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Discussion Starter #1
Now I need to learn a little more about the eggs - she laid them last night, and had some on some small rocks and the rest on the glass wall of the tank. But just a little while ago I looked and the ones on the wall are gone! Do you think she ate them? The other eggs are still there there, so maybe they just fell off the wall for some reason and landed in the small rocks below. She's very serious about guarding them, she and hubby are the only occupants in the tank at this time, but she won't even let him come visit her. Anyway, the eggs are pretty much clear looking, is that good or bad? They are a proven pair and have had several broods before I got them (the guy I got them from has had them for a while, but not a real long time). She's about 2" and he's about 2.5". What do I need to learn here about eggs and hatching, and so on??
Cichlid ignorant, but will get better!
 

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saganco said:
Anyway, the eggs are pretty much clear looking, is that good or bad?
Usually white eggs mean infertile. Yours are probably fine depending on the species.:)
She's about 2" and he's about 2.5". What do I need to learn here about eggs and hatching, and so on??
Cichlid ignorant, but will get better!
Lol..Let them guard their eggs and territory. Cichlids are excellent at parenting although there are species which are exceptions for excellent parent care. When the fry become free-swimming, try to get a hard-boiled egg, scrape the yolk and suspend it in a small jar of water. Then get a medicine dropper and retrieve some water with yolk in it and squirt it to the shoal of fry.
Be careful not to feed much or you'll pollute the water fast.

Good luck.:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
So Blue, I don't actually mix the egg yolk and water, just take the whole yolk and delicately hang it (maybe a mesh bag like oranges come in?) in a glass or jar of water, and take "yolk flavored water" and squirt onto the fry? My tank is 24" high, so getting the yolk water down to the fry in the right place would be hard to do, will it sink straight down pretty good or go floating off somewhere else in the tall tank? And if it did, would the fry follow it? Is this better than FirstBites or frozen baby brine shrimp or prepackaged liquid fry food?
 

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saganco said:
So Blue, I don't actually mix the egg yolk and water, just take the whole yolk and delicately hang it (maybe a mesh bag like oranges come in?) in a glass or jar of water, and take "yolk flavored water" and squirt onto the fry?
No. I mean just scrape a bit of the egg yolk and place the bit in a jar of water(not really full; one-fourth of a small jar is fine). You actually mix the egg yolk and water. After that, get a medicine dropper and get a portion and squirt it to a shoal of fry.
Is this better than FirstBites or frozen baby brine shrimp or prepackaged liquid fry food?
They're still the same.:) The one I suggested is easier to obtain although you'll have to eat the rest of the egg yolk rather than leave it to spoil.:mrgreen:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Blue, thanks for the "cheap fry food" recipe - eating the egg is no problem, there's two others here in the house that love eggs.

Do you think that the male is lonely or bored? She stays in her corner by herself with the eggs and won't let him anywhere near (treats him like a predator), and they are the only occupants in the 65g tank. He just seems lonely and/or bored!

I have no cleaning crew yet, but need to get one quickly because I noticed that the output and intake of the filter are getting slimey feeling. What recommendations for the HRP's that are not plecos do a good job of cleaning up uneaten food and/or algae?

Would another pair of central or south american cichlids be a good choice in tankmates? I would think there's enough room for two pair, the tank is kinda divided in half with rock structures, caves, and tunnels. Need someone of like personality I would assume. Any suggestions there??
 

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saganco said:
Do you think that the male is lonely or bored? She stays in her corner by herself with the eggs and won't let him anywhere near (treats him like a predator), and they are the only occupants in the 65g tank. He just seems lonely and/or bored!
That behavior is also possessed by apistos. Males won't be bored if you can at least add some tetras for dither fish.:)
I have no cleaning crew yet, but need to get one quickly because I noticed that the output and intake of the filter are getting slimey feeling. What recommendations for the HRP's that are not plecos do a good job of cleaning up uneaten food and/or algae?
I wouldn't really go easy on buying plecs. Plecs like BN get territorial and may harassed even cichlids from their territory. If your tank has lots of decors, otos will really do a nice job. I have a female BN and she is a problem to my discus and angelfish.:shake:
Would another pair of central or south american cichlids be a good choice in tankmates? I would think there's enough room for two pair, the tank is kinda divided in half with rock structures, caves, and tunnels. Need someone of like personality I would assume. Any suggestions there??
I haven't known other Central American that might be peaceful. Bolivian rams may do. They aren't that belligerent but occassionally flare up against their opponents. Provide them with lots of plants. Bolivians seem to rarely use caves. At least in my experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
:doh!: I completely forgot that I had this question here and added it (more or less) to another post - please forgive me!!

May as well address it here again anyway. Instead of tetras for my lonely dad, how about my two rainbowfish? Will they be ok, and will mom, dad, and "almost hatched" be ok?

You mentioned otos for the cleaning crew, but if I go with some kind of catfish, I would rather have a couple that would be of value to my LFS if I could get them to breed. Something not so common (not that otos are a bad thing, just a little to "available" at the stores!). Other options??
 

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saganco said:
:doh!: I completely forgot that I had this question here and added it (more or less) to another post - please forgive me!!
:bluelaugh: Glad you have the sense of humor.:mrgreen:
May as well address it here again anyway. Instead of tetras for my lonely dad, how about my two rainbowfish? Will they be ok, and will mom, dad, and "almost hatched" be ok?
They should be ok.
You mentioned otos for the cleaning crew, but if I go with some kind of catfish, I would rather have a couple that would be of value to my LFS if I could get them to breed. Something not so common (not that otos are a bad thing, just a little to "available" at the stores!). Other options??
Otos are catfish and better than bristlenose when it comes to eating algae. I wouldn't say they are "cleaners". No fish will eat detritus. Some shrimps however are known to eat detritus particularly the ghost shrimps. If not otos, go with ancistrus(bristlenose). Quite hardy and easy to breed. Otos are a little delicate though they are excellent at consuming algae. Make sure you feed your BNs with veggies or they'll mow your plants.:blink:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I really love the true siamese algae eaters - used to have some but they died :( I would prefer to use them with the HRP's if this combination is ok. Also, since she has wigglers right now, when and how many siamese algae eaters should I put in the 65g with a 36x18 footprint (assuming they are ok together)?

Off topic: Also, can anyone tell me which snail would be best in a community livebearer tank that has a "carpet like bottom" (baby tears)? I'm looking at either rams horn or malasian trumpets. Also how many per gallon or whatever way you figure out how many to use??
 

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saganco said:
I really love the true siamese algae eaters - used to have some but they died :( I would prefer to use them with the HRP's if this combination is ok. Also, since she has wigglers right now, when and how many siamese algae eaters should I put in the 65g with a 36x18 footprint (assuming they are ok together)?
2 is preferred. Too many leads to frequent fights. If you place the SAEs in the tank while the female cichlid is doing her job, the female cichlid will end up stress in her attempts to keep the SAEs away from her territory.
Off topic: Also, can anyone tell me which snail would be best in a community livebearer tank that has a "carpet like bottom" (baby tears)? I'm looking at either rams horn or malasian trumpets. Also how many per gallon or whatever way you figure out how many to use??
Still MTS for me. You can remove the snails anytime you like to control the population. There's no way you can figure out how many snails are needed in an X gallon size of tank. They just reproduce quickly which is why it's best to control their population regularly.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks Blue for the answers - a couple more questions for you (or anyone who wants to chime in...)
1) when can/should I move mom, dad, and fry to the other tank (40 breeder)?
2) how the heck do I get food down 24" to the fry without it just floating around the tank - they are just beginning to be free swimmers?
3) when can/should I add the dither fish and cleaning crew? Tank is getting kinda nasty!
4) when will mom start eating again? She only snags a teeny little bite about 2 times a day (and I mean like one flake or one really little pellet)?

Thanks all. Sure appreciate your help!
 

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saganco said:
1) when can/should I move mom, dad, and fry to the other tank (40 breeder)?
Best to move only the mother and fry when they're free-swimming or wait for at least 2 more weeks and you can move the fry by themselves so you can raise them without the mother. I still find the fry seemingly stronger when kept with their mother for a few weeks.
2) how the heck do I get food down 24" to the fry without it just floating around the tank - they are just beginning to be free swimmers?
Assuming your tank only has the mother and the fry, the fry can roam around the tank freely without any dangers of being eaten by other fish. So they may still be able to reach the food at the surface while under the mother's watchful eye.
3) when can/should I add the dither fish and cleaning crew? Tank is getting kinda nasty!
Not now or you risk having them eat the fry. Your 40 gallons tank can serve as a temporary housing for the new fish I guess.
4) when will mom start eating again? She only snags a teeny little bite about 2 times a day (and I mean like one flake or one really little pellet)?
Don't worry about that. It's only natural. If she's in excellent health condition, I wouldn't worry too much about that.

Now I'm an egghead for being the only one being too helpful.:shake:
 

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After reading all this it seems to be off mark from how i raise CM cichlid fry. So ill put my info out there to compare.

With breeding centrals ive found that its best not to seperate the male and female unless your talking about large centrals which is quite different than convicts so ill leave it out. So i say leave the parents together always, they will form a bond if you have a good pair and seperating them is a good way to break the bond and when you try to add the male back with the female the male is now an intruder in her territory and could result in death in the smaller cichlid, or rejection by the female and they wont breed together anymore.

Care of the fry: convicts are great parents and you really shouldnt have to do anything for the first few weeks. If they eggs are a yellow/brownish color then they are fertlized and will hatch leaving the white eggs that didnt get fertlized on the rock. the fry will spend 2-3 days in the wiggler stage, where they wont move much and usally get piled up by the female in an area easily guarded by the female. They also wont require any food at this stage because of there yoke sacks from the egg. The next stage is the hopper stage: when the fry will bounce around like a baby bird trying to fly that doesnt make it to far. You will see the little group of fry making there way out of the cave/nest area but not going to far at this stage and the female will be on top of them the whole time. Then the free swimming stage: the fry will be able to swim on there own and usally cruse around in a little ball/school and the parent will be close by.

The female will spend these few weeks guarding the fry and not eating much. she will also feed the fry when they require it. Ive always just fed the same way i always do and she will crush up the pellets and spit them out for the fry to consume. I never bought in to the makeing fry food. The male during all this will spend his time guarding the general area of the nest, like a permiter guard and will bring food to the female if the tank is large for the pair.

When to remove the fry? I usally used clay pots for breeding so when the fry hatched id take the pot out and id get all the fry in one swoop. they will live in the new tank with out problem going through all the stages as normal and ate crushed up pellets with out problem. They will also canablize each other which is normal for a batch of fry to do, and a natural way to weed out the weak fish and give the strong ones high protien food to grow even faster. So if you have a 500 fry batch at the wiggler stage and put them in a good sized tank you should expect to have 50-150 healty 1-2" fish.

As for your dither/clean up crew add them when ever you like. Just remember your HRP's will be very aggressive towards them while they have a brood.

Saganco what do you plan on doing with the fry?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Blue said:
Assuming your tank only has the mother and the fry, the fry can roam around the tank freely without any dangers of being eaten by other fish. So they may still be able to reach the food at the surface while under the mother's watchful eye.
They haven't ventured outside the clay pot yet more than an inch or so without mom hollering "get back inside - who said you could go outside today!?"

Blue said:
Your 40 gallons tank can serve as a temporary housing for the new fish I guess.
I assume you mean a place to "hold" the SAE's?


Blue said:
Now I'm an egghead for being the only one being too helpful.:shake:
Nope!! You've been SOOOOO helpful! Never apologize for being kind and helpful :p

Gump said:
With breeding centrals ive found that its best not to seperate the male and female
Actually I planned on leaving mom and dad together (assuming they start liking each other again) :roll: Right now she acts like he's public enemy number one and they are the only occupants in the 65g! What I originally wanted to do was to move the entire family - unless others tell me that there's a better way to get big healthy fry out of this.

Gump said:
The female will spend these few weeks guarding the fry and not eating much. she will also feed the fry when they require it. Ive always just fed the same way i always do and she will crush up the pellets and spit them out for the fry to consume.
Just saw her do that for the first time yesterday! Many told me to use "egg yolk water" for the fry, but I send it down a tube into the clay pot, and I saw her take some of the larger pieces and spit it out - outside the pot! The smaller particles seemed to have the fry get really active - but they are too small to see if they were actually eating it or not (same with the BBS when fed to them).

Gump said:
The male during all this will spend his time guarding the general area of the nest, like a permiter guard and will bring food to the female if the tank is large for the pair.
As stated above, she treats him like an enemy! He may be TRYING to guard, but she seems to have no part of his help. He couldn't bring her food on a bet! She gets very wound up when he comes within sight at all.

Gump said:
When to remove the fry? I usally used clay pots for breeding so when the fry hatched id take the pot out and id get all the fry in one swoop. they will live in the new tank with out problem going through all the stages as normal and ate crushed up pellets with out problem. They will also canablize each other which is normal for a batch of fry to do, and a natural way to weed out the weak fish and give the strong ones high protein food to grow even faster. So if you have a 500 fry batch at the wiggler stage and put them in a good sized tank you should expect to have 50-150 healty 1-2" fish.
Well, they are already at the free swimming stage in the clay pot, so I'm at a loss for how to catch them or if I should do so until they get bigger... Tank is 24" tall, so wielding a net for tiny fry and a very mad mom isn't something I'm looking forward to!! Wow, 500 wigglers into 50-150 fish!! Doesn't look too good for my 30-40 or so eggs that couldn't count, much less count teeny free swimmers! How the heck do you guys COUNT them!!??

Gump said:
As for your dither/clean up crew add them when ever you like. Just remember your HRP's will be very aggressive towards them while they have a brood.
So you think I could add the Siamese Algae Eaters now with teeny free swimmers without making mom and dad go nutzo?? I sure need to, but don't want to jeapardize the fry or the parents relationsionship (such as it is now...). I will also add some MTS snails in at some point - tank is getting nastier than I want to have for the HRP's. Blue - do you feel that SAE's would/could eat the fry? They have such tiny mouths!! Like I said, I don't want to endanger the fry or the parents...

Gump said:
Saganco what do you plan on doing with the fry?
The guy I bought them from wants first crack at them, but whatever he doesn't want are available - but I am in a rural part of Colorado and don't know how to ship fish. What are HRP fry/juvies worth these days?

:thankyou: to both of you - what would a rookie do without help like you guys!!?? :thumbsup:
 

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Really the fry arnt worth much. Im not intrested in them but usally i ask what you want to do with them before i type a whole bunch more about the subject.

Since you have a 65 gallon you could make a few smaller territories on the other side of the tank and when the fry get big enough the parents will kick them out of their territory. Hopefull the fry will move on to the other side of the tank and grow to a size that they will be easy to catch and move.

It sounds like your male has been rejected by your female, which is another problem with spliting them up or moving them. Adding other fish to the tank might bring the male and female closer together as she might see the need for the extra protection. SAE shouldnt be able to eat any of the fry but could probally eat eggs if left unguarded which shouldnt be a problem. I think it would be a good idea to add some other fish to the tank. A 65 gallon is 3 times the size of what you would need for the fish you have at that size.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Gump said:
Adding other fish to the tank might bring the male and female closer together as she might see the need for the extra protection. SAE shouldnt be able to eat any of the fry but could probally eat eggs if left unguarded which shouldnt be a problem. I think it would be a good idea to add some other fish to the tank.
So you think that I should go for adding more fish now rather than waiting till the fry get bigger? Many say otherwise, but I see the logic in both answers (waiting vs now). That's why I put my questions on the forums - pure logic can go either way, but fish generally don't "go with the flow" as logic might direct.

Gump said:
A 65 gallon is 3 times the size of what you would need for the fish you have at that size.
Yeah, we didn't intend on having such a big tank for such a small population - it was designed for two pair of breeding fish (different species) - with two distinct "sides" of the tank (well divided with caves, rock structures, some plants, and an "upstairs tunnel". Well designed, but everyone keeps telling me not to have another breeding pair - which is why I need to move the family so I can turn the 65 into a larger community tank (would love some africans, but plants are such an art form of their own that hubby won't go for a plantless tank). So there's the "logic" in the 65g story... Still would rather have another pair and some great looking dithers in that tank, but practicality requires an easier way of catching the fry to sell, and less tank space for this small group (pair and some cleaning crew and dithers). Sometimes what we plan for and want just doesn't work out... oh well, it would have been great
:dunno:
 

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If you want to sell the fry set up the 40 gallon for the pair and let them breed. then get 2 or 3 10-30 gallon tanks and when they breed take all the wigglers and put them in a 10 gallon and grow them up a bit. Once they get to about .5" you could move them to a 20-30 gallon tank untill they hit 1" and sell. Keep this cycle up as long as you like.

Then you can do what ever you like with the 65 gallon. plants+africans=destroyed plants.

I wouldnt put two pairs in the 65, most will say its more than enough room but i wouldnt do it.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Couldn't I just put a divider in the 40g for the fry as they grow?

Also, as a "minor cleaning crew" - what about putting a couple of mollies or platies in the HRP tank? They aren't aggressive and do clean up food out of the gravel (even picking at algae on the plants some as well). I have some gold algae eaters I would like to move over from another tank, but absolutely cannot catch the rascals - and that's a shame because they do a really nice job of cleaning.
 

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i wouldnt put the mollies in there unless you dont mind them becoming food.

And you could put dividers in the 40.
 

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saganco said:
I have some gold algae eaters I would like to move over from another tank, but absolutely cannot catch the rascals - and that's a shame because they do a really nice job of cleaning.
These fish are what I feared the most.:shake: They are Chinese Algae Eaters and will reach 25 cm given the best conditions. Even juveniles will begin harassing their other tankmates and sucking their slime coats. I used to have 6 juveniles and little did I know they were already sucking my goldfish's slime coats. Several of my fish suffered damage from them. Those fish are horrible community fish.:shake:
 
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