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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