How to Keep the Fry Nursery Spic and Span

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Betta fry are delicate creatures. Tender. Prone to falling prey to all manner of things. Especially early in life when they tend to be on the more vulnerable side. Which might account for the high die off rate many newer breeders experience as there are many pitfalls that can wipe out your burgeoning brood. Some can lose almost an entire spawn and be left to wonder why. Conclusion? Rearing fry is way harder than producing ‘em.

Most of us have a clue we need to keep the fry tank cleaned of debris and to watch the water parameters like a hawk. (You do know that don’t you?) But do we REALLY know this. It became obvious that most don’t when reading an article recently, cleverly entitled Power Growing Your Fry. Seems much like power lifting or power walking, you have to put more power behind the water quality thing if you want your betta fry to grow fast and healthy.

Part of this stems from the growth inhibitor that fry as supposed to be pumping out to limit their less healthy less genetically well-endowed kin. In a race to the top of the local food chain it helps if you can trip up the competition. Knowing that runts and also rans won’t be first in line when the chow hits the water. Meaning more for you and less for them. Sucks to be in the “them” category, you know?

Yet even if you don’t buy into that theory, changing water often is still likely to be somewhat critical to developing show worthy specimens in the least amount of time. Knowing as we do how bad water can bring with it so many diseases to visit on your fish it only makes sense.

Mystery Snails: That aside, it helps to have a mystery snail or two to drop into the tank to help scarf up any leftover microworms that have stopped wriggling or BBS that have found a last resting place on the bottom of the tank. The less of that kind of leftovers going bad the better.

Ammonia Levels: It’s also wise to keep an eye on pH and ammonia levels. The later more so than the former if you have an Indian Almond leaf or two in the tank.

Vacuum Away: Still you also want to vacuum up any gunk that is fast piling up on the bottom. It’s amazing how much and how fast that can happen with a tank full of fry who are eating all the time. Who knew? It’s more or less a what goes in must come out kind of thing I guess. As the admittedly somewhat jumpy video below shows below there are ways to get the suction where the action is. One is by attaching a length of rigid airline to airline tubing. Or you can do what the person in the video does. Just be careful around the fry. Although again the video shows a great way to avoid traumatizing any hapless fry that get caught up in the cleansing vortex unleashed on your bare bottom tank.

Water Changes: Most will also tell you that around 14 days after spawning you want to start to do some water changes. Maybe 25% three or four times a week replacing with aged water with similar parameters so as not to stress out the babies.

Topping Off the Grow Out Tank: Also if you’re going to use a grow out tank start off with a significantly lowered water level and raise that over time. Making sure your top off water is gently drizzled into the tank, not dumped.

Surface Scum Free: And you want to keep the surface scum free as tender breathing organs develop. Otherwise you will lose more fry this time to drowning? This video also suggests a way to accomplish that. You might also cover the top of your tank with plastic wrap to keep the air inside more on the humid side. Which will also aid the development of their labyinth organ.

Finally keep in mind this is sort of a temporary challenge. At about eight weeks you’ll hit the next speed bump in fry raising – jarring. Still it helps to have a plan of attack to get your fry to that point with as many surviving as possible. All part of the art of rearing betta fry.

About Lucas
Putting a name with a face I'm Lucas Smatana. Like you I'm passionate about betta fish and hope to share my enthusiasm. The idea here is to make sure you get helpful info and useful ideas on betta fish care that really work. To insure your betta keeping experience is a good one both for you and your fish. So that you and your pet enjoy a long, happy and healthy relationship.

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