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inactive free swimmers

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inactive free swimmers

Post  jaymiller on Sun 01 Jul 2012, 21:15

hi all,

ive got about 50-60 free swimmers still with parents and all they seem to do is sit at the bottom of the tank, i rarely see them swimming around catching food ect, they are eating off the bottom. am i doing something wrong or is this normal?

thanks.
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Re: inactive free swimmers

Post  Pterophyllum on Sun 01 Jul 2012, 21:41

Sounds like they may be "belly-sliders", there are probably several causes for this, many people blame bacterial infection, in my experience the problem usually comes down to overfeeding when very young.
For the first few weeks, if when you feed bbs, the babies bellies swell like pink balloons, you've overfed. Don't feed them at all until the swelling is completely down.
I think the above advice is simultaneously the single most important tip for anyone just starting out on the road of breeding angels, and the hardest to follow. With hindsight, I've killed literally thousands of precious baby angels through failure to realise/follow my own advice. Once they start to look like "proper" minature angels, usually at about 4 weeks free swimming, you can be a bit freer with the food, but upto that point too much food can result in whole batches dying, literally over night, or dwindling to nothing over a few days, or the sort of problems you're having now.

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Re: inactive free swimmers

Post  uk bulldog on Mon 02 Jul 2012, 07:15

Hi Rob so are you saying that if Jay stops feeding until bellies have gone down he may stand a chance of keeping some of the young if that is the problem?Im also intrested in this as i have done the same thing manytimes.

Paul
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Re: inactive free swimmers

Post  Pterophyllum on Mon 02 Jul 2012, 10:30

so are you saying that if Jay stops feeding until bellies have gone down he may stand a chance of keeping some of the young if that is the problem?

Sadly not, if the problem is that they are "belly-sliders" then the damage is done, and I've not found any way of reversing it. I'm also not saying that overfeeding is the only cause of this condition, just that in my experience it's a common cause.

fish have an air-filled sac called the swim bladder, which they use to maintain their boyancy in the water. Developmentally, the swim bladder is an off-shoot of the gut. My suspicion is that if youngsters are overfed at a critical stage of their development, food and/or bacteria can be forced into the swimbladder and that this prevents it developing properly, I should emphisise that this is purely my hypothesis, and not based on any direct observation or research.

The key point of my previous post was that if you notice you've overfed....

1. wait until their bellies have gone right down before feeding again
and
2. when you do next feed, feed less!

Follow those rules and the chance that you'll get significant numbers of belly slidders is significantly reduced, as is the chance of whole batches dying off over a couple of days or in some cases overnight.

final note: I'm not saying that the bellies of babies shouldn't be pink, just that they shouldn't be very distended.

take a look at this thread from Helen
http://www.uk-angelfishforum.org.uk/t183-orange-balloon-bellies
IMO those bellies are a little more disended than I'd like to see.

Whilst this, slightly older fish, has definitely been overfed!...

http://www.uk-angelfishforum.org.uk/t19-mr-creosote

fortunately I got away with it on this batch, although I think Mr Creosote died, but had they been a week younger, I would probably have lost the lost!

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Re: inactive free swimmers

Post  uk bulldog on Mon 02 Jul 2012, 10:44

Thank you for that indepth answer Rob as it will help myself & others to uderstand a little more regards the issue.

Paul
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