Bristlenosed breeding dilemma
Hail and well met, fellow locariphiles. I've posted a poll above - and here's the impetus and background:
I'd like to take a shot at getting my bristlenoses to breed. Unfortunately, the pair I have in my 55 are both female, and the single I have in my 20 gallon is the male. In the 55, I have an assortment of caves in various sizes ranging from an 8" tall replica of the front gate of Angkor Wat down to one slate propped on another to give a little 2x2 inch hovel that my kuhlis tend to hang out in. In the 20, there is the one cave that the male has taken for his own, under a piece of driftwood. It's pretty small in diameter (about 1 1/2") but it's deeper than my fingers will reach into.
So I'm trying to figure out which would be the best reshuffling of stock (or if it would be better yet to move the pair to yet another 20 or an empty 5 1/2 and give them some PVC pipe to snuggle in).
So, here's the stocking for the 3 possible tanks:
1) 55 gallon: 2x female bristlenosed plecos, 5x botia striata, 3x kuhli loaches, 12x harlequin rasbora, 8x cherry barb - substrate is medium/fine black gravel
2) 20 gallon (high): 1x male bristlenose, 1x clown pleco, 5x black neon, 6x glowlight tetra, 4x sterbas cory, 1x three lined cory - substrate is medium/fine black gravel
3) 20 gallon (high): a dozen young female fancy guppies - substrate is 1/2 to 3/4" pebbles.
All are planted, and all but the last heavily planted. The last doesn't have any driftwood in it either, but that could be easily remedied.
Moving the male may involve a high order of difficulty, as he loves him that cave, and hangs out farther back in it than my fingers will reach. Moving the clown may or may not be any easier. Catching one of the females to move is probably not too hard (they tend to zip into the temple gate when startled).
What do you figure is my best option?
I would put the 1 male and 2 female Bristlenoses in the 20 gallon tank with the female Guppies, as the fish in the other tanks will probably have a go at eating the eggs! Put the cave that your male Bristlenose is always in straight into the 20 Gallon tank with the Guppies while the Male Bristlenose is in the cave so that you dont have the hassle of taking it out of the cave. Also if your male Bristlenose likes that that cave so much it could be a spawning cave for them, try to place the cave somewhere in the tank were there is more current. You might want to put a few pieces of drift wood in the tank as well.
Since the male really likes his current place, I would probably swap the clown for a female bn. I don't know if the other fish will be a problem. My bns have spawned in my tank and the male really protects those eggs -- its once they are free swimming that you will have a problem. Both of my bns loved the spot under the sponge filter. I got rid of it and the pair spawned in a cave that is probably a little small and failed to (I believe) successfully fertilize the eggs.
Best of luck with whatever you decide! If you succeed, let me know how you protected the babies in a community tank!
Bristlenose, thanks for the innput. Unortunately, the cave and driftwood are such an integral part of the substrate that removing them would pretty much destroy the aquascape for the third time in six months - not an ideal solution.
So far, I'm leaning toward the following (which will kill several) birds with one stone:
1) When I reinstall the guppy tank in my girls room this weekend Remove all the males to the 10 gallon I have a couple of males growing out in already.
2) Remove all the female guppies from the 20 gallon into my girls' 10 gallon.
3) Do a 20-50% water change on both 20s.
4) Transfer every fish from the 20 gallon with the male to the 20 gallon the guppies were moved from (11 tetras, 5 cories, and a clown pleco).
5) Saw a small flowerpot in half and put half in each of the 20s (Backup hiding place for the male while the female is laying - extra shelter for the cories and clown pleco in the other)
6) Put a hunk of driftwood from the loach motel in with the clown pleco for his chewing pleasure.
7) Transfer one of the females from Angkor Wat to the little amazon lovenest
8) Incidentally, move three striped loaches from the loach motel to Angkor wat.
This would 1) Get the two bristlenoses together for breeding, 2) segragate the guppies into male and female batches preparatory to bringing some back to the fish store and 3) solve my loach problem.
I got a little confused reading that! :? So is there going to be any fish in the tank that you are putting the Bristlenoses in?
I'm thinking of moving every fish I can out of the tank that I want the Bristlenoses to breed in. That should be all of them. This would leave behind 3 Amano Shrimp (which I am not even going to try to catch). I am going to thin out the cabomba thicket (which is pretty ratty at the moment) and add a couple of flowerpot caves too. Wish my camera were working, but it's not.
So, to review in the Tank I want to breed in:
Staying: One Male Bristlenose, 3 Amano Shrimp
Going: 1 Clown Pleco, 5 Black Neons, 6 Glowlights, 4 Sterbas Cories, 1 Three Line Cory.
Adding: 1 Female Bristlenose.
Why arn't you adding both the female Bristle noses to the tank? And are you adding any drift wood as well?
The cave the male likes is formed by a big humk of driftwood scewed into a piece of slate, so I have the driftwood covered.
Couple reasons I'm not putting in both females:
1) It's only a 20 gallon tank
2) I want at least one pleco-type critter in the 55 to keep the algae down where the sunlight hits the side of the tank.
3) This female was easy to catch - she lived in the temple gate, so all I had to do was pick it up and turn it over to carry her upstairs. The other one lives on the java fern/driftwood tree and she's pretty hard to catch.
4) Lastly, I don't eally have enough hiding places in the tank for 3 plecos. I'm going to add a small flowerpot today, but still, that's only three real caves and one nice compacta sword to chill out under.
Just watch your BN for a while after you put them together. I added a second female to the tank with my male and female and I think the two females would have batteled to the death if I didn't seperate them again.
Best of luck, I have been trying for 6 months and still haven't gotten the male to even accept the female in his cave.
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