As is the case with all of my tanks, water changes of about 50% were conducted every two weeks. Baking soda and Sea-Chem Cichlid Lake Salt were added to the replacement water (1 teaspoon of each per 5 gallons). Water conditions, as per Mardel test-strips, included pH of 8.4, Total Alkalinity of 180 ppm, Total Hardness of 90 ppm. Water temperature was about 78 F. Feeding primarily consisted of flake food.
On 23rd November, 1999, three weeks after arriving back from Africa with the fish, I discovered that the largest of the females was holding eggs. Her throat was bulging significantly. I moved the female to a vacant 10 gallon tank with identical water quality. The male was still harassing the remaining two females so I installed a divider made of plastic 'egg-crate', thereby separating the male from the two females.
On 14th December, 1999, after just over 3 weeks of holding the eggs/fry in her buccal cavity, the female released the fry. There were approximately 20 fry that readily took to crushed flake food. The female guarded the youngsters and would attempt to take them back into her mouth when she thought I was getting too close. She didn't have room for all of these fast growing fry, but she tried.
By 22nd January, 2000, the fry were noticeably avoiding the female. Not wanting to risk losing the fry, I moved the female to another tank. I wanted to ensure that she had enough peaceful time to fatten up and recuperate after 3 weeks of not eating whilst she carried her young in her mouth. I didn't want to throw her back in with the male and the other two females just yet. The young remained in their own 10 gallon tank to grow out. That same day, I adjusted the divider in the 20 gallon tank so that the male could get to the other two females.