Tropical Fish Forums UK

Livestock => Catfish => Loricariidae (Plecos, Otos, etc) => Topic started by: GlassWalker on April 16, 2013, 07:56:34 am

Title: Breeding bristlenose
Post by: GlassWalker on April 16, 2013, 07:56:34 am
My male bristlenose had been digging up my tank since I got it, trying to make a cave under the bogwood it seems. I recently put in a reptile cave (https://www.tropicalfishforums.co.uk/index.php?topic=39515.msg482318#msg482318) and he has settled in already. Last night I also saw the female in the general vicinity so I wonder if there's going to be babies soon. The previous owner said they produced eggs regularly while they had them, although previous to this I hadn't seen any signs of that.

Thought I'd get prepared now. Since moving out the barbs, the other occupants of the 125L tank are:
11 cardinal tetra
6 black neon tetra
5 black skirt tetra
1 black phantom tetra (will be increased sometime)
1 orange swordtail

Any of those likely to have a go at fry? Or do I need a fry tank or similar? No, I will not get a 6th tank... :) (isn't that what I said about the 5th... and 4th... etc...)

Apart from the adequate provision of food, which I gather is pretty much the same as what adults eat, is there anything else I should consider?
Title: Re: Breeding bristlenose
Post by: bwarwicker on April 16, 2013, 09:17:41 am
The swordtail, black widow and black skirt will probably have a go. It might not be a bad idea to set up a fry tank if your wanting to keep them as they have hundreds of fry hatch generally.
Title: Re: Breeding bristlenose
Post by: GlassWalker on April 16, 2013, 01:01:48 pm
Hmm... maybe I should put my cherry shrimp tank plans off then! Tank 5 was going to be converted once the temporary residents have finished their current treatment, guess that would do instead.

My intention was to raise "some" up until they're big enough to go into other tanks. Not sure I want to go for hundreds!
Title: Re: Breeding bristlenose
Post by: GlassWalker on April 20, 2013, 02:58:15 pm
[attach=1]

I has eggs!

If Mr BN would stop blowing the sand so much, the cave would be sealed to the sand.

I'm not sure when the eggs were laid but hatching could be any day now? Wondering what's the best way to ensure some survivability.

11 cardinal tetra (adult)
6 black neon tetra (big enough)
5 black skirt tetra (adult)
8 black phantom tetra (1 adult, rest young)
1 orange swordtail (adult)
White spot  :mad:

Above are the tank contents. I suspect the white spot happened due to the ammonia spike I had about a week ago after a cardinal died, but it seems stable again now. Two black neons showed signs of white spot which are gone now.

Alternatively, could they be moved into any of the other tanks? I assume tank 2 and 5 are out since they have tiger barbs. Tank 1 might not be the best as that has gravel substrate and I'm still battling algae. What about tank 3 with a fighter and shrimp? I could move the fighter into tank 1 if it isn't going to get stressed from the schools of minnows and harlequins.

Or any other ideas to keep them safe for longer?
Title: Re: Breeding bristlenose
Post by: Euphoria on April 20, 2013, 04:14:49 pm
Could you place the eggs in a breeding net or something? I think if you remove the eggs, theres a big risk of fungus. The parents will waft the eggs with their tails to prevent fungus from growing on the eggs.

I have seen people treat the water with meth blue when keeping the eggs from parents.

And tetras love free swimming fry, im not sure if bristle noses guard the eggs?
Title: Re: Breeding bristlenose
Post by: GlassWalker on April 20, 2013, 04:36:59 pm
If such a thing exists, I could net off that corner of the tank so the male and fry can still move freely away from everything else in the short term. Longer term I think I'd still need to get them out. Bit late to pop out to LFS today but could have a look tomorrow. Or make something up myself from old net curtain!

The whitespot treatment I'm using at the moment contains methylene blue.
Title: Re: Breeding bristlenose
Post by: Trisha on April 20, 2013, 05:19:03 pm
Have you got an outlet for the fry if they do survive? My experience is that once they start to breed they do it very regularly *grin*

The first few times mine had eggs, none of the fry survived (but I do have Congo tetra in the tank), but since then they seem to be being  more successful. Now I have varying age ranges of young and the male is in with eggs again.

Got to the stage that some are going to have to go to the lfs, but I am finding it very difficult to part with them as they are so cute and I do worry about the homes they will end up in  :(

As soon as I can I am going to separate the male and female.
Title: Re: Breeding bristlenose
Post by: GlassWalker on April 20, 2013, 05:36:36 pm
I previously asked my LFS if they had bristlenoses as I wanted to get some in other tanks, but at the time they didn't have a supplier for them. I might reverse the question next time I'm in.

My short term goal is to get some for other tanks. Beyond that I haven't thought it through... I wonder what the previous keepers did, since they did say they had eggs about monthly.
Title: Re: Breeding bristlenose
Post by: Trisha on April 20, 2013, 05:51:51 pm
I previously asked my LFS if they had bristlenoses as I wanted to get some in other tanks, but at the time they didn't have a supplier for them. I might reverse the question next time I'm in.

My short term goal is to get some for other tanks. Beyond that I haven't thought it through... I wonder what the previous keepers did, since they did say they had eggs about monthly.

Maybe the fry just got eaten, or perhaps their water quality wasn't too good. I believe the fry like the nitrate to be kept quite low. Thinking about it, the survival rate has gone up since I got a HMA filter and started doing daily partial water changes.
Title: Re: Breeding bristlenose
Post by: plankton on April 21, 2013, 08:49:36 am
Don't move the eggs, the dad will be fanning and protecting. If you want to specifically breed them and keep the fry then you'll need a separate tank for them. They are one of the better parents :)
Title: Re: Breeding bristlenose
Post by: GlassWalker on April 21, 2013, 10:34:18 am
I've left them well alone for now.

The short term problem is they are in a tank with lots of other fish. Would a betta be interested in the fry? Actaully, he doesn't seem to be interested in much of anything at all. So I'm thinking my existing betta/shrimp tank could hold the fry after they hatch. If the betta does have an interest in fry, then if he doesn't mind being in amongst the minnows and harlequins, he could get moved over a tank.

Longer term, after the tigers have finished their medication, I was going to reconfigure tank 5 as a shrimp tank which can also hold BN fry.
Title: Re: Breeding bristlenose
Post by: GlassWalker on April 27, 2013, 12:05:34 pm
Just shone a torch into the BN cave and I can still see a group of babies in the back. No idea how many there might be in total.

Today I will finally be moving the tigers out of tank 5, and will re-scape tank 5 with sand. My question for now is, when should I move the baby BN? I don't know when they were hatched exactly, but they were still eggs on the 20th, and out and about on the 24th so would be around then. As I understand it they don't need feeding for a few days after hatching, but that time must be near an end if it hasn't already.
Title: Re: Breeding bristlenose
Post by: plankton on April 28, 2013, 12:50:58 pm
I wouldn't move them too early or the rate of survival will be lower.
Title: Re: Breeding bristlenose
Post by: GlassWalker on April 28, 2013, 01:10:55 pm
Managed to see one earlier today by shining a torch in the cave. It was perhaps 1cm long.

I know moving will be a risk, hence I don't want to do it too early. While I have emptied the tank 5 yesterday, I need to re-fill it today and get everything in place anyway.
Title: Re: Breeding bristlenose
Post by: GlassWalker on May 04, 2013, 07:55:05 pm
[attach=1]

Not sure what happened but the babies are out now. Maybe dad finally kicked them out of the cave? Think there's at least half a dozen I can see at any one time. They're on average maybe 1.5cm long.
Title: Re: Breeding bristlenose
Post by: Scubee on May 04, 2013, 09:10:09 pm
(Attachment Link)

Not sure what happened but the babies are out now. Maybe dad finally kicked them out of the cave? Think there's at least half a dozen I can see at any one time. They're on average maybe 1.5cm long.
congratulations!!

Mine just had babies too-  I've seen about 8, but there may be more. My LFS has said he'll take some, but not until they are a bit bigger.
Title: Re: Breeding bristlenose
Post by: jaytaff on May 04, 2013, 09:19:03 pm
The reason they come out, is that they are now looking for food.  Need to have food for them around the clock for them to survive or they won't I'm afraid.

Feed them stuff like courgette if you want them to live, or move to another tank solely for them to feed, otherwise they will either starve or be food for the other fish :)

They tend to have around the 30-40 mark most of the time, once the yolk sac has been depleted, out they will come whether the father likes it or not.

I've pretty much always got them in a tank here, either eggs or fry, but once they come out looking they just get eaten, sad, but the story of fish.  Within a few weeks time, you WILL have more eggs lol
Title: Re: Breeding bristlenose
Post by: GlassWalker on May 04, 2013, 10:04:08 pm
There's tons of hair algae for them. I assume they eat it as the parents certainly do. Also there are some algae wafer fragments and a slice of courgette in there now.

Think they're about big enough not to fit in the mouth of other fish now. Minor concern they could get sucked up by the filter.
Title: Re: Breeding bristlenose
Post by: jaytaff on May 04, 2013, 10:10:04 pm
I'm not sure if the hair algae is enough for them to eat, but the courgette certainly will, they be all bolted to it in no time.

If its an external filter, they can and do get sucked up by them.  I know I have found enough fry in canister filters over the years.  Can get a stocking or an old fish net and cable tie it around the inflow, slow the flow down a bit but works fine.
Title: Re: Breeding bristlenose
Post by: GlassWalker on May 04, 2013, 10:34:58 pm
I put in some algae wafer fragments twice a day too.

I did think about covering the intakes, but the only thing I have is a jbl filter bag which is rather too massive. Hang on a moment... some old doll socks might be about the right size. Might attack my box of bits later.
Title: Re: Breeding bristlenose
Post by: jaytaff on May 04, 2013, 10:41:10 pm
Yes, that should be fine.  Only thing with covering intakes, as you can imagine what they are covered with needs a swill in water to get the muck off, apart from that all good.  Might be a good idea to whatever you use to make sure there is no dye coming from it also.
Title: Re: Breeding bristlenose
Post by: GlassWalker on May 05, 2013, 01:58:16 pm
This morning I counted 16 babies visible at any time. They're mostly on the top of the back wall of the tank, which has a fair bit of hair algae trying to grow. None of them were anywhere near some courgette I put in overnight. The algae flakes were gone, but that's more likely the adults attacking it.
Title: Re: Breeding bristlenose
Post by: jaytaff on May 05, 2013, 03:17:34 pm
Weird how they all stay on the back walls of tanks, or around intakes/heaters, etc as mine do too.

What I usually have done, is get one of those suckers that hold heaters etc to tanks, cut the courgette to the same thickness and wedge it in the clip on the sucker, then stick it to the back wall, they seem to find it then.

Even then I sometimes get the adults "bolted" to the courgette on the side of the tank lol
Title: Re: Breeding bristlenose
Post by: GlassWalker on May 06, 2013, 07:04:40 pm
[attach=1]

Just cleaned out both filters in the tank. Found 5 babies in one, and one in the other. Of these I returned 1 to the tank, and put the other 5 into tank 1. I chose tank 1 as its occupants aren't likely to eat them, plus it still has a bit of an algae problem so that's another potential source of food for them.

How to prevent more babies going in the filters? I covered the intakes with a cutting of a filter bag. It's somewhat coarse so hopefully will still let gunk through. Holding the bag in place proved a challenge until I found dental floss.
Title: Re: Breeding bristlenose
Post by: jaytaff on May 06, 2013, 09:43:35 pm
Good idea, if it works use it.  Personally I put a cable tie around it, and just leave it on there in case any more fry decide to come from any other fish.
Title: Re: Breeding bristlenose
Post by: GlassWalker on May 16, 2013, 10:36:22 pm
A quick update on some things...

Firstly, my filter covers were ok up to a point. They are trapping dirt and after just over a week had blocked enough the water flow from the filters was practically nothing. A quick rinse and they're good again.

The babies seem to be generally doing well. They're a bit bigger already, perhaps averaging half inch or more. They are hiding less at the top now and finding more places lower down to hide, so I still don't know how many there are. I did fine one dead one today. It looked quite a bit smaller than the others, so could be a runt or otherwise couldn't find enough food. I assume with such quantity, a 100% survival rate is not necessarily expected?
Title: Re: Breeding bristlenose
Post by: plankton on May 17, 2013, 10:20:29 am
100% is never expected even in perfect conditions. ;)
Title: Re: Breeding bristlenose
Post by: treeboa on May 17, 2013, 11:08:38 am
try using bell peppers as food, my young uns wont leave the stuff alone
Title: Re: Breeding bristlenose
Post by: GlassWalker on May 17, 2013, 01:07:13 pm
Just popped into my LFS while getting another tank from a pet shop. Not fish, gerbils, before anyone asks.

Anyway, back to the LFS, I asked if they might be interested in the excess bristlenoses. Short answer is they can't pay for anything unless it's a fully legit business. They can take them for free though, but they suggested I use the aquatic small ads as apparently bristlenoses are always in demand and prices are a bit high for them to stock at the moment.
Title: Re: Breeding bristlenose
Post by: Scubee on May 17, 2013, 03:09:58 pm
Try a different LFS!

My LFS, a branch of MA, has taken a load of my assassin snails, and whilst not paying cash, he gave me credit. He's also said he'll do the same for my baby BNs.
Title: Re: Breeding bristlenose
Post by: GlassWalker on May 17, 2013, 05:20:03 pm
I can also try my local MA, but I don't go that way so often...
Title: Re: Breeding bristlenose
Post by: GlassWalker on May 21, 2013, 07:22:53 pm
Ok, there's a nice big lump of bristlenose eggs - outside the cave guarded by the male. Was that a careless error by him? Or has he rejected them? Should I push it back in the cave for him, or leave him to it?
Title: Re: Breeding bristlenose
Post by: plankton on May 22, 2013, 09:30:39 am
Leave him to it, they could well be infertile ones.
Title: Re: Breeding bristlenose
Post by: GlassWalker on May 22, 2013, 12:20:25 pm
I did push it back to the cave entrance, at which point he finished the job and moved them inside.