into a critter keeper (1/2g plastic tank with a lid) and leave some for the parents to raise. I drop the critter keeper into a 2x2x1 tank...and wait for the babies to become free swimming. They generally stay in the critter keeper, which is easy to drop food (crumbled flake, frozen baby brine, etc.) into. Eventually they start to swim out and I dump the rest out of the critter keeper. A key, I've found, for keeping substrate spawners fed (when I work from 7 - 6 or so) is to have a mature sponge filter in the tank. I also keep a box filter bubbling.
     
  2. longstocking

    longstocking Members

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    Substrate spawners.... I never take out of the main tank. Fish such as Chalinochromis, Julidochromis, brichardi, nigriventris... this list goes on. I find the parents do a great job and therefor less work for me. The key for me is keeping them in large enough tanks to maintain the colonies and the parents. This usually means a 30 to 50 gallon. All my tanks like this have sponge filters. They nibble all day long :)

    Mouth brooders are a whole different ball game ! There are different arguments which I do not want to get into... but I try and care for my breeders first and foremost. Removing mouth brooders from a tank full of them typically means distrupting the entire tank. Which, is the last thing I want to do ! They are happy and breeding.... why mess with things. Fish such as Tropheus and feather fins.... if I removed them this could mean death ! So instead... what I do is wait about 15 to 25 days depending on the species then net and strip them and put them right back into the main tank. AT this stage they are usually fully developed fry. I then put them in a 5 to 10 gallon and let them grow and be happy.

    I find this works VERY well for me and I have very little "work". I do weekly water changes on the tanks and keep them at 78 degrees. I feed the fry things that are heavey in protein and fat. The tanks also have tons of algae.
     
  3. dogofwar

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    Good catch, Sarah.

    I probably should have specified - I was talking about Malawi & Victoria mouthbrooders (peacocks, haps, mbuna)... I wouldn't recommend the approach that I've described (removing the female) with Tanganyikan mouthbrooders (tropheus, fronts, etc.) because of the hierarchical nature of things. Especially with mbuna, I usually re-introduce the female(s) during a water change.

    And I was talking about Central and South American substrate spawners.

    The best approach for me with Tanganyikan substrate spawners (lamps, julies, etc.) is to put a couple of piles of rocks in the tank, add 4-6 fish, feed well, do weekly 20-25% water changes...and wait for the fry to emerge from the pile of rocks.

    The grow out method I've described works well for just about any fish. I have several nets full of livebearers, haps, peacocks, right now :)

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (longstocking @ Oct 14 2008, 09:23 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
     

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