Mid August, 2022 I was commissioned to breed a group of wild-caught Mountain Redbelly Dace [hereafter MRBD] for a NANF dealer. The arrangement was simple: fish were a gift, and I would provide fry for the dealer.
I prepared a 20-gal long with a DIY spraybar. I loaded up with boiled Oak leaves.
The fish arrived on 09-02-2022. About 19x brooders, wild caught. They were a batch of washed-out minnows for a few weeks.
Eventually they started putting on their colors. Lovely little gems!
By 10-07-2022 I caught them spawning over the rock tray...
A check beneath the stones on 10-07-22 proved exciting! First part was removing stones. Second part was checking for eggs.
I moved them into a tank across the Fishroom. It was the shorter end of a matten-divided 33 gal long. I have to remove a few lingering Bristlenose Pleco fry, and a LOT of Malaysian Trumpet Snails.
I treated the hatching side with Methelyene Blue to ward off fungus.
Here is a descriptive video of the hatching setup, 10-08-2022...
Here are the MRBD fry beginning to rise up and become free swimming 10-10-2022
And here is a very early feeding of free swimming fry on powdered New Life Spectrum GROW starter powder on 10-14-2022...
The fry grew steadily, feeding on BBS and very finely powdered dry foods. With the BBS feedings came hydra. LOTS of hydra...
Here is another short video taken on 11-08-2022, Note a touch of aggression emerging. There is also a fascinating leucitic fry...
Finally comes BAP submission day! Here's a closing video of the brood, taken 11-14-2022...
Here are technical notes:
- Chrosomus oreas
- Wild caught, bought from NANF dealer
- Breeding tank size: 20-gal long
- Spraybar + Powerhead + Three Sponge Filters
- Glass Spawning Tray with assorted small, color-contrasted landscaping stones
- Loads of dried and boiled Oak Leaves
- Plenty wood
- A bit of Valisneria
- City / Tap Water
- Room Temperature (65-78 F)
- KH = 2-3 drops (very soft)
- pH = 6.0 -- NOTE! I tested all aquariums with sprayers and found this measurement consistent. Other aquariums range between pH 7.0-7.8 -- from this, I surmise that the processing / aeration precipitates loss of KH buffer ("temporary hardness") and causes pH to crash. Water changes must require a solid 48-72 hrs to readjust water to these parameters
- Nitrate = 10 ppm
- Water Changes performed ca. 1x weekly / or biweekly, 50%
- LED Shop light (5,000 K)
- Photoperiod 10-14 hrs. (widened to trigger spawning)
- Dried foods mainly consisting of Bug Bites color enhancing flakes, and Bug Bites spiraling flakes
Here are some breeding reflections:
I think that this is the first batch of F1 fry I have knowingly bred -- though a number of the NANF species we've all gotten into this past year or two probably has more than once yielded F1 fry unbeknownst to us. The single leucistic fry is fascinating! It will be interesting to see whether it retains its site coloration, or turns dark over time. I have reserved it, along with a dozen or so fry, to study and bring up to breeding age.
This is the first species I have had spawn with the spraybar. I really like the way that it oxygenates the water and provides loads of flow. The flow is sometimes described as "laminar" -- or all in one line / direction, from back to front; but the Dace really do seem to appreciate it. Here is a link to a video demonstration of how I set up mine DIY.
Most hilariously, my 2-year-old was tinkering around with the light timer, and lengthened the photoperiod 🤣🤣🤣 Kid is a genius! The MRBDs responded in a few days, coloring up, and spawning in the mornings.
By the time I discovered their breeding, they'd already been at it for more than a week, judging by the free swimming fry. When hatched, they are weak, and take a while to really rise and swim. A grout tank with lots of sponge filtration is best, in my opinion. I left the airline in long after the eggs were hatched, just to provide extra oxygen and circulation.
Fry accepted cold water changes well. I changed water to fry, 30% approx. once every week -- maybe once every two weeks on an occasion.
By the submission date, males were doing these little sparring dances, swimming in circles. They definitely seem a bit more intelligent than some of the Shiners I've raised. They know when I am there to feed them, despite being only a month along.
I am happy to provide a batch of 50+ fry to my NANF dealer, and hope for hundreds more to come!