Fry – Finding and raising fry

One week after I had added fish to my tank, my Zebra Danios had hundreds of fry which were so small that I almost missed them. As you can imagine, being new to fish keeping, I did not know what to do. Zebra Danios are egg layers and therefore, it was unexpected as they didn’t show any signs of breeding or pregnancy. Unlike live-bearers such as shrimp who carry their spawn, as shown in the embedded photograph below.

I went to my local pet shop and they advised me to purchase a breeding net and Liquifry to feed them. The breeding net hooked onto the side of the tank. This caused problems during my weekly water change, as it was hard to position the net so that it didn’t come out of the water and this resulted in many fry deaths. This upset me constantly, so much so that I purchased another tank for the fry. However, when they were put into the new tank, the pump was too strong and consequently this resulted in the majority of the fry dying.

The solution I came to was to keep them in the back of my tank where the filter and sponge are kept, as it is separate from the adult fish and they are the biggest threat (adult fish tend to eat their fry). I started feeding them Liquifry which is a liquid made up of minuscule food particles designed to feed newly hatched fry, although I do not think this benefited them and I would not recommend it as a primary food source. When I fed the adult fish in the front part of the tank, the food they did not eat went into the back with the fry, I think this is what helped them to grow.

The main thing to remember about fry – out of a spawn of fry, only a small percentage are likely to survive, so try not to get attached too soon.

My Zebra Danios are still continuing to breed. The problem that I am experiencing now is that I still have older fry living in the back of my tank, as well as fry that have recently hatched. The problem this causes is that the older fry cannot be moved into the main tank as they are still small enough to be eaten by the adults. On the other hand, by leaving the older fry in the back of the tank with the newly hatched fry, the newly hatched fry are likely to be eaten. My only solution is to wait until the older fry have grown enough to be put into the main tank.

Leave comments below to let me know about your own fry experiences…

Why I love fish-keeping

For a change, I thought I’d do a post about why I enjoy fish keeping instead of the usual ‘how-to’ posts.

Fish amaze me and always have done. There is something wonderfully peculiar about fish and the fact they live underwater, usually out of the sight from humans when in their natural habitat.. But by having them in your own fish tank, you are able to observe every movement they make. You begin to notice their habits and start to recognise their personalities. It is incredibly fascinating that although they are our own pets, they are untouchable to us. Unlike a cat or a dog, they are literally out of our reach and therefore, forming a bond with them is more difficult than it is with a pet you can show physical affection on a daily basis. Consequently, making a bond with a fish is more valuable than with any other animal.

Another reason behind my love for fish-keeping is that fish are so peaceful and relaxing. They are ‘living in a bubble’, their own underwater world, with no cares about what’s going on outside their tank. Research has shown that fish keeping can help people who suffer from high blood pressure, insomnia or stress, to read more follow this link – http://freshaquarium.about.com/od/termsandtables/a/aquariumhealth.htm .

Watching fish swim without a care is relaxing. Many people experience the calming effects fish tanks offer, as shown in the tweets below…

My obsession with fish didn’t just suddenly happen either, I have been fascinated by fish for as long as I can remember. It is amazing that although they have no cares beyond their tank, inside is a battle of hierarchy that we are oblivious to as humans.

What attracts me most about fish keeping overall is that despite being so independent by nature, they rely on me (as their owner) to feed and maintain them. By looking after them properly, it gives me self-satisfaction. I strongly believe that if you do not get self-satisfaction from knowing that you are looking after your fish correctly, fish keeping is probably not for you.

I asked a local fish specialist why he likes to keep fish and why they interest him to add context and additional information to this post…

I would be interested to learn why you are interested in keeping fish if you would like to leave a comment below…

Introducing new fish into your tank

The importance of introducing new fish into your tank correctly is frequently underestimated. It is often assumed that the transition from tank to tank is the ‘easy part’ of setting up your tank. However, some people are not aware of the correct way to introduce new fish. Failure to carry out the correct procedures could result in fatalities. To prevent this, I have produced a step by step guide…

1. Turn off the tank light.

2. Float the bags in your tank for 10-20 minutes (the longer, the better).

3. Cut off the top of the bag with scissors.

4. Let some of your tank water into the bag but do not let the fish out yet, do this multiple times over 10 minutes.

5. Finally, after letting the bag float for a few more minutes, let the fish out of the bag.

This is shown in the pictures below (although I have left the light on for the sake of taking the photographs)…

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The reason for doing this is so the fish do not suffer from shock during the transition between tanks, this can happen as moving from one type of water immediately into another can shock the fish. Letting the bags float in the water helps the temperature to neutralize. Mixing the waters together also reduces the chance of shock of a new environment due to different PH, nitrate, nitrite and ammonia levels in the waters mixing (making your fish less prone to illness) – read more about water levels on the ‘water testing’ post. Floating the bag in the water also allows the fish already in the tank (if any) to adapt to the addition of more fish, introducing them through the barrier of the bag.

The technique shown in this blog post is already used by many successful fish keepers…

However, not using this technique could result in regret at unnecessary fish deaths…

To confirm this technique, I asked a local fish specialist what would be the correct way to introduce a new fish into a tank safely, in his opinion…

This technique takes less than one hour. What is one hour to the one month or so you have already waited whilst completing fishless cycling? This is the last step to safely introduce a new fish into your tank and if you are serious about being a fish keeper, keeping your fish safe should always be your priority.

* Images belong to the author

Inside my tank

I thought I would include a post about my fish tank for anyone who is interested. I have a 55 litre established tank which is made by Nano One (if you are interested in purchasing the same tank follow this link – http://www.petsathome.com/shop/en/pets/aqua-nano-55l-tank-%28store-only%29 ).

Currently living in my tank is a Siamese fighting fish, (who I named Bruce after Bruce Lee), 5 Zebra Danios’, 2 Bumblebee Gobies, a Bristlenose Plec named Chupa, 3 Amano Shrimps and 4 Blue Tetra’s. It has been advised not to home Gobies with a Siamese Fighting Fish as Gobies can nip fins, however my Gobies get on fine with my Fighting Fish and there have been no incidents as of yet.

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I have recorded and uploaded a video of the fish in my tank to show you all…

Feel free to leave comments below to inform me of what is in your fish tank.

* Images belong to the author

Choosing your fish

Choosing your fish is the most exciting part of setting up your aquarium although it is not as easy as it would appear. The reason for this being that certain fish can only be housed with certain fish, as they pose threat to each other. Therefore, when considering which fish you would like to keep as a pet, you should look at what type of fish they are compatible with and decide whether you are happy with the future choices that particular fish gives you. There are existing search engines which allow you to find out what types of fish are compatible with your existing/chosen fish. To find out more, follow this link – http://www.tropicalfishandaquariums.com/Compatibility/

Another thing to consider is that fish keeping is not easy, as you probably know by now with fishless cycling. Therefore if you are new to fish keeping, it would probably be advised for you to keep a ‘hardy’ fish, a hardy fish is a fish that is unlikely to die easily. The reason being that once you get an understanding of fish and the aquarium, you can then move onto the more complex fish and not be disheartened due to fish deaths.

If you were thinking of choosing a Siamese Fighting Fish in particular, follow this link to a page featuring eight things you should know before purchasing your new fish. – http://www.storify.com/chantelleheeds/how-to-look-after-tropical-fish

I have embedded multiple tweets below which show a variety of fish other people keep, to give you ideas for future additions to your tank…

New addition to the tank! Half Moon Siamese Fighting Fish! 🐟🐠 #Betta #TropicalFish

A post shared by Jay Tomkins (@jaytomkins) on

Below is a video featuring a professional fish keeper who explains fish compatibility and why it is important to decide which kind of fish you’d like to keep in your tank..

I have included a poll below which I would appreciate if you completed, I would be interested to know which kind of fish you have decided on keeping.

Water testing

Water testing your tank is essential as this monitors the quality of your water and helps to indicate how much water needs to be changed per weekly water change.
In fishless cycling (which is explained in a previous post named ‘fishless cycling’) water testing kits are used to monitor the water and they also show when the cycle is complete. The aim of fishless cycling is to establish your tank before you add the fish, this will help your fish to settle in without causing illness, stress or death.

The water testing kit that I would recommend using is API freshwater testing kit, this is the testing kit I use and it is easy to use with the clear instructions in a booklet.

The testing kit costs around £35 which could be seen as a lot of money but if you are serious on fish keeping, it is an essential investment (the testing kit can be bought from the following link – http://www.petsathome.com/shop/en/pets/api-master-test-kit ). Alternatively, if you cannot afford a testing kit, shops like pets at home offer to test your water if you bring in a sample. However, doing this weekly could become hard to maintain. The results you are looking for in the water tests to show that the fishless cycle is complete are; ammonia at 0 ppm (yellow with NO green if you are using the testing kit I have recommended), nitrite at 0 ppm (blue if you are using the testing kit I have recommended) and your nitrate at a high ppm such as 20-40 ppm (orange if you are using the testing kit I have recommended).

After your tank is cycled it is vital to do a 90% water change. This is to get rid of the majority of the chemicals added by the ammonia and to refresh the water for when your fish settle into their new home. After this is completed, you can add your fish as soon as you’d like afterwards. You may think that there was no point in adding ammonia to the water for a month if you had to do a 90% water change at the end anyway. However, the good bacteria you have created by adding ammonia lives primarily in the filter and the gravel.. This means that the only thing you are getting rid of in the 90% water change is old water that could still contain chemicals.

I asked a professional fish keeper his opinion on water testing, how important it can be and how often it should be tested…