Tag Archives: red swordtails

Saving Baby Swordtails with the Aqua-Nursery

26 Mar

I love my Velvet Red Swordtails and want to have some more of them. They look great in the pond or aquarium and they are very popular if I want to sell a few or give them away.

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The problem is this: Momma Swordtails will eat many of their own babies as soon as they are born. I’ve always kept the mother in a densely planted tank and then removed her as soon as possible after giving birth. That works pretty well, but there’s another way to do it.

Here it is, the Penn-Plex Aqua-Nursery. I ordered it online through Kensfish.com. It cost $8.25.

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It’s a variation on the old “breeder-trap” idea. A breeder trap is a slotted plastic box. The mother has the babies and the babies fall out of slots in the bottom and they swim away into the main tank. That’s fine most of the time but I want to get some babies, then put another mom into the trap and have the option of where I want to put the babies. Anyway, you’ll see how it works and see if it would help you keep some baby fish.

I hung the Aqua-Nursery on the side of a 10-gallon tank. You have to attach an airline to the bottom of the nursery. This serves two purposes. One, it keeps water flowing through the nursery, which is nice, and secondly, the air causes water to be drawn from the mother’s section to a little baby section. The babies get gently sucked into their own little compartment. So clever!!

Of my 4 adult female Red Swords, none looked very pregnant, but I selected one last night. I took about 20 minutes to acclimate her to the water, just like bringing a fish home from the store.

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And, amazingly, she had babies during the night. I was surprised it happened so fast. The compartment for the mom is quite small for a Swordtail. The Aqua-Nursery is better suited for Mollies, Guppies, and Platies. But if the female Sword is ready to pop I think it’s OK.

Here are some of the babies that went from the Mom section to the kids section.

Here are some of the babies that went from the Mom section to the Kids section. Half of the babies were in their own section, the other half were safely below the mother.

The bay section can be removed and then you can put them wherever you want.

The baby section can be removed and then you can put them wherever you want.

If you want the babies to go right into the aquarium just leave the baby section off completely. The airline still helps keep the mother's water circulating.

If you want the babies to go right into the aquarium just leave the baby section off completely. The airline still helps keep the mother’s water circulating.

I started a fresh batch of Brine Shrimp to feed the babies in a few days. Live baby Brine Shrimp isn’t needed to raise livebearers but they love it.

Note I have this sitting on a fluorescent light fixture to keep it warm and speed the hatching. Also notice the cover to prevent a salty spray from getting onto the lights.

Note I have the Brine Shrimp on a fluorescent light fixture to keep it warm and speed the hatching. Also notice the cover to prevent a salty spray from getting onto the lights.

The Aqua-Nursery worked pretty well. It’s an ingenius little device.

I think the manufacturer is implying that you can keep all the babies and raise them in the little nursery section. I don’t think it’s big enough to do that BUT it is big enough to keep maybe 10 babies and raise them a few weeks until, hopefully,Ā  the other fish in your tank won’t eat them. Like I say, it best suited for small livebearers like Guppies and Platies.

Remember you need an airline attached to make the nursery work properly.

So good luck to you if you want to raise some baby fish! If you save just a few every once in awhile you can have a never-ending supply for your aquarium. A big plus is you can avoid the disease issues that happen when you buy from those big stores (they know who they are, I’ll be nice today).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Random thoughts, a post for those of us with no attention span whatsoever

1 May
My son gave me some candy called a Swedish Fish. Yummy! Are they made in Sweden?

My son gave me some candy called a Swedish Fish. Yummy! In America the Swedish Fish are made in Canada šŸ˜¦

Treat your fish once in awhile. Here's a bowl of peas, brine shrimp and cocktail shrimp.

Treat your fish once in awhile. Here’s a bowl of peas, brine shrimp and cocktail shrimp.

Her'es an extra piece of pond liner that I gave to a friend who might make a pond this year...or next.

Here’s an extra piece of pond liner that I gave to a friend who might make a pond this year…or next.

My wife and i lined this planter with strips of pond liner. The planter dries out too fast. Water can drain out between the strips but hopefully not too fast.

My wife and I lined this planter with strips of pond liner. The planter always dries out too fast. Now, water can drain between the strips but hopefully not too fast.

All done, waiting for Spring!

All done, waiting for Spring!

A few weeks ago, the last bit of snow in the yard.

A few weeks ago, the last bit of snow in the yard.

Spring comes, then it snows again.

Spring comes, then it snows again.

...so feed the birds!!

…so feed the birds!!

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Finally the rains came, and the ponds filled with worms!! i have netted hundreds of worms form the pond. Great fish food, especially for Catfish and Cichlids. If you poison your yard, don't feed the worms to your fish.

Finally the rains came, and the ponds filled with worms!! I have netted hundreds of worms from the pond. Great fish food, especially for Catfish and Cichlids. If you poison your yard, don’t feed the worms to your fish.

Our Golden Retriever hears someone has just gotten home.

Our Golden Retriever hears someone outside.

A few warm days and we think Spring is finally here. We have been fooled 4 or 5 times so far.

A few warm days and we think Spring is finally here. We have been fooled 4 or 5 times.

The Chinese Curly Willow has made it through Winter!!

The Chinese Curly Willow has made it through Winter!!

Too much Caulerpa in the Saltwater tank.

Too much Caulerpa in the Saltwater tank.

I took some to a fish auction.

I took some to a fish auction.

I bought afish tank at the auction, and some plants but my favorite purchase was astack of this magazine from 1969 to 1971. Practical Fishkeeping!!

I bought a fish tank at the auction, and some plants, but my favorite purchase was a stack of this magazine from 1969 to 1971. Practical Fishkeeping!!

Winter is returning tonight , for the fifth time this Spring. My brother sent me this pic of the turtles in Missouri. But it will be cold down there, too. A strange year so far.

Winter is returning tonight, for the fifth time this Spring. My brother sent me this pic of the turtles in Missouri. But it’s gettingĀ  cold down there, too. A strange year so far.

A view of Red Swordtails and young Angelfish from above.

A view of Red Swordtails and young Angelfish from above.

A Spring salad today and the snow is coming again.

A Spring salad today and the snow is coming again.

This old girl, who I've had for 23 years , enjoyed the day as well.

This old girl, who I’ve had for 23 years , enjoyed the day as well.

Most Colorful Fish contest. Saltwater versus Freshwater.

10 Jan

Freshwater fishkeepers often say “Someday I will set up a saltwater tank. They are so much prettier.” Are they right?
Let’s have a contest. I will be the judge. Are saltwater fish more colorful than freshwater?
I’ll rate the fish from 1 to 5. Five is the best score, the prettiest a fish can be.

Let’s start with a red fish:

Freshwater fish, the Red Velvet Swordtail.
velvetredsword

I’ll give the Red Sword 5 points.

The saltwater red fish, the Coris Wrasse:
corisredjuv
I will give the Coris Wrasse 4 points so the score is Freshwater 5, Saltwater 4.
Wait a minute, the Wrasse grows up and loses his red color!
RedCorisadult
A beautiful fish but not red! I give it 2 points. The score is Freshwater 5, Salt 2.

Let’s look at a White fish:
The freshwater entry is the albino Corydoras Catfish.
albinocory
This catfish does not look like this in the natural state. Albinos do not survive long in nature. I’ll give it 3 points.
I can’t think of a white Saltwater fish. Zero points for the Salties!
The score now. Freshwater 8. Saltwater 2.
How about a yellow fish?
Here’s the freshwater Gold Barb.
gold-barb
Not bad. I would say 2 points for them.
Here’s the saltwater yellow fish, the Yellow Tang.
yellowtang
Wow, that’s a FIVE for sure. That makes the score 10 to 7 for the Freshies.

Oh, wait a second, there is a last-second entry for the freshwater team!
The Electric Yellow Labidochromis. An African Cichlid.
yellowlab
That’s worth four points at least. The score is getting wider.
It’s Freshwater 12. Saltwater 7.
On to Blue.
Freshwater has Blue Platies and Blue Gouramis but the bluest is the Electric Blue African Cichlid.
electic_blue
I’ll give it two points because the female is not very Blue. (sorry, ladies)

bluefemale
Here’s a saltwater Blue Damsel.
bluedamsel
That’s an easy 5 points for the Salt team.
The score is now Fresh 14, Salt 12.
Green fish are the next category. I thought there would be more green fish. They could hide among plants. From an evolutionary standpoint I think green would be a good color to be.
Here’s a freshwater green fish.
Electric Green Tetra
That looks like 4 points.
And, in the ocean, here is the Green Chromis.
green Chromis
I’ll give the Chromis 2 points.
The score is now Freshwater 18. Salt 14.
Hang on! Time-out! A penalty has been assessed against the freshwater team. The Green Tetra isĀ  a genetically modified fish. Cheater!!!!4 points are taken from the Freshies.
The score is now tied 14-14.
Let’s look at Orange fish.
The Sunset Platy.
sunsetplaty
I like these Platies and give them 3 points for orangeness.
Here’s a saltwater Flame Angelfish.
flame angelfish
Almost all orange except the stripes. That’s a beautiful fish worth 4 points to the Saltwater team.
The Salties pull ahead 18-17!!!
Black fish are next.
Here’s the Black Molly in a tank with a black background.
blk
Here’s another Black Molly.
black_molly
That’s the blackest fish in the world. 5 points for the freshwaters.
The saltwater entry is the Domino Damsel.
dominojuvi
That’s four points for the salt. The score is tied 22-22.. oh wait here’s an adult Domino Damsel.
dominoadult
The damsel only gets 2 points.
Freshies are back on top 22-20.
The last category is multi-colored fish.
Here is a group of Discus.
discus
Since these are all modified by captive breeding I’ll give them 3 points.
Freshwater 25-20.
The final entry for saltwater is the Mandarin fish.
Mandarin-Fish
Fantastic, that’s five points!!! I wish I could give it a ten.
The score is TIED 25-25!!!
How can I break this tie??
How about the ugliest fish??
Freshwater?
freshtoadfish
4 points?
Saltwater.
salttoadfish
That is just as ugly. 4 points for the Salt team.
Still 29-29.
OK, one last chance to solve this issue.
I decided to do a Google Image search.
Freshwater fish.

googlefresh

…and the Google Image search for Saltwater fish.

googlesaltwater

And the winner is …… Saltwater … by one point.
I’ll admit the saltwater fish are more colorful, but just barely. If you have a freshwater tank don’t be jealous.
97.5% of the Earth’s water is saltwater. 0.3% of the water is in freshwater lakes and rivers. The rest is groundwater, snow, and glaciers.

total-global-saltwater-and-freshwater

Photos for this post are from the Internet and are not mine at all. I usually use my own in this blog. I appreciate the use of these photos and hope that I have not offended anyone by using their pictures.

more baby Red Velvet Swordtails

3 Jan

I have become very attached to my little colony of Red Velvet Swordtails. I have 4 females and two males.

They live with two Marigold Variatus Platies.

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See the male Swordtail in the background with his sword tail.

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I’ve been wanting to raise a few more but had to wait for an open 10 gallon tank.
Two days ago I finally had the opportunity to put a female into a tank that I filled with Java Moss and Hornwort. The tank also has two Julii Cory Catfish and two small brown Bristlenose Plecostomus.

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The very next day POP goes the fishy! I noticed a baby or two but didn’t pull the female out immediately. It’s impossible to tell if she was done having babies or not. So I waited about 2 more hours, then went downstairs to catch her. Wow, she was chasing her own babies so hard I wondered if any would be left by the time I caught her. Fortunately, I think there are about a dozen survivors. Swordtails can have 25 or 50 or even more babies but this was a young mother and I don’t have room for too many more fish of any kind.
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These babies will hunt for small food particles they find among the plants. I also have a Microworm culture going, plus I will make up a batch of baby brine shrimp when they are a week or two old. I’ll crush up fish food flakes and also dried shrimp. I think they like a lot of protein when they are growing, plus it gives them great color. When they are older they do fine on plain fish food flakes.
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While we’re at it, let me show you one of my male Green Swordtails. Most people wouldn’t give a Green Swordtail a second glance but what do you think of this guy?
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In the tank right next to the baby Swordtails, the Albino Bristlenoses are probably enjoying life in a tank to themselves. I find the male in the “cave” or at it’s entrance and the female can be found anywhere. Now that they are settled into the new tank I’ll try some major water changes in the next few days and see if that gets them in the spawning mood.

The male is at the cave entrance to the right and the female is hanging onto the sponge filter in back.

The male is at the cave entrance to the right and the female is hanging onto the sponge filter in back.

Video of Mollies, Endlers, Swordtails, Betta

20 Nov

This little tank of Mollies and Endler’s Livebearers has a little salt in it. The Green Spotted Puffer was in there until a month ago until he decided to start eating everything! So the Puffer has been transferred into my marine aquarium and now the Endler’s and Molly populations are exploding.
In the other tank, you can see my Velvet Red Swordtails, a pair of Marigold Platies and my sister’s male Betta.

Caviar, anyone? (Danios, Angels, Turtles)

4 Jun

I’ve got some Zebra Danio eggs that are hatching. My plan is to wait a few days, until they are free swimming , then transfer them slowly into my 30 gallon pond and forget about them for a month.
Look closely at this photo to see a Zebra Danio still in the egg but curved into a little “C” shape.

Last week I put some Silver Mollies and Endler’s Livebearers into the turtle pond. Not for food, the turtles are too lazy to chase them.
We had a little cold snap, nights in the upper 40’s F, but I can see a number of baby fish in the pond now. Not sure if they are Endler’s or Mollies. Well, duh, must be both.

Also, right now, my Silver Angelfish have spawned, again, on the filter intake in the 55 gallon aquarium. So I am puzzling over this. Should I try to save this batch? I LOVE Silver Angelfish.


And in a 10 gallon tank my female Red Swordtail is filling up with babies. I think I missed her last birthing.

I need to toss in a handful of hornwort (floating plant) for the babies to hide in.

The five babies from her first pregnancy are doing great, getting fat and turning nicely red, although they look orange in my photos.

Note how perfectly I focused on the rock.

 

Note how perfectly I focused on the wood.

And what have we all been waiting for? Yes, it’s turtle time again. Turtle baby Number Two has hatched. He is still sitting in the eggshell.

#2 turtle baby breaking out.

The first baby still has the yolk sac attached to his belly, but he is crawling around a bit.

#1 baby, born Friday night, with egg yolk sac attached.

Baby Red Swordtails

22 Apr

A few weeks ago I had a female Red Swordtail in a 10 gallon tank where she could have her first brood of babies. She is a young fish and I was not expecting very many little ones. Well, then came the “toad rescue” and the toad eggs, and I left the momma Swordtail with the toad eggs.Ā  This tank of a gazillion tadpoles now has some baby Swordtails in it. I have only counted four but you can get a colony of Swordtails going from just a few fish. I’m thrilled to see these four and hope to move them outdoors after it warms to the point where my little pond stays above 70F degrees.

"Are we gonna turn into frogs, too?"