Saturday, 21 January 2012

Hard Work!

I really had forgotten how much hard work goes into raising fry and it is a bit of a shock to the system, I have to admit.  I think its harder this time around because we have the 7 month olds too - isn't that what parents say when the second child comes along?

One of the problems I have at the moment is that I'm short of tanks.  We've managed to break quite a few in recent weeks and so need to get more.  I think I want to try a different type of set up next time.....we'll see.  Anyway, I finally managed to count the fry, and we have 145 so it just goes to show how many must have been lost to other fish in the tank (probably between 200 - 250).  145 is a much better number to work with given that nursery tanks are few and far between at the moment.  In total, we've been losing between 1 - 2 a day, which I don't think is too bad at all (remember many of these were fished out of the filter, so I expected to lose a lot more than I have).

I think I'm now fully in the swing of the brine hatching again - at least having the dwarfs around means that I never stop doing it entirely.  Making sure that they are properly enriched really is the absolute key.  At the moment I'm using selco, tetra and Dan's Feed. The brineshrimp goes through three phases - Step 1.  24 hour hatch, rinse and move to clean vessel.  Step 2. Feed with tetra  3. Remove enough food from the feeding vessel for 12 hours worth of feeding, and enrich with DF or selco.


The babies in the pictures above have nice red digestive tracts which shows they are eating well.

This next picture shows a baby that looks to be slightly bigger and more developed.  I suspect that he is probably one of the older babies, which now will make him three weeks old (the others are one week old today)

I did take some more pictures of the 7 month old H.erectus fry but I just really can't get any great photo's.  As soon as the camera comes out, they all seem to scramble to the front blocking the view of the one that I'm actually trying to get a picture of!

I have two that are my favourites (shhhh don't tell the others) and I'm trying so hard to resist keeping them.  My husband already put first dibs on one of the boys - and we really don't need any more boys!!!!  My two favourites are a yellow girl with crazy crazy cirri.  This is a beautiful headshot of her.  I know, I know, its rubbish but honestly she spends most of her time at the back of the tank and so this was the best that I could get!

And then in this pic you can see her as she quickly scoots away (the smaller seahorse in the picture is one of her 4.5 month old siblings).

I think that the photo's don't really do them justice, so here is a video that I took of them too.  I hope you like them as much as I do.  Enjoy :)

As I've managed to spend the last few blogs talking about the H.erectus, I think its time that the dwarfs get a look in.  We're actually preparing a new tank for them which I hope they will be moving into within the next couple of weeks.  Watch this space, and I promise to blog about the dwarfs...

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Babies here, babies there, erectus babies everywhere!

Wow, what a morning!

I decided to get up nice and early as I suspected that my male H.erectus would possibly give birth today.  I would get a tank ready, move him to the tank and let him do his thing there.  This is normally how I like to do it, and its always worked really well.  He normally gives a couple of warning babies so I know when he's likely to have the rest of the brood.

So, I started tank work at 8am, looked in the tank and, oh drat, a couple of warning babies!  I started moving them into a small tank, but it quickly became apparent that there were more than just a couple of babies.  Not just that, but Ed clearly hadn't delivered them all so at least I was thankful that he hadn't had the majority of them least that's what I though!  

I quickly set about getting a tank ready and moved the few 2 week olds that we had left over to an 8 gallon tank, and started moving the new babies from the DT to the nursery.  I think I managed to get about 50 by the time Ed looked like he was done.  Well, 50 for H.erectus is nothing - you are looking at more like 300 - 400, so most of these must have sadly been lost to the other fish in the least that's what I thought! 

When I turned the filter back on, I started to get tons of bubbles, so I switched it off and took out the sponge to clean it.  I put the sponge in a bucket with tank water to give it a good old rinse, and out came lots of babies.  Sad though it may seem, normally I wouldn't attempt to rescue any babies from the filter as by this time they have probably received quite a bit of damage, so the kindest thing is to cull them.  However, these guys seemed to actually be doing ok.  I pulled 12 babies out, and put them in the nursery.

I then proceeded to check the weir of the tank and noticed more babies.  At this point, because there were so many and I find the weir difficult to get to, I had to use a siphon to get them out, I think I managed to get around another 50 in total.  Finally, I'd got them least that's what I thought!

I switched the filter back on but after a while I noticed the filter was producing lots of micro bubbles so I had to ask Ron to look at the tank.  He pulled out about another 50 babies!

2.5 hours later, and finally we had managed to clear the tank of babies.  Honestly, I really don't know how those people who let the father give birth in the DT and then fish them out, do it.  I must be missing something! It just seems to much less hassle to move the father into a nursery, and to be honest, mine never seem in the slightest bit effected by the ordeal.

Ironically, most of these babies seem to be in really good form.  So far there aren't any surface huggers, which is really very unusual.  Almost all of the last brood were surface huggers which is why we lost almost all of them.  They just weren't very strong/well conditioned babies.

These little guys have had their first Formalin treatment, which I do as a matter of course on days 1, 3 and 5 after birth.  This helps if they have carried over any ciliates of any form of external parasite from the parents or DT.

I had intended to update my blog today but just not with news of the new babies, but of the old babies.  More babies have gone to their new home and are being spoiled rotten!  I have been lucky enough to get pictures of all the babies that have been re-homed in their new homes and they all look so happy and are doing great!

I intend to keep the rest of the babies until they are around 4 inches and they will, hopefully, all then be re-homed.  Its so hard trying to resist keeping any, although Ron has a boy that he wants us to keep.

Here are some more pictures (please excuse the tanks, as these pictures were taken before their morning clean). 

This girl has the craziest cirri of all, but every time I try and get a profile or face on shot, she turns her back to me.  Little devil!

And this is the sight that meets me every morning as soon as the lights go on.  We want FOOD!!!

The girls..
The boys..

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