Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Budgie 12-18-2006 09:40 PM

Convict babys/fry
About 1 month ago i had bought 2 convict blackbelts (male and female) and noticed that in the tank the big male would not stop chasing her and I could see she was getting distressed, so I thought i would put them in my back pond so she would have more places to hide ect.
And just 2 days ago i saw the male and female swimming together and noticed there was around 150-200 little fish smimming around the parents. Any way I wasn't expecting for them to breed so soon and was wondering If the female will have another batch of eggs? I was wanting to move the 2 parents into my 50 ltr tank So I could see them have another batch if they want. So What I want to know is that will that distress the Parents me moving them up into the tank or not??
Please I need some pointers for caring for the babys if you can help me please do so
many thx

Lupin 12-18-2006 09:55 PM

Hi and welcome aboard, Budgie.:wave:

Now that the fry are free-swimming, you may raise them in another tank. Try using egg yolk from a hard-boiled egg. Just pinch out some of the egg yolk and suspend it in a jar of water. Then get a medicine dropper and squirt the water containing egg yolk into the shoal of fry. A cheap alternative for raising the fry though you'll have to eat the rest of the egg yolk.:mrgreen: Drat..I'll need a new article about this as I keep saying this over.:crazy:

As for the parents, 50 liters=almost 12 gallons seem too small. 30 gallons is better as the parents often get violent. Get a divider aside from a 30 gallons tank and use it if you see them fighting against each other. Remove it only if you feel it necessary to do so and monitor them for any fights.

It would be best though to leave them alone where they are and allow them to breed. Cichlids are often very easy to breed though exceptions may involved discus, angels and apistos. You may separate the fry if you feel it necessary.:)

Good luck.:)

bettababy 12-19-2006 12:54 AM

To add to what was already said, it may be putting them in the pond that caused them to breed so fast. Fish are instinctual, and the pond was probably a much more suitable environment for them. If you bring them in to a small aquarium such as you mentioned, they may only succeed in tearing each other apart. If you want to attempt to breed them indoors, I'd give them at least a 55 to 75 gallon tank to do it in, copying the pond environment as much as possible, including natural food supply.

Budgie 12-19-2006 05:37 AM

Thx for your reply it helped me alot Although I havn't gotten around to the egg yolk thing which is quite clever i thought.
bout the 30 gallon tank, I am on a tight budget right now and cant really afford that size tank. Im on a wage of $8.20 per hr working 10 hrs a week if that so would it be alright to just move the male and female into my 50ltr/12gallon tank for just 2 weeks while she has her next batch of eggs and after they have hatched and are free swimming take the big male out and keep just the female with the babies in the fish tank????
Thank you for your replies due tomy being a newbie i really appreciate it
many thx
Budgie :D

Lupin 12-19-2006 05:53 AM

It's best to place them in the 30 gallons under your close watch. Watch them carefully for possible fights.:)

bettababy 12-20-2006 03:00 AM

I agree, nothing under 30 gallons is going to be suitable for even 1 parent with fry. I know this isn't the news you wanted to hear, but here at "accurate" information is always our goal. Anyone could tell you "sure, no problem"... until all of your fish die. Then what? I guess the question then becomes, "do you value your fish enough to provide them with what they need?"
The 30 gallon that Blue suggested would still only be temporary. Think about the size of each of your adults... now count the fry... they grow quite fast, so in 3 months you're going to have many more mouths to feed, need much more space, deal with aggression between fry if they're too crowded, and have fish waste coming out of your ears.
I understand about a limited budget, I spent my 8 yrs at the store making $6.50/hr with a 20 hr wk. I took care of me and 3 kids on that, so if I wanted fish I had to find another source of income... or I had to make it less expensive. I did both. I planned ahead, and I accomidated everything with what it needed or more. In doing this, I didn't have "issues" that got expensive and messy when they hit. Maintenance was minimal. I got to spend more time watching and playing with my fish, and I didn't worry when they showed signs of spawning. I always made sure with cichlids that I had someone to take fry before I ever brought home a pair of anything. Some of my tanks were all female, all male of a specific species for that reason. Breeding fish is fun, but that then makes you something of a parent, or grandparent. It doesn't come without responsibilities. With convicts, once they start to spawn, they usually do it regularly, and quite soon after the first. We had customers bringing them to us by the bucketfulls, to a point where we had to turn many away. Some of our customers resorted to using them as feeder fish in other tanks because they couldn't accomidate them anymore.
Please, prepare yourself, enjoy the experience, but be practical. 30 gallon minimum is just that... bare minimum and temporary. You might want to start calling around now to see if any of your LFS's can take some in a month or 2, and what their policy is for that.
Good Luck and let us know if you need more help.

Budgie 12-20-2006 04:21 AM

The Place I am working at now is my local pet store so I could ask in a month or 2 if they would like my fry but i will have to start looking ahead into the future, more then likely having to save upfor a 3o gallon or more fish tank. But until then I will keep them inmy pond until I can get rid of the 100 or so fry :lol: . Thank you for your help I really aprreciate it
Many thx
Budgie :D

herefishy 12-20-2006 08:35 PM

Betababy - now I've been breeding fish for a lllooonnngg time, many of my spawns have come in tanks as small as 2.5gal(killies). Many of my spawning tanks now are what are known as 20L. I agree that breeding colonies should have adequate room, the key word is adequate not spacious. Just as important is water quality and conditioning of the breeders. I do have various sizes of "rearing" tanks ranging from 5g to 15L. These tanks are bare, no gravel or decorations, with sponge filters. Tanks used to propogate fish need not be fancy, well decorated, or of "show" quality. This method keeps money in your pocketbook and, if the fry are in demand, MORE money in your pocketbook.

bettababy 12-21-2006 01:47 PM

Breeding convict cichlids is a lot different than breeding killies. For starters, convicts are good parents and tend to raise their fry, protect their fry. The convict cichlids also grow to 5 - 7 inches. 2 adult fish will not even fit into a 12 gallon tank. Your methods may work fine for killies, but for convicts, that size of a tank is just too small. Even if it were set up to breed for profit, which it doesn't sound like is the case, space would surely be an issue as would water quality.
Convict fry grow quickly, and by the time they are 1/4 - 1/2 inch long, they are aggressive. My friends and I have been breeding various types of cichlids for many years, and the only cichlids I would attempt to breed in a 20L would be dwarf cichlids, which convicts are not. The most common size for breeding and grow out tanks for something like convicts is a 40 breeder tank.
I had a customer a few yrs ago, took home a pair of convict cichlids to his 55 gallon tank. At the time he purchased them they were about 2 1/2 - 3 inches each. Less than a year later he was standing in our store with a bucket full of 1/2 - 1 inch fry, begging us to take them because there was nowhere to put them and the parents were spawning again already. In his buckt were over 50 fry that he was able to save from the first spawn, and he had no idea where to go with the next batch. Our store wouldn't even give store credit for them because we had so many people bringing them in, they weren't worth anything to us. We did take them off his hands, but had to tell him not to expect us to be able to take future spawns. We also had nowhere safe to put that many fish, and they didn't sell fast enough to make it profitable.
The type of fish you breed for profit will depend on a few things... number 1 on that list is demand. It does no good to breed for profit if there is not enough demand for a specific species.
I did not view this as a case of "breeding for profit", but more one of those situations that wasn't expected and now here it is. If breeding something like convicts for profit, and the demand for them is there, and an outlet for them once they're ready to go, then a series of smaller (30 gallon) tanks could work, set up the way you described, but the fish would have to have some kind of cover once they got beyond 1/2 inch in size because of their aggressive and territorial behavior.

Budgie 12-21-2006 06:13 PM

Gidday guys/ladies,
Sorry bout all the conflict and all but I just wanted to ask a couple of questions about compatability with the convict cichlid.
First of all While i Was down at my local pet store, I saw a tank round 1.5 mtrs long with 3-4 Fully grown Convict cichlids with a fully grown Silver Dollar and a few loaches. I was wondering if Because I have three Silver dollars in my community tank all around the size of a 50c piece and 1 a tad bit bigger. So anyway would i be able to put any of these in with my female and male convict fish?? Because as I saw it at the pet store it did look quite nice with the variety of fish.
I willjust explain my fish 2 fish tanks for you so you know what I have ok?
First fish tank
-83 ltrs
-30 inches long
-15 inches high
-12 inches wide
-That fish tank has 4 gold fish 2 adult 2 small/medium sized, 3 silver dollars, 1 algea eating catfish (did have 2), 5 apple snails, 1 female convict cichlid I put in there yesterday, 1 angelfish ,and a few feeder fish i have for my blue crayfish/yabby which i will show you pics of him soon.

Second Fishtank

-50 ltrs
-18 and 1/4 long
-15 inch high
-12 inch wide
- This fish tank has 6 blue clawed crayfish/yabbies, 3 feeder shrimp for my yabbies, 2 feeder fish for both my shrimp and for my yabbies.

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