(Catfish?) eggs still in egg form

Earlier last week I wrote about clusters of eggs we discovered in our fish tank. We guessed it would either be fish or snail eggs. Quickly the process of elimination helped me realize that it’s not snail eggs, because one of our snails died (exact time is unknown, hard to tell with snails). The lady at Petco said that it’s probably catfish eggs because they are more likely to lay eggs than other kinds of fish.

We have been vigilant about the eggs and have moved them comfortably into their own tank. Every morning and evening, I document with pictures to see if any visible changes are seen. Nothing dramatic so far. What do we notice is that the eggs are whiter and slightly bigger.

I read that newborn fish are very fragile, can’t swim or eat well, and are only able to consume tiny food bits multiple times throughout the day. Regular fish food is too big for their mouths, and they could possibly starve to death. Again, google teems with advice and suggestions on how to make these kinds of fish food. But it informed hopefuls that even under the best conditions, the eggs may not hatch.

As for food prep: the easiest one is getting a cup of aquarium water and letting it sit out in the sun until the water turns green. That has nutrients for the baby fish. I put plastic wrap over it, to prevent spillage, but Chris told me to make holes on top for oxygen. I checked right now, and the water is nowhere near green. Another feed: if the babies hatch and you have nothing on hand, boiled egg yolk could do the trick. Add into the tank with small liquid dropper or wrap yolk in cheesecloth and wait for the yolk-infused water to settle near the babies. And of course, for people like me, pet stores sell micro food for baby fish. We also lined the bottom of the tank with faux greenery so the babies could hide and the food could settle near them.

It usually takes 5-10 days for hatching, and we are on day 8. Last night I asked the kids if I could take one egg and, for the sake of science, dissect it. After serious consideration with frowns and hand wringing, they agreed. One condition: get one that looked almost dead. I haven’t decided if I will yet.

Our process went from elated at discovery, furiously researching hatching fish eggs, worried about how to set up a conducive newborn fish habitat. and making a field trip to Petco looking for supplies and asking questions.

Still waiting. And when they do hatch, they’ll be so small and cute!!