How to catch newly hatched fish larvae

Discussion in 'Breeding fish' started by LuckyFish, 15 Jan 2010.

  1. LuckyFish

    LuckyFish MASA Contributor

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    If you want to catch your newly hatched babies, there are many ways to do it.
    When you know, when your larvae will hatch, you have to switch off all pumps.
    All lights have to be off. Larvae usually hatch within the first two hours after darkness. Any disturbance will stop the hatching and the remaining larvae will hatch in the following night.
    Many people recommend to put a spotlight onto the bracing after hatching and the larvae will be attracted to the light. They can be scooped out easily.
    I tried it many times, because I thought, so many people can´t be mistaken.
    They are mistaken. Yes, the larvae will swim into the light. Maybe a few. They are all over the show. If they hatch in your display tank, the light should be close to the front screen. The larvae will be around the light and stay in the water column, instead of hiding into the reef. They will not swim to the surface, close to each other and waiting to be caught. Fish larvae are fast swimmers, so scooping them out is almost impossible.
    The best thing to do is to take a fine net. Move the net slowly and gentle through the water column until all the larvae are in the net. Don´t take the net out of the water. Move the net slowly to the surface and scoop the larvae out of the net. Transfer them into a bowl or something. Make sure they are always in water, when they get transferred.

    If possible, to set up a larvae snagger above the eggs, that´s the best way to do.
    Depending on where the eggs are laid, you have to build the snagger in a way, that you can mount the snagger as close as possible above the eggs. Protect the snagger against movement and make sure, there are no sharp edges.
    The parents will try to move the snagger away from the eggs and the can hurt themselves very badly. After a few times, they will get use to the snagger and except the presence of the snagger without any aggressions.
    To get an idea, how easy it can be to build a snagger, here are a few pictures of mine. For sure, my one is big and I catch close to 100 percent of the larvae.
    But I keep my broodstock in plain tanks without any decoration.
    All you need is your imagination, when you buy the main parts at places like plastics for africa. You will need a small pump, a few fittings and a plankton mesh, around 200 micron mesh size. Oh, a small light would be not so bad. I really don´t need the light, because they get caught in any way. If you set up a small and not a very bright light, the larvae will see the "moonshine" and will swim directly into the up streaming current of the snagger. And you got at least the chance to peep into the snagger, if they are already hatched or not. The first time is very exciting to see them coming up.

    That´s, my snagger.
    [​IMG]

    This is the snagger from the bottom
    [​IMG]

    I can adjust the height of the pump with a cable tie to make sure, the small bucket with the pump is fully submerged.
    [​IMG]

    Here you can see the small bucket, with the plankton mesh. After the larvae is caught in the snagger, I put in the standpipe.
    [​IMG]

    When I take the snagger out of the water, I put it into a big bucket, because the rubber seal around the standpipe seals not very perfect.

    [​IMG]

    The tricky part is to get the larvae out of the snagger. The first lot can be scooped out, but the majority will stay at the bottom. I pour them out of the snagger into the raising tank. The last lot has to be flushed out with pouring same water into the snagger, while pouring the larvae into the raising tank.
     
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  3. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    Very good Marcel. I am sure we will see a number of reefers give it a try.:thumbup:
     
  4. LuckyFish

    LuckyFish Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Thanks Keith. Whatever I write, it is my opinion and what I experienced.
    I am not saying, that is the only way to go. But I think, things I am doing are usually very practical.
     
  5. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    Marcel many reefers on this forum have given the breeding thing a thought. Some have tried and failed because they could not get coached or did not know how/where to get rotifers etc. and raising the fry was disheartening. I am sure this thread will inspire those that tried to have another go.
     
  6. Annoying

    Annoying

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    Great read thanks!!!
     
  7. Warr7207

    Warr7207

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    Very nice thread
     
  8. LuckyFish

    LuckyFish Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    To be honest Keith, I thought many, many times about writing these things here.
    I am breeding now more or less for a year. I learnt so many things, many times the hard way. Why must I share my experience to teach a coming competition?

    Why I am doing this you can read in a new thread.

    Why I do share my experiences of breeding marine ornamentals? - Breeding fish
     
    Last edited: 15 Jan 2010
  9. nakoma

    nakoma

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    great stuff thanks for sharing :thumbup: looks great
     
  10. LCornelius

    LCornelius Moderator

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    Resurrecting the dead are we :p Forgot about this thread!

    I personally would not ever try to remove the rock from the tank.

    Here is what I would do:

    Prepare 25-50 liters of salt mix.
    On hatch night, when the fry hatch switch off return pump and flow pumps.
    Syphon the fry with a thin tube from tank.
    Replace the water with salt mix
     
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