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Old 07/06/2006, 12:19 AM   #576
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So...no one's willing to take a stab at whether these two larvae are from the same spawn or not, eh?

Well, it's just after midnight now...didn't look at the larval tank at all in the last 22 hours or so. This evening I've only been able to locate ONE live larvae, big, brown, eating with gusto. GRR....ONE!

I put in 2 more "basters" of "fresh" mandarin mix...this week's batch is roughly 50% T-Iso, 25% Tetraselmis and 25% Nannochloropsus. I guess all we can do at this point is hope this one makes it all the way!

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Old 07/06/2006, 12:24 AM   #577
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MP,

Hey man, you are doing GREAT work, everyone reading this thread raise your hand if you have raised a mandarin baby to 8 days? Anyone? I know I can't do it!

I love the larvae pictures, but I would suggest to just let the larvae live and eat at this point, I would think they would be pretty fragile and squirting in and out of pipettes can't be too good for them. But what do I know?

B.


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Old 07/06/2006, 12:30 AM   #578
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Ciro I'm totally in agreement with you...my gut tells me the handling can't have any positive merits to the FISH...sure it's helpful for documentation but now that we're again down to apparently 1 larva, well, I'm not going to be taking pictures again anytime soon.

On the flipside though I'm using a pipette that I've cut the tip off so it's a BIG hole to suck them into...little chance for mechanical damage. The picture sessions are quick and the larvae are then simply dipped back into the tank while still on the slide to simply swim off...it's about as gentle a process as I can come up with

So do I take it that you believe the larger, browner larvae in last night's pictures is from our "oldest spawn" batch?

I'll raise RSman's hand for him!

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Old 07/06/2006, 01:52 AM   #579
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7-6-07, 1:30 AM - WE HAVE A SPAWN! - now on this one I was NOT paying any attention to them....busy with other stuff so I just shut everything down and checked in around 12:35 AM...they were still up and courting and I didn't think about it again until 1:30 AM or so.

This was a BIG spawn...I'm going to say 600 eggs or so easily. I have to get up in less than 6 hours, so I didn't even bother doing a count or anything, just collected them and dumped them in the larval tank and will again hope for the best. I was kinda in a conundrum...do I try to catch one remaining larvae, drain the tank and refill with freshly mixed water or do I just cut and run and go to bed? Bed is winning out again tonight folks! Considering the last spawn had a hatch of 1 (who BTW I can no longer find) I'm not terribly optimistic for this latest spawn either. I really could use that 2nd 10 gallon tank at this point...one for hatching, one for larval rearing! It'd definitely allow me to work with more larvae which is going to be key for producing any worthwhile numbers. All the same, for now, I really don't want to screw with this one remaining larva as he/she/it looks to be doing quite well!

FWIW,

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Old 07/06/2006, 09:19 AM   #580
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It's 9:00 AM on 7-6-06. We STILL have one remaining larvae and at this point I'm VERY confident in saying that it is from the OLDEST spawn. Today, for the first time, I saw a larval mandarin feeding ON THE BOTTOM!

Now, I don't think I'd consider this larva SETTLED yet because it started off feeding in the water column during this morning observation but the bottom feeding is definitely a new behavior. If this is the oldest larvae, it is 225 hours old, 9 days and change. Just because I'm still not 100% sure, if this from batch #2, then it's 154 hours old, 6 days and change.

Again, based on the behaviors recorded by Sadovy around this time, it really places this larvae as a 9 day fish vs. a 6 day fish.

FWIW,

MP


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Old 07/06/2006, 04:53 PM   #581
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Well, our 1 remaining larvae is still kickin' it...whoo hoo! We had a hatch of about 4 of 5 larvae from last night's spawn so far...perhaps more on their way in the next hour or two?

I added a little bit of freshwater as top-off for evaporation. Also strained 30 basters of the L-Strain Rotifer cultures (10 basters each) through 53 micron for enrichment for the HERMIT crab larvae...what made it through the 53 micron was collected in a 10, concentrated and added to the mandarin larval tank. 2 more basters of the new Mandarin Mix are going in as well and that should finish it off for the rest of today!

The QX5 is here in Chicago somewhere...they say they tried to deliver it but our doorbell never rang today...going to try to see if I can pick it up somewhere!

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Old 07/06/2006, 05:35 PM   #582
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Just a thought...but I once saw a thread (different site) from a guy that was raising the freshwater Bettas. He made a fry tank out of a ten gallon tank and modified an external hang-on filter to keep the water in pristine conditions. To prevent the little ones from being sucked up, he modified the intake with a large 5-10 micron filter that would be used for under a sink or for your RO. The larger filter sucked water from the entire length (more surface area) and created less suction in any one location to prevent the fry from getting sucked against the side. They could easily pull themselves away; almost bumping off of it!

A marine fry tank would require a bit more, but could easily be modified to automate some of the same tasks you are doing daily. Float valve for topoff, carbon or mechanical filtration to keep the water clean, etc...

Anyway, just a few ideas to get the old gourd whirling.

Good luck and keep up the great work!


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Old 07/07/2006, 12:40 AM   #583
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Tim, it's not a bad idea...but I wonder how quickly something like a 5 micron prefilter would get completely clogged with rotifers. I am comfortable that with only one larvae, water quality isn't going to be an issue.

The larval tank has a nice population of copepods going now too..not the tiggerpods but the smaller ones that live with my rotifers (no clue what type they are). The tank could probably benefit from some rotifer harvest and a small water change, but otherwise things haven't changed from the last update which is a GREAT THING because now our 1 remaining larvae is either 169 hours old OR 240 days old (10 days!?)

The behavior on this larvae now has me guessing again...he's back up feeding in the water column. 2 more days and it should be settled. So now the bad news..I'm out of town this weekend again (fly fishing duty calls!) so you'll all be without updates. By the time I get home I hope to see my first settled mandarin larvae!

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Old 07/07/2006, 11:11 AM   #584
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It's 11:00 AM now on 7-7-06 and our oldest larvae is STILL crusing around....THE BOTTOM! He's starting to MOVE like an adult mandarin now, trying to keep his ventral surface oriented to the bottom / sides, no caudal-based propulsion (at least it doesn't LOOK like it), instead he looks like he's hovering around like an adult mandarin, using the pectoral fins for locomotion! I'm PRETTY confident, without a doubt, that this larvae is of the "oldest" spawn at this point...the behavior just doesn't make sense if he were from the spawn 3 days later. So as of now, we're at approximately 250 hours, just shy of 10.5 days.

There are also at least a half dozen larvae from the most recent spawn floating around in the tank. 2 more basters of "Mandarin Mix" are going in now, and I'll probably feed it one more time before leaving this evening.

FWIW,

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Old 07/07/2006, 03:20 PM   #585
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Excellent!


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Old 07/07/2006, 08:13 PM   #586
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Hey Matt, really great !!!!!!!

"You only need to raise ONE"! but I doubt you will jump to the next project if it´s only one !

Anderson.


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Old 07/10/2006, 08:25 AM   #587
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Well, last night I looked around for at least 30 minutes - counted 3-4 larvae from the most recent spawn...some swimming at the surface, others in the water column. One of these may be our older guy, but honestly I don't think I found him (if he's still around). I put in 2 basters of the "mandarin mix" and a baster of mostly nannochloropsus last night...haven't looked yet this morning but I will...

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Old 07/11/2006, 12:26 AM   #588
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OK, so this morning I just squirted in 2 basters of Nannochloropsus as I ran out the door to go to the office.

I came back this evening and gave the tank a good look. Yesterday I had noticed a couple "new" things in the tank...little worms and tiny red "bugs". These were definitely in evidence this evening. The worms move fast, are capable of swimming and some are approaching 1 CM in length. The Red Bugs have high "population densities" at certain areas of the tank, where all the detritus in that spot has been cleared away leaving clean glass and tiny red specks (the bugs).

The QX5 arrived just as I was walking out the door on Friday so this evening I finally got to put it to good use. The "Worms" look like baby bristle worms. The Red Bugs look like the "red tubilarians" (spelling) that W. Mai writes about in his Coral Magazine article on breeding Synchiropus picturatus....they're little slug-like, paramecium like, downright strange little creatures that don't look menacing and in fact look very much like a food-sized organism. I got pics and vids of both.

Red Bugs, 200X


Red Bug Video, 200X, 17 MB .avi format
http://www.cichlidrecipe.com/nanoreef/red_bugs_1.avi

"Bristleworm" Video, 60X, 1.33 MB, .avi format
http://www.cichlidrecipe.com/nanoree...leworm_60X.avi

I also sat down and shot some vid of a mandarin larvae. From what I can see this is a larvae from the 7-6 spawn, about 4 days post spawn at this point. It looks thin, doesn't look like much is in the belly. Rotifer counts are WAY DOWN in the tank and overall it just looks like things are not going as we'd hope for.

Synchiropus splendidus (Mandarinfish / Mandarin Dragonet) Larval/Larvae Video at 60X magnification , 4 days old, 60X, 3.84 MB, .avi format.
http://www.cichlidrecipe.com/nanoree...ae_7-10-06.avi

Another Baby Mandarin Video, 60X, 12.62 MB, .avi format
http://www.cichlidrecipe.com/nanoree...0-06_2_60x.avi

So at this point I think it's time to break down the larval tank and start fresh...sterilize it fully and wait for the next good spawn to shoot for a good hatch. I still have not seen that one remaining "old" larvae that was running around...it's last chance to make an appearance and save itself will be tomorrow.

As far as spawning activity is concerned, the fish may have spawned once or twice during our absence...afterall we're right around a full moon again. The lighting was all out of whack...coming on really early and going off around 8:30 PM but the ambient lights (phyto cultures etc) were left on 24 hours per day while we were gone. Not sure what kind of affect this may have had. Tomorrow they'll be back on the daily heavy feedings etc...so probably later in this week we'll get a spawn to play with.

FWIW,

Matt


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Old 07/11/2006, 01:09 PM   #589
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So, 7-11-06, 12:00 noon, I added 10 ML generic bleach and filled the larval tank to the brim with freshwater. I could find NO larvae this morning. Time to start FRESH.

The big kicker for me is that I still need a BETTER hatch rate. The tank will be re-set-up with most likely a mix of parental water and freshly mixed water, again bleached and then dechlorinated....it should be ready to receive a spawn by tomorrow evening. I'm also going to slightly change the aeration setup if I can dig up a spare airstone...the smaller bubbles may be more gentle and more effective.

FWIW,

Matt


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Old 07/11/2006, 01:59 PM   #590
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I'm starting to like the idea of bleached and dechlorinated water. Isn´t there a possible problem with tiny bubles from the airstone to larval fish ? Not sure if i´ve read that or have just invented but it´s still bumping my head though...
Anderson.


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Old 07/11/2006, 02:59 PM   #591
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I would think to a tiny fry, even the smallest bubbles would seem huge. Regular airstones cannot produce the very fine bubbles that wood air diffusers can, so if you stay away from them, you might be Ok.


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Old 07/11/2006, 06:04 PM   #592
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Well, I'm going to go with just a standard coarse bubble slintered glass...it's really more an issue of these big bubbles "bumping into the larvae" than anything else...thinking slightly smaller may be better. Besides, MMoe suggested it, who am I to argue

Matt


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Old 07/13/2006, 10:01 PM   #593
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Matt, you ok?

Just a note wondering if you are ok? We miss you and your entries and haven't seen anything for a couple days. Keep up the good work, I live (like a lot of other folks do I'm sure) vicariously through you and your work. Hee Hee hee....




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Old 07/13/2006, 10:37 PM   #594
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Well, there's really nothing new to post...haven't had a spawn lately, at least haven't noticed one going on...haven't seen any courtship activity although today the male did some damage to the female (split her 2nd dorsal fin) and female #1 is totally PO'd at #2 in the breeder net...not sure if I'm ever going to be able to keep both in the same tank. Oh, and I dechlored the larval tank yesterday but haven't drained and refilled and rebleached yet....all in good time. I'm thinking I may take a week or two off from the mandarins, heck maybe I'll let the leptacanthus brood have a shot this weekend (when they're due to hatch)....I could use some success for a change

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Old 07/14/2006, 02:16 AM   #595
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I took a bit of downtime today to put the new QX5 to good use. While it hardly takes images of the QUALITY that I was expecting, it is STILL quite the useful tool. For what it is and considering the price, it is probably a good entry point microscope for the hobbyist. Granted, I invested about 1k in the digital camera I use, and have shot over 40,000 pix with it in the last 2 years...I'm kinda an image quality snob I guess

I harvested samples from 1 of my L-Strain Rotifer cultures and 1 of my SS-Strain Rotifer cultures. These samples were seived through 53 micron, and the effluent from that was seived through 10 micron. These samples were chilled in the freezer for a minute (slows all the little buggers WAY DOWN) and then examined.

The results were quite interesting. Until you get to 200X, it's hard to notice the difference between L-Strian and SS-Strain (which had me wondering all along if my SS-Strain rotifers had become contaminated with L-Strain). Well, the QX5 has a hand on-screen ruler - I had to do some creative photoshoping but I've been able to apply it to the images to easily show the differences in size. Suffice it to say, it looks like the L-Strains I'm producing are 300 X 200 microns, whereas the SS-Strain look to be around 200 X 150 microns.

Videos are .avi; roughly 1 to 2.5 mb a shot.

L-Strain Rotifers at 60X - numerical measurments are 1 MM

Video - http://www.cichlidrecipe.com/nanoree...0X_chilled.avi

SS-Strain Rotifers at 60X - numerical measurments are 1 MM

Video - http://www.cichlidrecipe.com/nanoree...0X_chilled.avi

L-Strain Rotifers at 200X - numerical measurements are 200 um (microns, micrometers etc..)

Video -
http://www.cichlidrecipe.com/nanoree...0X_chilled.avi

SS-Strain Rotifers at 200X - numerical measurements are 200 um (microns, micrometers etc..)

Video - http://www.cichlidrecipe.com/nanoree...0X_chilled.avi

-----

The OTHER interesting observation was what I was able to collect in the 10 micron secondary seive. In the SS-Strain culture sample there was literally NOTHING other than some smaller bits of detritus. Conversly, the L-Strain culture was RIP ROARING with TONS of life.

L-Strain Culture, smaller than 53 microns but larger than 10 @ 60X:

Video - http://www.cichlidrecipe.com/nanoree...0X_chilled.avi

I'm hesitant to utilize this stuff as a foodsource again simply because I don't know what it is! Can anyone identify anything swimming around in there?

I'm definitely eager to put the SS strain rots to good use with whatever batch of fish I try to raise next...mabye the leptacanthus? The mandarins are still on a new lighting schedule (lights out at 8:30 PM or so)...this may partially be responsible for the lack of spawning activity as the ambient lights remain on for several hours after the main lights go out. All the same I'm in NO hurry...20+ spawns and I need to catch my breath!

Matt


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Old 07/16/2006, 02:11 AM   #596
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I know, I know, you all saw a post at 2:00 AM and got excited! Sadly, no, no courtship activity, no spawn...shifting the lights 2.5 hours earlier AND making sure the extra water pump comes on at the same time MAY have stiffled their breeding efforts for a while...we'll see. I'm enjoying a bit of a respite from all the NIGHTLY activity (and getting tons of other work done that's been neglected).

I just wanted to post up another website to follow if you're a mandarin breeding fan - periodically I just go on a search for any misc. mandarin info I've overlooked, and well tonight I foudn Teakie's page - http://home.alltel.net/teakiebarber/

FWIW,

Matt


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Old 07/19/2006, 12:36 AM   #597
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Hey Matt, mine were doing the dance before lights out tonight it is awesome going to wait up a while to see if they spawn. Mama looks like a little green stripped cherry. Some day I will try to raise them I guess just don't have enough room now for the baby clowns and all the goodies to raise these. Just want to say thanks again for this thread it will be a great help someday.


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Old 07/19/2006, 09:21 AM   #598
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So Mike, did they do it?

Congrats!

Matt


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Old 07/19/2006, 03:48 PM   #599
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Nope they were doing the dance but they settled down for the night when the all the light went out and she still looks like a cherry so maybe tonight.


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Old 07/19/2006, 10:46 PM   #600
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Good luck Mike! I'm watching mine..they haven't gone to sleep buty , wait a second, finally there's some courtship again...it's been like a week or two!

Matt


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