Kinda Disappointed...Rookie Mistake I guess

keithb7

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My wife and I are new the our Freshwater aquarium. We started it 6 months ago. It's doing pretty well. We have done through a fair bit of issues and killed off some fish but it's been stable for a while now. We are learning from our decisions and mistakes.

We bought 3 swordtails. 1 male and two females. We had 2 Gourami, 1 died. We have 2 orange Tetras. I think there's one guppy left. 3 little grey trout-looking fish, not sure what they are. (pic below) My wife says they are some type of tetra. We have 1 snail and a sucker/algae eater that are both doing well.

In early Feb Swordtail momma #1 had about 35 fry. We collected them into a floating breeder tank. Momma died the very next day. The fry started dying off here and there. By week 4 all had died. In early March Swordtail momma #2 had her babies. About 40 or so. They slowly started dying off. By week 6 we had 3 or 4 left. By week 7 we had 1 left. He looked strong. We kept him in the breeder tank and he looked good. His black and orange colour coming in nicely. Week eight we let him out to swim with the other fish. They sorta bullied him a bit so we put him back in the breeder tank. Each week he got a little bigger and stronger. We'd let him out in to the tank with the rest of the fish. We'd monitor him and see what was going on. Then put him back in the breeder thank. Another two weeks, we let him out again. This time we left him un-monitored. We called him "Slim" as his chance for survival did seem very slim. 79 or fry before him all died. He was a survivor.

We went outside for a few hours to work in the yard. Came in and Slim was beat to h e l l . Fins missing. Scales missing. He'd lost his colour. Barely breathing, we scooped him up and put him back into the breeder tank. Slim never made the night. A dead floater when we got up in the morning. How disappointing. I have a feeling the Gourami, Tetra and Momma Swordtail are likely culprits. Seems to me they can be aggressive toward small fish. Slim seemed like he was a healthy size. He was now too big to fit in any other fish's mouth. I guess they couldn't eat him so they decided to kill him anyway. We may try again, but next time leave the fry in the breeder tank for 6 months I guess. When these aggressive fish die off, they likely will not be replaced. LOL.

Do we have a less than an ideal blend of fish types here? How long should we expect to leave fry in a breeder tank? Seems like a boring and a dull existence for them in there. Guess we're overthinking it maybe. Just toss a plant in there for something to play around, and call it good for six months for the fry? I'd like to try raising fry again. It's fun and interesting. I like the swordtails. I may go buy a few more adults and see if we can breed better this time around. Our tank is stable now. Chrystal clear. Levels showing good, steady conditions. Perhaps we can up the odds of survival from 1 out of 75, past 6 weeks. Thanks.
IMG_6270.jpg
 

trinity28

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What size is your tank? The picture of the fish you aren't sure of is a Panda Tetra, sometimes called a Dawn Tetra of Paraguay Tetra. They are your problem. They are very active and very aggressive, especially towards fish smaller than them.

For fry survival, many people don't suggest using breeder boxes at all. I breed guppies and either leave the fry in their own tank and provide them with many hiding places (plants, decorations, etc.) OR collect them and move them to their own tank. This is what people refer to as "grow-out tanks". If you are interested in raising the swordtail fry, you could do either of these things. You could also continue to try using the breeder box and see how it goes. Be sure to feed the fry really small crumbled up pieces of food so it can fit in their mouths.
 

MomOfLiveBearers

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The way your tank is setup right now is not ideal for fry at all. They need lots of hiding space. Large hiding holes that bigger fish can also fit in wont suffice in and of itself. I would add more dense plants that the fry can hide out in. Or get a grow out tank. Just remember with 32 gallons even if only half of a litter survive thats a lot of extra waste on your tank. It will take a pretty consistent monitoring and maintenance to keep your parameters down. Best of luck!
 

Fae

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While innate aggression and lack of hiding spaces are definitely the main issues of why your fry got beaten up, another factor is likely how small your schools are. Tetras are schooling fish, and absolutely need at least 6 of their own variety to feel comfortable. They're also related to pirhannas, so keep that in mind! With a tank that big, you should easily be able to accommodate a few more members of each species- however, if you aren't liking them anyways, I would suggest selling them or giving them away locally, and getting some fish you do like that are more peaceful.

If you're wanting to raise fry in that tank, you would want to add a lot more plants and decorations with hides, because even the most peaceful fish will happily eat a tasty little morsel of fry given the opportunity.

What type of gourami do you have? And do you have a pic of the sucker/algae eater?

If you're wanting Tetras still, Lemon Tetras might be a good option. They're one of the few Tetras that aren't aggressive with other inhabitants, I have a school of 9 and they keep it to themselves, if at all (never actually had any damage done to anyone or actual fights, just charging and warning nips)

Other fish to consider might be mollies or platies, they're also livebearers and are very peaceful. Rasboros are good community fish as well. Gourami can be hit or miss, it's very species dependant. Bottom feeders like corys and ottos are good too but definitely not with aggressive tank mates and not without much more hides
 
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keithb7

keithb7

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Thanks for your replies. The points made about the lack of hiding space for fry is legitimate. I'll consider looking at some more plants or other objects for fry to hide in. We are hoping to add more fish to the tank soon. The local pet stores that sell fish have been closed due to Covid-19.

Here is pic of my bottom feeder:

Bottom Feeder.jpg


The Gourami I had was removed from our tank. It was pretty aggressive and causing a lot of tension in the tank.
 

CindyVBPets

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Are you feeding that pleco plenty of sinking wafers? Because your tank is so spotless there's no algae for him to eat. I agree it was other fish but quite possibly he made a mistake and sucked onto the juvenile fish. I'm a pet sitter and that happened to one of my clients right in front of my eyes. He didn't do it intentionally - they don't see well.

I would return that pleco to the store. You don't need him. He also needs wood to suck on that you're missing. Further putting him into the "suspect" category searching around sucking for stuff. Healthy algae is GOOD not BAD. It means your tank is alive and if you're trying to grow live plants that's all part of the balancing act. if you keep some on some walls fish will even eat it although I realized that's not for everybody's tastes. (human, that is). Is that a live plant or two I see in the back?

Also he's going to get huge. He's just taking up valuable real estate that you could enjoy more with adding a/few more fleshed out school(s) of fish. I didn't add everything up but a school of cory cats would be very cute and fun. Much more than the reclusive Pleco/Algae Eater. Not sure about them with the large gravel though, someone would have to advise you on that.

If you keep him, also he needs a hiding tube they make especially for that purpose.

I'd also try and get my tank stabilized and the way you want it before attempting the "raising fry" thing which takes quite a bit of research.
 

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