German Blue Ram Wigglers Die Before Free Swimming Help

Discussion in 'Breeding Fish' started by Pierre O, May 2, 2019.

  1. Pierre O Valued Member Member


    I have had several spawns from my German Blue Rams (Thanks @coralbandit for the beautiful ,healthy fish with fantastic size and color - 1 pair is spawning like clockwork every 7 Days (the other ones spawned once in gravel and I will let them try 3 times before attempting to take the eggs), but the wigglers never make it into the free swimming state. I started following AquaticJ's Ram Guide and tried so far
    - 1L white Plastic container in 55Gal Tank (LED Light on) with RO Water and Air Stone at 84 Degrees , 1ml peroxide per Gal. = (well over 90% Eggs hatch in approx 48hrs , Most Wigglers survive 48 hrs (some 72-96hrs) then die (even the 96hr wigglers were not free swimming
    - 5 Gal Tank filled with 2 Gal Tap Water (No light) (PH7.0 / no Nitrate/Nitrite or Ammonia) and HOB with pre-sponge set to very low Flow, 1ml peroxide per Gal. = (over 95% Eggs hatch in approx 48hrs , Wigglers survive 48-60 hrs then die
    - 1L white Plastic container in 55Gal Tank (LED Light on) with Tank Water (same as fish spawned in) and Air Stone at 84 Degrees , 1ml per Gal. peroxide per Gal. = (approx. 70% of Eggs hatch in approx 48hrs , Wigglers survive only 24 hrs then die

    I have taken 3 x half spawns (let them begin on one stone, half way through take stone and replace with very similar stone) and they continued to spawn on the second stone. Fish ate all the eggs after guarding them for approx. 36-48hrs , believe right before or after they hatched.

    Are there any more suggestions on what to try, or just continue to play with Air amount/Height of Airstone and Temperature when hatching the eggs? It looked like results between Tab Water and RO were similar. I took another batch this week, again with 1 Liter Plastic , Tap Water , Peroxide but this time switched off the light assuming the light could have caused issues before. Any additional Tip would be appreciated.

  2. DutchAquarium Well Known Member Member

    why do you use Reverse Osmosis water? I breed rams, and really, you should just you your aquariums water. the matured water with all the microbes is what you need for a healthy system. Also, throw in some indian almond leaves to combat fungus. I also want to add, that i normally just leave the eggs with the adults now. I've gotten good results both leaving and removing the eggs.

  3. jmaldo Well Known Member Member

  4. Pierre O Valued Member Member

    Thanks for the replies and I am glad to hear that leaving the eggs with your fish works out for you. To your questions/comments.
    As you can see above, I tried Tank Water, RO and Tap Water. RO was recommended in the Ram Guide written by @AquaticJ (most likely because Tap Water did not work for him), but I wanted to give it a try since Tap Water did not work during my attempt. My Tank has a lot of Driftwood and Almond leaves, which I tried as well with the same results. In addition, I have left 1 complete and 3 partial spawns with the parents and all eggs were eaten before or right after eggs hatched. My second pair spawned and did the same, therefore I was trying the artificial way. Since the wigglers never made it into the free swimming state, feeding or cleaning routines can be ignored in my opinion. Unless you (more experienced) breeder suggest continuing the same routine and there might be chances that egg quality are substantially different from batch to batch , I wanted to see if I should try something different. Just did not make much sense to me to continue the same without some adjustments to the process. @DutchAquarium Is your recommendation to leave the peroxide out and just rely on Tannins against fungus on the eggs? FYI - I am stopping to add Peroxide as soon as first wigglers hatch.

  5. coralbandit Fishlore VIP Member

    Hey Pierre !
    I would want to know the TDS of the water the fish spawn in . From my understanding after the eggs get fertilized water does not really matter much . I do try to keep it the same always while raising fry but the need for special water is basically to get fertile eggs . So if your eggs hatch then you should not be changing the parameters [I only test TDS] from the tanks value .
    How much are you circulating air for the eggs . I have seen too many people putting the air right on the eggs .That is completely unnecessary and IMO a problem ..After the eggs hatch are they allowed to rest in hatching tank or are they still circulating in bubbles ? Once eggs hatch I pull the airstone [which was on other side of my hatching container from eggs ] all the way up near the top of the hatching tank . This keeps water oxygenated but not circulating and cause the fry distress.
    Need t

  6. Pierre O Valued Member Member

    I still have to get me a TDS Meter and only have GH (90) and KH (2) "I test very infrequently for these". PH is 6.7-6.8 and Nitrate usually between 5-15ppm. I indeed used very strong flow from my airstone right over the eggs, pulling the airstone up to about half after they hatched, but due to the small container size (Round tall 1L measurement Cup basically) there is still a lot of turbulence in it. The Trial in 5Gal Tank with HOB "even though adjusted to lowest setting" might have had the same problem. I lowered the air and moved the airstone in current container just now. I also set-up an airstone instead of the HOB in the 5 Gal and might try that that instead of the 1L if the Rams spawn again next week. (hopefully). Will try again with tank water after that if the other 2 options don't work. Thanks @coralbandit @DutchAquarium for the feedback
  7. AquaticJ Fishlore VIP Member

    If you would like, by all means try your tap and only tannins to keep off fungus, your hatch rate will plummet. Coralbandit uses the same technique of RO water, only difference is he uses meth Blue instead of hydrogen peroxide. My guide will steer you in the right direction, I can promise you that.

    Clearly a 95% hatch rate means you’re creating a superb environment, and I would not change it. Address the next step, keeping the fry alive. As coralbandit said, try lowering the air flow. You could pull it up like he said, or at this time is when my little sponge filter usually goes in. The flow is then directed to the top and the water level is also right above it, this creates very gentle flow.

    Here’s the black/blue crossed frys tank

    Attached Files:

  8. Pierre O Valued Member Member

    Thank you Sir. Without your guide (and Coralbandits Fish) I probably would have struggled getting this far, definitely appreciated having all Tips and Requirements in one spot. I will try all your recommendations and report success or failure. I will continue using peroxide, especially with using tank water. I realized during the last tank water trial (even though my water looks pretty much crystal clean) that there is tiny debris floating around and attaching itself to the eggs. Without the parents cleaning this off, I can see fungus would build up quickly. I do have one more questions to @AquaticJ and @coralbandit . Are you guys introducing fresh strains into your selected breeds after a few generations or just generally pick the strongest and continue with those over and over?
  9. coralbandit Fishlore VIP Member

    I pick best and keep breeding the fish I have . I pull breeders from same fish I sell every year .
    In 7 years I have outcrossed from my originals 3 times now .
    It is tough to find good unrelated fish .
    I have to say with every time I add a new line [Yunites was my first out cross ,then rams from Kansas ,then ram from Israel ] I find a new genetic defect . Yunites had the Iridovirus IMO, the Kansas rams were real good with moderate fin defects and the Israel rams have short bodies like balloons and more fin deformities ...
    It is important to keep the best and pull the odd ones from your breeding selling stock .
    I understand when new breeders keep most fish , but myself bad ventral fins are the end of the show for rams in my fish room .
    I only keep and sell the best that I can breed and raise .
  10. jmaldo Well Known Member Member

    Just checking - Don't you use a few drops of Meth Blue to combat fungus on the eggs?
  11. AquaticJ Fishlore VIP Member

    Mine have been crossed with coralbandit’s and the same line that he got from Israel, I can imagine we’ll swap again and he can use my line too. But the whole point of culling in the first place is to get those defects out of the line, otherwise you’re usually fine. This would be quite a while down the road until you’d have to think about this. And as Tom said, it’s tough to find good ones, I don’t trust most people’s fish, I’ve seen way too much. With his I didn’t quarantine them because I knew it wasn’t necessary. But I don’t think I’d do that with anyone elses Rams.

    @jmaldo yeah he uses meth blue, I use peroxide, same results. I tend to spill things so I stay away from meth blue.
  12. Pierre O Valued Member Member

    That makes sense. I figured that besides the visual/obvious trades you could accidentally promote other unwanted characteristics/weaknesses you won't see but later in the fishes lives while you already have chosen that line to breed further, but based on your feedback that is not of concern or can be corrected by good culling practice to promote only the best trades to breed further. (and most likely good documentation of lines chosen). Thanks a bunch. Obviously I am a decade (or more if I don't get the wigglers to survive) away from worrying about that :) - It's my understanding free swimming to 6 weeks old is the most critical phase and I can't even make it through the easier one. I will stay on it though and am sure by fine adjustments from previous mistakes will get there.
  13. coralbandit Fishlore VIP Member

    I used the peroxide on last couple batches .1ml per large dip and pour 2x a day till wigglers .
    It is easier and no need to remove water to get rid of the MB. When I use MB it is1 drop max to a large dip and pour and that may last through hatching .
    If you use MB you need to remove it as soon as eggs become wigglers.
    The toughest time is free swimming to 14 days .
    In most cases if you keep ram fry alive 14 days you are out of the real tough time .
    At 6 weeks you should be looking at your final count if you can keep them in a large enough tank as they grow.
    Buy 4 months if you have a good sized batch survive you need a 40b minimum for them .
  14. AquaticJ Fishlore VIP Member

    Didn’t know you tried it! I agree, much easier and breaks down on its own.

    Be mindful not to add your sponge filter while using the peroxide, you will knock your bacteria out, I made that mistake my first time.
  15. Pierre O Valued Member Member

    Wigglers hatched (have about 70-80). I had substantial amount of fungus on the stone on remaining eggs when I came home. Not sure if I messed up the dosing of peroxide or less air did promote it, but believe I had at least 25-35 eggs left on the stone this time. (all white though and I might have pulled the stone to early from the tank before the male could fertilize all - was 10pm and light went off). Using Air Stone running on surface "as suggested" in the 5 Gal with dechlorinated tap water. We'll see how it goes this time. Next trial would be with Tank Water and same air set-up if this is not successful. Did you guys ever had Ram Pairs switch females? Weirdest thing, but for some reason did the females change corners today (males stayed in their territory) and instead of pushing the females away, they both get along with the other female now.....

    Thanks for letting me know about the sponge filter. Peroxide should be broken down after 24-36hrs, so I should be fine adding it tomorrow afternoon - would you suggest to wait till they are free swimming? (which might not be that much longer then 36-48hrs I assume)
  16. AquaticJ Fishlore VIP Member

    Yeah no rush on sponge filter, you won’t have readable ammonia until you start feeding them and they grow, which is when theyre free swimming
  17. Pierre O Valued Member Member

    I can confirm, my Rams are not swingers ;). Both females back in their corners as of this afternoon. Wigglers clustered up into 5-6 bunches. I see some movement, but they are for sure not darting around. Tested Ammonia and Nitrite just to be sure and all is well (I got some debris from the spawning stone I just can't get out). They are sitting in clusters (just wiggling every once in a while). Is this normal? This is exactly what I had seen the last few times before they all died the next day. (See attached 2 examples) "Sorry for the bad pictures, difficult to focus"
    Ram Fry 1 (2).jpg ram fry 2 (2).jpg
  18. coralbandit Fishlore VIP Member

    All good like that .
    They should be like that for same amount of time it took to hatch . Then they will start to free swim .
  19. AquaticJ Fishlore VIP Member

    Yes they’re attached via egg sac/after birth idk what to call it. Awesome!!
  20. Pierre O Valued Member Member

    At this point in time they are still all sitting like shown in Sat pictures on the bottom. I see a few wiggling slowly around the floor. This usually has been the day I have lost them all in the past, so curious to see what happens. (I can tell one difference already, the last couple times those clusters were broken up due to the water or air flow, which then could have caused the issue with fry dying if they are naturally attached with the egg sacks I guess). With the adjustments you guys suggested this is not the case, so I am hopeful. Saturday I was reporting my Rams are not swingers, but as it seems, the smaller female not frequently laying, put eggs in the gravel and the "wrong" male fertilized them. This is the second time she laid and even though there are stones right beside the spot, this is the second time she dropped eggs into the gravel. Aren't Rams normally bonding with a female and not switching unless the other female is gone? It seems the other female is getting ready to drop eggs today or tomorrow and as it seems changed the male as well. Thanks for all the help so far, I feel I am making Progress this time.