3/6/2014 marked the arrival of spawn #26.  Another good sized nest of orange-red eggs on the tile, laid on the “roof”, which seems to be the usual location for the pair.
As I wrote last about Spawn #25…I thought the hatch had been a dud, but once I configured the larval tank and got things going, it was clear I had hundreds of viable larvae.  They were PLOWING through rotifers…easily 4 gallon’s wroth of harvested culture daily, spread out over 2-3 feedings. With the larval tank starting at 5 gallons running volume, I was adding clean new water daily, roughly one gallon.
As of this morning, 3/6/2014, I still had several hundred larvae, but when I checked on the fish again this evening, it was clear that something was wrong…I was quite literally watching larvae die right before my eyes.  I started slowly draining out the water, and as I continued to drain, the number of free swimming larvae dwindled and the hundreds of shriveled up bodies piled up on the bottom of the 5 gallon bucket.  The ammonia alert badge never so much as made a peep.  I have yet to test the water, but I have suspicions how it will test out…
By the time I was simply too exhausted to go further,I had the tank down to maybe 1.5 gallons, and I added roughly 5 gallons of clean new saltwater.  Basically the hail-mary approach when things go downhill this fast.  I would estimate no more than 10 larvae are still swimming around in the tank at this time.
This is getting really, really old.