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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:26 am 
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Location: RI, USA
OK ... I repaired the female with a sibling male ... got a nice batch of eggs last week, but none hatched. Eggs all turned white (infertle?). This was only the new male's 1st attempt at breeding, so maybe he just didn't fertilize the eggs (didn't witness the spawning).

Here is what I've tried ...

- "cleaned" up the female (with Male #1) using medicated food (Metro) for 1 week
- checked water hardness ... less than 100 PPM
- fed high quality food ... freeze-dried blackworms, freeze dried bloodworms, krill pellets, a small amount of live daphnia
- Temp at 82-84 degrees

Here is what I haven't tried yet but have at my disposal ...
- vitamins ... I was advised many years ago by a fellow commercial breeder that regular addition of liquid vitamins greatly enhances fry viability
- Mike's suggestion with the H2O2 ... I will use it with the next spawn
- cleaning out the new male with Metro flake
- deworming the pair (I have some dewormer flake too)
- feed live white worms ... I have several cultures that are close to being harvestable

Anyone able to draw conclusions yet ... best guesses?

Suggestions?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:37 pm 
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How long after they were laid did all of the eggs turn? I really think your problem could be similar to mine. BACTERIAL. I scrub my slate with regular liquid dawn (yes I use soap) as close the the actual spawn as is feasible. I remove the eggs within 2-4 hrs of completion of the spawn and use my sterile H202 setup. This has been a miracle for me. I am getting between 95-99% hatch rate. Are your pairs separated in their own breeding aquariums? I have seen males defend territory for an entire spawn and not get the job done. I swear by the liquid vitamin supplement I use but I don't ever treat eggs or fry with them.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:01 am 
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Hi Guys,

May I come in here again. We have very nice soft water coming from the tap where I stay here near Cape Town, around 100 TDS. I breed a variety of angels and discus in this water and have done so for many years. Being a biochemist and understanding water chemistry and nutrition like the back of my hand, I can give you some advice. I like looking for the reasons for problems by the process of logical elimination.

Firstly, it has quite correctly been mentioned here that nutrition can play a role, but unless you have some gaping hole in your nutrition which I do not suspect, the chance that this is the reason is small.

Secondly, water chemistry can play a huge role. Total hardness is important, but if you say that your water was tested at 150 TDS, then that is ok, it could be a bit softer, but it would still not be responsible for only 25% hatch rates which you state. Then, it appears that you were not quite sure about the pH. This is something that you need a definite answer about if you want to possibly find the reason here. In soft water, test strips and drop tests for pH measurement are chronically inaccurate. Furthermore, pH meters with built in eletrodes, in other words the pen type, have a poor quality electrode that cannot measure pH accurately in soft water. The reason for this is that pH measurement is also dependent on the total amount of dissolved solids in the water and poor quality electrodes just cannot do this. When you try using this type of pH meter, the measurement drifts and does not stabilize even after 30 minutes. Under such circumstances you are basically guessing and this is no good. The only reliable pH measurement in soft water is with a pH meter with a separate eletrode of higher quality. Having said that the manufacturers of pH meters are trying to improve their products all the time, but the bottom line is that the price of the electrode decides the price of the pH meter, and they push their luck in the sales talk because they know that in most areas and in most applications the electrodes will be used to measure pH in harder water, must of the USA and Europe has harder water. So, you need to find an accurate pH meter to check your pH. I have invested in an expensive pH meter a number of years ago and I cannot keep my fish without it, it is as simple as that.

What is tricky about the pH measurement is that often the pH in a aquarium which has soft water with low carbonate hardness is far lower than what you think because of the inaccurate pH measurement. In an aquarium in which you feed strongly, the production of ammonia is significant and the conversion to nitrate, i.e. NH4+ to NO3- releases lots of protons, or H+ and this acidifies the water far more than what most aquarists think. So before you know it, you have a pH of around 4 and then hatch rates of angels will drop drastically, so you need to investigate this carefully, this may be the reason.

Then, as indicated here, bacterial rot of the eggs can be the reason as well. Now, I maintain that you should not treat the symptom in this case, but you should prevent it, and Ed's advice has been aiming at prevention whilst others have advised treatments of the symptom. What you need to do is to get the bacterila numbers down naturally by good tank maintenance before the fish lay their eggs. My advice is to use a good filter for biological filtration, it can be an external canister or a air driven sponge, but you must immediately realize that an air driven sponge is much less efficient at biological filtration. What this results in is slow conversion of ammonia to nitrate, and a hardly measurable, but significant level of nitrite. My advice is that you should use your fingers to rub the inside glass of the tank to check for sliminess, and also to rub the sponge for sliminess, and if you find it to be slimy, then you have the nitrite problem. You will battle to measure this with a nitrite kit, they are not sensitive enough, but it will be there. So what happens is that this nitrite feeds the bacteria and these bacteria in turn are fed upon by bacteria that then cause your eggs to rot. If you are only using sponge filters, my advice would be to add a power head driven sponge filter to the tank, the type that has sponge cartridges and you should have three cartrdiges attached. It can be a 300 l/h powerhead and this must be in the aquarium for a while for the filter to mature, but this works wonders to improve the hatch rates, and reduces the bacterial numbers also through the rapid additional filtration rate. A problem is the flow that such a filter can cause, but you can lengthening the outlet pipe by about 6 inches and then attach an elbow and direct the flow against the aquarium pane and then there is not such a current in the water.

Addition of catappa and organics is always good, but don't add extracts use the real thing, the leaves. If you just added oak leaves that fell off the trees in fall, you would also achieve a big improvement.

So maybe you would like to try some of these things, this is my 2 cents worth from the biochemical perspective, I regularly raise 300 fry per hatch from my peruvians in this way, and I actually cannot raise all the spawns I would be swamping the market here completely and the market is actually quite large as there are many aquarists in South Africa.

Kind regards,

Dirk

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:55 pm 
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19ghost79 wrote:
How long after they were laid did all of the eggs turn? I really think your problem could be similar to mine. BACTERIAL. I scrub my slate with regular liquid dawn (yes I use soap) as close the the actual spawn as is feasible. I remove the eggs within 2-4 hrs of completion of the spawn and use my sterile H202 setup. This has been a miracle for me. I am getting between 95-99% hatch rate. Are your pairs separated in their own breeding aquariums? I have seen males defend territory for an entire spawn and not get the job done. I swear by the liquid vitamin supplement I use but I don't ever treat eggs or fry with them.


Great news ... I followed Mike's advice, sterilized the hatchout tank, and used the H2O2 for the first 2 days ... I now have a spawn of about 75% hatchout.

Conclusion ... bacteria problem, solved with the H2O2.

Couple this with my sick altum issue ... do I have an endemic bacteria problem across multiple tanks? Thoughts on treating? The only overtly sick fish were the 2 altums (another thread) ... one of which died and another which is at least holding it's own ...


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:44 pm 
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Great to hear. I have been watching this thread hoping for your success.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:38 am 
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19ghost79 wrote:
Great to hear. I have been watching this thread hoping for your success.


Everything is looking good ... I have between 75 and 100 free swimming fry (5 days now). I'll have to try the H Peroxide on some domestic spawns ... great advice.

Just for context, when I was commercially breeding 10 years ago I was getting spawns frequently between 300 - 500 fry. Seems like when I let everything go ...I've kept some of my lines and have had 15 to 20 tanks up and running since, but I have gone almost no care ... weekly water changes - drip only, tons of floating plants in tanks, infrequent feedings ... the sterility of my environment has drastically dropped. Not too much of a problem unless you are breeding.


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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 9:42 pm 
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Boy have I missed out on things! Glad you got your touch back.
Ed

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God listens. He may not always give you everything you want, when you want it; but he always gives you what you really need, when you need it most!
E.R.


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