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Re: APR by Ocean Star

> There should be no reason other than water quality and/or tank conditions
> that should prevent that from happening.  Young fry........rams or other
> fish, are simply eating machines....

>If they are swimming they are eating unless some
> condition is so wrong as to prevent the eating......

I would like to offer a few thoughts regarding feeding / tank conditions
that might result in starving fry.

First, it has already been acknowledged that the breeders were small, and
that small, young breeders often mean smaller,
more-difficult-to-appropriately-feed fry. So the challenge was issued from
the start.

In any producing microworm culture you have a variety of sizes of the
"worms". The adults are quite small, but their newborn young are much
smaller and easily eaten by most tiny fry, even the fry of N. rachovii as
Mike mentioned (which are substantially smaller than ramerezi fry). One
problem is that they sink. I, too, have seen fry starving, with thousands of
microworms available, because they stayed up in the water column, or even at
the surface edge of the water as if they were trying to get out. An old
aquarist trick is to simply lower the water level to an inch or so for the
first few days. An advantage of BSN for fry large enough to take them is
that the brine shrimp nauplii tend to congregate in those very same areas.
The advantage of leaving the fry with the parents for a couple days is that
the parents help keep the fry down where food is.

The suggestion of using a small raising tank is a good one. This helps
concentrate the fry close to the food allowing more food to get inside the
fry while using less food, with the resulting reduced risk of fouling the
tank. When the tank is (relatively) large, the food scatters and is
consequently less available to the fry. Tiny fry can't go long without food
in their gut. It seems that once they start "starving" they can quickly pass
a point where it is too late. They may live for a few days (resorbing their
own body tissues), but they are already beyond saving.

The suggestion of crushing a bit of live plant in the water is also an
interesting one, one I don't recall ever having tried directly in the fry
tank, but one I'll have to remember. Crushing the plant releases plant
juices into the water, which is a rich food supply for infusorians. And
bacteria, too. But if not overdone, the infusorians feed on the bacteria as
well as the released plant juices and the damaged plant tissues, and could
provide a quick source of infusoria. Just remember that a little is a lot. I
have used the idea to set up quick (separate) infusoria cultures by crushing
soft (terrestrial) plant material into a tub of water, but if I get too
enthusiastic, I end up with a smelly mess instead of what I wanted. An
appealing aspect of Mike's suggestion is that the living aquatic plant
material will absorb nutrients for its own use, thereby helping keep the
water fresh.

I, too am raising rams, but since I don't want to raise hundreds of fry, I
let the parents just do their thing. After eating a few broods, they
eventually become good parents. Of course, I pulled fry early on when my
original breeders started breeding to insure future generations in my tanks.
I spent too much money and time trying to get =healthy= rams from a pet
store to not do so.

By the way, Mike, I wouldn't mind a couple pair of those rachovii. About a
month ago, a freak situation cost me three breeding setups (not set up to
breed, just set up) plus another 60 or so still in growout. I can't believe
I lost them! I'll email you off list.

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