Gertrude Rainbow breeding project - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 72 (permalink) Old 11-24-2017, 11:26 PM Thread Starter
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Gertrude Rainbow breeding project

I love Rainbows and I love large schools of small fish. How killer would a group of 30 Gertrude Rainbows look in a 75 gallon with a large group of Celebes, Neons, and Rummynose? So that's the goal. I bought the 4 remaining Gertrude today. 1 male and 3 females. Great news is they have been in the store for about a month.
I was recently using this tank as a QT tank for Neons, but I'm going to take a break on adding them for now. Plan is to buy 3 more males and 3 more females. Leave the entire group in this tank for a few weeks until I know they have left some eggs. Then I will move the group to the 75 and wait for the little fry.

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ANYONE with insight into breeding these **johnson18** please share any and all that I should do, shouldn't do, temp, foods... anything.
These guys are SMALL.. they are almost to small to see in this 11.4... I think 30 will be the bare minimum to have any presence in a 75 gallon with Neons, Rummynose, and Celebes for certain which are like 3 times this size.
I'm already loving them. This male is a hoot! Kind of like Night at the Roxberry type of guy.
Right now temp is 77*. Did a water change today.
Filtration is a 2213 and a large sponge filter. I'm going to keep adding moss from the high tech tanks until I feel that there is almost too much for them.
So... powder flake food for now? There is no wau they can eat brine shrimp so do I set up a BBS hatchery? Or stick a bucket of water outside and feed whatever collects? Whatever mosquito larva is called? I don't know if they are big enough for that.
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post #2 of 72 (permalink) Old 11-25-2017, 04:09 AM
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Gertrude's are quite easy to breed, especially going the route you are. I would load that tank up with plants though. Consider quadrupling the amount of moss in the tank, at the very least. It doesn't have to be attached to anything. Just toss it in & let it sink. Have you seen the 5.5g that I've got a bunch of Fundulopanchax cinnamonuem in? It's posted in my rack thread. The thing is so full of plants, seriously, it has so much guppy grass, java and peacock moss, some Anubias, and Needle Leaf Java Fern. You cant see from side to side in any direction. The other option would be to use spawning mops. I'd probably go for a couple sinking and at least on or two floaters.

As far as food, I would 100% go with baby brine shrimp. My Gertrude's go crazy for baby brine shrimp! I hatch 0.5 teaspoon per day in a pint jar. After I empty the jar, I rinse and repeat, just one jar per day. This allows me to hatch enough to feed pretty much all of my fish as much baby brine shrimp as they can eat in 10-15 min. I feed in small amounts, multiple times over the course of 10-15 minutes. I don't raise the brine shrimp past about 4-6 hours post hatching, much longer than that and they lose their nutritional value. I do have a grindal worm colony but I've been working on increasing its size over the last couple weeks. They will only be fed to the Killifish, Gertrude's, and Okefenokee Pygmy Sunfish. Daphina works well if you've got a large colony and can pick out some of the smaller sized ones. Besides the live food, I feed a second time per day using a variety of prepared foods such as the Bug Bites, and New Life Spectrum flakes. All of my fish love the Bug Bites. I have to smash them into smaller pieces from almost all of my fish, but it is easily done between my fingers.

As far as temp, I keep mine on the high side of things. Maybe 80*F(?), I'd have to toss a thermometer back in that tank to be sure. My Gertrude's are in pretty much black water, lots of leaf litter. I use RO water, when I do a water change I don't remineralize it or anything.

After removing the first set of adults, give it a few weeks. Hopefully you've let the tank build up some life in it, infusoria and such, which will allow any fry to feed before you notice them. I've got some of the NLS fry powder, seems to work alright. I feed it to my Grindal worms too. When you're putting adults in to breed for a few weeks, remember that the more fish you put in the tank the more mouths you'll have eating eggs. I know a lot of the Killifish people prefer pairs to trios for that exact reason. I think if you've got enough plant mass packed into the tank you'll do fine, even with a little bit larger group.
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post #3 of 72 (permalink) Old 11-25-2017, 04:37 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnson18 View Post
Gertrude's are quite easy to breed, especially going the route you are. I would load that tank up with plants though. Consider quadrupling the amount of moss in the tank, at the very least. It doesn't have to be attached to anything. Just toss it in & let it sink. Have you seen the 5.5g that I've got a bunch of Fundulopanchax cinnamonuem in? It's posted in my rack thread. The thing is so full of plants, seriously, it has so much guppy grass, java and peacock moss, some Anubias, and Needle Leaf Java Fern. You cant see from side to side in any direction. The other option would be to use spawning mops. I'd probably go for a couple sinking and at least on or two floaters.

As far as food, I would 100% go with baby brine shrimp. My Gertrude's go crazy for baby brine shrimp! I hatch 0.5 teaspoon per day in a pint jar. After I empty the jar, I rinse and repeat, just one jar per day. This allows me to hatch enough to feed pretty much all of my fish as much baby brine shrimp as they can eat in 10-15 min. I feed in small amounts, multiple times over the course of 10-15 minutes. I don't raise the brine shrimp past about 4-6 hours post hatching, much longer than that and they lose their nutritional value. I do have a grindal worm colony but I've been working on increasing its size over the last couple weeks. They will only be fed to the Killifish, Gertrude's, and Okefenokee Pygmy Sunfish. Daphina works well if you've got a large colony and can pick out some of the smaller sized ones. Besides the live food, I feed a second time per day using a variety of prepared foods such as the Bug Bites, and New Life Spectrum flakes. All of my fish love the Bug Bites. I have to smash them into smaller pieces from almost all of my fish, but it is easily done between my fingers.

As far as temp, I keep mine on the high side of things. Maybe 80*F(?), I'd have to toss a thermometer back in that tank to be sure. My Gertrude's are in pretty much black water, lots of leaf litter. I use RO water, when I do a water change I don't remineralize it or anything.

After removing the first set of adults, give it a few weeks. Hopefully you've let the tank build up some life in it, infusoria and such, which will allow any fry to feed before you notice them. I've got some of the NLS fry powder, seems to work alright. I feed it to my Grindal worms too. When you're putting adults in to breed for a few weeks, remember that the more fish you put in the tank the more mouths you'll have eating eggs. I know a lot of the Killifish people prefer pairs to trios for that exact reason. I think if you've got enough plant mass packed into the tank you'll do fine, even with a little bit larger group.

I added about as much as I could without severely restricting swimming space. There is a good 1" thick carpet of moss on all sides of the driftwood and covering it now. I could maybe just throw more in, but I would need to remove the hornwort I think. It's packed down pretty tight right now. They all look really happy today and they are swimming all over the place with the male going from 1 female to the next. Didn't see any real egg laying.
Are you thinking I should maybe just keep this group in here for a few weeks? My concern in getting another group in here at some point is there is no way I'm going to catch fish out of the 75 once they are in there without tearing it to pieces. I'm thinking about setting up a small 5 or 10 gallon with ANOTHER sponge filter to move moss into to hatch? Then replace the moss?? Maybe keep this group in here until I get a good group going? The biggest problem would be setting up another tank somewhere near the others and finding another outlet for air pump, heater, and light.
I don't think without a heater that they would do well. My wife freezes me out at night and has the house at 68*. I clearly need another setup to transfer egg laden moss into for hatching if I want to get any appreciable group size.
This tank has been setup for a pretty good period of time. At least 8 months. The sponge is only in there as a food source.
Maybe I could do another 11.4 and set them next to each other and use 1 longer light? Move the sponge into the tank that the moss will go into? I can figure this out. I'm super happy with these guys. They are amazingly active and healthy...
There are just too many beautiful fish.

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post #4 of 72 (permalink) Old 11-25-2017, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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I managed to make space for a 12" by 12" which is perfect for a Spec III. Do you think that would work? Super neat and compact and I wouldn't be growing anything but moss in there with the fry??

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post #5 of 72 (permalink) Old 11-25-2017, 08:16 PM
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Lol. Dude you got room for a ton more moss. Donít pack it down though. Iím serious, load that end of the tank up with moss. When youíve got enough that itís up to half the height of the tank, youíre good. Donít worry about restricting swimming space. The fish will be just fine. Hereís the 5.5 Iím breeding some Killifish in. There are 12 adult fish in here & yet I still get fry






Sorry about the crappy picture, the current location of this tank doesnít allow me to easily get pictures of it. Honestly, I used a selfie stick for these pics. We keep it around for group pictures while out cycling, & to see whatís living in our tortoiseís den. It also works well for up close pictures of the venomous creatures we often find around here.

If youíre wanting to leave these fish in the tank with the current amount of plants/moss, then youíre not gonna get any young out of there. It sounds like your best bet might be to use spawning mops. This would allow you to pull the mops, pick out the eggs and the hatch them separately. You can water incubate the eggs like you would with killifish, in a small Tupperware container with a couple drops of methylene blue. Mops are easy to make and use.


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post #6 of 72 (permalink) Old 11-25-2017, 10:05 PM Thread Starter
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More moss it is then! Ive got a little more growing out in the 75's and I'll keep packing it in. It looks nicer and greener when it grows in this tank. Do you think a Spec 3 would be large enough to place the eggs and moss into?

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post #7 of 72 (permalink) Old 11-26-2017, 02:24 PM Thread Starter
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Added some more Christmas moss. And this morning I remembered I had left a 5 gallon bucket outside that I had been using to soak driftwood. As I thought, it was packed with mosquito larvae. So everyone got an all you can eat sampling. It was pretty funny watching them poke their heads out and be like "what are you doing over there?" As soon as the first one came out of the syringe they shot over and slumped them up like spaghetti noodles. I'll check back shortly to see if that encouraged any breeding

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post #8 of 72 (permalink) Old 11-28-2017, 11:10 PM Thread Starter
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I've been giving them mosquito larvae at least once a day. I've got some Brine shrimp eggs coming and I can just use on of the battery powered pumps and a 2 liter bottle right? I've watched some videos. I still need a brine shrimp net and I need to figure out the salt per liter for the water.
I got up extra early to feed them some mosquito larvae which they loved, but i still havent seen much interest on the males part. Not like the other Rainbows especially the Celebes. I'm thinking more than 1 male is needed. Hopefully they get some in on Thursday. If do I was thinking 2 more males and 3 more females? I think I'm going to pick up a Spec III for rearing the fry so I'd like to get it up and cycling. I really like these guys. The females are especially bold. They swim right up to the syringe going after the mosquito larvae. There are still 5 or 6 Carbon Rili shrimp in here.

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post #9 of 72 (permalink) Old 12-01-2017, 04:03 PM Thread Starter
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I am manually doing the lights on this tank because I cant do more than a 6 hour photoperiod and I love watching these guys. Yesterday I had exams from 9am and didn't get home until about 7pm with a massive migraine. So they got about 2 hours and some crushed flake. Ive feed a large amount of mosquito larvae twice thus far today. Mostly studying for exams this weekend, but Wednesday Ill be able to put some effort into breeding these guys. Ill pick up a Spec 3 next week and get it cycling for eggs.

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post #10 of 72 (permalink) Old 12-01-2017, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
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The plan as of now is to keep packing the moss trimming into the bottom and pretty much let the hornwort spread. I haven't decided how I'm going to really proceed yet. I'll start hatching BBS next week Maybe? Or I may setup the Spec 3 and transfer the sponge from this tank to the Spec 3 and put a new sponge in here? It's a big sponge obviously and there isn't a ton of room in the Spec 3. Perhaps I'll transfer the biomedia from this tank to the biomedia compartment in the Spec 3? In any case I can't transfer moss from here to the Spec until I'm sure it's cycled.

As for the Spec I was thinking of putting a good bit of windolev in the back with a piece of wood and then just dropping in the moss. Maybe swapping moss back into the main tank once the fry are free swimming?

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post #11 of 72 (permalink) Old 12-02-2017, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
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Although it's listed for sale for $60, apparently thats an on line only price. I went to 3 Petco's and couldn't find a single one. A fourth Petco had 2 black ones, but they were $70. The cashier said that the advertised $60 price is internet only. He added "you know they are going to squeeze every nickel they can out of you". I agreed and made no further mention of it. He then said that he believed that this one had a burned out LED so he should probably discount it. I said I didn't want one with a burned out LED.... but how did he know?? He never opened it.... oooohhhhh.... I thanked him, but it seemed like he wanted it quiet so I thanked him again and we left.
This is definately the nicest built tank I've ever owned. Everything is perfect and the light is REALLY bright. I didn't even turn it on for pics because of how much brighter it was than the tanks next to it and it looked washed out.
I'm going to let the windolev grow out some more before I transfer it since I'm not counting on much growth once I put it in there. Packed an entire bag of ceramic media from one of the ac70's in one of the 75's into the areas in the sponge so it should cycle instantly. I'll still drop some flake in twice a week and test the water next week
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post #12 of 72 (permalink) Old 12-02-2017, 07:22 PM
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Why are you waiting so long to hatch bbs? What are you feeding the adults? If itís not live food, it probably should be.


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post #13 of 72 (permalink) Old 12-03-2017, 01:18 AM Thread Starter
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Managed to gather another golfball of moss from other tanks so I added a little to this. I think it looks alright. I'll add 1ml of metricide until the eggs are transferred in. Maybe some windolev on the left.

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Why are you waiting so long to hatch bbs? What are you feeding the adults? If itís not live food, it probably should be.


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Mosquito larvae now. I'm slammed with exams and I just don't have the time to feed a couple times a day and I've never done it. Exams are over Tuesday and I'll get my first batch going then. I've got a battery powered bubbler and a brine shrimp net and eggs. Other than that I just need a bottle right? Use sea salt? How much? I literally have no clue. I don't even know how much I should dump in. It's 4 fish that are maybe an inch long.

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Managed to gather another golfball of moss from other tanks so I added a little to this. I think it looks alright. I'll add 1ml of metricide until the eggs are transferred in. Maybe some windolev on the left.

Bump:



Mosquito larvae now. I'm slammed with exams and I just don't have the time to feed a couple times a day and I've never done it. Exams are over Tuesday and I'll get my first batch going then. I've got a battery powered bubbler and a brine shrimp net and eggs. Other than that I just need a bottle right? Use sea salt? How much? I literally have no clue. I don't even know how much I should dump in. It's 4 fish that are maybe an inch long.


Dude, I totally understand about exams. My ass has been getting kicked for weeks straight. The last regular exams this week, finals the following week all bunched into two days.

I definitely donít feed twice a day when Iím busy. Honestly, I donít even feed daily when Iím super busy, more like every other day.

Overall, bbs are insanely easy to hatch, I spend less than 5 minutes setting up a batch. It takes a little longer to drain, rinse and feed. A battery powered air pump sounds like a pain & a waste of money on batteries. Iíll pm you a list of how I do it. I donít even make my batches as large as the directions on the back of the package, I usually cut it in half or less. Even with that I feed all of my tanks. Since bbs is super nutritious I see no reason not to feed it to everyone. All of my fish love & do great eating them!

The more plants the better. Floating plants would be a huge help for fry too.


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post #15 of 72 (permalink) Old 12-03-2017, 06:56 PM Thread Starter
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My brain is officially fried.... somehow a paper that I spent 4 days working on wasn't submitted when I submitted it. I have substantial evidence that it was completed weeks before the due date. Due to this my 96 may end up dropping to a B... In the midst of all of this I decided to dose 1ml of metricide... which pretty much killed all the snails. Going to do a big water change now. Im thinking a 1/4ml might be ok daily until I add eggs?

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