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Trying again

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Trying again

Post  Pterophyllum on Wed 07 Mar 2012, 12:42

This pair suprised me just before christmas as they produced some albinos in their first batch. Sadly I wasn't able to save any of the albinos, but their siblings are coming along nicely, so I thought I'd try them again, and this time I've got a small tank ready to try my hand at rearing some of the albino youngsters, fingers crossed.

This is Dad he's +/g - S/Z - Sm/Sm - +/a - +/pb



Whilst this is mum with some of their first batch,
she's g/g - S/S - Sm*/+ - +/a - pb/pb
* almost certainly (some of the earlier batch appear to be chocolates)

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Re: Trying again

Post  uk bulldog on Wed 07 Mar 2012, 13:24

I wish you all the best this time around with the Albinos Rob.Im not realy a fan of smokeys but that male is stunning although mum on the other hand is my kind of fish.
When you going into teaching photography Rob it must be your calling as you never seem fail with your pics.

Paul
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Re: Trying again

Post  Ghipsi on Wed 07 Mar 2012, 13:41

Stunning as always, and got to echo pauls comment on your photography Very Happy
Lisa

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Re: Trying again

Post  Pterophyllum on Wed 07 Mar 2012, 13:43

When you going into teaching photography Rob it must be your calling as you never seem fail with your pics.

Lesson 1, remember to clean the glass.
Lesson 2, Take lots & Lots
Lesson 3, Don't let anyone see the majority which don't turn out good!
Lesson 4, get a camera that can operate with a flash gun mounted above the aquarium.
Lesson 5, practice and experiment to find which settings give the effects you're looking for.

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Re: Trying again

Post  Ghipsi on Wed 07 Mar 2012, 13:49

You forgot Lesson 6..... Train your Angel to show off his/her best side for the camera Very Happy

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Re: Trying again

Post  Bogwoppit on Wed 07 Mar 2012, 20:20

Gosh, that female is stunning. I hope you succeed again!
Pardon my ignorance, but when fry are so tiny, how did you tell they are albino? I've only ever seen fry so small I could barely tell they had eyes. Embarassed

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Re: Trying again

Post  Pterophyllum on Wed 07 Mar 2012, 20:37

when fry are so tiny, how did you tell they are albino?

I actually spotted them first when they were still wrigglers!

The white ones stood out, especially the lone one towards the top left.

A magnifying glass helps, a macro lens is even better...


and once they were free swimming the albinos stood out, once I "got my eye in"



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Re: Trying again

Post  Grummie2 on Thu 08 Mar 2012, 08:26

Good luck with them this time around Rob!

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Re: Trying again

Post  Pterophyllum on Thu 08 Mar 2012, 20:57

Good luck with them this time around Rob!

Thanks, the female's looking nice and fat & their tubes are coming down, so keep fingers crossed everybody!

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Re: Trying again

Post  Pterophyllum on Sun 25 Mar 2012, 22:52

Quick update -

Parents spawned two days ago, they laid on the rear of a flowerpot, so I don't know how big a spawn, but as I could see a few eggs poking round on either side of the pot, I assume quite a big spawn.
Today they've moved a decent number of wrigglers to an amazon sword leaf, although there are a good number, there's not as many as I was expecting. At present I can't see any sign of albinos. I'm hoping they'll move them back to the pot, and in full view in a day or so.

Assuming they play ball I hope to try and grab at least some of the albinos on Wednesday (a day or so before they're likely to go free swimming) what I'm not sure of is quite how I'm going to do it!

I know turkey basters and syphoning are the recommended methods, but I'm hoping to pinch most of the albinos without disturbing the parents so much that they eat the rest!
I'm wondering if I might be better to syphon a substantial part of the spawn into a suitable container, sort out the albinos without the parents constantly trying to attack me and/or the syphon, and then sneak the non albinos back in with Mum and Dad.

- Any suggestions greatfully received!

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Re: Trying again

Post  endlessendlers on Sun 25 Mar 2012, 23:34

No suggestions, but I wish you luck, and have everything crossed.
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Re: Trying again

Post  chiligum on Mon 26 Mar 2012, 02:23

Those close up photo's look as if they should have been taken in the depths of the ocean, they look like mini deep sea monsters!
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Re: Trying again

Post  uk bulldog on Mon 26 Mar 2012, 06:58

Hi Rob congrats on the new spawn,its not really a suggestion but would it be worth removeing the whole spawn & rearing them yourself.

Paul
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Re: Trying again

Post  Ghipsi on Mon 26 Mar 2012, 08:30

Dificult one, I would use long airline tubing and possably some narrower rigid tubing slid into the end of the airline and whilst having somebody distract the parents carefully suck the fry you want into the tubing. Good luck, Lisa

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Re: Trying again

Post  Pterophyllum on Wed 28 Mar 2012, 11:35

Well that was traumatic for all concerned!

would it be worth removeing the whole spawn & rearing them yourself.
I much prefer to let parent fish parent raise, the problem is that for the first few weeks at least albino babies are at a severe disadvantage compared to their better sighted siblings, so even if I took the whole spawn, I'd still need to seperate albinos from non albinos.

So this is what I did instead....

As I hoped the parents did move the babies back to the breeding cone, rather unhelpfully they moved them to the rear, where I couldn't see them!

So having equipped myself with a turkey baster a black ice cream tub (empty) and two clean jam jars I carefully rotated the cone through 180 degrees. As you will appreciate the parents wern't best pleased about this! The male in particular bit my hand often and hard!

Next I used the baster to try and suck up some albinos, but it quickly became apparent that I would struggle to seperate the albinos from their siblings, so instead I took about a 1/4 of the fry (about 100) I would have taken more but between me and the parents the rest went flying all over the tank.

I then sat down opposite a window and used the baster to pick the babies up one by one (easier said than done - see tips at the bottom of this post) and transfered them to either the albino or non albino jar. My eye sight is not as good as it once was and I thought this was going to be a challenge, but in fact held up against the light of the window it was very easy to see the black eyes of the non albinos, and the pinkness of the albinos.
All this took some considerable time (about 3/4 hour), I floated the jam jar of albinos in their new 35 litre tank and returned my attention to the parents. I was pleased to see that they had managed to find most of their babies and had returned them to the spawning cone, the rear of course. So I repeated the process or rotating and pinching, this time I avoided sending all the babies flying, and gave them their non albino babies back as compensation. I was pleased to see that they accepted these and promptly spat them back on the cone with the rest. Once seperated the albinos were floated and the non albinos returned to their parents.

In total I have seperated about 50 albinos, and the parents still have at least that many on the spawning cone. I considered trying to get more, but thought instead I'd leave them there as an insurance policy. If the 50 I've pinched today don't make it, I can always try and retrieve more albinos from the parents when they go free swimming in a day or so.

This whole process required a steady hand and a load of patience, I possess neither of these qualities in great abundance!
Three useful tips if carrying out this process yourself...
1. Dont squeeze the bulb of the baster too much, otherwise you end up with a baby and sufficient water in the tube which the slightest quiver or tremble of the fingers will send shooting back into the pot. Instead just squeeze the bulb sufficiently that when fully released the tube will be about 1/2 to 3/4 full of water.

2. Practice before hand. I filled the icecream tub with water and tried picking gains of rice up off the bottom. This wasn't very good preperation as the rice is much heavier than the babies. With hindsight what I needed to practice was a slight squeeze on the baster bulb, to get a feel for how much water would be sucked up.

3. Temperature. I'm a bit concerned that the babies may have suffered temperature shock due to the small volumes of water, the time they were out of the tank, and the inital temperatures of glass jars. Hopefully some at least will come through all the trauma, but if I have to do this again in the future I will most likely set up some sort of water bath for the equipment to try to keep temperatures the same as the original tank.

I'm expecting the babies to go free swimming on Friday or Saturday, keep your fingers crossed for them/me.

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Re: Trying again

Post  Ghipsi on Wed 28 Mar 2012, 13:15

Well done and good luck Very Happy

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Re: Trying again

Post  endlessendlers on Wed 28 Mar 2012, 13:18

So having equipped myself with a turkey baster a black ice cream tub (empty) and two clean jam jars
I noted you emptied the ice cream tub first. Good move imo! lol!

I then sat down opposite a window and used the baster to pick the babies up one by one (easier said than done - see tips at the bottom of this post) and transfered them to either the albino or non albino jar. My eye sight is not as good as it once was and I thought this was going to be a challenge, but in fact held up against the light of the window it was very easy to see the black eyes of the non albinos, and the pinkness of the albinos. All this took some considerable time (about 3/4 hour), I floated the jam jar of albinos in their new 35 litre tank and returned my attention to the parents. I was pleased to see that they had managed to find most of their babies and had returned them to the spawning cone, the rear of course. So I repeated the process or rotating and pinching, this time I avoided sending all the babies flying, and gave them their non albino babies back as compensation. I was pleased to see that they accepted these and promptly spat them back on the cone with the rest. Once seperated the albinos were floated and the non albinos returned to their parents.
Sounds like quite an operation, carried out with millitary precision. Jeez the things we do for our little angels.
Very Happy
I'm keeping everything crossed for you/them.
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Re: Trying again

Post  Pterophyllum on Wed 28 Mar 2012, 13:44

I noted you emptied the ice cream tub first.
Oh yeah, very important part of the procedure that!

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Re: Trying again

Post  Pterophyllum on Thu 29 Mar 2012, 20:35

Came home from work today to discover Mum & Dad with a big shoal of free swimmers, including quite a few albinos. However the ones I seperated off haven't started swimming yet. I suspect it may be because their tank is a couple of degrees cooler than the main one with their parents in. Hopefully tomorrow I'll find out how many survived the trauma of the move!

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Re: Trying again

Post  endlessendlers on Thu 29 Mar 2012, 20:46

Ooh how exciting, they made it to freeswimmers! It'll be interesting to see when the rest go feeeswimming.
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Re: Trying again

Post  uk bulldog on Fri 30 Mar 2012, 07:16

Great to here you have a good spawn Rob, what sort of percentage do you think are Albino.

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Re: Trying again

Post  Pterophyllum on Fri 30 Mar 2012, 12:22

what sort of percentage do you think are Albino.
Of the original spawn about 25% as would be expected, as to how many are surviving in with the parents, I suspect there are a couple of dozen, but it's hard to judge.
As to the albinos that I seperated out, they seem to be free swimming/going free swimming this morning.

Because of the baby in the first batch with a stomach full of brineshrimp shells (see photos in first post), when I fed them this morning I went to extra efforts to seperate them out and found a technique that I've not seen mentioned elsewhere, but seems to work well -

I hatch my brineshrimp in 2 litre plastic bottles, when I turn the aereation off, the shells float and the brineshrimp tend to swim to the bottom (especially if you shine a light near the bottom). None the less, taking brineshrimp from the bottom still leads to a certain amount of contamination from shells. So this morning having rinsed them I took the brineshrimp I was going to feed to the babies and put it in a jam jar of fresh water. This time the shells sink to the bottom!
Pouring the water/shrimp into the tank slowly over the lip of the jar, most if not all the shells stayed at the bottom of the jar!

The 35 litre tank with the albinos in doesn't have a light, so I'm now off to check for pink bellies using a hand torch.

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Re: Trying again

Post  Pterophyllum on Fri 30 Mar 2012, 15:55

Pink bellies!
but not a hope of a photo, I need my glasses on to find them, and I can't see through the view finder with them on.
Instead here's a photo of Mum and Dad with the latest batch....

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Re: Trying again

Post  endlessendlers on Fri 30 Mar 2012, 16:03

Looking good Rob.
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Re: Trying again

Post  chiligum on Fri 30 Mar 2012, 21:10

There's a few mouths to feed there,
good luck!
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Re: Trying again

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