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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Hb Purples

Half Black Purples

Here are a couple photos of my HB Purple line.  I have kept them since 1997.

Third Best of Show at the 2012 IFGA Annual Show

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Catalpa leaves

The IFGA Annual show is in 3 weeks.  Just received a new order of Cattapa leaves to help condition the males.  The botanicals that diffuse from the leaves into the water help to prevent fin splits and infections.  Also helps to enrich the colors, especially greens, probably due to the tannins released into the water.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Multi-Colored Strain

New Multis:   As defined by the IFGA standards, a multi-colored guppy is determined by three or more colors in the caudal fin.  The least prevalent color must be at least 15% of the the caudal color by surface area. You could have four colors or five as well, as long as three of the colors each were greater than 15% of the caudal surface area.  I had a very coarse patterned multi line for years, which I lost during a series of moves.  In the last year I used three lines to create a new line.  I used a fine a fine patterned snakeskin line and two different lines of a fish sometimes referred to a a Mosaic.  This is one of the males.  He took first place at the 2016 East Coast Guppy Assoc. show in the Multi class.

Some pictures of my old multi line.

Multis – I purchased these from an auction at a New York show in 1993.  They threw large fish with a very bold course pattern.  These have always been on of the hardiest and most fertile guppies in my fish room.  Presumably this is due to the diverse genetics required to produce the many colors and patterns in these fish.  Many of the males have body color markings that resemble those of wild-type guppies.  In 1999, the line produced a sport, a male with a very fine and distinct pattern.  I was able to capture that pattern and now carry the two lines of this strain, the coarse, bold pattern and fine variegated pattern.  Some females will produce both color types in the same drop of fry.  By line breeding the two strains, I am able to maintain and improve both lines.  The only outcross I have made with this line since 1993 was in 1997, I crossed them once to the gold MGO reds to increase the amount of red in them.  Red is still the least predominate color in these fish.  The females come in two colors, brightly colored caudals with streaks opf green, white, and red, and clear colored caudals. Recently, I have broken out a red bicolor and purple bicolor line from these fish.  Their genetic diversity and plasticity never cease to amaze me. These are one of my favorite lines of fish due to their variation in colors, hardiness and fecundity.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Foods and Feeding

Just bought:

I routinely get 95 % hatches from my Artemia cysts.

I attach the clean sieve to a acrylic fish container using a plastic towel clamp.

The shrimp are drained into the nylon sieve using the airline to to shrimp hatchery.  If I use the valve at the bottom of the hatchery, I get too many hatched egg shells in with the shrimp.

In this photo, all the nauplii a collected.

They are rinsed in clean cold water and transferred to a hang on the tank acrylic specimen container.

Next the hatchery is sterilized using one cup of Chlorox in 5 gallons of water and allowed to bubble for 30 minutes

After refilling the hatchery with five gallons of fresh water I add 2 cups of salt (25 tablespoons), 5 tablespoons of Epsom Salt (MGSO4) and 4 1/2 tablespoons of artemia cysts.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

California Blackworms

I have been breeding and raising guppies almost continuously since I was twelve years old.  Along the way I have developed an array of equipment and supplies that are both economical and highly functional.  In this string I will share some of the things I use in my fish room that have served me well over the years.
For the past couple of years I have been feeding live California Blackworms.   Years ago these were raised in the effluent from duck farms and worse and carried a plethora of diseases.  Now they are raised independently in a clean farm environment and fed a high protein diet.  I feed about one pound per week and have not had any problems associated with the worms.
Black worm facts:  140,000 lbs are sold in the US each year.  Who is buying all  those worms? 
Albuquerque Aquarium
Audubon Aquarium of the Americas
Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo
Cincinnati Zoo
Cleveland Metro parks Zoo
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
Fort Wayne Zoological Society
Fort Worth Zoo
Georgia Aquarium
Jacksonville Zoological Society, Inc.
Maryland Zoo in Baltimore
Monterey Bay Aquarium
NC Aquarium Roanoke Island
Oklahoma City Zoo
Philadelphia Zoo
Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG AQ.
Riverbank Zoo & Garden
Saint Louis Zoo
San Antonio Zoo
Sedgwick County Zoo
Tennessee Aquarium
Virginia Marine Science Museum

US Army Corps of Engineers
USFW Willow Beach
USFW Greers Ferry NFH
USFW Mammoth Spring
USFW National Conservation Training Center
USFW San Marcos
USFW Warm Springs Hatchery
Uvalde Fish Hatchery
Alabama Aquatic Bio diversity
California Dept. of Fish and Game
Chattahoochee NFH
Colorado Division of Wildlife
Conservation Fisheries Inc
David White/USGS
Dexter National Fish Hatchery
Edenton National Fish Hatchery
Hancock Biological Station
Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife
Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery
Virginia Dept. of Game & Inland Fisheries

Arizona State University
Belmont University,Biology Dept
Bowling Green State University
California State Univ. Fullerton
Cape Breton University
Carnegie Institute of Washington
Carolina Biological
Clark University
Columbia Environmental Research Center
Creighton University
Eastern Illinois University
Harvard Medical School,Dept of Genetics
Georgia Institute of Technology
Humboldt State University
Indiana University
Kennedy Krieger Institute
Johns Hopkins University
McGill University
McMaster University, Dept of Biology
Muhlenberg College
Minot State University
Mississippi State University
Dept. of Wildlife & Fisheries
Missouri State University
New Mexico State University/Dept. of Biol
Ottawa Hospital
Penn State University (Biology Dept.)
Southern Illinois University
St. Lawrence university
Stanford University,CEE Dept.
Texas A & M University
Texas State University at San Marcos
UCLA Dept. of Ecology & Evol Biology 
Univ of Maryland, Baltimore
Univ. of Miami, RSMAS
Univ of Texas at El Paso
Univ. of Florida, The Whitney Laboratory
Univ. of South Carolina
Univ. of Utah/Cardiology Div.
University of Arkansas, Pine Bluff
University of Ca. @ Berkeley
University of California Riverside
University of Colorado at Colorado Spring
University of Dayton Biology Dept.
University of Delaware
University of Florida, Tropical Aquacult
University of Florida/Dept. of Zoology
University of Guelph
University of Mary Washington
University of Maryland/College park
University of Memphis
University of Michigan Biological Station
University of Minnesota Duluth
University Of Nebraska
University of New Mexico
University of Oklahoma
University of Ottawa
University of Saskatchewan
University of Texas A & M
University of Texas at Austin
Section of Neurobiology
University of Texas
University of Utah
University of Virginia
University of Washington
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
University of Wisconsin/River Falls
Vanderbilt University Med Center
Washington University
West Virginia University

California Blackworms sells these handy trays that separate the worms from the water.  The worms are immersed in about 1/2 inch of water in the top compartment and most of the water is in the lower compartment.  Care consists of rinsing the upper compartment and emptying and refilling the lower compartment each day.  By doing this religiously, the worms will last over three weeks if properly refrigerated.

Young fish show remarkable growth when fed blackworms. The high protein content promotes body size growth.  Many say they are too large for young guppies, but they delight in battling to ingest them.  My young fish will begin to eat them as early as three weeks.  They promote egg production and fertility in females as well.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Second Fish Room

The Second Fish Room

This is the outside of the second fish room .  It is about 75% complete.

I have used exterior siding on the interior walls with a 50 year warranty.  It is already primed, I just need to paint it.  I need to finish the ceiling, install the door, window and floor.  All the electrical is already installed.

The insulation has performed excellently in the fist room, I am going to use the same plan in the second room.  This room is going to house my larger tanks.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The New Fish Rooms

For those of you who do not know me, I am the leading all time point winner in the IFGA (International Fancy Guppy Association).  I primarily breed fancy show quality guppies (although I have a number of other aquatic interests as well).  After a rather tumultuous period in my life, in April of 2011, I purchased a new home with one-half acre of flat land.  I had always wanted a detached fish room or fish house as it is called around the stead.  So goes the chronicle of that journey.  I decided to build two rooms of 120 sq. ft each to avoid having to file plans and get permits from the city.  My father builds portable barns for horses out of glavanized metal frames, and had the first fish room ready within a week of my request.  Here is one of my Dad's full sized barns. Pretty cool, huh? (click on the pictures to get a larger version)

The barn at my Dad's ranch, built from scratch by his crew.

The fish rooms are going to be a ways from the house. It will keep up my boyish figure. The first room will be placed just to the left of the olive tree in the photo.  This was taken in May 2011.

This is the view from the location of the second fish room site to the house.  The brush needs to be cleared before we can set the forms for the concrete slabs.

The brush has been cleared and the forms for both rooms are being built.  After this photo was taken, 12g welded wire was put in the forms to prevent cracking of the slab.  You can see the floor drains in place.  I put them in the night before in the dark.  The slabs were poured the very next day and the first building went up 48 hours after that, in June 2011.  I built two rooms 10' by 12' because the city does not require permits on buildings 120 sq. ft. or less.  Permits and plans would have driven the costs up to the moon.

It only took 1/2 day to put up the first fish room.

Galavinzed metal frame with metal roof

Skylight, 35" x 60".  In the end, these will be dual-glazed for insulation.

2" x 6" framing to accommodate R30 insulation.  All the wood has been sealed with Thompson's Wood Sealant.  All the gaps have been filled with foam and all the seams caulked.  You have to open the window to close the door (joke).  The bottom of the studs were soaked in diesel oil, because you know I am going to flood the place.
With the window added, dual glazed, vinyl, nice!

Looking out the door.

The entrance.  Next up, the finished product.  Regrettably, I did not take pictures of the construction phase.  You can see the slab for the second room in the background.

Here is the main work area with a rack of ten gallon tanks on the right.

Brine shrimp hatcheries.  I have finally figured out this water and discovered the secret ingredients required for 95% hatches.

4000 watt, 220 volt heater that never comes on.  Well almost never.  Only when the temp is below 30 degrees F.  Could have gotten by with out it.  The dehumidifier keeps the room plenty warm.  The room has R30 insulation all around.  The ceiling is 12'6" at its apex.  1 1/4 " airline just below the heater.

Another shot of the work station.  It always looks like this (sans beer or wine).

Racks on the East wall.

Ceiling fan with dual glazed skylight.

Rack of 20 five gallon tanks used to house fry from birth to about 6 weeks..

Work station looking out the window toward the house.

Another view of the East wall.

Two linear piston pumps that feed into a one and one-quarter inch air line that encircles the room.

Older Chinese model.  I will replace this with an Alita when it dies.

Alita, smaller form factor, very powerful, whisper quiet.

I drain the the brine shrimp water into the sink via the hose in the picture.

Work station from the West wall.

East wall.

Humidity and temp monitor, $8 on Amazon.

Even with the skylight above the tanks, no algae problems.

Meds, foods and supplies.

Bristol Shubunkins from David Lains (  I am really happy to get these.  One month old.  Can you believe it?  If only I could get a guppy to grow like this.

Four 30 gallon longs will go here.

Four 20 longs will go on the end of this rack of 5 gallon tanks.  West wall rack to the left, not complete.  Identical to East wall rack, 10, 10 gallon tanks, 4, 15 gallon tanks and 5 30 gallon tanks.

Incomplete West wall rack.  Needs one more 15 and 3 more 30s.

Two and one-half gallon breeder tanks on the North wall.  Fives are on the bottom level.  Two are missing for disinfection.  Just to the right of these tanks will be a rack holding 8, 15 gallon tanks.

I have completed the drip system for the breeder tanks you see in the photo above this one.

Fridge.  Yes I can reach the top shelf.

Brine shrimp and black worms.