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Neon Gobies (Elacatinus oceanops) Again!

Posted on April 27, 2013 at 10:05 PM Comments comments (0)

3/26/2013

Yesterday I moved the goby nest in its PVC pipe home to the BRT.   I moved them a day early, because I was concerned that I might miss the hatch. So I moved them, and waited, and none appeared to hatch. Came home from work today, and looked for goby larvae. Still no hatch.

Gave up and thought I would clean out the BRT, since it could be used for something else. Then I noticed a tiny goby larva in there! I found the flashlight and discovered a few more.   I took the nest pipe and looked at it. There seemed to be fewer eggs there than I remembered. I gave a good Mulcahey underwater shake, waited for a hatch and still nothing. I reattached it to the air bubble stream. 15 minutes later, I came back and noticed one in the water . And what? There's another crowd of larvae over there!!! They were hatching!  In broad daylight!  It was a good hatch. The larvae seem strong, and are eating the rotifers.  After consulting with friend Jim, his gobies hatch in daylight regularly. Huh.

Gobies 4/7/13

I have a black round 17 gallon tub with baby goby larvae in it. I started this tub 12 days ago with a fresh hatch of Neon Gobies (Elacatinus oceanops).  They did alright with just SS rotifers for a few days. I noticed the tub had a lawn of green fuzz on its underwater surface, so I thought it might be time for a sponge filter. I retrieved the pond sponge that has been living in my growout sump forever, put it in a bucket, and hooked up a small powerhead with a T'd off valve to send water back into the bucket, and tubing on the T leading over the edge of the tub. The tub has a central standpipe that drains to the bucket. The valve is so I can control the flow, but it didn't work too well, as I either got too much flow or nothing at all. I started this slow exchange of water for about 4 days, and my goby population dwindled to just a couple .

The next nest of gobies were hatched in the tub, without changing a thing except to turn off the flow. Two days later, there still appeared to be a lot of baby gobies and at least one that is much longer, and I assume is a holdout from the previous nest. I am always happy to see him, Mr. Long, as it will be reassuring to have at least one metamorphosize before the rest of them, in 4 weeks time.

This morning I was re-reading a friend's report, and was reminded that gobies don't like to have water changes. They must be very delicate. Maybe that's why I lost so many when I started the circulation with the pond filter. I'll have to try something different  with this batch. I am toping off with fresh water by adding a half of a cup whenever I pass by. The tank is lit 24/7 with a clamp-on reflector fixture and an 18 watt CFL. The majority of the larvae are in a cloud under the lamp, so I think they like the light. Some are on the other side of the tub, in a low flow area. Now at Day 2, the larvae are on the last bits of yolk sac. I expect that the ones who have not learned to eat the tiny rotifers will die off, and it is not unusual to have mortalities on Day 3.

4/27/2012

It's hard to say what one's yield is, when the gobies start out as transparent as glass, and the size of a baby's eyelash, and impossible to count.  Making it even more difficult is that they are in a black round tub, swimming in a soup of green phytoplankton and rotifers.  One can hardly see them without the aid of a strong pair of glasses, and a flashlight when they first hatch.  But I have to say, it appears that there were not really significant mortalities more than three weeks later.  The cloud of larvae are still a cloud, perhaps as many as 20 little darters, still eating constantly 22 days after hatching, without sleep.  They are beginning to show signs of metamorphosis! 

About a week ago I slipped a 3/4 inch PVC elbow into the tub, to provide some perching space for the settled gobies.  One little guy took up residence almost immediately, and while I can't see him clearly, and he never comes to the surface, I am now sure it is Mr. Long.  This goby is completely dark, and has well developed pectoral and caudal fins.  I can't see the neon blue stripes, and I can't get a picture, but it has to be him.  I am reassured that he alone survived from the first nest, and it makes me feel that I did as well as can be expected for the rest of them.






an unexpected hatching

Posted on September 10, 2012 at 9:40 PM Comments comments (0)

I decided that Monday was too early. I waited until Tuesday to move the pipe containing the eggs to the clean, bleach sterilized black round tub. I fastened the pipe so that an airstone would bring bubbles and clean water through the pipe, jostling the eggs. I waited. No hatch. The next day the eggs still looked good, no fungus, so I waited some more. No hatch. By 7am Thursday morning, when I still didn't see larvae in the tub, I was ready to give up, even though the eggs still looked good. I thought they should have hatched by now. I planned to clean the tub that evening. I went back to feed some other fish at 8am, glanced at the tub, and sure enough, there was a cloud of larvae darting around in the clean water! Here's what they looked like:


Gobies again

Posted on September 2, 2012 at 9:45 AM Comments comments (0)

I moved the pair noted below to a more convenient tank for me last spring, as I was rebuilding my central system, and they were in the way.  They laid one more nest after the move, and then stopped laying.  That is, until NOW! I attempted to raise the nest that they laid a week and a half ago, even though there were less than 10 eggs. As of 2 days ago there was one tiny larva left, but I have not seen it since.  I have to search for it with a flashlight, as the nest was hatched in a black round tub, and the tiny larva is transparent. Probably it is gone.

Then, the other morning, as i was feeding the broodstock tanks, I began to feel panic for a couple of seconds, as the gobies were not darting around eating in their tank! Oh no!  A quick look into their PVC tube changed the panic to joy, as they were both in there, making fertilized eggs! This time, the gobies' nest is a big one, papa is taking good care of it, and I hope to have a big hatch on Monday.

Neon Gobies again

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 2:05 PM Comments comments (0)

I raised many neon gobies from the first batch, and saved some of the juveniles for future broodstock.  That plan didn't work, as the fish never spawned, and i ended up selling them. Still wanting to make a go of this, I ordered 5 gobies, and put them in QT where they remain today. Minus one that didn't make it. 

That was last summer.  I waited and waited, and still no spawning activity.  I almost gave up, but this morning when I peeked into the PVC pipe in their tank, my patience was rewarded! We have eggs!  It will be fun to raise neon gobies again, and I have hopes, now that one pair has spawned, that I can get the other pair to spawn as well.

Neon Gobies

Posted on March 14, 2012 at 7:00 PM Comments comments (0)

The following is a posting from long ago:

After deciding to try a new species, I ordered 5 neon gobies, Elacatinus oceanops, and put them in the quarantine tank with a few PVC pipe fittings. I fed them a lot, and they all seemed to get along well. After a couple of weeks, I noticed one of the fish staying in the PVC! Sure enough, it was a male guarding some eggs.

It was the biggest fish in the tank, and that surprised me since I was told that the biggest one would likely be female. I did not know which one was the female at first, but then I noticed one of the fish had a large abdomen almost all the time.

I made attempts at hatching the eggs, and that was fun, but the babies did not live for many tries. Then I noticed one of the smaller gobies was getting picked on, so I removed it and another small one to another tank. They got along very well, and pretty soon, they had eggs, too. The fifth gobie disappeared. I never knew what happened to it.

Feeling pretty good about getting two pairs of spawning fish out of 5 purchased, I began serious attempts to hatch eggs and raise the larvae. I tried a glass tank, tigger pods, rotifers of course, and all kinds of things. I even bought a small UV filter thinking that bacteria had killed one of the batches.

Then I just got lucky. A black round tub, and about 7 gallons of water, and careful food administration did the trick. Just rotifers, new hatched brine shrimp after about a week, and the smallest size golden pearls, just a dusting daily, along with careful neglect and a little circulation at night when they were sleeping. I did use a night light and a bright light in daytime. That made it more fun because I could actually see the little transparent larvae for the 4 weeks it took for metamorphosis to occur.

Tried my patience, but I was rewarded with a tub full of irridescent blue-green striped fish!