Help! zebras

Everything you ever wanted to say about "Zebra luvin", but didn't because you thought everyone would take the mickey! Plus general topics for discussion including everything from what you feed them to your personal experiences.

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will74
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Help! zebras

Post by will74 »

Just received my 6 new zebras and I am so nervous. How should I acclimate them? And when should I Attempt to feed them?

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pureplecs
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Post by pureplecs »

More information would be helpful... What is your tank setup (size of tank, water parameters, etc), how big/old are they?

NetsuaiAngel
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Post by NetsuaiAngel »

Acclimation procedures:

Place the zebras and their original water into a bucket with an airstone and if possible a piece of driftwood or some type of cover to help lower their stress levels.

Cover the top of the bucket with a dark towel (a large dark towel to cover incoming light from outside the bucket helps too).

Take a long piece of airline tubing. Enough to reach from your main tank to the bucket. Have a binder clip or multiple paper clips to create a cinch in the airline tubing in the middle. Don't cinch the tubing yet. Put the airline tubing into your main tank and secure it with the lid (no pinching it down) or something to secure the tubing from slipping out of the tank. Siphon water to the other end and hold the other end with your thumb. With your other hand - cinch the tubing. Place the end with your thumb into the bucket with the zebras. You want a controlled, slow drip flow into the bucket from your main tank and into the bucket.

The water volume should double within one to two hours. Lift the airline tubing to a higher elevation and keep it secured. Take the bucket and CAREFULLY empty half the water volume until it is returned to its original level. Replace the drip line and continue. Now, theoretically, the original water should only be 50%. Continue the doubling process about three more times and the zebras should be acclimated to your tank parameters.

After they have been acclimated, you should be able to carefully transfer the zebras into your tank. The safest way would is to remove the airline tubing, airstone, safety cover (wood/fake plant) and then slowly pour the bucket into your tank. Or if your tank opening is big enough, let the bucket dip down into the tank and tilt the bottom up for gravity to take effect and the zebras will swim out of the bucket and into your tank.

You can use a net, but becareful that their spines on their fins do not get caught in the net and they could hurt themselves. A brine shrimp or fine mesh net would work too.

Good luck and congrats on your zebras!

-Angela

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Brengun
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Post by Brengun »

That procedure is good but if its in the middle of winter and your house doesn't have central heating, in 1 to 2 hours of acclimatisation you are going to have very cold zebras. Maybe a hot water bottle or something should be put under the bucket?

NetsuaiAngel
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Post by NetsuaiAngel »

Hi Brengun,

That's very true, but I saw that he is from Kentucky and it's not very cold in there or else I would have altered the acclimation process.

You can also have an extra heater and place it inside the bucket to keep the water temp in the bucket the exact same as inside your main tank. I live in Las Vegas and I use two heaters for acclimation - even in the summer because inside temps are kept around 75 or below. For those with extreme winters, a warming pad covered by a plastic liner (like a trash bag) or an electric heater blanket covered by a plastic liner can help keep the bucket warm.

The other acclimation method is to take the zebras in the bag. Transfer them into a much larger bag - like a 1 gallon zip lock. Place a safety decor inside the bag (a light one - don't sink the bag, or secure it against your tank wall with a plastic hair clip - small plastic plants or a small piece of drift wood works). Float them in your tank to acclimate them to the tank's temperature. Scoop 1/4 cup of your tank water and slowly pour it on the inside wall of the bag. Let your fish rest and acclimate for an half an hour. Come back and scoop another 1/4 cup of tank water into the bag. Acclimate for another half hour. Continue until water volume double, take the bag to the sink and dump half of the water. Bring back to the tank and continue the 1/4 tank water scoop until water doubles in volume - then slowly tilt the bag on its side inside the tank and the zebras will all be acclimated and will find their new hiding places.

The acclimation above is more of a quick and fast way to acclimate. It's usually the normal choice by the majority fish owners I've talked to. The first method I described is a more elaborate way of acclimation and to some they believe a more less stressful acclimation. It's owners preference.

-Angela

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pureplecs
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Post by pureplecs »

Hopefully the original poster will respond with the size so we can help with letting him/her know what to feed them as well.... :wink:

ZebKeeper
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Post by ZebKeeper »

asking how to acclimate the fish after you received the fish :p

once you got the response either the fish has dead or settled well...

will74
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acclimation

Post by will74 »

The fish are doing great, I did think to submerge a large thin plastic bowl in my sump during acclimation and this kept the temp the same in the bowl as in the tank. The fish are anywhere from 1.75 to 2.75" long and look very healthy. This is their 2nd night in the tank and I'm using a black light to watch them, they are starting to move about but still are not eating. Any tips on how to get them to eat? I put the food in places that are in cover so they don't have to leave cover to find it but I still havn't seen them eat.

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vanillarum
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Post by vanillarum »

Will, I got my zebras last Thursday, and last nite was the first time I have SEEN them eat. I know they have eaten, 'cause the food has been pilfered. Last nite was the first time they have actually come out of hiding without the light being off. I have a single strip lite that came with the tank, and I put a blue tube around it, so it is pretty dim. The room is completely black (or close to it), even in the daytime, with the lights out. The only light is from the 10 gal tank next to them. What are you feeding them ? If they get hungry enuf, they'll eat. Good luck.
The line of least resistance makes crooked rivers and crooked men !

William H. Danforth

Irene0100
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Post by Irene0100 »

they may well take a few days before they eat, due to all the strangeness etc. dont wory unless they have sunken bellies. sounds like you are doing the right thing and offer a range of foods. do you know they the supplier was feeding them on?

GlockFu
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Post by GlockFu »

This is a bit late but maybe this will help future searchers...

The best method for me is to take a tupaware and put the new fish in it with their origional water. Only put enough so that when you put it in the tank, the bowl will float by itself since there is only a small layer on the bottom of the container. Then, if you have a plexi glass tank, you can push the tupaware under the top of the plexi glass tank so that it tries to float up but gets held in place by the top of the tank. If you have glass, no problem, just let it float.

Then, take a water bottle, as large as you like.
1) cut the top off
2) Use something to punch a small hole on the side but near the bottom of the water bottle, a little smaller than airline tubing (I use a drill to make a clean hole).
3) Take the airline tubing and cut the tip at an angle so that it makes a sharp point. This piece of tube only needs to be 3-4 inches
4) Push the sharp point of the airline tube into the hole and make it as snug as possible
5) Get one of those plastic airline tubing adjustment valves used to adjust airflow in an air tube. (it is in the shape of a T, has 2 openings and a screw in the middle)
6) Connect the plastic adjustment to the other end of the tube thats now sticking out of the water bottle
7) connect another piec of airline tubing to the other end of the adjustment valve
8) And NOW you're DONE! Just fill the bottle with tank water, sit it on top of the tank and put the airline tube in the tupaware but not in the water. You can then use the adjustment valve to regulate how quickly or slowly you want to drip the water.

This might sound like a lot of work to make but once you make one you can always use it over and over again. I made one and always use that when I want to drip fish. Recently I just made a large order and wanted to drip multiple fish so I made one of these with a gallon water jug and and put two outlets in it. Once you get the proccess down you can make one quickly (this one took about 10 minutes)

Its great because it's completely automatic. I can fill the water jug and let it drip for as long as it takes. Once the tupaware fills with water it will just sink into the tank.

I set this up and left to do what ever I wanted and came back home hours later and everything was done! I've also dripped fish for 5-7 hours with this method since you really don't have to do anything after it's set up and I wanted a very gradual acclimation.

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