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Demekin Fry Diary


waterpiggies

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--20th March 2015--

So I arrived home from work to find the bottom of the tank littered with what -at the time- I thought were infertile eggs. About 20% were a cloudy white colour and I figured the rest would follow suit and also cloud over within the next 24 hours.

I began scraping away at the eggs, trying to pry them from the bottom and sides of the tank before noticing that one of the eggs appeared to have two very small eyes in it. Now this really shocked me, not only because I had finally got some fertile eggs from my Demekins, but also because the fry had already begun to develop to the point of little eyes being visible in a matter of a few hours.

I immediately stopped my scraping and removed the adult fish from the tank and transferred them into a smaller tub that I use for quarantining.

I dropped the water level to about 6" and removed all of the filters, pumps etc. and added two air stones to break up the surface tension and allow the little guys to surface for air.

Here's a picture of the eggs and the suspected parents however I can't be 100% sure until I actually catch them in the act again.

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--21st March--

A lot of the eggs have remained clear so I am pretty confident that they are fertile! [emoji13][emoji13][emoji13] THIS IS SO EXCITING!

After doing a little bit more research, I added a small amount of methylene blue to the water in order to prevent fungus from spreading from the infertile eggs to the fertile ones. I am gradually reducing the temperature from about 24°C to 21°C by about 1° per day.

The fry are clearly visible inside the eggs now!

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--22nd March 2015--

Sorry for the short entry yesterday. I've been very busy!!

So at last the fry have hatched and are lying (pretty dead looking) on the bottom of the tank with the occasional reassuring spasm. At first I was a bit worried that they were in fact dead but after a little bit more research and after watching some 'goldfish hatching' videos on YouTube I am much more confident that they are alive and well and that they will make it through the next 24 hours at least [emoji5]️[emoji5]️

For anyone out there who is hatching fry for the first time and is worried that they are dead, look for some little tail movements and wiggles. The fry tend to stay in this state for about 24 hours before surfacing for air and latching onto the sides of the tank.

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--23rd March 2015--

These little fellas have finally got their lazy fishy arses off the bottom of the tank!! HOORAH!!

They can now be seen swimming to the surface and taking little gulps of air before latching onto the sides of the tank with their tiny suckers.

I have started the brine shrimp hatchery in preparation for tomorrow evening when they will receive their first meal. Fingers crossed all goes well with the hatchery as I really wouldn't want to have to feed them boiled egg yolk as I've fed it to guppy fry before and I am telling you - IT IS A MESS!!!

After many failed attempts at capturing a decent photo of the fry, I finally got one!! They're so small it's unbelievable!

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Tomorrow - if all goes well - I'm planning on taking a video of the fry having their first ever meal so stay tuned!! [emoji6]

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--24th March 2015--

The fry all seem to be doing fine, however I have encountered a few problems with my brine shrimp hatchery. I used a lamp as a source of light and heat (two crucial variables in the hatching of brine shrimp) however - without realising - I used an eco friendly bulb. Now, this may seem great as I am able to hatch baby brine shrimp to fuel the development of my growing fry, however, the amount of heat produced by the bulb is considerably less than that of an ordinary bulb. With maximum temperatures of about 68°F, the brine shrimp failed to hatch within 24 hours and so my fry missed out on what would have been their first meal.

Anyway, now my brine shrimp hatchery has been modified and it now sits in a plastic container filled with water heated to 82°F allowing the brine shrimp to hatch at a must faster rate.

That over, now we can get to the exciting stuff - The Babies! They are all doing really well. I have counted about 20-30 of them which - to part of me - is a disappointment, but my more responsible, rational side tells me that 30 babies is about perfect for my first ever batch of fry. I don't think I would want a really large batch like Hinfin's Oranda spawn last year with upwards of 1000 eggs because there would be too much room for mistake. I'd rather be comfortable and confident in what I'm doing than stressed and out of my depth.

The fry have grown quite noticeably actually over the past 24 hours and they are finally beginning to swim freely and battle against the minuscule currents of airstones. I've seen a few of them nibbling on little patches of green wall algae in the sides of the tank which is reassuring as I can now be confident that they do have a food source and that without the presence of baby brine shrimp for another possible 24 hours, the little guys won't just shrivel up and die!

Here are some pictures of the developing fry. For anyone who's interested in some specifics, I'll post the water parameters tomorrow, but until then, I bid you all farewell and good luck with your own fishy adventures! I'm off to do some water changes!! [emoji12][emoji12]

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Sorry guys. I just realised how bad these photos are. I'll try and take some better ones for tomorrow's update! [emoji5]️

Edited by waterpiggies
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--26th March 2015--

Sorry for not posting yesterday. The last couple of days have been a bit hectic what with work and packing fish for shipping and what have you. Quite a lot has changed over the past two days so I get the feeling this post is going to be a rather long one!

The babies are doing really well (no deaths so far). They have moved house into a small plastic basin filled with the water from their original tank. The basin holds about 5 litres of water and houses a single airstone and heater set to 21°C. I finally managed to get my hatcheries up and running and have been able to provide a good, steady supply of bbs to my brine shrimp every few hours.

They have definitely grown a lot and - at a rough estimate - are about the length of a fingernail.

I performed my very first water change in their new tub about 15 minutes ago, transferring already conditioned water from the tank housing their parents into their tub. The water in the parent tank received a 100% water change yesterday so the levels of toxins in the water are next to none although their should hopefully be some algae spores in there just to act as an additional food source for the babies to graze on. Speaking of algae, I'm going on a 1 week holiday next week and will have to leave my fry here unattended. I've been in contact with a few experienced breeders (50+ years experience) who have all said the fry should survive and I don't really doubt for a second that they will, however, my main concern is that the fry will spend the week without any bbs, dramatically slowing the growth and development of the fish which - from what I've read - could have major impacts on the overall outcome of the batch seeing as this is such a crucial time for them. May I ask what are people's thoughts on this? Would this have any major adverse effects on the fry and their development or would growth go on as usual when I return from my holiday?

I also have some very good news to add to the mix! I have found out who the father of the batch is. He is the red and black fish shown in one of the previous pictures, my original suspect. When feeding them this morning, I noticed a line of breeding tubercles in the leading Ray of both of his pectoral fins, accompanied by a few on his operculums. I have also observed him actively chasing the other fish in the tank (3x Demekins and 1x black ranchu) so the mother of the batch is still yet to be confirmed, however my original suspicions have remained the same.

I will post lots of pictures tomorrow along with an update on the parent fish which I will make separately for any of you who are not interested in that. I hope this thread is of use to somebody out there. I know I have definitely learned from my mistakes with the original destruction of the eggs and the failure of the brine shrimp hatchery so I hope at least one person reading this thread can learn just as much. [emoji4][emoji4]

Thanks for reading and good luck with your own fishy projects,

Charlie

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I did the same thing with my first batch of baby brine shrimp! I was using a light bulb that gave off minimal heat! I felt so dumb, cause I knew that was an essential part to a quick hatching  :huh:

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I did the same thing with my first batch of baby brine shrimp! I was using a light bulb that gave off minimal heat! I felt so dumb, cause I knew that was an essential part to a quick hatching :huh:

They're hatching fine now! I think I may have been overrun to be honest! [emoji23]
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--28th March 2015--

So I've arrived at my holiday destination where I am spending the next week without my beloved fry. I've left my fry in their basin having performed a 90% water change last night once again using water from my main tank replace the water I had removed. I also had the pleasure of seeing my fry feeding up close for the very first time last night which is an amazing thing to see. They spend a few seconds staring at the baby brine shrimp wiggling in front of them before lunging and swallowing them whole. When I left this morning, I made sure their bellies were nice and orange and plump and filled with BBS.

After performing the water change last night, I took a scouring sponge and scraped some algae off the walls of the parents' tank and ringing it out into the fry tub in the hope that it may grow and provide an adequate food source for them over the next few days. I also relocated the tub to a well lit window with plenty of sun light to promote the growth of some algae on the walls of the tub.

In the way of mortalities, I have sadly lost a small percentage of my fry to my own carelessness and a larger percentage to birth deformities such as crooked backs and bent spines etc. When performing the water change last night, I removed I think about 3 fry who clearly had very serious spinal deformities, two of which were already dead. The other was humanely euthanized with the use of clove oil. I also accidentally sucked up 1 baby with the air line tubing I used to siphon the gunk from the bottom of the tank. He had died by the time he reached the bucket probably due to the high currents as he was sucked up. I hope his serves as a lesson to anyone out there who is raising fry or plans to raise fry. The fry are so young and fragile at this age so water current - whilst still important for providing adequate oxygenation - can be lethal to developing fry. Just the slightest of currents such as those from an airline siphon can easily break a baby's spine so be very careful when doing routine maintenance to avoid any fry. I actually saw a man on YouTube (I do believe his name is JahJahBoogie) or something along those lines attach a small pebble to the end of his airline siphon allowing the fish to actually see the object moving towards them and swim away before its too late. I would definitely suggest doing something along these lines as the fry are unable to see the transparent airline coming their way until they are sucked up and either severely injured ore killed instantaneously.

I finally managed to get some decent video footage of the babies to which I will provide a link below.

I'm afraid that as I am currently on holiday and am unable to tend to my fry for the next week, baby updated will be halted for the time being. I will make sure to provide another big update when k return though as - should they survive - I am sure they will have grown tremendously!

I will post an adult update later on today along with a couple of pictures so stay tuned for that. Until then, farewell to you all and - once again - good luck with your own fishy adventures!!

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This is a picture of the babies in their little tub during the water change.

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Here they are again at feeding time.

Edited by waterpiggies
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--3rd April 2015--

I'm back!! I arrived home after my relaxing holiday in the Peak District, UK last night having spent a good 5 days there. The fry seem to all be doing just fine to my surprise! I came home to a tub full of brown algae and not a single dead fish! Unsurprisingly they don't seem to have grown much due to the lack of fresh baby brine shrimp in their diet but they are alive nonetheless and are all looking pretty healthy.

This morning the babies got their first ever waterchange with fresh tap water. Every time I've performed water changes up until now has been with water from the parents' tank but now that I am a little bit more confident that they will not be too stressed out with tap water, so that will be used from now on obviously dechlorinated with seachem prime.

They have also had two meals of fresh BBS so far today and I plan to maybe give them another 4 before they go to bed :-)

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Did you have a great time on your holiday? I'm glad it was relaxing for you ;)

 

The Fry were munching on the stuff in the tank so they had enough to eat till you got back. I'm happy to hear they are doing well still :D

 

Looking forward to seeing them change and get even bigger! :)

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Did you have a great time on your holiday? I'm glad it was relaxing for you ;)

The Fry were munching on the stuff in the tank so they had enough to eat till you got back. I'm happy to hear they are doing well still :D

Looking forward to seeing them change and get even bigger! :)

Hoorah!! A reply! I was about to give up on this thread! They are doing really well. I'll post another update tomorrow. Growth is slower than in the first 7-10 days so there's less to report on but I'll keep you posted! [emoji5]
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Did you have a great time on your holiday? I'm glad it was relaxing for you ;)

The Fry were munching on the stuff in the tank so they had enough to eat till you got back. I'm happy to hear they are doing well still :D

Looking forward to seeing them change and get even bigger! :)

Hoorah!! A reply! I was about to give up on this thread! They are doing really well. I'll post another update tomorrow. Growth is slower than in the first 7-10 days so there's less to report on but I'll keep you posted! [emoji5]

 

Oh no! Don't give up on this thread! :yikes  It is very interesting following the updates of your fry! ;)

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Did you have a great time on your holiday? I'm glad it was relaxing for you ;)

The Fry were munching on the stuff in the tank so they had enough to eat till you got back. I'm happy to hear they are doing well still :D

Looking forward to seeing them change and get even bigger! :)

Hoorah!! A reply! I was about to give up on this thread! They are doing really well. I'll post another update tomorrow. Growth is slower than in the first 7-10 days so there's less to report on but I'll keep you posted! [emoji5]

Oh no! Don't give up on this thread! :yikes It is very interesting following the updates of your fry! ;)
Thanks. That means lot. I didn't think anyone was interested [emoji13] [emoji13]
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--7th April 2015--

I apologise for having not updated this thread for so long. It appears growth has slowed somewhat in the fry so daily updates will now stop and I will instead give larger, weekly updates with lots of photos and hopefully some more drastic changes that I can keep you up to date with.

My last update was on the 3rd of April 2015 (4 days ago) and quite a few considerable changes have been made - not only with the fry themselves, but with the entire setup and their housing.

The fry have been growing and developing at quite a noticeable rate over the past few days, so I felt it right to provide just a bit more space for them. My 13 fry are now spread out across two separate basins rather than one giving me a bit more flexibility and peace of mind when it comes to water changes. The basins have also now been moved from my windowsill to a location where they still get some sunlight, but not quite as much as they did previously. I did this mainly for aesthetic reasons as the basins didn't look to pleasing to the eye in the window at the front of the house. I am still maintaining a healthy amount of algae in the tubs though - despite the reduction in lighting intensity - and I am still managing to promote plenty of new growth between water changes.

I have also -I am sad to say- experienced the first major die-offs with this batch of fry. As you may have picked up on earlier, the population has dropped quite drastically over the past few days from 22 fry, all the way down to 13! I don't think this is due to disease or malnourishment or anything of the sort if I'm honest as a large quantity of the babies that passed were deformed in some way or another - be it a crooked spine or a deformed swim blayears

I've managed to take a few more pictures showing the growth and development of the fry over the past few days for your enjoyment!

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March 27th 2015

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April 3rd 2015

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Today (7th April 2015)

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Hi there guys! So I've got some bad news for you all. I found out today who the real parents are for this batch of fry and it was not who I had suspected. It turns out that this batch of fry is actually a crossbreed between one of my male demekins and my one female black ranchu who had been moved into the tank with my demekins temporarily as I was preparing her tub for a new shipment of fish. I know this will probably be a disappointment to a lot of you who wanted to see the babies grow and develop their telescope eyes and high humps as it is for me too.

On the brighter side, this batch has given me lots of practise with my fry rearing skills in preparation for some undoubtedly larger spawns from my new shipment of black demekins who arrived just a few minutes prior to me writing this post :-)

My future plans for this batch of fry remain undecided as I really don't know what to do with them. I have no idea what these babies could look like in adulthood but the chances are, they won't be the best looking babies [emoji26] [emoji20]

I really don't have the time or money to be raising fry who are likely of such low quality and have no idea what to do with them. Should I sell them to someone as culls?? Continue to raise them??? Humanely dispose of them??

Someone please tell me what I should do. [emoji20] [emoji20] [emoji20]

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