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General Category >> Killifish Breeding  Rearing  and General Keeping >> For the love of peat! Need some help or advice

Message started by Morgun Werling on Jan 17th, 2023 at 6:24pm

Title: For the love of peat! Need some help or advice
Post by Morgun Werling on Jan 17th, 2023 at 6:24pm
Hello again,
As an update to my beginner fish (Gardneri) they are happy, healthy, and breeding like rabbits.
Problem is that I haven't had good luck with raising fry, or getting decent hatch rates.
(The fry that hatched and died are my fault, as I kept them in a tank with rice fish of the same age--turns out rice fish have much larger mouths and grow much faster)
Methylene blue (all kinds of different strengths) has not treated me well with the Fp Gardneri, and neither has putting the eggs in an established planted tank(bare bottom, gravel bottom, or gravel topped peat/dirt) .

I tried incubating on moist peat, but the "pure, unfertilized peat" that I picked up from my local nursery ended up having small amounts of mulch and other misc in it. Im not sure if this could contribute to unsuccessful incubation, but I'm willing to give it another shot with a peat that is known to work.
Maybe I'm grasping at straws here, but can someone point me to the peat or other medium that they use to incubate? Links appreciated.

Also, is there a way to tell if an egg is fertilized or not? Or is it just a matter of incubating them and seeing if they develop?

Title: Re: For the love of peat! Need some help or advice
Post by Russell Feilzer on Jan 17th, 2023 at 10:51pm
I've incubated Apyosemion, Epiplaty, Fundulopanchax, etc. eggs on peat for years.  I've used general gardening supply peat or jiffy peat.  I soak it until saturated, put it in a petri dish or small Rubbermaid type container with a lid and gently squeeze out the excess water.  Basically saturated but no water runs off when you turn it on it's side.  Then you place the eggs on top and cover it.  You'll see the eggs when they go bad and you can pull them out before the fungus spreads to the other eggs.  When ready just take the eyed up eggs and put them in water and you'll get a bunch to hatch at the same time.  The lid is important to keep the humidity up in the container.  As far as determining if the newly laid eggs are fertile you can see an oil spot in the egg in a microscope.  Within a few days it will be obvious with the cell division and surprisingly fast development of spine, heart and circulating blood if you have a good enough microscope.  It's pretty fascinating to watch the changes.

Title: Re: For the love of peat! Need some help or advice
Post by Tyrone Genade on Jan 18th, 2023 at 12:39pm
I order Jiffy 703 from Grower's Solution ( It works very well.

I have little success incubating on peat. For GAR I pick eggs and incubate in aquarium water. I try incubate in the dark so no algae grows on the eggs. I expect the problem is a young male with poor fertility. Typically, GAR eggs are very tough.

If you want, spawn them in an established tank with gravel on the bottom for 2 weeks and then remove the adults. This normally produces lots of fry.

Good luck!

Title: Re: For the love of peat! Need some help or advice
Post by Russell Feilzer on Jan 20th, 2023 at 9:34pm
I too have bred gardneri in a tank with a sand bottom.  I also had a mop in the tank and, at the time, couldn't figure out why I didn't get any eggs in the mop.  That was until I vacuumed the gravel and found hundreds of eggs in the gavel refuse.  I think the critical element with incubating eggs on peat is the cover, you need the humidity for the eggs to develop on top of the peat.  Of course this depends on the species, it works best for fish that like acidic water.  I currently keep native North American species (plus a couple Aphanius) and you cannot incubate eggs from these species on peat as every species I keep does not come from an acidic environment.

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