Lake Malawi Species • African Yellow Lab Fish Fey Hotel

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African Yellow Lab Fish Fey Hotel

Postby howardberman » Wed Oct 21, 2020 7:29 pm

I am getting very tired of seeing so many of my Yellow lab fry being eaten... I have lots of plastic plants, however ultimately they get eaten. I am building a "Fry Hotel" out of ceramic floor tiles 8 X 8". Each tile will be separated by other smaller tiles and each level will be a different height. Starting at 3/8th of an inch and graduating to 1-1/4" spacing inside my 210 gallon tank. All bonded with aquarium silicon. My. Question is, do I put a back and sides on it to make each level more like a cave, or do I leave the front & sides open for better access, water flow, and food distribution? Any thoughts, comments, or experience would generate my undying gratitude.
Howard in Felton Delaware, USA
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Re: African Yellow Lab Fish Fey Hotel

Postby DJRansome » Wed Oct 21, 2020 10:08 pm

Remove the mom to a maternity tank and let her spit in a tank without adults. Remove her within 24 hours after she spits and all the fry will survive.

I have experimented with various fish caves constructed out of materials like PVC and silicone. In the end I found them to gather more debris than anything else so I stopped using silicone to make structures and just stacked the rocks without attachment. The fry hide in small crevice but get caught when they dart out for food by day, and sleep on the substrate by night.
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Re: African Yellow Lab Fish Fey Hotel

Postby sir_keith » Thu Oct 22, 2020 12:34 am

Just make a few rubble piles of small-medium rocks where the fry can escape predation, and at least some of them will survive. But what does this have to do with Tanganyikan cichlids? :-?
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Re: African Yellow Lab Fish Fey Hotel

Postby howardberman » Thu Oct 22, 2020 10:53 am

Aren't yellow labs from Lake Tanganyikan?
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Re: African Yellow Lab Fish Fey Hotel

Postby howardberman » Thu Oct 22, 2020 10:57 am

DJRansome,
I have retired from MTS... multiple tank syndrome! And am committed to doing everything in one tank from now on... My LFS Super Cichlids does all Quarantine work and if Ifind anything getting sick it goes back to them for treatment or disposal. They are fantastic!
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Re: African Yellow Lab Fish Fey Hotel

Postby howardberman » Thu Oct 22, 2020 11:00 am

sir_keith,
Rubble piles fall apart are a [email protected]#$ to keep clean, and not for me.
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Re: African Yellow Lab Fish Fey Hotel

Postby sir_keith » Thu Oct 22, 2020 12:02 pm

howardberman wrote:Aren't yellow labs from Lake Tanganyikan?


No; they're from Lake Malawi.
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Re: African Yellow Lab Fish Fey Hotel

Postby sir_keith » Thu Oct 22, 2020 12:15 pm

howardberman wrote:sir_keith,
Rubble piles fall apart are a [email protected]#$ to keep clean, and not for me.


They work for me. Here's an old pic of one of my Tropheus tanks; all of the juveniles were born and raised in this tank.

P9120141r2.jpg
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Re: African Yellow Lab Fish Fey Hotel

Postby shiftyfox » Thu Oct 22, 2020 5:48 pm

I’ve never had a single mbuna fry survive in the main tank. The odd one may survive for 10-14 days but eventually gets picked off even with small rock piles/crevices ect.
Like DJ said, if you want to raise fry get another tank. Strip the female or put her in her own tank to spit naturally.
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Re: African Yellow Lab Fish Fey Hotel

Postby DJRansome » Thu Oct 22, 2020 7:56 pm

I use smooth rocks, but like sir_keith piles of rocks have worked best for me with much experimentation over 15 years.

There is an art to stacking them, I always arrange on a table and tinker for days before putting the rocks in the tank.

Piles of pebbles can help fry but with Synodontis in all my tanks, I rarely have survivor fry. Which is just as well because extra maturing males tend to cause problems in my tanks.
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Re: African Yellow Lab Fish Fey Hotel

Postby sir_keith » Thu Oct 22, 2020 8:35 pm

shiftyfox wrote:I’ve never had a single mbuna fry survive in the main tank. The odd one may survive for 10-14 days but eventually gets picked off even with small rock piles/crevices ect.
Like DJ said, if you want to raise fry get another tank. Strip the female or put her in her own tank to spit naturally.


Not my experience at all. I suppose it depends on many factors- the tank setup, which particular species are being maintained, the nutritional state of the adults, etc.- but I have never had an Mbuna tank that did not contain some fry, and most of those tanks contained many fry, so much so that I had to remove some of the little ones on a regular basis. :drooling:
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Re: African Yellow Lab Fish Fey Hotel

Postby howardberman » Fri Oct 23, 2020 7:26 pm

My experience as well, however I am committed to only one large tank 210gallons... Additionally the only female Mbuna in the tank are the Yellow labs and no other Mbuna will be placed in the tank so I will avoid gray interbred Mbunas!
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Re: African Yellow Lab Fish Fey Hotel

Postby DJRansome » Fri Oct 23, 2020 7:42 pm

My experience with structure cleaning was that debris collected in the structure. When it was lifted from the water to clean the debris went everywhere. Opposite result for me.
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