13 spawns in 6 weeks: It doesn't get much better than this (for me, anyway... oh wait, it does-61 spawns in 23 weeks

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13 spawns in 6 weeks: It doesn't get much better than this (for me, anyway... oh wait, it does-61 spawns in 23 weeks

Post by bekateen »

Hi All,

In a few other posts here... ... I've reported recent pleco spawns, starting around December 5th when I found my first Ancistrus sp. Wabenmuster fry and Ancistrus sp. Rio Tocantins eggs, both firsts for me.

From December to January 9th, these are all the spawns I've found in my tanks: What a great 6 weeks it's been! I suspect it's all downhill after that, but let's pray and hope not! :)) :(( :YMHUG:

Hope you're also starting the year well!

Cheers, Eric
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Re: 13 spawns in 6 weeks: It doesn't get much better than this

Post by TwoTankAmin »

Nice work Eric @bekateen

I have had this happen with my Hypans a number of times and at a similar time of the year. All of a sudden I am getting spawns in almost all of my pleco tanks. I am wondering if there is some event of which we may not be aware, which triggers them?

I am usually looking for storms in this respect. Here in NY we get winter snow storms and this is often what I believe to be the trigger. Of course in the warmer months its rain, but I am not sure the fish know the difference.

I am relatively certain it is not due to a change in my tap water. We have our own well and the only time I see any real parameter change is if we have a series of heavy rainfalls over a couple of weeks. That results in my tap TDS dropping from the low 80 ppms to the mid 50s. However, this is a somewhat rare occurence.

The real issue here is, what the heck are you going to do with all those babies? :-p
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Re: 13 spawns in 6 weeks: It doesn't get much better than this

Post by Bas Pels »

Storms can have fast changes in air pressure - changes fish are able to detect, although I wonder how.

After all, the difference between half a ppi, that is some 50 cm water pressure, is something quite a few fish meet without consequence a day just going for a breath. But some do detect such a change in the atmosphere.
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Re: 13 spawns in 6 weeks: It doesn't get much better than this

Post by Lycosid »

Bas Pels wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:23 pm
Storms can have fast changes in air pressure - changes fish are able to detect, although I wonder how.

After all, the difference between half a ppi, that is some 50 cm water pressure, is something quite a few fish meet without consequence a day just going for a breath. But some do detect such a change in the atmosphere.
On the other hand, unlike terrestrial animals, pressure sensitivity tells a fish something important: how close it is to the surface. This means they're under evolutionary pressure to have this sense. How they correlate this with air pressure is less clear, but if you can see the surface you can presumably figure out that it feels "deep" even though you aren't.

There's lots of talk about animals sensing barometric pressure, most without evidence, but there is actually a study showing blacktip sharks abandoning a shallow reef for deep water in front of a hurricane, and due to real-time tracking we know they left just as the low pressure system hit them.

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Re: 13 spawns in 6 weeks: It doesn't get much better than this

Post by bekateen »

Here's the local data for minimum barometric pressure and precipitation over the 6 weeks that the spawnings occurred. Two spawns (the initial wabenmuster spawn, the very first spawn, and the claro claro spawn, posted on Jan 1st) are estimated by date because I found hatched fry, and had to estimate backwards to predict spawn dates based on incubation times reported in the BLOGs.

Precipitation seems almost a better indicator that barometric pressure itself, but also, I do not have daily logs of feedings (e.g., when did they get worms or shrimp?) and especially water changes, which I think would have been informative.

Cheers, Eric
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Re: 13 spawns in 6 weeks: It doesn't get much better than this

Post by Bas Pels »

These don't tell much. Too bad.

Now feeding or water change, or a biological clock could explain matters, but there could also be another explanation.

An event, and that can still be barometric pressure, triggers spawning, but depending on the species, actual spawning will take some more time. For instance in order to develop eggs.

As the lime lapse could be very different depending on the species, this will be very hard to find.
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Re: 13 spawns in 6 weeks: It doesn't get much better than this

Post by bekateen »

Agreed
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Re: 13 spawns in 6 weeks: It doesn't get much better than this

Post by bekateen »

Just out of curiosity, I replotted the data, all on one graph, and extended the time before spawns one month, in order to see the atmospheric baseline prior to the spawning frenzies. What's obvious is that atmospheric pressure was pretty stable before the spawns, although not particularly high in value. And precipitation was non-existent. But what seemed to trigger spawns was instability - two really big drops in BP. After the initial spawns, there were a couple of surges (relative to the October baseline) in BP intermixed with mild drops.

To be fair, what's not shown is any L397 spawns I might have had in October. They breed so often that I do not record random spawns throughout the year. They may have spawned once or twice between 01-October and 20-November, but I wouldn't have noticed.

Cheers, Eric
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Re: 13 spawns in 6 weeks: It doesn't get much better than this

Post by MarcW »

You have been doing great with spawns recently Eric!

I haven't had any in a while, so at lunch I did (for the first time) several cold ~6-8c pure rain water changes ~30% to try and trigger spawns as we have had a few storms pass through in the past week.

I've done this to the following tanks:

Ancistrus sp(l393)
Hemiancistrus sp(l128) (F1)
Hypancistrus inspector
Panaqolus sp(l397)
Pseudancistrus sidereus
Spectracanthicus zuanoni

This took the temperature down ~8-10c in ~10 minutes, all fish showed increased activity during and shortly after the water change, maybe it was the fish equivalent of rubbing your hands together to try and keep warm :-) but it looked promising!

Good luck raising the young Eric!

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Re: 13 spawns in 6 weeks: It doesn't get much better than this

Post by bekateen »

Dekeyseria picta L052 hatching today, day 12 of incubation. At the same time, a female is trying to work her way into dad's cave again. \:d/ Go, Dad and Mom!

Cheers, Eric
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Re: 13 spawns in 6 weeks: It doesn't get much better than this

Post by bekateen »

Good news, no news, and bad news.
  • The good news is that more L052 eggs hatched overnight.
  • The no news is that this morning the couple were still trapping but no new eggs.
  • The bad news is that some of the L052 wigglers have already started dying. Any thoughts on why? The fry seem to be very expanded, almost like they have air bubbles inside (perhaps my toilet tank water current is too powerful?). The fry zip around the basket near the water surface a lot. Very frenetic activity.
Any suggestions appreciated.

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Re: 13 spawns in 6 weeks: It doesn't get much better than this

Post by TwoTankAmin »

@ bekateen
Looking at your graphs it appears clear to me that the barometric pressure drops preceded the spawning activity. It's like a leading indicator in economics. That the second drop is not as big as the first is not really an issue. Once most Hypans are triggered to spawn, they tend to continue doing so. That second drop was like a booster shot? Further, my experience has been that the spawning cycle in tanks tends to run for 9-10 months followed by a period of inactivity which I have seen between 3 and 4 months. Usually the hiatus lasts about 3.5 for my fish. So the annual cycle becomes more like a 12 -14 month cycle.

I should not that my experience has been with groups of from 8 to 15 fish. it would not surprise me if in bigger groups, there may not be a complete halt.
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Re: 13 spawns in 6 weeks: It doesn't get much better than this

Post by bekateen »

FWIW, I've moved all follow-up posts about my Dekeyseria picta L052 spawns to this thread: Repeat spawning of Dekeyseria picta L052
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Re: 13 spawns in 6 weeks: It doesn't get much better than this (for me, anyway... oh wait, it does-17 spawns in 8 weeks)

Post by bekateen »

Two more Dekeyseria picta L052 spawns in the last 24 hours or so (here), and at least one more L397 spawn in the last week. And when I include the baby Microsynodontis sp(1) I found earlier this week (reported here; although, to be fair, that baby is probably from a spawn several months ago), I'm now up to at least 17 spawns discovered in less than 8 weeks. :YMPRAY: :YMPRAY: :YMPRAY: \:d/

The new count is this: From December to January 23rd, I've found in my tanks: When it ends, I'm sure I'll become depressed for my "failures in fishkeeping." :(( But for now I'm gonna ride this wave of joy as long as it lasts! \:d/ :YMPARTY:

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Re: 13 spawns in 6 weeks: It doesn't get much better than this (for me, anyway... oh wait, it does-17 spawns in 8 weeks)

Post by MarcW »

Wow, good work Eric!

Not sure on the L052 fry deaths i have had a lot of unexplained fry deaths in the past without obvious cause. Possibly the flow is too much in that tank, could they be using up more energy than they are able to consume?

As a side note, after my attempt to trigger spawns with cold rain water mentioned above, nothing spawned =)), maybe i need some of your magic water, or weather systems!

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Re: 13 spawns in 6 weeks: It doesn't get much better than this (for me, anyway... oh wait, it does-17 spawns in 8 weeks)

Post by TwoTankAmin »

That's a lot of fry. Finding new homes for my meager output of fry drives me crazy. I refuse to sell my fish to stores and I am not on social media. So I am once again backed up. I have a few hundred assorted offspring that need to find their way to new tanks.

So I wonder how you re-home all of your great successes. My fish tend to be pretty pricey and somewhat rare, so I want to see them go out in groups to people whose goal is eventually to spawn them. As a result, I avoid retail outlets and auctions since I have no idea who will end up with the fish.

If each of your 17 spawns yields only 15 viable offspring, you now will need to find homes for 255 new fish :-p I am willing to bet you are going to keep getting more babies. If you are thinking of opening your own store I have a fun name for a fish store which I am sure somebody must already have used. Call it Fin Land :d

@MarcW My experience has been that a drop in TDS/conductivity is more effective in triggering spawns than colder water especially if it is done in concert with a barometric pressure drop.
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Re: 13 spawns in 6 weeks: It doesn't get much better than this (for me, anyway... oh wait, it does-17 spawns in 8 weeks)

Post by MarcW »

Thanks Two Tank, although the rain water was very low in TDS, ~5 ppm, as it was so cold I only did a small water change with it.

For my next attempt I'll warm it up before doing a water change with it and go for a much larger change!

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Re: 13 spawns in 6 weeks: It doesn't get much better than this (for me, anyway... oh wait, it does-17 spawns in 8 weeks)

Post by bekateen »

TwoTankAmin wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 3:01 pm
That's a lot of fry. Finding new homes for my meager output of fry drives me crazy. I refuse to sell my fish to stores and I am not on social media. So I am once again backed up. I have a few hundred assorted offspring that need to find their way to new tanks.

So I wonder how you re-home all of your great successes. My fish tend to be pretty pricey and somewhat rare, so I want to see them go out in groups to people whose goal is eventually to spawn them. As a result, I avoid retail outlets and auctions since I have no idea who will end up with the fish.

If each of your 17 spawns yields only 15 viable offspring, you now will need to find homes for 255 new fish :-p I am willing to bet you are going to keep getting more babies. If you are thinking of opening your own store I have a fun name for a fish store which I am sure somebody must already have used. Call it Fin Land :d
Hi TTA,

You make many good points. First, yes I am inundated with fry right now. To avoid getting more Rio Ucayali right now, I already sent the sexually overactive breeding trio to the LFS where I first got their parents.

I do sell fry at club auctions and I do trade them in at LFS. I try to bring 15-20 fish per month to my club's auctions. I get about $7-$15 each for the smaller Rio Ucayali I sell (depending on size) and $30 each for sexable specimens at 2.5"-3+". The L397 I treat the same, although I get a little more for them at club auctions and at LFS/private sales. But compared to market prices, I continue to honor my promise to the USFWS when I imported the L397 that I would not sell them for profit. My L397 price for 1.5"-2" fish is still about 1/3 that of retail prices at $30 each.

The other "new" species spawned are so new that for now I'm just raising them, so no sales yet. Truth be told, yes they're overcrowded. It puts a burden on me to do extra water changes, and yes I do find some dead fry, especially at the smaller sizes. I presume and hope these losses would have been the genetically inferior fry that would best not be sold anyway, but of course who can know? I'm probably just placating my soul.

Cheers,
Eric

P.S., your store name would be great, but... no "store" openings in my future. :))
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Re: 13 spawns in 6 weeks: It doesn't get much better than this (for me, anyway... oh wait, it does-19 spawns in 60 days)

Post by bekateen »

Two more L397 spawns today. That's 19 spawns in 60 days. :-BD

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Re: 13 spawns in 6 weeks: It doesn't get much better than this (for me, anyway... oh wait, it does-20 spawns in 60 days)

Post by bekateen »

One more spawn last night L201 big spot. We hit 20 spawns discovered in 60 days! No more prime numbers for me!
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