Did my fish lay eggs?
I'm new to tetras, so please forgive the ignorance, but...
I have two fruit tetras rescued from the local walmart (they are actually my 5 year-old's fish.)
They were in a tank with a puffer that recently got ich and died. (very sad) Anyway, since I was treating the tank for ich, I took all of the plants & decos out, as well as the filter (unit is running to cycle water, just no filter in it). One of the fish has been acting "not herself"--she's been hiding, not eating a whole lot...but otherwise seems fine, swims well & strong, seems alert. (it could be a "he"--not sure how to identify sex...)
This morning, when I went to check on them, I noticed a large formation of teensy bubble-like things clinging to the side of the filter housing, some around the hose to the aerator, and some here and there around the sides of the tank, floating on the top of the water.
Can these be eggs? Or just a bubbly goo mass from not having a filter in?
Any help is appreciated.
Possibly. "Fruit Tetra" is the common name for a farm-raised white colour genetic morph of the Black Skirt Tetra, Gymnocorymbus ternetzi. Sadly, they are painted or dyed to achieve the "fruit" colours, and sold under names like "Blueberry Tetra" and "Strawberry Tetra," etc. Places like Walmart frequently have these, but you can also sometimes find them in reputable fish stores. Dyeing fish is a harmful practice that should not be supported. No blame to you, as you wouldn't have known. There are plenty of colourful tetras to select.
The fish will attain a size of approximately two inches or perhaps slightly larger. The female will be the slightly larger (if you have a pair, male and female) and much rounder especially when developing eggs. They are egg scatterers and the eggs are adhesive, which means the male will drive the female around the tank (when she is ready to spawn) and eggs are deposited on (and adhere to) plant leaves, tank glass, filters, wood, and so forth. The pair frequently eat the eggs. Should the eggs survive and hatch, the fry will require the smallest live foods.
If you have snails the gooey gelatin-like masses may be snail eggs. Or it may be something else. Most tetras are prolific spawners, some of them even in tanks that are not a particularly good environment for them. Puffer fish are predators and fin nippers, and do not make suitable tankmates for tetras. Sometimes the "nastier" side of their nature may not show itself again due to environmental factors.
thanks for your reply.
it was not until after i got the fish home and did a little research that i found out the origin of my fruit tetras and their coloring...it was disturbing.
the puffer was actually quite docile and gave no problems to the tetras. but, alas, she is in fishy heaven now and won't be a bother to them either way. there are no snails in the tank.
i really can't tell the origin of the bubble cluster. what would the eggs look like exactly?
if it is a cluster of eggs, that's OK. but i'm wondering if i should turn on the aerator, as i don't want to disturb the cluster. (i only run the aerator during the day--too noisy at night -- the tank is in my child's room)
in the event i do become a fishy grandma, what type of "smallest live foods" do you recommend? presently i feed my tetras tropical fish food and alternate between freeze dried blood worms and freeze dried baby shrimp...
Black Widow Tetra (Gymnocorymbus ternetzi) - Seriously Fish
If you do some Google-type searches you'll probably find info with photos of characin (tetra) eggs, and that is better than trying to describe what they look like. Providing live food is not difficult but is involved, and you will have to decide if it's worth it. I'm rather surprised the parents haven't devoured the eggs (if that is what they are) since they are reported to be avid spawn eaters if not removed. I have 70g and 90g aquaria of all South American characins and there is almost always spawning activity, but in such heavily-populated tanks nothing ever survives, which is fine to me; eggs are very nutritious, obviously, and the fish in the tanks are clever enough to know what's going on and eggs never last more than a few seconds after being released.
One comment on the puffer--this often is the case, but at some point down the road (had it survived) it might quickly have shown its true colours. Fish are genetically programmed over millions of years, and they are not going to alter their basic behaviours just to suit us. How many times on this forum can one read posts from beginning aquarists who have put together fish that really are not compatible (at least when adult or settled in) and after others of us say this or that won't work, the response is that it is...but at some point this often changes for the worse. Many of us constantly advise, know the fish before you get it, and have a plan for your aquarium so you restrict yourself to compatible fish. Compatibility means similar water parameters and behaviour.
Last observation--if by turning off the aerator at night you mean the air pump and/or filter, you are really going to have problems if you get more fish. The worst thing any of us probably fear is a power outage of several hours. Not only does the temp fall (in temperate climates in winter) but the water movement ceases, and after only a few hours the bacteria in the filter can suffocate from lack of oxygen (they get oxygen from the water which must be moving through continually) and die, and then ammonia will spike (if there are more than one or two fish in the tank) and ammonia is highly toxic to fish. Then the nitrite spikes. In addition to this, the fish still require oxygen at night, and while this might be OK in a small aquarium with a couple of fish, if you do get more fish it could easily lead to trouble. Not a good idea, if I've understood correctly.
1) well, unfortunately, i was advised by the person at the store that the two were compatible tank mates, otherwise i never would have put them together.... my last fish was an oscar that i had for years and it would eat anything you put in there with him, so i have some knowledge of aggressive fish. i specifically told the salesperson i needed compatible fish.
my fish are in a 3g cube tank. there are just the two of them (since the puffer died). i don't plan on getting any more, other than possibly one more little tetra. it is my understanding that they do better in groups of 3 or more. the one seems to be getting aggressive towards the other at feeding time. perhaps introducing another fish will help with this?
2) the cluster has gotten considerably smaller since this morning, so if they are eggs, maybe they are eating them.
3) i tried googling tetra fish egg images and could not find anything for my particular type of fish. i found a couple pics that looked kind of like the blob in the tank, but i wanted to be certain, of course. that's why i got on here looking for info =)
4) i have an internal filter suitable for 3-10g tank that runs constantly. then i have an aerator (bubble stone) for added oxygen. it is the bubble stone air pump that i shut off at nite because of the noise. i also have a submersible heater set on a constant 78. i use aquarium salt and a water conditioner. i'm trying to do things right...am i close?
Temp at 78F is fine for a general community tank, or for tetras. Water conditioner when you do partial water changes (every week I hope) is excellent, as there is likely going to be chlorine, chloramine and possibly heavy metals in your tap water, depending where you are, and those are all bad for fish. A good water conditioner will not only remove such things but help protect the fish.
The aquarium salt I do not recommend in any freshwater tank, except when used as a medication or for fish that can tolerate it or require it. Mollys are fish that are found in brackish water and some salt is used by many molly keepers. Characins (tetras) have a chemical phobia of sorts. The only characin I am aware of that can tolerate brackish water is the Pristella, but there may be others, I have not had ocassion to research every characin. Aside from this one, characins in nature that could swim into coastal/brackish water always avoid doing so, and their native waters are usually (most species) very soft and slightly to strongly acidic--in other words, no dissolved mineral. There are some exceptions, but again none of them tolerate salt. They also cannot tolerate copper medications (like for ich) that have to be used at half strength if there are tetras in the tank.
Wait out what happens with the fish you have, if I may offer my opinion, and in the meantime decide if there are other small tetras your son likes. A group of 4-5 small tetras could be quite nice in your tank, and if it gets any daylight from the window there are some hardy plants that might add a bit of colour and water quality; I'm thin king of the floating ferm, Ceratopteris, that I have kept growing in tanks with no artificial light as long as there is strong daylight. Plants will also work against algae.
i have all girls, so it is my daughter's fish tank =)
can i have 4-5 small tetras in a 3g tank without causing any issues?
i had just put some plant bulbs in the water when the puffer got ich. when i started treating the tank, i took them out. honestly, i've never had any luck growing live plants (other than algae lol) in my tanks. but i thought i'd give it a try again. maybe i should start them in a vase stuck in a window and then transplant them to the tank?
i appreciate your time and attention. :)
My fault, didn't read carefully enough...getting old I guess; hope your daughter doesn't mind my oversight.;-)
Don't know what the bulbs are, but in general, aquatic plants need light (the most important thing in a planted aquarium is the light available to the plants). The CO2 will come from the fish in a small setup (you should get rid of that airstone though, drives off the CO2 too rapidly). Nutrients can be added with liquid fertilizer so that's easy. If the tank has a light that can be on for a set period each day (depends upon what type of plants and the type of light), simple plants should be fine. If you're relying on light only from the window, the choice will be more limited. The floating fern should survive (mine did), and crypts (Cryptocoryne species) would probably thrive, but they are not always easy plants--the tank must be established and the water chemistry constant or they can "melt" (turn to mush). Pygmy chain sword has been known to grow well in daylight tanks. Anubias nana is worth a try, as it is low light (I had one plant that grew unbelievably in a tank where the surface plants were so thick you could barely see the fish in the tank from low light, yet the Anubias was thriving). Others may have more suggestions. Are we talking just daylight, or if there is a tank light what type?
Yes, 4-5 small tetras in a 3g is workable, depending upon the fish species. Another possibility is a single fish like a beautiful betta--but nothing with it in such a small space. In this setup you want sedate fish, not fast active swimmers (like danios, not tetras I know, but too active for this setup). A group of cardinal tetras would be lovely, especially with some plants and maybe a small piece of bogwood. An almost identical fish is a closely related species, the False Neon or Green Neon tetra, it has identical water requirements and stays a bit smaller. The glowlight tetra is colourful; the Loreto tetra is another. Then there are several suitable pencilfish species (characins, though not tetras but shoaling fish of similar behaviour), aside from Nannostomus beckfordi which is too active, but the other species would be colourful and suitable. Do a Google search to see what they look like.
Lots of ideas (I hope).
you've given some great advice and some things to think about. thanks again, its much appreciated!
You could put neon tetras, which have a very small bioload and those eggs r most probably tetra eggs... congrats!!
Your daughter will be so excited!!
Another fish you could put in there are Guppies, look them up, they are very hardy, survive almost anything and have cute tiny babies every month that your daughter would love to see, and most Local fish stores take in baby guppies and even give you store credits :-) One male and one female along with the 2 tetras would be a great combination...
And remember most employees at petstores dont know what they r talking about unless it is a family-owned business, but those chain pet stores the ones at every corner, they get employees that will tell you anything so dont listen to them, they tried to get me to buy a "Rare" Cichlid" and they said it was compatible with guppies!!!! Cichlids are fed guppies!!! Atleast I knew that and didnt fall for it!!
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