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 Last minute field trip

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nesretep



Posts : 59
Join date : 2012-08-21

PostSubject: Last minute field trip   Sun 13 Jan 2013, 06:06

Recently we were had the opportunity to visit a breeder who has had many years of experience, and who has been breeding fish as a living for well over 40 years, it was too great an opportunity to pass up, regardless of the short notice period of a few hours, to be honest, we were actually fortunate that we were even slotted into the busy schedule, as the gentleman in question re-arranged his entire day so that we could visit.

It was a fantastic eye opener, to see the many different species was a rare pleasure, and what made it even more unbelievable, was that it was only about half of what is usually there, as many had been shipped off the previous weeks.
The best part of the entire visit by far, was the wealth of information that simply flowed from this wizened gentleman, not just tips on breeding (of which there were many), but also on things such as using batteries to run a weak current to kill hydras in a fry tank, wiping out hydras, but leaving the fry unharmed and massively aerating baby brine shrimp after harvesting, and placed in a separate container from the one used to hatch, thus increasing the time they would survive in fresh water after feeding, allowing a longer time for the fry to feed.

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The growth rate, and the size of many of the fish, was truly astounding, and the pictures do not come close to doing them justice. Also the phrase, go big or go home is most definitely appropriate. Going through full tins of brine shrimp in less than a couple of weeks at times, and with hundreds of tanks, and up to 80 different spawns running at a time, just feeding can take almost 2 hours, with water changes being a full day affair.

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It was also very interesting to see how much of this was accomplished without anything fancy or drastic, discus happily breeding in tanks containing almost straight tap water (location not in the cape), in fact almost all the fish were kept in regular tap water, simply de-chlorinated, getting most of the species to spawn, likewise, was down to nothing more than good diet, and water changes, the same goes for the rapid growth rate of the fry. And while seeming to simple to be true, the success, and the evidence in the tanks, is proof that it was indeed so, and as it is and always has been the gentleman’s livelihood, he has had to make sure that whatever is done works, as failure to get a good number of spawns regularly, would be catastrophic.

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It was a pleasure to listen to the many recounting of memories, of the many years in the trade, how certain species have remained constantly popular, and how others have ebbed and flowed in their popularity, making it important once again, to be able to predicatively and successfully spawn when needed. It was incredibly interesting to hear how things have changed over the years, tales of harvesting literally huge numbers of live foods, such as daphnia and the like from the wild, and how it is now impossible due to the large scale pollution of most water sources to some degree.

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I highly recommend to anyone, that if they ever have a similar opportunity, they take it, they will not be sorry, as the difference between a breeding hobbyist, and someone who breeds as their livelihood, is immense. The most important and valuable thing of such a trip, will undoubtedly be the priceless knowledge that is gained, and everyone from a novice up to an advanced aquarist will probably learn something new, which may be indispensable moving forward in the hobby.
We all came away from the trip re-invigorated, and re-energised in our passion for this wonderful hobby of ours, and we will never be able to thank the kindly wise gentleman enough for the terrific visit.

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