So now you have a nest full of little tails bobbing up and down very exciting. For the first 2 days
after the fry are born they hang under the nest and when they fall to the bottom of the tank the
male will swim down pick them up in his mouth and spit them back in the nest. This is a very
good time to give the bottom of the tank a good clean so once the fry are free swimming it
becomes more difficult . Once they are free swimming for the first 2 weeks tank cleaning is
very difficult. On about the 4th day you will notice they are swimming like normal fish and the
male will be battling to keep them all in the nest and he should be removed. When the male is
removed we add a air stone to the tank bubbling very lightly and as the days go on we up the
air flow to keep the water moving and to break the scum of the top of the water. The airstone
also helps with cleaning of the tank as it will tend to push all the muck into one spot for easy
This has been a major ordeal for us and we have finally got to the root of the problem. In fish
tanks there is bacteria that grows this is very normal if the bacteria is kept to normal levels. In
fry tanks this is quite difficult to do has it is not so easy keeping the bottom of the tanks clean.
We have resolved this issue by adding an airstone to the tanks to keep the water well circulated
and the fry of the bottom of the tank most of the time. Dry commercial foods can also be a
problem as this sinks down to the bottom of the tank and causes abnormal bacteria grown.
Every second day from when the male is removed we siphon the bottom of the tank and wipe
carefully with a sponge. We also only feed Microworms or other live foods for the first 3 weeks
this is the time period that the ventrals are most likely to be dissolved. Baby brine shrimp is also
a good option as they swim around the tank and will keep fry of the bottom, we stopped
feeding Baby Brine as we were getting lot of fish with Swim Bladder problems but this could
have been due to over feeding. I personally do not like Brine Shrimp in any form I find it bloats
the fish and is a very unnatural food for fresh water fish, they can also carry a lot of parasites.
But in saying this a lot of people feed it with no problems. Feeding live food also saves cleaning
up a lot of mess on the bottom of your tanks.
We start to feed our fry from the moment the eggs start to hatch, I am not sure if they actually
eat the food this young but it just makes me feel better to put a few Microworms in the tank 2
times a day. Once the male is removed feeding really begins and you will see their little tummies
white full of worms, try to avoid any dry foods at this time. We use a baby medicine eye
dropper to feed and we put all the Microworms in a cup with water and give them a few drops.
If at the next feed there are many worms still on the bottom we skip that feed. If they are still
there the next morning siphon the old ones out before feeding fresh. At 3-4 weeks of age we
grate frozen Bloodworms and Frozen Daphnia with the finest part of a cheese grater and the
fry get this mixture including the Microworms. We will only use hiakri brand frozen foods as it
has vitamins added and goes through a strict de contamination process for parasites before
packaging. All frozen foods can carry parasites and is some thing to be very aware of. When
the fry are moved to the grow out tank we like to feed as much variety as possible. One of my
favorites is Osi Granules and they are easy to crush in your fingers to feed the smaller fish, they
still get all the rest of the baby foods until they are jarred. Once they are in the grow out tank
and eating well this is the best time to get them used to eating anything. There is a lot of
competition for food and they will gobble up anything that is put in the tank. If they ignore a
certain food persist they will soon get hungry and eat.
Once the fry are jarred they get fed the same as our adult fish, Whole Bloodworms, Frozen
Daphnia, Live Daphnia, White Worms, Grindal Worms, Osi Flakes and Granules and what