When I was working on my java moss wall project last week, I took out the huge mass of moss that had been growing in my tank and put it in a gallon pail. It had been in my tank for nearly two months and increased in size quite a bit. I had seen platy fry and pond snails hiding in it so there's no telling what all called it home.
When I was finished putting the moss on the plastic grid, I had a little bit extra leftover. I just left in the pail and put it in the cabinet under the tank with a 24" twin bulb T5HO lamp on it. I figured this would keep it alive for a short time until I figured out what to do with it. Not only did it keep it alive, I noticed new growth the next day, and the next day, and the next day, so I figured there was no rush and didn't bother with it again over this past weekend.
So last night I planned to put the rest of the moss over some rocks and wood but when I looked in the pail there were all these little tiny wormy looking things with two black dots on their heads. Much to my surprise, a whole lot of something had hatched from the remaining moss and was setting up shop in my moss pail! After researching what it could be, I narrowed it down to either Gold Barb fry or Oto Cat fry. Later when my wife joined in on the excitement, she noticed that a couple of them were 'stuck on the side of the pail'. This lead me to believe that they are in fact baby oto's.
This called for an emergency trip to get a fry tank setup asap so I purchased a 10 gallon tank and fired up a make-shift fry tank. I used existing tank water from my 75 gallon and potted up some plant clippings to set in there. Lastly, I ran an airline in it for surface agitation that I will soon convert into a more formal filter with a piece of filter pad from the sump on the 75 gallon.
I think I have everything covered in order for them to live, except I don't have any algae to feed them yet.
For last night and today, I've left the light on in hopes that some algae will grow. Tonight when I get home I plan to put something else from the 75 gallon tank that hopefully has algae on it in there. This morning the little dudes were mostly on the bottom of the tank acting like their larger parental versions going around hard at work. I felt bad for them because I know there's little to no food in there yet. Would they eat algae wafers yet if I toss in some of them?