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Discussion Starter #1
So I've had my 55 gal. Tank set up for almost a year now and have enjoyed watching 4 yellow lags, 3 Red Zebras (one orange in color, two larger pinkish/white in color) and 2 Salousi grow up from juvenile's to adults.

The fish all seem to get along fine, the occasional, fighting here and there but nothing serious (no damage to scales or fins).

Noticed the smallest of my Yellow labs wasn't opening it's mouth for the past 7 days during feeding. She (I'm guessing female), won't take food in her mouth or open her mouth and her throat looks swollen some. Doing some research, I'm guessing she's holding eggs.

Since I only have a year experience with Chiclids, I wasn't trying to breed, but just enjoy the fish for a few years.

What are my options if I did nothing?
If I decided I did what to help her hatch the fish, and raise them, How would I go about this and would they be able to be introduced into the tank after a few months?
All advice is greatly appreciated!! Thanks Guys!
 

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i dont have much experience with them since i have only had mine a few weeks. but from what i know if you just let it go she will release the fry and you can let survival of the fittest take place and the parents will protect the fry as much as possible. or you could set up a separate tank, put the mama in there and take her out after she releases the fry and just introduce them as juveniles.
 

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There are only really two options.

1/ You remove her to a separate tank, allow her to hold the fry until she spits them out, she will NOT take care of them, as soon as they are born she will see them as food and try and eat them, if she is holding, dont forget she wont have eaten at all during the 20-26 days she will hold.

2/ Allow her to remain in the tank and try to provide a lot of small hiding places for the fry to to hide, the other fish will also see them as food. If you allow her to remain then she may eat the fry anyway, first time holding fish usually either eat them early or spit them early allowing them to become food.

If you are considering removing her, consider one of these (style will vary), this is a box which sits on the side of main tank, it will allow you to bring the fry up, remove the mother as soon as the fry are born. I would stay away from the mesh breeder boxes as cichlids are capable of chewing threw it and eating the fry.

Best of luck and let us know how it goes.

Just on a side note as well, I would not consider selling any of the fry from that tank, simple reason is yellow labs and red zebra can and will crossbreed, creating hybrids. If you want to keep the fry, then only keep them for yourself.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks. Taz I looked into the side boxes briefly, will do more research. I'm still wondering if she is indeed holding. She doesnt seem to have anyone area staked out, nor is there a male with her. She swims around, gets chased here and there, and during feeding time, she appears hungry but wont attempt to grab the food with her mouth, letting the other fish get to it before her.
She appears healthy, as do all the other fish, (no clamped fins or signs of fin nipping from other fish).
 

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Once they breed a male will not follow her around, they do not breed in pairs. Mae will fertilize the eggs and that is it, no parenting as such.

If she is holding you will notice a distinct bulge in her Bucchal cavity, if she is not eating at all, chances are she is holding.
 

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The mothers of Mbuna do not immediately see their fry as food. This is a common misconception but I have witnessed behavior quite the opposite in my own tanks. The mothers will normally ignore the fry but on some occasions they will actually suck the fry back into their mouth to protect them. Don't believe me, watch this ;)


 

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i kept yellow labs before,also other cichlids,and they all were great at
taking the fry back into their mouths for a while,i had a good survival rate
as the tank had lots of rocks along with plants.
 

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i kept yellow labs before,also other cichlids,and they all were great at
taking the fry back into their mouths for a while,i had a good survival rate
as the tank had lots of rocks along with plants.
Yea, it's one of the coolest things I've seen while keeping Mbuna. Amazing to watch in person.
 

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nearly as cool as watching my baby leopard geckos hatching…
now that was amazing !
 

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i don't have videos of when mine hatched..i didn't have a camera
phone back then…however youtube will have..just type in leopard gecko
hatching..and there will be plenty of videos….
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well I been sidetracked with a sick fish, had some injury to his tail that caused paralysis in his tail. couldnt tell if the other fish were picking on him because he was injured but his tail was missing the last 1/4 inch or so. I thought it could have been from his inability to swim, he was dragging it on the sand and it kinda eroded the tail. he was one of the larger Albino Red Zebras (I think thats what he is, cant say for certain). But if he never regains his tail function, I think he will get picked on.

I did a water analysis and saw I had really high nitrates. did several 50% water changes over the last 10 days to bring the water back to optimal condition and I also put in a screen divider in the tank to isolate the sick fish while he recovers. he eats now and seems content hiding in a rock cave on his small side of the tank most of the day.

low and behold I saw two small fry simming in the rocks today! After feeding, the fish I thought was holding, ate some food, and I thought to myself "guess she wasn't pregnant after all, glad she's eating"
Hours later I saw the small fry. There could be more, if the other fish havent eaten them. Theres lots of nooks and crannies to hide in. I plan on getting a small breeder basket to hang on the side of the tank or inside the tank to let the fish grow to a resonable size. I orginially didnt really want to deal with raising the hatchlings and then having to find a home for them, but if there's only a few, I think I'd enjoy raising them and then reintroducing them into the tank when they are older.
 
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