TMB60 wrote:Keep in mind that tearing down your tank, transporting it and setting it back up will result
in your fish "starting from scratch" to some extent. They no longer have a chosen shell and the new shell
arrangement won't be exactly what they were used to. They will need to spend some time re-landscaping
the sand to their liking again. But we have found through moving my son's tank so many times that if you
closely match the shell and decoration arrangements to what they were already used to, they will settle in
and start breeding again much quicker. Last time we moved my son's tank to school, he reported a new batch of fry
showed up after only 3 weeks. So that was quick work and seems to show they got comfortable quickly.
As far as the mother and fry reuniting after the move - there are no guarantees based on what I've said above. The mother may opt
to try and claim a new shell close to where her old shell was before the move, or she may opt to re-settle in another area of the tank or shell bed.
No way to predict. Just accept that "it'll be whatever it will be". I realize this is your first batch of Multie fry and you want to witness all the
mother/fry/protection scenarios with them. Just accept that moving the tank may disrupt this. But with Multies being such prolific breeders, you will soon
be basking in fry heaven again. Just be patient and let nature take its course. My son waited 6 months for his first fry - but since then he's been getting a new batch every 3 to 4 weeks (same with my tank at home). So you will get what you desire - just be patient a bit longer (I know it's hard).
When you go to remove the shells from your tank for transport, you will not know which shells the fish are hiding in unless you actually see them dive into it.
The fry may or may not go into a shell. Here's what I do: I just carefully remove each shell one or two at a time "open side up" so as to ensure not to spill any water out of it or let any air into it (because their "may" be a fish hiding inside). Carefully place shells in container of tank water for transport. When all shells are removed from the tank, I just net any remaining fish from the tank and place them in with the shells. If there are fry remaining in the tank, it's a judgement call on what to do with them. If they are new teeny-tiny ones, I leave them in the tank with an inch of water over the sand. A little bigger I may try to net them or coax into a plastic drinking cup. Again - judgement call. Whatever I think will be less stressful at the time. Either way, you might get lucky but should not expect 100% success with very small fry. Nature of the beast. Just do the best you can. After you set up the tank at school, just enjoy watching the fish "make it their home" again. Before you know it, they'll be rewarding you with more fry.....and more fry....and more fry.
Good luck and keep us posted after the move. I'd be very interested to hear how it went. BTW, my son goes to school in NY!!
Thanks again for the detailed reply Tom! I'll definitely keep everyone posted after the move. I'm actually going to be living in NJ while attending school(south Jersey). Since the water parameters(pH,etc.) might be different from what my fish are currently used to will they be able to acclimate well? They won't be shocked by any pH changes right? I can add baking soda/epsom salts in any case as a precaution in case the water's not hard enough.
Multies are my first ever cichlids. Consequently it's my very first cichlid spawn and my second spawning of any fish(first was guppies). I know I'm being obsessive but of the fry that do survive the move, once they've grown to adulthood will they still be good parents if they were never really cared for by their own due to the stress of the move? I bought these fish thinking that they would breed rather quickly(as per all reports) but it figures that they decide to finally breed right before I'm heading to school!