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Gambusia Fry


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#1 dTran

dTran
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  • New Orleans

Posted 04 July 2017 - 05:59 PM

Hello,

 

My first time posting and hope someone could help me.

 

We have been keeping some gambusia in the water garden and found a few fry today.  I have separated the fry from the larger fish.  However, they do not seem to be interested in the Tetra flakes I have given them.  Could someone recommend the food we could try feeding the fry?

 

Thanks,

 

Dan



#2 Matt DeLaVega

Matt DeLaVega
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  • Ohio

Posted 04 July 2017 - 07:27 PM

Most likely the water in the tub was doing the trick. So maybe daily water from your garden pond would do it, plenty of microorganisms. Maybe some greenwater. Hard boiled egg yolk. Won't be long before they eat anything.


The member formerly known as Skipjack


#3 lilyea

lilyea
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  • Peace River Watershed, Central Florida, USA

Posted 04 July 2017 - 09:15 PM

Welcome to the forum as a new poster!

 

Most likely the water in the tub was doing the trick. So maybe daily water from your garden pond would do it, plenty of microorganisms. Maybe some greenwater. Hard boiled egg yolk. Won't be long before they eat anything.

 

In addition to all of the food sources that Matt mentioned you can also add floating plants (hopefully you have some in another outdoor tank) because those are often covered with microorganisms as well.  Gambusia fry are pretty large (relatively speaking) so if you crush the flake up really well they should also eat that although that will be secondary to all of the natural sources.  Good luck!



#4 Moontanman

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  • NANFA Member

Posted 05 July 2017 - 05:47 PM

Good to hear from you! Gambusia are a much maligned fish in my opinion I have several dozen in a 75 behind me as I type. Closely watching them interact is very interesting. The females actually show color changes as they spar with each other, tiny dark black spots form on the fins and back half of the body. The melanistic males are pretty as well. I've been trying to get the color changes on video but so far my phone doesn't seem to pick up the color changes well. 

 

I hope yours do well... 


Michael

Life is the poetry of the universe
Love is the poetry of life

#5 dTran

dTran
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  • New Orleans

Posted 05 July 2017 - 09:02 PM

Thank you all!  

 

It seems the fry are doing ok by themselves.  They seem to have grow a little bit in a day.  I fed them dried bloodworms chopped to tiny pieces and they seem to enjoy eating!  Feel much better now knowing that the fry are eating.



#6 mattknepley

mattknepley
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  • Smack-dab between the Savannah and the Saluda.

Posted 06 July 2017 - 07:59 AM

I'm glad your fry are doing well!

I found it very interesting that last summer and fall I had a hard time finding any Gambusia in many of their usual spots. (I was looking for males to patrol rain barrels and community plant trays in my yard.) Considering the impression of these guys' durability is that they are the "cockroach of fishes", I was puzzled at their lack of abundance. Served to reinforce in my mind the need to understand the life history and husbandry of even the most common, taken-for-granted creatures. That's why I felt compelled to file my over-wintering and population rebuilding experiences from previous winters in the NANFA BAP.
Matt Knepley
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."

#7 Moontanman

Moontanman
  • NANFA Member

Posted 06 July 2017 - 11:11 AM

I'm glad your fry are doing well!

I found it very interesting that last summer and fall I had a hard time finding any Gambusia in many of their usual spots. (I was looking for males to patrol rain barrels and community plant trays in my yard.) Considering the impression of these guys' durability is that they are the "cockroach of fishes", I was puzzled at their lack of abundance. Served to reinforce in my mind the need to understand the life history and husbandry of even the most common, taken-for-granted creatures. That's why I felt compelled to file my over-wintering and population rebuilding experiences from previous winters in the NANFA BAP.

 

 

Have you ever noticed the females sparring with each other and flashing dark spots on their fins? 


Michael

Life is the poetry of the universe
Love is the poetry of life

#8 mattknepley

mattknepley
  • NANFA Member
  • Smack-dab between the Savannah and the Saluda.

Posted 06 July 2017 - 11:25 AM

Have you ever noticed the females sparring with each other and flashing dark spots on their fins?


I have noticed females aggressively interacting with each other, but not quite sparring like what Cyprinella do, for instance. Rather than squaring off and going at it like Cyprinella, they seem to carry on a running, physical snarkiness in their schools. Kinda like a pack of cross country runners that also sucker-punch each other as they run the course. I have never noticed the spots on their fins, but I will be sure to look for that now. I will say that the neonish-golden markings on Gambusias' backs usually seems brightest in females rather than males.
Matt Knepley
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."

#9 Matt DeLaVega

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  • Ohio

Posted 06 July 2017 - 08:44 PM

In my pond, which is just about a quarter acre and 8-10 feet deep at most, I have a real boom bust cycle with them. Seems like tens of thousands winter kill. Then up until July, I don't notice too terribly many. But by the end of fall there are once again tens of thousands. I notice this here in may bodies of water. Maybe because they are introduced and came originally from a southern population? Or is this just their natural cycle? Might make sense? Fewer adults to prey on their offspring, would make for a higher survival rate, right? So winter kill would take the least cold tolerant or simply the weakest each year, and the high genetic turnover would provide for rapid adaptation making them invasive in their own backyard, as they seem to be.


The member formerly known as Skipjack


#10 JasonL

JasonL
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  • Kentucky

Posted 06 July 2017 - 11:02 PM

I see large fluctuations in gambusia populations in a local creek by my house. Last year at this time they were everywhere. This year they are sparse. We had a mild winter so I don't think the only issue is winterkill. Probably other unknown factors as ecosystems can be quite complex.

I've noticedannual fluctuations with other minnow species too but not to the extent I've seen with gambusia.

#11 gzeiger

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Posted 09 July 2017 - 07:18 AM

They are very seasonal in SC too, where winter water temperatures reach only to the low 50s. I had always attributed it to lower food supply - both food for them and alternative forage for predators - rather than cold tolerance, as they certainly do survive in water right down to freezing.





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