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Caring for the fry and young juveniles is very important. I will attempt to cover the most important aspects on this page.

1) Feeding your fry - The types of foods were covered in the Food for Fry page, but let me go in to some feeding advice here. You should feed your fry twice a day. Once in the morning and once in the evening. Do not overfeed. If you still see many wiggly MicroWorms on the bottom, then don't feed them more. If you still see swimming BBS then don't feed them more. Make sure they are eating the amounts that you are feeding them. If you notice food beginning to build up on the bottom, you are overfeeding. Attempt to feed only what you think they will eat. If they eat all the food gone, then you can feed them a bit more. 
2) Cleaning your babies tank - Try not to disturb your young fry other than feeding during the first 2 weeks or so. With the corner filter now slowly bubbling, that will keep the water slightly circulated enough. If you do happen to overfeed them at some point (happens to everyone) then I would suggest a quick siphoning of the bottom. If at all possible, try to wait until they are at least 2 weeks. When they are this age, they can evade the end of the siphon MUCH better and you suck out less. 
2a) SIPHON - My siphon is homemade and works great. I bought one long stick of rigid airline tubing. I can't remember the diameter, but it was about the same size as pieces used inside the under gravel filters. I took the rigid tubing and cut it in half making one piece longer than the other (for reaching the bottom of the tank). I then take regular airline tubing and attached the two pieces. This makes a wonderfully simple, cheap and powerful little siphon. Hopefully you have set your breeding tank up off of the floor or you will never be able to get the siphon started!! Once started, simply scour the bottom of uneaten food trying your best not to suck up any fry. If you do, use an eye dropper to retrieve them from the jar or bucket once the water has settled. Always make sure to siphon into a jar or bucket for this reason. To help prevent sucking up fry, keep a finger near the end of the siphon. When you see a fry near your siphon, simply stop the flow of the siphon with your finger. It will feel the initial suction and swim away from it, so stopping the flow helps it retreat :)
2b) ADDING WATER - As the fry grow, they will need more room to grow and swim. I start adding water at about 2 weeks, the same time I start cleaning. I use the siphon to slowly add aged/treated water. I raise the level about 1" per week until the tank is full. If the size of the spawn is very large, you should have another 10 gallon to put half of the fry into or a 20 gallon to put them all into. Ten gallon tanks are relatively cheap anywhere, around $8-$10. 
3) Moving your spawn to a grow out tank may be on your list to do. If you have a small spawn, you might be able to get by with keeping them in the 10 gallon until they are jarred. If you have a large one, you may want to move them to a larger tank such as a 20 gallon or even larger. When to move them depends on how fast they grow. All spawns are different and mature at different speeds. When you find that you have filled the 10 gallon completely and they still seemed cramped, then that is the time to move them. You can use a net, I suggest a brine shrimp net (picture reference) as it is much softer and seems to retain plenty of moisture during the move from tank to tank.. Make sure you set the grow out tank up with water that is the same as they are in at that time. Make sure the PH, Temperature etc are the same. Then start moving them. If they are still relatively small, you can use a turkey baster to suck them up and move them. Make sure and hold your finger over the end, though, they like to try to swim out!! If you are using anything stronger than a sponge filter in the grow out tank, then make sure it is not too strong to suck them up.
4) Jarring your young males can come at different times depending on your fry. Some fry may need to be jarred as young as 6 weeks, others can be left in as long as 3 months old, maybe more. As soon as males are sexable, even sometimes sooner, they need to be jarred. I have jarred males based on their aggression and would up being females later. Even so, it has saved other fry in the tank from having their fins nipped. I would rather jar them early then have nipped fins that may not grow back correctly. If you jar them too early, the worst that will happen is you will have given yourself more work than necessary! A good indicator of a young male, is that their anal fin gets pointier and longer at the back than the females. The first time you see the difference, you will understand :)
4a) Keeping the young males' jars clean is VERY important. Clean water will stimulate faster and more healthy growth. Clean water, lots of yummy live foods and warmth is a recipe for fast growing, healthy young males.

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Last update:
  March 23, 2009 10:27 PM CST Pet Sites

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