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Master breeder Dean's egg and fry grow out system??


Tedrock
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Howdy Nerms!

Ok I am now ready to attempt a Dean Master breeder fry and egg grow out "like" system.  I saw a video (way back), and I cannot remember where it is now in the Coop Universe, where Dean demonstrated his system.  I would like ideas on similar system to increase my success.  Can my fellow Nerms suggest ideas or videos for me to check out?

Many thanks,

Tedrock

PS Isn't this the greatest picture of Dean!  It makes me smile to see it.  I want it on a T-Shirt!

Dean.jpg

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I use these.  bolts inserted with shrink tubing over the threads to act as a "lip" and stay on the aquarium frame.  Also have coarse sponge material acting as a block for the hand hold overflows.  Lastly, bottoms painted white to allow for better fry visibility.

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32 minutes ago, Randy said:

I use these.  bolts inserted with shrink tubing over the threads to act as a "lip" and stay on the aquarium frame.  Also have coarse sponge material acting as a block for the hand hold overflows.  Lastly, bottoms painted white to allow for better fry visibility.

image.png.df1b0ae3cd1b09d1439e06c2595cdabd.png

I am curious, what kind of paint? I assumed that paint would be toxic (saw someone spray painted their hardwood and I had the same question in my mind).

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2 minutes ago, Dancing Matt said:

I am curious, what kind of paint? I assumed that paint would be toxic (saw someone spray painted their hardwood and I had the same question in my mind).

Krylon Fusion will adhere to plastic and is safe in the aquarium once it is dried and cured. 

 

1 hour ago, Tedrock said:

Howdy Nerms!

Ok I am now ready to attempt a Dean Master breeder fry and egg grow out "like" system.  I saw a video (way back), and I cannot remember where it is now in the Coop Universe, where Dean demonstrated his system.  I would like ideas on similar system to increase my success.  Can my fellow Nerms suggest ideas or videos for me to check out?

This video by @Bentley Pascoe shows the fry system pretty good.

The Most Genius DIY System for Raising Baby Fish I've Ever Seen Featuring Master Breeder Dean! - YouTube

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Couple of tips from my time playing with the general idea. 

First, I don’t love floating rafts. They make it easy to do water changes on the main tank, but I’ve also tipped trays by accident or had them get caught and tip as the tank refills. 

Next, I don’t love blocking openings with foam. I tried it, and I never got along with it. It might have been the flow rate I was using, but to have enough open area it needed a ton of cutout in the tray, or a coarse foam. Too much cutout of the tray made it floppy, too coarse of a foam had babies get stuck in the foam and die. Also foam accumulates debris quickly, and then your trays overflow when you’re at work and all the babies get out. Not fun.

My later versions used a fine plastic coffee filter, but I still hated those too. At least they didn’t clog.

I suspect Dean is FAR more picky about cleanliness than I could be, but I ultimately didn’t get along with the system all that well after playing for about six months. Too many dumped or flooded trays, and chasing babies in the big tank is a pain.

Ultimately I changed to 5 gallon tanks, bottom drilled, with a sponge filter over the end of an overflow. Water goes in the tank, and overflows out the bottom through the sponge. Had a seperate mini sponge for actual filtration, the big ones are just overflow guards. I could pour as much water into the tank using an auto change system (or manually) that I wanted, and the tanks were easy to clean. With the auto change system they got 100% changes daily. Just as another option. 

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I cheat and take the easy way out by using the Marina/Fluval hang on breeder boxes. They have an airlift that pumps tank water in, and an overflow with a grate that controls the level. If that becomes clogged for whatever reason, there's a lip that will let it overflow back into the tank also. Mine is currently housing around a hundred Super Red Bristlenose plecos and God only knows how many pond snails. As long as the big tank is cycled and filtered the breeder box stays good. The grate is pretty fine, but if you've got very small fish that could wriggle through, some foam or fabric can be used to restrict things even more. One of my baby plecos apparently squeezed through the grate as he's now in the big tank. He's only half as big as the guys/gals still in the breeder box as they're fed intensively (which is why there are so many pond snails now in there, they figured out that's where the food is.) He's scrounging around in the big tank for whatever he can find. The breeder boxes are typically under $20 and work very, very well. They're a pretty cheap and effective option that's been well designed and thought out.

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I used to use these but I stopped because I couldn’t keep them clean.  I will rethink their use.  Maybe I will set up several of them around a five gallon with water changes.  That is an idea. Space is a premium and air is cheap.  I just need a source tank for the clean cycled water.

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If you saw mine with the baby plecos in it you'd know I don't worry about keeping it clean. It's got a lot of mulm in it, algae everywhere, and isn't pretty. But, the baby plecos are happy and thriving. (Five weeks old and between 7/8" and 1" in length and eating like little horses.) I made a DIY algae scraper using a small piece of a Scotchbrite pad hot glued to a small dowel to keep the front wall somewhat clean to make it easier to watch the little guys/gals. I've upped the waterflow to about a tablespoon a second through the box and everyone is doing great. It's not a pretty showtank, but the fish are very happy and that's what matters.

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  • 3 weeks later...

@AdamTill

I've had the same struggle with foam. Anything coarse enough to not clog quickly also allows very small fry to escape. On my breeding box I switched to a small square cut from a perforated tank divider and so far have had great luck. The holes are just large enough to not clog quickly and have completely thwarted escape attempts. I'm currently experimenting with using the same material on a fry tray.

 

breeding tray.jpg

Edited by Lowells Fish Lab
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@AdamTill The plastic coffee filter is a great idea! I’ll have to remember that.

I’d also like to try Dean’s system one day but right now I use a Fluval breeder box. I have to stick a piece of filter bag over the grate to keep my tiny tiny fry in, so I’m wiping debris off it multiple times a day. It’s worth it though for those babies!

The co-op recently released their own fry box that sits inside the tank and it looks really nice.

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