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Feeding German Blue Ram Fry

Discussion in 'Other South American Dwarf Cichlids' started by spinon, Jul 13, 2018.

  1. spinon

    spinon New Member

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    Hi Folks,

    This is my very first thread/post on Apistogramma.Com. I hope there will be many more. Anyway, here goes...

    My German Blue Rams recently spawned and I now have approximately 40 fry in their own separate 12 litre tank. I am currently feeding the fry on a combination of Paramecium and Liquifry No. 1. The fry are on Day 5 of free swimming but they don't appear to be growing. Right now, they are approx. 3.5mm (about 1/8") total length (i.e.body + tail) and 1 - 1.5mm width/height. Until yesterday, I have had no fatalities. But, today, I have lost six fry.

    Water conditions are very good. I monitor ammonia/ammonium, nitrite, nitrate, pH and temperature daily. Dissolved oxygen and phosphate have both been measured in the last five days. All parameters are within safe limits. I should add that I use JBL Test Kits for all water tests except pH for which I use an Extech pH100 (recently calibrated).

    The fry show no interest in eating microworms and they are too small for artemia nauplii.

    Does anyone have any comments/suggestions?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Im a Doughball

    Im a Doughball New Member

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    Congratulations on the fry! In my limited experience with GBR's, I never had the courage to separate the fry from the parents so early. Not sure if my fry were an aberration size wise, but I found them willing and able to consume artemia after about the second day free swimming
  3. spinon

    spinon New Member

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    Thanks for your feedback. I was advised to separate the fry from their parents by someone who has many years' experience of breeding fish. And I didn't have much choice as the parents spawned in my community tank. If I hadn't removed the fertilized eggs, then the other tank inhabitants would have had them. In fact, I had a very aggressive Whiptail Catfish who was intent on getting at the eggs before me! I had to work fast.

    Your comment about the artemia has prompted me to start up a fresh culture, which will be ready later today. I will report back. Being tiny fry, the GBRs also have a tiny mouth, which means they are physically unable to eat the nauplii. Apparently, brine shrimp newborns are approximately three times larger than paramecia caudatum, which is why I chose the latter. Paramecia are one of the 'ingredients' of infusoria.

    Expect to hear from me again!
  4. TCMontium

    TCMontium Member

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    You are lucky if you found enough Paramecium caudatum to feed them until they can switch to BBS, Paramecium are rare to find as pure cultures, at least in my experience.
  5. gerald

    gerald Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    There will always be some fry that fail to develop properly and die; the transition point from yolk-sac larvae to active feeding is one of those times. If a small percentage dies, that may be normal. Hopefully you will see round full bellies on most of them, indicating that their mouths and guts have developed properly. Waterlogged tree leaves (oak, maple, ash, elm, sweetgum, ... any hardwood) can also help as a food source and substrate for growing paramecium, rotifers, nematodes, and other tiny food bugs for the fry. Once they can eat fresh-hatched BS, then they'll really start growing and further die-offs should be minimal.
    Ade205 likes this.
  6. Ade205

    Ade205 Member

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    I've currently got about 60 gbr fry that have been free swimming 7 days. I've developed a routine that to be honest has become to succesful now and I end up with to many juveniles, although same can't be said for my routine regarding the parent fish when removing the fry! See my other recent post!!

    For me vinegar eels are by far the best starting food for gbr fry, the fry are just to small to eat bbs.They are super easy to cultivate, and best of all can stay alive in fresh water for ages giving plenty of time for fry to find them whilst not fouling the water. Gbr fry are so sensetive. Vinegar eels do tend to swim into upper areas of the water Columb but gbr fry will happily follow.... this is not the case for apisto fry who like to stay low.
    I feed gbr fry heavily with vinegar eels for first few days then switch to bbs. I also steel a few leaves from the apisto tanks and the fry also get a sponge filter from day one that's been cycling in their parents tank from as soon as I seen them preparing to spawn. Fry also get 50% water change daily with water taken from parents tank untill about 1 month old, then start to add fresh prepared water at 50/50 mixed with parent tank water. I've found this routine very succesful. Starting tank needs to be small enough that fry can find food easily but growth is rapid and at the 1 month point bigger tank or tanks will be needed. I've grown ram and Apisto fry together and the Rams grow easily more that double the speed though the apistos do seem to grow slower when removed from mum.

    Ade.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2018
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  7. Ade205

    Ade205 Member

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    Here's a quick couple of videos....

    This is gbr ram feeding on vinegar eels. They have been free swimming 2 days.... There's a great shot of a fry eating a vinegar eels are about 48secs


    This is same fry feeding on bbs at 7days free swimming....


    In 2nd video they are much more spread out and I've managed to count 62, but potential this could be way more than double that number! I stopped removing wrigglers from spawn site after accident with their farther and the siphon!
    The babies will stuff themselves to the point where they will hardly move after feeding, just resting on their little orange, shrimp filled fat bellies!

    Ade.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2018
  8. gerald

    gerald Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    I would love to hear an explanation of HOW on Earth do vinegar eels syntheisize protein and lipids out of nothing but vinegar and a tiny piece of apple? It mystifies me that they could have much nutritional content, but apparently they do. Any Nematode Alchemists in our club?
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  9. spinon

    spinon New Member

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    I bought the Paramecium C. online from worm-cultures.com, who are in Sheffield, UK. The quality of what I received was superb and the price was very low. They were a godsend and, of course, I have kept the culture alive by feeding it from time to time.
  10. spinon

    spinon New Member

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    I can't believe it's 10 days since I wrote the above! How things have progressed. The freshly-hatched artemia nauplii have been a great success. I will never forget watching one of the Ram fry take its first bite of fresh brine shrimp. What a sight! I was over the moon. And I/we have never looked back. I say 'we' because this is a two-person team - me and my wife. Since then, we have learned a lot about hatching and raising artemia. And here's one little tip that may be of interest to others: there is a variety of brine shrimp called Artemia franciscana. As the name suggests, this variant was 'developed' in San Francisco. It is of special interest to us because it is slightly smaller than the normal variety.
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  11. spinon

    spinon New Member

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    Yes, that is what we have seen. The Ram fry are now twice the length they were just one week ago. They have gone from approx. 4mm to approx. 8mm during that time.
  12. spinon

    spinon New Member

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    Apparently, the vinegar eels consume yeasts and bacteria. That sounds a bit more nutritious than vinegar and apple! But I am just a beginner in this field of science.
  13. gerald

    gerald Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    OK, accepted, but how do the yeast and bacteria in a vinegar eel culture create proteins and lipids out of nothing but vinegar and a tiny piece of apple? Granted, bacteria have more biochemical "tricks" than do worms and higher organisms. I guess there must be some N-fixers in the mix, using air for their N source.
  14. Ade205

    Ade205 Member

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    Thought I'd quickly update this thread and show progress of fry... this is same ones as above at 4wks free swimming.

    They grow very quick and will be moving to a bigger home this weekend. I tend to wait untill they recognise and come to food at feeding time before doing this otherwise they tend to struggle in bigger tanks.
    One other tip for fry tanks I've always done Is when siphoning I stick the hose down the uplift of the sponges filter! This way, as long as the uplift top is above water surface, it's impossible to suck up any fry! I refill the same way. Only draw back is its a little slow as have to use airline tubing! I never clean bottom of tank at this stage, leaving this job to snails!

    Ade.

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