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Kaylenna
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I've started reading through those - some comments...

Blackworms - his collection methods seem very... inefficient and messy.  I use a turkey baster or giant eye dropper (which looks like a miniature turkey baster!)  Give them a squirt or two to break up clumps, suck them up, squirt into small container.  Rinse them in the small container if necessary, squirt them into the tank.  This also works if you're culturing them in gravel rather than just storing in the fridge, but you usually do need an extra rinse or 2 to make sure you're not dumping gunk from their container into the fish tank.   I will admit that, in Australia, it was somewhat difficult to FIND both the turkey baster and the dropper (I resorted to ebay for the baster).  But they're cheap ($2, not like you need some top of the line model) and I use them ALL the time.  I collect the eggs from the breeding tanks and sort/rinse/transport them with the basters.  I also use them to move baby shrimp and fish.  Or to rinse and feed microworms. 

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I've been working on a spirulina culture(lab grade starter cultures are cheap...and easy to get) because why not? Sure I could just buy powdered spirulina, but that's just not as fun as watching a little bottle fill up with weird green slime.

Kaylenna: I'm curious about the Danios, I had some zebra danios in college, and when they spawned...well...it was really manic. The males would chase the females around and literally squish the eggs out of them. It only happened a few times, and it was really weird every time. But it doesn't seem to match up much with existing videos of danios spawning, have you seen anything like this before? (none ever hatched, the other fish would follow around the danios and nom up all the eggs)

It's nice to hear that the cories are taking to the eggs at least...maybe they can graduate up to other live foods over time.

 

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3 hours ago, bluestarfish said:

I've been working on a spirulina culture(lab grade starter cultures are cheap...and easy to get) because why not? Sure I could just buy powdered spirulina, but that's just not as fun as watching a little bottle fill up with weird green slime.

 

 

Where are you getting cheap starter cultures?

last time I had to cough up like $250 for a few ml from the CSIRO!

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5 hours ago, bluestarfish said:

 

I've been working on a spirulina culture

 

That's hardcore, growing your own spirulina. ?

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3 hours ago, ageofaquariums said:

Where are you getting cheap starter cultures?

last time I had to cough up like $250 for a few ml from the CSIRO!

15 dollars for two extremely tiny inoculant cultures off amazon, along with some growth medium, food and a little bottle with a fancy seal to let air in but not water out when you shake it. It looks like if I had gone with the biology supply store I could have gotten more for about the same cost...but the kit I got came with extra educational material about spirulina and several other types of algae, so it's a fair trade I suppose. I don't know if I'm allowed to name the supply store, but it is a reputable store in the US for buying science materials for educational purposes.

The amount of spirulina I have right now is very tiny, not useable for feeding to anything, but I hope to be able to get a good sized culture going in the future. Right now I'm thinking of seeing what it'll do if fed on flourish, though I have to wait a week or two for the culture to get big enough to split. With my luck I'll probably kill it all before I manage to truly culture it on a useful level.

From what I've read it shouldn't be too difficult, though things often end up being trickier than they appear to be. Seems like the stuff just needs very alkaline water, light, and plant food.

My ultimate goal is to see if I can culture it in a tank with brine shrimp at the same time, I don't know if the shrimp would simply eat it all faster than it can reproduce though...maybe making a large enough blob of it first would help with that. But it probably can't be too much either...

Edited by bluestarfish
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Oh wow.

Sorry n00b moment for me, I didnt realise you were in the states!

I had good success using a clay pot method that was developed for poor Indian villages, as a way to compensate for a diet with plenty of deficiencies in it. A spoonful a week, banishes most childhood malnutrition problems bought on by a crap diet.

 

Anyway it did require stirring in morning and arvo.

And yes epic high pH.

I will see if I can find the pamphlet I used as it was rather a nifty initiative. Google showed a few results, this looks like its from same guys,    www.poverty.ch/documents/spirulina.pdf

 

Edited by ageofaquariums
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1 hour ago, ageofaquariums said:

arvo.

Bluestarfish - he means afternoon.

9 hours ago, bluestarfish said:

The males would chase the females around and literally squish the eggs out of them. It only happened a few times,

Supposedly, labs can collect eggs for invitro fertilization experiments on zebra danios by squishing the eggs out of them... But I think you're not supposed to do that too often.  Given ideal conditions, they ought to be able to spew out about 100 eggs/female once every 3 days or so.  When mine spawned, it was mostly a whole lot of zipping around madly.

9 hours ago, bluestarfish said:

(none ever hatched, the other fish would follow around the danios and nom up all the eggs)

Yes, most end up eaten if you don't take precautions.  Even if an egg managed to hatch, survival rates are miserable in a community tank because they spend about 2-3 days barely able to move.  And then once they can, it's not very fast or anything.  So they generally end up being fish food!

If you're interested... my favorite source (as linked by someone on one of the other forums) http://zfin.org/zf_info/zfbook/cont.html  Zebra danios are one of the organisms biologists choose for experiments because of their ease and speed of reproduction - roughly 3 month life cycles, hundreds of eggs per week.

I liked trying to breed them so much that I went and got more danios... so now I've got "golden" and regular of both zebras and leopard danios and 2 longfins.  I'm pausing the egg production until the batch of babies I've got get a bit bigger and I stop fiddling with various foods for them, during which the new danios should have a chance to be "conditioned". 

I decided I'd try to grow some brine shrimp all the way to adults... cause I've got the babies at the moment, so might as well!

I've also got about 40 Celestial Pearl Danio eggs, but they take longer to hatch, so not sure how they'll turn out yet. 

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I've been thinking of getting danios again for a future tank so I'll definitely squirrel that link away for future use!

(thankyou for the translation too! Saves me the trouble of having to run to google, lol)

 

Maybe we can compare notes on the brine shrimp sometime.

The batch I started last month never made it past the napuli stage (I don't know if there was something wrong with the water or if I didn't feed them enough). But I started a relatively small batch last week, and managed to get it to the adult stage this time, not fully grown adults, but they are wiggly little shrimp things instead of flappy little umbrella things now!

 

Do you know if you can get a hold of fairy shrimp? They might be slightly easier than brine shrimp cause they're fresh water...I think their fully grown size is also larger?

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2 hours ago, bluestarfish said:

But I started a relatively small batch last week, and managed to get it to the adult stage this time, not fully grown adults, but they are wiggly little shrimp things instead of flappy little umbrella things now!

If I can get them to the stage where the smallest adult fish could be happy eating a few and being full, I'd be happy.  Adulthood and through the whole reproductive cycle is a bonus.  Can you describe your setup?  Some of the ones I've see online/read about are waaaay more complicated than I can do just now.

I hadn't realized that "fairy" shrimp are different than "brine" shrimp.  I'll have to check them out.  But considering how not-easy (and expensive) brine shrimp are here... I'm not holding my breath. 

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Trick with danios is that they are photoperiodic spawners, meaning they spawn at first light in the morning. So as long as you are not too late you can retrieve eggs before they manage to turn around and eat them. Especially  if you complicate it with marbles or larger gravel.

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37 minutes ago, Kaylenna said:

If I can get them to the stage where the smallest adult fish could be happy eating a few and being full, I'd be happy.  Adulthood and through the whole reproductive cycle is a bonus.  Can you describe your setup?  Some of the ones I've see online/read about are waaaay more complicated than I can do just now.

I hadn't realized that "fairy" shrimp are different than "brine" shrimp.  I'll have to check them out.  But considering how not-easy (and expensive) brine shrimp are here... I'm not holding my breath. 

Naming convention seems a little bit...dicey.

"Fairy Shrimp" covers a sub-class of animals, with brine shrimp being a family within it. It does seem like most folks use "fairy shrimp" to differentiate them from the salt water ones. (edit: at least that's what I can glean from wikipedia on the subject. The freshwater ones are likely a different class/species from what we call brine shrimp, but otherwise very similar looking)

My current set up is a 5 gallon tank with a coarse air stone in one corner, a sponge filter in the other, and a heater turned up to 79. I'm using Instant Ocean for salinity. I've been doing 15% water changes every other day, and feeding them in the morning (they're getting mostly bakers yeast right now, but there's some ground up brewers yeast, algae wafer, sugar, and flour in there too).

 

 

Edited by bluestarfish
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9 minutes ago, ageofaquariums said:

Trick with danios is that they are photoperiodic spawners, meaning they spawn at first light in the morning. So as long as you are not too late you can retrieve eggs before they manage to turn around and eat them. Especially  if you complicate it with marbles or larger gravel.

In a full community tank, I'm not sure "not too late" is an efficient option since if the parents are still busy laying/fertilizing the eggs and haven't eaten them on the way down, the OTHER members of the tank will.  I've watched 1 second old baby guppies be eaten by other fish following the mommy guppy around.  A moving snack trolley. 

On the other hand, if you just want 1 batch to play with, separating them for a day in their own tank isn't that much of a chore.

11 minutes ago, bluestarfish said:

 (they're getting mostly bakers yeast right now, but there's some ground up brewers yeast, algae wafer, sugar, and flour in there too).

Have you heard of/used crushed egg yolk?  I tried some on mine because I had it for the baby danios.  Not sure if they're eating it though...LOL.

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I have heard/read the egg yolk thing for brine shrimps, but with the number I have (small) it feels like it'd be a waste of egg.

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2 minutes ago, bluestarfish said:

I have heard/read the egg yolk thing for brine shrimps, but with the number I have (small) it feels like it'd be a waste of egg.

Err... I ate most of the egg.  Just saved a bit in the freezer and took a tiny bit of that for the day's feeds.

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31 minutes ago, Kaylenna said:

Err... I ate most of the egg.  Just saved a bit in the freezer and took a tiny bit of that for the day's feeds.

I was that kid that would only eat the white of a boiled egg XP

 

Freezing it sounds good, I tend to forget I have things like freezers. (kind of like when I only recently realized I had the means to feed fresh vegis to the fish).

 

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45 minutes ago, bluestarfish said:

Freezing it sounds good, I tend to forget I have things like freezers. (kind of like when I only recently realized I had the means to feed fresh vegis to the fish).

See... that's why I like talking to other people about stuff... even stuff that might seem obvious.  Cause there's always SOMETHING goobery I've missed and others can point it out! 

I'm trying yeast.  I think I was feeding waaay too much egg and most of the bits weren't small enough for newborn brine shrimp to eat.  Tip - make sure the egg is full hard-boiled.  You get smaller bits. 

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6 hours ago, Kaylenna said:

In a full community tank, I'm not sure "not too late" is an efficient option since if the parents are still busy laying/fertilizing the eggs and haven't eaten them on the way down, the OTHER members of the tank will.  I've watched 1 second old baby guppies be eaten by other fish following the mommy guppy around.  A moving snack trolley. 

On the other hand, if you just want 1 batch to play with, separating them for a day in their own tank isn't that much of a chore.

 

I have previously worked as an animal technician breeding and raising zebra fish. I am not one to try do it in a community tank lol. If I am going to bother, I want to get at least a few thousand.

 

1) Develop that special headache that you can only get, by dividing your zebra into Male and Female tanks.

2) Feed until the girls are ripe with eggs

3) That night re-add the male and female together in honeymoon tank

4) Next morning after the spawn, remove adults and either - raise fry in that tank, or move eggs to the hatchery tank.

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46 minutes ago, ageofaquariums said:

I want to get at least a few thousand.

No, no... pretty sure my husband would object.  At least if it's all at once.  A few thousand over a few months/years, I might be able to get away with.

47 minutes ago, ageofaquariums said:

I have previously worked as an animal technician breeding and raising zebra fish.

Excellent!  What did you feed them? 

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I usually had rotifers and brine shrimp on tap, care of a local native hatchery, but we had great success using a hatchery feed very similar to NRD. While you have less initial attrition on live food, dry food is much easier to measure and predict its effect on water quality. Its also much much cheaper than live food, and faster too, which makes it even cheaper again!

Danio fry are luckily not as fussy as say, neon tetra fry.

 

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Sorry I am super late posting this. I've been so busy that i haven't had time to sit down to write this article. And as you will see, i don't really half arse these articles... :) haha.

If you need it, let me know. I am happy to provide you with starter cultures of paramecium (which is great for danio fry) and micro worms. That is all I currently have available to pass to others.

Here is a link to the article (once it is approved):

 

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  • 3 months later...

This time of the year there is a great live food which costs basically nothing. Fill a bucket/ icecream container with water leave it outside and you will get heaps of mosquito lava (wrigglers) which would be perfect and the fish will smash them as soon as they hit the tank.

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