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The Celestial Pearl Danio Forum • View topic - First Breeding...in a Barrel!

First Breeding...in a Barrel!

Discussions about sexual behavior, mating, spawning, eggs, hatching, fry, and so on.

First Breeding...in a Barrel!

Postby tomcal » Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:07 pm

I have a 600 gallon backyard pond which is heated and which i raise hi fin variatus(platys). I got interested in the Celestial's when I saw a pic of them and bought 8 off of Aquabid.com on January 11th. I have a 1/2 oak barrel that holds about 25 gallons and is heated as i put tropical water lily's in it in the winter when nighttime temps here in SoCal go down to the low 60's high 50's. I filled it with water from the pond, put some driftwood and tied some java moss to it and added a sponge filter and heater. There was already algae and plants established in the barrel I put the fish in and being in a barrel and with them hiding under the driftwood and moss really never saw them, but each day put food in. Two weeks ago I left for 10 days and while they were fed no other care was given. When I got back yesterday I went to check on them and there were 12 fry swiming in the open water near the side of the barrel. This is less than a month after receiving them! I added baby brine shrimp and they started eating them right away. This all happened withing 2 months of getting the fish. The adults don't seem to have any interest in the babies at this stage.
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Re: First Breeding...in a Barrel!

Postby Pushkatu » Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:02 am

Sounds like a great story. Why not post some pictures with it? I'm not in the position to give you any kind of advice, as I still have a lot to learn, but it might be possible, these little fish are quite tolerant of water parameters.
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Re: First Breeding...in a Barrel!

Postby tomcal » Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:59 pm

Here is a pic, I keep the barrel about 1/2 full which is approximately 12 gallons, the water level is about a foot deep. I do about a 20% water change once a week. The dark area in the middle is driftwood, which has many angles and holes through it and is where the adults hang out. I found the young yesterday swimming about 3" below the surface near the side at 3:00 position. Since by the time I found the young they were already large enough to eat baby brine shrimp, I am assumming there was enough micro live food in this aged water and plants that were established in the barrel. again, I used the water from my outdoor pond to initally fill the barrel. Given the dark sides of the barrel and the dark driftwood, it makes it difficult to see the fish except when they shoot from one side to the other when I am feeding. The most I have ever seen at one time is 2 although 8 were put in there and I have never found any evidence that any have died. I don't want to disturb them since they seem to be doing well and are obviously breeding. What I was amazed at is how fast they aclimated and started breeding. I will try and get pics of the babies.
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Re: First Breeding...in a Barrel!

Postby Pushkatu » Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:01 pm

Looks great. If they breed already then it's a good home for them.
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Re: First Breeding...in a Barrel!

Postby tomcal » Wed Feb 08, 2012 6:28 pm

A followup to the first post. Today I netted out 12 fry, several different sizes, but I would guess all less than 2 weeks old. Midday when the sun is shining directly into the tub, the shadows of the swimming fry show up on the sides of the tub and it makes it easy to find them. I have not seen a adult in a week but know they are there! the tub has alot of moss and ferns in it and driftwood, and with a tub you only have the abilty to look down from above, not great for enjoying your fish but really seems to work for breeding.
I am feeding golden pearls 200-300 micron size (GP Reef and Larval Fish diet) from brineshrimpdirect, in additon Hikari micro pellets and frozen baby brine shrimp for the adults. For the young I have given besides the natural infusoria that is already in the tubs, Hikari First Bites which is like a infusoria powder.
The pic is another shot of the tub taken today. the young are always within about 3 or 4 " of the surface on the right hand side. the adults are always in or near the bottom under the plants and driftwood
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Re: First Breeding...in a Barrel!

Postby tomcal » Tue Mar 20, 2012 5:23 pm

It has now been just over 10 weeks since I set the fish up in the barrel and today I counted 14 fry that looked to be about a week old or so. This is in addition to the 12 fry I had already removed a few weeks ago. I have set up a second barrel to transfer the fry to, same water/plants/temps. The pic below was taken today after I had to remove some plants and algae, but you can see how much has grown in. Being outside the plants and infusoria multiply rapidly. One thing that is different is the daytime night time temps change by about 10 degees each day, I have the heater set for 72, so it never goes below that even thou our night temperture here is in the 50's on some nights, but during the middle of the afternoon, the temp is usually around 82 - 84, when the sun is directly overhead. So far this hasn't stopped them from breeding which I read happens at higher temps. I never see the adults rise higher than the bottom third of the barrel and the young are always in mid water or higher in and out of the plants but prefering the open water in the middle. I do about a 1/4 to 1/3 water change weekly by siphoning out the water and letting it refill through a very slow garden hose at the rate of 1gal every 4 - 5 mins. The plants I used are primarily Riccia Fluitans, the light green plants that are tied with fish line to the driftwood and rocks, otherwise it floats, and GLOSSOSTIGMA ELATINOIDES in the clay pots. I also bought them online and they have done really well and mutiplied in the 10 weeks I have had them. I ordered them from http://shop.plantedaquariumscentral.com and they arrived in great shape.
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Last edited by tomcal on Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: First Breeding...in a Barrel!

Postby BallAquatics » Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:04 pm

That's really cool Tom, thanks for sharing with us. Every spring I think about putting some fish outside, but it seems I always get side-tracked. Looking at your barrel might just be what I need to get started this year! Thanks again.

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Re: First Breeding...in a Barrel!

Postby tomcal » Thu Mar 22, 2012 12:21 am

Today there were another 15 or more fry to net out. I am sure they were in there yesterday when I netted out the others yesterday but with the heavy vegetation it's hard to spot them easily except when the sun is overhead and lighting up the entire barrel. That's now close to 40+ fry in 10 weeks! The upside is that this outdoor barrel breeding really works in spite of the day/night temp variations. the downside is you don't get to see or enjoy your adults as they are hidden near the bottom under the driftwood and plants. But being outside the light encourages plant/algae/critters growth! and the fish are thriving! When I put the original 8 young adults in I had no idea what the mix of sexes were but an educated guess is there 5 males and 3 females based on the the chasing I have observed.
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Re: First Breeding...in a Barrel!

Postby tomcal » Wed May 23, 2012 7:04 pm

Update,
about a month ago I moved 30 of the fish to the backyard pond, it is 30" deep in the center and has a "shelf" running around the circumfurence of the pond that is 12" below the surface to hold potted plants originally. the past two years we have had Tropical water lily's in the center and put water lettuce in as it keeps the water crystal clear with no algae.
The water lettuce has roots that hang down 8 - 12" and provides excellent coverage for the fry.
the barrel system worked great for breeding, but with day time temps in the 80's the water was hovering in the mid 80's, and while losing no fish, breeding has slowed down. the pond temps are consistenly about 6 -8 degrees cooler than the barrels. today after searching I found 14 fry and I only checked about 25% of the pond.
The picture below was taken today
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Re: First Breeding...in a Barrel!

Postby Pushkatu » Sun May 27, 2012 5:55 am

Omg, that looks incredible. It's a fish heaven. The only downside is that you can't see the fish, but you've made a great habitat for them. Congrats! :wink:
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