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How to Use an Egg Tumbler to Hatch Aquarium Fish Eggs

Have you ever tried raising baby fish (called fry)? For many African cichlid and catfish species, using an egg tumbler to raise eggs into fry can give you a better success rate. The purpose of an egg tumbler is to help water circulate over and around the fish eggs. The gentle movement created by an egg tumbler will help provide an oxygen-rich environment for the eggs and also help prevent fungus from developing on the eggs.

The Ziss Egg Tumbler is a very easy-to-use device that was designed to help hobbyists hatch fish eggs. Because it has an adjustable flow, you can tumble large or small eggs with ease. If you are incubating eggs that don’t want to be tumbled, you can let them sit and just allow the water to flow around them.

Parts of a Ziss Egg Tumbler

Components of the Ziss Egg Tumbler

The Ziss Egg Tumbler comes with everything that you need to easily and successfully raise many baby fish from eggs. When you open the package, you will find that it comes with several parts . The instructions on the box are easy to follow to ensure that you put the tumbler together correctly. For a short video showing how this is put together, watch our step-by-step demonstration. Once you have thoroughly rinsed and assembled the Ziss Egg Tumbler, you are ready to attach it to the inside of your tank using the supplied suction cups and bracket.

Instructions on Ziss Egg Tumbler box

Box instructions for installing the egg tumbler

Open the main assembly and fill the tumbler with aquarium water. At this time, you may also add the fish eggs that you have pulled or stripped from the parent. Then, close the assembly and place the tumbler into the aquarium using the suction cups.

Ziss Egg Tumbler

Attach the tumbler to the fish tank wall using suction cups

Next, remove any trapped air by squeezing the filter sponge. Connect your airline tubing, check valve (if needed), and air pump to the Ziss air valve. You may then adjust the air by turning the knob on the air valve until you achieve the desired flow rate based on the type of eggs in the tumbler. Seeing your eggs gently moving at the base of the tumbler is an indication that it is working properly.

Ziss Egg Tumbler with peacock cichlid eggs

Egg tumbler filled with peacock cichlid (Aulonocara sp.) eggs

Now that your Ziss Egg Tumbler is operating properly, you just need to wait until the eggs hatch and the fry are free-swimming. During this waiting time, it is important to ensure that the flow remains consistent and the air supply remains constant. If you see any fish eggs that turn white or have a fuzzy fungus growing on them, simply remove those eggs from the tumbler. This can easily be done by gently removing the unfertile eggs with planting tweezers.

Ziss Egg Tumbler with peacock cichlid fry that have their yolk sacs

Peacock cichlid fry with their yolk sacs still attached

In a few days or weeks, you may notice that the fry are beginning to hatch. If they still have their yolk sacs attached to them, it is important to continue keeping them in the tumbler. Once the yolk sacs have been completely absorbed into the fry, you will see them swimming inside of the tumbler. At this time, you may move them to a tank that is suitable for newly-hatched baby fish or put them in a breeder box to protect them from predation.

Ziss Breeder Box with peacock cichlid fry

Ziss breeder box with peacock cichlid fry

Congratulations! You have now successfully hatched fish from eggs using the Ziss Egg Tumbler. Visit the product page to learn more and get your own.

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