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Discussion Starter #81
PS: I also have four yellow labs in my tank. They are unsexed too.
 

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There is going to be no quick way to cycle the tank but the 10g will be fine for now, put the sponge filter in the main tank for 4 weeks.

There is a chance with it being her first batch, that she may lose them all or they are all unfertilized, it happens a lot with first batches.

Try if you can until the 10g cycles to get a plastic NOT MESH breeder box that hangs on the side of the tank. The fry will be fine in there until the 10g cycles. The reason I say stay away from Mesh is adults have been known to get the fry through the mesh (had it happen to some of mine).

If she has held for about 28 days then any day yes, she could spit them. If you get the breeder box and she is still holding them, then take her out and make her spit. The method for doing this is quite simple but a bit nerve racking at first. Basically very gently you need to open her mouth and with either a finger or a rubber tip pencil (use the rubber end), push from the bottom of her throat towards her mouth. Chances are she will spit a few and then the rest will either follow or you can get them.

I would highly recommend though as soon as she spits, to separate her from the main tank and also the fry. It will give the fry more chance of not being eaten or her taking them back into her mouth and potentially eating them. The fact she has not eaten at all during the holding period, is another reason to separate her, so she can start eating again and gain some strength. By putting her back in the main tank, it leaves her open in a weakened state to aggression which can prove deadly. Separate her for about a week or 2 until she is properly eating again.

Best of luck and hope they little ones make it. Like I say though DO NOT be discouraged if they the first batch dont make it...the fact they have breed means they are happy in the tank and will do it again.

If the Labs are old enough (about 1 1/2"+) I can tell you how to vent them to sex them but this is even more nerve racking than spitting fry :)
 

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ok tazman over the past few days something AMAZING happened. my acei gave birth! so i decided that she would probably "blow" before the tank was cycled, so I just decided to put completely 10 gallons from my big tank into the small one. Unfortunately, this was probably the reason that my catfish died that night. :cry: I buried him and just sat on my couch feeling sad, when I noticed a small gray blob moving in the tank! i saw that the mother had spit and there were little babies all over the tank. so i set my catfish worries aside and tried to scoop the fry into the 10 gal. It has been i think 3-4 days. I had never really planned on raising fry (i was just gonna leave them to the other fish), but seeing their little tails struggling against my filter made me want to take care. unfortunately, I didn't really have much info on how to care for them. I found this recipe for fry food, and since it was quick and easy, i tried it out:

BASIC INGREDIENTS:
3 tablespoons powdered whole egg

2 tablespoons powdered nutritional yeast

1 tablespoon chick-pea flour (or any other kind of legume)

Water (distilled or filtered)
OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS:
A few drops of fish liver oil

Crushed flake food
Zucchini or Spinach

you just basically blend it all together and feed the liquid to the fry. unfortunately, i couldnt find any powdered egg (no protein?) and my yeast is 3 years dead. regardless, i fed it to the fry and they took it. They are also eating a little flake food, luckily. I also started culturing infusoria the day they hatched, but chances are they won't be ready in time.

Great news, huh? :-D Well, I was wondering: Am I feeding it properly? What should I be feeding for the rest of their fry-hood? Also, how long until they grow out this 10 gal tank?

Thanks so much!!!
 

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Edited your post to remove the link to another forum and removed the irrelevant message and your reply :)

That is great news on the tank. Sorry for your catfsih :-(

Crushed flake food is a good starter and that recipe I have used myself with success. You might also try getting some New Life Spectrum fry food. Iy contains everything needed to help the little guys.

Supplement it with the spinach and zucchini and de-shelled (very important for fry) peas and they will start growing quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter #85
Okey Dokey! Ill try to get that fry food.
 

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Discussion Starter #86
ok so none of my LFS's have that new life spectrum stuff. :? so ive tried feeding the fry brine shrimp. i followed the hatching instructions, and for about 3 days ive been feeding almost exclusively on brine shrimp and a little bit of the mush i made. These few days have been full of deaths. Yesterday I noticed one fry just lying upside down at the bottom of the tank. it would sort of swim, like wriggling its fins and sort of turning over, but it was in no good condition. This morning it was dead. I buried him outside and when I came in I noticed that there was another fry that was showing the same characteristics as the fry last night. Now, just before this post, I noticed ANOTHER fry lying down like that. What's going on? So far, I have had only one real death, but I'm almost certain that more are on the way. Help!

PS: I think a plus from feeding them brine shrimp is that they have grown stronger. Now my fry are looking a lot more robust and active. That is, the ones that aren't wriggling for their lives on the tank floor :-(
 

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Is the tank cycled? The fry are very weak in their immune system and as such any off water parameters can have a very bad effect.

If the tank is still cycling, you may have to perform daily or even twice daily water changes to keep any ammonia or Nitrite to a minimum.

Am sorry for the deaths :-(
 

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Discussion Starter #88
yes,that must be it. I filled the tank with 100% water from my other tank, so as to speed up any cycling. Unfortunately, the very same day my mbuna spit. Most of the fry are doing well, though...

Also, I have a question about my labs. They seem to occasionally swim askew, or off to an angle. However, I don't believe this is a swim bladder issue, because they can easily swim to all lengths of the tank, can swim really fast, and can maneuver easily. IDK what this is.. :|
 

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The water from the other tank will do NOTHING to help the cycle. The good bacteria are in the substrate and filter media. Virtually ZERO is in the water.

Nothing to worry about the labs as long as they are eating well and not acting too weird. Mine go surfing in the outputs of my maxijet 1200's occasionally, they just sit in the current and get blown back and forth across the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #90
aw crap. I do have a pretty well cultured sponge filter and a rock in there, along with a few handfuls of sand that got suctioned along. will that be enough? also, why are only some fry suffering from this cycling? also, can I continue feeding them on mainly brine shrimp?
 

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brine shrimp is good but add some crushed flakes as well.

Some fish are stronger than others so the cycling will effect them in different ways. Was the filter seeded before it went into the tank? If not then the bacteria are likely still populating it.
 

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Discussion Starter #92
it was not seeded. ok i will feed some flake too. thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #93
ok taz, my tank is in code red again :-(

BABIES
1) my acei female gave birth AGAIN yesterday. is there any sort of birth control for these things? so, we scooped her out and put her in our other 10g tank with the month old fry for her to spit out the newborn fry. then, we left her in there overnight to spit them all night, and i moved her in the 55g this morning. now, she is resting on the bottom of the tank taking really big breaths. she is also very darkly colored. is she ok? in the process of catching the holding female, i sort of rearranged the rocks to catch her, which leads me to my next problem:

STRESS
2) So, my fish are freaking out about this mayhem and hiding in other spots. it was really late last night when i rearranged stuff, so i put some of the rocks back, but in different places. when i woke up this morning, i noticed the dominant male in my tank, is almost completely pale, and half of his head is pitch black! :shock: he looks kind of like two face from batman. i learned that these are stress marks. in fact, i think that all of my fish had one or two small dots on the underside of their mouths, but i also assumed this was part of their coloration. how do i make them go away? and now, my final problem:

FRY
3) putting newborns in with month old fry was a mistake. the bigger ones are taking all the food. i wanted to relieve the mother of her babies, and this was the only thing i had. now, i have found a small breeder box in my closet, but i have no way of separating the newborns from the big fry. also, the big ones are eating all the food, and i have a feeling the newborn fry are starving. i was actually wanting the parents to take care of this new batch, but the other fish kept bullying the mom and eating the fry that she "coughed" up. it was pretty brutal. now, what can i do?

sorry for the long post. there's just so many things going on in my head. :-? please respond ASAP.

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #94
oh god. my female is in big trouble now. she is just lying sideways on the floor, occasionally moving her fins. she can swim for a short period of time, but it is definitely not the million miles an hour she is capable of (more like the speed of a gourami) and she was just sitting near the filter. i scooped her up and put her in a convalescent home with an air pump, but i don't think she's going to make it. :cry: what happened? is there any last resort i can take?
 

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ok taz, my tank is in code red again :-(

BABIES
1) my acei female gave birth AGAIN yesterday. is there any sort of birth control for these things? so, we scooped her out and put her in our other 10g tank with the month old fry for her to spit out the newborn fry. then, we left her in there overnight to spit them all night, and i moved her in the 55g this morning. now, she is resting on the bottom of the tank taking really big breaths. she is also very darkly colored. is she ok? in the process of catching the holding female, i sort of rearranged the rocks to catch her, which leads me to my next problem:
Only birth control is remove the female completely. They will keep breeding if they are happy in the tank
STRESS
2) So, my fish are freaking out about this mayhem and hiding in other spots. it was really late last night when i rearranged stuff, so i put some of the rocks back, but in different places. when i woke up this morning, i noticed the dominant male in my tank, is almost completely pale, and half of his head is pitch black! :shock: he looks kind of like two face from batman. i learned that these are stress marks. in fact, i think that all of my fish had one or two small dots on the underside of their mouths, but i also assumed this was part of their coloration. how do i make them go away? and now, my final problem:
They will freak out if you moved the tank around as they have lost their territories. This can sometimes be a ad thing as it allows another fish to take control of the tank. Keep the tank lights off for a day and allow the fish to calm down. It is stressful when you are in the tank chasing them around with a net.
FRY
3) putting newborns in with month old fry was a mistake. the bigger ones are taking all the food. i wanted to relieve the mother of her babies, and this was the only thing i had. now, i have found a small breeder box in my closet, but i have no way of separating the newborns from the big fry. also, the big ones are eating all the food, and i have a feeling the newborn fry are starving. i was actually wanting the parents to take care of this new batch, but the other fish kept bullying the mom and eating the fry that she "coughed" up. it was pretty brutal. now, what can i do?
You can get some liquid fry food, feed the older fish the crushed flakes and then squirt some fry food into the tank for the little guys. Either that or only way you can do it is, to separate them which is a pain with small fish.
sorry for the long post. there's just so many things going on in my head. :-? please respond ASAP.

Thanks!
Hope this helps
 

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oh god. my female is in big trouble now. she is just lying sideways on the floor, occasionally moving her fins. she can swim for a short period of time, but it is definitely not the million miles an hour she is capable of (more like the speed of a gourami) and she was just sitting near the filter. i scooped her up and put her in a convalescent home with an air pump, but i don't think she's going to make it. :cry: what happened? is there any last resort i can take?
Leave the lights off if you have anything near her that could stress her even more. Females dont forget have not eaten in up to 28 days, so they need time alone, with no babies to fully recover. If they go back too soon, a male who is ready to breed will go straight for her and it can lead to unfortunately the situation you are in.

Female mbuna do not take care of their babies like other fish, once they are born it is survival of the fittest unfortunately.

The less you stress her, the more chances she will have of recovering, put as much oxygen into the water as you can, run the air pump at full if you have a valve on it. Hope she makes it.
 

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Discussion Starter #98
she died this morning. i had her in a refugium with an airstone and holes for open circulation to the filter, along with some flake and pellets and the lights off, but i found her upside down and not moving in the morniing :cry: im such a bad fishkeeper.

however, there is no time for me to mourn as such beause now the dominant male with stress marks is showing the EXACT same symptoms. sitting at the bottom of the tank, breathing rapidly. is he doomed too? should i separate him? sorry for my incompetence :-(
 

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Sorry to hear you lost the female. Did you check the water parms? maybe its something in the water
 

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Agree, check the water parameters and see if you come across anything.
 
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