A traumatic beginning?
Just wanted to write down some interesting observations with Spawn 020114. If you recall, this spawn was the one that the foster dad was required to save the spawn of incompetent red PKs!
Anyway, there were only a few survivors from the first spawn. They were growing quickly - however, NONE of them were able to get off the floor of the aquarium. None. It was similar to a severe case of swim bladder, but the onset was immediate. I find it interesting because many breeders have been able to have healthy fry with artificial hatching. Clearly this first spawn was negatively affected by the poor parenting of the red male during the first day of egghood. Perhaps they were traumatized by this constant spitting? The second spawn is growing well and appears completely normal. This was the spawn where I immediately switched in the foster dad. Hmmm...
I decided to create some IAL extract to ease the transition during water changes. The idea is that I can take a small amount of super concentrated extract and add it to the new water, immediately lowering the pH and preventing pH shock. I read several articles on IAL (I will do a short literature review of them in the future - very interesting research being done!) and decided to both boil and water extract the IAL. I boiled a ton of IAL leaves in a stainless steel pot for about 4 hours, replacing the evaporated water every time it got half empty. This way, the water became almost black. I got out about a gallon of black water. I then sealed it in a jar with even more freshly ground up IAL added to it, to extract further the compounds that may be damaged by boiling. (I do not think that boiling disturbs the extract's ability to lower pH).
I tested it out when I did a small water change on some of the fry, and it really colored the water up well with only a very small amount. I was able to match the color of the spawn tank water very easily. I need a better way of measuring pH to ensure that the extract is able to drop the pH as well.
Hope you're having a betta day!