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FAQs on Reproduction of Aquatic Organisms

Related Articles: Reproduction of Freshwater OrganismsSex Changes Everything by Judy Helfrich,

Related FAQs:  ReproductionSpecies Selection,

Some are much easier than others...

Breeding various fish       10/11/15
Hello! i hope you are doing great!
<A bit sleepy, but thanks>
Im afraid i am here to bother you again! Fish fever is on its peak and im on my way to multiple tank syndrome!
<Ah; good. Healthy>
A quick update though: Planted tank is doing great (Glossostigma is slowly carpeting but HC is still a no in my tank though...), catfish tank is by far my favorite, gotta love the rainbows darting through the tank while the catfishes wander below like little sharks while the Dojos do dojo stuff like playing dead; I gave the African cichlids away to someone who has 200 gal African tank though, i figured they would be better there... maybe ill try Africans in the distant future.
<Good>
Now getting on point:
I want a bigger planted tank, im looking at a 125 gal (the one i have is 40 gal) which would let me aquascape it and give it some sort of theme or something. However, while looking at ideas and fish species on the net i stumbled across a few species i would really like to try in this new tank, most are completely unknown to fish stores and even aquarists in here; However, there is someone who can import them for me. This is, however, very, very expensive but i still want to do it.
The fish i have in mind are:
Ivanacara adoketa, Colomesus asellus, Nannostomus mortenthaleri, Poecilocharax weitzmani, Laetacara araguaiae, Aphyocharax rathbuni, salaria fluviatilis, Macropodus opercularis.
Im also considering freshwater gobies (don't remember their names though).
<Wow; quite an assemblage>

Anyway, i would like to breed some of these fish (and also the boesemanni rainbows), so i don't have to import expensive fish every couple years (regarding the tetras, which i believe have a life expectancy of around 3-4 years am i right?)
<These ones yes; some (e.g. Neons) a bit shorter, other larger species longer>
and also to have these fish readily available in the country´s market, as there are a few people who make a living out of breeding rosy barbs, neon tetras, convicts, etc. So my plan is to have a way to re-stock on these fish every couple years and also to make them available to the public through the breeders by giving them some of the offspring.
<Mmm; breeding can be done... a bit too it; conditioning of spawners, making the breeding setting, preparing foods for the young....>
So, which of the species i listed can be bred in the aquarium?
<Mmm; none really... some may spawn there, but the chances of young developing, not getting eaten, finding sufficient food is very small>
for which ones will i need a separate aquarium
<Ahh; all>
and which ones can be left to spawn in the 125 community one?
<As stated; none>
Do any of the fish present very specific, if complicated requirements for breeding?
<Time for you to do a bit of looking, reading.... on WWM, the Net, at a large library>
i tried looking it up but these species are rare even in the net.
<Ah yes; books; old magazines>
I probably wont be importing all of them, only the ones where i have the best chances of success at breeding (and the puffers, i really want them).
The tank is meant to be set by around December, and it will start housing fish in February next year (cycling and plant growing time), and even then i will probably just fill it neon tetras and then decide on which fish i try...
As a last question, i read on annual Killies on the site the other day, but i found no article about the perennial Killies. I would like to try perennials and try to breed them but the net pictures them as some of the most complicated fish ever... is there any species of Killies i can try and breeding along with the before-mentioned or are they better left to people specialized on Killies?
<You should do a bit more "market research".... Doubtful Killies can be sold in good numbers; perhaps shipped. Is the IKA still about? Maybe the American: http://aka.org/>
Thanks for your time, best wishes, and as always keep up the good work.
Rob.
<Keep the enthusiasm; but add knowledge.... to hone your direction, develop a plan of action....
Every bit of useful, pertinent, accurate information will aid you in selecting species, knowing their needs/requirements, and determining whether they're good candidates for your proposed project. Bob Fenner>

Aquaculture as a Career     9/19/14
Hello there crew,
<Soph>
I appreciate that you exist for questions. I have asked you many and you have always been helpful. It is time now that I ask you some questions that I have not yet had answered. I am very interested in learning more about aquaculture as a career. I am currently completing my BS in Biology and plan to attain a MS in Marine biology, I dream of getting a PhD in aquaculture. (it is strangely odd for me to type PhD, as I am accustomed to typing pH with the capitalization juxtaposed, but I digress.)
<Heeee!>
I have managed a saltwater retail store for a few years, did the ordering, maintained the systems, installed large commercial systems, managed several varying freshwater and marine ecosystems, maintained aquariums of clients.
I am really wanting to study ornamental aquaculture.
<Good>
So my questions are these:
-What schools are recommended specifically for this type of study?
<Mmm; would have to search (on the Net likely) or ask around... of folks, friends actively/current in the field. But I will state that it's just as
if not more important that you ally yourself with specific people, graduate advisor who shares similar values, goals... and that you engender to have a deep and wide understanding of the field: Nutrition, disease, marketing, statistics, biology....>
-Do you know anyone who would be willing to guide me to a better understanding of my journey?
<Mmm; which part of the world do you live in, want to live in? I am hoping that Carol Cozzie-Schmarr of Ocean Rider (bcc'd here) will chime in>
Preferably with a PhD in aquaculture if there is someone.
-In the opinions of yourself and others you may know, is this a viable field of study? What are the career prospects and pay grades for someone in this field?
<Is a viable field; most places, positions not well-paying... even transient by and large... but better than years before. You may well have
to relocate... a few times over the years>
-It seems that permitting and regulations are the most difficult challenges for the persons who have shared with me thus far, what other issues consistently plague people in this career?
<Well; the search for "more standard" career... Companies, positions come and go. I STRONGLY encourage you to travel, visit places... Like the Big Island... NELHA/OTEC... Have been out last week visiting Bali Aquarich myself this last week... Bob Fenner>
Best regards,
Sophia Britt-Wessels
Biology, MTSU

Michigan Shrimp Farm – 02/20/13   
Hi Bob, We have a shrimp farm in Michigan and not too far from Detroit Metro Airport.  Thought you might be interested in reading about it. http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/article/20061113/NEWS03/611130313/Shrimp-farmer-looks-build-commercially-viable-business-far-from-water
Bunk! Nowhere is stated which species of FW shrimp they're referring to... and raising indoors? At a lower production cost than in third world countries? No way. BobF
Re: Michigan Shrimp Farm

I'm pretty sure they are SW shrimp.  I was talking with our Veterinarian today and he said the owner of the farm has a degree in Marine Biology from Michigan State.  He said he has been reading about this for quite some time and wants to go visit him.
<... I doubt the use of marine shrimp/s here. Again, not economically feasible to mix their great source of Great Lakes water w/ synthetic and make sense. There are FW shrimp that are used in human consumption, notably Macrobrachium... but these too require expensive feeding and power to move water... and most all are tropical; so you'd have to heat the water as well... This person is high, or whatever passes as a qualifier of "unrealistic" nowayears. B>
 James
Fwd: Shrimp Species – 02/20/13   
They are saltwater, P. vannamei
<Penaeus culture in Michigan? No way. Not unless (of course) this is heavily subsidized. Too expensive to be practical otherwise. Thanks. B>

Excess Fry, How To Sell - 11/05/2012
Hey all at WetWebMedia,
<Hi, J.! Sabrina here tonight.>
You all have a fantastic website.
<Thank you for the kind words.>
I love searching and spending my off time just reading random bits and using the site to procrastinate from my accounting homework.
<Heh! Glad to know we're.... helping....>
Anyways, I have some Platies and some Guppies. Of course, and I knew this, they make tons of fry.
<Yep.>
I do not want to have to 'discard' any of the fry, but I am not sure what to do with them.
<Tons of possibilities....>
I would love to be able to make a little bit of money back on them, though I do know that they are cheaper fish, and don't hold much value.
<Making money off of them will be very impractical. But you might find a local shop that would give you some small amount per fish, or trade you store credit. Local mom'n'pop shops are great for this, and the "really good" ones know the value of locally-bred fish. Although you won't get much at all for these, something is better than nothing, right?>
However, my problem is, I have no clue where to go to sell them.
<Ah. Gotcha. Hopefully you do have some local fish shops? Have you tried speaking with the owner(s)?>
I was looking for some recommendations on any websites or potentially any shops in Western North Carolina that I might could advertise/sell them on or (at the very least) would be an option for me to just give them away to.
<Oh, I see. Perhaps, with luck, someone will read this in the Daily FAQs and maybe you could post something in our forum to see if anyone will respond, knowing of local-to-you shops?>
I have an ad in my local Craigslist, and I have been advertising to any friends that might listen, but it doesn't look hopeful. The fry are still very young and small, so I have time before they are big enough to get rid of but I am quite lost.
<Think about local (or local-ish) pet fish clubs, too. Googling "North Carolina Aquarium Club" yields a few promising leads. I see there's a decently sized group in Raleigh - not western N.C., but maybe close enough for an occasional drive - and maybe there are others closer. A word of caution, though - very often, young livebearers sell VERY inexpensively at fish club auctions (think $1 for a bag of half a dozen or more), and do sometimes get purchased by folks who will intend to use them for feeding larger piscivorous fish. Not all fish clubs are the same, and some are full of guppy geeks who will pay top dollar for prime quality locally bred stuff, too.>
Also, is there anywhere you could point me to crucial information for selling fish online, such as what supplies I would/may need to ship fish, and where I could get those supplies (preferably cheaply).
<For this, you might take a look at Aquabid ( http://www.aquabid.com ) and the like. There are many e-tailers that sell the various necessary heat packs, Styrofoam boxes, etc., and some of those things (like Styrofoam boxes) you may find locally, too. Unfortunately, packing and sending (overnight ONLY, please, and only during appropriate temperatures!) will probably prove cost-prohibitive for these specific fish, unless you have some sort of amazing super-guppy that sells for quite a bit. Selling locally is really the only logical solution otherwise.>
I apologize if I have missed the information on your site, I searched it briefly, but didn't have much time to spend Googling or searching websites.
I appreciate the time and assistance I hope you will be able to provide me, I wish you all the best, and I hope the website continues to prosper and provide a great wealth of useful information to all persons in search of advice.
<One last thing for you to consider, and please don't hate me for it. Have you thought about having a predator-type fish yourself, as a pet? Of course, it would have to live in a separate tank. Some of the most interesting freshwater fish are piscivorous ambush predators....
Monocirrhus polyacanthus comes to mind; this amazing animal eats almost only live small fish and rarely accepts other foods at all. Belonesox belizianus is another obligate piscivore (and a livebearer, to boot!).
These two fish are often considered very difficult to keep and feed UNLESS you have a constant supply of healthy small fish to feed them, and either would make very intriguing pet fish. Polypterids, puffers, Ctenopoma, some Cichlids.... Some catfish, even some shrimp (seriously!) would all gladly consume "extra" livebearing fish as part of their food. So, if you are not opposed to "using" the fry for feeding a predator of some sort, well, that would solve the problem entirely. On the other hand, I can completely understand if you would be opposed to doing this. I'm okay with it, but that doesn't mean you should be. Most people kill spiders they find in their bathroom; I put them outside instead. Everyone's different.>
J Long
<Best of luck finding a solution to your problem. Just remember, it's the BEST possible problem to have! Having your fish reproducing to the point of being burdensome just means that you're doing the best in caring for your pets, and they are happy and healthy enough to do all the things that come naturally to happy, healthy guppies and platies. Congratulations on having this best possible problem! -Sabrina>
Excess Fry - II - 11/08/12

Hello Sabrina, or whomever reads this,
<Me again!>
Thank you very much for the quick and thorough response. I greatly appreciate the assistance. I knew some of that, but I was hoping you would come up with some ideas I hadn't had yet, which you did. Unfortunately, the local "mom 'n pop" lfs near me has told me that they will take the fry from me, but they will not pay me for them. (Which I think is full of crap, because even if the fish die in their tanks before they sold, they are not really out any cash by paying me a slight bit of money/store credit for the fish.)
<Do bear in mind that they do spend time/money on all of the fish in the store....  Even ones given freely to them still have to be fed, housed, cared for....  But to not even offer thirty cents store credit per fish? 
Sigh.>
But I haven't spoken with the owner about it yet, but he's very rarely there. Maybe he will have a different policy than the guy that works there all the time.
<I hope so.  Locally bred, healthy animals are less of a gamble than any farm-raised critters, even with the super hardy "bread and butter" fish like platies.>
Anyways, I actually have a few other questions if you, or anyone else that works there
<Hee!  All volunteers, here, no "workers" really.>
could answer them for me.  I have been looking at starting an Orange-eyed Blue Tiger shrimp tank.
<Fun!  Should I mention, I'm a bit of a shrimp geek?>
I have no clue where to start on staging/setting up the tank. First, my water usually tests at a consistent 7.5 ph, and according to the (unreliable) test strips, my water is fairly hard.
<This is good.>
I don't have a test kit to accurately test this yet, but I hope to have one soon. Can OEBTs breed and prosper in a tank with such parameters?
<I think so.>
I don't want to pay so much money for these guys, only to have them die off in a couple weeks or a month and such.
<Then, why not start out trying the less expensive "regular" tiger shrimp? 
Same critter, different color, different price tag.  Much cheaper.  If it works, great.  Sell 'em off and start anew with the prettier, more costly blue tigers.>
The forum answers are so spread out that it is impossible for me to come to a conclusion on that. Also, what type of substrate should I use in the tank? I would kind of like a sand, I think, or something that suits shrimp (that they can move around and such if need be).
<Sand, yes.  Or a very, very fine gravel.  Do not use "pea" gravel or anything else large enough for baby shrimps to get trapped and squished when you go to do stuff in the tank.  Sand is, in my opinion, the best choice.>
I do not know what brand or type of substrate I should get for them, and as far as substrate, what color substrate would make these guys color stand out the most (I haven't seen any in person, so I have no clue what color would make their blue stand out well).
<Uhh, for pure aesthetics, I bet a black sand would look cool.  Or a black plant-tank substrate, like the black Eco-Complete stuff.  Plain old natural sand would look great, too.>
Finally, what type of filter should I use, and how do I set it up?
<I would use a sponge filter exclusively, for a tank intended to breed small shrimp.  I would not employ any other filtration.  All you need is the sponge filter itself, an air pump (not too powerful!) and airline tubing.  Not only will the filter collect debris and keep the water circulating, but it will actually grow all kinds of "stuff" (from the collected debris) that the shrimp and baby shrimp can pick at.>
(also, I have a 5 gallon tank, would that be big enough to sustain and potentially breed OEBTs in?)
<Yeah.>
I have that 5 gal, with a 5-15 aqua tech filter, but if they breed, I feel like it would suck up the little shrimp, right?
<Yup.>
So, is there a product I could use to cover it and not burn the motor in the filter,
<Oh, sure.  Just a plain old artificial sponge.  Use a very sharp knife, cut a slot in it, and slide it over the intake.>
or should I use like a "box?" design filter with a bubbler to filter their water? --on that, how do these work and how do you set it up?
<Works the same way as a sponge filter, basically.  It's just an air-powered device....  but I would use a sponge filter instead for this application.>
Again, I appreciate the answers you have already provided me, and I hope that you can offer me some more great answers to these questions. Thank you so much for your time and assistance again.
<If you can't find the cheaper "normal" tigers to be your guinea-shrimps, you could try cherries instead; they're pretty easy to find, and rather cheap.  Don't forget to supplement Iodine/Iodide.  Search WWM re.  Your hard water should have sufficient calcium, I'd bet.>
J.Long
<Have fun with your Decapod adventure!  -Sabrina>

Re: Dither fish... breeding Convicts. (RMF, you may want to chip in here)<<Mmm, no; you've done an admirable job>> – 07/27/12
Hello crew!
<Hello,>
I have asked this question multiple times, and although you don't have to answer, I really want to know of some good target fish dither fish, whipping boys, or what ever you want to call them.
<I think you're misunderstanding the point to dither fish. They are ABSOLUTELY NOT fish that are going to get chased, bitten or any way interfered with. Is that CRYSTAL CLEAR? Dither fish are fish that swim about peacefully at the top of the aquarium. They are used to help shy cichlids (such as Keyhole Cichlids or Kribs) to feel more secure. If the dither fish get nervous, e.g., by being attacked by an aggressive cichlid (such as Convict) they would end up failing completely in their task.
They're swim nervously, and that would convey "danger" to the shy cichlids in the tank. So equating "dither fish" with "whipping boys" tells me you don't understand what dither fish are for, and therefore you must go and read some more about them. Do you have Paul Loiselle's "The Cichlid Aquarium"? That's the prime source for background reading on dither fish.>
I have been sent link after link, and each one says " follow this link here to find target fish" and the go here, and here, and here , and here, and here!! Don't get me wrong, your site is very useful, but can you please take a minute to list some "sturdy" species that I can use in a convict cichlid breeding tank?
<You would not put dither fish in with Convicts. They are much too aggressive. They don't need dither fish either, especially not if breeding.
Now, there may be a situation where a "target fish" could be used to strengthen a pair bond, but a target fish would tend to be something like a Leporinus or another cichlid, but in either case, only in a very large aquarium. If the target fish can't swim out of the way, it'll get damaged, and conversely, any sufficiently robust target fish has the potential to harm the Convicts if it feels threatened. Again, read Loiselle.>
IT WOULD BE APPRECIATED! Pretty please?  I read on your sight by one crew member (i wont mention names)
<Why not?>
that zebra danios are great target fish.
<Zebra Danios can make excellent dither fish, but not target fish.
Regardless, Convicts could easily kill them. You really must try and understand that dither fish and target fish are different things. Dither fish are about making shy fish calm; target fish are about strengthening pair bonds by providing a focus for their territorial behaviours. Dither fish must be small, peaceful, schooling species that stay at the top of the tank. You'd keep dither fish with shy cichlids like Angels, Discus, Apistogramma, Shell Dwellers, some of the Geophagines, and so on. Target fish are singleton fish that are fast-moving, robust fish but not normally dangerous. They are supposed to elicit pair-forming behaviours by encouraging the cichlids to work together. You'd use species that move rapidly and you'd keep them in an aquarium that has oceans of space, so the target fish can get clear out of the cichlids territory. So if you'd keep a target fish with Convicts, you wouldn't keep them all in a 20 or 30 gallon tank, but in 75 or 100 gallons. Anything smaller and either the Convicts would harm the target fish, or else the target fish would fight back and harm the Convicts. Typical target fish are things like Leporinus, the larger Epalzeorhynchos, Gyrinocheilus, Distichodus, etc., It should be noted that these are big, strong fish in their own right, and some can be extremely aggressive and/or territorial, which underlines the need for a large aquarium.>
Then when I email, they say go for something sturdy, read here. Than that link says, go here, no here, then here, its like the never ending knot!
Please, list a few strong species and my head ache will go away and you will make my day. Best regards, Tavian
<Do suspect you're really asking us to justify adding another fish to a small (20, 30 gallon tank) with a mated pair of Convicts. There is no such beast, any no, you shouldn't add anything extra. Convicts are mean, aggressive, incredibly fertile fish that spend all their time breeding, and in a small aquarium anything with them will end up harassed if not killed.
Want to experiment with dither fish? Get some Shell Dwellers and some Endler's Guppies! Cheers, Neale.> 
Re: Dither fish (RMF, you may want to chip in here)<<Mmm, nope. My opinions re Convict Cichlids are about the same>>    7/27/12

Im sorry, i meant target fish.
<Ah, so my comments helped clear that up.>
And by the way, I do do research, I own countless guides and encyclopedias on keeping cichlids, not to mention other species of fish. You are the first to give me a straight answer, I appreciate that.
<Most welcome.>
I plan to keep my convicts for less than a year, because there aggression will grow as they mature.
<Indeed it will.>
I purposely destroyed view points, added countless rock, cave, and plant formations for territory, and many floating plants for the zebra danios and white clouds swimming at the surface.
<Both these species are "minnows" in the scientific sense, and actually prefer open water, though overhead shade is welcome.>
I don't understand why everyone "hates" these  fish, they have vivid colors, easy to breed, hardy, and just so much personality.
<It's not so much that I "hate" Convicts, it's that I far more of them are sold than hobbyists really need, so most end up in the wrong tanks where they do bad things. You are quite right that they have a lot of personality, and as lab animals, they're superb animals. But on the flip side -- as you've said -- they aren't attractive pets in the long run. Cute when small, but much too aggressive as adults. I've kept a group in a 200 gallon tank with some other Central American fish and they were charming.
But few aquarists have that sort of space, so from my end of the hobby, you see a lot of aquarists having to deal with Convicts wrecking the decor and terrorising their tankmates.>
I've bred rams, labs, and various African cichlids and NONE are (in my opinion) as fun convict cichlids.
<Each to their own.>
Yeah, you barely get anything selling them, but I'm not looking to get rich, I'm looking to have fun in this hobby. I don't care if I get weird looks when the lfs bags 6 of em, I don't care one bit. I care of the end result, happy, healthy fish.
<Good to hear. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Dither fish/Cichlids to spawn (RMF, you may want to chip in here)<<Mmm, no>>     7/29/12

Ahh. i see you have survived my ranting. anyway, one question if you do not mind. after i get sick of convict cichlids, what other fish should i breed?
<Depends what you're in to. If cichlids, then a good way forward is to find a relatively rare species that you can make some money with. An Apistogramma species perhaps (A. cacatuoides is by far the easiest to keep, and available in lots of tank-bred forms like "Double Red" that sell well).
There's a dearth of good quality Dwarf Gouramis, so if you can breed these at home, you'll have no problems selling the offspring. Being Bubblenest-builders, they're a nice change from cichlids. Halfbeaks are relatively difficult livebearers, so again, a challenge. For something easier, perhaps a premium variety of Angelfish or Endler's Guppy, to give two obvious examples. Corydoras are another fun species to breed, some easy (like the Bronze) others more tricky (like the Pandas) but all will be easy to sell. So it all depends.>
i have tried rams, but I'm interested in Firemouth cichlids. i hear they love sand, and my tank has a sand bottom.
<For sure. Firemouths (and indeed other Thorichthys species, like T. ellioti) are not aggressive in the same way as most Central Americans. They're territorial, yes, but they don't fight because they have delicate, sand-sifting jaws. Instead the males do threat displays, and given space, one male will back off. It's fun to watch, and good quality Firemouths and
even more so Thorichthys ellioti are very, very pretty fish.>
i was wondering if the tank bred ones have washed out colors because their young, their stressed in the pet store, or they are inbred. or are they all of the above?
<A combination of all the above. Thorichthys ellioti are less inbred (so far) and colour up nicely; good quality Firemouths are available, but you do need to hunt them out.>
i want to breed some that look pretty. and also, would they fit in a 30 gallon tank (a pair?) also,
<Just about a pair, yes. They do get quite large.>
what is the difference between u.s and imperial gallons?
<10 US gallons is 8 Imperial (i.e., UK) gallons, so if a UK source recommends 40 gallons for a species, you need to multiply that by 1.2 to get the US gallons. So an Imperial gallon tank is 20% bigger than a US gallon one, which is quite a lot. Make sense? Google will do this for you; type in "10 Imperial gal in US gal" and you get the answer; reverse or change the numbers as needs be. Or simply use metric!>
does it matter?
<Yes, in some cases. If a US source says a fish needs 40 gallons, then a 40 gallon tank in the US or the UK will be fine. But if a UK source says it needs 40 gallons, then a 40 US gallon tank might be a bit small, so you'd want to get the next size up if you can, 45 or 50 gallons. Alternatively, if it's about stocking a community tank, you'd be more conservative with the US gallon tank than the Imperial gallon quote, knowing the Imperial gallon one will be about 20% bigger. So fewer tetras or catfish or whatever. For what it's worth, the old "inches per gallon" rule works well with either unit, insofar as it's very much a conservative approximation for small (Neon-sized) fish.>
when they say fish like Oscars need 75 gallons do they mean imperial?
<Does depend on the source. Obviously if it's a US publisher like TFH, then they mean US gallons. If it's a UK publisher like PFK, then they mean Imperial gallons. But many publishers put litres (often in brackets) and so it may well be easier to go with that.>
thank you so much Neale.
best regards,
 Tavian
<Most welcome, Neale.>

Re: Rising Tide Update   12/1/11
Hello Everyone!
Eric mentioned that we would be emailing important updates periodically. I am happy to say that this is an important one to read.
We are very pleased to announce that, with the help of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, we have successfully raised Koran angelfish, Pomacanthus semicirculatus, to the juvenile stage. This is a tremendously exciting success of the Rising Tide Conservation Initiative and one step away from the targeted emperor angelfish.
We have posted some images on the blog so please have a look at the beautiful juveniles.
The New Year is looking ever optimistic for continued success.
Thank you all for your support.
Matt Wittenrich
 Thank you for your efforts Matt. B
Excellent news all around everyone! It is great to see the momentum that is being developed and we hope it will be maintained.
On the DNA front, we have a student working here finishing her thesis on building a DNA based catalogue of eggs and larvae. Andy Rhyne has sent around a prototype page from the catalogue prior to this. We are in the midst of finalizing her thesis, and looking to publish this information. We feel it would be strategic in terms of presenting a unified front if we could collaboratively submit all current efforts on identifying (photographically and DNA) eggs and larvae. By standardizing methods and results now, we will have a much more useable tool for the future.
Our student is finishing up in the next two months, so now is a great time for us to collect additional samples. We have Georgia and New England done, and it would be great to add other institutions. Please let us know if you are currently collecting.
Thanks, and again congratulations on all the success.
Michael
Michael Tlusty, PhD
Director of Research
New England Aquarium

Rising Tide Update     11/28/11
All,
 It's been months since our last update and we wanted to bring everybody up to speed on some of the successes that have been going on within Rising Tide.  If you recall during our last 'update' email we had eluded to the fact that we were
 in the middle of constructing a blog.  Well, it is finally finished and we wanted to give everybody a chance to see the progress (new and old) that have taken place within the project.  To look at the totality over the short period of time since the project  began is quite inspiring, but we still have a long way to go.  So let's continue to share information and ideas.   
 From here on out, we will post new updates as they occur and will only bother you guys through email when it is absolutely important.  So, grab a cup of coffee, tea, beer, or whatever pleases you and enjoy the read.  Save it to your 'favorites'  and check it from time to time.  Matt did a great job (thanks Matt) and we hope you enjoy.
Link to blog:
http://risingtideconservation.blogspot.com/
Again, if anyone was left off the email list or you know of anyone that should be included please let me know.
Thanks,
Eric
Eric J. Cassiano
Biological Scientist
University of Florida
Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory

White eggs   7/11/11
Hello there,
I understand that white eggs are not fertilized.
<Mmm, or otherwise fungused... Can happen for other reasons; principally from the tank being "too dirty">
I was just wondering what to do with those white eggs, do I remove them? If yes, how so? Will it spread to other eggs if I just leave them there?
<Yes, with a siphon fashioned of rigid airline tubing and the tubing itself is best, and yes>
Thanks,
Will
<Welcome, Bob Fenner>

Where did these babies come from?   6/16/10
Thank you so much crew for always being there, I have honestly searched and searched for an answer on WWM for days.
<OK.>
I am 61 years old with 4 grown children and 8 grandchildren so I do know where babies come from, but not this batch.
<I see.>
I myself have maintained a 125 gal. fw aquarium successfully for over 2 years thanks to much reading and learning from your site. Let me explain my situation. A very good friend of mine was breaking down her aquarium and
asked if I would like anything she was looking to re home, all she has had in her tank for a very long time were cherry shrimp, 1 small phantom tetra, 1 quite large long skirt tetra and one very large angel fish plus some nice java fern plants, I was very happy to take a dozen cherry shrimp along with a large java fern plant. I set the shrimp and plant up in my 20 gal. that I keep running with a sponge filter and a little food a few times a week as my hospital tank should I ever need it. ( which thankfully I never have ). But to the point, within a few days I was very surprised
to see fry swimming about, then it seemed after about a week there were new fry! I have spent the last week trying to find out if it is possible for those 2 very different tetra's to have produced eggs that I transported into my tank with the java fern.
<No, the Black Widows and the Black Phantoms are too distantly related to have hybridised. My money would be on the Angelfish, assuming that there were two of them. Otherwise if there's just one Black Widow, one Black
Phantom, and one Angelfish, then the answer would have to be [d] done of the above.>
It seems so very unlikely to me that I had to get to the bottom of it by writing to you directly as I trust your knowledge and feel that you will be able to give me a reasonable explanation. This has me quite baffled.
<Indeed. Time will tell, of course. A photo of the fry would help as well. Cherry Shrimp breed quite easily, but telling baby shrimps from baby fish isn't difficult. Relatively few fish breed successfully in community tanks,
primarily cichlids and livebearers, so those are the fish to think about.
Was anything else in the aquarium within the last few weeks?>
My friend has never had any babies that she is aware of. The fry are doing well but I am wondering what kind of fish they could be. Hopelessly confused in New Hampshire, U.S.A.
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Where did these babies come from?   6/16/10

Thank you Neale, I very much appreciate your sharing your knowledge with me,
<You're most welcome.>
those 3 fish were all that were in her tank for at least the last 6 months, I visit her home at least weekly and usually more often so I am sure of this fact.
<Curiouser and curiouser.>
I will watch the fry grow and when I am reasonably sure I will absolutely update you.
<Cool.>
I have always maintained the 20 gal. tank weekly same as my 125 gal. and the fry are doing well and growing. Their tank is quite overgrown with plants, java fern, java moss, a moss ball and lots of floating plants, guppy grass? and duck weed so I knew the shrimp were going to be happy and looks like fry also enjoy these conditions, plus I am now feeding the fry ground up Ocean Nutrition flake and offering veggies as I do with my other fish.
<Sounds like they're well cared for.>
I will write back in a few weeks linked to this e-mail with a photo,
<I shall look forward to it. This is quite the mystery!>
also I will give you all the information on my 125 gallon and hopefully you will be able to tell me if I can add these fish to that system when they are big enough. These fry were completely unexpected and I am still quite confused but they will be treasured.
<Oh, yes, finding unexpected young 'uns in the aquarium is always a treat.>
Hoping you have a wonderful week. Karen
<And you, likewise. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Where did these babies come from?  7/10/10
Good morning Neale, I feel like such an idiot and was almost too embarrassed to update you.
<Oh?>
The fry are Diamond Tetras.
<Neat!>
I had used the tank to quarantine 6 newly acquired ones a few months previous for 3 weeks and never connected that event with adopting the shrimp and plants.
<Ah, I see.>
The 20 gal. is so loaded with plants that I did not see the fry for a long time, is a wonder any survived between the water changes and very light feedings.
<Indeed. Says a lot about how "benign neglect" can often work rather well.
Tends to be my approach with breeding fish, when I really don't want to rear more than a couple to add to my tanks rather than whole batches to sell on.>
Now months later I have 10 sweet new juveniles thriving with the shrimp. I would appreciate your opinion on how I should proceed, add them to the 125 gal. leave in 20 gal. or re home?
<Oh, definitely add to the big tank. Diamond Tetras are among the loveliest tetras and far under-appreciated because they lack garish colours. As I'm sure you realise they do sparkle like diamond dust in the right tank. I had
a girlfriend who kept and adored these fish, and I always think of her when I see them -- in a good way!>
I would like to add them to my 125 gal. community but want what would be best for these little guys and also my existing fish family so will abide by your experienced knowledge.
<Assuming they're big enough not to be eaten, they should school together just fine.>
The stats on my 125 gal. tank are as follows. 6 ft. tank, 2 Eheim canister filters level with tank with one on each end, 1 hang on Emperor 280, substrate 1/4" small natural black gravel and a few dozen plants, only decorations are 2 pieces of driftwood. Tank and fish are about 2 years old (except diamond tetras). PH 72-74, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 10-20, town water hardness 12.5 as of today.
<Is a very nice tank.>
Community, 6 Boesemanni Rainbows, 4 Melanotaenia lacustris
<A lovely fish. You have good taste.>
1 reg. Blue Gourami, 1 Pearl Gourami, 2 Black Lace Veil Angels, 4 Denison Barbs,
<These ARE predatory, so be careful.>
4 Albino Cory's, 7 Diamond Tetras, 1 male guppy and 2 female guppies.
Water changes are 40 gals. per week, temp. 77 degrees. Have enclosed a picture with hopes it will help in your decision.
<Very nice indeed. Could do with an Anubias mother plant on the big ol' bogwood root though.>
Thank you so very much for all your help. Karen
<Happy to help. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Where did these babies come from? [Now: some warnings re: Puntius denisonii and temperature]   7/11/10
Thank you Neale for your quick reply.
<My pleasure.>
I was worried about over-crowding by adding the 10 Diamond Tetras, you eased my mind. I was aware of the Denison's being predatory as I had read Bob Fenner's article, The Minnows called Barbs, Danios & Rasboras with your own insert (Gregarious but expensive).
<Indeed. These are very "in vogue" fish here in England. While essentially excellent community fish, they are fast-water fish that don't live long in stuffy, overheated tanks with poor water circulation. Aquarists often keep them at 25 C/77 F or higher, little knowing doing so will eventually kill them. Aim for 20-24 C/68-75 F and you'll be doing much better, and ideally lower the temperature a bit further in winter. Optimal tankmates include other low-end tropical and subtropical fish -- swordtails, peppered Corydoras, most Acaras, giant Danios, etc. If you must keep them at 25 C/77 F because of their tankmates, make absolutely sure you're also offering strong water currents and lots of oxygen. Don't keep them about 25 C/77 F at all, at least, don't if you want them to live for long. Fishbase reports a minimum temperature of 15 C/59 F, which indicates how much these fish prefer cooler rather than hotter conditions.>
I did need to travel from New Hampshire to Massachusetts to buy them @ $23.00 each and I did purchase the recommended odd number (5) but lost one the first week while in quarantine.
<Overheating, poor oxygenation are common problems.>
So far they have caused no trouble and they are now 4 inches long. If in your experience I should have (5) to be safer I will happily purchased another as without the knowledge and experience from yourself and the crew I could never have achieved this degree of success. So thank you all !
Karen
<I don't think fish can count, so whether you have 4, 5 or 6 isn't really an issue. With schooling fish there's certainly a minimum number below which dominance by the alpha fish causes problems for the others in the group. But once you get a number of fish coexisting as a school, you can usually add new ones without problems. Cheers, Neale.>

What a great web site! In this case, Anabantoid culture for profit   3/13/10
This might be of interest to your amateur aquarists. I am a tropical fish farmer wannabe.
<A dream of many I'd warrant>
I have discovered the transition from amateur aquarist to tropical fish farmer is a big step.
<Oh yes! I'd like all to peruse my "Go Rin No Sho" (Musashi pastiche) re the five critical elements of business... Location, finance, personnel, set-up and stock... any one of which if deficient, you're done... Not many folk can claim/prove to be well-enough-versed in all these areas of endeavour to be/come proficient entrepreneurs. Oh, this is gone over and over on WWM's Aquatics Business Subweb>
I purchased a worn out tropical fish farm in florida and began this adventure last year. I was successful breeding pink kisser and gold gouramis in tanks. However, once presented with thousands of fry in dozens of 10 gallon tanks
<!? Too small for Helostoma>
I dropped the ball. I was not successful transitioning the fry from 10 gallon tank to pond or vat and the few that made it to the vat did not do all that well. I finally got frustrated and threw all the breeder gold gouramis in a pond where they successfully bred and produced young which I harvested in the fall and sold.
<Ah good>
Can't beat mother nature I guess. But all the tropical fish farmers I talk to tell me just throwing the fish in a pond is not the way to go.
<Of a certainty, no>
I have the facilities to grow the fry in vats from 175 gallons to 500 gallons. I also have 36 ponds to grow them in. The problem is I need help with what to do after hatching but before putting the fry in a vat or pond. Old time growers say "feed green water".
<Mmmm>
Others say newly hatched brine shrimp. I cannot say I had luck with either. I have breeder gouramis ready for this year. Your thoughts would be most appreciated.
<Best by far for you to go work with folks in the trade who know what they're doing... And to spend some time pouring through pertinent literature... Yes, in this case, old hobby magazines and books... There are some real treasures to be unearthed t/here... Including tried and true methods of breeding and rearing these and MANY other commercially sale-able species. Bob Fenner> 

Spawning mops, making    3/6/10
I would like some help with spawning mops, please. Since apparently none of the major fish stores sell spawning mops, I plan to make some using some kind of synthetic yarn.
<Green acrylic is generally recommended, since this looks more natural. But any dark colour is fine, and the idea is that eggs should be obvious, which they won't be against pale coloured yarns. Also, wool works fine too, it just doesn't last as long (being organic, it eventually rots).>
Googling found different opinions about the yarn such as: use undyed yarn, use dark yarn, use dark yarn but soak it first, use dark yarn but boil it first, etc.
<Boiling acrylic is certainly a good idea. If using wool, undyed (natural, organic) wool is certainly preferable.>
Besides the dye, could there be other concerns such as the yarn was treated for rodents, moths, etc.?
<I've never heard of yarns being treated thus. If such pesticide-treated yarns are sold in your local store, then sure, don't buy them.>
The local stores don't sell Indian Fern or Water Sprite, thus the interest in the spawning mops.
<Cabomba and Myriophyllum rooted in little pots works just as well. Mail ordering floating plants is a great idea.>
If time and circumstances allow, the purpose of the mops will be to try to breed Gymnocorymbus ternetzi this summer.
<I'm not sure this is a mop-using species. I thought it scattered its eggs on benthic plants, in which case almost anything should do. They are notorious egg-eaters, so the issue isn't so much giving them somewhere to spawn, but creating something that prevents them eating their eggs. You may well find those plastic "grass" things mimicking dwarf Swordplants a bit more useful.>
Any insights will be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Rose
<Cheers, Neale.>

Some questions, Cirrhilabrus nutr., Aquaculture of marine ornamentals practices   1/13/10
Greetings,
<Salutem dicit (L. "I say a greeting")>
Can fairy wrasses gorge themselves to death?
<Mmm, maybe>
They don't seem to ever stop eating, which makes it harder to feed the other fish. Is Cyclop Eeze a nutritionally complete food, i.e. can Anthias survive on it long term if it's the only thing they are willing to eat?
<Is pretty close I believe>
My guess would be not what with all the different critters that compose zooplankton.
<Depends more on what this one organism has been eating...>
I've read that in some Asian countries, farmers sometimes aquaculture marine fish like snappers by digging a large pond and inoculating it with phytoplankton and then zooplankton and let the critters multiply before finally adding the eggs.
<Is/was an approach of old for some species>
If such a simple method could work, why isn't it used for marine ornamentals?
<Lack of economies of scale mostly (insufficient demand for large numbers of specimens). Though, more intensive (greater control) methodology is required for most ornamentals>
People seem to be obsessed with being able to culture animals in the smallest volume of water possible.
<Mebbe>
meow says the catfish
<Woof says the dogfish. Aka, Bob Fenner in the HHH>

Catfish fishery in Zimbabwe  11/13/09
Bob,
There's an interesting message in the FW in box about a catfish fishery in Zimbabwe. I'm not really sure how to answer this question; what would work for an aquarium might not be relevant where health and safety, food production, and environmental management issues are at stake. Would you want to handle that question? Is there a better website or form for aquaculture questions to be fielded?
Cheers, Neale
<Mmm, will take a look. BobF>
Catfish hatchery  11/13/09
Hi WetWeb Crew
<Yasfir>
How is every one doing? Well i hope? I have a rather interesting conundrum for you this week. lets start off with a bit of background.
I live in Zimbabwe which as you know is not the richest of countries.
<Mmm, yes... am decidedly an anti-fan of Mugabe>
My story starts like this I would like to start a catfish hatchery in the northern part of the country in a place called Chirundu, I would like it to be a small to medium scale hatchery. breeding Clarias gariepinus or the African sharptooth catfish. I have done extensive research on the means and the methods and have done some experimenting and I have successfully have produced fry. which is have the battle won, my problem comes however in the actual design of the hatchery itself, I have see some guidelines in some papers I've read and have come up with a few drawings (see attachments)
<Nothing attached here>
but these are the drawing of the holding units for single catfish and for eggs and fry. The water we are using comes straight out of the Zambezi river and is full of silt,
<This will likely have to be simply treated, the sediment taken out, and any predators screened out as well, before use>
i haven't been able to monitor any other parameters such as nitrates, nitrites and ph. but i would like to put a sump system in place before water reaches any of the holding tanks.
<A very good idea>
After water has
circulated through the system once it can either return to the river or reenter the sump system. What do you think?
<I would try to arrange all this w/ a minimum of pumping if you could. If there are no enforced laws re returning the water to the river, I would do this... via gravity if at all practical>
i would also like the fry holding tanks to run on a separate sump system with maybe added uv filtration to kill any pathogens in the water?
<Mmm, if the cost isn't too much. My experience with the congener Clarias batrachus, makes me think that the young should be very tough>
again im not sure of my self here. Chirundu is hot at all times of the year,
<Yes... my roommate of many years, has visited there. I've asked him re>
although there maybe cold snaps during winter. Heat during summer maybe a problem how would i go about building a housing facility for my hatchery that stays cool in summer and warm in winter?
<As this fish is native, I would not be so concerned... other than using shading, keeping the water moving, I think you'll be fine>
I would appreciated any and all help you could give me.
Cheers Yasi
<I take it, or want to encourage you to think re other aspects/issues, like foods, how you'll process and market this catfish product. Have you "done a spreadsheet" for costs, revenue for this project? If so, please send a draft along and I will gladly take a look over it. Bob Fenner, whose academic background is actually fisheries biology>

Re: Catfish hatchery  11/15/09
hi
<Hello again Yasfir>
Thanks for the feed back, it was helpful. i now need help setting up the sump as i have the vaguest idea of how to do this. If you could show me a diagram of one that would meet my needs.
<Mmm, unfortunately I don't know where one is to reference, but basically this is a large basin/container, with sloping bottom, with a mechanism (a simple drain or even just a removable standpipe), where new water (after it has been screened to omit/leave out undesirable life... predators) can pass through, possibly with mechanical media (brushes, most anything not too fine) to "drop out" particulates, before being further processed. Here one MUST pay attention to costs. Water will need to be available continuously, but you don't want to suffer electrical/pumping expense any more than necessary>
i would set my sump up for basically biological and mechanical filtration.
<Yes>
im looking at the formulation of feeds for the larvae, juveniles and adults.
<Good... see what others are feeding this species, that results in good growth, is locally available and inexpensive>
i will
also have a cost sheet available by the end of the week.
cheers
Yasi
<And you, Bob Fenner>

Find out wholesale prices, Re: selling lvstk. to LFSs   12/30/08 Hi there! I've recently set up a tank of fancy guppies and they roll out a plethora of babies. The pet stores sell the adult fish for $2-3, so I think hmm...maybe I could start selling some to a local pet store every couple weeks to help pay off the cost of this hobby ;). <A good idea and a worthy project for sure... Providing better, local stock, reducing imports> The problem is, I can't view what wholesale prices are at any wholesale supplier websites I can find- evidently I must be a "business" to do this. Is there any way to view the prices local aquariums buy these fish for so I could know a fair price to offer per fish? Thanks, Nick <Mmm, it's likely better here for me to "cut to the chase" and make a statement re the "usual" sort of mark up for small (a dollar, more/less) aquatic livestock... It's generally marked up about 2-3 times... Triple crowning for somethings like guppies... so, If a store had them on offer for $3, they likely paid about $1... That being said, you might well do better to bargain for credit with the store in exchange for your stock... Something more like "half credit" toward what they sell them for. Does this make sense to you? Bob Fenner>

Re: Find out wholesale prices 12/30/08 Dear Bob Fenner, <Yes Nick> Thanks- makes great sense! Really all I needed was a ballpark estimate to know how much to offer. -Nick <Ahh! Figured as much... Keep breeding!!! BobF>

Swim Bladder in one day.. I think... Cichlid, Neotrop., Texas... env. dis.  12/17/08 Hi I am begging for help. <No need to beg; we're happy to help!> I have a 4 yr old Texas. <Texas cichlid, I presume?> She had babies about 8 months ago. She has killed the convict father, and tended to the babies herself. <She cross-bred with a Convict cichlid? Never heard of that before. Hope you didn't sell/give away the fry. Hybrid fish are a blight on the hobby, and while fine enough as your own pets, it's very unfair for a retailer to sell them to unsuspecting fishkeepers.> She started not eating about two weeks ago, and stayed away from them. <Broodcare in most cichlids does indeed weaken after a few weeks, though this varies.> A few picked on her, but she ran them away. I try to clean the tank a lot, due to messy babies. It has never been a problem. <It's almost always best to remove cichlid fry 2-3 weeks after hatching to their own tank for separate rearing. Because fry are very sensitive to water quality, they often stunt or otherwise do poorly when kept with the adults.> I unfortunately let the water level get low. After doing a partial clean, and refill, today I go see them, and she is swimming at the top, in a horrible U shape, Head down, and taking gasping air. <Almost certainly a reaction to a sudden change in water quality, water chemistry, or temperature. Texas cichlids need hard (10+ degrees dH), basic (pH 7.5) water around 25 C (77 F). If the pH had dropped between water changes, in particular because of insufficient carbonate hardness, then doing a big water change could have switched the pH from something acidic to something basic, putting a massive (and potentially lethal) stress on your cichlid. The only other thing that would do something similar is the introduction of some toxin; specifically, if the bucket had residues for something like bleach or detergent, that can cause severe reactions in your fish.> I moved her to small tank, fresh water, and Epsom salt. She doesn't swim anymore, unless disturbed, but still in a U shape, moving her fins rapidly but wont swim straight. <Moving fish in shock is rarely a good idea; much better to leave them to recover from the first shock rather than impose a second one on them.> I really don't want to lose my girl, I have always taken care of her the best I could. She is about 8" and healthy(i hope) the tank she was in is a 55gl, she has about 30 babies (still under 3in small) some smaller. <Please don't give away or sell those hybrid fry. It's one of the most irresponsible things any aquarist can do. If you can't house them yourself, then painlessly destroy them. I don't say this to be mean, but because of the "big picture" that sometimes gets lost when people get attached to animals as individuals.> Her new hospital tank is a ten gal, and Epsom salt with 82* water. How long should she take to heal, she wont eat anything, so i am really scared. <If she's going to recover from shock, then it may well take a couple of days before she's swimming right, and maybe even a week before she's ready to act normally around you and feed. Cichlids are among those fish that react badly to sudden changes. If the problem was poisoning, then performing repeated water changes to flush out toxins would help, but obviously the incoming water MUST have identical water chemistry and temperature to the outgoing water. I don't normally recommend freshwater aquarists use carbon for a variety of reasons, but if you suspect poisoning, then this is one those few situations where fresh carbon makes sense. As you know hopefully, carbon needs replacing every couple of weeks, so any old carbon in your filter will be doing precisely nothing useful.> Please help me..I love this fish <Good luck, Neale.>

Re: Swim Bladder in one day..I think... (Euthanising hybrids, why it's necessary; RMF, feel free to comment) I must first say Thank you for the help you gave me. I now think that could have been what happened. She is still in the same condition as before, but now the color is much brighter, and she look a bit more relax, Thank for all your help. <Glad to hear it.> NOW, Yes the Texas and the Convict did mate, they were the only ones in the tank, for that four months. So yes these are hybrid babies. <Oh dear.> But really, you would purposely destroy (kill) a fish, that had no choice in what they were born from. <Yes. But before you condemn me for it, think logically for a moment. Single species fish are predictable in terms of size, temperament, breeding behaviour, likelihood of genetic diseases and abnormal growth patterns. Hybrids are none of these things Hybrids may be fine as youngsters, but they may be pre-disposed to problems as they mature, may exhibit reduced fertility, or may behave in aberrant ways compared with one or both of their parents.. By passing hybrids on to other aquarists, you also increase the chances of genes from species A getting into fish sold as species B. Someone buys species B, and then find it isn't doing any of the things it should be doing. It doesn't look like it should, and it's the wrong size, it can't breed normally. In many cases species cultivated by aquarists come from very specific places. This is common among the cichlid varieties from the Rift Valley lakes and Central America. These varieties are particular colour forms of species with distinctive genes. When "mixed" in aquaria that genetic uniqueness is lost. Is that a big deal? Yes, if you're a collector. But it's incredibly important if you're a scientist. Some of these varieties are endangered in the wild, a few even extinct. They only exist in captivity. Hybrids put additional stress on wild populations of fish as well. Sensible fishkeepers don't want to keep hybrids because of the problems mentioned above. Because so many hybrids are in pet stores, any serious fishkeepers demands wild-caught examples of many species prone to hybridisation. This means that instead of the trade building up supplies of captive-bred cichlids, there's still a huge industry collecting wild-caught fish, in some cases having a very real impact on the populations of wild fish. When aquarists allow them to hybridise or cross-breed, they're reducing the chances of keeping that species or variety from extinction. In every possible way, hybrids are bad. Hybrids are unpredictable, they're prone to problems, they make it impossible to set up balanced communities, and they increase the chances of wild fish going extinct. Hence as a broad comment, hybridisations is something aquarists should actively try to avoid. I'm an animal lover. I spend an hour or more per day volunteering at this web site to help people save the lives of their fish and reptiles. But I'm also a scientist and try to see the big picture.> I have read this type of article before, it had something to do , with breeders, losing money, Many fish from breeders are new breeds, cross bred, and a new species is born. Flowerhorn, is one to start with. <And pretty awful it is too. Nature has managed to come up with around 2000 cichlid species by herself, each one finely adapted to the environment it finds itself. There are plenty of different colours and behaviours, more than enough for everyone. And yet breeders in Asia thought they could out-do Nature and come up with something themselves. I suppose it's a question of taste, but to me the Flowerhorn is the fish equivalent of Pamela Anderson: silicone breasts, nose jobs, peroxide-blonde hair and tattoos all over the place. May be Hefner's thing, but certainly not mine. I'd sooner take the cichlids Nature has created, and do my best to learn about these wonderful fish on their own terms.> As far a fish stores, telling me they have no way of selling hybrids, people don't like them, so they wouldn't purchase them from me, but they would be willing to just take them off my hands for free. K-M-A... I was born in '69 not '99. <I'm assuming "KMA" is an insult. Fine. You may indeed keep your hybrid cichlids from breeding. But what about the other people? How long before they cross them with some other Convicts or Texas cichlids. And then, before you know it, there are messed up genes all over the place. And I'm here, having to answer questions from a person keeping what he or she thought was a Convict, but it's the wrong size, behaving in the wrong way, or getting deformed or sick for no apparent reason. What you're doing is selfish and irresponsible. You're doing what you think is acceptable by your personal standards, without considering the repercussions for everyone else, including the fish.> These are some of the most beautiful fish ever. They are big and colorful like the Texas, with black stripes like the convict..You can you tube some..but i haven't seen any as nice as these.. I am not a hobbyist, I just happen to have two fish, that had fry, so should I kill the fry, because of nature taking it's course? <Yes.> As a professional as you proclaim to be, I would think you would have some heart for the fish, that you spend much of your time learning, shame on you. <Why shame on me? My love for animals and for the hobby doesn't need your justification. I'm the guy spending an hour each day helping people. I think my wish to help animals have better lives is perfectly obvious. That I'm a scientist and fishkeeping writer as well simply means I'm looking at the situation from a wider angle than you are.> I would never kill anything, maybe you are someone that doesn't believe in mixed races also..what a shame. <Am mixed race, so your comment here is insulting as well as irrelevant. Humans are all one species, and certainly not one in any danger of extinction. Convicts and Texas cichlids are different species separated by millions of years of evolution, each adapted to different environments. With so many cichlids threatened with extinction in the wild, it's up to aquarists to help preserve them in captivity. Indeed, some are effectively extinct in the wild already, and the only ones on Earth exist in aquaria: species from Madagascar and Lake Victoria in particular.> I do thank you for helping me with my fish, but i also wished i had never come across your site.. <Look, as I said in the original message, I am genuinely not trying to be mean. But I do have a responsibility to everyone in the hobby and not just you. If you don't care about anyone else who might end up with your fish (or their descendants), and have no interest in the welfare of cichlid species, then that's not really something I can get my head around.> P.S. I do not sell these fish, I give them to close family, and the truth about them being hybrid. Plus they must give it back, if unable to care for it, just so they wont become fish food, for larger fish. They have a right to live just as anything else..Horrible, and shame on you... <I suggest you read some of what I've said about feeder fish and euthanasia for example. When it comes to senseless killing of fish, I'm absolutely against it. Much of what I write here is about keeping fish happier as well as healthier: bigger schools of tetras, livebearers with lots of females not just males, and so on. My record on animal cruelty is pretty clear. It's a shame you don't see that on those few times I recommend painlessly destroying fish (note the word "painlessly") it's not because I like killing fish. It's because there's a bigger picture here. If you're a vegan who has never harmed an animal in your life, then that's one thing; but if you eat meat and dairy, wear wool and leather, then you're already responsible for far more animal deaths than would be the case by euthanising some hybrid cichlids. The "right to life" you talk about is contextual; as a meat-eater and wool-wearer, I abhor animal suffering, but I accept that in some situations killing animals is necessary.> May Santa miss your chimney this year..for your evil thoughts... <Doesn't seem a very nice thing to say. Please look at the big picture; this isn't about cruelty to animals, but about responsibility and conservation.> Yes i know i am to old to believe in Santa, and 'no' he does not exist,. But it's snowing here, and i still have some holiday cheer...so...have a safe and pleasant holiday this year, okay I'll talk to Santa..you may have children.... <Well, okay. Cheers, Neale.> <<Mmm... the issue of producing, allowing hybridization between species in our care is important, and still (obviously) a bit controversial. For the reasons stated above in plain, simple terms, I am in agreement with Neale (Dr. Monks, he has a doctorate in Palaeontology (spelling in proper English)...). I too wish that we would choose to avoid this sort of "polluting"... as it is my concern that our planet is just too small, changing too quickly in ways that are damaging... self-defeating... to preserve the mix of genotypes/multiple allelism that is the overall biota of our world. Methinks that too much, too fast tinkering in allowing shifting of this mix is very dangerous indeed. I have several speculations as to probable ultimate outcomes from breaks in the "web of life" in a given biosphere... even world-wide... None are pleasant to contemplate. Mmm, lastly a further general statement re our choices, choosing as individuals... It has been my desire to impress on others how paramount it is to understand themselves, facts... science behind important decisions... Whether we have captive aquatic systems may seem minor compared with issues of our own "carbon footprint", ultimately whether we reproduce ourselves... But I assure you, the long- and- profound effecting actions of releasing non-indigenous species to habitats that they displace, affect other flora and fauna, and this question of mixing species that can, will possibly persist, go on to possibly genetically mix further, IS of extreme importance. I ask you as a fellow hobbyist, citizen and human of Earth to think carefully, to not engage in this practice. Bob Fenner>>

Re: Swim Bladder in one day..I think... (Euthanising hybrids, why it's necessary; RMF, feel free to comment)  12/18/08 I was just going to send another e-mail, asking the Doctor to please excuse my language in my earlier reply. I in no way, personally meant to insult the Doctor, on his/her personal preference on the subject of mix race.. I too am of African/German heritage. I was completely out of line. <No harm done. Let's drop it, shall we?> I was am still stressing about my beloved Texas, She isn't doing any better, i can only pray that she does.<Cichlids do react badly, sometimes violently to sudden changes. Have done this myself once, when changing water, and accidentally adding freezing cold water from an outdoor rainwater butt into a dwarf cichlid tank. The fish went crazy, rolling onto their backs and turning black. They did all recover though. Keep the fish calm, ideally in a quiet, even dark, tank, and she should settle.> I may also assure you, that I am not in anyway, trying to inter breed any type of fish. They just happened to mate, they were in the same tank for three years, and then one day, there were babies. I still have them, because I don't want the fish store to pass them off as something else. They wouldn't buy them, but would take them for free, same story, different line... <OK, we agree on this. There's nothing wrong with hybridising fish for your own pleasure; it's when they get into the "food chain" so to speak, that things get messy. To be fair, many fish we keep as pets are likely hybrids already. Angelfish, Platies, Swordtails, Mollies, perhaps even Goldfish, to name a few. But these fish are normally sold as domesticated animals, and there's no risk of confusing them with wild-caught specimens because wild-caught examples of these are virtually absent from the trade. But cichlids are different, because we sell them not as domesticated fish but as true species, and so confusion between the "real thing" and a hybrid can cause problems.> Please let him/her know that the KMA is Kiss My Angel fish..I should have said that straight. <Good catch!> Still I under stand what you are saying, but even in the wild these things happen, so i would not understand, killing them because it happened in my tank. We all have our own reasons for things. But, to kill Gods creation, because of inter breeding, is not something i would consciously do. <That's fine. If you want to keep these fish at home and give them a good life, that's great. Giving them to people you know won't breed from them is also good. But please don't let them turn up in a pet store!> I do thank you other wise for the generous help your doctor gave me, to try and save my girl. <I'm a doctor of rocks, not animals. Not sure why Bob mentioned it, and it really isn't something that makes a difference here!> I thank you once more. Lori <Good luck, Neale.> <<Mmmm, I mention your scientific status for twofold reasons... that I'm impressed that a person of such academic caliber is willing to devote their time/efforts to help others in our hobby interest, and secondly, to bolster credence in your response (this IS the west after all). I would like to last make a comment re the supposed-safety of entrusting others with hybrids, or any matter outside of ones immediate control. This doesn't happen... no one has any recourse, knowledge of what might occur once this life is outside their systems... To make utterances otherwise belies a lack of veracity, knowledge or both. History is replete with examples of "animals, plants, algae, microbes... let go"... and their lessons/consequences. Lastly, the hypocrisy and lack of thought in ascribing to god/s our own actions/non-actions I find more than distasteful. I reject such assertions out of hand. We made these idols and make our own lives. That there is life, there is death... by "keeping" some, you doom others... Bob Fenner>>

For Neale, please. Re: "pro-life view on fish hybridization"  12/18/08 Hi Neale, <Hello Nicole,> I hope this doesn't add to the spectacle, but I just thought I would say, once again: you have the patience of a saint! Your reply to the person who purported to have the "pro-life view on fish hybridization" was incredibly gracious, given that much of the message was personal bashing directed at you. <I prefer to view these things as simple miscommunications, and figure it helps if both sides try and state things a bit clearer next time around.> At least you were able to find a silver lining, and expound on the topic like the scholar that you are - informing many web denizens for years to come, surely. <Thank you.> I would like to reiterate the obvious: since fish are not able to be neutered or sterilized, if you are going to keep together species of fish that hybridize, and they breed (as is inevitable), the only sensible thing to do is to euthanize the fry or keep them yourself. Even giving them away to friends and family could be tricky, since a handful of hybrid fish containing males and females might well mate again and form yet another aberration! Giving them to the store who will accept, but not pay, for them - well, two words: feeder fish. <Unfortunately what you say is quite true, and an angle I'd not considered (feeder fish being virtually unknown in the UK). It is a disturbing though that any fish you give away to a pet store expecting to be re-homed could well end up becoming food for a piranha. That being so, painlessly destroying unwanted fry yourself is very definitely the humane option. It's also worth remembering not even one in a hundred cichlid fry survive to maturity in the wild; that's why most species produce hundreds of fry every couple of months, given the chance.> The "innocence" of the fish has nothing to do with the responsibility we have -- as their keepers in glass boxes -- to euthanize the fry. To ascribe innocence or guilt to a fish would be absurd. <From a theological perspective you are quite right; animals, being amoral, can be neither innocent nor sinners. To be honest though, I tend to work from a particularly good 'Calvin & Hobbes' cartoon where Hobbes makes the point that he doesn't *want* to be given human motives or behaviours, since he rather looks down on them. So why bring a decent, noble animal down to our level!> These fish simply cannot be sold, the same way a garden variety canine mutt cannot be sold at the pet store (only those designer hybrids like labradoodles and cockapoos, but that's another story - there's a fine line in there somewhere, certainly). <Variety dogs and cats are all within a single species, so though the parallel isn't precisely the same as humans (different "races" of humans don't equate to different breeds of dog) certainly all dogs are as closely related to one another in terms of genes as all the different humans on the planet are. That said, my dog breeding friends insist that there is much harm done in the dog world by careless breeding, not just in terms of unwanted mutts. But also things like German Shepherds cranked out on farms with genetic disorders, or "en vogue" puppies of various types mass produced with little interest in quality, just money.> Besides, if they bred once, they will likely breed again, and then what are you going to do with 40 more Texvict cichlids? I bet your friends and family will be less enthusiastic to receive them this time around! <No argument from me here.> Common livebearers are basically a lost cause, a "purebred platy" is an oxymoron. Malawi mutts are practically there, too...but now, this? <Again, no argument. As someone who loves telling people that African cichlids can be like coral reef fish in terms of colours, it's disheartening to see the same "mixed blue Africans" in the pet stores, again and again.> Keeping species of American cichlids from interbreeding is so preventable, and to say that these fish are desirable because of having such unique colors and shape is just unreal. Sir, that was born in '69 not '99 - who are you to be creating a new breed of fish? <In this case, it was a genuine accident, and while not something I'd personally want to see happen in everyone's aquarium, these things do happen. Like teenage pregnancies, there's a difference between what you might say in terms of public policy, and how you'd react when it was your own son or daughter involved. Not that I'm putting these things on an equal footing, I hasten to add! But simply as an analogy. As I said earlier this evening, there's nothing wrong with homing these fish yourself and enjoying them. But the main thing is that these fish aren't "turned loose" in the marketplace. If these fish did spawn again, this is one situation where removing the eggs and disposing of them would be entirely appropriate. Any catfish or loach of your choice should do the job for you, if you're squeamish!> Thanks for listening to my rant, in reply to the ranter. I personally hope that Neale finds lots of fish and telescope equipment in his stocking! <Hmm... wet fish flopping about in my underwear... sounds fun!> Wishing you all a very happy holiday, your friend in fish, Nicole <Thanks for writing, and have a merry Christmas yourself. Neale.>

Re: Swim Bladder in one day..I think... (Euthanising hybrids, why it's necessary; RMF, feel free to comment)  12/19/08 Hi Bob, <Neale> I appreciate this, and thank you. But in all honesty, I doubt my (pretty minimal) scientific credentials matter much compared against the cumulative experience of the WWM crew generally. It's just a pleasure to be part of this team. Cheers, Neale <Ahh, my friend... in the final synthesis, we are indeed only whom we are, what we do... However, the benchmarks of our activity, credentialing is of note, use at times. As for myself, I am satisfied to have acted in my own best self interests, and have shared, am continuing to share with others. For their enjoyment, edification... BobF>

Selling My Fish 11/11/08 Hi! My name is Bel. I am 15 and I love to raise Livebearers.  I have 4 tanks: one 40 gallon, one 20 gallon, one 7 gallon, and one 1 gallon.  I only have 4 neon tetras, and approximately 70 guppies, all raised by myself.  I am at the risk of overpopulation and would like to sell some of them, but I am not sure how or where or to whom I should sell them.  All the males and females are separated so I won't have more baby fry for now, but I love raising fish and would like to raise other Livebearers, but I'm afraid I'll have too many fish. I would love to keep all of them, but I already have more babies and I don't want inbreeding.  All my guppies are from two fish, no inbreeding.  All my fish are very happy and healthy.  I'm scared that if I go to pet stores they won't buy my fish because I'm young and don't know a lot about breeding fish.  And my female guppies are very plain and generic colored, like a sandy brown, so that might make it harder to sell them. But the males are very colorful. They have red tails with green sheen and black spots on their body. They also have some black and pink stripes.  I don't think they are a specific type of guppy, I think they have a delta fin or a fan tail. They also don't look exactly like their parents. The males look like a mix of both parents. Here's a picture.  Sorry if its a little blurry. Any advice on selling fish would be greatly appreciated! Thanks a million! Bel <Hello Bel. There's no perfect way to sell fish. You certainly can ask a retailer to take them from you, and often you'll get credit in return. I did this during the weekend with some livebearers that I'd bred, Limia nigrofasciata. Go to the shop first, tell them you have some fish, and see if they'll take them. Personally, I wouldn't sell them to a shop that trades in "feeder fish" or "feeder guppies" -- because your fish are essentially wild-type Guppies in colouration, it's possible some retailers might use them as fish food! Another way is to join a fish club. Fish clubs have auctions and you can also meet people who'll swap your fish for some of their fish. This is a great way to get hold of rare livebearers or particular strains of fancy livebearer. Or you could join a fish forum online: lots of these have a "buy, sell or swap" thread where people can trade fish. For what it's worth, I think your fish are nice, and I'm all in favor of wild-type Guppies. They're much hardier than fancy guppies, and make much better pets for use in community tanks. Cheers, Neale.>

Peat moss to induce breeding?  10/6/08
Hi -
I have some Rasboras, some black Neons and some cherry barbs, all of which at one time or another seemed like they were ready to breed (as evidenced by males chasing the females around, and especially the Rasboras turning upside down on a leaf).
<Certainly seems possible; that said, the tricky bit is getting the females in "condition", i.e., ripe with eggs.>
However nothing has really happened or any eggs I may have missed have been eaten. I bought a small 2 gallon tank with some marbles on the bottom to put a small pair of fish to see if maybe they would mate and then could be removed quickly. i have not added any pairs yet to the tank. what would you recommend to induce mating?
<No single formula for all possible species. But in the case of Harlequin Rasboras (Trigonostigma heteromorpha) breeding is quite difficult. You need extremely soft water around 2 degrees dH (here in southern England where the water has a hardness of 20 degrees dH, that's one part tap water to nine parts rain (or RO) water. You also need to ensure the pH is stable, possibly by doing large water changes frequently, but more than likely by using a pH buffer to fix the pH at the required 5.5 or so. You also need to raise the temperature to around 26-28 C, and then make sure the tank is positioned somewhere it gets morning sunlight. The water also needs to be filtered through peat or treated with blackwater extract, and not too deep, around 20 cm. Assuming all these things are provided, they should spawn eventually, laying their eggs underneath broad leaves (such as Cryptocorynes). Your 2 gallon tank is way too small for breeding fish; look for a standard breeder tank at least 30 litres in capacity and 60 cm long. Spawning is often a frenetic process with much chasing, and you'll frequently need to maintain the adult fish in the breeding tank a fair while, and of course provide decent water quality for the developing fry, something impossible in bucket-size tanks.>
i hear adding peat moss to filter, raising temperature, may help. thanks, bob
<Do spend time with Baensch's Aquarium Atlas and the like, researching the species you're interested in. Cheers, Neale.>  

Breeding, sel. FW species  8/18/08 hello everyone! <Hello! Hope you are having a great day! Merritt here today!> I just recently bought another tropical tank (which makes three) and I want to try and start breeding another breed of fish. I would prefer livebearers but I suppose that I could accomplish egg layers. <The best livebearer that comes to mind is killifish. I have seen some as colorful as Bettas.> I have been breeding Guppies since October and have been very successful. What breed of fish do you suggest for me? Bettas have crossed my mind but I don't have enough housing for them because the males need to be separated. <Do some research on the amount of work you would like to contribute to breeding before making a choice and I am only naming a handful of potential fish you could breed so don't limit your choices to these, they just happen to be some of my favorites. Some other types of livebearers that I have breed successfully are Mollies, Platys and Swordtails, they are in the same family as the Guppies so you should not have a problem. I have tried for many years to breed Bettas, but no such luck and I would not recommend them due to the amount of space they require. If you want to try some egg layers I would definitely recommend the killifishes due to their coloration. Here is a link so you can read up on the killifishes: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/cav1i1/killies1Goldstein/killifishes.htm> Here is a short description of my tanks. Tank #1: Main Tank/ Bully /Show 29 gallon Tank #2: Baby Guppy tank 10 Gallon Tank#3: Guppy tank/ breeding tank 10 Gallon <Your system setup sounds perfect for the Mollies, Platys and Swordtails. -Thanks! <Hope you find a match!> _Sarah <Merritt A.>

Don't know what I should do... Sel. FW fish species to breed   8/17/08 hello everyone! <Ave,> I just recently bought another tropical tank (which makes three) and I want to try and start breeding another breed of fish. I would prefer livebearers but I suppose that I could accomplish egg layers. I have been breeding Guppies since October and have been very successful. What breed of fish do you suggest for me? Bettas have crossed my mind but I don't have enough housing for them because the males need to be separated. <Before breeding any fish, ask yourself two questions: Firstly, what's your water chemistry? There's no point trying to breed something that needs water chemistry you can't supply. Secondly, are there limits on what juvenile fish you can give away/sell? A lot of fish shops won't accept "mixed" African cichlids or mongrel livebearers because they can't sell them. So if you're going to breed, say, Platies, you need to make sure you start with virgin females alongside males of the same breed so that you get consistent, sellable offspring.> Here is a short description of my tanks. Tank #1: Main Tank/ Bully /Show 29 gallon Tank #2: Baby Guppy tank 10 Gallon Tank#3: Guppy tank/ breeding tank 10 Gallon <A 10 gallon tank is fine for rearing livebearer or cichlid fry, but too small to house adult livebearers of the common types because the males are so aggressive and tend to harass the females. Even a 20 gallon tank will be too small for a male Molly or Swordtail who decides to throw his weight about (and most of them do). So reflect carefully on social behaviour before laying down the gold on a particular species of fish. If you live in hard water, you might consider something like shell-dwelling Neolamprologus, such as Neolamprologus brevis or N. multifasciatus. A colony of these (six or more specimens) could be housed very easily in a 29 gallon system. Fry could be removed and reared on separately, and selling these dwarf Tanganyikans shouldn't be difficult. If you're in a soft water area, then you could go with a group of dwarf cichlids, perhaps Apistogramma cacatuoides. Get one male and multiple females because Apistogramma are "harem" spawners. Alternatively, you could go with a pair of Laetacara curviceps or Pelvicachromis taeniatus. Again, selling surplus juveniles of these peaceful, colourful small cichlids shouldn't be difficult. If you want to do some unusual livebearer, I'd look at something like Dermogenys pusilla as an adaptable fish that's a bit more of a challenge than the usual livebearers. Being relatively uncommon in the trade, selling the juveniles isn't hard at all.> -Thanks! Sarah <Cheers, Neale.>

Regarding mullet breeding -- 07/16/08 Respected Sir, I am Ph.D. student of aquaculture from India. I would like to know more information regarding induced breeding of mullet. If u have any information regarding this topic please help me by giving some latest paper and any article regarding the same. regards Gauri <Mmm, I worked on hormonal manipulation of Mugil cephalus for my Master's thesis... but many years back (the 70's)... I do have the bibliography from that time... in print, not electronic format... But I suspect you'd be better off generating a totally new one. If there are specific questions I might help you with, please write me. Bob Fenner>

Marine fish breeding Ornamental marine fish breeding ref.s   6/18/08 Good day sir <Howdy! Yos!> I just got a copy of your book on marine fish 2 days ago and i have not put it down since. I am interested in breeding marine ornamental fish in captivity. I bought your book so as to learn how to create a marine environment and to my surprise it contained so much more. I also bought a copy of Joyce Wilkerson's book on clownfish and i believe it contains all the information i need on that particular specie. But before bore you with the list of books my library collection i would be glad if you could assist in my quest to be a successful breeder of marine fish I would be grateful if you could supply me with a list of marine fish that can be bred in captivity and information on breeding them or where to get such info. It would also help if i could get an price list for these fish so that i can put that into consideration before starting . I am eagerly anticipating your reply THANK YOU <Mmm, do you read German? There is a nice, recent, comprehensive work on marine fish culture... including small scale operations... See the book, link here: http://209.85.141.104/search?q=cache:YbFYZ1EiYzwJ:www.wetwebmedia.com/AqSciSubWebIndex/marorncultfaqs.htm +dieter+brockmann+fish+breeding+book&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us Bob Fenner>

Re: Marine fish breeding   6/19/08 Thank for your quick reply, unfortunately i am African and do not speak German. The aquarium industry is not very well developed here hence my need to source for information from more developed countries. I have checked Amazon and there is no English translation to the book yet. <Yes... I wrote the marine fish overview... I do wish it were available in other languages... My piece is posted on WWM> Thanks for your help though. <Please make it known if I can answer specific questions. Good luck in your endeavour. Bob Fenner>

Unexpected fish, FW Greetings to the Crew, <Tom> So, 6 weeks ago, I set up my 55 gallon quarantine tank to restock my 180 gal FW tank (previous one sprang a catastrophic leak). First, I kept a group of 8 giant Danios for 2 weeks, then moved them to another tank. Then, I moved a school of about 20 boesemanni rainbow fish into the quarantine tank for two weeks. Last, I kept a group of 6 Cory cats in the quarantine tank. As I was transferring the Cory cats, I saw very small (fry) fish in the quarantine tank. They don't look like baby catfish. Could they be boesemanni? <Yes... or possibly Danios> Surely they're not Danios, since I would assume the boesemanni would have eaten them during their two week stay. Or is it more likely that I picked up some fish eggs from the LFS during my purchase of the Cory cats? <Mmm, not near as likely> Or perhaps fish eggs came with the boesemanni (I ordered them from Foster and Smith.) <Also unlikely. Were the boesemanni of size? Reproductive size?> I am feeding them finely crushed fish flakes for now. What are your thoughts on what I likely have? There are about a dozen of the tiny fish. tom <I say... bonus! Enjoy them. Bob Fenner>

Fish Repro...    12/31/07 Hi, I have a quick question for you guys. Can fishes still spawn even if they aren't kept in groups? Do all fish spawn? And last, how often do fishes spawn? <What? Mmm, no... all fishes do not spawn... that is, shed their gametes directly into the environment... See an ichthyology text re piscine reproduction. Bob Fenner>

Africans. Cichlid Economics-Which Ones to Breed  9/27/07 Hi, I have had convict cichlids for about a year. They have had babies and all that fun stuff, but when I went to get rid of them, sell them, or trade them nobody would take them because convicts aren't that "special". I talked with someone and they said that I could do African cichlids and be able to sell them. What I want to know is what would be the best in terms of sexing ability (like how easy), color, and how well I would be able to sell the offspring. Do you have any suggestions? I would like something with some color, and something that would look good. Along with that something that I would actually be able to find and buy, not something that is so rare I wouldn't be able to find. I have 20-30 gallon tank that I keep well maintained so an African about 4-6 inches would be good right? Thank you for your time and help! Kevin < There are many cichlids that are easy to breed. The difficult part is to find the fish your customers want. If your customers are going to be the retail stores then I suggest that you ask them for recommendations for fish that they want. Usually the best sellers are already being sold from local wholesalers or local breeders in your area. Selling a single species over the internet is difficult. The freight is very expensive and usually is too costly to be practical. Off hand I would suggest Ps saulosi. The females and fry are bright yellow. The males turn light blue with black fins and bars at about an inch and a half. Remember, when you are in the fish business you are working with fish that your customers want. These aren't always the fish you are interested in keeping.-Chuck>

Re: Africans, Cichlid Economics II -- 9/27/07 Do you have any more suggestions to popular Africans that would be good sellers? <Different fish are available in different parts of the country. Which ones will sell is a matter of supply and demand. In general look for fish that are sexually dimorphic. That means that the males and females look similar. Get fish in which the fry and the females have color. Fry with color are much easier sellers then fry with no color. For instance, take the genus Aulonocara, also called the peacocks. Adult males are very sellable because they are very attractive. Females and fry of this genus hardly sell at all because they have no color. A species that is not sexually dimorphic would be Ps Demasoni. These fish all look the same no matter what the sex or the age. This makes sexing them a challenge. Males tend to be a darker fish overall.-Chuck>

Re: Africans, Ps. saulosi Behavior -- 9/27/07 Thanks for your input. I am going to consult with some local pet stores to see what Africans are popular. Are these Ps saulosi easy to breed? < They are maternal mouthbrooders. A group of a male to 4 to 5 females will keep you busy with lots of fry.> What is there behavior like? < Not too bad. they are generally a smaller fish getting about three inches long. Males defend territories but they are not nearly as aggressive as some of the others.-Chuck>

Keeping Fry Tank Clean -- 09/10/07 Hello, I want to commend you guys on your wonderful website. I am a relative newcomer to the hobby (6 months), recently I noticed that my pair of Zebra Danios were ready to spawn. I separated them into a spare 5 gallon tank and when they spawned I replaced them into the main tank. The eggs hatched and I have around 20 fry. I have a sponge filter running and on advice from my LFS I added two snails unsure what type), however I am still having difficulty keeping the water clear. I do regular water changes and 1-2 days afterward the water is cloudy again. Can you please help me out here? Thanks, David <Hello David. Congratulations on your new babies! No idea why you were recommended to put snails into the breeding tank, but they shouldn't do any harm. Anyway, if the water is cloudy, you may be overfeeding the baby fish. Feed multiple small amounts rather than one or two big meals. Typically, 4-6 meals is considered about right for the first few weeks. Siphon out any uneaten food. A turkey baster is a very useful tool for this because you can pipette out detritus very easily without sucking up baby fish. But any similar device, like a syringe or pipette, will work well. You also need to do regular water changes; 50% every couple of days would be appropriate. Any basic filter should work fine for keeping the ammonia levels low. Hope this helps, Neale>

Please help me for higher study - 7/23/07 Dear sir, Hope you are well. I am Nahid Akter from Bangladesh. Now I am serving as a Lecturer in the Department of Aquaculture, Hajee Mohammad Danesh Science and Technology University , Dinajpur , Bangladesh . Before Joining here as Lecturer, I have completed my Master of Science (MS) Degree from the Department of Aquaculture, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh, Bangladesh. During my MS study, I have to conduct a research work and submitted a thesis entitled as 'Study on Health Condition of Freshwater Eels of Ailee Beel, Mymensingh' to the department of Aquaculture. My research work includes Investigation on health conditions of two freshwater eels, Monopterus cuchia and Macrognathus aculeatus of Ailee beel, Mymensingh district through clinical and histopathological observation. Moreover I have also studied the histopahtological study of other six (Puntius sophore, Nandus nandus, Heteropneustes fossilis, Channa punctatus and Mastacembelus pancalus ) small indigenous species. I think I am able to study any kind of fisheries related field. Thus I wish to do advance research in my related field. Please sir select me as your student. No more today. Wish your sound health. Keep in touch. Sincerely your's Nahid Akter <How is it that I/we may be of assistance? Bob Fenner>

Re: Please help me for higher study, FW aquaculture   7/26/07 Dear sir, Hope you are well. Thanks for your mail but unfortunately I can't understand your mail. Most probably the message is flagged. So it is very helpful for me if you send me again the mail. Request to you please please help me. For your kind information here I have attached my CV so please see it and consider me as your PhD student. I am waiting for your mail. <Are you looking for a work or scholarly position with us? We are an all volunteer organization helping people, companies in ornamental aquatics via the Net. We do not do aquaculture, nor are we an accredited learning institution. Bob Fenner> Again thanks and best regards. Sincerely Mst. Nahid Akter Lecturer Dept. of Aquaculture Faculty of Fisheries HSTU, Dinajpur-5200, Bangladesh.

Otocinclus <maybe Danio> fry, fdg.   6/30/07 About a week ago, maybe less, I had my husband remove a few plants that weren't looking so hot from one of our aquariums. He thought something along the lines of putting them in a bucket and seeing if they would look any better (It couldn't hurt) <Ahh... a good friend grows such plants almost year-round outdoors here in San Diego... spectacular results> So they were outside in a bucket...some morning sun, nothing too harsh. Tonight he was going to put the plants back in the tank and dump the bucket... being always worried about Cyanobacteria and such I bent down and peered real good at them, and noticed a tiny movement. We have some incredibly tiny fry. I have never seen any fry this small... the only breeding fish I have are angels and guppies I guess. But the tank these plants came from had: angels, serpae tetras, Columbian tetras, neon tetras, zebra danios, Otocinclus cats and a pair of Cory cats. <I see...> After looking at someone's video of fry, it looks like they may be Oto fry... very very tiny, almost invisible from the side. So they are in the hospital tank now, along with the plants from the bucket and in the water that was in the bucket... we had heavy rains today and the bucket overflowed. We have about 20 fry left. What should I try to feed them. <"Infusoria" would be ideal... see the Net re... But a pre-made commercial food prep. is the only thing practical here. See the Net, your LFS re such... "tube food"...> I thought of rotifers since they are tinier than baby brine shrimp, but if they are otos it would seem that wouldn't work at all. I also have a package of Hikari first bites that is as fine as talcum powder and contains many things, among them Spirulina, milt meal, along with some krill meal and such. <The liquid "tube food"... egg-yolk based...> I'd hate to see them die, especially after the miracle of even seeing them to begin with. Any ideas? If I put a hulled pea in there would they nibble on that? The plants have a little algae on them as well but the fry are so darned tiny... Julie <Might be the Danios otherwise... Oh, and congrats! Bob Fenner>

Reproduction of fish in 10 G tank 6/6/07 I have a question about reproduction in my ten gallon tank. I have 2 Sunset Fire Wag Platies, 3 Red Eye Tetras, 2 Black Neon Tetras, and 1 Golden Algae Eater. Is it possible for the different types to reproduce together? <No.> I have also noticed that one of the platies is getting "chubby" and has a darkening belly. I am not sure what gender the fish are. <Possibly a pregnant female. As pregnancy goes on, the developing embryos are pushed against the body wall, darkening it in places. This dark patch is the "gravid spot". Female platies have triangular anal fins, whereas male platies have crooked anal fins bent over into a structure used to inject sperm into the female. So sexing them is usually easy. On top of that, males are generally smaller than females, though this isn't obvious if you have fish of different ages.> One of the Red Eye Tetras is fatter than the others. <Female tetras tend to be bigger and more rounded.> P.S.- The "chubby" platy has been getting slower and sometimes stays at the bottom of the tank. It doesn't go up for food very much when I feed them. Is there a way to check if my fish are pregnant? <No way to check as such, but as the female swells up her condition should be apparent. If you have boys and girls in the one tank, you can almost guarantee the females will be pregnant.> How large would the fry be? <Around 10 mm when born. Think about the size of a live brine shrimp, and you have a good idea of the size.> Would they be eaten? <In your 10 gallon tank? Yes. Please read over some of the articles here to find out how to avoid this. See: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/livebearers.htm , http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/poeciliids.htm , &c.> Can a Black Neon Tetra Reproduce with a Red eye Tetra? <No.> -Josh <-Neale>

Mullet culture, fingerlings source   3/19/07 Dear Sir:   I am Maryam Jorjani and am working Golestan Fisheries Research Center in Iran. we are researching about propagation and larviculture Mugil cephalus. now we do not  have this fish and we need to provide fry / fingerling. do you know person that help us?     Thanks a lot .and I  am  waiting for your reply   Maryam      Golestan Fisheries Research Center   Gorgan   Iran     Tel:+981712222601   Fax:+981712240290 <Pleased to meet you. I did work on this Mullet species' aquaculture years back... but I don't know where you can commercially purchase young. According to fishbase.org: http://fishbase.sinica.edu.tw/tools/aquamaps/receive.php M. cephalus range extends into the lower Persian Gulf... Could you collect it from there? (the young are easily seined in shallow water where found. Bob Fenner> Do you have detailed filtration set up for farm near to the sea ? Thanks and appreciate   1/3/07 <Mmm, for all the physical, mechanical aspects? No... Can you state specifically or at least more definitively what you're looking for...? What species you hope to culture... extensive vs. intensive? How big an enterprise... Do you need to supply your own electricity? Bob Fenner> "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."  --  Buddha (563BC-483BC) <Good spiel> Small rearing tanks...    11/27/06 Hey I was thinking of getting a 5 gallon tank to put baby fish in and I had 2 questions. One is about how many fry can <I> fit in one 5 gallon, and what kind of filtering and heating would be best for a 5 gallon tank? <Hey Tommy, JustinN here with you today. A 5 gallon tank would work for fry, depending on how diligent you are with water quality maintenance, and how large you wish to let them grow to. The number that would fit in the tank would be dependent on the species of fish you're wishing to breed. As far as filtration, a colonized sponge filter and a 25 watt heater should be sufficient. Hope this helps you! -JustinN>

What to Breed? - 10/21/2006 Dear Crew, My precocious pre-teen daughter bred a pair of store-bought Bettas two years ago and successfully nurtured the fry with micro-worms and nauplii. She wants to raise another brood of fish fry next summer. My guidance to her is to breed fish that the local fish store (LFS) would be glad to accept. This way, the LFS can find good homes for them and we would not have to discard the fry. We are considering show quality Bettas from select breeders, and rarities, such as the Peacock Gudgeon (Tateurndina ocellicaudus), from New Guinea but we are running out of fish selection ideas. Do you have any recommendations for a freshwater fish that can immediately generate demand for its rare beauty? We are experienced with advanced husbandry practices for both freshwater and reef aquaria but wish to stick with relatively  small (1 to 2") freshwater fish. We have built freshwater systems using Diana Walstad's ecological practices and currently maintain a marine reef system with natural nitrate reduction. Thanks very much, Paul. <Well you just happened to get a Pleco breeder to answer your question, so I'm too sure our ideas of beauty will match! But I like your idea of breeding the Peacock's. Or along that line, maybe Desert Gobies. Both are short lived fish, breed them or loose them. A good live bearer to work with would be Endler's. If you want to try breeding Plecos, try Albino Bristlenose. Easy to breed and there is always a market! If you want a Plec that is a little more fancy, and expensive, any of the species in the genus Hypancistrus will sell. Don>

A Request: re the Myriad of influences on (et al.) breeding, hatching, rearing of FW fishes   7/18/06 Sir, I am a research fellow working in  induced breading of some freshwater fishes.  I have found your article in the internet-"Captive Production of Ornamental Marine Fishes: An Overview". The work, It seems necessarily a nice one. But sir, I doubt if there are so many physical and chemical parameters determining the spawning and later the survival of the hatch out larvae. <Indeed, there are several... as in the Middle English meaning of the word: "many"... some demonstrably more important than others...> My doubt is Sir, if this is the case, whether there is a chance to have any significant relation between the photoperiod and the hatching success of eggs? <Yes... a matter of science...> I mean Sir, after spawning and before hatching whether there is any effect of the photoperiodism on the development of the eggs Sir, your answer to this question will be very beneficial to me and I request you Sir to  have a serious look upon this and reply me as soon as possible Thanking you Sir, Binesh. CP <Time to have a visit at the college library... Search BIOSIS, the Zoological Records... with the terms "Photoperiod", "Breeding", "Freshwater fishes", "Effects". Bob Fenner> Link/partnership issue ... prawn aquaculture in the Middle East  - 05/22/2006 Hello, I have found your website http://wetwebmedia.com/ when searching the web on the topics related to my website theme. I must say your site content is very good and I think we would benefit much from possible partnership - for example link exchange. This would bring more targeted traffic to our sites, plus increase our websites' weight at the search engines, as they give greater value to the links from the topic-related sites rather than irrelevant backlinks. My website http://www.robian.com.sa/ is definitely related to yours. I would be glad to link to your site in return to you linking back to mine. Feel free to email me direct to XXXX@robian.com.sa to discuss the details on the possible partnership. Hope for the fruitful cooperation, Best regards, Yawar Nawaz, http://www.robian.com.sa/ <Our content and reader-base is almost entirely pet-fish/ornamental oriented... Not aquatic source protein generation. How would this link benefit our intended audience? Bob Fenner>

Seaweed culture  8/31/05 Bob I was going thru ORA's website on how they culture seaweeds. What do they mean when they say they use "An air-generated method of tumbling the algae in large vats is employed to culture them." <Air bubbles, from pressurized air, are released in a circular (torus) fashion on the bottom of circular tanks, lifting water and the algae and turning it "donut fashion" in the water... gives all exposure to light, moves nutrients about. BobF> http://www.orafarm.com/algae.html regards Perry Fish Breeding Business... you've come to the right crewmember I have been searching all over trying to get information about starting a wholesale freshwater fish breeding business.  Could you direct me to where I might locate some information? You seem to have all the answers. Thanks for a very informative site! >>Stacy, Not sure what species you are planning on breeding. Because of the costs involved few species are worth breeding for a profit in North America. The  thing to start with is to identify what species you want to breed, and check to see if you can produce them at a competitive price. You will compete with places that have free heat and very cheap labour, mostly in Asia. So it is not easy. Some larger cities have a good market for locally raised angelfish, but unless you are able to produce large numbers and sell for cheap it may cost too much to heat the place and provide food and labour for your "product". Good Luck, Oliver Info on Growing Coral for Reef Restoration Hi, I am looking for information about growing coral in labs to have it eventually transplanted back on the ocean for reef recovery? Do you know where I can find information about this? <Mmm, there are plenty of such schemes, folks involved in such plans, only a few actually doing something re. Walt Smith is one of these latter> Do you have anyone on your website in the academic community that may know about reef restoration? <Mmm, likely Anthony Calfo is a good place to ask here> Thank you for your help. ~Melody White <Will Bcc both in hopes they will contact you. Bob Fenner>  << See Google search here.  Look for CORL (Coalition Of Reef Lovers), a non-prof. organization that supplies areas in need with concrete "cages" upon which to grow corals.  They use coral plugs from the area, not lab-grown specimens.  Also, ArtificialReefs.org, makes "reefballs".  The AMDA is another avenue of exploration.  Marina >> Researchers Reveal Infectious Impact of Salmon Farms on Wild Salmon  A Dietician's Discussion Thank you for the information posted related to this topic. I forwarded it to my daughter, who is very involved with sea life and environmental issues, and below is her response, which I forward for the benefit of those interested in the topic. I have left her name and email address as well as website URL for anyone wishing to search further into the subject or make direct contact. Digna Cassens, MHA, RD http://groups.msn.com/RDForum  >>Thank you for forwarding this research to me, I will be posting in tomorrow's "Dailies" on WetWebMedia. This is already a well-known problem, not JUST with aquaculture of salmonids, but in many other areas of aquaculture where wild stocks and farmed animals have an opportunity to mix. This would include the farm-raising of shrimp and other coastal species. It should also be noted that wild stocks are breeding with "feral" stocks, escapees, which is leading to other problems. These include change in growth and breeding rates, as well as longevity in the wild. All should know that, along with feed designed to improve color (visual appeal), such facilities often treat with antibiotics prophylactically (as well as to treat secondary infection due to parasitic infection) - this of course leads to many organisms becoming resistant to such, as well as "downstream" consumption - ingestion by humans. Folks should be aware that treatment of parasitic organisms is necessarily harsh/toxic.  This may include the use of copper containing treatments.  Ivermectin, typically an antiparasitic seen for the treatment of internal parasites in horses, is also being used. Sea lice are only one organism that is problematic, Cryptocaryon irritans is another problematic  (protozoan) parasite.  The salmon farming industry has fought long and hard to prevent studies that are harmful to their livelihoods, this would include the following. The debate is contentious indeed. Marina Harding<< Public release date: 29-Mar-2005  http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2005-03/s-rrt032405.php  Contact: Jessica Brown <jbrown@seaweb.org > Researchers reveal the infectious impact of salmon farms on wild salmon Increase in sea lice infections of wild juvenile salmon are potentially deadly and extend for 30 km beyond farm.     A new study published in the March 30th edition of the prestigious scientific journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B (a publication of the UK's national academy of science) shows that the transfer of parasitic sea lice from salmon farms to wild salmon populations is much larger and more extensive than previously believed.     This quantitative analysis of parasite transfer is a scientific milestone in a contentious debate. It is the first to isolate and measure the impact of a fish farm on sea lice outbreaks in wild salmon.  The study combined new field techniques that allowed comprehensive, individual observations of over 5,500 young wild pink and chum salmon over 60 km of migration route; an enormous data set from months of laborious fieldwork; and state of the art models of disease transfer.     "Our research shows that the impact of a single farm is far reaching," says lead author Marty Krkosek. "Sea lice production from the farm we studied was four orders of magnitude - 30,000 times - higher than natural. These lice then spread out around the farm. Infection of wild juvenile salmon was 73 times higher than ambient levels near the farm and exceeded ambient levels for 30 kilometers of the wild migration route."  This increase in sea lice abundance is likely to be damaging for already dwindling wild salmon populations in British Columbia, where the study took place.     In Europe, transfer of parasites is generally accepted as a significant threat to adjacent wild populations - although European studies have not measured the direct transfer of sea lice from farms to wild salmon.  However, a bitter debate continues in British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest as to whether salmon farms are contributing to sea lice infections of wild salmon at all.     "Parasites are a key negative side effect of fish farms on the local fish stocks," says Andrew Dobson, an epidemiologist from Princeton University who researches infectious diseases in wildlife. "We're seeing similar effects in Scotland, Norway, and Ireland; in each area parasite amplification on fish farms seems to increase disease levels in the local fish community.    However previous studies have not shown nor quantified the direct transmission. This study captures the chain of events."     "Part of the contentious debate about sea lice is that there hasn't been this level of precision in the sampling and modeling," says coauthor Mark Lewis, a mathematical ecologist from the University of Alberta known for his work on West Nile virus and invasive species. "We have worked out the spatial footprint - the data are strong and show that the farms are having a significant impact over a very large area."     The researchers isolated the effect of the salmon farm by studying the infection levels of migrating juvenile pink and chum salmon as they approached and passed a salmon farm. Within the study area, the salmon farms are anchored in a long thin fjord. Here the wild salmon have no choice but to pass by the farm on their seaward migration.     The scientists developed new, non-lethal sampling techniques that allowed them to examine thousands of the fish for parasites, taking measurements every 2 to 4 km. The fish start in the rivers and head to sea, traveling en masse in large mixed schools. Thus the scientists could see the effect on the salmon as they moved toward the farm. They found that the juvenile salmon carried almost no sea lice prior to the farm but became heavily infected as they approached it.     Unlike other species, pink and chum salmon leave their natal rivers while still much smaller than your baby finger - 3 cm long - and weighing only half a gram. "The youngest fish can be only days old when they encounter a farm," says Krkosek. "Some of these fish are so young their egg sacks haven't been fully absorbed - even fish this small are infected."     The anchored farms, open cages of closely packed salmon, are aquatic feedlots providing the ideal conditions for the breeding and spread of sea lice amongst the adult fish. For the migrating wild salmon, the farm is a concentrated point source of infectious lice larvae.     "We found lice levels exceeded what we would find normally, extending for 30 km - even though the farm is only about 0.2 km long," says John Volpe, the third coauthor from the University of Victoria. "Conservatively this means that the parasite footprint of the farm is 150 times larger than the farm itself."     Sea lice can lower the fitness of salmon - and in some cases be lethal - as they create open lesions on the surface of the fish that compromises a fish's ability to maintain its salt-water balance. When infection rates are high enough, the parasites feed on the fish at rates greater than the fish can feed itself, literally eating the fish alive. Adult salmon can survive sea lice infection, but young salmon are much more vulnerable due to their small size.     Under natural conditions, juvenile pinks and chum do not typically have to contend with sea lice because the adult salmon are far out at sea and are widely dispersed. By the time the migrating pinks and chum normally encounter lice, the juveniles have had the time to put on body mass and build resistance. The location of the farm near the natal rivers undermines this natural coping strategy.     The field study also discovered a new cause for alarm: once the young salmon pass the farm and pick up the sea lice, the migrating school becomes a moving cloud of contagions. Sea lice larvae mature and reproduce on the seaward salmon with each louse producing 300-800 eggs. This second round of lice larvae can re-infect the fish in the school and can spread to other previously unexposed populations coming from geographically disparate regions.     "At about the 30 km mark from the farm, those lice become reproductive," says Volpe. "In effect, the farm has exported its lice generating properties - a cyclical event establishing the potential for re-infections up and down the coast. As the abundance of lice increases, we are now realizing that lice will attack other species, not only salmon, but other fish such as herring which are the spark plugs of the entire ecosystems - everything depends on them - from salmon to whales to seabirds. Every commercially important fish is either directly or indirectly dependent on herring."     "Previous studies have been dismissed by industry, but past studies haven't looked at such large samples or the spatial aspect," says fisheries biologist Ransom Myers of the University of Dalhousie. "This study goes far beyond a theoretical model. They tested the model in the real world, using an enormous data set, and saw the same patterns. It is a very thorough analysis."     "We've tried to be very careful and conservative - but there is potential for a major impact on the survivorship of the migrating salmon," says Lewis. "The next step is to thoroughly investigate the degree of impact on wild populations," adds Krkosek. The authors concur that their findings point to a need to reconsider the premise of industrial scale fish farming in wild salmon habits. "There's a double bottom line here. The full ecological costs of industrial scale salmon farming must be quantified as well as the economic ones," says Volpe. "For the migratory runs we studied, there may be very little time left." Additional information and visuals will be available at www.math.ualberta.ca/~mlewis/SeaLice/npSeaLicePub.htm 

Using WWM Hi Bob, Last time I asked you a question I meant to ask how do you know if a white skirt tetra is carrying eggs can you help me thanks!! Louis E <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/characiformfaqs1.htm Bob Fenner> 

A Good Question - Culling fry humanely When breeding goldfish and getting your spawn, what is the most humane way to cull the deformed or inadequate goldfish fry? Regards, M <To place them in a bag with little water, freeze them. Bob Fenner>

Looking for Bass Fry I have searched internet and run across your website. I am emailing you and ask for your help because we think you are an expert in fishery or you have some contacts with those people who are in fishery We are looking for the larvae/fry of Green Grouper ( Epinephelus coioides or Estuary Cod )  with a large quantity for our fish farm in Philippines. We need : 200,000 larvae and fry per month ( for Fry, the size 1 cm or less than 1 cm is the best, the size 1.5 - 2 cm is OK ) If you can supply or help us to buy these quantities, please contact us at : azfish04@yahoo.com Thanks in advance Dean <Dean we don't "do" aquaculture, but would check through the World Aquaculture Society membership here. http://www.was.org/main Bob Fenner> FW shrimp cultivation Dear Bob, Can shrimps be cultivated in fresh waters - like farm dams where we raise tilapia (breams) fish? Best regards, Chileshe Mutale <Mmm, some species, yes... are polycultured thus. Bob Fenner>

Eggs in Tank Hi. I have a 75 gallon freshwater tank. Perfect water. I have some Gourami, Pleco, Cory cats, Neons, Danios, moors, etc. Not very many. <OK, but I'd lose the goldfish (moor). They need cooler water than the others and are large waste producers> The tank has been set up for about 5 months. I recently went to PetSmart and purchased Neons. I went against my better judgment and bought them despite seeing an outbreak of snails in their tanks. <Not always a bad thing> Two days later, in my tank, I have groups of small white egg looking things, about the size of a pencil lead, probably 10-12 groups mostly on back of tank. <Cool> My two largest Gouramis have been pretty aggressive lately, <Natural, especially in males> but not causing damage. Are these eggs from the Gouramis, <No, they make a bubble nest at the surface> or could they be snail eggs? <Maybe, but don't sound like it. Common "pond" snails lay eggs in a jelly-like mass> No other changes in the tank, water same, filtration same. Help??? <I think your Corys are doing the nasty. A sign of your fine care. Congrats! I doubt you will get any hatching in this tank though. All your fish, except the moor, will eat the eggs. Even the parents. I would be surprised if the Pleco did not eat them all tonight. Not a bad thing at all. Don> Thanks Robyn

Re: Eggs in Tank Thanks for such a quick response. I won't worry at all. I'll just keep watch. So far, it's been 4 days and they are still there. <Wow, you may get some to hatch then> I do feed the fish enough food, three times a day, so maybe they aren't that hungry or they haven't noticed them yet. Thanks again. Robyn <Oh, I'm sure they've noticed them. They just don't recognize them as food and aren't hungry enough to experiment. Any that do hatch will have a fair chance of survival. Not many fish that will take on those sharp stiff fins. Feeding could be a problem, but maybe not in your well (over) fed tank. I would hold off on cleaning the gravel for a little while. And that's the last time you will ever here me give that advice! Don>

Greenhouse aquaculture 9/20/04 Hi Anthony, it was a real pleasure to get your reply.  Your propagation book has been an inspiration to me. <ah, thanks kindly... very good to hear it> I am really looking forward to a greenhouse.  I'm in the early planning stages- I'm going to take you up on your kind offer and will submit plans at some point for your thoughts, after the tour of Tropicorium and others- <I will help any/every way I can> One question- why would you want to heat the room rather than the water?   <good question... always the air. You'll never see a productive/profitable fish room/GH run by heating the water... waaaay too expensive. Heat the air, and the tanks/water act like heat sinks. Very stable> It isn't that electricity is more expensive than natural gas?   <depends on where you live... varies wildly all over the country. I have seen electricity from 4 cents to over 30 cents per kw hour> I would think that heating a large volume to bring the water up to temp would be very inefficient-I suppose the cost of 10k watt water heaters for each 240 gallon sized receptacle would be prohibitive compared to inexpensive warehouse-type heaters? <it is most always best to simply use a hanging furnace to heat the room/air. You see these everywhere in industrial applications. There's a reason for it <G>> Thanks for your help, Anthony- Charles<always welcome.. best of luck/Life. Anthony>

Breeding Puffer with convicts?  8/18/04 Hi <Hi, Pufferpunk here> I was wondering if you could breed a Convict Cichlid with a Puffer fish?   <About as easily as breeding a cat & a dog. Just won't work.> Also I was wondering if you could breed green Severums with Convict cichlids. <There has been success interbreeding different species of cichlids together, but I highly doubt you'd have much success with it.> Please email me back with the answer Thank you. <Instead of concerning yourself with breeding, why not try & study up as much as you can about the fish you have & do the best you can to keep them alive, healthy & long-lived?  ~PP> 

Breeding Fish in the Home Aquarium Thank you Chuck!! Your information has helped me decide on three fish which I want to breed.<Hi, MikeD here today> The three are the Dwarf Gourami, Egyptian Mouthbrooder, and Zebra Danio. Now that I've said it, how would I go about pairing up each type of fish for breeding<With the exception of the Dwarf Gouramis, the other two are usually bred in larger groups, with a male and several females for the Egyptian Mouthbrooder and the reverse for Zebra Danios. And how do I tell the sexes apart.<Sexing adult fish of all three species is easy, with larger flowing fins and much more pronounced color being true of the males in all three cases. With both the gouramis and the cichlids, the females are often almost silver> After I obtain one or two pairs of fish what should the breeding tank look like and what should it contain<I suspect that you may have misunderstood Chuck in relation to the tank, as each species is easily bred in a 10 gal. tank, but it has to be a separate tank set up for just that purpose, for each species that you wish to breed>. I specially would like to know what type of filter is best for breeding tanks, are they sponge filters<By far the best, as they actually encourage the development of rotifers, an excellent first food for all three types of fish> or undergravel? You don't necessarily have to give all this info yourself maybe give  me a couple helpful links. <I tried but we're experiencing technical difficulties today and each time I tried to attach a link the entire post was lost. Using either the Google here or your regular browser, entering "Breeding Egyptian MouthbrOOders", "spawning Zebra Danios" and "Spawning the Dwarf Gourami" should bring you back several easy to understand posting on the subject(s) Thank you for any more info you give me! Thanks again.<You are very welcome> Yours Truly,     David Powell

Freshwater breeding Hi, this is a great site its really help me a lot. I am fairly new to aquariums (besides bettas in 1 1/2 gal. bowls) and I have been through a lot of stuff in my first more or less six months. But now I think I've got a pretty good understanding of things and my tank has been doing great. And eventually I would like to try and start breeding fish, could you recommend any fish that don't require a lot of space (10 gal. at most) are easy to breed, and easy to raise the fry? I know it sounds kind of specific but I want to start out as slow as possible to avoid any more fish disasters. < Look at small live bearers such as guppies and platies. They give birth to live fry and you won't have to worry about eggs hatching. Just keep lots of floating plants in the tank for the babies to hide in. They will eat the same food as the adults you just have to break it up into smaller pieces. Keep the adults well fed are they will eat their babies.-Chuck> Thanks a lot, Mike

Why do they eat their fry Hi I've been wondering why fish eat their own children is it because they don't get enough food or is it just because that's just how they are? < Most fish just spawn and scatter their eggs or release their fry and take no parental responsibilities for them. In the wild they are too busy surviving on there own so they see everything edible as food. Some fish like cichlids do take extra care of their eggs and fry by taking care of them for awhile.> I haven't got my fish yet but im getting Dalmatian mollies. I got a 10 gallon tank. Also do they really need salt in there tank? If they do can you just put regular salt in it or do you have to buy the salt mixture? < Rock salt is fine. They tend to do better with a little salt in the water. It helps build up a slime that helps fight diseases.-Chuck> Im very very curious! Thanks Brittany Lee

Aquatic green house 4/30/04  I am building a green house in southern Mo. and had a few questions. What plastic will I need to optimize growth.  <growth of what my friend... freshwater plants, pond fishes, marine corals?>  This is all I am getting from the greenhouse sources because I am a welder and work in the air handling industry.  <hmmm... do know that most plastic coverings for greenhouses inhibit most/all UV and that is not desirable for aquatics (some UV needed for corals in particular). The less expensive plastics with t he shortest lifespan are generally the best for our use as they admit the most UV (which you can finesse through the year/seasons with shade cloth)>  Also I was thinking of using 60 gallon water barrels (the blue ones) and shaving off one vertical side and tops and plastic welding these together make a 8' long 2' wide 2' deep vat.  <this sounds like reinventing the wheel... there are many cheap water holding products if you look around. Agricultural feed troughs, fiberglass liners, etc.>  Also would you keep 24 vats on one system or 2?  <No idea what you are growing here... cannot say. In general though... keep your tanks species specific. This likely means having more vats unless you will specialize in one species/family/group farmed>  I have found a few used protein skimmer skids here and there on the net. thanks. Steve Schultz  <have you seen/heard of my Book of Coral Propagation? it is 450 pages about coral farming... in greenhouses. Do consider. Anthony Calfo>

Suggestion for your fantastic website. Hi Robert, kamusta kayo? <Well my friend, thank you. Buddha casts his shadow amongst us with your caring words> What a fantastic website, an aquarist dream, it just like an Aladdin's cave of information. I couldn't speak more highly about this website.  <High praise indeed> I would like to make a suggestion and I hope it would make this website even more complete for a fish lover like myself.  I would like to see one more topic on AQUACULTURE, perhaps in between Aquatic Business and Aquatic Science.  <Yes, the best placement> Although my hobby is aquarium, aquaculture play a very important role in my formative years. Now I live in Australia but I grew up in Indonesia where aquaculture play a very important roles to improve the peoples diet particularly in the rural area as a provider of animal protein.  My parent have two big fish pond (so my neighbors) where we grow a table fish, mainly MUJAIR (Tilapia mozambica), Tawes or Java Barb (Puntius javanicus) and of course Giant Gourami for that special occasion. <Ah, yes> I remembered we  went to the market every 4 or 6 months to buy fingerlings from the fish merchant. I also remembered the farmer stock the rice field with Tilapia and Cat Fish (Clarias batrachus) during the flooding stage of rice growing and harvest the fish just before the dry stage of the rice growing. It's a bonus income for the rice farmers. <I see> I believe Aquaculture would play a more and more significant role as a food source, particularly in the developing countries. <More and more every year, yes> When I have more time in my hand, perhaps in the future, I would like to build a fish pond for an intensive aquaculture. I hope I could find the information that I need in your fantastic website. <And I hope you will be able to take a more active role in the production of the content therein> Once again thank you very much for a fantastic and informative website. Salamat Po, Cheers, Bintoro <Sama sama, Bob Fenner> HEY BOB (breeding peacocks German reds (Hormonal Manipulation ) Hey bob <Herrn Glen> my name is glen  I am just start out a breeding set up for Aul. German Reds  . <Very nice fish/ Kaiserfische!> I have 14 females 4" and 2 full sized full colored males , and some hap ahli + hap moorii to get started. I want to sell the local pet shops as the pet shops we have here don't have   top quality fish . pet shop's here mainly have pond raised fish witch are deformed and VERY ugly (like lelupies that are brown and no longer yellow) . <Should be destroyed IMO> all the fish I bought were F1 's and very nicely colored . ok  now that u know what  my set up is  here is my question . these Hormonal Manipulation you speak of will induce breeding right ? how do I get some ? and is it a good idea to give these shots to AUL PEACOCKS? I don't want to make deformed fish or discolored off spring . I have 3 females holding eggs at the moment  and I have only had the fish for 2 weeks .   please give your input on this thanks for your time bob.... Glen Chenoweth <It's unnecessary and not-advised to use injection/hormonal manipulation with these fishes. Aulonocara's are easily bred with just regular maintenance of a breeding colony (a male, few females) in a large enough system, regular good feeding, maintenance. If yours are not spawning as yet, I would look into adding protein to their diet, possibly elevating temperature. Please do look into books (in German, and English) on this group of fishes. There are some excellent accounts of their captive care including breeding. Bob Fenner>

Marine water treatment, fish farm in Bali Hi Bob, <Hello Charles> I have read your news forum daily and I must say you are simple amazing like a walking dictionary in aquaria industry. Thanks for enlightening those like us who's still figuring out bits and pieces of aquaculture knowledge. I have indeed gained a lot by just reading your aquaria news in the forum. Hope to meet you one day. <Me too> I'm currently running a marine fish farm and would like to know any affordable and effective ways to sterilize my system water. Currently I'm using 2 UV light tubings for 15,000 litre of water in my holding however one aquarist told me to get commercial grade with multiple UV tubings in order to be effective. But getting commercial grade UV light tubings prove to be very expensive. How abt ozonizer for 15,000 litres of water? <Could be done... seek out the larger Sander's (made in Germany) units. If you have room, storing the water in the dark for a week or two, possibly bleaching it (with commercial concentration sodium hypochlorite) THEN dechlorinating it (likely with thiosulfate) are options as well> I have tried submerging LR in fiber glass but in less than a week most of them were dead. DO they need strong sunlight or constant lightings? <More needed are good protein skimming, water changes when water quality slides greatly> What other condition do they need in order to survive? Is it possible to put my posting in more obvious spot as I'm desperate in finding serious business partner for my uncle Ong Kian Huat in re-activating his existing Bali farm? <Where do you suggest?> It's such a waste that this farm with 100 tanks sit lying there untouched whereas many new investors were trying to start from scratch. <Agreed. Got to have aquariums, space> Sorry to email you so many questions as finally I have found a guru which can satisfy all my curiosities in aquaria matters :-) Pls advise. Thank you. Cheers, Stephen <Keep on planning, searching, contemplating your possibilities. Bob Fenner>

Methylene Blue, Formalin effects dear  Bob! would you please let me know the answer of my following questions: 1- it is mentioned that "Methylene blue" that is a common chemical for disinfection of fish egg, also has another function ,so that increase the animal pole of the egg's this correct? <Yes, a "side-effect"> if is, why the development of animal region of egg is important? <To enhance development> 2- also, in some reference we read about the use of Formalin (for disinfecting the culture media) for example 12 or 24 hours before introducing the fish or rotifer in the culture). what is the reason? <To reduce the likelihood of microbial, protozoal competition, disease> does Formalin loss its effect after these times .doesn't it have any danger for cultured organisms after this time. <Indeed it does. Depending on many circumstances, BOD, temperature... there might well be sufficient residue to kill all. I would rinse the containers thoroughly before using. Bob Fenner> regards Reza

Oxygen bleaching agent--Sodium percarbonate manufacturer Dear Sir   I have your name and address from internet. I take the liberty to write to you and see if we can establish business relationship with you. We, Wuxi Wanli Chemical Co.,Ltd , ISO9001 certificated company, is a special  manufacturer of  sodium percarbonate ,this material is also named as solid hydrogen peroxide, it is an addition of sodium carbonate and hydrogen peroxide, but easier to use than hydrogen peroxide, has the functions of powerful cleaning, bleaching, stain removal, deodorizing and disinfecting capabilities, meanwhile it is  environment  friendly , Now it has been widely used in detergents, oxygen generating agent, water treatment ,dye, textile, pulp and paper processing, pharmaceutical industries . We own superior facilities and advanced technology and enriched experience, so we can provide most favorite price and reliable quality and delivery. I hope you will have interesting in our product and establish long business relationship in the near future.   For more information about us, pls visit http://www.wlchem.com We are looking forward to have the pleasure of hearing from you soon. Shirley Yu Wuxi Wanli Chemical Co.,Ltd Tel:86-510-2696999 Fax:86-510-2695999 Email: wlchem@wlchem.com                 
Web: http://www.wlchem.com 2003-07-19 <Will post your message on our Business subweb. Bob Fenner, WetWebMedia.com >

Mystery Eggs Wow I have 6 eggs. I have them in a small fish tank with a heat lamp the temp is between 80 and 90  I mist it about 3 times a ay to keep some moisture there. The eggs are in peat moss that I got at the pet store. I'm doing what they  said but I just want to make sure I'm doing this right and how long are they pregnant  for before they lay there eggs <Nowhere in this email or subject line have you mentioned what kind of eggs you have. -Steven Pro>

Paper details Hallo Bob Fenner,  I am a postgraduate student of fish physiology, with a lot of interest in hormonal manipulation of fish reproduction. I downloaded your paper: "(A Review of the Literature on) Hormonal Manipulation of Fishes As an Aquaculture Technique", from the web. For correct citation/quotation, could you please send to me the details of this publication, i.e. correct names of author(s), year of publication, journal/book title, volume & serial number, and the page numbers. Please send also the bibliography.  <Yikes... the Author is me, the date Spring 1977, this was a "position paper" done for a Hormonal Aspects of Behavior class in college. Considering the datedness, are you still interested in the bibliography? If so, I do have a copy I can mail you. Bob Fenner> Thanks  Dorothy Ogony  Department of Zoology  University of Nairobi  P. O. Box 30197  00100 GPO  Nairobi, KENYA 

Pregnant fish? Hi, <<Hello...>> I was wondering if you could help me. How would I know if my fish is pregnant. All of the sudden its stomach got big and the others in the pack look the same as they did before. Please help. Thanks in advance. <<What type of fish is it? Cheers, J -- >>

Young Fish Hobbyist Hey I'm 13.... and I need to ask you a question. I want to get some fish and breed them. I want to breed mollies. Right now, I have two female mollies and two males and I want to know how long it will take. thanks a lot Tyler <It should just be a matter of months given the proper environment. Take a look here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/poecillidfaqs.htm for additional Q&A's on the subject. -Steven Pro>

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