Ornamental Fish Breeding
Following on from November, feeding frequency for breeding pairs has been increased from 2x to 3x a day, with the introduction of a prepared food ‘paste’ composed of fish, nori and pellet (we also plan to add prawn or calamari). The paste is made up of 60g fish, one sheet nori seaweed, and four teaspoons of pellet feed in hot water to promote the seaweed to become gelatinous to hold the paste together. This 200g mixture is then blended, excess water removed, and frozen into cubes (the 14 cubes last two weeks). One cube per day is defrosted in the fridge, and fed to all our fish breeding pairs, receiving positive responses. This provides more protein and fat to the brood stock fish to promote egg production, while also increasing vitamins A and C, and adding B6 and calcium to the diet – all proven to aid in proper egg and sperm formation, optimum fecundity, hatchability, and healthy development of larvae and fry.
The live food component of the diet has been increased in line with new protocols, with 100ml of adult artemia being fed to all breeding pairs every day (or every other day).
We have also tried new spawning surfaces, and a larval ‘snagger’ to move larvae with reduced stress (particularly with the damselfish larvae). The snagger was constructed using PVC pipe, a T-junction, 50um mesh, and a plastic bottle. This was then attached to the standpipe using an elastic band, and an airline was threaded through the piping (photo). This caused a flow of water to move up the piping and into the bottle; the water then flows out through the mesh while the larvae remain in the bottle for transfer. An underwater light was attached to the structure by the entrance, to lure any larvae that were missed the first time. A second attempt without an air stone on the line proved more effective.