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Thread: Breeding with Changes in Source Water

  1. #1

    Breeding with Changes in Source Water

    As some of you are aware I have been having major issues getting my angel spawns to hatch. I haven't had a spawn survive since last spring! This includes my parent raisers and multiple proven pairs. Not a single wiggler

    But, once I stopped the frustration and started to look at my records something became obvious. I rarely, if ever, have had success with breeding in the summer months. While this may not be earth shattering information, it does prove that something is up with my water. I know that my water changes sources twice a year. Once mid to late spring; and reverts back early fall. In these summer months I am getting river water; and the rest of the year I get spring water.

    Once I realized this I started asking many how they go about breeding. What were their secrets to success? I have tons of suggestions as I know that we all develop our own bag of tricks that work for us. And I am also aware that what works for other successful breeders may not work for me.

    So, with this in mind I am on an experimental spree. Trying out everyone's suggestions to see what works for me.

    First up.....Bottled Spring Water. I do not like the taste of chlorine in my tap, even at 0.25 PPM, so I purchase spring water to drink. And, knowing that when I get spring water from the tap my spawns are successful. So, this made the obvious first step.

    My F2 Peruvian Glitter / F2 Blue Peruvian spawned again late Saturday. And I pulled the slate several hours later, shortly before I went to bed. I floated a plastic container in the parent's aquarium, and I used bottled spring water. Nothing else. No water conditioner. No additives. And I pulled an airline to create some water current in this floating tub. Then started my impatient wait. Checked the eggs on Sunday, 24 hours later. A handful of white eggs, but could tell the others were developing nicely. YAY! Checked again Monday afternoon. A few more white eggs, but many were looking great. I could start to see tiny color changes that indicated they were developing. I again checked Monday night, 48 hours later, fully expecting to see wigglers. Well, either my eyesight is far worse than I realized or there were no wigglers But I didn't give up hope! Decided to head for bed. Discovered a horrible situation with a 55g tank holding my Clowns (I'll post another thread about this mishap). I was up until 2 am. So, I decided to go check on those eggs again. And I saw it! Signs of something moving on that slate. I had wigglers!

    Today when I got up I grabbed more bottled water to bring it to room temp. Gently knocked the wigglers off the slate. And began the tedious task of lifting up the dead eggs and not the wigglers. That was difficult with my eyesight. But managed. Did a small water change with spring water and removed the slate. Now I have wigglers in the bottom of my floating plastic container....and still have that airline going.

    No idea when I should start to mix in treated tap water with the spring water, but I can't use bottled water too long due to the expense. I am thinking that I will continue to only bottled water until they are at least free swimming, and maybe even until they begin to eat. Haven't really decided.

    Hopefully this means I am back on the right path and will soon have tanks bulging with spawns and fry. Fingers crossed!!

    If anyone else cares to share their experiences in this thread, please do so. In time it could become a great reference for others just learning or who are like me trying to find alternate solutions.
    Last edited by catsma_97504; 08-19-2014 at 02:22 PM.

  2. #2
    Glad your experiment looks promising! Yah! Fingers crossed for you !

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by catsma_97504 View Post
    No idea when I should start to mix in treated tap water with the spring water, but I can't use bottled water too long due to the expense.
    As a suggestion, when you do start to mix I would do so in small increments. Maybe no more than 5% tap to begin with and monitor closely. After a few days with no problems, take it up to 10% tap and keep checking the fry for signs of problems. It may sound tedious, but maybe slow and steady will help to win?

    As for the seasonal change, perhaps a small RO unit just big enough to produce pristine water for the eggs, wigglers and fry?

  4. #4
    Well as the day progressed I kept loosing fry. They were alive and wiggling but later dead and white. Lost at least half the wigglers yesterday. And I haven't yet checked on the today. Had an early appointment.

  5. #5
    As I feared no more wigglers. All lost in less than 24 hours after hatching. Going to give this method one more try before I come to the conclusion that this bottled water isn't good for the wigglers.

    On to the next experiment.....

  6. #6
    I have been checking my tap water closely as this is the time of year I get switched back to spring water. And it is definitely changing! So am probably getting a mix of the two sources until the pipes are completely flushed out. Testing my tap today I got the following results:

    PO4: 0
    Iron: 0
    gH: 5
    kH: 3

    My water is softer and holding too little carbonate to stabilize the pH. This is when it gets dangerous doing water changes as the pH can plummet from a simple day of maintenance. So, it is back to adding carbonate to the water with each water change. This also means that my parent raisers might be able to successfully raise a spawn!

    Two days ago the F2 Peruvian pair spawned again. And the eggs are still with them. I simply wasn't prepared for them to spawn again so soon.

    I had expected the black pair to be the next ones to spawn. And, they finally did last last night. A huge spawn too! Got up this morning and they ate their eggs. Ugh. The one pair that I could always count on to raise their young to free swimming at their eggs!!!!

    As the Peruvian spawn should hatch out sometime this afternoon I have sterilized a glass jar and have it set up in a 20L tank that it can sit in and not be completely submerged. Once this jar gets to the right temperature I intend to transfer the eggs or wigglers. Going to keep a close eye on those parents. They are doing a great job at caring for them, but I have a nagging feeling that the wigglers will be eaten. I might leave them a few to see if they can parent raise, or at least learn. Last time I tried they ate their eggs after a water change. Never seen parents so calm during a water change. But their stress was completely internalized.

    I still have many ideas from others to try. And I fully intend to give it a shot to see how it goes I need a back up plan to avoid having this down time because of the water.

  7. #7
    TAS Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Northern California in the wine region
    Dena, I understand what you are going through with your water. I lost a fewmale adult koi after a water change on Monday. I get nervous doing water changes. Maybe I should be checking for what it is (?) you are checking for and where do you find the testing stuff?

    Am still waiting for a call back from the city. Guess I will call again.

  8. #8
    I am monitoring PO4, gH, kH and Fe. These are the components in my water chemistry that I know changes.

    If you are unable to reach someone who is willing to answer your questions, then you could do monthly testing of your tap water, if not with every water change. Over time you would know what is changing. I recommend starting with the Freshwater Master Kit as it contains pH, NH3, NO2, NO3. And if you want to also monitor water hardness purchase a GH/KH test kit. I personally also test for iron, but that is mostly due to having a high tech planted tank and because my Water Commissioner informed me that one source contains iron and another does not.

    Good luck figuring out what is happening with your water source chocolateplaty.

  9. #9
    As I stated yesterday, after the Black pair ate their spawn I decided to pull the slate from the new Peruvian pair. And this time I decided to use my tap water treated with Prime instead of Safe since the water source is almost all spring water again. I have heard conflicting information on what exactly Safe does, even from Seachem employees, so I figured with my water source changing I'd give this a try.

    The Peruvian spawn hatched last night. And, this morning I pulled the wigglers from the gallon jar and sterilized it again. Filled with fresh water and Prime. I tried counting the wigglers, but kept getting distracted. There are at least 200. Not a huge spawn, but enough. I can also clearly see differences in the wigglers. I suspect these are the albino fry since they are a solid creamy yellow coloring. The tank I am placing the jar into is open and has no light source near it. Hoping this is a good environment for them to develop.

    Now for the suspense. The last spawn died within 24-hours of hatching.

  10. #10
    Fingers crossed for ya, hope you get this spawn to make it. I know you have a full plate, but you might want to seperate the albinos when you find a spare minute. They will fare much better if they do not have non-albino siblings in the same tank.

    Looks like you have a good monitor program going on your water. If I might suggest, a copper test kit as well if you haven't already have one. Copper at levels above .015 ppm can do bad things to your wigglers. A little goes a long way. The acceptable (safe) continuous exposure level of copper for fish is <.006 ppm. Food for thought.
    Last edited by Danburns; 08-28-2014 at 11:58 AM.


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