Tank Set Up for Fry

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Oldspartan

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Good Morning,

Today it will be raining so Linda and I have decided it will be a great time to set up the 30 gallon for future live bearer fry.

The tank is 36 inches long and a dozen inches wide and tall. Linda is completely taken with raising fish children and by luck of the draw, no fore thought involved, we have started our fish keeping with live bearers. Thus far we have had Molly, Guppy, and swordtail litters. Endlers are also in a tank so we might expect them soon or later.

I have done some research, but as is the norm, so much seems conflicting. So here I am once again looking for help from the forum. Sometimes I feel guilty about having so many questions that to the people here are probably questions with obvious answers.

I have read a bare bottom tank is best. I have also read there is a need for plants and hiding spots. The fry will have the tank to themselves, perhaps with dividers to keep breeds separate.

It should be noted that our tanks are eventually, as we become better at scaping, going to need to be visually appealing. However, that goal will always be secondary to fish needs.

Here is what we are thinking ---

Build a dam along one long, or both side walls to hold substrate and plants.
Two sponge filters each rated at twenty gallons
Two fifty watt heaters -- Our ambient room temp is 73F year-round so these should be sufficient to raise the temp 5F to 78F or higher if needed.
Fine gravel or perhaps sand behind the dams
Floating plants
Full Spectrum Light on a dimmer and timer
Two or perhaps three dividers that will be glued in place

Linda wants to breed Black and Gold Lyretail Mollies to cohabitate the eventual 90 gallon tank with two Parrot Fish. She has some limited knowledge of breeding from doing chickens. I know one has feathers the other scales but the basics should be similar.

Anyway, we have what are probably partially seeded bags and sponges to start a cycle along.

Any and all suggestions are sought to make this successful.
 
Also wondering ....

Would shrimp be a good choice to help keep the tank clean. We really dislike snails and with a few exceptions consider them to be pests. I have read that shrimp will eat the fry. Is there a shrimp that will be to small to do so?

We have learned by trial and error that it is difficult to not overfeed the fry based on a 4 to 5 time a day feeding schedule.
 
I would never have a bare bottom tank for fry. I understand some of the arguments about it being easier to keep "clean", but that's too sterile for me. My advice is sand or fine gravel, lots of plants, and try to encourage algae growth for the fry to graze on outside of normal feeding time. Rocks and/ or bog wood as well, more for growing algae and things to nibble on than for visual appeal
Good Morning,

Today it will be raining so Linda and I have decided it will be a great time to set up the 30 gallon for future live bearer fry.

The tank is 36 inches long and a dozen inches wide and tall. Linda is completely taken with raising fish children and by luck of the draw, no fore thought involved, we have started our fish keeping with live bearers. Thus far we have had Molly, Guppy, and swordtail litters. Endlers are also in a tank so we might expect them soon or later.

I have done some research, but as is the norm, so much seems conflicting. So here I am once again looking for help from the forum. Sometimes I feel guilty about having so many questions that to the people here are probably questions with obvious answers.

I have read a bare bottom tank is best. I have also read there is a need for plants and hiding spots. The fry will have the tank to themselves, perhaps with dividers to keep breeds separate.

It should be noted that our tanks are eventually, as we become better at scaping, going to need to be visually appealing. However, that goal will always be secondary to fish needs.

Here is what we are thinking ---

Build a dam along one long, or both side walls to hold substrate and plants.
Two sponge filters each rated at twenty gallons
Two fifty watt heaters -- Our ambient room temp is 73F year-round so these should be sufficient to raise the temp 5F to 78F or higher if needed.
Fine gravel or perhaps sand behind the dams
Floating plants
Full Spectrum Light on a dimmer and timer
Two or perhaps three dividers that will be glued in place

Linda wants to breed Black and Gold Lyretail Mollies to cohabitate the eventual 90 gallon tank with two Parrot Fish. She has some limited knowledge of breeding from doing chickens. I know one has feathers the other scales but the basics should be similar.

Anyway, we have what are probably partially seeded bags and sponges to start a cycle along.

Any and all suggestions are sought to make this successful.
 
You shouldn't have that much to really clean when they are small. Since you are keeping them in their own tank it should be easy.
Any substrate will do but go with sand if you are going to keep something like corys in there.

Floating plants are always a plus! The other plants are optional imo but always a good thing to have as well.
I've found slower water movement at the surface is best for floaters. I use air bubblers mostly for floaters, HOB filter baffles work too.

Also add something like API quickstart or Dr. Tim's one and only with the seeded media to get a cycle going quickly.
 
Good Morning,

Today it will be raining so Linda and I have decided it will be a great time to set up the 30 gallon for future live bearer fry.

The tank is 36 inches long and a dozen inches wide and tall. Linda is completely taken with raising fish children and by luck of the draw, no fore thought involved, we have started our fish keeping with live bearers. Thus far we have had Molly, Guppy, and swordtail litters. Endlers are also in a tank so we might expect them soon or later.

I have done some research, but as is the norm, so much seems conflicting. So here I am once again looking for help from the forum. Sometimes I feel guilty about having so many questions that to the people here are probably questions with obvious answers.

I have read a bare bottom tank is best. I have also read there is a need for plants and hiding spots. The fry will have the tank to themselves, perhaps with dividers to keep breeds separate.

It should be noted that our tanks are eventually, as we become better at scaping, going to need to be visually appealing. However, that goal will always be secondary to fish needs.

Here is what we are thinking ---

Build a dam along one long, or both side walls to hold substrate and plants.
Two sponge filters each rated at twenty gallons
Two fifty watt heaters -- Our ambient room temp is 73F year-round so these should be sufficient to raise the temp 5F to 78F or higher if needed.
Fine gravel or perhaps sand behind the dams
Floating plants
Full Spectrum Light on a dimmer and timer
Two or perhaps three dividers that will be glued in place

Linda wants to breed Black and Gold Lyretail Mollies to cohabitate the eventual 90 gallon tank with two Parrot Fish. She has some limited knowledge of breeding from doing chickens. I know one has feathers the other scales but the basics should be similar.

Anyway, we have what are probably partially seeded bags and sponges to start a cycle along.

Any and all suggestions are sought to make this successful.
You are headed off the slippery slope. :D I love livebearers and breeding fish in general, but if you try to save them all you can quickly fill a house with tanks. I prefer a few smaller tanks but your 30G will certainly work. Eventually you'll have to look at what is reasonable to you. With four species of prolific livebearers, you could easily be looking for space to house 500 fry sooner than you might think, that won't stay fry all that long. Back on topic a bare bottom tank definitely has advantages, but I use a thin layer of substrate normally so the tank is much attractive to view.
 
Substrate is essential in all aquariums, including fry rearing tanks. It stops the fish seeing their reflection in the bottom, adds habitat for good bacteria, traps a lot of the poop so it doesn't float around the tank waiting to be drawn into the filter.

Floating plants are good. If you want plants growing in the substrate, put them in pots or small plastic containers so you can move them easily and gravel clean the substrate.

Don't use dividers, they suck. Rearing tanks should contain fry that are the same size. They can be different species (as long as you can identify the different types) but they must be similar sized so the bigger ones don't eat the small ones. A bigger tank is better for growth than a bunch of small compartments in a big tank. It will also be much easier to clean without dividers.

Have one or two air operated sponge filters in the tank, some brown gravel or sand, a few plants, feed them heaps, do big regular water changes, and watch them grow.
 
You are headed off the slippery slope. :D I love livebearers and breeding fish in general, but if you try to save them all you can quickly fill a house with tanks. I prefer a few smaller tanks but your 30G will certainly work. Eventually you'll have to look at what is reasonable to you. With four species of prolific livebearers, you could easily be looking for space to house 500 fry sooner than you might think, that won't stay fry all that long. Back on topic a bare bottom tank definitely has advantages, but I use a thin layer of substrate normally so the tank is much attractive to view.
I know! Linda has already trehomed Molly and guppy. Also donated a bunch of them to lfs at about 6 weeks age. The swords were obliterated by the Angel but she saved two.

Current twenty gallon has a mix of about 30 Molly and guppy.

I did not like the idea of a bare bottom, least not for a tank.
 
IMG_0117.jpeg

Substrate is essential in all aquariums, including fry rearing tanks. It stops the fish seeing their reflection in the bottom, adds habitat for good bacteria, traps a lot of the poop so it doesn't float around the tank waiting to be drawn into the filter.

Floating plants are good. If you want plants growing in the substrate, put them in pots or small plastic containers so you can move them easily and gravel clean the substrate.

Don't use dividers, they suck. Rearing tanks should contain fry that are the same size. They can be different species (as long as you can identify the different types) but they must be similar sized so the bigger ones don't eat the small ones. A bigger tank is better for growth than a bunch of small compartments in a big tank. It will also be much easier to clean without dividers.

Have one or two air operated sponge filters in the tank, some brown gravel or sand, a few plants, feed them heaps, do big regular water changes, and watch them grow.
Currently doing 30 ~ 35 percent every 4 days on all tanks.

The 30 will need to be split to attend Linda’s goals but I certainly know where are coming from re cleaning.

I only want one room dedicated to tanks and well you know do not want to be accused of mys:rolleyes:
 
I know! Linda has already trehomed Molly and guppy. Also donated a bunch of them to lfs at about 6 weeks age. The swords were obliterated by the Angel but she saved two.

Current twenty gallon has a mix of about 30 Molly and guppy.

I did not like the idea of a bare bottom, least not for a tank.
I raised show quality guppies and nicer varieties. I was able to sell many of them, but livebearers can overwhelm you quick as you soon learn how to save them all. I don't like all male fish tanks, but I sure understand why people do it. Anyway, just keep it fun. Your strategy will evolve over time. You are supposed to be in charge. :D
 
The thing about ornaments though is that you can remove them to clean the tank. Just don't push them into the substrate.
 
View attachment 341247

Currently doing 30 ~ 35 percent every 4 days on all tanks.

The 30 will need to be split to attend Linda’s goals but I certainly know where are coming from re cleaning.

I only want one room dedicated to tanks and well you know do not want to be accused of mys:rolleyes:
IMO it's very good that she enjoys it as well. My wife has little input into my hobby, but I try to make our living room tank contain a few species she likes if they fit into the community.
 
Substrate is essential in all aquariums, including fry rearing tanks. It stops the fish seeing their reflection in the bottom,
I have never believed this to be the case. The sides and front and back glass when there is a background, become mirror like. So fish in many tanks regularly see their own reflection. Most fish have no clue it is themself they are seeing. However, I looked for some of the science on this and it appears that at least one species of salt water cleaner fish likely can do so.

Kohda, M., Bshary, R., Kubo, N., Awata, S., Sowersby, W., Kawasaka, K., Kobayashi, T. and Sogawa, S., 2023. Cleaner fish recognize self in a mirror via self-face recognition like humans. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 120(7), p.e2208420120.

Significance​

Some animals have the capacity for mirror self-recognition, but implications for self-awareness remain controversial. Here, we show that cleaner fish, Labroides dimidiatus, likely recognize their own mirror image using a mental image of the self-face comparable to humans. Mirror-naïve fish frequently attacked photographs of both themselves and strangers. In contrast, after passing the mirror test, aggression against their own photograph and composite photographs of own face/stranger body declined, but aggression remained toward unfamiliar and composite photographs of stranger face/own body. Our results suggest that cleaner fish with MSR ability can recognize their own mirror image based on a mental image of their own face, rather than by comparing body movements in the mirror. This study demonstrates how animals recognize self-images.
from https://www.pnas.org/doi/abs/10.1073/pnas.2208420120

But even with a bare bottom tanks, I wonder how many fish actually look at the bottom. I assume almost none of the bottom feeders do so- corys, plecos etc. Most fish have either forward or upward looking eyes. Most bottom feeders find food via barbels not sight. Fish are most likely to see themselves in the vetical glass not the bottom, I think.

I do believe that fish can see out of a tank. I base this on my expernnece keeping a couple of male Betta splendens in two 2.5 fal. tanks placed end to end with the side glass being clear with no background on it. The males would flare at each other regularly when they were both at the end of the tank facing the other. I did not notice them flaring at their reflection when the other fish was not in the proper position at their tank end.
 
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I have never believed this to be the case. The sides and front and back glass when there is a background, become mirror like. So fish in many tanks regularly see their own reflection. Most fish have no clue it is themself they are seeing. However, I looked for some of the science on this and it appears that at least one species of salt water cleaner fish likely can do so.

But even with a bare bottom tanks, I wonder how many fish actually look at the bottom.

I do believe that fish can see out of a tank.
Virtually all schooling fish will see a reflection in the bottom of an aquarium if there is no substrate. Then they swim next to the bottom to make the school bigger. A lot of fish get confused without a substrate and I have seen fish swimming upside down along the bottom and they weren't sick, just unsure which way is up.

Yes fish can definitely see out of glass aquariums. My fish would race to the side of the tank closest to my room whenever they saw the door opening. They wanted food.
 
Virtually all schooling fish will see a reflection in the bottom of an aquarium if there is no substrate. Then they swim next to the bottom to make the school bigger. A lot of fish get confused without a substrate and I have seen fish swimming upside down along the bottom and they weren't sick, just unsure which way is up.

Yes fish can definitely see out of glass aquariums. My fish would race to the side of the tank closest to my room whenever they saw the door opening. They wanted food.
Most anything that makes a tank look a little more like natural seems to make most species act more relaxed. I much prefer at least a little substrate but that is for me. The two exceptions when I strongly consider bare bottom is a fry tank or a hospital tank. The need to keep the bottom clear of debris is easy to see the advantages of in these situations so I just deal with a sterile looking tank. I really don't like that look though.
 

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