I kept a journal of the first 2 weeks and would like to share it with anyone who wants to know in more detail about the progress from eggs to fry or maybe useful if you just found eggs.
Sunday 15th April 2007
Found black moor Flapper's eggs in the 55 gallon tank when I had to get up extra early..5am. Rescued some of the eggs (maybe 20?)on the plecos log and moved the log to a 10 gallon tank half filled with warm tank water. Added heater with thermostat and raised the temp to 26 degrees. Also added a handful of rinsed coral gravel stones that had been sitting out in the sun- for pH stability. No filter or airstone yet.
Monday 16th April. early morning
Perfect timing. Trinket spawned early morning in the 30 gallon tank. Salvaged a few eggs that were still floating and scraped some of the sides of tank. Found one small clutch of about 6 good eggs on the heater which I removed and gently shook into the 10 gallon set up.Less eggs but to me more precious because Trinket is an albino siamese doll and I would love to have some of her offspring!
Quite a lot of eggs! Maybe 25 or 30. Will they all hatch? Heater thermostat stick somehow fell out and the heat rocketed up to 28 degrees C. Big panic!
Set back down to 26. Water looking slightly cloudy but I know I cannot change it. Worried no eggs will hatch.
Bad news this morning. Fungus on quite a lot of the eggs. Using a small spoit removed all the fungus eggs one by one.At least 20.
Feeling that none will hatch and a bit depressed. Some eggs are clear like glass with a small dot inside. Other eggs are a greeny orange color and others are cloudy (I know the cloudy ones will not hatch).
Noticed some tiny weeny white dots dancing in the water and see I have some baby fairy shrimp (swimming white dots with antenna)come in on those stones.
Thursday 19th( The 5th day)DAY 1 (of hatching).
Using a magnifying glass I can see tiny movement inside some of the eggs. Up close a tiny grey tail looks to be attached and curled around a black dot, in a few eggs I can see 2 dots (eyes). So excited. In the afternoon one or two eggs have a tail popped out and the fry is struggling to get out. In the late evening, one fry emerges and several others look to be following. Later still a few more fry hatch out.
Friday 20th DAY 2
Quite a few fry out and stuck to the sides of the tank. They are making their way to the air at the top to fill their air sacs.
The water is 5 inches deep. Temp 26.
Saturday 21st DAY 3
One fry is swimming in short bursts with lots of rests. The others are still climbing to the top. Some of the colored eggs have hatched (I think those are Trinkets) I remove a few more fuzzy eggs and spoit/syringe some dust from the bottom. Ammonia check=0.
When doing water changes on my big tanks I find one single swimming fry in Trinkets tank! Intrepid survivor! Managed to catch him and put him in the 10.
Evening:All but a few fry are now swimming. A few are still struggling to reach the top.Some won't make it. Perhaps even lower water would have been better. Now most fry have filled their air sacs it is time to set up the sponge filter. A homemade thing wrapped in nylon stocking and housing 1 sponge media cut off from the sponge/mechanical filtration in the 55 and one piece from the 30. Carefully removed the coral gravel from the tank (that was a mistake too- less in the tank the better) and put it inside the filter
compartment too. Added the weak spray bar and adjusted so the spray is very,very gentle just ruffling the water surface.
A few hours later and clearer water.Looking much better. Ammonia check=0.
Fed baby brine shrimp twice today and cleaned bottom 2 hours after each feeding. Also checking ammonia levels after each feed.Still 0. Hope the kickstart cycle (used all media from Flapper and Trink's tanks) will be adequate.
Sunday 22nd DAY 4All fry are swimming strongly round the tank. There seem to be 13 fry (hard to count) plus 2 deformed shaped ones struggling on the bottom. Fed 4 times today as I was at home. Cleaned up leftovers 2 hours after each feed. 2 xbrine shrimp. 2 x hikari first bites. Small water change- 10%- in evening. Today one fry was exploring the filter and got whipped into the waterfall current.His tail looks bent. Have re-arranged filter position so this cannot happen again.
Monday 23rd DAY 5
Left curtain open all night so fry could see by moonlight. Will do this every night so they don't get stuck anywhere strange in tank. Fed brine shrimp at 6am and after 2 hours cleaned bottom with a tiny sponge and turkey baster. Another small 20% w/c using a small plastic baby cup -and pouring the fresh, warm, treated water under water level very slowly. Ammonia =0 &nitrites= 0. Fry looking bigger. see poop, full tummies and a change in the eyes from black dots to two tone- white with black dot in center,
Tuesday 24th DAY 6
Getting through a lot of ammonia test strips. Checked full range again today. 0,0 and 2.5 for nitrates-whoot. pH steady at 7.5.
Fry look smaller and paler in the mornings (empty bellies). There are 2 or 3 bigger fry. Some very small still. All are swimming and eating well so far. The larger fry are showing a more solid thicker body from side view now. Inside of the fish still visible in most. The central empty bubble has split into 2 and is white. Its cute to watch them eat with a magnifying lens- they are catching the brine shrimp and occasionally other life forms midair! Mouths like miniature trapdoors.
Fed 3 x and in the evening 10% water change using babycup to scoop water very slowly from top after first cleaning tank bottom.In this way I can catch floating debris as it rises.
Wednesday 25th DAY 7
YAY! One week old fry. I can count 14.Two still on bottom- haven't made it to the top yet but still alive. More fry than I first thought. Am glad I put tank by window. Its easy to see the muck on the bottom, also the fry's sideview growth with window behind. Hopefully the sun will help colors develop faster. Today I can see a touch of color on the top of a few fry. Gold one and black one. The others look clear/transparant still. Able to get home from work at lunchtime and so fed 4 times today. Evening- did the daily 25% water change.
Thursday 26th DAY 8
The 2 on the bottom have disappeared. Presumed eaten I'm afraid. The other 14 look good . Silver bodies visible now on all of them and filling out rapidly. 2 much larger than the others. I left brine shrimp in late at night and didn't have time to clean up after 2hours (the time it takes for all the fry to fill their bellies). So this morning I cleaned the bottom and rinsed the filter off gently. That water was brown!!!(Also the dirty water is thick with dust even though the tank is covered at all times- it must be leftover brine shrimp).
Checked params again. This is costing a lot in ammonia kits. I have used up one test kit in a week and am on the second.Cleaned tank sides and bottom very slowly and gently with a squeezed out and rinsed piece of sponge filter media from the main parents' tank. Afterwards did a 25% w/c and then fed again.
Fry are now stronger and can swim under the spray bar without damaging themselves. One less worry!
Friday DAY 9
From the side and back view the 2 largest fry now look like plump little authentic fish. Top view still looks fry-like.
It is very important to kep cleaning/wiping the floor of the tank because their tiny mouths are getting occasionally filled with small pieces of dust and hair mistakenly sucked in with food, even though there is a cover on the tank..Today I have used a syringe to suck fluff off from the mouth area of 2 fry. Delicate operation! The log covered with moss is providing the fry with plenty of entertainment as they nibble on algae and swim in and out and explore it. Glad that is in there.
Sat DAY 10
Noticed tiny black dots on the bottom for the first time! Poop can now be seen without a maginfying lens! Fry growing well. 3 or 4 are fat and thick bodied now. Some are still teeny with no dorsal showing. They are eating more and there is less to clean up after feeding. I am needing to clean the hose on the filter every day and do a small water change every day now. Bought a tank hood light today and fixed it up for better fry color development will add 3 hours evening light as well as the window sunlight in the day.
Sun DAY 11
Settled into feeding regime. Fry seem to know when I clean the bottom, food follows. They swarm around my hand and the turkey baster! Just like their parents!Feeding baby brine shrimp 3 times a day plus a light feeding of Hikari first bites once a day. Checking ammonia once a day and changing out 25% water daily matching temp. I do this with a tiny babies cup and have abucket of warm water on the table and an empty bucket to put the old tank water in. Care is needed not to make any fast or large movements that will create a swirl or wave of water as the fry are still fragile and last time I lost fry like that. I cleaned the sides of the tank inside again today with a small piece of sponge.Today for the first time I notice top view of some fry looking more fish like, plump bodies-less stick with eye like!
Mon DAY 12
Today all the fry seem to have color on their backs (using a magnifying lens as always). I can see pelvic fins on many. Dorsals look larger and higher on many too. I notice the filter hose cover is getting dirtier and a daily rinse of the outside of the filter is necessary. Very soon I will have to empty the filter and rinse the inside mechanical filtration media. In another 2 or 3 days I expect.
In the last few days the fry have grown a lot. Three of them are looking like mini real fish with sleek golden bodies, full fin sets and
distinctive faces. I have rinsed the inside sponge of the filter and replaced the hose with a new one because it tore. I have raised the water level and continue with 3 feedings a day and twice daily 20% water changes and rinsing of hose. When I cleaned the filter I squeezed a piece of rinsed sponge media from the main tank into the fry tank to add a little beneficial bac as I feared a cycle bump. Checked params 0,0 and 3.
All has gone smoothly so far and all fry are still alive although sizes and growth rate vary tremendously.