You are currently browsing the zebra tag archives.

Graduation Day

Posted 2009.12.25 14.04 in Aquaria by Stephanie

Hard to believe, but it was about four months ago when I harvested a big mess of zebra fish fry from my fish tank. There were about three dozen of the little wrigglers, each no more than a little line with a dot at one end. Only about 3mm long, not yet free-swimming, they were tiny.

The first month or so was hard on them, with a couple big die-offs, and then they were re-housed a number of times as I kept trying to come up with a better solution. Finally there were just two left when I set up a dedicated 1-gallon nursery ‘tank’, and then before long, only one of them was left.

That last one has held on though, and thrived in the nursery. With the advent of several clutches of snail eggs, the nursery was upgraded to a 5-gallon tank, and the solitary juvinile zebra fish has continued to thrive and grow.

Now, at age 4 months, he’s roughly one inch long and big enough to be a serious threat to any other fry that go into the nursery. (Did I mention my corydoras were breeding like crazy?)

So today is graduation day.¬†Today the sole surviving zebra fry is graduating from the nursery and rejoining his parents in the main tank. He’s big enough not to get eaten, and he knows how to socialize with others. (For a week I put one of the adult zebras in the nursery with him to make sure he could deal with it.)

His name is Les, because he is a survivor.

After moving Les to the 23 gallon fish tank where he hatched from a tiny egg 4 months ago, I watched him for a while. He actually seemed happy and excited – swimming in the big tank, with the big fish.

I must admit, it made me feel proud.

Aquarium Update #4 – Nursery Tank

Posted 2009.11.10 8.11 in Aquaria by Stephanie

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 by Stephanie

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

Possibly the Last Fry Update

Posted 2009.09.26 22.04 in Aquaria by Stephanie

So my zebrafish fry are about a month old, perhaps even a bit more than that. Their numbers have dwindled to only seven, out of over 3 dozen. Those who remained, however, have been growing. They’ve doubled their size I think, from when I first found them. The longest is about 7mm long. They’re developing tail fins and their wee bodies are developing. When I am able to see them using a loupe I can even see their stripes are coming in.

Zebra FrySo, I figured that I shouldn’t be still keeping them in that inadequately small plastic ‘tank’ any more. Especially considering that ‘tank’ has no filtering and no way to add filtering. I figured, I have a breeder box that hangs inside a larger tank, it has little slits to let water move in and out but keeps the big hungry fishes away. I know when the fry were first born they were small enough to drift in and out with the water which is why I didn’t use it in the first place. But now, they’re much bigger. Well, doubled in size anyways.

Not big enough, it seems.

I put all seven into the breeder box and before I knew it there were only five. Ingenious thing about the design of the breeder box – the slits are angled in such a way that the fry can figure out how to exit but they can’t figure out how to get back in. I spotted one trying to get back in, he was poking at it and swimming into it over and over but couldn’t get through the slots. So I scooped him up and put him back in. Still, it’s fairly easy for them to get out, it seems.

Within an hour, there were only four. Now at last check, there’s just two left in there.

Zebrafish Fry

The ones who’ve moved on out into the big wide open world (well, big wide open tank anyways) are in a dangerous place. There’s four harlequin rasboras and two peppered corydoras, all of whom would love to eat a little wriggly fish fry. I did spot one of the rasboras chasing a fry, and on this one occasion, the fry escaped. But who knows if that will happen next time around.

So, the fry seem bound and determined to strike out on their own and I suppose I have to sit back and let them do their thing. Maybe they’ll all end up being fish-food in the first 24 hours. Maybe one or two will even survive. I suppose it’s just up to luck now.

Zebrafish Fry Update

Posted 2009.09.20 8.32 in Aquaria by Stephanie

fry3It’s been about a week and a half I think since the last update. And a difficult week and a half it’s been, for the fry. Their numbers are down to about 10 or 12 now – we lost almost a dozen in one day which I blame myself for. Overfeeding… leads to uneaten food spoiling, leads to foul water, leads to dead fishies.

Still, the ones who survived must be hardy, right? They’re still growing, up to about 7 or 8 mm long now in some cases. The biggest is starting to show fins, too! His tail is getting finny and he’s growing a fin down on his bottom. They’re all getting more fish-shaped, their bodies continuing to slowly grow.

fry2Cleaning is still tricky, it’s hard to syphon the water and poop without catching a few of the fry. Then I have to try and syphon the fry back up again, and as they get bigger, I’m sure the tube-ride is getting more hazardous for them. I’m still feeding them on the ‘first bites’ food, but still have no idea what the correct amount is.

It’s fun to watch them, and as they get bigger, it gets easier to see them. Still no easier to take pictures though, they’re still small and they scoot around like the grownup zebra fish do.

Fry Update

Posted 2009.09.08 19.34 in Aquaria by Stephanie

Well it’s been a little over a week, and the zebra fish fry are still alive! (Most of them, anyways.) There have been a few that expired, but there’s still maybe 2 dozen so far that are still going.

They have grown noticably larger to the naked eye, there are details visible now. They aren’t much longer but they’ve gotten more fish-shaped, not just two dots on a line. Their little bodies are starting to appear. The largest ones are starting to grow tail fins. The problem is, they are still next to impossible to get pics of. And the only pics I could get, don’t really accurately show them as they look to the eye.

Fry 1

They are a little bit see-through, so you can see their outline, their eyes, and their digestive tract. Yum. The two I managed to get pictures of don’t appear to have started growing tail fins just yet.

Fry 2

Their length is about 5mm, the largest one right now is about 6mm long. I’ve searched the ‘net a few times but keep finding the same unhelpful information. I don’t really know what I’m doing, as far as raising them, so it’s just a matter of wait and see how things work out. I’m still feeding them on “first bites” commercial fry food. I don’t really know when they go from being “fry” to being “fish”. I guess when they have fins, maybe?

Fish Fry!

Posted 2009.08.30 19.38 in Aquaria by Stephanie

One FryNo, I don’t mean with batter and oil – I mean baby fish. Baby zebra fish, to be specific.¬†When I did the weekly cleaning, I found dozens of fry in the pail after I did the gravel-vacuum. There were so many that I couldn’t just pretend I didn’t see them…

So I got out a little (1.5 litre) holder, and put as many as I could catch into it. I have about two dozen I think. They’re very small, about 3mm long. To the unaided eye, they look like little black lines with a dot at one end.

Two Zebra FryUp close though, they look like two eyes, a belly, and a tail. Some of them have fins on the sides, but haven’t developed the top, bottom, or tail fins yet.

I estimate they are 3 to 5 days old, at most. They aren’t really free-swimming yet, prefering to stay ‘stuck’ along the glass. I’ve given them some commercial fry food and will see how it goes – who knows, maybe I’ll have a new generation of zebra fish.

Another Fry

I shouldn’t get too far ahead of myself though – the first challenge is to see if I can keep these guys alive for a week. Then two weeks. And so on – from what I’ve read, it’s going to be a few months before they’re big enough to return to the aquarium without getting eaten by their parents. So, it’s wait-and-see time.