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DIY - Egg Tumbler #2
by Nimrod Orenstein (Ssssssspit_Fire)

A lot of people deliberate with the question of whether they should strip their holding females or not. This article will explain how to build an excellent incubator (egg tumbler) that will achieve high survival rates among eggs and larvae.

Why do we really need an incubator?
The purpose of the incubator is to gently whirl the eggs and larvae; this action imitates the action of the mom while she is holding the eggs and larvae in her mouth. Why don't we let the mom do this herself?

There are 3 main reasons:
1- Getting higher survival rates. Statistics shows that when you strip a holding female in the earlier stage of "holding", you get more eggs/larvae than you would have gotten if you'd let the female release the fry herself.
2- If you strip the holding female, the survival rates of fry can at least double. Particularly since the fry aren't threatened by other adult fish in the tank.
3- To ease the whole process for the female. A female that holds month after becomes weakened. She does not eat for a time period of 21-28 days (depends of the species of the fish). This way, the females can grow to bigger sizes and live longer.

Supplies needed:

  • Big plastic "Coca-Cola" bottle
  • Aquarium silicone
  • Window net (mosquito netting)
  • Rubber hose
  • L shaped plastic piping
  • Plastic valve
  • Small 300 lph (75 gph) power head

The reason I decided to use a "Coca-Cola" bottle is because its shape is best for this purpose. Here is the bottle with the bottom cut away.

After that, we need to cut a "window" within the bottle (to allow water to get out of the bottle). Once the window is cut, cover it with a piece of mosquito netting and adhere it with silicone.

We'll also need to silicone a small piece of the mosquito netting inside the bottle just above the opening. Please notice! This is a very critical, it is important to silicone the mosquito net smoothly so neither the silicone nor the mosquito net sticks out, not even a little bit. This is a major factor of eggs/larvae survival.

A small hole needs to be made in the bottle cap in order to insert the plastic L shaped pipe

After that we will prepare the "plumbing" that will fit the power head, valve and bottle (I was forced to use different diameter tubing to fit the different size parts). Some time spent at your local hardware store will result in the configuration you need.

The powerhead I chose for was the Atman 300 lph. Another major factor in the survival of the eggs is keeping the inside the bottle clean. In order to do this I took the powerhead cup and put some filter wool inside. Not all powerheads give you this option, so look around for one that does or find another means of removing debris before it enters the egg tumbler.

We're almost finished. Make a small hole in the upper part of the bottle (where the bottom use to be) and install a small suction cup to keep the tumbler from moving inside the tank. This is what the finished tumbler looks like:

Finally, here it is action:

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