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First Fry


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Some of you know (via Facebook, the shoutbox, or any other media I can possibly utilize) that I have had my very first spawn! :nana

I thought I would keep a log of my experiences so I can get input from you all who are experienced with this sort of thing. :)

Day 1; Wednesday June 1, 2011:

I was woken up at 5:15a by my breeding tank. Splashing non-stop from sunrise. I currently have two males, and one female residing there (all calico ryukin). When my alarm went off at 7:30 I walked to the tank and saw...EGGS! Thousands of them! fortunately I had my breeding mops in there, so I didn't have to move the parents.

Unfortunately I had to work, so I left the mops in there until about 4:30 when I got home. I stopped and picked up two 20g rubbermaid tubs as hatch tanks for the fry, and transfered the sponge filter, river rocks, and mops into them. The water level was at about 9 inches so the sponge filter could continue to run.

What I learned: don't get angry when you're woken at sunrise to splashing fish. It's SO worth it!

Day 2; Thursday June 2, 2011:

No change in the eggs in the tubs. I should have bought meth blue from work yesterday, but I didn't. Most of the eggs are unfertile. I think that's because I left the filter on the breeders tank running, so the milt couldn't really reach the eggs well. There is no sign of fungus, though, so I might just be able to remove the individual fungusy eggs as they appear. The sponge filter is still running, but I will have to lower the water level of the tub to about 6in soon, and stop the sponge.

What I learned: turn off the filters when you notice breeding behavior!

Day 3; Friday June 3, 2011:

Well, I slept in today, until about 10a. When I woke up, the unfertile eggs had turned into fungal eggs. I picked all the fuzzy eggs from the sponge and rocks and bottom of the tub, but I couldn't get the fungal eggs off the mops, so I decided to cut my losses and toss the mops. I also lowered the water level to about 7 inches, as if I drop it lower, the eggs on the top of the sponge will be out of the water.

I still have about 200 fertile eggs. And today I can see the fishies inside them! I also think I may have a few early hatchers, as I see a few wrigglers on the bottom of the tub. Hopefully they will climb the sides of the tub and their siblings will hatch soon!

What I learned: two things today: 1) I don't like breeding mops, 2) use meth blue.

To be continued.....

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how great! I have Ingrid FULL of eggs. She sprayed them all over me the other day. Now I have McQueen in with her, being a man :) He chases her on and off.

I was told that the MBlue isn't needed as long as you have warmer water. THe faster the eggs hatch the less chances you have of fungus :)

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I was told that the MBlue isn't needed as long as you have warmer water. THe faster the eggs hatch the less chances you have of fungus :)

Thanks, Frederica. I will try that with the next batch of eggs. I didn't have an available heater this week, as the fish were still indoors. Now they're in the pond and I have so many heaters I can't spit without hitting one! :lol

Kitten (the female...my sister's fish, hence the name rolleyes.gif) is scheduled to spawn on Monday or Tuesday...hopefully she cooperates!

I've been reading anything I can get my hands on, and the general consensus is that spawns happen 7-10 days apart, roughly 2 or 3 days after a low pressure system (thunderstorm). This is about right with the first spawn, as we had a huge thunderstorm on Sunday. We are supposed to get another thunderstorm later this evening or tomorrow. I've been doing daily (early morning) water changes of about 5g of very cold water, which is supposed to run along with the thunderstorms to get the fish "in the mood"yeah.gif

Wish me continued luck!

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I definitely have hatchlings! It has been confirmed with all the eggs on the bottom of the tub, and a few on the sponge.

Does anyone know how long it takes for fry to climb the sides of the tub? None of my little ones have begun the journey yet.

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Nice! You are right, it is so worth it :D

I know you said you can't lower the water level any further, but from what I read and was told, for fancy fry you should keep the water level below 6 inches. That is safer because some or a lot of them have problems with the higher pressure in deeper water. Especially considered that over the first couple days after hatching, a lot of the fry will first end up on the bottom of the tank / tub. But if they seem fine with 7 inches water depth, I wouldn't worry.

I'm so excited for you! Please get some photos of them too! And btw, I don't remember (ever??) seeing photos of your fish in general. I think it's time for you to do a little (and with "little" I mean "very big" :D ) photo shoot too!

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I will definitely give the next batch only about four or five inches of water, and warmer too. But because the sponge filter had so many eggs on top, I didn't want to lose them. Actually most of the eggs are on the sponge filter, so they are in varying depths of water...the ones on top are actually only in about an inch of water. :) Thanks for the idea, Fang.

LOL I know that Daryl says she's the worst photographer, but I could give her a run for her money!

Here is a link to all my fish photos ever. Most of the ones in this album are gone...lost in the Great Die Off of 2010 (long story short, the water at school was BAD for goldfish...and I lost them all after the toxins slowly built up in their systems...over four years).


Here are the pictures I just took of my newest fishies!



Daddy 1


Daddy 2


What my tank bottom looked like Wednesday morning


Giving chase


Breeding mops (that I will never use again)


Obligatory butt shot




You can kind of see the small hatchlings on the bottom of the tub. They are there, I promise!


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Neat! There will tons of beautiful baby ryukins soon :)

Btw, when I clicked on the link to go look at the photo albums, I was directed to a page that required a password :o

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Day 4; June 4, 2011:


Well, most of them are hatched and free swimming now! Seems like it's about time to fire up the brine shrimp hatchery. :) There are still a few eggs that haven't hatched, and a few of the fry that (maybe?) died and are just sitting on the bottom of the tub. But I am going to wait a few days to see if they really have died before syphoning them out. I did a very very small syphon today, but got too scared I would suck up all my little goldies, so I stopped after sucking up about a cup of water! I have three or four resting on my arm...they are so cute! Not even as big as my arm hairs! :)

I will try for a video later today, you all have GOT to see them zoom around the tank! :)


Well, it seems like I don't have any brine shrimp eggs. :( I'm hoping their yolk sacks will last them another day so I can get the hatchery up tomorrow after work. I did get a video of them zooming though...well, one of them zooming. But, hey if you've seen one, you've seen 'em all! :P

<iframe width="425" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/ha5kB1aCrNg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

I think all of the eggs that are going to hatch have hatched. There are only a small handful left unhatched, so it's not big loss. It also seems like I had a few unwanted visitors sometime....there are gnat larvae in the water! So far they have left the fry alone (which is better than what mosquito larvae would do!) so I'm hoping they leave them alone until the larvae either change into gnats, or the fish are big enough to eat them! :)

What I learned today: make sure you have brine shrimp eggs well before you need them. :(

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Day 5; June 5, 2011:

Well, I started both aeration and feeding today. I fed a bit (only about five drops) of egg yolk mixed with water this morning. No one ate it.

I fed a good bit of Hikari first bites upon getting home from work....I had a few nibbles! It seems like the last onces to hatch still have their yolk attached. But the more swimmy ones are the nibblers. :)

I set up the hatchery for the brine shrimp today. I am trying varying amounts of eggs. The first batch is only 1/4tsp of eggs (1c water, 1.5tsp salt), the next one will maybe be 3/8 tsp. I don't want to run out of eggs (though I know I will...) nor do I want to have to throw out uneaten brine shrimp. Though I guess I can always feed em to my other fish! :)

They have gotten noticeably bigger today, too! Here's the most recent pic:

(excuse the gunk on top of the filter...)


I think tomorrow I am going to have to do a small water change to remove all the food that dropped to the bottom. I can't wait for these brine shrimp to hatch so I don't have to worry about prepared foods spoiling in the water.

If I have done my maths correctly, the brine shrimp should hatch between 2p and 8p tomorrow. I am hoping for the earlier end of that so I can feed the fry before I go to work at 4p. I will start the next batch as soon as I wake up tomorrow morning (probably around 7 the way my schedule has been lately!)

The first bites will just have to suffice them until I can get a steady supply of BBS going! :)

What I learned today: Hikari first bites have to be mixed with water before feeding to goldfish fry, otherwise it floats!

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First of all, your fish are stunning.

Second of all, this is a phenomenal post. Very interesting information and it's neat to see the progression and read the progression of your trial and error. Thank you for posting :)

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Day 6; June 6, 2011:

I fed the first batch of BBS (baby brine shrimp) today! They went crazy for 'em! The only thing I worry about it the extra shells. I know that everyone says "shine a light into the jar and the BBS swarm the light." And to some extent I have noticed that....but I still get tons of shells with every harvest. Also, I have noticed that they have a voracious appetite when it comes to BBS. I made a batch of 1/4tsp eggs, and they devoured them in no time! I am still feeding First Bites when I don't have any BBS ready (or when I wake up at 5a to feed them...as it takes awhile to harvest the BBS). They seem happy to eat either or....proving definitively they are goldfish! :P I talked to Bruce Pett (a very good breeder friend of mine from Wisc.) and he suggests keeping the sponge filter off for a few more days, "until they look like fish" as they can't really swim now, and even a sponge filter will suck 'em in. :)

Here's a video I took yesterday, sorry for the narration (and the fact that I sound like I'm 13...I promise, I am not! :P) I figure since they are on YouTube I would explain things fully. :)

<iframe width="425" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/JOEnK6CdqP0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

What I learned today: It takes about 20mins to properly harvest BBS, so don't do it if you are in a hurry!

Day 7; June 7, 2011:

Morning everyone! I had a pretty abysmal night last night....this brine shrimp hatchery (three pumps and jars!) makes SO MUCH NOISE! And I have to keep it in my room for two reasons: 1) my parent's wouldn't let me put it anywhere else, and it's their house :( 2) My mom still doesn't know about the fry...I plan on keeping it that way until they look like fish! :P I eventually fell asleep, but PHEW it was not very restful!

I worked until 10p last night, so I left the fry light on (to keep 'em awake) so I could feed them when I got home. Just first bites though, as I wanted to turn their lights off as soon as I could. Then I woke up at 5a again to feed them, plus check on the breeders and see if they were spawning. (Which they aren't yet :( )

They are eating more and more brine shrimp each feeding. I am going through the eggs like no body's business! I have so many brine shrimp in various stages of hatching! I have three jars, on that will feed them in two hours, one that will feed them tonight, and one that will feed them tomorrow morning! I'm almost out of eggs...I think I will need to invest in a bigger can of better quality eggs. O I have a question for anyone who might be reading this: How much salt do you add to your brine mixture? I have just been following the instructions, but someone at work told me I would get better hatch rates if I went up to marine conditions. Also, how do you harvest? I have tried the "light trick" and it works OK, but I still get lots of shells...

I can't get my camera to work right now, but I will upload pictures from today as soon as I can! they have gotten bigger...and if you look hard enough, you can see their pectorals and caudal fins have started to develop! :)

What I learned today: Never underestimate the amount of brine shrimp you will be hatching!

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Day 8; June 8, 2011:

I tried something different this morning with the BBS. This was my first harvest using reef salt (as opposed to aquarium salt)...I am not too happy with the results. It seems like I had less hatched cysts. But in the interest of science I am going to try reef salt again. It could be that I just had a bad batch of eggs.

O and I am also hatching less eggs each time. Yesterday I harvested a "normal" size hatch and I had so many cysts that I didn't use them all! I did a little bit of research and it seems that some people have had success with refrigerating their BBS and using them less than 12 hours later. So I tried it. It seemed to work. The BBS are much more sluggish out of the fridge, but the fry don't seem to mind. I watch the BBS for a good ten minutes to make sure I was seeing them moving on their own, and not just in the current. It was actually much easier to see them as they all settle on the bottom in a giant orange mass. :) And the fry once again have bright pink bellies!

(I tried to get a picture to put here, but they are swimming more now...so it's harder to get a pic!)

Yesterday I also did my first 50% water change. It took about four hours! LOL I used a rubbermaid bin the exact same size as the one they are in and ran an airline from their bin to the empty one. I have a piece of filter sponge tied around the end of the airline to make sure there are no casualties! Then I let the siphon work....took about 1.5 hours to get the water to 50%. Then I refilled the empty bin with twice as much clean water (they needed a volume increase!) and set the siphon to run back into the bin. But to replace the water I put the end inside the sponge filter. That way there wasn't a current or too much surface disturbance...I've noticed they hate when I drip their food above the surface as it makes noise. Spoiled little.......whatjust.gif

The only problem with the airline is that after a few hours air bubbles accumulate inside the tubing, stopping the flow. So I had to go in with a syringe and force water through the tubing to restart the siphon. But if a little extra work means their water is cleaner, I am ok with it!

I had a man at work ask me Tuesday about breeding goldfish. He was so enthusiastic about goldfish, asking me all sorts of questions (he has 4 in a 55g! :o perfect stocking level!!) and when I mentioned that I have a brood of ryukin fry he ask me "Now, is it fun breeding them? I always wondered if that was something I should get in to..." and I replied with "O yes, its so much fun! But it's SO timme consuming. If I'm at home, I'm doing something for my fry. Water change, hatching food, cleaning, lights, aeration, feeding every four hours...." and he said "O, then I don't think I will. I barely have time to sit around and watch the goldfish I have now!" He was so nice though, I gave him our forum as a good source of information! :)

What I learned today: BBS can be refrigerated without loss of life and water changes take forever!

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