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Anyone Raising Rotifers???

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Tangee

Queen of Chaos
Joined
Jul 17, 2003
Messages
255
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Puyallup
Through a series of odd events in the last few weeks I discovered yesterday that I have a bunch of baby fish in a bin of LR I was keeping for a friend :shock: They must be green chromis, since that was the only PAIR of fish in the tank. Anyway, I don't know how long these babies have been there, they're only about 1/4" long, and swimming like crazy. I think they're still too small for baby brineshrimp and I'm hoping to find someone with some rotifers... or any other helpful suggestions of what I can feed them. I haven't been adding anything to this bin of rocks (aside from fresh water) for weeks, but the rocks are full of algae, and tons of tiny bugs and pods, could this be enough for them? Any help would be appreciated! The 'MOM' in me has an intense need to raise them :)
Thanks,
Susie
 

aquariumdebacle

electrolyte addict
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Jul 4, 2003
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Seattle
If you find rotifers, you will need to feed them in a small container of less than a few gallons. The fry will need to capture the food without expending more energy than they take in. The practical route might be to just leave them alone. The liquid foods for fry might work. Soak the powdered ones in Selcon. These can be added to the existing system and the pods, etc. will take care of the excess.
 

Electrokate

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Joined
Nov 25, 2003
Messages
401
Location
Portland OR
baby chromis

Did you try feeding BBS? (baby brine shrimp) my fish eat it when they are much smaller than 1/4" but the fish I am breeding are all freshwater... If it was me I would float a bowl in the tank with a few of the babies and squirt a couple dozen BBS in there to see if they go for it. If they don't eat it you won't be polluting the whole batch, if they do you should see their little bellies fill up within a few minutes. Do you have BBS? Where are you located? I am in Olympia and if you want and are near I can hook you up with a few bbs to try. I don't have any enriching stuff though, haven't had to use it yet.
Sounds like they are doing great so far if they are energetic and that big. Congratulations! :)
Kate B
Oly WA
 

aquariumdebacle

electrolyte addict
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Jul 4, 2003
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nice try

unfortunateley marine fry have a specific development with regards to where, when, and how. The best we can accomplish in a closed system is how . To approximate you need High density nutrient source. This precludes a high transitional media state. Lotsa work. Have you ever raised kittens? More work than that.
 

Tangee

Queen of Chaos
Joined
Jul 17, 2003
Messages
255
Location
Puyallup
Baby Progress Report

Well I have found a kind-hearted soul who's going to get me started on rotifers again. Thanks Paul! I'll pick them up this afternoon. It's been two days since I discovered the fry and so far they seem to be going strong. In the meantime I put a little selcon and zoecon in their water, along with some green water. Don't know if any of that will help but it made me feel better (at the time). I'm regretting the selcon and zoecon now because the water has a cloudy film on top which concerns me. I'm going to do a water change today and try to get rid of that and I have a very weak powerhead churning up at the surface to keep it broken up.

Once I get some rotifers going I will try to round the fry up, keeping in mind they are in a 25G rubbermaid bin full of very grungy rocks, so how successful I'll be at this remains to be seen. Most of the fry hang out at the top and don't seem too intimidated by me. I guess at that point I'll try to put them in a little holding bin with a sponge filter and maybe a couple of live rocks? Dan, any more suggestions on that?

Kate, I have BBS available, thanks for the offer! I will be trying them down the road but right now there is no way the fry are ready. They honestly seem to be doing well with no help from me so maybe I should back off and let nature run it's course. It's hard not to interfere though.

Any other suggestions are most welcome!!! :)
Thanks,
Susie
 

Electrokate

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 25, 2003
Messages
401
Location
Portland OR
green chromis

Dan-so these fry are still at the plankton stage is what you are saying? I am still learning about this but I would think they would be ok with what they are getting off the live rock at that stage but eventually will need more food. With freshwater fish we can feed straight BBS after the first week, before this time it's stuff like vinegar eels, microworms, greenwater, rotifers and I also add algae and some volunteer infusoria I got last summer in an outdoor tank. Is it critical to gut load the daphnia for marine fish when they are at the BBS stage? I have never done that and have had 99% of my fry survive from hatch day to breeding size. Some other breeders have faster growing fish than I do though, with sporadic mortality, they use more supplements like HUFA's which I will get if necessary. I like my feeding regimen because even though my fish grow more slowly they tend to have better color and finnage. Do you know a lot about feeding marine fry cause I got the questions to go with the answers :) Or if you can refer me to a chat group or website that would help that would be fabulous. With all the work I have been doing to raise cheap common fish and maintain aquascaped freshwater tanks I decided to try some saltwater fish, figured I would try that which has already spawned successfully in captivity. To get around the plankton complication and get going I am going to try Banggai cardinals if I can find anyone with captive bred specimens. I also raise killifish, freshwater shrimp, and birds. I know how to work hard to get the spawns raised, just need to know what work that entails. I am a book junkie too, if you can think of any outstanding titles to read.
Far as the green chromis go...
Sue, if you find at some point that you would like to sell some juvies to grow out or some adults later let me know, I would buy them and so would the fish store here. They want to get as much domestic bred stock as possible. It's their fault I have hopped the fence to marine mania, but I am still going to keep my killifish. They are amazing. I fancy small colorful fish like chromis and dottybacks and the cardinals for their odd appearance, and am actually more interested in invertebrate reef systems than fish since I can get plenty of fish eye candy out of the tanks I already have so my tanks will be very lightly stocked far as fish go. I didn't even know chromis did breed, and they were my first marine love. You know what will probably happen is I will go from breeding cheap freshwater fish to breeding cheap saltwater fish. If I can even get the whole thing to work out.
Thanks,
Kate B
kbird@munat.com
 

aquariumdebacle

electrolyte addict
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Jul 4, 2003
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613
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Seattle
recommendations

The best two books I can recommend are the Culturing Rotifers (not sure on the exact title) and Raising the Orchid Dottybacks. These are both by Frank Hoff available from Florida Aqua Farms. They can sell you the rotifers green, water, screens, etc. etc.

You need to stop thinking in the freshwater sense and adapt to the oceanic sense. You're knowledge of patience and expertise will go far but the size of the animals you are now thinking about is about a magnitude of ten smaller. These are really small creatures where saltwater takes on the viscosity of corn syrup. This is an important concept because even though they seem to swim fast they are in reality struggling to move.

Take this batch as a loss and set yourself up properly with a sustaining supply of rotifers and greenwater. Realize that this a labor intensive project and you cannot be without rotifers for even a day. You can still try the liquid foods and hope for the best. If they have lived this long you might get them to survive. Siphon the baby brines into a net and you can avoid the scum. They need the vitamins.

Professionals have not made much progress in this arena. Most fish go through a lengthy planktonic stage where they get a variety of food sources that the need at the appropriate development time. You cannot mimic this. There are ways of providing what they need at the time they need it. It is difficult and time consuming. You won't make any money at it.

I have raised rotifers but not fish. The Bangaii cardinals are the ones you should start with. They are mouth brooders. The male keeps the fry in his mouth until maturity at which time baby brine shrimp can be used as a food source. The main problem is in food diversity. They get a rich and diverse food source in the ocean. We then try to raise them on one or two species and expect them to thrive. Ultimately you have to get them to eat flake food as that is what a commercial situation would require. In on of the books they tell about the neccessity to switch to flake. The fry develop a whirling syndrom due to a lack of nutrition from a single species.

Feel free to Pm, E-mail, or post as needed.
 

OnTheReef

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 1, 2003
Messages
72
Location
Santa Cruz, CA
Re: plankton and fish propogation

For those interested, here is the full title, author and ISBN information for the 3 books referenced in a post above:

Breeding the Orchid Dottyback, Pseudochromis Fridmani : An Aquarist's Journal
by Martin A. Moe
ISBN 0-93996-0095

Plankton Culture Manual
by Frank H. Hoff
ISBN 0966296001

Conditioning, Spawning and Rearing of Fish With Emphasis on Marine Clownfish
by Frank H. Hoff
ISBN 096629601X
 

saltwater-nut

Active member
Joined
Nov 6, 2003
Messages
42
Another book worth looking at is Clownfishes by Joyce D.Wilkerson.

The author has gotten into it "BIGTIME!"

Interesting reading,for sure.

One example she gives is out of a 215 larvae,18% lived.

It appears that one would need a room set-up just for larvae. I cannot say that this is a exageration.

Last night we bought 4 pr of false perc clowns(my fav). Time will tell.

Good luck,
Roy
 
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