Mystery Hitchhikers - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 5 Old 11-02-2011, 10:52 AM Thread Starter
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Mystery Hitchhikers

Here's my mystery for today!

On 10.25, I put the following into my 25g tank:
Malaysian Trumpet snails x7
Dwarf Hairgrass
and two plants that had been sitting in a unheated, unfiltered bucket of water for at least two weeks:
Vallisneria Spiralis

I did not add any of the water that the plants or snails had come in/been sitting in. I did not scape it, the plants are just sitting in the tank and chilling until I get around to it. I added the plants at about 65 degrees, then warmed it to about 77 degrees, where its been since. On 10.27, I added filtration and seeded with old gravel in a knee high. I added a small amount of granule fish food. Amazingly, the tank has appeared completely cycled on and since that day. Pennywort, Hornwort, and spiralis have shown nice growth. Snails seem happy.

So the mystery...
Today I was doing my usual snail check. (I only want the MTS, so I've been on the lookout for any invert hitchhikers.) To my utter surprise, I saw not snails but- FRY! I saw at least one fry that was about 3/16" to 1/4" long, clear, elongated body, hanging out in the Hornwort. I also saw about a dozen very small white creatures that were about the size of a period, but with a tail. These quick little buggers seemed to be grazing the back wall.

Unless these critter hatched from eggs that were on the plants, I'm not quite sure how this happened! I'm not ready for babies!

I understand that IDing these creatures is about impossible at this point, but if you have guesses I'd love to hear it! So to my question... I think the larger fry could eat powdered flake. I've cared for fry this size, I think I can manage them. But the itty bitty things... I'm really doubtful they are fish. BUT, if they even ARE fish, I've never had to feed something so small. I really don't think they are fish, but I'd hate to NOT feed them and then find out I'm wrong and I killed them. I don't know that I'd start culturing daphnia or hatching brine shrimp or anything at this point in my life. So I'm wondering if I could use a dry oak leaf for infusoria. What do you think? Do you think that would be enough to get them big enough for powdered flake? That is, if the tiny creature are, indeed, fish and not some bug or whatnot, of which I'm doubtful.

Thanks for your imput!

"My dither fish need dither fish!"

Last edited by MinaMinaMina; 11-02-2011 at 11:06 AM.
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post #2 of 5 Old 11-02-2011, 12:02 PM Thread Starter
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Okay, on closer inspection I'm pretty positive the critters near the glass aren't fry. So we can forget about those.

But the other creatures, the REAL fry... They are, after a closer look, about 1/8". There are at least TWO of them now. And now I'm thinking they look too small for powdered flake.

Man! I'm not ready for this baby business! The tank is WAY too strongly filtered for them. I have no food cultured for them. I don't have the time and energy right now for them. Ugh.

Any thoughts on the leaf/infusoria idea? Any other thoughts? I'd really like to hear an easy but ethical solution, if there is one. I don't want to think that a sponge filter purchase, new tank set up, daily water changes, and 3-5 feedings per day are in my future. Help!

"My dither fish need dither fish!"

Last edited by MinaMinaMina; 11-02-2011 at 12:03 PM. Reason: comma =)
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post #3 of 5 Old 11-02-2011, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
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And now I have three. I'm seeing a trend here. Anyone?

"My dither fish need dither fish!"
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post #4 of 5 Old 11-02-2011, 01:16 PM
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You could use dry oak leaves for the reason you stated. Though I think it takes some time for the leaves to sink to the bottom of the tank and for the infusoria to show up. Not sure on this but think that's the case. Sorry not experienced in this area never had fry. lol
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post #5 of 5 Old 11-02-2011, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks! And I though that, too, about the leaves but I wanted to check. I've always boiled mine first, so actually trying to get infusoria is new to me.

Only fry I've ever had was livebearer, and that was on purpose and like 10 years ago. I was expecting the babies then, so I was prepared. There are little creatures in the tank, so I'm HOPING that this and the powdered flake will be enough food to last them until I can get something better set up. I guess I'll be hitting the LFS tomorrow for a sponge filter and baby food.

I guess my next question is this- since I didn't notice the babies until today, and they seem to be appearing at different intervals, could I assume they're from eggs? Of all the fish in the tanks that these plants came from, the easiest explanation would be guppy fry. But I'd think I would have noticed fry before today if they had been there. The only adult fish the other tanks housed were some rainbows, some sort of tetra (similar to a bleeding heart, but not), angels (these are DEF not angel babies), albino Aeneus cory cats, and GBRs. I dunno.

What a weird day.

"My dither fish need dither fish!"
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