Days 10-17 | 'Independence' Siamese Fighter Spawn Log | HMPK Mustard Gas Female x Blue Veil Tail Male

The fish are now two and a half weeks old. I'm starting to see some bigger specimens who are developing nice (if small and translucent) tails. There is quite a difference in size between some fish and others, it is hard to tell what to put this down to at the moment, though I suspect natural variation is at the bottom of it.

The picture above is rather blurry unfortunately, but you can see the darker, smaller fry at the back and the large pink blob, out of focus, is one of the larger fry. They have a pink color to them because that is the color of their food.

In a week or two's time, they should begin to start showing some actual colors, which is going to be very interesting given the coloration of the parents. I am expecting a lot of blues and greens, though hoping for some nice yellow and purple specimens too.

My tank still doesn't have a filter running in it. Instead of filtration, I am now doing twice daily water changes at around 30% each time. Though this sounds like it is the worst thing ever for the fish, the die off rate in these first two and a bit weeks has been incredibly impressive. Out of around 100 live fry, I have found only 6 or 7 dead fry. This blows my previous survival rates out of the water, and I put it down to the water changes and the food.

It's now become wildly apparent that the fry are thriving on the NovoTom powdered fry food. This isn't widely available in America, however if you can find a similar product, I highly recommend using it. The NovoTom is a 10% Artemia (Brine Shrimp) powder that is fortified with vitamins, minerals and other carbohydrates that growing fish need and there are just so many advantages to using it over the traditional 'live foods' that to be honest, I don't think I'll bother with live cultures again.

Raising BBS, for instance, usually involves having at least three little shrimperies in the go so that you can a constant supply of freshly hatched BBS for your fish to chase. It's a fairly messy process harvesting them, and even if you do manage to harvest them okay, there's still a decent chance that your fry will develop swim bladder disorder as a result of their food. Microworms are easier to culture, but they can (and have, in my experience) result in the fry not developing ventral fins.

Both food sources sink to the bottom, fouling the water, which is a pain in the rear for keepers struggling to keep the water clean.

The powdered food, on the other hand, doesn't give the fish disorders, floats at the surface for the most part, is easily eaten by all the fish and encourages superior growth rates.

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