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Fry on Sponge Filter

Discussion in 'Husbandry / Breeding' started by skoram, Apr 5, 2015.

  1. skoram

    skoram Active Member

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    After coming home from work a few nights ago I noticed a bunch of small dots on the sponge filter of my 10 gallon. At first I had the strange thought that perhaps my A. erythrura had spawned on the filter. However, upon closer inspection, I noticed that some of these "dots" were twitching and realized that they were probably freshly hatched wrigglers. This is in fact my very first Apistogramma spawn. I unwisely chose a pair of A. uaupesi as my first apistogramma and they have yet to breed.

    Although I have BBS and banana worms ready to feed, I am a little concerned about their nutrition at this early stage. I suppose it was a "wise" move by their mother to place them on the filter which I've read is a great source of rotifers and perhaps other infusoria. I also have a lot of java moss and decaying leaves in the tank.

    I am also concerned about the oxygen levels - is the aeration from the single sponge filter enough or should I supplement with other forms of aeration?

    Thanks advance for any feedback and advice!


    Photos below were taken with a cell phone so sorry for the poor quality.

    FTS:
    [​IMG]

    Fry on the filter:
    [​IMG]

    Female guarding:
    [​IMG]

    Close-up shot:
    [​IMG]
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  2. viejo

    viejo Member 5 Year Member

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    Well, they should have lots of food available!
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  3. Tph

    Tph New Member

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    The fry still got their yolk-sac, from what I saw in you pictures. For several days (how many, you will find from more knowledgeable persons) their sustenance is resolved. When the sac is absorbed start feeding small quantities of banana worms (or white worms) several times a day. After a few days feed them newly hatched BBS.
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  4. skoram

    skoram Active Member

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    Thanks so much for the helpful replies, especially to Tph for the detailed feeding information.

    Since, from the fry's perspective, this is a fairly large tank, I'm concerned about their ability to actually access and "capture" the worms and BBS. I assume that they will also be competing with the nannostomus marginatus for food as well. Will it be sufficient to position the food in the vicinity of the fry using a turkey baster or will i need to move them to their own exclusive tank?
  5. Mike Wise

    Mike Wise Moderator Staff Member 5 Year Member

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    Once the larvae become freeswimming fry add live foods in their general location. Their mother will guide them to it. Your present aeration should be fine as it is. Just don't over-feed to the extent that too much dies, pollutes the water and depletes the O2 in the tank.
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  6. skoram

    skoram Active Member

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    Thank you for your feedback Mike.

    When I checked on the tank yesterday after coming home from work, I noticed that the female had moved to a different location of the tank.

    Upon closer inspection, this is what I saw:



    I am very excited and want to make sure that as many of them as possible survive. My primary concern right now is determining the appropriate amount of food to give them. I don't want to feed too much and have it pollute the tank, as Mike mentioned, but I also don't want to feed too little. The foods I have available are banana worms, BBS and Repashy's Soilent Green. Another problem is that I am gone from my home for about 12 hours each day (7:30 am to about 7:30 pm) leaving me just a 4 hour window in which I can feed my fish. Last night I fed them 2 "servings" of banana worms (1 serving being a small mass of worms that I gathered by swiping a Q-tip along the side of the plastic container) and 2 "squirts" of BBS spread apart in approximately 1 hour intervals.



    P.S. something very strange is going on with Photobucket ... I should find myself another image host
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  7. skoram

    skoram Active Member

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    Update: I'm down to about 10 fry. The remaining fry seem to be healthy but I have no idea what has reduced their numbers. Some possibilities are:

    1. Predation from male erythrura
    I have not noticed any attempts or even interest from the male in eating his offspring but who knows? The female has to sleep/rest sometime so maybe they are being plucked off when she cannot guard them?

    2. Predation from clown killifish dithers
    Same as with #1

    3. Lack of food
    I generally feed them banana worms and/or BBS twice per day, around 7 pm and again at 11 pm. Because of work and sleep I am unable to feed them outside this time window.

    4. Overfeeding
    I don't think I am feeding them too often but my "serving sizes" may be too large.

    5. Too few water changes
    I am changing about 30-40% of the water every 3-4 days

    6. Changing too much water
    See above - 30-40% freshly dechlorinated tap water may cause a potential shock

    One thing to note regarding the water quality, the top of the tank is completely saturated and thriving with floating plants, Limnobium laevigatum, Pistia stratiotes and duckweed.

    Here's a video I took last night of them:

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  8. prototop

    prototop Member 5 Year Member

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    Hey,

    I have roughly the same setup and also around the same number of surviving fry, two weeks after seeing freeswimmers. But I don't feed the fry as well as you do. My criterion for succes is having a few that make it to adulthood. So I'm fairly satisfied so far. If one was to breed for selling or selecting for color, it would probably be a different matter, as one would presumably want as many survivors as possible. But I dont know, without some external pressure, I think that this kind of breeding would have a higher tendency to lead to some "unhealthy" traits being propagated in the long run. But then again, what do I know. Its an interesting subject though.
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  9. skoram

    skoram Active Member

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    I didn't want to wait until I had no fry left so I moved the male to another tank several days ago. I suspected that he might have some internal parasites so it also allowed me to administer treatment without putting meds in the fry tank.

    Since moving him to another tank roughly 5 days go, the fry have stopped decreasing in number. Unfortunately I only have 4 remaining but 4 is still better than 0.
  10. skoram

    skoram Active Member

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    Not too long after my last post (around early May), my female erythrura laid a whole batch of new eggs on a mirror I had in the tank. With no male, the eggs were definitely infertile and, unfortunately, caused her to totally abandon caring for her existing fry. In fact, she aggressively chased them away anytime they got near. In the days that followed, I kept searching for signs of the fry but could find none, so I assumed they had all died without their mother's care.

    Hence, I was greatly surprised to spot one of them, much more fully grown, during a water change about 1 month ago. On closer inspection I discovered 3 had actually survived out of the 4 that remained when the mother abandoned them. They are each about 2 cm now, very healthy, and able to eat most "adult" foods. Here is a recent photo of one of them:

    [​IMG]
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