'Independence' Spawn Log | Day 30 | Fighting Fish Fry Cannibalize The Weak

Blue Fry at 30 Days

The fry are now one month old, and some interesting events have been taking place in the fry tank. What interesting events, you might well ask. In a word: cannibalism. Or fratricide. Whatever way you want to phrase it, the larger fry are occasionally snacking on the stunted runts that for whatever reason haven't grown nearly as fast as they have.

It is interesting how great a differentiation in sizes is created, even when water changes are conducted in such a large volume and frequency that the anti-growth hormone these fish fry excrete barely has time to hit the water. At this point, the largest fry are well on their way to looking like real fish. They are around 1cm – 1.5 cm long (that's about half an inch, for those of you who despise the metric system and all it stands for), and they are beginning to show good color on their bodies and fins.

It's quite exciting to see that the mustard gas coloration appears to have taken on several of the fry, and though it will still be a month or two before we can really see what has come out of the gene blender, I am quite hopeful at this point that some striking fish will emerge from this fry tank.

In terms of maintenance, not much has changed. I've gone back to a daily water change regime, which involves siphoning off 10 liters and scooping another ten to fifteen off the top of the tank, where a protein rich scum tends to settle.

There is still no filtration in the tank, though I have tried again, the filter I used was too powerful and the fish were swirled around like leaves in a tornado, which didn't seem to please them overly much. Therefore a daily 50% water change keeps ammonia levels preciously close to 0 and there are no sign of nitrates or nitrites building up in the tank.

In terms of illness, I have seen some swim-bladder disorders in two of the fry. One swims almost vertically in the water, another on its side. These will both be culled when they can be extracted from the tank. Feeding levels have been heavy, and the food they are fed does contain a 10% artemia (brine shrimp) base, so it is possible that the heavy feeding, whilst contributing to fast growth rates in the fish as a whole, has also lead to a few swim bladder issues. However this is pure speculation, it is possible that these fish would have developed these issues naturally on their own, just as some of the fry have failed to thrive in the same manner as their brothers and sisters.

In any spawn, only a percentage of the spawn will be viable, healthy fish. The rest will often die before adulthood, or grow in a less than ideal fashion. In the wild, these fish would become part of the food chain. In the private breeder's aquarium, they can become food for larger fish.

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