Every bit of data I have says “8 days to hatch”. I went back and looked…every spawn I tracked, 8 days. Eg. if a spawn occured on the evening of the 1st, it will hatch after lights out on the night of the 9th. Everything suggests that.
So it’s an incredibly tense evening after MISSING the last spawn. Back on 7-19, they threw down another nest.
This is simply torture. The eggs LOOK ready. But all my data says NO, they’re not. The tank temp is 83F…warmer lately because it’s summer. Could 7 days be it? Incubation times are definitely temperature sensitive.
I’m torn. I just went and looked again. The dilemma is simple. So long as I don’t KILL the eggs by pulling them too early, the safer bet would be to pull them tonight. That’s likely what I’ll do…it’d be nice to get another group of Lightnings off the ground. Even if I’m successful, the offspring from a hatch tonight wouldn’t be at market size until January 2014 (unless I really pushed for crazy fast growth).
Update – 3:30 AM, 7-26-2013 – I pulled the nest with 5 gallons of broodstock water and placed it in a BRT. I did something I’ve never done before – added 2 ML (40 drops, roughly 8 per gallon) of Methylene Blue to the water. This is my standard procedure with freshwater Angelfish (Pterophyllum scalare); a process so bulletproof that if the eggs die, I’m comfortable with the belief that the eggs were bad, NOT the incubation. Methylene Blue was implicated in my most successful artificial incubation attempt with Pterapongon kauderni, the Banggai Cardinalfish, during my research for the Banggai Rescue Project book, The Banggai Cardinalfish. I have no doubts at this point that using methylene blue in the holding water during hatching can only help things. We’ll see…