Okay so I'm pretty rattled right now cause a few weeks ago I purchased a trio of these Victorian haps, and recently my female was holding so I stripped her about 10 fry and kept them in a guppy baby trap for a few days, so today I decided to clean the guppy trap and rid of bad water ect, so I put the babies in a net and seconds in the slip through the tiny holes -_- and almost instantly were eaten :( the female still is holding.. So what should I do with the remainder of the babies? Strip her of the rest or let her release herself? I'm just pretty mad about that though >:(
Get a small 10g tank, the fish you have in your 55g tank will try and probably succeed in eating the fry through the tiny holes in the breeder net.
Either that or let nature takes it course and let the fry fend for themselves in the main tank.
If you have plenty of rock work which you should with your fish, then they stand a chance of surviving.
There is no real point to stripping unless you are going to set up separate grow out tanks. Unless you have a huge breeder net they will probably outgrow it before they are big enough to make it in the main tank. I used to keep Melanochromis cyaneorhabdos and had a ton of rock work (50+ lbs of limestone/sandstone) and I just let them fend for themselves. About 2 or 3 from each brood made it to adult hood. Then once or twice a year I would sell of the least colorful of the males. It actually worked out really well.
Once they start breeding they dont stop. You will have lots of fry soon enough. We just went through a similar incident actually. We have an 80 gallon tank for our fry. We didn't realize that most haps are kistivores(sp?) meaning they primarily eat small fish. We have some Otopharnyx Lithobates about a month old that are around 2" and we went to put in some new fry about 2 weeks old, just shy of an inch. We thought they would be safe since they were too big to be eaten whole. The older fry grabbed a couple by the tail and another one would grab the head and rip them in half. Managed to save all but 4 in the end. This is going to alter how we breed them since each spawn is going to need it's own tank now.
As to your female still holding, she will eat her own babies. Haps dont raise the young like most cichlids do. They have a couple minutes after being released, then it's dinner time.
None of the cichlids from Lake Malawi will raise their young. It is also a good idea to have a separate tank for the mother to recover in. Dont forget she has not eaten while holding and has got weak.
If you put the female straight back into the main tank then there is a chance, she could be harassed to death if the male is ready to spawn again. Leave her in her own tank with no fry until she is eating and active again.
I usually leave her for about a week.
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