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How much BBS is too much for fry?

Ben Rhau

Member
Hi, I'm feeding my fry BBS 3 times a day. I can see them eating it, but as these have only been free swimming for a few days now, they aren't very efficient at getting it all. Therefore, I spot feed them repeatedly to make sure they get enough. However, a lot of the BBS is getting lost in the leaf litter/mulm and I'm getting hydra. I don't think the adults can clean up the rest of the BBS that I spot feed, because the mother chases them away.

I have info on how to treat the hydra from other threads, so my questions are more about feeding and water changes.
  1. How do I know how much to feed? Is the strategy to overfeed and then compensate with water changes?
  2. During the water change, is siphoning from the top sufficient, or do I need to siphon the substrate? I'd like to clean the substrate, but am afraid of disrupting the fry.
  3. My typical routine is 25% WC weekly, or 12.5% twice a week. Is this enough for healthy fry?
Thanks
 

Mike Wise

Moderator
Staff member
5 Year Member
This is what I do; others will have different opinions. I feed only enough bbs so that none, or almost none, are visible after 5 - 10 minutes. I do 10 - 15% water change every week from the top of the tank for the first 2 - 3 water changes after fry become freeswimming. After that I gravel clean. I do water changes of 25% every 2 weeks on all of my tanks - except tanks with small fry. Then it is like above. When I change from once each week to once every 2 weeks depends on how the fish appear - and how lazy I am at the time.
 

lexi

Member
I see this is a somewhat older post, but I'm glad to stumble on it anyways. Been wondering the same sort of things as I am currently raising my first batch of fry. Now I dont need to make a post to ask. ;)

How did things go with your fry after this Ben? Any more batches since? I hope it's all going well for you!

I think I am over feeding. I've been doing partial water changes from the top every 3-4 days, about 10% or so. I've either lost 50-70% of the fry or they are just hiding separately more now instead of in a tight group. They are hard to see in all the leaf litter! I think mine are about 3 or 4 weeks old now (too lazy atm to go look at my calendar where its marked).
 

Ben Rhau

Member
Hi Lexi,

Mine would probably be what Mike calls "ugly" apistos, so I'm not trying to raise large amounts of fry that I can't place. I have 5 juveniles at the moment growing out in the 20-long with the parents. My overflow tanks are ready to receive new fish, so I will likely move the male to control breeding.

The females do continue to spawn, but the new fry cannot survive predation. This is a combination of: (1) the fry tend to wander such that the female cannot corral them fast enough. (2) The juveniles and pencil fish will opportunistically eat the fry. So far, there hasn't been much violence in the tank as a result of this, but I will likely need to move the juveniles soon.

In terms of feeding, I target feed with a 5ml pipette, so I'm certain I'm not overfeeding. I also have amanos in the tank now, so between them and the juvies, whatever makes it to the substrate will absolutely get eaten. Once the fish get to about 1.5cm, it's hard to grow them with just BBS, even feeding 3 times daily. In addition to the BBS, they are actively taking frozen foods most days and dry food twice a week now.

If I had the desire or capacity to really grow out a maximum amount of fry, I would likely move the cave while the female is looking broody and put them all in a grow-out by themselves with lots of water changes and lots of feeding.

-Ben
 

lexi

Member
Hi Lexi,

Mine would probably be what Mike calls "ugly" apistos, so I'm not trying to raise large amounts of fry that I can't place. I have 5 juveniles at the moment growing out in the 20-long with the parents. My overflow tanks are ready to receive new fish, so I will likely move the male to control breeding.

The females do continue to spawn, but the new fry cannot survive predation. This is a combination of: (1) the fry tend to wander such that the female cannot corral them fast enough. (2) The juveniles and pencil fish will opportunistically eat the fry. So far, there hasn't been much violence in the tank as a result of this, but I will likely need to move the juveniles soon.

In terms of feeding, I target feed with a 5ml pipette, so I'm certain I'm not overfeeding. I also have amanos in the tank now, so between them and the juvies, whatever makes it to the substrate will absolutely get eaten. Once the fish get to about 1.5cm, it's hard to grow them with just BBS, even feeding 3 times daily. In addition to the BBS, they are actively taking frozen foods most days and dry food twice a week now.

If I had the desire or capacity to really grow out a maximum amount of fry, I would likely move the cave while the female is looking broody and put them all in a grow-out by themselves with lots of water changes and lots of feeding.

-Ben
Thanks for the details and info! Sounds like you have quite the fish room setup. I'm a total newbie with my two little pairs of cacs, shrimp and some community tanks. I've been feeding the fry a mix of frozen baby brine shrimp, dried cyclops and live microworms. My brine shrimp hatchery and eggs still havent come in the mail (thanks covid! =P ) I use a Turkey baster for the bbs and the cyclops mixed with tank water. The worms I've just been lazy with now that the fry are more active and spread all around the tank. I wipe a finger in the culture and rinse it in the tank. I am currently trying to decide how long I should leave the mom in. She no longer seems to attend to them actively, at least that I can see. She also isnt acting predatory that I have seen either. But maybe she is why I cant find as many fry?

Do you ever see the Amanos predate on the apisto fry? I have been debating adding either some of my blue neocaridina culls or a few of my amanos into the fry tank to help offset any excess food. I've gotten mixed answers from google on whether or not that would work out. I dont care if the culls or shrimplets get eaten eventuall but I dont want to loose any fry. My fry are still only about a quarter inch long.
 

Ben Rhau

Member
Thanks for the details and info! Sounds like you have quite the fish room setup.
Just three small tanks in my bedroom, so nothing too crazy. :)

Do you ever see the Amanos predate on the apisto fry? I have been debating adding either some of my blue neocaridina culls or a few of my amanos into the fry tank to help offset any excess food
I have personally not seen it happen, but it's certainly possible. The batch that survived for me definitely stayed close to mom for the first several weeks, so i don't think any amanos could get near them. I've never heard of people successfully keeping neos with apistos without the shrimp getting eaten.
 

dw1305

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Hi all,
I have been debating adding either some of my blue neocaridina culls or a few of my amanos into the fry tank to help offset any excess food. I've gotten mixed answers from google on whether or not that would work out. I dont care if the culls or shrimplets get eaten eventuall but I dont want to loose any fry.
I think the Neocaridina will work fine with the fry, they definitely won't eat them. I use two other crustaceans as "egg and fry janitors", Asellus aquaticus and Crangonyx pseudogracilis, they are aesthetically challenged but are a more likely to retain viable populations with a micro-predator fish.

cheers Darrel
 

lexi

Member
Hi all,I think the Neocaridina will work fine with the fry, they definitely won't eat them. I use two other crustaceans as "egg and fry janitors", Asellus aquaticus and Crangonyx pseudogracilis, they are aesthetically challenged but are a more likely to retain viable populations with a micro-predator fish.

cheers Darrel
I like oddballs and aesthetically challenged critters. =) I will have to look those up.
 

dw1305

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Hi all,
I like oddballs and aesthetically challenged critters. =) I will have to look those up.
They are both native to N. America, Asellus is native to Europe as well, and Crangonyx is widely naturalised in the UK etc.

You may be able to find them for sale on Ebay etc. If anyone in the UK wants some I can post them.

cheers Darrel
 

Miss ATV

Member
I fed yesterday 0.5ml of bbs with a dropper, picked up most of the "orange" bits from the bbs dish mixed then with aquarium water and squeezed them where the fry where. Turns out they were mostly dead bbs and they went all over the sand, this morning I had an ammonia spike(1ppm) and about 20 fry dead out of 50-60. Performed a 40% water change and the fry were still dieing and they are still dieing now so I lost about 50% of them... I have no idea what happened I saw the dead bbs spreading on the sand and I didnt do a water change as I done quite a big one on Thursday evening so I didnt think its gonna be a big deal.

The only thing thats changed was me picking up the mass of bbs rather that picking up carefully the swimming ones as I previously did so I think I overfed with dead bbs ☹
 
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