Raising Fry

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Raising Fry

Post by cancichfan on Tue Feb 09, 2010 12:45 pm

I was wondering if anyone had any advice about raising fry? Yesterday I stripped 3 little fry from a yellow lab that was holding her first brood. It was a first for both of us actually. I am not intending on breeding fish but since this was the very first brood I had ever had, and I had a tank available, I thought I'd give it a go.
I don't think 3 is any sort of record for fecundity but if there are more in there, they can stay! That was way too stressful on both her and I. She's only tiny, maybe 2 inches max so you can imagine how small her mouth was and seeing down in there to verify if I got them all was not easy.
Anyway, I have the 3 little guys in a 10 gallon tank and I wondered what I could do to help guarantee their survival? The lab was between 18 and 21 days when I stripped her (I was away and she was holding when I got home so I don't know for sure) but I don't see any egg sacs on the little guys but I may not be looking for the right thing.

Any suggestions?
Thanks
Graham

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Re: Raising Fry

Post by Drake-tripod on Tue Feb 09, 2010 12:49 pm

first off congrats Very Happy i remember my first strip 2 3 years ago first i would say get NLS grow formula thats always a good start. and if you can do a slight water change per week they will grow faster that way and will insure healthy water quality and dont worry its allot easier then you think yellow labs are some of the most prolific fish so dont worry relax and there is always next time Very Happy
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Re: Raising Fry

Post by cancichfan on Tue Feb 09, 2010 1:25 pm

Not to sound overly cheap but can I grind up regular NLS cichlid pellets? My LFS doesn't seem to carry NLS and the other store I go to is about an hour away. I asked for advice and here I am already not following it but if it's OK to use the regular NLS food and smash it up, then I think I'll try that first before I make a special trip.
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Re: Raising Fry

Post by Drake-tripod on Tue Feb 09, 2010 1:31 pm

yea or i found any pellet really doesnt matter NLS is just the best some times ill use ground of freeze dried foods for a treat
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Re: Raising Fry

Post by Aura on Tue Feb 09, 2010 1:44 pm

Ten gallons is a large tank for three tiny little fry, so be careful with the feeding. You'll have to watch to get an idea on the right amount. With my first couple of broods I tended to overfeed because the fry were so small in the 10 gallon that I was afraid they wouldn't be able to find the food. That led to not-so-perfect water conditions and nasty little white worms that really freaked me out. (I didn't want to put my hand in the tank!)

What I do now is put the fry in a breeder box inside the fry tank, away from older fry or adults, and feed them in there for a couple of weeks and then release them into the fry tank. I feed frozen baby brine shrimp and finely crushed pellets, or flakes, or any of the fry foods will work. I feed small amounts three times a day and will toss a couple of NLS pellets in for them to munch on for a while. Frequent water changes are also important -- I change every third day or so. I also add an airstone to make sure that the water circulates well in the box.

If you are not using a sponge filter, make sure the intake is covered with something to prevent the little ones from being sucked in.

The next time, if you have an available tank, you could also separate the mother when her holding period is nearing the end and let her spit her babies when she is ready. If you happen to be watching the tank, it's a really cool sight to see. Sometimes she will pick them back up if she thinks you might be a threat to them and re-release them in another spot.

Good luck and congrats!
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Re: Raising Fry

Post by cancichfan on Tue Feb 09, 2010 2:13 pm

Thanks. I put a J-cloth over the filter and secured it with an elastic band to keep any fry out (I read the box twice and didn't see the works "Anti-bacterial" anywhere).

I have a bit of gravel in the bottom of the tank and a couple rocks so I have no idea if the fry are in there or not. Occasionally, I see one when I move a rock or something. Do they need hiding places?

I debated about leaving the mother but then I started to worry that if she spit the fry and I didn't notice, she'd eat them. I had a traumatic guppy experience once...scarred me for life.

Thanks again for the advice.
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Re: Raising Fry

Post by Aura on Tue Feb 09, 2010 3:51 pm

If they are all that's in the tank, they don't really need hiding places, but I imagine it makes them feel more secure. I keep some rocks/decor in my fry tanks.

And I have had that mom eating the fry experience too. Sad My mbuna are usually okay for a couple of days with the babies. When I let them do the spitting the natural way, I always have a lot of hiding places for the fry and remove mom within a day or two.
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Re: Raising Fry

Post by Drake-tripod on Tue Feb 09, 2010 5:00 pm

i would put a little baby flower pot they seem to love them
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Re: Raising Fry

Post by Larry Johnson on Wed Feb 10, 2010 1:36 am

All the idea's here are good!
I use 2 1/2 gallon tanks for new born fry,,,they can stay in there untilI you figure its time to move them,,according to how many and their size.I gaduate them to larger tanks ever couple months,to give them a growth burst.
If you release them to early and they are bottom bouncing with a yolk sac,then the tank is esily tipped to one end (with a 2x4) so the babies stay at that end,,,which is where the overflow from the sponge filter gently keeps them moving.
They are very delicate at that age and handeling should be avoided,,,here at home they are released from mothers mouth into a small bucket and then dumped not netted, into their new tank!
All tanks are bare,,,there is no hiding from the food, as some are even shy about this strange stuff floating down from the top.
As far as feeding goes,,,crushed/pulverized anything is OK. I used to feed freshly hatched Baby Brine Shrimp,,,but beleive it or not, the fry grow just as fast or faster on a good quality food.
Personally I use Tetra Color Granules, it softens as soon as it hits the water, the fish take in less air,been using it for 20 years.

Cheers,Larry
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Re: Raising Fry

Post by cancichfan on Wed Feb 10, 2010 6:39 pm

Thanks everyone. I took out aII the graveI and rocks today but I put one IittIe rock back in because they just seemed so naked in there. They are swimming around fine so I think it wasn't too soon.
Do they actuaIIy eat? I put in a bit of fIake but they have been paying no attentiion. I am going to assume that if they get hungry, they"II find it. I wiII put in a bit more tonight and vacuum tomorrow morning.
I was surprised how much crud was in the IittIe bit of graveI and I vacuumed it out and did a 50% water change today. Another reason that I think I wiII change the big tank over to sand.
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Re: Raising Fry

Post by Splash on Wed Feb 10, 2010 7:04 pm

I keep all my fry tanks bare bottom for the very new guys. Once they move on to the 2nd tanks I start keeping sand in there and a few rocks. The first stop I keep bare because with them just learning to eat the crud usually piles up fast on the bottom and the bare tank is easier to clean.
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Re: Raising Fry

Post by vman on Wed Feb 10, 2010 11:24 pm

I use bare tanks on some fish & sand on others , mothers on some breeds freak out on bare bottom tanks . I use 20 longs now but I've used 10 &15's also . On food I take all the food the parents are eating & combine it in a coffee grinder to a powder. Change the water by- weekly . Been using this method for 40 + yrs.
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Re: Raising Fry

Post by Drake-tripod on Thu Feb 11, 2010 12:59 am

any updates?
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Re: Raising Fry

Post by cancichfan on Thu Feb 11, 2010 6:08 pm

Any updates? Well, the fry are still alive and still small. That's about it.
I guess one neat thing is how they each stake out a claim to one corner of the tank. It's like they spent so long cooped up in the mother's mouth that now they want to get as far away from each other as possible. Still haven't seen them eat anything but they must have found something to nibble on. That's about it.

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Re: Raising Fry

Post by cancichfan on Wed Mar 10, 2010 12:04 pm

Just an update.
I lost one of the fry today. Not surprising, this one didn't seem to be developing nearly as quickly as the others. The remaining two (nicknamed Bart and Lisa) are really becoming "little fish" while this one never really progressed beyond the fry stage. It certainly was smaller and less robust than it's siblings and I think it may have gotten bloat because it's little belly seemed quite swollen the other day.

I've been feeding a crushed flake food because the little one wasn't really able to eat crushed NLS pellets unless they were ground to powder so perhaps it got a flake that was too rich for it or something. When a meal consists of a part of one flake, there isn't much chance to get a balanced diet. I will switch to NLS pellet now.

I expect that losing fry is pretty common and not something to get terribly upset about. I am sure that if I keep more in the future I will lose lots. The mother is actually holding again in the big tank but now that the other fish are more mature, I think the chances of a hybrid are quite high so I don't plan to keep any fry.

I'd post a picture of the survivors but I don't want to exclude myself from the POTM contest in case I get a good one. But then you'll know it was my shot anyway unless there are multiple fry pictures so I think I just eliminated myself anyway....

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