UMT MOOC: Ornamental Fish Culture - Topic 7: Seed Production - Larval Rearing - Elacatinus figaro, the Barber Goby

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Elacatinus figaro, also known as Barber Goby due to its body pattern which similar to Barber's pole. This marine species is commonly found in coastal Brazil quite popular as ornamental fish for a reef tank. There are several Goby species, each with its unique patterns, body shapes, and colours as shown below.


Breeding Barber Goby is similar to most fishes except with a few adjustments. Due to its small size, even for adult, a 20 litres glass aquarium is sufficient enough for a breeding tank. As larvae are sensitive to light, we must cover the tank with black sheet to reduce exposure. For the first 3 days, do not do water change as the larvae is too fragile and do 30% water change after that period. Feeding wise, for the first day 0 - 25, use Nannochloropsis Oculata (a type of algae) with Brachionus Rotundiformis (a type of Zooplankton commonly known as rotifier) as first food. For the transition period, from day 18 - 30, use Nauplii and meta-nauplii of Artemia (common known as Brine Shrimp). Once the fries metamorphosis to juveniles, post 30 days, transfer to a growing or nursery tank.

UMT MOOC: Ornamental Fish Culture - Topic 7: Seed Production - Degree of Care - Siphon and Larvae Removal

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Depending on your spawn size, if you have a large spawn and your breeding tank is small, we will need to transfer fries to a larger growing tank. Removal of these fishes is not as straightforward as extra care is needed to move these fishes over. The most important rule that we need to follow is to transfer by scooping. First, we need to take some water from the breeding tank into a new temporary container. Next, we scoping these fries (see video below for Betta sp.) together with water into the new container. Do not remove these fries by scope net or move out of water. Fries are not strong enough and may succumb to sickness due to stress and changes of water temperature. Then, we move this temporary container into our new growth tank and acclimate it before release these fries into a new tank. This migration should be done either in early morning or late evening where the weather is colder.


Alternatively, these is another method where we simply siphon fries out of the breeding tank to grow up tank. While this way is faster, extra care needs to be taken to make sure these fries are mature and strong enough to be transferred as shown in another video below for Cichlid fries.


We have tried both ways and manually scooped by a Betta scoop is way safer as fry will not stuck in the conventional net and also prevent tears to its fragile fins.