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saeeeed 07-12-2010 02:33 AM

What happened to my Dempsey’s babies? Eaten?
Hi there
I have 5 jack Dempsey in my main tank living with other cichlids – last week I saw 2 of them had spawned for the time in the main tank (Male: 12cm – Female: 7cm) – After 3 days they hatched - after 3 more days they started to swim freely and there was the danger of being eaten by other fishes so I decided to separate them and move them to new tank with no other fish – I took the babies and put them in the new tank and 1 hour later I took the mother also too help me in taking care of the babies and put her in the new tank as well.
She remembered the babies and started to take care of them – feed them – move them and …
But after 2 days (last night) when I went to feed them I felt that the number of babies are reduced!! And today morning when I when to feed them again there was no baby in tank!!!!!!!!!!!!
I could find some dead bodies but it was just one fifth of all the babies!!!! Did the mother ate them all??!!??
Why? There was nothing making her Stress!!! If she had got stress she should ate them all the first day I separate them!!??
Any Idea? :BIGweepy:

bettababy 07-12-2010 02:14 PM

Breeding cichlids can be a little tricky if you're doing it in a tank with other fish, if the parent fish are young and just beginning to spawn, and if stress is a factor.

You mentioned there was no stress... I need to tell you, moving the female and fry to another tank is very stressful. Was the new tank cycled before you moved the fish to it? If the new nursery tank was newly set up, water quality likely also played a part. Differences in water params from the main tank to the nursery may also have contributed.

You have not given any indication of tank sizes... can you list those please? (main tank and nursery tank)
Did you perform any water testing in the nursery tank? What type of filtration is in the nursery tank?

Needless to say, there are many reasons why the fry may have died and/or been eaten by the parent fish. That is not unusual.

If you wish to try again to successfully spawn these fish, I would do so starting the pair out in a tank of their own, of appropriate size (at least 75 gallons) with lots of decoration, good stable water quality, and low stress levels.

Sorry for your loss, but just reading the info you posted about what happened, it does not surprise me that this didn't work out. Perhaps some reading about the breeding of Jack Dempseys would be of some benefit before you try again? If you Google Jack Dempsey spawning, you should find plenty of useful information online. If you would like more help, please let me know. I will offer what I can for you...

saeeeed 07-12-2010 11:47 PM

Thanks for your reply - it was really helpful

I think (from your words) the best way is to establish new tank from long before they start spawning which is cycled with good parameters to move the fry to there - good decoration and every thing they need

I'll make you know next time they start spawning to use your help :-)

bettababy 07-13-2010 01:14 AM

Establishing the tank (preparation) before the parent fish begin to spawn is key to success. Moving the fry is something you want to avoid, especially if you intend to keep them with the parents to help raise them. Singling out one parent will upset the spawning cycle, so if you intend to have the parents help raise the fry, keep them together and let them spawn and raise the fry all in the same tank. Fry should not be moved until they are old enough to fend for themselves and have outgrown the spawning tank. The younger they are when you move them the more chance there is of losing them. Always remember that stress is a major issue, both for parents and fry alike. Moving any fish is very stressful for it. And there is a lot of stress involved anytime water chemistry changes... which happens when you move them from one tank to another. No 2 tanks are identical in water chemistry, even if they are set up identical, population is identical, etc.

I will do what I can to help you if you let me know... but it is easier to avoid a problem than to solve it once it happens, so preparation is key to making this work!

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