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Well, everything’s put back together! The water’s super cloudy so no picture of the new setup, but I do have a picture of the in-between stage.

Just before we moved all the fish to the holding tub (with the air stone and heater):


The rinsed gravel! CaribSea Super Naturals Blue Ridge:




The male pleco was guarding babies!!! 😮🤩😍 I had been suspicious since he hadn’t left the cave for dinner in several days, despite me dropping a wafer right next to it like I usually do.

Still, it was such a surprise to flip over the driftwood and see all the little wrigglers attached to the log!

I put about five in my ricefish grow out tank which is full of biofilm, and maybe 15 in the center portion of my platy breeding tank, which has a nice piece of driftwood in it.

The rest I tried to siphon back under the driftwood after the tank was set up again. I put Dad Pleco back in next and let him settle for a bit before adding the other fish. He’s in the cave, but who knows if he ate the babies and is just chilling, or if his dad instincts kicked in and he’s guarding them again.

So cute!!!!

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I must have missed where you spoke of the yogurt cup. Is that a fry box?  OMG you just solved a problem that been perplexing me for months!  My ziss hatch/fry box has excellent flow but powdered food fall through. My panda and Pygmy eggs I’ve been reluctant to hatch because I’m afraid they will starve. My specimen containers do not have enough flow to hatch with out meth blue and a lot of work. Holidays pinch my budget so I could not order another. A cottage cheese cup and mesh covered holes. YOU ARE BRILLIANT!  

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Hahaha @Guppysnail that’s actually just my homemade colander that I use to diffuse water flow as I pour new water in the tank. But I’m glad it inspired you! I’ve home-made breeder boxes before, and the trick is to make sure you get enough flow through that super fine mesh so the water inside can circulate out. It’s very easy to poison your babies with bad water. You can put an air stone right underneath the cup so the bubbles go around it, or you can put the cup in the flow from a powerhead, or you can make your own uplift tube to drip water into the cup. Lots of options—you just can’t leave it to diffusion.

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EEEEEEEEEE the Queen Mother platy gave birth this morning and I caught the end of it!!! 🤩

I came into the kitchen, started feeding the fish as usual, and saw a baby on the blue platy side of the breeder. One of the females looked ready to burst, so I thought maybe she had just started. However, the other female, the big blue wag platy, seemed unusually stressed. So I kept an eye on them both.

She really didn’t want to keep birthing while I was there, but after about half an hour of patience, standing back, and watching, the big blue wag platy popped out the last five babies. She did her best to hide behind plants and release them right on top of the fry slurper, but they’re strong little wrigglers and most of them are able to zip away from the current.

I ended up getting out a net and scooping up the ones that had hidden in the salvinia at the top of the tank. Watching those Peru collecting videos has really improved my fish-catching strategies. I ended up transferring about 35 babies into the middle section of my breeding tank. And those were just the ones that were easy to catch!

I also noted that most of the vibra bites I gave the blue platies ended up sinking to the bottom, uneaten, and that everyone looked rather full. 😅 So I believe they were having a feast this morning. The snails will be happy.

All told, I imagine Queen dropped 70+ fry!!

Hopefully I’ll be up for taking pictures later. 😃

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I took a few videos and had fun making them into YouTube “shorts” with music 😄

Hee’s one of the pleco babies. It’s so, so cool to me that when they’re this size, you can see their two-chambered heart beating!

I’ve attempted to scrape algae off my tank lids to feed to the little guys, because they sure look thin. I haven’t seen any go for it though.


And last but not least, here’s a video of the Queen Mother’s babies! 🥰


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  • 2 weeks later...

I’m away from home for a week and missing my fishies. I’m enjoying living vicariously through everyone here. 🙂 

A few random pictures:

We got a LOT of snow last week. This only happens once or twice a year where we live. The chickens were… sad.


My sister got my cat a hat for Christmas. She put up with it only because she was getting her favorite treat: poultry flavored kitty toothpaste.


I still love the new gravel in my 55 gallon. CaribSea Super Naturals Blue Ridge. Everyone seems super happy! I’ll start slowly changing out the hard water over the next month or two.


And one exciting development on the fish wall is… I’ve gotten a super nice hutch as a hand-me-down! So much storage! There’s a top piece with glass doors that’s yet to come, so unfortunately I can’t put a tank on top of this 😄 but still, it’s REALLY nice to have a huge storage cabinet. It’s mostly really nice for my husband, who’s thrilled that I’ve been able to get fish stuff out of two other rooms (dining room and pantry). Those drawers will be really nice for storing small items I use a lot!


Hubby’s taking care of all the animals while I’m away. He’s the best. I made him frozen brine shrimp cubes for the baby platies so he just has to drop one in every day, and for the community tank I used the pill box trick I learned from someone here on the forum.

When I get back (and when this covid peak is over) I’ll have to bring more platys to the LFS!

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On 12/27/2021 at 9:13 PM, CalmedByFish said:

@Guppysnail and @Hobbit You're both geniuses. 

To make it easy to put mesh over the holes, maybe the holes could be cut in the plastic, and then a leg of hosiery pulled up over the container, with the top of the hosiery rolling itself over the top of the plastic. 

Bonus points: It'd look SO classy! 

This is rather reminiscent of a certain Christmas movie🤔

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  • 2 weeks later...

I came home to some drama! The powerhead was apparently off the entire week I was away, and Boy Fish had made a HUGE bubble nest! I’d never seen him make a nest or color up like this. He’s all grown up!


He was trying pretty hard to flirt with his sisters but none of them really knew what they were doing. 😅

Unfortunately, Boy Fish and Dad Fish had gotten in some tussles while they were both full of hormones, and Dad Fish is now missing a chunk out of his tail. It looks to be healing up just fine, but I did feel bad for Dad Fish. He’s such a good fish, and he doesn’t deserve to be beaten up.

Overall the display tank is doing really well. I think everyone’s much happier on the new gravel. Apparently the loaches missed the increased current while the powerhead was off, because right after I turned it back on, I caught them being super cute!

I’ve never seen them play with each other so gently before. Whenever I’ve seen them swim nose-to-nose in the past it appears more aggressive, like they’re seeing who’s bigger, but this time they just seemed to want to have some together time. 🥺 ❤️ 

I’ve made some progress on feeding my pleco babies! First I found this:


And then I also found this!


It looks like seeding some skewers with algae is really working for them.

Where do I get the algae, you ask?


From the lids of my tanks, of course! I’ve been sticking a new skewer under each lid every day, and 24 hours later feeding it to the plecos. Not much algae actually sticks to the skewer, but it seems to be enough to give them a little meal.

Who would have thought there’s actually a use for that under-lid slime? 😄

I’ve also found a bit of a hack for testing my water. I now have some sticky notes rubber banded to the outside of the test strips:


Easy record keeping with just a snap of the camera. No need to try to label the pictures afterward.

Unfortunately, it’s time for some sad news: some of my baby platies are growing melanomas. 😞 It’s a genetic issue that’s known in platys when you cross different types, and I’d heard of it but didn’t know much about it until today. I’m actually going to start another thread about it so the info’s out there for other platy breeders here. But the practical consequences for me was that I had to cull several fish, and I have to re-think my broodstock. I can’t be selling fish that are going to grow tumors. 🙁

You can see that they’re tumors, not just spots, because they poke out from the body of the fish:


In happier news though, I’ve got an unexpected jar of rice fish eggs and wrigglers! When I was water changing the 10g medaka tank, I discovered a HUGE mat of thread algae. I almost threw it out, but of course it was full of eggs. So I stuffed it in the largest jar I own and will wait two weeks for all the babies to hatch before putting the fry… somewhere. 😄  I’m feeding them infusoria from a culture I started recently.

These little eggs are right on the surface, constantly staring at me:


And last but not least: please enjoy this adorable video of Mom Pleco nomming a Hikari mini algae wafer.

Edited by Hobbit
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  • 2 weeks later...

One of the amano shrimp snagged a flake yesterday. “My flake!!”


Great news! I went to my LFS with about 60 platys and some bunches of plants. When I explained to the owner that the platys’ siblings had tumors and I was really careful to not bring him any fish with even a hint of what could be a tumor, he told me I’m welcome to bring the tumor-bearing fish too! He says he has some customers with an oddball tank or a big turtle tank that are happy to take the not-so-nice looking fish.

So no more culling!! 🥰

At this point I have a 10g tank that’s the “tumor watch” tank. That way I can keep them out of my gene pool while I wait and see if they get to be sold for money or just given away. Any fish with a suspiciously dark or large spot gets put there.


I’ve gotten into a lot of unexpected things because of fish, but I really didn’t expect to become a platy dermatologist. 🤣

Edited by Hobbit
Adding pictures!
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