Wednesday, 4 April 2007

Macropodus fry

The male Macropodus is being a good father - I tried feeding him, and he reluctantly ate a little, but basically he's unwilling to eat when he has a tankful of fry. So when I saw him grab a baby I expected him to spit it back into the nest immediately. I was a little concerned when he paused for a moment, and then went up to the surface for a breath, but he then swam to the nest and spit the baby out, back into the nest.

The fry in the breeding box seem to be doing pretty well without parental care. Most of the eggs hatched - the biggest risk is probably drowning, but there's enough floating vegetation in the box to keep them near the surface. Water quality is another issue - the fry food, which was probably a bad idea to begin with, just sinks to the bottom and (presumably) rots. While the community tank, with its filter still on, is likely to have better overall water quality than the other tank (where I had to switch the filter off), the breeding box creates a pool of stagnant water. Well, these are fish that evolved in stagnant pools of water, so hopefully they can handle things like that.

Food is another concern. The community tank is starting to get "furry" - there's a lot of epiphyllic algae on the leaves and stems of th plants. The plants in the breeding box are likely to be a good source of food for the fry. The breeding tank is never and cleaner, with large areas of open water. I'm less sure about the food supply in that tank. It's also hard to get the fry food anywhere near the fry. I've been adding my "infusoria", but I'm by no means certain about the sort of growth I'm getting in those containers. The weather has also taken a cold turn, and the bottles were sitting in an open window, so that's likely to have slowed growth of both bacteria and protists last night.

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