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Dwarf siren eggs and juveniles

This is a discussion on Dwarf siren eggs and juveniles within the Large Aquatic Salamanders (Hellbenders/Cryptobranchids, Necturus, Siren, etc.) forums, part of the Species, Genus & Family Discussions category; I was downstairs feeding my dwarf sirens and thought some people here might appreciate some badly taken photos of my ...

Large Aquatic Salamanders (Hellbenders/Cryptobranchids, Necturus, Siren, etc.) This topic covers Cryptobranchids like the hellbender and Asian giant salamanders, as well as sirens, mud puppies, and amphiumas.

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Old 17th August 2007   #1 (permalink)
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Default Dwarf siren eggs and juveniles

I was downstairs feeding my dwarf sirens and thought some people here might appreciate some badly taken photos of my Pseudobranchus axanthus. I've had some success breeding them and currenly have ~40 individuals from 3 to 7 months of age right now.

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Here are my first eggs. They weren't good eggs, but a bit later I finally got some decent ones. I was pretty elated when I found them, though.

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Late stage egg.

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Individual within 2 days of hatching. The egg sac is present but not really visible, and it was a surprisingly decent swimmer for its age, though still rather poor.

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Roughly two months old, if I remember right. The stripe on the young ones are really attractive.

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Here's an adult, probably somewhere between 1.5 and 2.5 years of age. They grow surprisingly fast, as it was less than half that size when I'd gotten it,

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Here you can see the bite marks from other animals. Fortunately, unlike the Siren spp., I don't believe they're capable of inflicting damage worse than this.

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Here is a size comparison, showing all three animals from above. I wish I'd have included a quarter; the adult is in a Miracle Whip container if that helps anything.

They're definately cool animals that are greatly under appreciated.



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Old 17th August 2007   #2 (permalink)
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Peter, that's pretty awesome. Any chance of offspring going up for adoption?



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Old 17th August 2007   #3 (permalink)
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nice sirens if you need to let go of aney let me know

p.s the t.dobrogicus I got froum you are doing great



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Old 17th August 2007   #4 (permalink)
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congrats on your breeding success and thanks for sharing the photo's. lovely animals.



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Old 17th August 2007   #5 (permalink)
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Great job! I have a few questions because I would like to try to breed them sometime in the future. Hoe many adults per tank? What size is the tank? What do you feed them and what temperature do you keep the tank at.

I hope these questions aren't to bothersome.



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Old 17th August 2007   #6 (permalink)
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I bred them by accident in a 5.5 gallon tank although something along the size of a 20 long worked best for me. If you cycle them and then hold them steady at about 72 F and 12/12 photoperiod you should be able to get eggs from them every couple of months (as long as they are sufficiently fed).

And before I forget, congratulations.

Ed



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Old 17th August 2007   #7 (permalink)
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Wow, Peter, that's super! I can't believe you didn't tell us until now. I certainly do appreciate the photos! If you could give some of the details on breeding them (temp, light cycle, tank setup, etc.) that might be helpful to anyone else who has them.

It's hard to judge the size of the adult from the photo. How long are they?



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Old 18th August 2007   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks for the comments. The adults are around 8 inches. I went down to measure them, but wasn't able to find any.

The set up is a 20 gallon long tank filled between half and 3/4 with water, kept low enough that they can't jump out. In one corner I have a clamp on light with a 60W bulb providing 12/12 light and a temperature gradiant if they want. The substrate is sand, though I'm probably going to try pea gravel next time. On the top of the water is a floating, gross as hell clump of algae encrusted java moss. They used to lay eggs right into this moss, but then I stopped finding eggs and instead started pulling live larvae out, and no further eggs turned up in the moss that I could locate. It's really the ugliest of all of my tanks, and I'm planning on redoing it once I move into a place of my own.

If I remember correctly, there are seven adults in there. I never see them all at the same time, but I can usually see one or two. I did find all of them the last time I made an effort to check if they'd survived.

They're pretty easy to keep. I have no idea what temperature the tank is, though I assume it's in the low seventies or high sixties with a hotter end near the lamp. They seem pretty temperature tolerant, and extremely easy to care for in general. Like Ed said, he kept them in a 5.5 gallon tank, and a friend of mine kept them in something closer to a gallon (without frequent water changes, just lots of java), which is pretty amazing given the water quality problems that could occur. They just seem really tolerant of just about anything.

I feed the adults and larger individuals blackworms, and everyone eats daphnia. Anything small enough to fit into their tiny mouths, basically. When I got them, I was amazed to see them eating D. magna in a manner that you could see parts of the daphnia sticking out of both sides of their mouths.

I don't currently have any plans to sell any, but I will with the next batch. Most of these that I have now are being held back for breeding stock, but I should start getting new eggs within a month or so, if they follow a pattern similar to what I noticed between the first two runs.

For anyone else wanting to breed these, Ed's caresheet is probably more than you need to do it, and it explains things better than I can. Over the winter I'd decreased the photo period, and then when I'd starting bringing it back up, I got my first bad eggs. I did use a hotter bulb (150W?) during that time, but I don't know whether or not that mattered and I assume it didn't as they've been pretty eager to breed with the current 60W bulb. All in all, they seem really easy to breed, and a lot easier to keep. Aside from the gill fungus outbreak I'd had that killed 4 of my initial animals within the first two weeks, I haven't had any problems at all with them.

As for Jen's comment, sorry for not posting earlier. Nothing much salamander related had been going on in my life, and I'd been concentrating mostly on my dart frogs. Fortuantely, I've got a few salamander related projects planned for sometime during the next couple of years, so hopefully I'll be able to make up for any absence.

Here's a couple more pictures I'd found:

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Click the image to open in full size.

These were taken on March 18, 2007, during the first batch of eggs. I wound up losing most of the first group (3/10 or so survived). Now, I just house them all by size in two 20 gallon clear plastic tubs, and haven't lost any since.



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Old 4th September 2007   #9 (permalink)
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I went downstairs today and poked around in the horrible floating mass of **** that once used to be called "java moss" in my siren tank, and found a few eggs. There were around 10 or so, though only 4-5 were good, but at least now I know that they're starting the cycle up again. If this is anything like the last run, I should get 2-3 eggs every other day or so for a few weeks, so that's something to look forward to.

I decided to take a few pictures of the juvies from the tubs, and a few turned out. The darker ones I had to photoshop a bit so the colors are off a little.

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There's two of the eggs I found, further in development than I expected. These two are probably 5-7 days old, and they take around 20 days to hatch. There were three at this stage, and 1-3 good ones that were younger.

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Here's one of the smaller ones that I found stuck in the moss, either a late hatcher or a slow grower.

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Click the image to open in full size.
I pulled one of the larger sirens from one of the bins. He's pretty big, but there are two that are larger. I measured one of the bigger sirens and he wa around 10 cm (4 inches), which is getting close to adult size. It's really neat how fast these guys grow; you don't even really notice it until you look at how small they hatch out at.

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Click the image to open in full size.

There's the only two shots that turned out from the pictures I took of the tubs I keep the juvies in. I keep them in two tubs, with 8 or so in the larger tub, and I estimated around 30 in the second tub.
I'm going to have to seperate them again, as the second tub has sirens of all sizes by now, and I suspect that they might be able to cannibalize each other when the size range gets too high. One of the nicest things about raising them as opposed to Ambystomids or other salamanders is that except with huge differences in size, they don't eat each other.

Anyhow, there are my pictures. Maybe I'll try to get some better ones later.

-Peter



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Old 7th September 2007   #10 (permalink)
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amazong pictures! I especially loved the ones of the little guys sitting in the algae/moss area. The developmental pictures are also great, I enjoyed those also. congratulations with your efforts. I simply adore Dwarf siren, and if I ever found c.b. specimens I would have a colony also. Good luck with raising them and thankyou for sharing your information :)

Keep up the good work, and keep us updated, especially with the pictures!



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Old 7th September 2007   #11 (permalink)
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Good luck Peter, they look amazing, and it's a wonderful achievement.



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