Sep 28

Little Rams


We have been working on some BAP Projects lately, and after a number of false starts, finally are hopeful about this batch of Mikrogeophagus Ramirezi.


Here's a brief video showing a bit of the daily care required to make it through the first several weeks:




Fantastic! Your persistence is admirable. I learn a lot from watching your experiments.


Like you, I'm also working with a number of species that have really small fry. Paramecium cultures sourced from Carolina Biological Supply work very well for me. They are kept in 2 liter bottles with gentle air and fed 1 or 2 boiled wheat berries every few days. The wheat berries are boiled for 10 minutes to kill impurities and soften the berries so that bacteria grow on them which in turn feed the paramecium. I also keep rotifer, euglena, and blepharisma cultures, but paramecium is definitely the favorite of fry. They have to hunt the paramecium unlike rotifers and BBS which just sit there waiting to be eaten. It's really fun to watch fry develop hunting strategies for the paramecium. It keeps them (and me) occupied for hours.



That is awesome! Maybe you'd consider selling some of these cultures at club auction along with instructions on how to maintain them. We'd definitely be buyers. Hoping we can make it in November. October mega auction won't work for us, but hopefully when we come we'll have some good stuff to connect about. You're an inspiration! Keep going with raising fish!

Okey dokey. I'll aim to put some in for the November auction. The only reason I haven't before is because these 'pure' cultures invariably become contaminated by other creatures over time if you're not raising them under laboratory conditions. Every 6-12 months, one or more of the cultures crashes because something with a bigger mouth got in there and ate 'em all up. If this happens, I dump everything into a bucket with leaves, bark, and java moss to make a 'high-octane infusoria blend' and feed that to fry. In the meantime, I sterilize everything and start over with new cultures which take a few weeks to get established. The cultures I have now are relatively new and going strong.

New Posts
  • I still remember the magical feeling of walking into John's Fish Pond as a kid, and peering into each little wonderful aquarium universe. The walls of the store were dark, helping each tank to glow with life. Nothing was more mesmerizing than a brilliant school of cardinal tetras. Skip ahead over a handful of decades . . . we have really enjoyed keeping a small school of cardinals in this 29 gal. planted tank. But now that we are getting into breeding, we've decided to take up the challenge of breeding cardinals. We've done some reading, listened to some resources, and carefully watched a step-by-step how to posted by Mark's Aquatics: So, we have a game plan. But we'd like to ask for any and all advice from the PVAS community. Here's what we have in mind. (1) In general, the plan is to prepare a breeding tank beneath the cabinet that the 29 gal is set on: (2) We have been pre-cycling a small sponge filter for use down the road: (3) We plan to set up a 2.5 gal aquarium for the breeding, and to move Cardinals down from the 29 gal. above: (4) We covered the back and sides with black foam board to make the tank dark. The front cabinet doors will be covered. The only light that will be able to enter will be from the top, and that very limited by the darkness of the cabinet - which is open at the back: (5) We recut a piece of acrylic for the lid: (6) For a point when some light is appropriate, we covered the plastic exterior of a small LED with yellow and blue masking tape to produce a dull blue light: (7) We have an old, but reliable heater for keeping the temperature warm: (8) For preparation of the water and substrate, we are fortunate to begin with very soft water from our tap. Our pH runs a bit high though. Our plan is to use a combination of compost and autumn leaf litter. After our meeting this month about black water, we got to thinking about how our mosquito larvae gathered from backyard bins were dark with tannins from fallen leaves. So, we plan to prepare the compost (similar to peat) in a stocking submerged in a separate container with cycled water along with leaf litter to raise tannins and lower pH: (9) Basically, the plan is to prep the substrate, fill 2.5 gal. with cycled tannin water, add heater & sponger filter, ensure the cycle is complete, add an additional small bed of java moss above the compost / leaf substrate for starter infusoria when eggs first hatch, then lower the sponge filter flow to virtually nothing and add one to two pairs of cardinals (females are the larger plump ones): (10) After 24-48 hrs, remove the adults and wait to see if eggs hatch. Meanwhile, prepared infusoria will be first foods. This followed by vinegar eels, perhaps micro worms, and eventually baby brine shrimp. Once the fry are visible and free swimming, some light could be added along with gentle sponge filtration. What are your thoughts? Anything to improve / change / amend this plan? We'd love to hear from you -- especially if you've had success with raising cardinal tetras. We are not in this for a business -- not trying to make money. It's all for the fun of the hobby, with BAP acting as a motivation. If we're successful, we'd love to bring a big bag of Cardinals in to a mini-auction way down the road next year!
  • After just 20 days, our female Melanochromis Auratus (Golden Mbuna) spit her fry in the 40 gal. breeder she was holding in. This is definitely her first little batch to survive. We raised her from a wee little one. It is very hard to tell whether there are ten surviving fry or not. We removed the female, did a big water change, and have been feeding fry on baby brine shrimp several times each day. They are a bit of a challenge to count. It is fascinating to observe how they immediately claim and vigorously defend territory already -- at just days old. If ten survive, we will submit for BAP points, post a spawning report, and include a video journal -- now long in the making . . . Here's a video capturing these little guys:
  • Pleased (and a bit surprised) to find baby Kribensis after school today! We knew the parents had been unsuccessful with an earlier batch, but did not realize they were guarding another clutch of eggs. Hopefully these will do well, and we will grow out and submit for BAP. Here's a very short video:

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