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Tips for Hatching Fish Eggs?


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I plan on buying medaka eggs directly from Japan to hatch out; as they're expensive (at least relative to my income) I'm a little nervous about hatching and raising them since this would be my first time hatching fish eggs. I've been able to gather the basics off of youtube videos; ex. keep the water clean (50% water changes every day until they're a certain size), feed fry a variety of foods more often than you would an adult fish (3-5x a day) bc they have small bellies and quick metabolisms, use one (1) drop of methylene blue per (variable) no. of gallons of water to keep the eggs from fuzzing up (and, failing that, use tannins from botanicals), etc. etc.

Is there anything I'm missing or have I mostly got everything down? Is taking my first try at hatching eggs with ones that are so expensive a bad idea? I plan to order them late March/early April to make sure shipping temps don't dip below freezing in my area, is this a sound idea? A little worried about temps in my house but I've heard medaka eggs just need to reach a certain number of degrees across multiple hours to hatch.

Apologies if this is in the wrong section, figured egg hatching was bundled into breeding.

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I’ve had mixed experiences. I think temperature with the eggs matters. I’ve bought from Japan in winter and had poorer hatches then I had with eggs from Hawaii in spring. Follow their directions and have all your foods and setup all ready before putting the order in. You can do a dry run with some killifish eggs if you want but I say once your got your setup do it. 

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  • 11 months later...

I just hatched some mail order Rice Fish eggs from Hawaii. Here’s what I experienced.

Day 0 -shipped

Day 3 - arrived (started daily methylene blue 50% changes) keep water at 76*

Day 10 - 8 hatched

Day 11 - 6 hatched

Day 12 - Day 18 nothing… started to freak out… rethought my decision to buy eggs through the mail… added a rigid airline tube slowly bubbling… moved eggs to a room with sunlight and placed on eastern side of room to only get first hour of sun each morning 

Day 19 - 5 hatched (blood pressure started to lower)

Day 20 - 2 hatched

Day 21 - Day 22 nothing… wondered why I had been able to see eyes in the last 5 eggs for over 14 days but they wouldn’t come out.  Moved eggs to a shallower container. Removed the airline 

Day 23 - Acclimated last 5 eggs to fry tank water and dumped them in (kind of gave up on them ever coming out)… came back in 30 minutes and they had all hatched. 

If I was hatching more eggs I would

1) Try to keep them about 76*.

2) Place them in a room that gets sunlight but not have them in direct sunlight for fear of the water heating up to much in the sun

3) Start with “full strength” methylene blue for the first few days of water changes and then taper off to just clean water over a period of 10 days or so

4) Not be so stressed if it takes more then 3 weeks

I don’t know that I’d do bubbling air again. Instead I’d keep the eggs in a shallow container (1 inch or so of water). 

The other thing I would recommend is not spending so time worrying about the eggs that you are not ready to take care of the tiny fry.  

Have a plan on how to remove the fry from the egg hatching container (I carefully used a turkey baster)  

My fry started eating Hikari first bites right away. By day 7 or so they seem to also be able to eat baby brine shrimp. 

I do agree that you should follow the directions included with the eggs… if there are any (mine didn’t have any). 

Good luck!

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