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Re: Ram Fry Problems

Steph writes:

<< Im looking for suggestions and info on raising Ram fry successfully. :)
> I had a spawn that I hatched artificially but all fry died progressively
> over the first 6 days.  They never seemed to truly develop into free
> swimming fry, staying on the bottom of the fry tank.
> I saw a previous article about belly sliders and was wondering if this
> is what happened and what to do to prevent this.
> My current routine with the spawn is to :
> - setup a 5 gal tank with water from the parents tank, (ph 6.4, 50ppm
> hardness)
> - move the rock with the eggs on it into the tank - carefully not
> exposing them to air

The concept about not exposing them to air is mostly myth.  While I haven't
bred Rams, I have spawned numerous cichlids, dwarves, angels, and others, and
I have always just picked up the substrate with the eggs and carried it across
the fish room.  This has never caused any loss of life, as I still get hatch
rates of 95-100%

>- i set up a sponge with a airstone thru it as a primitive sponge filter
> and but otherwise run a bare tank - the sponge comes out of a
> established tank
> - place eggs near air stone to get a water current over them
> - add some fungicide
> Has anyone got any suggestions about doing water changes?
> In such a small volume I am a bit cautious?  Should I leave the water
> untouched for say 10 days, change every day, or something inbetween

I recommend 10% per day, regardless of volume.  In a tank smaller than 10
gallons, I would probably do even more.  Start the day the eggs hatch.
Metabolic rates are very high in the fry.
> If babies die, how do you remove them from the tank to prevent further
> contamination?
Use a piece of airline to siphon off the dead ones.  If you leave them, the
rotting process pollutes the water with high nitrate levels, which fry are
extremely sensitive to.  Get a piece of stiff tubing like comes with UGFs to
stick on the end.  You can get better control that way.
Also, as soon as the fry are free-swimming (Consistent water changes are key
here), begin feeding with microworms, until they are big enough for fresh-
hatched brine shrimp.

Bob Dixon