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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone!
So i recently set up a 20g tall planted tank. I picked up 7 beckford pencilfish last week and right away i noticed what looked like breeding behaviour. And i wasnt wrong at all! Today i found a tiny fry clinging to the side of the glass near the java moss, he looked like he had already eaten away his egg yoke( so most likely 2-3days old?). I ran to grab my camera but he was gone by the time i got back (maybe in the moss, maybe eaten). Originally i was going to try to breed them in a 2.5 gal tank in a week or so when my sponge filter and almond leaves shows up in the mail.
But now that i know they are breeding in the main tank im excited and was wondering if i were to add a male and female into the 2.5 tonight and leave them until tomorrow around noon if they would be okay without a filter?
Also, would the eggs/ fry be okay without a filter?
I would be putting some java moss and fern in the 2.5g to help set the mood for the honeymoon couple.

Thanks for any advise! This is my first time attempting to breed egg scatters so any help would be great!
 

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Like this thread ... often I think if conditions of the tank and fish are right there will be breeding going on, we often just don't notice it. This a great litttle species good luck with your tiny fry.

Here's some thoughts I have one your questions:

1) .... wondering if i were to add a male and female into the 2.5 tonight and leave them until tomorrow around noon if they would be okay without a filter?

Small volume tanks can be a bit tricky, I use a number of them for my fry grow-out I always have to remind myself that because of the small water volume - connditions change quickly. Saying this if your water is cycled, filtering is not really the issue overnight. A few small fish should be okay for even a day or two. Dissolved air in your water is more an issuue, a small air stone on a pump will solve that problem and help with basic water movement. Also remember when you pop a new filter in the water it will cycle and will cause an ammonia spike, in small tank this can be a problem ... if you can use a cycled filter or cycle the new in an established tank

2) Also, would the eggs/ fry be okay without a filter?

Answer above addresses most of what I can think of to consider

3) I would be putting some java moss and fern in the 2.5g to help set the mood for the honeymoon couple.

Not sure about the specifics of stimultaing spawning with this species but having the java moss is a good idea in general. I'd also put a group of pencil fish in the breeding tank, usually these species are group breeders ... i.e. 2 or 3 males actively spawning with a gravid female. I know some breeders also use marbles as a substrate so the parents don't eat the eggs right after spawning ... more experienced breeders may want to comment on this

Thanks for sharing - good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Small volume tanks can be a bit tricky, I use a number of them for my fry grow-out I always have to remind myself that because of the small water volume - connditions change quickly. Saying this if your water is cycled, filtering is not really the issue overnight. A few small fish should be okay for even a day or two. Dissolved air in your water is more an issuue, a small air stone on a pump will solve that problem and help with basic water movement. Also remember when you pop a new filter in the water it will cycle and will cause an ammonia spike, in small tank this can be a problem ... if you can use a cycled filter or cycle the new in an established tank
My plan is to tank water from the main tank and put it in the barebottom 2.5g. I think i am going to hold off till Monday when i get my sponge filter. Ill run the sponge in the main tank for a day or two to get some bacteria built up. This way im not introducing the sponge filter when the fry are still young. And yea, depending on how many fry i do get ill be doing water changes fairly often (by using water from the main tank). I guess ill just have to keep fattening up the parents on brine shrimp! (got an intank brine shrimp hatchery, it works amazingly well).
 

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Hope you have great success ... this looks like a good species to work with - love the Characidae order :D
 

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I saw some adults yesterday - wow, they are small fish. Looks like you will need to have some microworms or even vinegar eels ready for the fry.
 

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If you're worried about water quality in the small tank, perhaps just scoop a cup of water out and keep replacing it with water from the large tank throughout the day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I saw some adults yesterday - wow, they are small fish. Looks like you will need to have some microworms or even vinegar eels ready for the fry.
Yah, they are small for sure but very interesting fish! i started a infusoria culture today so hopefully by next week i will have some greenwater to be able to feed the new fry until they are large enough to eat baby brine shrimp!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If you're worried about water quality in the small tank, perhaps just scoop a cup of water out and keep replacing it with water from the large tank throughout the day.
I think thats a good idea. I should be able to do two small changes a day at least. Im thinking of only keeping the fry in the 2.5g for about 2-3 weeks until they will out grow their parents mouths.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So I got my sponge filter monday morning and set it up in the main tank to seed a little. Tuesday night i set up the 2.5g, using only water from the main 20g tank. I then transfered the alpha male (i call him grumpy) and two of the larger females into the 2.5g along with a large piece of java fern and smallish clump of java moss. Along the bottom of the tank i put a plastic canvas to let the eggs drop through but stop the parents from eating the eggs.

This morning i woke up and checked on everything. I noticed the temperature was slightly lower than the main tank, im guessing the mini intank heater im using just didnt have enough juice to fight off the colder night temp in our house (22 vs 25 degrees in the main tank). And all three of the fish were just huddled in the corner together. So i turned up the temp in the house. I also did a 5% water change using water from the main tank. I also gave them some frozen blood worms and some frozen brine shrimp spaced over 2 hours. This perked them up and brought back their color. But still no spawning. no chasing. no general "normal" behavior.
So i added another female to the tank and everyone started moving around the tank a little bit more. A little more active and the male seemed like he wanted to spawn but the females were having none of it. I then left them alone for a few hours.Just a couple minutes ago i transfered them back to the main tank.
After searching the bottom of the 2.5g with a light, im pretty sure there were no spawning events but will have to wait ~2 days and see if i can find any fry hanging on the wall.

So i am curious.
Should i have left them in longer?
Could it have been the slight drop in temp that prevented them from spawning? or just the general move to another tank?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yah.. i had high hopes for that 3g breeder! But as soon as i put them back into the main tank (right after writing my last post) they were back to spawning. Not sure way they werent a fan of the breeding tank. Maybe in the future ill try packing in even more plants so they feel more secure.

But! on the bright side, after my failure at trying to get them to spawn in that tank, i started trying collecting the fry i see every now and then on the aquarium walls (been about 2 a day since my first post). Ive moved three over a few days ago and didnt think they had made it ( maybe to large of a shock for such tiny fish?) BUT! today i saw two of the suckers hanging out on the walls of the 3g. So i am pleased about that. Im going to continue adding fry as i find them for the next week or so and then see if i can raise them. Ill continue doing ~3 cup water changes from the small tank daily.
 

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how is the infusoria going? an old trick I used to use with breeding bettas is to put some 'rabbit pellets' (compressed alfalfa?) in the tank, as it decayed, it was food for infusoria which just started appearing, at least enough for the fry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I started some in a jar. I squeezed some media from the mains filter and used tank water. Put some lettuce in there; water is pretty green now. since the fry still have yolk sacks i havent added any yet. Should i just squeeze some in a couple times a day?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I started another infusoria culture cause im 99% sure my other one crashed (turned merky green, with a bunch of stuff that looked alot like snot floating around). i used guinea pig pellets in he new culture.
At least 4 of the 6 fry i moved into the tank are now free swimming! I think they are hunting copepods as well as the infusoria. Attempted feeding baby brine shrimp but i think they are still too small. I saw one looking at them for a moment before turning away. Ill try feeding them BBs again tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I just put the pellets in the tank with the fry, didn't have to feed them that way. microworms are smaller than BBS.[/QUOTE
Ohhhhhh that makes sense. Though does the breakdown of the pellet affect water quality? And sadly i haven't seen any microworm cultures around victoria
 

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Check out used victoria, I think I saw one not so long ago, was thinking of getting one. maybe post a wanted ad in there.

You do have to watch the water quality, but you don't need a bunch of pellets, 2 should do at a time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I tried msging someone on used victoria but they were all out.
So i was able to take a picture of one of the little guys yesterday, they are measuring around 1/4 inch. image.jpg
 
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