Nedge's Medaka Container Pond Adventures

Nedge

Hi FishLorians,

I'm starting this thread as an ongoing place to record my fish-keeping journey, and I welcome feedback.

I'm so excited today cos I picked up 8x golden medakas for my outdoor 125L (33g) plastic tub pond! They're settling in well and don't seem too timid, though they're far more sedate than the rosy barbs I had before. They swim around and explore a bit, then they "rest" a few cm below the surface. Does that seem normal? They're not gulping at the surface or anything, and the tub is well-planted, so I don't think it's an oxygen issue. Maybe I'd just got too used to the rosy barb antics, darting around everywhere, and need to slow down along with my new friends. Ah no, scratch that idea of them being a little boring - they were just playing a game of "push around the azolla" between 3 of them - funny fishies!

They also don't seem as "golden" as I'd expected - I'm not sure if it's a quality issue, a different variety or what, but they seem to have grey spots (some more than others). Interesting cos when they were in the tank at my LFS (and in the baggie on the way home) they seemed quite golden, it's only now I've got them in the pond they've developed "leopard spots". Could it be stress? Or just cost my water is "pondy" and not crystal-clear. I still think they're beautiful, I'd just hate to miss a sign that they're sick or something. Anyone one with any ideas?

Here's a quick photo (not a great shot - can see a few of them hanging out near the pink rock in front of the water celery pot).

I love my new fishies
 

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Ouse

I’ve never kept rice fish/medakas before but I believe that they like to swim around all levels of the tank similar to guppies and platies. Occasionally they will rest close to the surface but after checking your aquarium details I can confirm that it’s not water quality that’s causing the fish to swim in this pattern.

If it’s oxygenation problems then your rosy barbs would showcase behaviour to suggest this and/or stay close to the filter. Make sure that there is some surface agitation but not too strong since you’re using aquatic plants. Live plants provide oxygen to the water but they need carbon dioxide to respire. Strong surface agitation depletes the water of carbon dioxide.

Your pond seems to be doing fine from what information you have given.
 
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Falena

Hi! I keep and breed medaka myself, I've got a thread and discussion going on currently here Oryzias Latipes: The wonderful Japanese ricefish! | Freshwater Fish Forum | 482058 if you'd like to jump in and share at any point

Congratulations on the find!
wonderful fish that you'll learn to love more and more once they come out of themselves, they're very active and playful fish once they settle in and warm up (they're slower and more sluggish in cooler water)
Personable too if you interact with them enough.
They do change colour quite drastically under different light and stress factors.
They also appreciate a pH of 7 upwards. So perhaps consider adding a bit of limestone or crushed coral to your pond to raise the pH just a tad.

High amounts of light gives these guys a ton more colour as well, so putting them in a sunny spot or when the weather brightens up (depending where you live) you'll definitely see a stark colour difference and I'm sure you'll see that beautiful gold again!

Don't worry about them hanging at the surface either, they are very much top dwelling fish and they'll happily nap and bask in the sun.
 
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Nedge

I'm really enjoying my medakas. They're doing well, though they still seem to be sorting out territory. They do this thing where they sidle up to another fish then sort of flip out and "accidentally" bump their neighbour before swimming off fast chasing each other, just like a bunch of school kids!

They still have the "leopard" spots, some more than others. A couple of them have also developed a blue/purple sheen which is very attractive; I'm watching with interest to see how their coloration develops. If I can get them to stay still enough I'll try and get a couple of decent photos I can post.

They're eating well. Yesterday my hubby found a container full of mosquito larvae in our yard and I had great fun transferring some to the fish pond and watching the medaka chase excitedly after the wriggling larvae.
 
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Falena

I'm really enjoying my medakas. They're doing well, though they still seem to be sorting out territory. They do this thing where they sidle up to another fish then sort of flip out and "accidentally" bump their neighbour before swimming off fast chasing each other, just like a bunch of school kids!

They still have the "leopard" spots, some more than others. A couple of them have also developed a blue/purple sheen which is very attractive; I'm watching with interest to see how their coloration develops. If I can get them to stay still enough I'll try and get a couple of decent photos I can post.

They're eating well. Yesterday my hubby found a container full of mosquito larvae in our yard and I had great fun transferring some to the fish pond and watching the medaka chase excitedly after the wriggling larvae.

If it is warm where you are, that behaviour may well be a spawning ritual ! Theyre not territorial, although awfully playful. But if they are sparring and bumping, you may have a female carrying eggs!

Their colour could be something quite special, pictures would be wonderful if you manage to catch the wriggly little guys (I know how it is haha)

Bet they had an amazing time with those larvae! I'm glad you're enjoying them so far, it only gets better
 
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Nedge

I'm a terrible photographer - even when they're relatively still I can't work out how to get my phone to focus on the fish instead of the pond infrastructure! But this image shows the spots on my medaka (and in real life it's much more obvious)
And this is my pond setup as at a few weeks ago - I'm gradually making a little relaxation oasis for myself with lots of pot plants. Intention is to do frequent small water changes by scooping out fertilised water for my plants, as well as vacuuming near scoria (lava rock) substrate weekly. I don't have any filtration apart from the aquatic plants and the vac (no easy access to power).
 

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Nedge

So now I come to think of it, the previous fish I had in this tub were 8 young (up to 2 inch) Rosy Barbs, which I moved on when I learned I'd need a heater to over-winter them where I live. When I took the barbs out they went from being fairly plain coloured with green/blue metallic colouring along the spines and slight reddening fins (plus one of the largest ones whose lower body was reddening up too), to showing more "normal" colouring in the clear plastic tub I used to take them back to the pet shop.

I'm thinking that the muddy-coloured spots I'm seeing on my medakas might just be more of the same - that the black plastic tub affects how the light bounces off the fish, so they look completely different in my setup than they would in say an aquarium.

This is backed up by fact I took a short video of the medakas while still in the fish shop bag and they looked just as you'd expect for goldens.

Mystery solved, it just took me a while (derp!)
 
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Falena

Medaka especially are effected by light! So you're right.
They enjoy lots of almost direct sunlight ,sometimes you'll see them actually sunbathe! The light is definitely important for the colour and development of your medaka.
They spawn in warm and bright light. Their eggs and fry need direct light too.
I raise my eggs and fry with 13 hours of direct (artificial) light a day
 
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Nedge

Urg, that's going to be a problem. The sun here is so fierce I don't want to cook them in summer, and I brought them in now the weather is cooling down so they'd be sheltered from frosts over winter. There's lots of light, but no actual sun directly on the pond. And I'd have to spend hundreds to get power to the site, that or string up ugly cables and stress when it rains. I'm sure I'll figure out a solution, but it seems every time I've got the set up sorted a new issue pops up. But that's the fun of the challenge!
And thanks for your insights Falena - your input is greatly appreciated!
 
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Falena

Urg, that's going to be a problem. The sun here is so fierce I don't want to cook them in summer, and I brought them in now the weather is cooling down so they'd be sheltered from frosts over winter. There's lots of light, but no actual sun directly on the pond. And I'd have to spend hundreds to get power to the site, that or string up ugly cables and stress when it rains. I'm sure I'll figure out a solution, but it seems every time I've got the set up sorted a new issue pops up. But that's the fun of the challenge!
And thanks for your insights Falena - your input is greatly appreciated!
Oh! That's understandable. Partial shade would be best.
Its not a worry to keep them where they are, they're very hardy. Its really just for colour and spawning.
They'll be fine so long as you don't mind their colours changing.
They'll spawn regardless with the weather warmth.
My guys look very different, even under different artificial light! Really hard to get pics.
You take them out, they get stressed and dull out.

Don't worry about it , they don't NEED direct sun, they just absorb light and look pretty.
The fry need light, but I'm sure they'd be fine as long as there's some light hitting them.

And you're more than welcome! I'm obsessed with these guys, I love talking about them. Its great to find others that keep them,. Not many Medaka keepers on here
 
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Nedge

Could these be eggs???

Funny, it's not the fish I thought might be gravid based on roundness. I also thought they carried the eggs on a kind of string, not right up close between the fins. And the "eggs" seem more white than I expected, but they seem to be ovoids of about the right size.

There is still a LOT of bickering going on constantly with the whole gang, such that I'd wondered if the ratio males:females was way off.

Would love your opinion Falena!
 

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SixThreeOh

Those are eggs. They carry them in a cluster. She'll rub them off on plants.
 
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Falena

Could these be eggs???

Funny, it's not the fish I thought might be gravid based on roundness. I also thought they carried the eggs on a kind of string, not right up close between the fins. And the "eggs" seem more white than I expected, but they seem to be ovoids of about the right size.

There is still a LOT of bickering going on constantly with the whole gang, such that I'd wondered if the ratio males:females was way off.

Would love your opinion Falena!
I agree with the above user! It appears you have eggs. They do carry them externally and as SixThreeOh mentioned, they are adhesive. Once fertilised, she will then stick them to plants, surface cover (and even each other in some silly instances hehe)

I wouldn't worry too much about your ratio, as with japanese ricefish , the female is are fertilised by several males and can produce a very large number of eggs!
During their little sparring matches, I've never really noticed any damage or real stress on adult fish.

Side note: looks like you may actually have bicolour ricefish , rather than just gold. Which is a great thing, far rarer at least
 
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