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sharkie chomp 11-20-2009 12:09 AM

Are they really breeding and what do I do now?
well, I've had my cichlid tank for almost a year now and it's a mix of africans. I was watching my fish tonight and noticed one acting kinda odd, looking skinnier, looking as if to be moving something around in its mouth but barely opening the mouth, and it seemed as if something was coming out of the underside as it kinda "puckered". I did also notice something sitting on the side of a slate rock that resembled an egg like shape and about 4 more of them on the gravel below. The smae fish was also shooing other fish away from the whole area it was swimming. one of the other fish did pick up the egg like object and eat it. It was def. too smooth to be a left over pellet of food since it wouldn't have been so smooth around the edges as the objects/eggs. I am not even sure which ones are female and which r male. I only assume one for sure is male based on it's alpha personality and it has also been making a "home/hole" the last couple of days in a cave and was caught shimmying it's fins and body earlier tonight.

Now, I have absolutely no experience breeding anything other than live bearers so I really don't know for sure what the next step would be for me to do or what the fish will do. I really only remember somethign along the lines of the female lays eggs, male fertilizes them, and one or the other (not sure) picks them up in their mouth until they hatch and then they "watch/gaurd" the young until they're big enough to survive on their own?

I do have a breeder net that is in my tank housing an electric blue young adult that I got from a lfs. it's still to small to be set in my tank and not be eaten/chased. I have a young dinosaur eel (petrii) and a much bigger dinosaur eel (puff) that have been known to eat small fishies.

any and all advice is welcome!

sharkie chomp 11-20-2009 01:11 AM

well, i watched a video of a male and female doing the whole mating dance and fertilizing the eggs, and so forth. I also finally saw the female drop an egg from her belly. now, the fish I had thought to be the male, I'm sure is the male. He just sucks at being a father to the eggs. lol he isn't really anywhere near the female as she lays her eggs and she does not pick them up that I can tell. she seemed to want to pick up one egg by nudging it a couple times, but never did. it ended up being ate by another fish. I read that males can be sterile...wondering if maybe my male is or if he's just too young to really know what to do since this is the first time that I know of for both of them. They were both very young (about 1" long) when I got them about last april maybe. He's still building his nest in the cave though, so I give him props on that since he's really good at it. lol. oh well. we'll see what happens from here on out i guess.

oh and Puff is the eel in my avatar and the female fish is the one above Puff. It as taken around aug. when I first got Puff

I just managed to see maybe 3-5 eggs rolling around in her mouth! Maybe he did do his "job" :)

fish999 11-20-2009 02:55 AM

Grats! Good luck getting any fry to maturity in a mixed tank though. Sounds like your breeding pair is kind of learning as they go along and aren't really being aggressive enough to really protect the eggs/young. Sounds like a tuff environment to raise kids in lol. Anyways grats on keeping such a great tank that they are breeding.

sharkie chomp 11-20-2009 03:12 AM

thanks! I did notice the female push an egg out through her gills. I have no idea why she'd do that and haven't found any info on the net. about it either. yeah, I didn't exactly plan to breed my fish, i just wanted a malawi tank full of color and threw in a couple of "outsiders" that can live in the same set up. Figured if it happend then yay and if not oh well. and it's nice to be able to witness the miracle of life with other species. lol

sharkie chomp 11-25-2009 12:28 PM

apparently all my cichlids are breeding now. lol..i have two maybe 3 males. one of which is part of a pair that have now begun spawning and the other is the alpha male mentioned before who is "courting" all the other females. lol

sharkie chomp 11-26-2009 03:57 PM

so i just saw the female who had the eggs in her mouth eating openly and not just letting whatever flake that can fit through the slight opening she had. I can't really see any eggs or babies in her mouth. Nor do i see them in the tank anywhere. if she spit the babies out into the tank I'm sure they're dead since she hasn't been sticking to one area.
any ideas?

willieturnip 11-26-2009 06:24 PM

I wouldn't worry if this is your first batch.

Usually the 3rd or 4th time around cichlids are successful.

There's a large mixed african tank at my LFS and they are raising young all the time. It's filled with ocean rock so there are plenty of hiding spots for the fry.

sharkie chomp 11-26-2009 07:46 PM

Yeah, not too worried since they atleast have bred and will hopefully do it again. I do notice she is still hiding now and sometimes jerking her face from side to side as if something was tickling her or maybe adjusting something in her mouth. I dunno though. I will be leaving town tomorrow for the weekend and will just have to see how she is when i get back.

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