Miracle Fry

BibiLee

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to share this thrilling news, as everyone on the internet seems to say that my Hillstream Loaches are living in poor conditions for them so it‘s near on impossible for them to be happy let alone breed.

Here‘s the thing. I have a community freshwater tank ‚ 60l with a single 300l interior sponge filter, an airstone that gives rather large bubbles and a small Bio80 CO2 apparatus.

Pic here for reference:

B2D51C79-546F-4CB1-AE72-474EBE3B6D8A.jpeg

Stocking is a bit heavy but has not caused me any issues since I reduced the food :
10 adult neons
10 harlequins (about 4-5 months old I‘m guessing)
3 adult hillstream loaches
6 amano shrimp (I thought they were ghost shrimp but turns out they‘re not, now that 3 females have black eggs)
1 black nerite racer snail (I think, it‘s really fast moving)

The neons started laying eggs early on but the amount of food they need to spawn is too high for the aquarium, if I try to sustain that level of food, I get ammonia spikes. So the neons have not fully developed their eggs in the last six weeks, but that‘s ok as the eggs get eaten within a couple hours of laying anyways. The harlequins are not old enough to spawn but there has been a couple territorial spats between the three males (ha, out of 10 fish only 3 males). The harlequins were hiding a lot so I added some floating plants about three weeks ago and they do feel more at home thanks to that.

Two weeks ago, I noticed this guy, seen up close and behind his dad:

4337D7DE-7283-4C7C-ACD6-B3E680726BA3.jpeg
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I was impressed and thrilled! Now he‘s grown bit, here he is now:


63A56C28-D1AA-447A-9154-C61FD62DCD85.jpeg
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And today, I noticed a tiny little fry about 2mm long, hiding under the big plant featured here. But that one I didn‘t see again so was unable to take a pic.

What I’m seeing is either a miracle, or hillstream loaches don’t need all that current, oxygenation, flat rocks, no gravel, loads of light and so on…

Just wanted to share and open for any thoughts, experiences?

Thanks everyone!
 

Coradee

Congrats on the fry, you must be doing something right.
I don’t know much about Hillstream loaches but if they’ve spawned for you once they may repeat the process so keep a look out for more surprises. :)
 

BibiLee

Congrats on the fry, you must be doing something right.
I don’t know much about Hillstream loaches but if they’ve spawned for you once they may repeat the process so keep a look out for more surprises. :)
Thanks! I’d still be interested in any views from anyone who knows them
 

BibiLee

I guess the main predator for the fry in my tank is the Amano Shrimp and maybe the harlequins, which may be why only one survived. I‘m wondering if I‘ll ever see more… The baby has grown! I‘ll try to get a good shot of it this week.
 

BibiLee

Today, I was able to take a picture of the fry again, it has gained weight since last time I got a shot:


6C88B9E4-60DC-47C7-B810-9D442BB6139E.jpeg
4095537D-3336-431B-AE26-721F55AC886D.jpeg

And whilst I was taking this picture, a movement caught my eye and I was thrilled to see this:


AB82F4B1-373F-4518-B91E-DCBC015C772C.jpeg
8F102B49-5141-4D6F-935E-736A829336A5.jpeg
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Another fry! A tiny one too. Looks like I get one survivor for each spawn!

Here I‘m calling on experts because I searched online but can‘t find much about this:
- how many eggs do hillstream loaches usually lay at one time?
- how many times a year or month do they spawn?

I‘m curious how often I can expect such surprises.

Also, I‘m afraid about sucking up the sand during clearing now! They are so small it would take ages for me to be able to see them in a bucket with a background of dirt flying around… next time I‘ll plan a few more hours for my water change so I can wait for the dirt to settle to see if I can spot any fry in it… tank hygiene is going to be come agonizing!
 

chromedome52

The eggs are laid in crevices in rocks, so they probably found some hidey holes in the driftwood or the decorations. Shoving the eggs into tight crevices keeps predators from eating the eggs. Even snails would have a hard time getting to them. However, as soon as they hatch, the fry are vulnerable, but if they make it to a tight space where they can hide and feed on microorganisms (planted tank would have lots of those) then they can survive and grow.

My experience is that they are constant spawners in the aquarium, as there really are no seasons. They lay a few eggs at a time, crevices are limited space.
 

BibiLee

The eggs are laid in crevices in rocks, so they probably found some hidey holes in the driftwood or the decorations. Shoving the eggs into tight crevices keeps predators from eating the eggs. Even snails would have a hard time getting to them. However, as soon as they hatch, the fry are vulnerable, but if they make it to a tight space where they can hide and feed on microorganisms (planted tank would have lots of those) then they can survive and grow.

My experience is that they are constant spawners in the aquarium, as there really are no seasons. They lay a few eggs at a time, crevices are limited space.
Thanks Chromedome52, that‘s good news, if I’m lucky it might get several every year :)
 

BibiLee

A quick update on my ‘babies’ - the eldest is now double in size and stripes are starting to get more regular:


E3909733-67B2-47AA-9AF7-0A157C014F0B.jpeg

F4AC32DF-C73A-429B-BC63-901E1F674366.jpeg

And the little brother is now about the same size as when I found the first one a while back:


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So cute! No more miracles recently but then again, I did a very in depth cleaning of all the muck accumulated between the plant stalks and under the decors etc. so I took away quite a few of the possible hiding places that might have previously been stalked by my loaches.
 

Chris1212

That's awesome. Unfortunately my two hillstreams are male so no kids for us.
 

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