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101 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Last wed I had blacktail shiner eggs. Five days and 6 hours later and I have fry!!! Only about 10 right now. Not to mention I also got engaged Saturday!!! All good things. On to the info part.

There isnt alot of information on raising or breeding black tail shiners so I will share my experience for future reference.

Blacktail Shiners Cyprinella Venusta

Starting Thte breeding process
The fish started breeding as I brought water temps up to about 75 degrees from around 68 to 72. I also wasn't doing water changes. Instead I would top off the aquarium and monitored my water. As the nitrates went over 180ppm I did a large water change 30-50% and flushed out alot of the nitrates. This imitates rain and spring, or so I have been told. Amonia and nitrites were always at 0. PH at 7.6-7.8. I also started ading cyclop-eeze to the feeding routine. Before you knew it I watched them laying eggs in crevices under my 2"-3" rocks in the substrate. I use rocks ranging from .5" to 3"-4".

Caring for the eggs
I collected the eggs immediatly after they were fertilized and moved them into another aquarium (with very little flow) They say in the wild eggs are laid in current averaging around .6mph. You will know the eggs are fertilized when the male joins the female in the crevice and rubbs on her for a few seconds. She has already laid the eggs at this point and he is actually simply fertiling them. After the eggs are fertilized the female will leave and the male will guard them. After collecting the eggs I just put my eggs in a low flow aquarium as far away from the filter as I could. 5 days and 6 hours later at 76 degrees and they are just starting to hatch. Normal Red shiner hatch time is 3-5 days.

Fry Care
The fry are long and thin, they are clear in color minus their eyes. They are extremly hard to see even in a net. They appear too small to feed crushed flake and cyclop-eeze so I will attempt baby brine shrimp in the morning. If that doesnt work I have some infusoria Iv been culturing too.

I will update this info as I move through the process of trying to grow out these fry.

Alex R.:smile:

Today I can count over 50 little squiggly things and there are still some hatching. I think a fair hatch period is 7 days for these shiners, unlike most of the others that hatch in 3-5 days. Indeed they are too small for brine or crushed flake.

Infusoria it is.

However I dont think they are eating yet. They arent what I would call free swimming at the moment, they rest on the bottom and shoot around if bothered.

Alex R.

To keep track of my project today I have 10 free swimming fry and about 50 fry still hugging the bottom.
All the egg shells disapated on their own.
My infusoria culture has gone foul and Im not quite sure why. Until I start it again Im hoping they can make it on baby brine shrimp.
The fry developed small circles for stomachs but it could be an unhatched brine shrimp egg that im afraid may get stuck in there intestines.
So far they still have no color other then their stomachs and eye balls.
Iv lost three today, they were the first casualties. There are a few others that look cloudy but are still moving when disturbed.
Im hoping for a 75% survival rate.
I think I have around 60 fry total.

Alex R.

Today I only have about 10 fry left at the bottom the rest are free floating. I did lose one more fish though.... It is a nice sight to see all these little guys, their so amazing to watch. They are still very small, too small to mix with my swordtail fry that are just one week older. Im affraid the other fry will eat them.

Lost one more today I can see a few are ingesting baby brine by the color in their stomach but im a little worried since at this point I could have had another infusoria culture started. I hope they can all make it....
Cant wait to grow out these little buggers.

101 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks, now I have to figure out what to do with them. LOL

If I keep breeding them by this time next year I will either have tubs and tubs of minnows for sale to local fisherman or ill be fishing alot. LOL:biggrin:

I know of one person who sells these online but in my experience they have very little following or interest and they tend to eat plants....:confused:

804 Posts
That's really great that you're breeding native fish! I really think more should be in the hobby. Selective bred sunfish would be stunning. Almost all of the different kinds of sunfish have the potential to become a beautiful strain of fish.
Great job breeding these fish! Pretty please add pictures of your setup!

110 Posts
That is so cool. I'm currently trying to breed some northern mountain dace in a 20 gallon long and am interested in your set up as well. Mine has AS as a substrate covered in pebbles and sparsely planted with some swords, crypts and other miscellaneous plants. Running an eheim 2217 with a powerhead for additional flow. Using regular tap water for now.

101 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well honestly my setup is fairly lack luster two main tanks and two brinE shrimp tanks and a fry grow out is all that exist at the moment here is a discription and later Ill post pics.

55 Gallon Native biotope/Cichlid tank
This tank was a complete native biotope however over time and lack of success breeding the native fish I added some cichlids. ( TURNS OUT I WAS JUST IMPATIENT) At the moment Im going to move the native fish to another 55 now that I have a breeding system that works and continue breeding cichlids in the original 55. With all that said here is the setup.
Marineland 350 bio wheel with foam over intake pipe
20 gal sponge filter
Large bubble wall that spans the aquarium (to help add current)
River rock substrate .5"-4" (hand collected)
Holy rock 3 pieces (Hand Collected)
Drift wood 2 long pieces (Hand Collected)
2 Mexican Tetras (Hand Collected)

4 Black tail shiners (Hand Collected)
They are all thats left after several fishing trips....:hihi: 1 male 3 females

1 sunfish (hand collected)
had him since he was an inch

If I did it right I would use a spray bar and imitate the current from the river. I had a large die off every time I added native fish becouse I couldnt afford this option at the time. I would loose up to 30 percent of those brought home.

I use the 55 for the native fish then I put the eggs in a breeding net in my planted 29 (sig pic) In this tank I use only a aquaclear 30 gallon HOB. I dont aerorate the tank but I do inject CO2. I move the net around to use flow from the filter to clean the debris form the bottom of the net. I never leave it in the current.

Since the eggs have hatched I am waiting for them to get large enough then I will move them into the 5.5 fry grow out that I have.

I culture infusoria in small containers and I hatch brine in a 2 liter bottle (doing this is a pain but my system is so simple, I harvest several houndred three times a day and only change the water every week or so) then I use a 5 gallon to grow out the brine I dont use for my fry. I use LiquidLife USA bio-plankton to gut load them.

There are a ton of things im going to do different and im in the middle of making those changes happen. I will post pics of my current setup then I will post pics after the rebuild. I cant really say im an aquarist anymore. Im an aquaculturist NOW, ...... Again...... LOL

Thanks for the kind words.

GOLDFISH!!! There, I said it; LOL
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