The beginning of the journey, Hypancistrus..

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Here is the really nice thing About the CatCons. They only happen every other year (in even number years). This will be the 10th one. I have made 3- 2014, 2016 and 2022. I get to see folks there who travel a long way to come. They come from all over the states but also from Europe, South America and other distant shores. For many of the attendees it is the only chance we get to see each other in person.

I would love to be there once again, but it just isn't in the cards.
This is practically my back yard and Linda and I will attend. There is also a show, not cats, this weekend in Burlington. It will be our first. Guess that sounds like a virgin on first date
 
One more note re raising the fry. I, aming others, have come to believe that the zebras at least and maybe other Xingu Hypans, need to consume some a bit of poop from more mature individuals to get some of the needed digestive bacteria. When I set up a new grow tank for Hypans, I make sure to move poop from the breeder tank into it along with the fish.

Because there are usually a few more mature fish in a grow tank, they should insure there are the needed gut bacteria available when new fry are added.

The reason I concluded that the poop was essential goes back to my early days with zebras. I pulled 51 fry from my first fry hunt in the breeder tank. But, early on I had a couple of equipment mishaps which caused me to rescue about 20 fry and they were the first to go into the grow tank. This was months before I did the fry catch above. In between those two dates I was worried about too many fish in the breeder tank and I pulled a spawns. I took the cave with the dad and the eggs and moved it to the grow tank.

When I moved that cave into the grow tank, I noticed then that the fry in the grow tank were a lot smaller than the ones I was able to spot in the main tank. I was not sure why this was at that time. But over the next year or two in talking to others breeding zebras and in reading posts on he subject, that other noticed what I had. Fry left in the breed tank seemed to grow faster than those put into grow tanks very early on.

I chose to work with plecos because, in terms of spawning, they do all the work. In a species tank fry are not lunch for anything. Plus I did not have to pull eggs or wigglers. Once in a great while I would have to put an egg or two back inside a cave. I have a dedicated turkey baster for that ;)

One of the best Hypan breeders I have met over the years always pulls eggs/wigglers to start life in a container specifically for that purpose. But soon after they go free swimming they go back into the breeder tank. However, this person is a commercial breeder and a fish store owner who shoots for the maximum reproduction and survival rates.
 
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Baby Zebra


Was cleaning the tank right now and after I moved everything back I saw dad had kicked this little guy out. I haven't been checking on them I like to leave them alone. Now I've got a proud daddy on wigglers. I've got to check the caves before I clean the tank and I probably could have avoided this guy getting Das boot
 
5 46 eggs dad kicked out


These are just doing so well. I love watching them develop

 
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Adding 5 more tanks. Dedicated 20G high quarantine, 20G long grow out and (3) 40 breeders. In the past I have only set up a hospital tank when necessary but I feel like it's necessary now with everything I have going on. I needed the extra grow out tank so now I'll have 3 total. 3 more breeding tanks and off to the races.

Next project is gonna be an autowater change system. There's a ton of info on other people's setups but really not sure how I want to attack that. Right now I'm running (5) 55gallon food grade drums and mixing RO/Tap for my water supply pumping it in through the window. Drilling the tanks would be ideal but overflow boxes work well although they're expensive and not as efficient from what I'm gathering. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Gaining experience through it all even though I feel stuck in the mud. I haven't rushed anything and I'm happy with the progress but there's still so much to do.
 
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Excuse the mess, still working but making progress. 40g breeder is up and running. The one on the bottom will be running next week. LPH80 going in tomorrow for the time being. Once I build the back wall and move some of the other tanks around I'll post pics but right now it's a mess.
 
LPH80 up and running. Dialed all the valves in and adjusted the bleed valve and so far so good. It's nice to have real air pressure now I'm just waiting for hoses to blow off the fittings. 173s will be here Monday or Tuesday and I'm absolutely stoked.
 



@TwoTankAmin

Fish arrived alive and healthy!

First tank is getting some seggsy time again. Male and female shacked up (trapping) in the cave I zoomed in on. 236 fry in the 2nd tank, 173s in the 3rd tank and 236 SW's in the last tank

Waiting on some vinyl to come so I can black out the back and sides of the tanks don't really want to paint anything anymore.

I'll take a better video later without all the reflection
 
SInce the 112 fish have been kept segregated in a divided tank with 6 fish on each side, they only had a pair of 6 fish pecking orders in place on each side. By mixing them all, there was no longer an established pecking order for all 12.

It looks to me like they are figuring out the new pecking order. This is the first order of business to get them ready to spawn. This can take from weeks to months. What you ultimately want to see is signs they are agcually fighting. Look for scraped sides with white patches. Only the top males and females will do the spawning. If you get more than two dads and likely 2 fenales active you are doing great. With my smaller group of WC 173 I had 3 males spawn, but not at the same time. That was unusual for only 10. For most of the time and most of my groups whihj tended to be 10-15 fish, 2 dads was the limit almost always. the one exception was my mystery Hypan tanks which started with 42 and ended up 9Aftewr sales) being 23 that went out about 2 weeks ago.

Remember to rotate foods. A good as the Ebo is, it is not intended to be a basic staple. Make sure you use their Veggies sticks as well as the meatier stuff. I have always used of mix of commercial, frozen and Repashy which includes some veggies. Of course for spawning, live foods are the best. I just never had the drive and space to do them. So I settled for what I feel were the next best alternatives.

I have always preferred to groupd my plecos and trust them to know where the best caves are and who should spawn with whom to produce the healthiest and strongest offspring, I am just not smarter than they are when it comes to this stuff. I am not a qualified fish marriage broker :p

edited for typos
 
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SInce the 112 fish have been kept segregated in a divided tank with 6 fish on each side, they only had a pair of 6 fish pecking orders in place on each side. By mixing them all, there was no longer an established pecking order for all 12.

It looks to me like they are figuring out the new pecking order. This is the first order of business to get them ready to spawn. This can take from weeks to months. What you ultimately want to see is signs they are agcually fighting. Look for scraped sides with white patches. Only the top males and females will do the spawning. If you get more than two dads and likely 2 fenales active you are doing great. With my smaller group of WC 173 I had 3 males spawn, but not at the same time. That was unusual for only 10. For most of the time and most of my groups whihj tended to be 10-15 fish, 2 dads was the limit almost always. the one exception was my mystery Hypan tanks which started with 42 and ended up 9Aftewr sales) being 23 that went out about 2 weeks ago.

Remember to rotate fooods. as good as the Ebo is, it is not intended to be a basic staple. Make sure you use their Veggies sticks as well as the meatier stuff. I have always used of mix of commercial, frozen and Repashy which includes some veggies. Of course for spawning, live foods are the best. I just never had the drive and space to do them. So I settled for what I feel were the next best alternatives.

I have lasways preferred to groupd my plecos and trust them to know where the besy caves are and who should spawn with whom to produce the healthiest and strongest offspring, I am just not smarter than they are when it comes to this stuff. I am not a qualified fish marriage broker :p



I did mail order brides :rofl:
 

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