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Large size craft grid, I think it's labeled as #7, is what I've used in the past as strainer. It doesn't work for things like tetra, or even some smaller livebearer, fry. However, most African cichlid and pleco fry are too large to get through the overflow. They do make a finer size, #10, but it's too fine to let a good flow through and clogs easily.
Impossible only means that somebody hasn't done it correctly yet.
I was worried about the fish going between the teeth at first, but the way the socks will work, it should just make a baby containment system that allows me to be lazy and not have to net anyone that migrates to a sock . Then I can drop them into a condo or two and make life much more simple. Count on me to try to figure an easy way to catch fry .
I had a few ideas for free floating condos, but with the system, I can do some ridiculous water changes and never have to deal with that again. I have a feeling there will be another system of some sort in my future here at home. As long as I can stay regimented with my quarantine, it would sure make life easier!
I'm taking another load of fish to the shop tomorrow, so I will try to get some pictures to add to the thread .
The first viable spawn on the new system is officially from the L180. There were a few small clutches after the heat wave (otherwise known as the broken air conditioner and subsequent cold water over compensation on my part!), but none lasted more than two days. These are now wiggling, Everything is carefully labelled. Now I just need to update pictures .
OK, maybe I should buy a lottery ticket, but I just found fry from my L260 pair! They haven't spawned before and I wasn't sure that the female even WAS female. She is quite hairy and has a colored stomach and thickened pectoral rays, but she definitely looked female to the male, it seems! 15 fry isn't too bad for a first spawn! I pulled them and brought them to the shop to grow out on the system. I am already in need of condos for fry! It's a fantastic problem to have! I will try to upload the terrible pictures I took later .
OK, since the last update, I have pulled wiggling fry from L180, L400, and had two spawns eaten by parents in the Ancistrus sp. honeycomb and the (Not)L184s. The super reds have wigglers, calico and albino longfins are both on eggs, the L144 females are very gravid. I have the 5 L114 together in a 125 successfully with only a few torn fins. One is already using a cave, and one of the females is rapidly filling with eggs. L46, L260, L134 and L135 are trapping females with no spawns yet this week. It does feel like a productive week at least!
My friend built me 6 new fry condos (ever the optimist I am!) and I have plans for more tanks already to add to the system. I am working on taking a video of everything. The store has been nicely busy this week, but I do want to try to document as things get rolling .
So the super red had a single wiggler left was all yesterday, so I swiped him. The L260 trio at home had 13 fry, so I moved them to the shop to grow. The L400 had already let the fry escape out into the tank, so moving them will be an adventure in cursing and removing all the decor sometime in the next month . Ancistrus sp. honeycomb were on eggs yesterday afternoon.
Moved the big L14 to the shop today. The big male is arriving this afternoon. Hopefully I can get them all to play nicely with enough decor and distractions. Cross your fingers!
Combining the huge L14s went better than I could have hoped. No squabbling, just some charging around, investigating and acting afraid of each other, but all in all, they settled in happily. They were laying next to each other within a half hour of being all combined. I did take a video, but it was too big and rejected by you tube, so it appears I need to learn some video editing or I'm going to need to take a few shorter videos .
The L114 group are starting to really condition and there's a little chasing going on, with no real damage, so far anyway. The L128s are going to go to the store this week to go into a 55 gallon. I only have one female of good size, so I am going to take a single male and hope he is smart enough to figure out this spawning stuff .
Today I found zebra eggs in the tank with my original colony. They are my original group, but the dominant male has been avoiding caves for a year or so now. This is a young male, so maybe it is the start of a new chapter for them all. I also found one with a pretty prolapsed rear end. Much bruising and a little bleeding, so I will be watching them close to see what I can do to help her. It appears to be my biggest female, but this is not normal spawning damage at all and she looks a little thin. Some of these fish I've owned more than 12 years.
Maybe next year I can be frantic to try to sell all of these fry! A girl can dream! My A. claro male is FINALLY back in a cave, so maybe he's decided he would like to try this spawning stuff again too.
So for an update, I have been losing some of the new fry in condos (the same style I use at home with great success) so I treated the entire system for parasites with ProformC. That didn't change the losses, so I'm looking into it being something bacterial (nothing is showing up under 100x scope) and dosing with Koizyme to reduce the bacterial load on the system. Mind you, I'm not losing the bulk of them, but I really want to perfect this system now, in the planning, rather than later .
I've had spawns from L180, Ancistrus sp. honeycomb (which have had the bulk of the fry losses, so I'm not sure it isn't related to something they specifically need), L260, L400, and my different common Ancistrus strains. Today, here at home, I finally found a spawn from my A. claro that I was afraid might be too old to spawn. Everyone on the waiting list for them will need to be patient, since there are only 12 or 13 eggs, and I'm pretty sure I will need to keep some, so I don't have to worry about him being too old and me not ending up with any!
The L114 are all getting along well in the 125, the L14 are squabbling a little, but not using their cave yet at all. The L135 are caved up and trying to get their act together. The L46 at home had 3 in one cave squabbling this morning. L400 have wigglers, and the H. contradens are going to lose their tank mates, since I found an L184 male in a cave meant for them! Oh, and the L134 are going to get a 90% RO water change in the next few days, to see if that will convince them they want to work for a living.
I think that's it for the udpates. Oh wait, I also bought some more royal farlowella to replace the ones I lost a few years ago. I have it in my head they are going to LOVE repashy food, so we'll see as soon as I can get them conditioned .