Well I have been a little concerned about my Neon Tetras since placing them in the breeding tank as they were having to adapt to changing water parameters with the introduction of the peat. They have not been particular active. I have been feeding them small amounts of baby brine shrimp daily.
Today I did a water change with regular conditioned tap water as I only managed to collect half a cup of rainwater and it was teaming with life. The tap water brought the temperature down to 23°C. I then added a side lamp and placed it below the front of the tank providing a lot more illumination. The Tetras are displaying their stunning colours and seem much more active. I am hoping they are a bit happier and will exhibit some spawning activity soon. They are racing around the tank in comparison to the last couple of days.
The breeding tank was set up again with the arrival of the new heater. There have been a few changes this time, mainly the introduction of peat to help lower the hardness and pH of the water. The live brine shrimp food source is a new development that will help condition my breeding pair. I used mostly conditioned tap water this time as the parameters seemed better than the boiled. Some boiled water was added with the peat though as I boiled the peat first so that it would sink and form part of the substrate.
The peat has made the water nice and dark giving it a yellow brown tint. My Tetras have been fed a little live brine shrimp and seem to be adjusting to the breeding tank. They are not overly active at the moment but have darted around each other a little over the course of the day. The temperature of their tank is 24°C. I now have a bucket outside in the garden to collect rain water for water changes as rain water will better suit the parameters for my breeding tank. It is also readily available here.
I decided to overhaul the breeding tank again today and probably a good thing too as I noticed immediately that the heater was no longer working. I ordered a new one and set to work taking out the loose Java Moss and emptying the water out, it was at room temperature 20 °C. I knew that even if there had been Tetra eggs in the tank, they would in no way be viable given the conditions in the tank. Not only were the water parameters all wrong but now the water was also far too cold.
This prompted me to check the temperatures of my two larger tanks. Both were a stable 25 °C. It is my goal to cycle the empty larger tank using a handful of Platys and Guppies as they seem so much hardier than my Tetras. I will try to keep the water parameters between the two tanks as similar as I can until I remove the Livebearers and introduce the Tetras and Otos. At this point I will have to try and control the water parameters in both the breeding tank and larger Tetra tank keeping them as close as I can whilst attempting to lower the PH and hardness of the water slowly to produce viable conditions for spawning and raising fry. This is so the the breeding pair of Tetras don’t have too much difficulty adjusting to the breeding tank.
Should I succeed in raising Artemia as a food source, I will condition them with the live food in advance of placing them in the breeding tank.
So the experiment starts all over again, this time there will be some differences in how it is done. The live food source, introduction of peat and rigorous testing will be the new methods applied. I will keep the sides of the tank covered and dark as I did before. The tank will be disinfected and cleaned with white vinegar, rinsed well and filled mostly with water that has been boiled. I will monitor the water parameters very closely this time, aiming for soft slightly acidic but stable water. I may well add the peat sponge filter and even some peat balls to the substrate to adjust the parameters as naturally as I can. I will only add the Java Moss to the breeding tank after it has been under bright light for several days and is growing well. The Java Moss will be rinsed well and checked very carefully for any snails or snail spawn in advance of adding it.
I will add my pair of Neon Tetras after the tank has been continually monitored and tested and appears to be stable as softer water is more prone to fluctuations that could prove fatal to my fish. Once I am convinced the breeding tank is stable and at the correct levels it will be time to try and induce spawning again. This will be my second serious attempt and hopefully will prove easier now that I have the means of testing and adjusting the conditions. It could take some time though to create the perfect conditions and patience will be needed. So wish me luck.
My pair of Neon Tetras are now in the overcrowded community tank with all of my other fish. I need to start again with the Tetra community tank after the mishap with my Emperor Tetra and will probably place some Platys in there first to help cycle it properly before putting the Tetras and Otos back in it. The Platys seem a bit hardier and more resilient.
I removed the cover over the breeding tank this morning like I have every morning for the last four days, allowing the natural daylight in through the front of the tank. The female Neon Tetra hasn’t been very active over the last couple of days. The Male was still circling her every now and then but not chasing her. I was worried that their inactivity was down to a lack of food so I placed a small amount of flake food in the tank. I am now regretting this because it is likely to rot and affect the water quality. I noticed that the female was trying to eat the food that had fallen to the tank floor but that the male wouldn’t let her. It seemed like he was attacking her. I decided a move to the more mature community tank would do them both good and placed them in there.
I tried to examine the breeding tank quite closely bearing in mind it’s quite dark just now even with a little daylight getting into it. To my surprise I saw what could potentially be eggs on the gravel in the spot where I had observed the female hovering. They were tiny and barely noticeable. I immediately covered the tank again hoping that it really is Neon Tetra eggs but all to aware that it could turn out to be snail spawn or food waste or some other microscopic form of life. I cannot allow myself to get too excited about it just now having been disappointed so often in the past. The light that I allowed in earlier in the day and the flake food could seriously affect their viability if they really are eggs. It’s now just a waiting game. The mystery of the small specs in the gravel will reveal itself in the fullness of time. If I am to have any success at all I must be patient and allow the tank to remain in complete darkness for a few days. If it does turn out to be tiny snails I can always try again after they have been eradicated.
Day 3 of Inducing Spawning
It is perhaps time to see this experiment as yet another failed attempt. My Neon Tetras have been in their breeding tank for 3 days now. I have added very little food as I wanted to keep the breeding tank free of rotting waste for any fry that may appear. The tank has no filter but partial water changes have been performed daily and still there is nothing to get really excited about. The real question is “what do I do now?”. Do I leave them in the breeding tank but introduce the peat, charcoal and sponge filter along with some food or do I place them in my currently overcrowded community tank and leave the breeding tank to mature a little more with the prospect of trying again in a couple of weeks time.
At the moment the female tetra is hovering above the Java Moss in one place. The male whose colouring seems darker than usual (almost royal blue as opposed to the turquoise stripe in the female) is still swimming around the tank and occasionally disturbing her. Is this part of the normal spawning cycle or are my fish stressed and unlikely to do so.
Any advice or suggestions on this would be greatly appreciated.
Day Six of Experiment
Day One of Inducing Spawning
Male and female Neon Tetras in breeding tank.
The male Neon Tetra was introduced to the breeding tank yesterday. Close examination with a microscope reveals microscopic life in the tank but no eggs as yet. Although the Neon Tetras seem very happy in their new environment and are behaving in a manner that should lead to spawning, they don’t appear to be in any hurry to do so. Time to cover the tank again and hope that tomorrow may yield better results. Partial water change was performed earlier in the day with aged boiled water. The empty plastic mini tank has been refilled with water that has been boiled for twenty minutes and left in front of window to age. Still unsure about adding peat balls to substrate or introducing filter to tank. I may conduct this experiment without them but if unsuccessful try again in a couple of weeks with them. I am still willing to wait a few days and observe what happens without changing that much.