advice for a fry tank????
I just added plants to the tank and I don't think the plants are big enough yet to keep my babies from becoming food. I have a small 1 gallon tank that used to have a betta in it and was wanting to use it for my fry. I have 3 guppy and 24 molly fry and another molly looks pregnant. The fry are in a floating nursery right now but if the other molly is pregnant I think it is going to be very crowded in the nursery. If I use water from the main tank to fill it, will it need to cycle first since it is new filter? I was thinking of putting a plant in there for some algae and feeding ground flakes for food. Any tips/advice would be appreciated. Thanks
My advice would be to get some type of bio in a bottle to start up the 1 gal (API Quick Start is what we use, you still have to use dechlor with this product) and if you can take something out of the main tank or filter (a decoration, some rocks, etc) and put that in your 1 gal. If it is time to change your filter in the main tank, I have actually floated a used filter in the tank if it will not fit in the HOB. The new 1 gal tank will still have to cycle, but with fry you will need to change water every day or every other day anyway. If you can pick up a 10 gal, all the better, but the 1 gal will work ok in the meanwhile.
Water does not contain any bacteria, so putting it in the spare bowl would only give you water with nitrate in it. However, you do want to transfer the fish to identical water to what they are in now, as you do not want to shock them (going from high nirate to zero nitrate will actually shock fish, a grandual transition is needed). So it will have to be cycled some other way (live plants can do this quickly).
A real fry tank should use a sponge filter, and have live plants. You also need food for the fry.
But you also need an outlet for the fish unless you intend to keep them. Fish stores may buy them, but for next to nothing (maybe 10 cents a fish if you are lucky) and they'll only take them if they are of a sellable size. Because of that, a 1 gallon is not going to work for you very long.
One gallons are really hard to keep a cycle- when i had my bettas in them i did a 50% and a 100% change per week. since you can't really do that for fry, i agree with the live plant thing Geo suggested. i also agree that getting a bigger growout tank ASAP is a good idea :) good luck!
My suggestion is to use the water from the tank they are in now to fill up the one gallon tank. You really need to have some sort of filtration going though because fry are delicate to water change. The one gallon will prob work for a few days or so but you will lose fry if you don't have a filtration going. Also you should put a small air stone in there to help with oxygenation since there are so many fry. Molly fry grow extremely fast compared to guppies and platy's so you really need to get at least a 10 gallon tank. You can get just the tank at your LFS and a small filter and they sell sponges by fluval (at PetSmart not sure of other stores) that you can put over the intake so they don't get sucked up into the filter. It's a lot cheaper than buying a sponge filter. But def use the same water from the tank they are in now. Since they are just moving into a 1 gallon you won't have to worry about shocking your other fish when adding water back its just like a partial change. Definitely keep an eye on the ammonia levels though b/c when your fish drop fry there is sometimes an ammonia spike. Sometimes just tiny but then I have had a couple where I had 5 fish drop within 2 days and had a huge spike. So be careful. But def try and get a larger tank for them. The 1G will only be good at most 2 weeks depending on what you feed them and how often but you also need that filter as well though. The little betta filters aren't that expensive and the one I have that is in with my betta doesn't have the spinny thing that the larger filters have so if they get sucked into it they just come back out the top. My Betta has a hammock and everything in his tank and he actually goes into the filter and sleeps. It is just run by the air pump. Hope this makes sense it's late here and I feel like I have written a novel sorry about that...lol.
Right now I have 29 molly, 14 platy and about 60 guppy fry in a 10G tank. They will be split up and moved males to one and females to the other in my 2 20G within the next month though because they are almost 2 weeks old and have already gotten so big they are outgrowing the tank. Then when they are about 2 - 2 1/2 months old they go to the pet store. I don't even bother selling them b/c 5 cents a piece is not worth it to me I just give them to them. I enjoy breeding them so it's not a huge thing for me to just give them away.
Good luck and I am always available for questions. Oh best thing also is to keep a bare bottom no gravel for now also. When I started breeding many years ago the fry would try and get into the gravel and get stuck or a piece would move and they would get crushed. So bare bottom is the best. Good luck!!!
Just reading all of this and realize I left out several crucial things in my attempt to help, thanks ya'll for filling in the blanks! Not sure what type of filter you plan to use on this 1 gal tank but I agree a sponge filter is an absolute and of course a heater. Do they make a HOB for a 1 gal? Just curious, never seen one. If you have a HOB for this tank you can cover the intake with either the sponge cover you can get those at pet stores, or make one yourself if you have some sponge filter material. I have even cut the netting off a fish net (the ones with the very tiny holes) and attached it to the filter intake with cotton thread. The pet stores in our area run $1 a gal tank sales, but if you have access to Craigslist you can usually find good deals there also. I agree, a 1 gal tank is going to be hard to maintain.
Your recommendation of a small sponge filter geared towards that size aquarium would be the best option at this point, although ideally it would be better to only house fry in this aquarium for a small amount of time before transferring them to a larger "grow-out" environment. Also please ensure if you intend to sponge this tank, that you get an air filter (which will power the sponge filter) that is geared low enough for that sponge filter & aquarium. You will have a lot of unnecessary water movement with a high air filter on such a small aquarium.
As stated by others you should also put an aquarium heater in the tank to ensure the temperature stays at a set degree to avoid stressing the fry. Water changes in such a small environment (1 gallon) can likely lead to unwarranted stress as well due to the vast majority of water that will be taken out and then replaced. You will also need to take into account that you have to be VERY precise on water quality and water temperature when replacing the water.
Another essential piece of the puzzle for fry keeping, is security. No matter what may be in the tank. I always recommend having cover for the fry as this gives them a sense of security and removes any unneeded stress from the aquarium.
I recommend doing as lakemalawifish stated and searching craigslist or local shops for a small aquarium (10 Gallon should suffice for most fry) and having that setup as your fry factory.
Thanks for all the advice...I do realize that a 1 gallon is small, I just wanted to raise a few to replace some of my other fish that died. After this batch raises, I don't plan on continuing to raise them because I do not have the room for them or a store I can sell to nearby. Again, thanks for the advice.
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