smallfry has small fry!!!

Discussion in 'Discus' started by smallfry, Jul 30, 2009.

  1. Dirk B
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    Dirk B Aquascaper

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    Hi Smallfry,

    Theoretically fry can be separated from their parents as early as day 6, but then you have to feed them every two hours so that is not practical. However, if you want to produce fry from a pair repeatedly, my advice would be to separate the fry from the parents at about four weeks.

    The longer you can keep discus fry with their parents the better, but if you keep them with their parents for very long the parents will not spawn, so if you want to have more fry, this does not allow you to produce that many, it is a trade off that you have to make. If you do not feed them with bs, like you have done, then the fry will hammer the parents more, forcing you invariably to separate them as early as three weeks, but then you have the problem that the fry are smaller and need to be fed more and need to be fed more bs, because they require higher quality protein at that stage (and is more expensive as well!). If you start feeding bs late, like you have done, they are not used to bs that well, and have not grown that well, so you will have more problems. The biggest problem in raising discus fry is that they start suffering from gill flukes, and then conditioning is critical and if they can stay with their parents for 4 weeks, their condition is just simply better. If you remove them from their parents sooner they are even more susceptible to the flukes. If you have a large spawn (150 to 250) then you have to remove the fry from the parents at three weeks or else the parents will just simply be grazed to a frazzle, but then you have to feed more.......

    As you can see there are many trade-offs to be made here.......

    Kind regards,

    Dirk
     
  2. smallfry
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    smallfry Noob

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    Day 14, as far as I can tell the fry and parents are still doing great! ;D[[​IMG]][/[​IMG][[​IMG]][/img]]
     
  3. wearsbunnyslippers
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    wearsbunnyslippers Administrator Staff Member

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    haha, baby discus are uuggllyy :p

    at least they grow into their looks, the opposite of oscars, really cute when they small and ugly when they big...

    awesome job dood!
     
  4. Dirk B
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    Dirk B Aquascaper

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    Smallfry,

    The fry at this stage look fine, so far so good. BUT, look along the top of the male, he is grey higher up on his body. This indicates that he has been producing slime maximally and the fry are now eating into his epidermis, in other words they are now eating his skin. You do not want this and he will not be able to keep this up much longer. If you do not feed the fry immediately the parents are going to start showing fungus on their sides in a few days.

    Some horses eventually die of thirst in front of the crib that is full of water. ???

    Dirk
     
  5. Gertjc
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    Gertjc Algae harvester

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    Realy looking good!
    Smallfry, you'l have to change your name, as the fry grow up - your expertice in breeding Discus is no smallfry... punn intended!
    You know that the locals panfry large discus in the Amazon region?
    Good luck, and keep us posted.
    Gert.
     
  6. smallfry
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    smallfry Noob

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    Thanx. Holding thumbs things continue to go well. :)

    In the photo the male does appear grey but its just the way the light got reflected. He is fine! On him you can not see that the fry got hold of him at all. The mother being a naturally darker fish and a very broody posessive mother took a lot more of the feeding strain on her. From early on,day4-5, I could see on her very bottom fin that the fry seemed to have eaten the blue colour 'thinner'. I can not see that since then it got any worse.

    The bonus of having a Cyclops population in the tank is that the fry can eat as much as they want, when they want and they are loving it! I did press some of my own frozen ostrich fillete/ mix(there is a post from Peter with the basic resipy) through a fine sive and washed it with some of the water from the tank in to 2 ice cube holders. From day 9 they also got about 3 cubes a day.This is very diluted though. Probably about 5ml or less of food mixed with enough water to fill 2 normal size ice cube holders(24 cubes in total I think).

    The mother is so protective that she will attack any persieved thread with a loud BANG on the glass.It's so loud you would think she will crack her skull! She tollerates my curiosity but all other members of the family(and she knows them all well) or strangers are not welcome!

    Both parents seemed to have lost their appetite since about a week before their first spawn end of July. Is this normal spawning behaviour? Apart from the 'thinning' on the mother's bottom fin I can not see that their general condition has deteriorated in any way. They do still eat regularly but very little.

    As for the locals eating the Discus, I can believe it! In the Breede river there is a beautifull little fish resembeling the Mono Angel and its realy tasty! They are about the same size as the Discus. MMM my mouth is watering now...
     
  7. smallfry
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    smallfry Noob

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    The next batch of ice cubed food mix will be a lot more consentrated to satisfy their growing demand.
     
  8. LIAQUAT
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    LIAQUAT Algae harvester

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    I'm glad you're so far along larvae development.
    I call them babies after a month, to avoid unnecessary emotional attachment.
    BUT, who AM I kidding after all??? ;D

    Loss of condition is a descriptive term , it indicates a loss of muscle tone, some loss of mass, not easily understood unless you KNOW the considerable amount of resources adult fish have to expend JUST to produce the proteinaceous mucus their fry are grazing ie) the "discus milk"
    The parent body surfaces , if not immediately evident to you, is in fact becoming rougher. As fry grow and they eat MORE; mucus and skin is indiscriminately tugged at, torn off, as Dirk has mentioned..it has it's consequences in adult fish spawning/health.

    I mean WHERE must Adult make up for lost protein, salt, water, sugars, lipids which compose the mucus?
    Curently one can think of it as more going OUT of Discus parents, and LESS going IN, as feeding is reduced.

    Regarding Adult's appetite:
    Wouldn't you feel fatigued with Parental instinct, and vigilance OVERTAKING natural Feeding instinct? LOL

    ALSO look at close and regular monitoring of Ammonia, Nitrite for now.
    After all, your Algae rear wall didn't appear out of thin air.
    NOW with added wastes/algal/plant nutrients it can only lead to lowered water quality.
    This change is gradual, so is not immediately affecting the parents nor fry.

    It IS important to act, and plan your waste removal, syphon-waterchange routine.

    Caution using "watered down frozen food". It disperses and spreads further throughout tank volume. THIS can and does lead to regular ammonia spikes as you are ADDING Protein rich WATER besides the sieved particles. Rapid oxidation by mature filtration to Nitrite then Nitrate does NOT mean your fish are not exposed DURING and inbetween feeds and waterchanges. On the other hand, the EXCESS organic laden water may JUST be what your resident copepod population are thriving on...

    hmmmmmm.....
    In one way, that means dirtier water, more copepods, more baby food....UP TO A POINT!!!

    It's your thread, so dunno if it's OFF TOPIC:

    The Breede River fish is in fact; Monodactylus falciformis "The Cape Moony" versus Monodactylus argenteus "Natal Moony" , Mono, or Sea Angel.
    [​IMG]
    I have kept both for considerable lengths of time, well-adjusted to fresh-water. Also in full marine tank setups.
    They are great examples of euryhyaline fishes, those capable of easily transitioning between full strength seawater and pure freshwater as the need arises, due to evolved variable osmotic abilities.

    I haven't eaten any Mono( or Discus!!!) yet though.....hehehe
     
  9. smallfry
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    smallfry Noob

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    Hello Liaquat

    Yes that is the little fish I was referring to. Due to its diet it does not have the muddy taste of most river fish. Next time throw one on the braai, they really are delicious! :D

    With regards to water changes I try to siphon off about 30 - 40 liters a day. And yes I am sure the copepods are enjoying the extra food too. The idea is to create a habitat that will be as close to a natural river system as possible, including the sand ,plants, drift wood,rocks,organisms, algae, copepods....... I also travel a lot and have to rely on family to look after the fish then. So to have a self sustaining tank with minimal feeding and maintenance is the goal.

    I always feel sorry for discus in the bare bottom tanks. :'( If they had a choice in the matter I don’t think they would choose that type of environment. With this thread I am hoping to prove that an alternative (more hassle free and natural) way of keeping happy, healthy discus and breeding and raising healthy fry is possible. Only time will tell...so I will try to stick to a weekly photo of the fry so all interested can monitor them with me.
     
  10. smallfry
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    smallfry Noob

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  11. Angel
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    Angel Noob

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    Where is the new photos? ???
     
  12. smallfry
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    smallfry Noob

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    The last good day! Day 18.[[​IMG]][/[​IMG]]
    Day 22 and then there were FOUR!!! :'(I came home from a couple of days trip late on day 18 to find 2 things happened that took me by surprise. :eek:The parents started weaning the fry from day 14 and by now was not producing any more "˜milk’. At the same time the fry too was not that into the copepods any more. They were swimming around asking for Brine shrimp! I was caught off guard and unprepared. Unforgiveable I know. I have no excuse. Sorry! :(
    Then the first batch bs eggs did not want to hatch. ???I tried feeding the frozen meat mixture that I pressed through a sieve in the interim but the fry’s digestive system can clearly not handle this type of food so early. Got a second batch bs eggs from another supplier that keeps his frozen. Looking good this time and should be able to feed the four remaining fry some in the morning. :)
    I started off this journey wanting answers to the following:
    1) Are Copepods good or bad for discus fry.
    2) Can discus fry be raised on Copepods ONLY as a first food till they are ready for beef heart?

    From my own experience I can answer as follows:

    1) I did not observe any negative impact on the eggs, wrigglers or the free swimming fry. I lost the first fry late evening of day 18.
    2) No they can NOT. From day 7 to about 14 the fry absolutely feast on the copepods but then they need brine shrimp to see them through the rest of their development. Next time I will regard the copepods as a bonus supplement food but will also feed the fry bs from day 6 or so.

    For the other Smallfries out there remember to do a trial run of hatching bs - before you need them - to be sure you have quality eggs and get the technique right so you don’t end up like me falling over your feet and losing a whole spawn!!!

    I learned so much from this whole experience and hope to do better next time!
     
  13. neilh
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    neilh Algae harvester

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    Sorry to hear man. What container were you using to hatch brine shrimp?

    Must say that I wouldn't rely on copepods only for feeding, too many variables that can't be controlled. Of course i'm about to find that out pretty soon when I start up my breeding steup ;)
     
  14. Gerry
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    Gerry Noob

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    I read in a book that the discus fry cannot digest meat until a certain age. I am presently overseas and cannot get to the book for more precise information. So unless you can verify from which age the fry can digest meat, do not foul your tank. Always have brine shrimp ready - rather waste a couple of Rand than a batch of fry.
     
  15. Lawless
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  16. Dirk B
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    Dirk B Aquascaper

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    Hi Small fry,

    tough luck with these fry, there will be a next time when you will have success.

    I have kept and bred discus for 21 years now, and I can assure you that of all the many tropical fish that I have kept they are the ones that challenge you the most. Just when you think that you have them taped, they prove you wrong. I have had to kick myself on numerous occasions for thinking that things where OK, and then they were not, and invariably I had losses. I maintain that discus are the most unforgiving tropical fishes that you can keep, make a mistake and it is costly. With many others fishes you can still correct things in time, with discus you do not have this time.

    So, do not be disheartened, try again, as all of us discus keepers do....... never ending optimists, but I guess you have to be an optimist to stay in SA nowadays in any case....

    Sterkte boet.

    Kind regards,

    Dirk
     
  17. smallfry
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    smallfry Noob

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    Thanx for your replies.

    Perhaps those of you who have had sucsess with raising fry can share your feeding program for the first couple of weeks till they are on the same diet as the adult fish.

    Realy would like to sucsesfully raise them next time!
     
  18. Gerry
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    Gerry Noob

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    Go to DPH (Discus Page Holland) and there is an article by Walter Soestbergen.
    He suggest starting brine Shrimp within 5 to 7 days and then separate fry from parents at about 4 weeks when the fry will eat copepods, daphnia and meat.

    Some other articles suggest separation from parents earlier and feeding brine shrimp until 4 weeks and then slowly introducing other foods
     
  19. Rosemary
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    Well done on keeping perspective on your objectives and posting the loss as well as the success. And good luck for the next batch - they're in good hands!
     
  20. smallfry
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    smallfry Noob

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    They are at it again! :eek: Laid another batch of eggs last night. I was hoping the parents would take a longer break to regain some of their strength. It is a small spawn though. They have eaten quite a few of the eggs already. So maybe they also know its to soon... :)
     

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