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I Have A Confession To Make


shakaho

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I have 10 goldfish in a 10 gallon tank, with no filter! I feed them multiple times a day until their bellies look about to burst. In spite of all this, they are looking very healthy and active and are growing rapidly. Here is a picture showing three of them.

They just appeared about a month ago in my "plant hospital" tank. That's where I put plants that have been nearly destroyed by the fish to give them a chance to recover. Sometimes I dump the water from a filter I am cleaning into this tank to provide nutrients for the plants. The bottom was pretty dirty so I decided to siphon out the debris. Then I saw something very small swim -- just like a fish. It was a tiny fish. Then I found three more. As time passed and they got bigger, I have found more. As recently as last week I had the number at 8, but the last few days I have been sure I counted 10 -- 7 good-sized ones and three runts.

When I first discovered them, I considered a filter and fry food. They were clearly eating goodies off the walls and bottom of the tank, and the parameters were perfect, so I decided not to fix what wasn't broken. All of the fry appear to be normal, and I've never found a body, so I guess they are doing well. The fry clearly came from this tank, with Spookyfish (at the left) the probable mama. I say that only because after I found the fry I noticed that Spooky looked rather thin and pale. I never saw any spawning activity and I can't find breeding stars on any of the fish. This picture shows all four fish with the top center fish the one who was missing from the previous picture. These pictures are old, and the other fish have grown faster than Spooky, who is the oldest of the lot.

Of the larger fry, two appear to be metallic and five appear pale pink and blue and have button eyes. I think they are shubies, but some could be matts. The runts are just small and dark, so I don't know what they are. Genetically, metallics are homozygous MM, matts are homozygous mm, and shubunkins are heterozygous Mm. The expected offspring from a cross of a shubunkin and a metallic are half shubies and half metallics. A cross between two shubies should give 1/4 MM (metallics) 1/2 Mm (shubunkins) and 1/4 mm (matts). Since matts are pink with button eyes, I can't yet say that some of those I think are shubunkins won't turn out to be matts. Since Valentine, the white common/comet with the red heart on his head, is older than the other two shubies, I'm guessing he's the proud papa.

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Congratulations!! They are so cute! The larger ones look like they might be about 3 weeks, old, the runts seem much smaller, almost makes me wonder if they are from a different spawning.

Either way, have fun with them :D A sponge filter would not be a bad idea though I guess. :)

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They are almost certainly from the same spawn, since I haven't put anything new into the tank since shortly after I found them. I don't think anyone knows why runts occur. They could have defects that prevent normal growth or perhaps they come from small eggs caused by an unequal cell division during meiosis. My runts are growing, but the other guys are growing faster. I want to see what happens to them. Will they become normal, but small adults or will they turn out defective? The bigger fry seem to recognize the little guys as fish, so I don't expect them to be eaten.

I'm feeding dried spirulina which they devour until their tummies are huge and black. At first I worried that they might actually eat until they popped. I didn't have nerve enough to use the siphon to clean the tank for the first couple of weeks and just used a turkey baster. Now there are so many little green poops on the bottom that I have started siphoning.

The reason I didn't filter was that I had a very nice ecosystem in the tank with lots of plants and a good biofilm. I tested the parameters right away, and they were perfect. It seemed like a very pond-like environment and I didn't want to disturb it. The fry were actively feeding on the biofilm, so I delayed feeding for a while to avoid fouling by uneaten food. Now it is clear there is no such thing as uneaten food so I let them feast. Since the fry aren't big enough to eat duckweed yet, this is the one fish habitat I have with growing duckweed. I have a cycled filter ready to move into this tank whenever it seems necessary.

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  • 2 weeks later...
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I wish I could show pictures of my fry, but my computer absolutely refuses to upload the pictures from my camera. I lost one fish -- the largest of the runts, but the other nine are doing fine. I moved the 7 "normal sized" babies to another 10 gallon tank with a filter. Leaving the two "runts" in the original tank. I covered the inlet to the filter with a nylon stocking piece. The poor little things had no idea of how to deal with a current and flew all over the tank at first. Fortunately, the nylon clogged with duckweed and plant debris, reducing the flow to practically nothing. I brush it off a few times a day to give them a little exercise.

They eat like goldfish, and have even figured out that my presence is related to the appearance of food.

The two metallics right now are a lovely pale aqua-silver color. I still can't tell if all the others are shubies or if some are matts.

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They eat like goldfish, and have even figured out that my presence is related to the appearance of food.

That happens faster than you think. :)

And the color will still change too. My three calico looked 100% matte, but now more and more metallic scales appear. Not a whole lot, but some. And the metallic fry took a while to show the metallic scales as well.

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I finally got the computer to upload the pictures. They are awful, as usual. One picture. Another. Another.

You can see they are bigger, but I can't even recognize them in the pictures. They are really quite pretty.

I changed from the nylon stocking cover for the filter intake to a cheesecloth cover. The nylon clogged too fast and I wasn't getting enough filtration. The new flow rate was too much for the smallest fish in there, who I moved back to the original tank with my one remaining "runt" who has grown a bit and is about the same size. They have an air stone, but no filter.

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Awww how cute!

I had covered my filter intake with undergravel filter floss. It didn't reduce the flow rate too much, but kept the fish from getting sucked in. I just have to turn the filter off during cleaning, take the floss off and rinse it clean. :)

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Gosh, those are some cute little tiny fishies! :heart

That was so neat how they just popped up like that one day and you never knew there were any eggs at all. Must have been night spawning going on.

I see you have ponds so at least you could keep all your babies and not have to worry about them going to an unfit home. If they keep this up though you may be in trouble. lol

:Congrats: Keep us posted if you can, would love to see them as they grow! :)

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  • 3 months later...
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I thought I should show some current pictures of the little guys. Of the 4 smallest fish, 3 died, probably from whatever kept them from growing. One other fish had a deformed mouth and was showing some weird spinning behavior. He was really pretty, but I sadly decided to euthanize him.

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There are 3 shubunkins and 3 metallics. Of the latter, the largest has turned a lovely golden color. The other two are still silver, but they seen to be developing a gold sheen.

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So jealous... dont be surprised when one night your fish go missing... :) i have got a tank all set up for em heh heh heh

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