Go to a store (such as K-mart) which sells acrylic yarn. Buy a package (?)
of it for a dollar or a little more. Colors are an open question. Many
people prefer a darker color since our rainbows will show better against
darker colors (or is that colours?). It is also easier to see if one is
taking inventory of what eggs have been laid. Most rainbows are so prolific
that once they begin laying eggs, if they are fed well, that they will leave
most of the eggs, even on a dark blue (my favorite), green or black mop,
Take that yarn and wrap it around a book. A six inch wide book will give
medium strands, a larger book longer. (I'll behave myself as to which
authors most deserve to have their books used in this way.) Make the mops
full (50 to 75 wraps will give 100 to 150 strands). Tie one end tight and
then take a scissors and cut the other end apart. For a float, anything
clean from a piece of styrofoam shipping box to a fishing bobber can be
used. Corks have become awfully expensive. Wine drinkers may have a certain
advantage here. :)
Some people wish to boil the mops to get rid of excess dye. Some don't feel
that is necessary. I boil, using a porcelain soup pot bought (with my
bride's blessing) just for boiling fish room stuff. That way residual soaps
or metal trace elements from kitchen items don't find their way in.
Many rainbow people will spawn their rainbows and send the mops, slightly
squeezed and tied in a plastic fish bag to other hobbyists. I'm sure that
you could negotiate with others on this list or, should you wish to join the
North American Rainbow Study Group or ANGFA-North America, with members of
those groups. I would be glad to leave a mop for you (when the weather gets
warm enough for mailing) in with my Mel. herbertaxelrodi - also
affectionately know as the Lake Tebera rainbow, yellow rainbow or "Herbies".
And no, Herbies does not need to be cured with an antibiotic. ;) That is a
nice strain I've had for about a decade.
Your choice of seeing the fry up from egghood will require patience, but you
will better understand your fish and be the better aquarist for it. Read.
read, read. I think you have already discovered A. Tappin's wonderful site.
Buy (or use the local library system's search engine to locate and borrow)
Gerald Allen's latest book on Rainbows published by Tetra (get the
corrections from the Rainbowfish Study Group's site). Other good sources
include the first couple of volumes of the Baensch Atlas, Harro Hieronimus'
Aqualog special on Rainbows. Barron's has also put out a very useful and
inexpensive volume on rainbows in their complete
owner's guide series. None of those books get the attention they should from
most fish shops. If you can't get them locally, there are spots on the Net
For raising the newly hatched fry, again consult the sources mentioned
above. I would have the temerity to suggest that you buy a container of
OSI's APR (artificial plankton rotifer) and/or Tetra's layer fry food. Also
set up a large planted tank (or tanks) for raising the fry in.
It might not hurt to also set up a tank especially designed to raise
greenwater in. I have a couple of 20s set up as if they were plant tanks -
except that they have no plants in them. They do have small power filters
(with out the filter media which would filter out the greenwater organisms)
for circulation and lights on a timer set for 16 hours. In one tank Neon
rainbows eat heartily and defecate heartily. The fish waste, light and
frequent water changes (the 20-40% weekly changes suggested for such
creatures) are all that is needed to enable a greenwater culture to take
off. Organisms such as Euglena and Paramecium naturally inhabit aquaria
anyway - but they will bloom in such tanks.
One has to be careful when pulling greenwater from the Neon rainbow tank
(Mel praecox) to feed fill a fry tank with, that praecox fry not be taken
too. The other greenwater tank has a collection of male killies and catfish.
They also serve well for waste material. Big cichlids or goldfish would
serve with even more distinction. Greenwater is pretty thin soup actually,
but serves well with the commercially produced fry foods and small snails to
clean up extra food.
Duh! I guess I could put a mop in with the praecox too!
We use the excess greenwater changed out for daphnia cultures.
In season, a bucket is left in the yard with aquarium water and pulled
grasses and dandelions. The fermenting mash attracts mosquitos who lay their
eggs there. The eggs (looking for all the world like bits of charcoal
scraped by fingernails) can also be removed and floated in the fry tanks.
The new born mossies are a lot smaller than newly hatched brine shrimp,
softer bodied and a lot cheaper! They hang out right at the surface where
the baby rainbows reside. Extra egg rafts can be dried until needed.
It is easy (and kind of fun) to spend someone else's time and money. But I
hope these suggestions are helpful. Your decision to walk through the whole
process of raising rainbows will make you the better aquarist!
All the best!
> I'm not ready yet as I
> just am starting to learn more about Rainbows. I would actually rather
> raise them from eggs, and watch them grow. I will need to get more info
> on how to grow them up also. The only other fish I raised from eggs
> were Angelfish, but that was several years ago.