I found out I have a problem with my guppy breeding program, even though I'm seeing early positive results. Which always amazes me and is one of the reasons I do this. How many of you have every looked at a tank full of colorful fish and think, "Hmmm, I'd like to direct the evolution of their color patterns"
I've only ever did it this intensely, it being breeding a novel, fixed strain of guppies, back in the mid 1980's. But the trouble is I forgot something.
I forgot the tremendous amount of culling needed when doing this. I also forgot I had seven more aquariums set up for grow out and interesting side strains. No way I have the outlets for that at this place.
When I did it the first time I was also breeding managuensis, a large preditory cichlid. One of my favorites. Big rootbeer colored eyes. (Rootbeer as in the marbles term for deep reddish brown color. My kid brother played marbles quite successfully. He had three and a half grocery bags full of other peoples marbles. We'ed sort them by size and color on rainy days, back in the early seventies). Very intelligent fish, recognize their keepers and are excellent parents. A big male protecting a spawn dislocated my right thumb once.
Mr and Mrs Manenguensis had no problem dealing with the excess.
But the thing is, I'm not that person any more. I like all the fish and see too much potential in each one. Back then I was also taking a lot of anti seizure drugs, notably dilantin concurrant with phenobarbital. Might have had something to do with a lack of sympathy. Or maybe I just have a longer view, sitting on top of fifty years now.
The creche tank is specifically set up to be baby fish friendly, with sponges over all the intakes and plastic cobamba floating on one side, (way too saline for real cobamba.) Two ways to move water on two different outlets.
Pain in the butt to rig, but it saved their lives just last week when one rocker breaker was tripped by someone setting a box on the junction and killing power to the heater, powerhead and airstone. The penguin filter on the back was on another outlet though.
With generous feedings I have a very good survival rate among the fry.
The males were of two strains. Red delta tails, or red tuxedos depending who you ask and the other strain is a hybrid of lyretail and Endler's guppy.
I'm starting to see a nice blend in some of the lastest males. Not enough blue or yellow though. I'm also going to work on some uncommon purple as well.
Now for you guys good with math, here are the numbers I have.
I started with 23 males and 6 females. I segregated them by gender into two different tanks. The males are in the livingroom 55 gallon. About five weeks ago I pulled seventeen males out of the creche and had twenty gravid females. Last night I pulled 33 males out and have about 40 females, mostly gravid. With a cloud of babies a half inch deep on the bottom.
When do they start expanding at the speed of light?*
*I might have a solution, but that's another thread.