Polkadot has 3 stunning babies and then... things go pearshapped but..thank God with a happy ending

Discussion in 'Oddball fish' started by MariaS, Jan 22, 2020.

  1. MariaS

    MariaS Retired Moderator

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    Sorry for the belated update... but... when you breeding, i guess things dont always go the way you expect
    Despite the happy ending, the unexpected experience left me pretty shaken up and i hadnt even got around to sharing it so... thought its about time

    So.. two Saturdays ago, about 9pm i walk across from having supper with @Cesar and Dina, to find Polkadot had started birthing and there were 3 gorgeous babies swimming around

    Got out their basket, scooped them into the basket and we could see that she was not done as there was still a visible bump
    An hour went by and still no more babies and i started noticing that she was battling and something was not right
    Usually they give birth very quickly and its all over in about 30 minutes as they just pop out one after the other
    Mom usually goes up abd down the glass and pushes by flapping the two fins under the disc around the tail but this was not happening often enough and she was tucked up in a corner of the tank

    By midnight she wasnt doing too well but went up the glass trying again and we saw a little tail sticking out but she couldnt deliver the pup, it was somehow stuck for some unknown reason
    So... i started really worrying as it was now about 4 hours that she was battling..

    By 1.30 in the morning she still had not managed to push the pup out and she was taking serious strain so panic station kicked in.. the chances of losing Polkadot were very real and imminent if something wasnt done and the thought of losing her was just devastating...

    What do i do and Who can i possibly ask for help at 1.30 in the morning not to mention who in SA would now what to do..
    I remembered watching a YouTube video that Stingray Biology had shared of a ray where her pup got stuck but half the body was out.. we only had the tip of the tail which is tiny and fragile..

    Anyway.. by 1.30 I was so desperate i just took my chances and i messaged Richard Hardwick in the UK, a well known reputable breeder, respected all over the World in the ray keeping community who I often chat to and has helped me whenever i need advice
    I had no idea what time it was in the UK..... , and didnt even think about that, just took a chance
    I also sent a message to Kevin Wai at Stingray Biology in the States... had no idea what time it was there either... i just need someone that would help and i took a chance

    The ray keeping community overseas is amazing.... within 15 minutes i had answers from both Kevin and Richard
    Richard Hardwick is an amazing pool of knowledge on any fish and an expert on rays who always goes into the finest details to explain something and that's exactly what he did at that time of the night
    He guided us through step by step and i was terrified but his positive encouragement just was amazing and just made you do what you had to

    So we got a big basin/bowl which Cesar usually uses to move the rays around and @Cesar took Polkadot out the tank
    Richard told us to klip the barb so we didnt get stung but she flapped the tail around too much and Cesar couldnt get it so... being a bit crazy, he asked me for two thick kitchen towels which he manged to wrap around her tail and then grabbed the tail firmly so she could not move

    We were then told to put two fingers into the cloaca and firmly pull the baby out
    I was dreading breaking the tail and the baby be left inside but.. it worked and we got the baby out
    It was a huge 14cm baby hence why she could not deliver it and obviously after all these hours it was dead but Polkadot was alive!
    I can never thank Richard enough for his detailed step by step guidance and not to mention the positive encouragement at that time from across the globe

    Anyway.. we returned Polkadot to the tank and she looked much better despite the handling but something didnt look right as she still looked like ther was a bump on one side but she was swimming around and didnt look as stressed so eventually we went to bed and just left a blue light on for her

    She was ok in the morning but didnt really eat ( not uncommon after birthing) but i was still a bit worried as my gut feeling and knowing her, told me something was still not right
    The Monday morning when i got to the tank, she had delivered another huge 14cm pup overnight which was also dead from taking so long

    The two dead pups were beautiful and heartbreaking that they were dead but the happy ending is that the first three pups are doing well and Polkadot is back to her normal self, full of mischief
    She has now gone over to the new tank and has rearranged all my wood etc... as she always does

    I didnt take pictures of everything.... i was so stressed about Polkadot and Cesar getting stung that the last thing on my mind was grab the phone and take pictures.
    But i hope that even without pictures this thread might help anyone that reads it and that ever has a problem.
    After all was over and Polkadot safe, it was an awesome feeling of accomplishment and an experience hard to describe.. and a hell of a learning curve

    So here are some pictures of the babies and a small video of Polkadot back to her normal self re-scaping my tank

    The baby we pulled out and the second dead baby delivered two days later


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    And the three happy babies

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    And Polkadot all recovered and up to mischief


     
    Featherfin, Logz, T. Guppy and 5 others like this.
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  3. Whoknows

    Whoknows Moderator

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    Congrats on the new pups. :thumbup:

    Sorry for your loss to those are some huge pups :(

    How's the other tank(2.6) looking I'm sure it's looking bare by now :lol:
     
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  4. Pezulu

    Pezulu

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    That must have been quite the ordeal, but luckily things turned out well in the end.
     
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  5. A new day

    A new day Moderator

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    Sho...what a stressful event for Polkadot and the two of you. Sorry about the two pups but so grateful that everyone else came away unscathed, including of course Polkadot and the other pups. Thanks for sharing the story with us, and a big thumbs up to the folks who talked you guys through it :thumbup: that’s why community is so powerful.
     
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  6. David Kusner

    David Kusner

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    Wow, that must have been nerve racking as hell. I was so engrosed in your story!! I am not sure I would have the guts to do that. Big fish are hard enough to handle in general anyway!!!

    Thanks for sharing and good luck with the pups!!!

    Sent from my SM-N960F using Tapatalk
     
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  7. TheGrissom

    TheGrissom

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    Congrats on the 3 new babies. Sad that the other 2 died but glad Polkadot is doing well. And its great that there are people who are willing to give advice and share the experiences and knowledge so freely.
     
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  8. top dog

    top dog

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    huge congrats some beautiful pups out of what could have been a tragedy
    so glad to see polkadot enjoying her new home
    why always at 1:30 in the morning do things go wrong.
    all i can do is vouch for stingray community being supper helpful
     
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  9. OP
    MariaS

    MariaS Retired Moderator

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    Thanks @Whoknows

    Yes.. was very sad at losing those two babies but so relieved at not losing Polkadot and still having three babies that I am just grateful for what i have
     
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    MariaS

    MariaS Retired Moderator

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    Thanks @Pezulu

    It was quite an experience but i think it left me numb for a couple days.. hard to explain
     
  11. OP
    MariaS

    MariaS Retired Moderator

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    Thanks @A new day

    I have to say than God @Cesar has a strong self confident calm character and has a way about him of handling these rays
    They are big ( Polkadot is probably about 50cm.. maybe slightly more and probably weighs 5kg at least) and the power in them is unreal
    Doing it alone for me, would not have been easy

    And you right... its awesome to see the community spirit in the hobby isnt limited to TASA or our Country only but right across the Globe
     
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  12. OP
    MariaS

    MariaS Retired Moderator

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    Thanks @David Kusner

    Hahha we were ecstatic that we managed to do it but the anticlimax.. think we were both left looking at each other with this numb feeling without words

    Touch wood babies are doing great
    Moved them to the pup tank with Pretty Face's and they eating nicely
    However, two are pouncing on fish, the others say i can eat the fish myself.. they want earthworms but i dont mind.. will cross that bridge when they a little bigger
     
  13. OP
    MariaS

    MariaS Retired Moderator

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    Thanks @TheGrissom

    Yes.. its awesome to know that there are caring people who will help even though I have never bought a pup from them
     
  14. OP
    MariaS

    MariaS Retired Moderator

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    Thanks @top dog

    Hahha yep.. she rules the roost in the new home
    Or.. lets say.. Spooky rules the top and Polkadot dictates what goes on at the bottom

    Its sod's law, things either go wrong when you not there or in the middle of the night but im grateful that we were here!!

    I think we have an amazing community on TASA but yes.. the stingray community overseas is something else
    They all stand together and help each other even though so many are from different Countries
     
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  15. Reedfish

    Reedfish Moderator

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    @MariaS
    It sounds like a nightmare
    At least it worked out well, despite losing the 2 pups.
     
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  16. A new day

    A new day Moderator

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    Team work plus a ‘doctor’ on call for a difficult home delivery :thumbup:
     
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  17. OP
    MariaS

    MariaS Retired Moderator

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    Thanks @Reedfish

    It was a nightmare.. but... i guess at the same time it was an eye opener that it can happen to fish as well and the reality of what can happen when you breed..

    It was also a big learning experience not only for us but for anyone else that this can happen to

    I had this happen a few times during the years i bred German Shepherds.. then i was ok... 1ml Oxytocin to help mom's contractions usually sorted it out, sometimes you had to climb in and help deliver a pup
    But here was a different kettle fish not only the strength of these fish but the chances of you being stung
    Not to mention the vision of being left with this tiny tail in one hand and the rest of the baby inside

    So... as they say... sometimes things happen for a reason..
     
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  18. OP
    MariaS

    MariaS Retired Moderator

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    Hahha very much so!!
     
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  19. Whoknows

    Whoknows Moderator

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    Very true. Wish you well with them growing them up
     
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  20. Reedfish

    Reedfish Moderator

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    Well at least you will know what to do now if it happens again.
     
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  21. eros111

    eros111

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    NICE fish people will always try to help - you are so lucky to know some of the best in the world Maria. Well done and sorry about the 2 you lost. Upwards and onwards as we say, hope the next time is not stressful !!!
     
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