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Cacatuoides Fry Instructions

Harrison

New Member
Hello! I have a pair of beautiful Cactuoides apistos that just hatched their second batch of fry. Last time their fry became free swimming, I had the two fish in a 29 gallon with dither pencil fish. I read on forums that the fry would be able to find food for themselves and that the mother exhibited strong parental care, so I did not feed or remove the fry from the tank. Now, I have a 10-gallon bare-bottom tank set up and cycled for the fry.

This morning I discovered that the eggs all hatched and the mother moved the fry to a covered hole in a piece of driftwood - a great hiding spot! My question is - at what point should I move the fry (if at all) to my 10-g breeder?

Should I feed the fry? If so, how long should I wait before feeding them? How often should they be fed? What type of food should I feed them? If anyone can provide me with a link to a fry food they have used successfully as well as directions for how to feed with it, I'd be very appreciative!

Thank you for the help in advance!
 

yukondog

Active Member
So right now there still feeding on the yoke sack, if you dont have any brine shrimp eggs to hatch now would be a good time to get some, I normally start feeding live baby brine shrimp at about 3-4 days they might not be able to eat it yet but it's there for them every day until they can, everybody in the tank will eat them so dont worry about them not being eaten. I use a turkey baster to target feed, there are plenty of you tube videos on hatching brine shrimp, it's very simple, and plenty of videos on raising apisto fry, just remember clean water, stay on top of you water changes and after a couple of batches you'll get the hang of it.Good luck
 

Harrison

New Member
Hey, just to post a quick update on the Cacatuoides fry. This is my second ever batch of fry and I could not be happier with the results. The fry are now a month old, and there are probably 50 of them! I’ll try to post a picture.

I’m not quite sure why the fry have been so successful. Maybe it’s the bbs that I spot feed with a syringe 2 times a day?

as a side note, for those that say that pencil fish don’t have large enough mouths to eat fry, I beg to differ. A few weeks ago I saw one of my pencil fish swim over and grab one of the fry! Obviously this was inconsequential, though, because there are still upwards of 50 fry left.
 

Mike Wise

Moderator
Staff member
5 Year Member
N. beckfordi are about the only pencilfish I avoid placing with breeding apistos. Which species do you have?
 

Harrison

New Member
Mike, you’re right on. That’s really impressive. I have 6 N. beckfordi in the aquarium. For the most part, the mom does a great job of chasing off anyone that gets too close.
 

Mike Wise

Moderator
Staff member
5 Year Member
I prefer N. marginatus (easy to reproduce in apisto breeding tanks!) and the 'angle-swimming' pencils N. eques and N. unifasciatus.
 

Spidy

Member
Interesting conversation. I had a pair of Macmasteri doing nothing much for a few weeks, until I added the pencil fish. At that point they spawned and everyone is still in the same tank about a month later; mum, dad, fry and three pencil fish.

I'm curious to know which species of pencil fish I have. Can someone please ID them for me?

20191107_201704 (2).jpg 20191107_210844.jpg 20191107_210845.jpg 20191107_210846.jpg 20191107_210848.jpg
 

Harrison

New Member
Update:

The fry are now 5 weeks old and there are still around 50 of them. I just noticed that the mom laid a new batch of eggs... from reading several forums, this is the time to move the fry to a grow out tank, correct?
I have a 10 gallon bare-bottom that’s been cycling for 3 months, prepared for these fry. Is there anything I should put in the tank to provide hiding spaces for the fry? What’s the best way to move the fry to the 10 gallon grow out tank? Should I leave a few fry behind with the mom?

thanks in advance!
 

dw1305

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Hi all,
....The fry are now 5 weeks old and there are still around 50 of them. I just noticed that the mom laid a new batch of eggs... from reading several forums, this is the time to move the fry to a grow out tank, correct?
Yes.
I have a 10 gallon bare-bottom that’s been cycling for 3 months, prepared for these fry. Is there anything I should put in the tank to provide hiding spaces for the fry?
I'm a bit worried about this. Do you mean you have a bare tank and have been adding ammonia to cycle the filter? If you do, I'd definitely add a lot of floating plants, some structural leaf litter and a <"thin layer of sand">.

There has been a lot of scientific advances in nitrification in recent times. Have a look a through <"Clay like ....."> and linked threads.

cheers Darrel
 

Harrison

New Member
You were right- I tested the water while it was bare-bottom and noticed high-ish nitrite levels. I’ve had the tank running for 2.5 months with a sponge filter, heater, and a clump of Java moss- that was it. I did squeeze out the contents of a sponge from my a filter from an established tank to build bacteria.

since your comment, I added a thin layer of sand, a small piece of driftwood, and a collection of floating plants from one of my established tanks.

I tested the water this morning and there is no nitrite or ammonia. Is this good to go for the baby fish?

thank you for the help!
 

dw1305

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Hi all,
You were right- I tested the water while it was bare-bottom and noticed high-ish nitrite levels. I’ve had the tank running for 2.5 months with a sponge filter, heater, and a clump of Java moss- that was it. I did squeeze out the contents of a sponge from my a filter from an established tank to build bacteria.

since your comment, I added a thin layer of sand, a small piece of driftwood, and a collection of floating plants from one of my established tanks.

I tested the water this morning and there is no nitrite or ammonia. Is this good to go for the baby fish?

thank you for the help!
Should be OK, just make sure you keep up your water changes. It is the floating plants that make the real difference, they have access to aerial CO2,so aren't carbon limited when it comes to taking up fixed nitrogen.

The traditional view of cycling is that it needs an ammonia supply to stop the nitrifying bacteria dying. We now know that bacteria with high pH and ammonia requirements aren't actually present in aquarium filters.

cheers Darrel
 

Harrison

New Member
Thank you for the help Darrel. Things are going well in the grow-out tank. I've moved the majority of the fry to this tank and everything seems to be going well! Will post with future updates.
 

Harrison

New Member
Hello all. I thought I’d write back with some interesting updates!
Back in November I moved all but 5 of the fry to the grow out tank, where they are still growing and doing well! The 5 that I left in the original tank with the parents, though, are MASSIVE compared to the others. I’d have to guess that this is due to the fact that there’s less competition for food and they get to eat the leftover bits of the adults food.
Regardless, I thought I’d share some pictures of the fry, which are more like full fish now. I still have at least 5 in the tank with the parents, and 20ish in the grow out tank.

the first photo is of the largest (I’m assuming male) in the original tank. The second photo is of the larger fish in the growout tank. It’s not hard to see that the first is at least 2 times the size.
 

Attachments

Harrison

New Member
updated question:

with the fry now about 18 weeks old, I figure it might be time to move on to an easier food than BBS. What do you guys typically feed larger fry?
 

dw1305

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Hi all,
updated question:

with the fry now about 18 weeks old, I figure it might be time to move on to an easier food than BBS. What do you guys typically feed larger fry?
You could try adding some Grindal worms into the mix.

cheers Darrel
 

Mike Wise

Moderator
Staff member
5 Year Member
At that age and size I feed juveniles the same as adults: BBS and frozen foods. If you can get them to eat dry foods, add them to their diet, too.
 
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