More questions about guppy fry?

(9 Posts)
D0oinMeCleanin Tue 30-Apr-13 07:59:41

I was told when we got guppies that only a one or two (the fittest and strongest) fry would survive past a few days and that we would be unlikely to notice many fry.

The others would be eaten or would die from natural causes. Well, dd2's fish are lazy and well fed and her water is perfect for guppy fry to big and strong before they can be eaten.

We have 12 fry that are now about 1cm big, are swimming with the big fishes and even the molly is showing little interest in eating them.

8 have homes to go to within the next fortnight. The LFS will take the rest (providing our water stays healthy and the fry show no signs of disease)

My question is what about our water quality? Water tests are showing up 0ppm ammonia, 0ppm nirtites and 20ppm nitrates, but if we don't do regular partial water changes (every other day, normally) then the ammonia goes up. The tank was already almost fully stocked before they started having fry. Are the frequent water changes going to upset the fish? We change 20% and it's treated with tapsafe before being added to the tank and we have a digital thermometer to make sure the water is almost exactly the same temp.

What are you supposed to feed the fry? Some sites say crushed up flakes, others say live foods only, some say both?

How often will we get fry? Will my life forever revolves around water changes and helping dd2 count her fry to make sure they survived the night? Or will we get a break?

What about in breeding? Are we going to have to swap some of her males now and again to prevent getting deformed fish because she is picking which of her favourite fish she is keeping not necessarily just rehoming the fry? If we are supplying the LFS with fry then surely we will have to travel to get males from a different supplier to make sure they're not our own males that we are buying back?

And lastly dd2 wants to know if she has one yellow fan tail male and one red, spotty tail one, does this mean her babies will only have yellow and red tails or might she get some blue or purple or silver ones?

EauRouge Tue 30-Apr-13 11:25:30

Frequent water changes won't upset the fish and you can change more than 20%- up to 50% is fine.

Bit weird that your ammonia is going up but your nitrAte isn't. How high does your nitrAte get before you do a water change? How do you clean the filter and when's the last time you did it?

Crumbled up flake food is OK, live food every so often will go down well though. Make sure it's small enough for them to eat! Micro worms are usually the right size for guppy fry.

Yes, if you continue to keep a mixed guppy tank your life will revolve around extra water changes and trying to find homes for the buggers.

It's hard to say what colour the babies will be, there are all kinds of throwbacks and shop-bought guppies don't have a great pedigree. More than likely they will resemble one of the parents but you can't guarantee that you won't get something else.

D0oinMeCleanin Tue 30-Apr-13 14:01:21

We haven't done anything with the filter, I was told only to change the filter media once every 6 months and she's only had the tank 4 months, should I be doing something with it? blush Dd2 will kill me if I kill her fish.

Before we got fry we had no ammonia and were doing 50% changes when the nitrates got 40ppm, which only happened once, so water changes would be once every 2 months(ish)? Is that wrong too?

Now we have millions of fry, but only 12 have come out of hiding, there are more of the tiny little buggers hiding in her plants at the bottom.

D0oinMeCleanin Tue 30-Apr-13 14:05:37

Oh and the LFS said he's happy to take as many as we can give him but only once they're old enough for their colours to show and for them to be reliably sexed (which he reckons is about 3-4 months?) The 1cm ones are approx 1 month old now, only 1 adult female looks fat atm, but like I said there are tiny fry in the plants, so the other one might have already dropped another litter.

We're going to need a bigger tank aren't we? DD2 is quite in love with her fry so I don't think she will be too impressed at the suggestion of rehoming her breeding guppies <sigh>

EauRouge Tue 30-Apr-13 14:32:34

Crikey, who told you that? No, you need to rinse the filter sponge either at every water change or every other one. Depends how quickly it gets gunked up. Use water that you've taken from the tank; never, ever use tap water- it will kill all the good bacteria.

Just give it a squeeze out in a bucket to get rid of the worst of the shit. If it gets too gunked up, the water doesn't flow through very well and you get bacteria die-off. The aim isn't to get it completely clean, just clear enough so water can flow through it.

You shouldn't need to replace the sponge every 6 months, you just need to replace it when it starts losing its elasticity. Then you should replace half at a time.

You definitely need to change the water more than every 2 months, it's not just the nitrAte you need to worry about. Fish (especially hard water fish like guppies) will gradually use up minerals in the water and these need refreshing. Also the pH will become less stable over time and can suddenly crash if not refreshed often enough. I'd aim for once a week even if the nitrAte level stays low- the lower it is, the better, you don't need to wait for it to get to 40ppm.

How big is the tank you have now? There are fish that will breed but less prolifically.

D0oinMeCleanin Tue 30-Apr-13 16:11:42

It's one of those BiUbe thingies, a 60L one. The man who gave it to dd2 just told me I need to change the filter cartridge once every 6 months, although he said to open the cartridge and just swap the sponge and carbon out for fresh and use the old cartridge because that is where the bacteria will grow.

She has 3 female guppies, two male, one mollie and 4 zebra danio. Which the man in the LFS said was okay. She then planned on adding 5 cardinal tetra, but obviously now she has 11 million fry, she has too many fish and won't be getting any tetra.

EauRouge Tue 30-Apr-13 17:17:20

Ah, BiUbe filters are a bit different. I would ditch the carbon for a start- that needs to be changed every 4-6 weeks and can cause problems if it's not changed. You don't even need it though, you can just take it out and bin it and then avoid having to buy new every few weeks.

A lot of the bacteria in biube filters is in the gravelly stuff, but there is also some in the sponge. There's no need to chuck it every 6 months. I would still rinse it at water changes. Don't forget to vacuum the gravel too, because in a biube it works as part of the filter so gets a lot of crap caught up in it.

You don't sound massively overstocked but if you keep getting loads of fry then you may have a problem-there's certainly not enough space for cardinal tetras. Mollies and zebra danios aren't really suited to life in a biube but presumably your DD2 is quite attached to them now. If you ever upgrade to a larger tank they will thank you for it.

I wouldn't listen to closely to what the guy in the shop says, it sounds like he's not an expert or he just wants your money.

D0oinMeCleanin Tue 30-Apr-13 17:50:33

Thanks. I've rinsed out the sponge now and we seem to have more bubbles, so I guess there was something wrong with her filter? It didn't look nice, that's for certain <yuck>

We're waiting on a new gravel hoover because the last one is a wee bit short and it's awkward to get to the gravel without kinking the hose and stopping the water flow, but that should be arriving tomorrow so we'll give the gravel a good vacuum on Thurs when I'm off work again.

She'll have to save up for a new tank I think, this BiUbe thingy gets on my nerves anyway.

EauRouge Tue 30-Apr-13 18:00:44

Don't bother buying a gravel vac, you can make one for free. You just need one of those 350ml fizzy drink bottles. Cut off the bottom couple of inches, rinse it to buggery to make sure there's no drink left and then just feed the syphon tube in through the neck. Bob's your uncle grin

There are loads of second hand tanks on Ebay or try Freecycle. You might want to get new electrical bits but the tank is just a glass box, as long as it's clean with no cracks then it doesn't need to be anything fancy.

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