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Raising Ricefish From Eggs Ordered Online

shangman

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13 Jul 2020
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For my birthday this month I wanted a fun little project, so in January I bid and won some mixed-colour ricefish eggs from Japan (about £26 for the eggs, and £24 for postage). I thought I'd raise them in my 23L shrimp tank which I started last October.

This was the advert:
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The advert promised 30+ eggs, and when they arrived, there were over 80! In the UK adult ricefish usually cost between £5 - £12 depending on the colours in shops, I've bought most of mine for £8/each, so if I get 7 adult ricefish I've broken even with the usual costs, and any extra makes it cheaper to buy the eggs and raise here. It's also really hard to find the pretty colourful and sparkly ones here (I've only found them at Wildwoods Enfield), but you can get eggs of many colours quite readily on ebay.

The eggs arrived in methylene blue and were all stained, but looking closely I thought I saw black dot eyes on all of them (you can alllmost see it in the closeup, I've upped the brightness to try and show it better). I couldn't see any white/cloudy eggs. Apologies for basic pictures but my fancy camera is falling apart and I can't be bothered to fiddle about with it. Also just in general I have become extremely lazy when it comes to tank stuff other than keeping them healthy and stable, as I managed to buy a flat in October that needs massive renovation so most of my life is that for now.

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The past 3 weeks I have had a nasty throat-attacking coughing virus, so I hadn't planned for what to do with them at all - I'd expected them to arrive 2 weeks later than they had too. So I just worked with what I had - I floated the bottle the eggs came in my 23L shrimp tank for an hour, then acclimated them in a bowl over 2 hours. While that went on, I boiled up some roiboos tea, let it cool and added it to the shrimp tank, as well as some dried indian horse chestnut leaves to help the eggs avoid fungus. Other people go for a more sterile setup, but I've always prefered it a bit eau naturale.

I then balanced my largest black net on top of the tank in front of the filter, plopped in all the eggs, plus 2 smaller cherry shrimps to eat any eggs that died to avoid any fungus spreading and said a prayer. Overnight in my tank, the dark blue colour faded and I saw that most of the eggs looked fertile, with tiny glowing golden eyes - you can sorta see the goldenness in the eggs in the photo below.

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Only 2 days later (!) they began to hatch which was EXTREMELY EXCITING (first fry in the middle of the photo below). 5 on the first day, another 3 on the second, and then around 30 on the third day, which is today. We still have quite a few eggs to go, though I think it is less than the 80 I started with - it's very hard to count such tiny eggs in a net. Every baby which emerges now gets caught with a spoon and moved into a bigger net box I hastily ordered a few days ago, where they'll stay until they're big enough to brave the whole tank.

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The next part is the most slapdash, as I only have Hikari First Bites for food for them for the first week. They won't be big enough for cultured BBS for a week, so we will see how many get to that stage. I have added some big blobs of riccardia from another tank which hopefully contains some microlife, and have started to add water from my pond bowl outside in case that has some creatures in too, but it is very early in the year for microlife yet. If I did it again, I would get a culture of vinegar eels going first and then order the eggs. I'm wondering if squeezing a bit of a filter out into there would hold some microlife for them to enjoy perhaps? Might do that tomorrow.

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There are lots of ricefish fry in this photo, not that you can massively tell!

Anyway, we'll see how this goes! Hopefully I get quite a few to adulthood, and get a good colour mix too. I'm already planning to order more in May, if this first batch doesn't work out I'm sure it would be easier to raise the fry in spring with an extra food culture.​
 

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I got some eggs last summer, not quite that many! I had a bit of an issue with fungus (some of the eggs were clumped together and think I should have spaced them out). Anyway five hatched and all survived months, I've lost one since but four still going. I raised them on very fine powdered food supplied by the breeder and then added in micro worms and powdered bug bites. I would say they coped fine with the powdered food so I wouldn't panic too much if that is all they can fit to start with. Snail or shrimp are a good addition for the clean up. They definately have a preference for food at the top level rather than poking around the bottom. They seem very slow growing (or I'm doing it wrong) as mine are 6-7 months and still only 1/2" although they are running around an 75l tank now.
 
Another day, and another 30 hatched. I have 70+ now, so I put the last few eggs in the white net basket to to hatch there rather than keep the smaller black net. An extremely good hatch rate, I think I lost very few if any eggs astonishingly, the quality of these eggs was great. I think around 3 fry have died already as they were lying on the bottom sideways - the next more difficult stage begins.

This morning I went out to my old ricefish pond bowl and nabbed some of the water for this tank to watercahnge/in case of life. As it's been so mild there were a few daphnia in there, and hopefully some microscopic tiny life to feed the fry. They did get mroe active when I added the water, so fingers crossed! I think some of them are eating the floating food too but it's hard to tell when everything is so tiny. Also added in extra riccardia from another tank in case.

What an exciting birthday present! I wish you wild success with the fry!
Thank you! Nothing better than first for your birthday :)

Hobby Protogen is good for emergency infusoria.

Wow this is a brilliant product, though sadly I can't see it sold anywhere in the UK, only Europe. :(

This is very exciting - and it’s nice to see @shangman back, and with a typically beautiful tank 🙂
Aw thank you, the view has been a bit ruined by the big white fry net, but it is a nice tank otherwise with lots of lilies in it. It's nice to have the mindspace to return after a very mad year!

I got some eggs last summer, not quite that many! I had a bit of an issue with fungus (some of the eggs were clumped together and think I should have spaced them out). Anyway five hatched and all survived months, I've lost one since but four still going. I raised them on very fine powdered food supplied by the breeder and then added in micro worms and powdered bug bites. I would say they coped fine with the powdered food so I wouldn't panic too much if that is all they can fit to start with. Snail or shrimp are a good addition for the clean up. They definately have a preference for food at the top level rather than poking around the bottom. They seem very slow growing (or I'm doing it wrong) as mine are 6-7 months and still only 1/2" although they are running around an 75l tank now.
Hmm luckily I seem to have avoided the fungus issue, not really sure why! None of my eggs were stuck together at all, maybe that helped along with them going in a mature tank with loads of botanicals/blackwater mixture? The seller I got them from seemed very good, I wonder if the fungus issues are more on their side of things.

Wonderful to hear that the powdered food seems to work well, it does float for a long time. I've added in shrimps and snails too to eat the waste - luckily have loads in this tank already.

Have you tried keeping some outside for a while? I've heard the sunlight helps the fry grow faster (plus probably the live food that brings), in the spring I thought I'd try some outside to see if that works, and gives me space for another batch inside (or to raise fry outside in summer? not sure). Would bring them all back in for the colder months though as mine didn't survive through winter last time :(
 
I bought some a couple of years back online. I think I just fed the fry powdered food and they did just fine. They’re pretty substantial fry for an egg scatterer.
 
Have you tried keeping some outside for a while? I've heard the sunlight helps the fry grow faster (plus probably the live food that brings), in the spring I thought I'd try some outside to see if that works, and gives me space for another batch inside (or to raise fry outside in summer? not sure). Would bring them all back in for the colder months though as mine didn't survive through winter last time :(
That was my original intention, I'd probably have split the batch if I had more hatch although I also didn't hatch mine until July though so by the time they were more than tiny specs there wasn't much summer left. Once the weather warms up a bit more I've a tub for them to hang out in see if they grow on a bit.
 
I've been raising fifty since last August, I've fed Hikari first bites,micro worms then I got them into live bbs and I've noticed a difference in growth rate since

You will need to be patient though they do grow slowly I should of started feeding them the bbs sooner and I had around 10% fish with crooked spines and other defects that had to be culled
 
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