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STEP BY STEP PREPARING FOR ARTIFICIAL RAISING
By
Samson 99
Universal Discus

GET ALL EQUIPMENT READY:

A) One plastic storage box (Rubbermaid or Sterilite), size: 13"(L) X 7.5"(W) X 4.5" (H), people like to use this as a shoe box. This will be used as your hatching and feeding box.
B) A fine nylon mesh (screen) which the hatched frys cannot swim through, or you can sew 2 layers to make it finer. Cut 1 piece 9" X 4.5" and 2 pieces 5" X 2.5" (you can adjust your own sizes!).
C) A dowel (wooden stick) 1/4" diameter, use this to hang the feeding box onto the breeding tank.
D) A sponge filter, Tetra Brilliant/Super Brilliant works well for 20 or 30 gallons breeding tank.
A single air control valve (Whisper) connecting the air line for the filter is important, cause you need to adjust the uplift air flow!

THINGS TO DO:

A) Hatching / Feeding box : need to drill some holes for water exchange purpose, mark a few lines to guide your drilling. Use 3/4" bit and drill holes evenly inside the marked lines :
i) Bottom (center): 8" X 3.5"
ii) Left side (center): 4" X 1.5"
iii) Right side (center): 4" X 1.5"
At the length of the feeding box (front and back), 2-3" from each far end, highest possible point, use 1/4" bit to drill holes. Make sure the front and back holes align so that the 1/4" dowel could go through for hanging purpose.
Then use sand paper to roughen the inner top 2" margin (all around the box), it will adhere better when you apply the egg yolk mix to the feeding box.
B) The nylon mesh (screen): Cut 1 piece 9" X 4.5" and 2 pieces 5" X 2.5". Use silicone rubber to seal the mesh to the feeding box from the inside. Make sure the edge will not peel off!
C) The 1/4" dowel: Cut 2 pieces to the width of your breeding tank, so that it will hang the feeding box firmly onto your breeding tank.
D) Now you can hang the feeding box onto your breeding tank, make sure the water level goes up as high as possible.
E) Set your sponge filter with the uplift 90 degrees outlet over the center of the feeding box, now adjust the uplift air (control valve) so that it carrys very slow flow of filtered water from your breeding tank into the feeding box 24 hours non stop. In this way you do not need to worry about changing water after every feeding of egg yolk mix!! Keep your sponge filter in your breeding tank!

PREPARING FOR HATCHING:

A) As soon as the eggs were laid and fertilised, to ensure a good hatch, put anti-fungal medication to protect the eggs from fungus. (Such as Methylene Blue, Formalin (37% Formaldehyde) etc)
B) There are 2 ways to handle the eggs:
i) Wait until the eggs turn dark or even when they are hatching, then hang the feeding box in position and move the spawning cone (substrate) into the feeding box.
ii) If the parents normally ate up their eggs or wrigglers, then you have to move the spawning cone to the box as early as eggs are fertilised!
C) You could leave the pair in the breeding tank after you move the eggs!!
D) Put an air stone with very mild air so that water flow freely in the box.
E) You can move out the cone as soon as all the wrigglers pull off from the cone, but do not feed them yet!
F) When all the frys start free swimming, they will swim to the surface blindly, after 10-12 hours or so, they will swim along the walls of the feeding box, that's a signal to you " it's time to feed them the egg yolk mix!!"
G) To apply the egg yolk, it's better to smear it on all walls of the feeding box the first few days! In this way the free swimming frys could feed anywhere they go!!
H) A SMALL TRICK: after a few days of feeding, you can attached a strip of black electrical tape onto the outside wall of your feeding box (for example the rear side of your feeding box), that will normally guide the frys to gather at that spot to feed on the egg yolk mix!!

HOW TO APPLY THE EGG YOLK MIX:

A) After the frys start free swimming toward the surface (especially to the walls), lower the water level of the breeding tank so that the 2" roughened margin of the feeding box is completely above the water surface!
B) As for myself, I use a tooth brush to smear the egg yolk mix all along the 2" margin around the feeding box.
C) Fill up the water in the breeding tank so that water level now covers 1/4 inch of the egg yolk mix margin.
D) Adjust the air flow which carries water from the breeding tank to the feeding box, uplift water is very mild that it will not flush the feeding box, and it won't knock off the egg yolk mix from the 2 margin!!
E) An air stone with also mild air bubbles will help to wave the water surface so that fry's could have fresh egg yolk to feed during the first few hours!!
F) After a few hours, the water level will rise slowly within the 24 hours, due to the clogging of the holes on the fine mesh. This is the design; that water exchange is still doing fine with the 2 side mesh, the uplift tube is still carrying clean & filtered water to the feeding box. With the clogging of the bottom mesh that will cause water level to rise which enable the frys to feed on the fresh egg yolk from the 2" margin within the 24 hours!!!
G) Normally, after work when I get home, I'll clean up the 2" margin of any left over yoke mix in the feeding box & I'll vacuum off the bottom, then start a new application of egg yolk mix until the next morning !!

PREPARATION OF THE EGG YOLK MIX & FEEDING:

A) One boiled egg yolk, one raw egg which I beat the yolk & white thoroughly! You need to practice a few times to mix it to know the thickness of the paste which will adhere best to the feeding box.
Practice at a small portion of the boiled egg yolk, then add a few drops by few drops of the raw egg (yolk/white), stir and mix, then see the thickness when you smear it on the feeding box. It should be a smooth thin film, not thick at all, otherwise it's too heavy under water & it will not adhere long enough for feeding !! Practice makes perfect, try a few times before actual feeding!!!
The best is to experiment, after you smear the mix onto the 2" margin, do it exactly like feeding (of course no fry's), then see how many hours the film will stays on the margin, also you could test the water level rising speed in the box (adjustment on the control valve if needed!)
B) After the first 3-5 days feeding on the egg yolk mix, depends on the size of the fry's, normally you could start using a syringe & inject a light cloud of hatched artemia over the fry's to feed them, once they start eating the artemia, feed as a supplement to the egg yolk mix, you'll notice that the fry's will like to eat the artemia more & more, then it's time to move :
1) Either the parents away from the tank & release the frys to the parent tank to raise them or
2) Get ready a 10-15 gallons tank, using the same water from the parent tank, move the frys to this tank & raise them !!

Good Luck!!
Samson 99

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