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Colanders As Fry Hatcheries

By: Stephen Kotowych
I just wanted to suggest an entry for Tips and Tricks that I recently found out about and that I can't believe I didn't think of first (always being on the hunt for cheap alternatives in fish keeping):
Using plastic spaghetti/pasta strainers (colanders) as fry hatcheries!
I was blown away by the simplicity of this idea, and amazed at how well it works! When you think about it, that's what most fry hatcheries are really - glorified buckets (or boxes) with tiny holes in the bottom ;) As long as you don't mind not being able to see through the sides of the hatchery very well, and don't mind the fry dropping right into the tank, this is an ingenious idea!
Available at any dollar store, strainers come in all shapes and sizes. I recommend a bowl-shaped strainer, scaled to the size of your tank, with a not-too-steep angle for the sides (more bowl shaped and less cone shaped, providing more room for the mother). Also, I think round-holed strainers are preferable - less sharp edges to scrape against for the fry. Just be sure to get a strainer with holes large enough for fry to fall/swim through, and be sure that you get one that has somewhere on the upper ring that can trap and contain air like a buoy or float so that the strainer won't sink.
It works great for guppy fry, and I'm sure it will do well for mollies/other livebearers too!
Now just don't confuse it with the one from last night's pasta...
By: Stephen Kotowych

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