Breeding - Raising the fry  
     
   

At a temperature of 28-30 degrees Celsius the fertilized eggs in the bubblenest will hatch after about 25-30 hours. After hatching the presence of the fry can easily be recognized by looking under the nest. A bunch of vertically hanging tails will stick out of the airbubbles of the nest because they still posses an egg-yolk and the swimbladder is not fully developed yet.

   
             
   
1 day old fry haning horizontally in the bubblenest
   
             
   

Everytime a fry falls down from the nest the carefull wathing male will pick up the fry with his mouth and will blow it back into the bubblenest. This sometimes looks like an never-ending story........

   
             
   
The male taking care of the fry
   
             
   

After approximately 2-3 days the egg-yolk of the fry is absorbed and the youngsters start to swim horizontally and they will reach the free-swimming stage. The male, loyal as he is, still attemps to bring the fry back to the nest. At this point the male can be removed and can recover of his intensive work of the last few days. Now the fry will feed themselves on microscopic organisms in the water, called infusoria. A day after the fry has entered the free-swimming stage, I usually start feeding microworms and live hatched BBS/artemia 2-3 times a day. After about 1 week I very carefully, start siphoning the breeding tank to remove the dirt from the bottom using an airtube with some cottonwool in the beginning to prevent sucking up any fry. The water level is restored using clean water of the same temperature.

 
Fry in the free-swimming stage (4 days old)
   
             
   
2 week old fry
 
2,5 week old fry
   
             
   

At 3-4 weeks, besides the live artemia, I also start feeding live tubifex. Also bigger water changes are done now about 10-20% per two days. Around 4-6 weeks the first youngsters will start showing some of their coloration (with the lighter colors like yellow this may take a bit longer).

   
             
   
3,5 week old fry
 
5 week old fry
   
             
   

At an age of 6-8 weeks, besides the tubifex, I also start feeding live and frozen red mosquito larva. The water changes become a bit bigger to 20-40% per 2-3 days. At this age you also might see the first males appearing in the spawn. Most of the time they can be recognized by their slightly longer finnage, fuller ventrals, bodyshape, small fights with other males and showing of the gills/beard. At this time, I Usually here start jarring the first males.

   
             
   
7 week old metallic blue HM PK male
 
9 week old royal blue mask HM PK male
   
             
   
11 week old metallic steel blue HM PK male
 
22 week old royal blue mask HM PK male

 
 
             
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