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Need a little guidance, please! New to breeding.

My young female yellow lab had her first batch on 07/12. There were 22 with only 12 fertilized (male young too), stripped after 5 days, and all were doing very well in the incubator in the main tank. Once wigglers, all slowly died off one by one. I managed to save three by separating the incubator into a 5 gallon breeder tank with RO water and adding a little cichlid substrate to raise the PH to cichlid liking. They were doing great! As of yesterday, free swimming and eating on their own. Fat and heathly. I did a water change in my main tank and while cleaning the breeder tank, I took those three fry and put them in a breeder basket in my main tank. I do use tap water for my main tank, but treat with API products (Algaefix, Stress Zyme, ACCU-Clear, Quick Start, Stress Coat). Trust me, I would rather have RO under sink, so I can fill my 55 gallon main tank easily. Within the hour, all three fry were belly up.

As of 08/5, my female has had her second batch. I have 18 wigglers in an incubator in the main tank. After yesterday, I'm terrified of killing my them with the chemicals I put in the main tank. I wasn't sure what happen with my first batch or those three fry, but after yesterday, I'm thinking the chemicals were too harsh for them. I'm thinking of putting the incubator in the breeder tank with RO water with a little cichlid substrate just like I did the first time. That seemed to work perfectly.

I have two questions. One, am I correct with the chemicals being too harsh on wigglers and fry and my thinking with needing to use RO water? And two, if so, should I slowly add main tank water to the breeder tank when doing water changes to acclimate them until they're ready for the main tank?

Any advice would help! Thank you!
 

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Hi and Welcome to C-F!!

Sorry for the loss of the fry. I don't know why they died but it could be a combination of factors.

First off, do you have an aquarium test kit? If so which brand and type? If you do test your tank already, please post the results for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH.

R/O water is not a good choice for fish unless you are buffering the water to acceptable parameters since it has no minerals.

I also think you are using too many products in the 55G tank. You should only need a good dechlorinator that neutralizes chlorine or chloramine in your tap water, whichever your local water company uses as a disinfectant. The API Stress coat does this but also has Aloe Vera which is just a marketing ploy in my opinion and not really necessary as the fish have a slime coat that does great protection. I suggest either switching to Seachem Prime or the API Tap Water Conditioner if you prefer their products.

Algaefix can sometimes be problematic as it listed in the Safety sheet as toxic to aquatic life but that usually only happens when it is over dosed. It is not a product I recommend using regularly.

Accu-clear is used to bind small particles together in clumps to allow them to be more easily caught by filters. Not a necessary product to use IMO. I used it a couple times in a newly set up tank, it worked as labeled but wasn't needed long term.

Can you provide more details on how long your tank has been set up as well as how many, how large and which other species you have in this tank?

Sorry for the long post asking you more questions and not fully answering your main question regarding fry.
 

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Agree with Deeda, other than dechlorinator you should not need any of the chemicals in any tank.
 
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