The Dario Derring-Do

Discussion in 'Member's Blogs' started by Sean S, Apr 6, 2016.

  1. Sean S

    Sean S Executive Board

    I put the female Dario dario I got from Nate with one of my males in a breeding tank. Hopefully I will see some breeding activity once they settle in to their new quarters.

    Here's hoping for a BAP in a few months.
    Aquaticus likes this.
  2. Sean S

    Sean S Executive Board

    No breeding activity from the Dario dario pair yet, the female is huge so the male might not be big enough to tackle her yet. He has colored up quite nicely though. I might try putting another male in for competition. Here is a pic of the colored up male, colors are much more vibrant in person, I need to work on my photograph skills.

    On another Dario dario note, the other one I got from Nate as a possible female is starting to color up so it will probably turn out to be a male. :(
    Tom and Aquaticus like this.
  3. Sean S

    Sean S Executive Board

    A couple positive nano fish notes today.
    • My male Dario dario was starting to display and chase the female when I fed them tonight. I think the sudden influx of microworms distracted them but the male was still trying. Not the most intense displays I have seen from this species but it's a start
    • I spotted 4 Elassoma okefenokee today. I hadn't seen more than three at a time for quite awhile. I rearranged the tank a bit when I did the last water change so there were more shaded open areas I could see near the bottom. This allows the fish more security while providing me more visibility. I even saw two swimming near each other, usually if one got near another one swam away. I have noticed one is lighter in color than the others and I suspect this one is a female as it seems more tolerated by the darker ones than the darker ones are with each other.
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  4. Sean S

    Sean S Executive Board

    I moved my Neolamprologus multifasciatus to a smaller tank that is set up better to get a colony started. I had them in a 29 with a few shells and minimal substrate. It was what I had available when I got them and hadn't had the time or space to rehome them. They are now in a 10 gallon with sand substrate and lots of shells.
    Moving them was interesting, there was only one that I knew was in a shell I moved. I just kept carefully moving shells into a bucket of tank water. They didn't get the traditional acclimation either. I just put the shells in the new tank, I figured there was some water in the shells and it would reduce any quick fluctuations. A couple of hours later I was able to see all of them out and enjoying the new tank. This tank will make it easier for me to see the details in a smaller fish than the other tank because of where it's located in the fish room. I took a few pictures of the fish in the new tank and I will post them when I have time to get them off my camera.
    AreYouKiddingMe likes this.
  5. AreYouKiddingMe

    AreYouKiddingMe Active Member

    I want to get some shellies for my 14 gallon biocube.. multies are like rabbits.
  6. Sean S

    Sean S Executive Board

    Still no definite signs of breeding with the Darios yet. Occasionally I think the female looks slightly slimmer but I am not certain, who knows, maybe she tried a new diet ;). The male looks resplendent, the bluish white edge on his pelvic fins have extended significantly past the rest of the fin. I have not noticed these pelvic fin extensions in any of my Darios before. If anyone else has I would be curious to find out. If I have some time and the fish cooperates I will try to get some pictures or video.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2017
  7. Sean S

    Sean S Executive Board

    I noticed that my female D. dario looked significantly slimmer today and the male was pursuing her, not vigorously but pursuing her. I did not notice any eggs nor did I observe the wrapping behavior that would make me more confident about spawning but here's hoping!
  8. Sean S

    Sean S Executive Board

    I found something tucked in the java moss in the D. dario yesterday during a water change. I don't know what it is, it could be recently hatched snails, fungused dario eggs, viable dario eggs, or something completely different. I could not see it clearly enough and couldn't find my magnifying glass. I pulled it out and placed it in a container with an airstone. If anyone has thoughts I'd love to hear them, I will update if I figure anything out. I tried taking a picture but I can't get one that helps at all. From what I can see it looks like several light yellow possibly fuzzy spheres 1 to 2 mm in diameter. They were all in an area probably less than a cm in diameter. probably less than 12, at least 5.
  9. Sean S

    Sean S Executive Board

    Well, the mystery whatever I mentioned in my last post was apparently not viable eggs, not sure what it was but no fry were produced. And my female died today:(:mad: so unless the pair spawned in her death throes I am out of luck until I find another female:(:(:(
  10. Sean S

    Sean S Executive Board

    The nano fish have been frustrating lately, not much success with them.

    I had a pygmaeus sword that looked ready to drop fry but still hasn't, the adults seem to be doing fine but the females are not dropping fry. I am getting rid of a few males at the next swap since I have 5 males and 3 females so I can get a more favorable ratio, maybe the females are just getting harrassed too much to produce fry.

    I have failed to get any eggs from my Pseudomugil cyanodorsalis group, given the need for a little salt I think I might move on from this species and try something new.

    I just set up my Aspidoras sp. Senger to spawn again, after getting eggs a month or so ago that failed to hatch I have at least had some positive steps with this group, I have gotten eggs twice but no fry yet. Maybe the third time's the charm.

    I recently moved my Neolamprologus multifasciatus to my desk top tank at work (20 long) and they are already hard at work redesigning their new digs. I am hoping once they settle in the will start breeding now that they are reaching adult size. Stay tuned...

    I will be on the lookout for female Dario dario and other Dario species as funding and tank space permits so I can get the Dario Derring-Do back on track.
  11. Sean S

    Sean S Executive Board

    I got some blackworms on Friday and threw a few in the Elassoma tank. The next day they were more active, less shy and a couple were darker. I am hoping this means that the males are thinking about courting and preparing to color up. Of course, that's assuming I have both sexes to begin with. I saw three for sure so there is a decent chance one of each sex is present. Two looked noticeably darker so I am speculating 1 female and 2 males. The tank has lots of plants and hiding places so they should be able to find a spot they like. I will keep throwing in a few blackworms and see if I can do an extra water change or two.
  12. Sean S

    Sean S Executive Board

    The Elassoma are continuing to darken and I thought I saw the first hints of blue this weekend. The fish are also much bolder and I often see them near the front of the tank. I have seen a little fighting between the two darker ones and they are all plumping out on the black worms although the lightest one does look more female in shape. I'm running low on blackworms, I'll have to try to find more. I feel like my Elassoma are getting close to breeding, I hope if they do I can keep the fry alive!
  13. Sean S

    Sean S Executive Board

    Thanks to Tristan I have a group of juvenile Dario dario to work with!

    I got a total of 13 but I think one died in the unbagging.

    I prepared a 20 long specially for them and as they sex out I plan to move trios to breeding tanks. Depending on how many females I end up with I will likely try to purchase some males to strengthen the blood lines. I will try to post a few pictures of the tank when I get a chance. Currently the tank is at about 77 degrees F and is softened tap water. I am hoping they will breed in my water and I don't have to add rainwater, my prior accidental breeding was in tap water so it should work. Tristan had been using some R/O in his tank so it may take the fish a while to adjust. They have been eating microworms already in my tank, I haven't tried prepared foods yet but Tristan said they were starting to eat foods that weren't live. I have had success in the past with cyclops-eeze but that is not available anymore.
    The tank setup has several pieces of driftwood with Java ferns attached and a large mass of java moss in the center of the tank covering parts of some of the driftwood. There are also floating plants (duckweed, hornwort, hydrocotyle sibthorpioides) and some crypt wendtii. There are no other inhabitants other than the ubiquitus pond snails and some blue jelly shrimp that hitchhiked with the Darios that I haven't bothered to catch out yet.

    Stay tuned for more updates as these fish grow...
    Mike F likes this.
  14. Mike F

    Mike F Executive Board

    I was hoping you'd get that lot! Good luck!
  15. Sean S

    Sean S Executive Board

    I bought 10 from him anyway, the lot was a bonus three
    Mike F likes this.
  16. Sean S

    Sean S Executive Board

    The D. dario that I got back in August seem to be doing OK but they are not growing fast or starting to color up. I have at least 9 left so I should have a good mix of males and females. They are the only residents on a 20 long so should have plenty of room. I was hoping I would be able to identify males from females at this point but unless I got all females I can't tell them apart yet. For such a small species I am surprised at the lack of maturity given that I have had the fish for several months. Perhaps over the holidays I will be able to feed more frequently and add some live foods back into their diet. Since losing my microworm culture they have been eating primarily Cyclops-eeze which has been a good food in the past and what I used when I bred them years ago, but maybe some more frequent live foods would be helpful.

    I hope the new year will bring these fish into adulthood and I can try breeding them again. They are a great little nano fish that would likely be more common if routinely captive bred in the US.
    Mike F likes this.
  17. Sean S

    Sean S Executive Board

    The holiday weekend produced a present for my Dario dario group as well. I was doing a water change in another tank and moved some rocks while cleaning. I noticed under these rocks there was a sizable population of planaria. Being the fish geek I am my first thought was not "Gross, flatworms!" but instead, "Ooh, fish food". Planaria are one of the primary natural food sources for the Dario species so I squirted the flatworms into a container and fed them to the Darios. I posted a YouTube video and linked to it on the club facebook page if you are interested.

    In watching them eat I did notice a couple of them are starting to color up so I may be able to separate out breeding groups. I also counted at least 9 maybe 10 still alive so I should be able to get a couple breeding pairs or trios and still be able to distribute some females to those who want them. (Yes, there is a list already)

    So now I am going to see if flatworms can be easily cultured, they probably can be, that would be a great food source for Scarlet badis breeders!
    Sharron likes this.
  18. Sean S

    Sean S Executive Board

    I got ambitious and motivated to work on the Dario dario project on New Year's Day. I did a water change and pulled out all the fish to try to sex them and get an accurate count. I have 10 fish from my original group of 13 so that is pretty good. The video I took last week showed a few fish starting to show colors but, of course, as soon as I started netting them it became more challenging. Fortunately I have spent a lot of time looking at washed out D. darios in pet stores trying to find females so I took my best guesses. I came up with 2 likely males, two probable males, 3 likely females, and two that I am calling possible females but was really not sure either way. I took the likely and probable males and placed them in breeder traps and small containers in a separate tank to see if I can get them to color up better and confirm or disprove my IDs. The possible and likely females were placed back in the main tank. This should give any possible males I missed a chance to color up in the presence of females but I am hoping to get at least 5 females. Once I am more confident of my IDs I will select breeders and set up a tank just for breeding.

    I also started researching planaria culturing. It is possible but will require more work than most live food cultures. I will give it a shot and see if I can produce more via culture than I can harvest from tanks they occur in. They apparently do best in flowing water that is relatively clean. This surprised me as they tend to naturally occur (at least for me) typically in tanks that are dirtier with little current. Also, my research on the Dario dario habitat was slow moving backwaters so it seems odd that planaria would be their primary food source. Possibly cultured planaria are a different species than those found in the Dario habitats.

    If I get some males to color up I will try to get some pictures to post.
  19. Sean S

    Sean S Executive Board

    After a few weeks of separation 4 of the 5 fish I thought were males have started to color up and I am pretty confident in their sex. The 5th I am confident is a female. The probable females do not all appear female so I may have to do some isoation there as well to confirm sexes. I am pretty sure there is at least one male in there.

    Because of my confidence in the sexes of my isolated fish I began my breeding attempts. I took the most colored up male and placed it with the female in a 3 gallon container hanging in a 40 breeder. For now I am leaving the other 3 males in breeder traps inside the 3 gallon. My hope is that by doing this I will create some competition between the males without having to worry about the female being unduly harassed if she is not ready to spawn. I added a couple clumps of java moss and some floating plants, a couple small pieces of driftwood, and a couple PVC elbows to the 3 gallon breeding tank. It has a sponge as its only filtration. The PVC was added because some reports indicate that they may be cave spawners and my personal observations indicate that they do use these as shelter at the very least so they will do no harm and time will tell if they are necessary.

    Once I identify additional females I may add another to the tank. I may also set up additional breeding groups depending on the ratio of males to females I end up with. With at least 4 (probably 5) males I will likely sell off one or two of the males. I will keep at least two males, if I have space for a third breeding group (and enough females) I may set up three but might be better served picking up an unrelated male.

    I also started my planaria culture but it will likely be quite awhile before that gets going as I did not have a large group to work with. I did take some video of the process and once I get it spliced together will post it on the MadTown Youtube channel.
  20. Sean S

    Sean S Executive Board

    Last weekend I went through the supposed female tank and looked at all the fish again to see if I could confirm sexes. There was defiinitely one male, a couple pictures of him are below. The other 4 appeared to be females giving me an even split of 5 males and 5 females. Given this information I set up the following groups to potential breed. In the 20 gallon long tank that the fish grew out in and the "females" were most recently in I left the male pictured below and two females. I have seen the male displaying and hasing the females in this tank but no wrapping observed yet. When spawning the male will wrap around the female to get her to release the eggs much like Bettas do. In the 3 gallon container that the probably males were isolated in and around I placed 2 males and 2 females. There is clearly a dominant male in this tank and despite the small confiens I am hard pressed to find all 4 fish at the same time. I have seen the dominant male displaying but less chasing than the male in the 20 gallon. Both tanks have java moss and other plant cover as well as driftwood. The 3 gallon container also has a couple of PVC elbows as caves/ hiding places, some reports indicate that they may use caves to spawn in. I don't know how reliable those reports are but it doesn't hurt anything to have them available. The remaining 2 males and 1 female I placed in another 3 gallon container, this fish will eventually be sold as I have a couple peole looking for females and males are easy to sell. But, until I have an opportunity to pass the extra female along to the first person on my list I thought trying a different setup was worth a shot. This tank just has a spawning mop and sponge filter.

    Oh, and my first attempt at a planaria culture appears to have failed. I will try again when I have some time and a population of planaria.

    A couple pictures of the best looking male:

    Dariodario1crop.jpg Dariodario2.JPG
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