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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a couple of questions about what to do when you have baby fish in a natural planted tank.

Do you get them out and raise them separately? Or do they have enough chance to grow up in a natural planted tank? Is there automatically enough baby food in the tank or should you add some? And how about the powerhead for watercirculation? Won't that kill them? Even with something to cover the holes it could still get sucked against it? But you can't turn it off for long I think?
 

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It depends on your setup. You have to worry about the adult fish eating the baby fish too.

Generally, there are a lot of microfauna for the fry to eat but when they're a little bigger, not so much. You have to supply baby brine shrimp, daphnia, and whatnot.
Check this thread
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well, even though I had no idea what to do, I still have 4 survivors now so that's cool. Although I don't know if they are survivors or every day new ones get born and the old ones disappear. They're white cloud mountain minnows so I guess they lay a couple of eggs every day and I've read on multiple places that they don't often cannibalize their offspring. But I'm not sure if my white clouds know that as well, since part of the fry has disappeared. Or maybe they are just hidden, or got caught onto the powehead. I don't know.
Just for sure I have changed the powerhead from a light version to an even lighter version (100 l/h) and added a spraybar directed to the glass. Too bad for the adults who loved swimming in the current, but I would really like to be able to save some of the fry and for them it must have been like a whirlpool. I'm not sure that will be any help to their survival.
We'll see where it will end...
At least the females have big belly's again, so I guess I'm gonna have more chances to find out what works. Although at the moment two males have taken like 75% of the tank, both got a part of it as their territorium and to my surprise even chase away the big bellied females. Not sure how this works but it seems contaproductive to me if you want to have offspring. The poor females and smallest male are now convined to a small part of the tank. I feel a bit sorry for them. Not sure yet what to do and I'll first wait for a while to see how this will evolve. A bigger tank is already on my wishlist 😅
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Did something stupid this week. I put in white mosquito larvae to feed the whiteclouds. Not only they are a little bit too big for them but I found out shortly after that these larvae are predators who feed on daphnia and other little critters. The fry is a bit bigger than daphnia but I'm afraid still small enough to be a prey.
On top of that I realized that the larvae look somewhat similar to the fry being transparent with a little black. So as far as the parents did avoid to eat the fry, this would only increase the chances of the fry becoming lunch.

Not sure who the culprit was but the remaining survivors are gone 🤦‍♀️
Another lesson learned...
 

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Yeah, I thought the larvae would be a great idea to keep them well fed, but it wasn't 😅

Got some tubifex now. Dapnia works as well, but gets sucked onto the powerhead massively
You may want to stick with flake food while the fry are growing. I wish I'd weaned the apisto juvies away from live food before they started spawning. :/
 

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Kind of excited to report a definite sighting of a second grandkid, barely a week old. Again, just the single fry. Haven't been able to get a good snapshot yet, but the big giveaway, as always with apistogramma females, is the staking out of air space none of which the other adults are allowed to enter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Kind of excited to report a definite sighting of a second grandkid, barely a week old. Again, just the single fry. Haven't been able to get a good snapshot yet, but the big giveaway, as always with apistogramma females, is the staking out of air space none of which the other adults are allowed to enter.
How are they doing?
 

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How are they doing?
The second fry is doing quite well and is probably twice the size it was when last reported. The older cousin is much harder to locate because its mother is no longer guarding its territory. This usually happens around the third week after hatching. The best that can be hoped is that the older cousin bears some resemblance to its father "Jumbo" who IIRC survived a couple of months in the porcelain bowl essentially on its own with six adult fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Launched myself in a new adventure and set up a new (and 2,5 time bigger) tank yesterday. I took everything from the old tank and put it in the new one hoping that this will provide enough beneficial bacteria for a kick start.

Unfortunately my six new babies are gone again, even though I was quite hopeful because they were already swimming around a lot so I guess they were older than the previous ones. Maybe in this bigger tank with loads of hiding new babies will have better chances.

Here are some photos. It's still a bit cloudy and I'm thinking about buying some extra plants, although the ones from my old tank are really well rooted so they will hopefully take off again soon. Also got blackworms and trumpet snails to help aerate the substrate..

Water Plant Wood Botany Underwater
Property Plant Rectangle Vegetation Grass
 

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Good news to report! One of the "grandkids" has been spotted. They would be between 4 and 5 weeks old by now. I took the initiative and separated the last mother at Week 3 before she could turn cannibalistic. She was not happy being in breeder tank prison. But I think it was good for her fry to detach itself from her tracking. In any event, I released her after a week and I actually can't tell her apart from one of her sisters. The fry stood perfectly still as one of the females came within an inch of it and remained wary of her. Very different learning curve than the previous generation.
 

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I think the biggest difference is that their parents had dozens of siblings at a time. In fact, I suspect their parents' parents - the original 4 adults that had been mail-ordered only a few weeks before they started mating - must have been experienced breeders even before they arrived. Those first broods were easy to spot because they tended to school. This would have made them easy prey for the adults all by itself, but what really sealed their fate was their lack of fear. My hypothesis is that it's easier to teach wariness of other adults when the mother has only one fry to worry about.

There may be a half-sibling somewhere. I had given up hope of seeing either of them again, so it's possible the other one is also out there fending for itself. FWIW, I think it's advisable to add a lot more submersed plants for hiding places, especially if you already have the basic ingredients for a Walstad tank.
 
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