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Half a Cup of Snail Babies

Posted 2010.01.18 9.40 in Aquaria

I just moved another half-cup of babie snails out of the nursery and into the big tank. Actually it was more like a quarter-cup but they don’t all stay still at the bottom. “The contents of this package may have shifted during transportation.”

The pic shows them and their cup floating around in the big tank, doing the whole “adjust to the new temperature and water” thing. I counted out thirty of them. With the sixty I moved over earlier, that’s 90 babies now in the big tank…. and over a hundred still in the nursery tank.

Once they’d had enough time to adjust, someone came along and tipped over the cup…

Head Count

Posted 2010.01.09 9.14 in Aquaria

I tried to take a head-count of the baby snails. Just on one half of the tank, counting the snails on the walls and in view on the bottom, I got to one hundred. With about the same number on the other half of the tank, that means somewhere around 200 babies in there… Yikes!

The Magic Nursery

Posted 2010.01.03 11.55 in Aquaria

I’ve started to believe my nursery tank is magic. In the last 3 weeks, almost everything that’s gone in there has thrived and grown. On December 13th there was Les the zebra danio, one or two baby corydora catfish who weren’t particularily doing well, and a handful of baby apple snails who were also just sort of hanging on. Oh and a little dying plant that consisted of one stem and a few suffering leaves.

Then I changed the substrate from chunky gravel to fine sand. In doing so, I believe I lost the corydora fry because they were hiding in the black gravel so I couldn’t separate them from it. Before removing the gravel, I had taken Les, the plant, and the handful of apple snails and put them in a cup, to spare them the trauma of the substrate change.

All that was December 13th. Since then, I’ve added two egg-clutches worth of baby apple snails, tossed in a dozen or so corydora eggs, and generally just hoped for the best.

Since then, the plant has gone absolutely nuts – the dying bit did die off but before that, it shot off a bunch of shoots and now it’s bigger than it’s ever been, ever! There are two corydora fry that are both over a half inch long – cute little goofs always snarfling about the sand, or relaxing amid the zillion baby snails who keep growing and eating and growing.

In the lower right corner, under the heater, there was an algae wafer there yesterday. The babies pounced it and destroyed it, now they’re going after the vacation feeder block.

You can see some of the babies are a magnitude smaller than others – they are from two clutches, about a week apart. The bigger ones are 16 days old in this pic, the smaller ones about 7 or 8 days. Lots of golds, and the rest are ivory. It’s freaky but with their light shells and light bodies, you can see their little hearts beating when they’re travelling right-to-left. All just a little mess of wee feet and tentacles. Very cute.

Aquarium Update #4 – Nursery Tank

Posted 2009.11.10 8.11 in Aquaria

After losing almost all of my zebrafish fry, I finally got the idea to set up a small separate tank for them. I was down to just two fry at this point. I got a 1-gallon ‘MiniBow’ tank that had an undergravel filter, and set it up.

Nursery Tank

I put the zebrafish fry in it, and also dropped in a single Physa snail (aka pond snail aka bladder snail) and a single trumpet snail, and put in some leaves that had come off a plant in another tank.

Within a week, one of the two fry simply vanished – leaving just a solitary survivor. I have named him Les because he is a survivor.

He’s growing quite slowly, because unfortunately the tank is unheated. I may have to fix that as it gets colder with the changing seasons. So he’s just over 1/2 inch long, but he’s a perfect copy of the adults, just in miniature.

Meanwhile the physa and trumpet snails have both been reproducing; there are lots of baby physas crawling around, and I’ve seen a few baby trumpets lurking around the gravel.

Zebra Fry: Still Alive

Posted 2009.10.08 12.05 in Aquaria

So my two remaining zebra danio fry continue to live and grow! Of the seven that went into the breeder basket in my big tank, 5 of them wandered out through the slats (why make a breeder basket that fry can get in and out of?!) and were soon disappeared. I believe they were eaten by the rasboras. But two of the fry stayed in the breeder basket.

fry1Eventually I got an idea that I should have had like 3 weeks ago. I picked up a small cheap “aquarium” to use as a nursery. A 1 gallon “minibow” acrylic tank, it uses an under-gravel filter with an air bubbler. Cheap and inadequate as a ‘real’ tank, it works fine as a nursery tank for my remaining fry.

I put them in, threw in a pair of ‘pest’ snails (a physa and a trumpet) and a bit of plant that had been floating around one of my tanks. Voilla! Fry nursery.

fry2The remaining fry are growing well, they’ve gotten a bit longer but more importantly, they are ‘filling out’ and becoming little fish. They’re a little under 1/2 inch long, their bodies are growing more fish-shaped and they’re slowly getting all their little fins. Their tails are the right shape. The photos still don’t do them justice, but you get the idea.

I just wish I’d have thought of the nursery tank before I lost 5 of the fry in the 38 gallon tank. Sigh. Also I haven’t gotten any more fry out of my zebra danios in a long time – some new pest has moved into the gravel and is efficiently eliminating all the fry, possibly before they even hatch out.

Nursery Tank

Nursery Tank