South American Cichlids • Emergency - Green terror about to lay eggs

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Emergency - Green terror about to lay eggs

Postby Lisa83 » Mon Mar 22, 2021 10:22 pm

The GT is about to lay eggs - this is a 4th time mom, the first 2 times the eggs were unfertilized so she at them the first time and the male ate them the second time as I let the male in thinking he could fertilize the eggs that were stuck to a rock, but obviously at that point it was too late, so he had a good buffet.

The 3rd time we let her spend a week with the male (they live separately due to aggression) and she lay eggs which all seemed white and unfertilized, however a week later we found about 20 fry swimming around the rock where the eggs were. Story short, she ate all the fry within 2 days, in a tank by herself :-(

So now 4th time - has been with male for a week, has eggs protruding so seems ready to lay them. So I TOOK OUT THE MALE as he may have another buffet, and once she lays eggs and the fry are free swimming we will take out most of the fry to a separate tank.

Heres the emergency issues:
1- the male seems very distressed not being with the female, should I put him back in even though he may eat the eggs?
2- the female also seems nervous, trying to kiss the male through the tank divider, they have been getting along well this one week as I think they are getting the hang of mating. So should I let the male back in?
3- Any basic advice on breeding? Is it just me being too nervous or do you think separating them right before laying is breaking their hearts?

Thanks for any advice from the experts here.
Im posting for my daughter who is also as distressed as me over what to do, fyi.
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Re: Emergency - Green terror about to lay eggs

Postby Lisa83 » Tue Mar 23, 2021 12:09 am

Follow up question;

Are the eggs fertilized before being layed or after??
I think we are panicking so please help. If it’s after then we need to open up the divider so the eggs don’t go to waste, she has not layed them yet. When exactly are they fertilized? Thanks.
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Re: Emergency - Green terror about to lay eggs

Postby fishybuisness » Tue Mar 23, 2021 1:10 am

after, the male fertilizes the eggs after they have been laid, they are not live bearers so the eggs are laid then fertilized (or not) by the male. what you could do is move the male to a new tank after the eggs have been laid, you also could purchase an egg bubbler or isolate the eggs in a small container and remove any fungused eggs. these fish may not be the best parents so that is sometimes the best option.
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Re: Emergency - Green terror about to lay eggs

Postby Lisa83 » Tue Mar 23, 2021 3:26 am

thanks a lot for your reply, OMG so I should put the male back in with the female then? she has not laid them yet.
can you please describe a little how the male fertilizes the eggs and any behaviour I should be aware of?
About how long after the eggs are on a rock will he fertilize them?

After that I'm more than happy to put him back on his side of the divider (we call it the gate)
Last time, about a month ago, some sperm or whatever the male does must have seeped to the female side as I said, they were together *before* she laid eggs and yet there were fry swimming around a week later (all eaten by the female).
We have several africans breeding at the same time as well on other tanks so I'm super stressed as we don't have any experience with the south americans.
We use satellite tanks to raise the africans...will likely throw the GT fry into a bucket with an areator once/if they hatch and do daily water changes?
What if the male starts eating the eggs as during try #2? I've seen videos of how GT's are good parents and both protect the nest, why is our GT male an egg eater? He gets fed a plenty...

Thanks again for your help and any further clarification to the above.
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Re: Emergency - Green terror about to lay eggs

Postby Lisa83 » Tue Mar 23, 2021 10:52 am

Proud mom and dad with about 80 brown looking eggs :-)
Leaving dad in tank as seems to be guarding well.
Will post photos in the next few days!

Thanks for all your help.
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Re: Emergency - Green terror about to lay eggs

Postby Auballagh » Tue Mar 23, 2021 7:49 pm

Congrats on your spawning Green Terrors. :)
So, the fourth time may be the charm, hmmm? Sometimes it takes a few tries before a pair will get it right.
- How big is this tank your GTs are in?
- How much difference in size is there between the male and the female? Are they close to being equal in size? If the male is a good bit larger than the female, you can put in a 'partial divider' for the aquarium, with small holes in it just big enough for the female to pass through. The holes are made too small for the male to attempt. This lets the female get away from excessive male aggression if she needs to.
-
If the tank is too small, the female may wind up eating the eggs or newly hatched fry because of stress. But if you can, I would leave the newly hatched fry in with the parents. In large enough tanks the male will pretty much roam out and about, and the female stays close to the babies. When the fry start swimming around everywhere in the tank, you can pull them out. If you have an established sponge filter(s) with air stone, that will work best for aerating your grow-out tubs or even plastic buckets for keeping the baby fish (don't use buckets that have EVER had soap in them!). And yes, daily water changes should keep the babies healthy and growing pretty well. Be careful, they grow quicker than you think! With too many babies in a bucket or something, you'll start losing them in there. :(
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Re: Emergency - Green terror about to lay eggs

Postby Lisa83 » Sun Mar 28, 2021 3:41 am

Auballagh, thanks a lot for all the good info.
Update, the eggs hatched 3 days ago and most, about 150 were fertilized. So to not put all eggs in one basket, we siphoned about half of the fry into a satellite tank currently housing mbuna eggs (I know gulp!). So after a day we didn’t see any fry in the moms tank so we figured she had eaten all the kids and were glad we took half into the satellite, all who are doing fine and active. Surprise, the mom didn’t eat all the kids, today we found her hovering over 20 fry so she may be getting the hang of being a mom.
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Re: Emergency - Green terror about to lay eggs

Postby Lisa83 » Sun Mar 28, 2021 3:44 am

Photo of the fry in the satellite with an African baby still with yolk sack, of course they will be separated soon. There’s probably 80 fry in total.
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Re: Emergency - Green terror about to lay eggs

Postby Lisa83 » Sun Mar 28, 2021 4:07 am

Mom and eggs a few days ago
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Re: Emergency - Green terror about to lay eggs

Postby Lisa83 » Sun Mar 28, 2021 5:52 am

Auballagh, the idea of the hole in the divider to let only the mom through is really great, will try to size it correctly as it seems like a really good idea. What we did in case anyone is interested, was to move the divider to make a 2cm gap between the glass where the dad could go visit mom when “needed”. When I though his mission was complete I simply waited for dad to go back to his side as he swam back and forth every few minutes anyways and shut the gate. Last time the dad beat up mom after the eggs were laid and eaten, so we made sure that didn’t happen again. The dad is HUGE Maybe twice the size of mom and is a good fish but living in a small apartment probably had him stressed, on top of the human kids stomping in front of the tanks (we have 8 tanks, counting buckets and every container we have fish and snails in).
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Re: Emergency - Green terror about to lay eggs

Postby Auballagh » Sun Mar 28, 2021 1:34 pm

That's great! Sounds like your Mom fish is starting to get the hang of it. :)
To explain the partial tank divider concept a bit better, here is a video done by a guy named 'Andy Woods' in the UK,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLaENDmeqWg

It's a bit informal, but this guy is definitely one of my New World Cichlid-keeping heroes. He seen and done some amazing things with these fish, and has some really good info. In the video he explains how to (somewhat) safely breed a pair of Green Guapote', 'Beani' Cichlids, Mayaheros beani . And whew.... if you think the South American Green Terror, Andinocara rivulatus is an aggressive Cichlid species? The Central American, Green Guapote' is definitely on an entirely different level from that! :o
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Re: Emergency - Green terror about to lay eggs

Postby Lisa83 » Thu Apr 01, 2021 6:27 am

Auballagh Thanks for the link to the videos I saw them very fun and good to see the holes are rectangular not circles as I envisioned. Update, most of the fry were eaten by mom or so I though as yesterday I could only see maybe 3 hiding under the rocks and today I came back to see probably 100 free swimming in the middle of the tank, all surrounding mom, this is in addition to the 100 we separated to the satellite tank!!! OMG what do we do now!!! We also stripped a yellow zebra African of about 8 fry, and have a yellow lab that’s holding probably 15 based on her past labor, this is turning into a zoo!!

Photo to follow
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Re: Emergency - Green terror about to lay eggs

Postby Lisa83 » Thu Apr 01, 2021 6:30 am

One week update!
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Re: Emergency - Green terror about to lay eggs

Postby Deeda » Thu Apr 01, 2021 10:57 am

Congratulations and great pic of the fry!
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Re: Emergency - Green terror about to lay eggs

Postby Auballagh » Thu Apr 01, 2021 6:35 pm

Looks like your Green Terrors are planning to take over the world - starting with your aquariums! :o
That's a really great picture, and your Mom fish looks awesome. She's just a little thing!
-
Whew.... and definitely, congrats on all of the fry. :thumb:
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