Lake Malawi Species • 1 spare tank, 2 holding eggs

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1 spare tank, 2 holding eggs

Postby Bamzam » Tue Mar 30, 2021 7:34 pm

I just separated a mom from my main tank into my only spare tank. She's been holding for about 2 weeks, so she should spit the eggs in the next week or so? But just today another female started holding. Can I move her in with the fry tank in a couple of weeks?
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Re: 1 spare tank, 2 holding eggs

Postby DJRansome » Tue Mar 30, 2021 9:47 pm

If you want to save all fry batches, you want to get a series of tanks set up for holding moms and various sizes of fry.

28 days is average for holding, so maybe another 2 weeks.

Even when the fry are spit you probably don't want to put newly spit fry in the same tank with 2 week old fry.

Why not leave the moms in the main tank until day 18 and then strip? That saves you from having a tank for each holding mom.

On the other hand you will need 2 tanks anyway...one for each batch of fry until they are over 1/2" and then you can mix them in a 55G to raise until they are two inches.
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Re: 1 spare tank, 2 holding eggs

Postby jcover » Tue Mar 30, 2021 10:58 pm

Even a matter of a few days can be a large discrepancy between fry - and the bigger fry will either eat and/or kill the smaller fry. Best not to mix batches unless they are very close in age/development.
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Re: 1 spare tank, 2 holding eggs

Postby Bamzam » Wed Mar 31, 2021 1:03 am

Got it. Thanks all. More tanks is not an option, so I will let the 2nd mom spit in the main tank
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Re: 1 spare tank, 2 holding eggs

Postby Rhinox » Wed Mar 31, 2021 10:02 am

you didn't mention tank sizes but if your spare holding tank is big enough perhaps you could use a divider? That could keep the moms separate until they spit, then keep the fry separate until they're big enough. When they reach the 1/2" DJR recommended, you could then simply remove the divider and continue growing out.

If the spare tank is too small to separate moms, you could do as DJR suggested and leave them in the tank and then strip after 18 days. You could still use a divider to separate batches of fry even in a tank as small as 10g. Stripping fry is not as intimidating as it sounds. I only ever did it a few times, simply hold the fish in one hand just under the surface and use a toothpick to gently open the mouth. The fry will fall/swim out or you can sort of dip up and down a couple times to get the fry to come out. My opinion, that is less stressful to the mom than removing from the main tank to a small, bare tank in isolation, then later trying to reintroduce back in to the main tank to try to re-find her place where the balance of aggression may have shifted in her absence.
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Re: 1 spare tank, 2 holding eggs

Postby DJRansome » Wed Mar 31, 2021 7:49 pm

Rhinox have you tried the divider and had success? I have heard reports of the fry getting over, under around or through. I personally had a divided tank with demasoni on each side and one jumped over into the other side. The ensuing fight ended up in a case of columnaris and eventual death for one of them.
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Re: 1 spare tank, 2 holding eggs

Postby Rhinox » Wed Mar 31, 2021 9:08 pm

I confess I have not. Like I said I preferred stripping rather than isolating the holding female. I have had success with fry stripped from 2 different females 1-2 wks apart in the same 10g tank though. IIRC the younger clutch was few enough I could keep them isolated in a floating breeder box for some time while the older clutch had the whole tank. Totally forgot about that until just now. I don't remember how long I kept them in the box. It may have actually inadvertently sunk in its own before I intended to mix them, now that I think about it, but they ended up being fine by that point despite the size difference.

Thinking about a divider and the issues you raised, I might would consider a snug fitting poret foam divider extended a couple inches above the water line. But that too is a suggestion without established successful pedigree.
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Re: 1 spare tank, 2 holding eggs

Postby Bamzam » Wed Mar 31, 2021 10:30 pm

Thank you for the suggestions. My spare is a 10 gallon and I also have one of those Amazon breeder boxes. Ill admit I'm intimidated to try and strip them lol. My plan after the first mom spits was to keep the fry in the breeder box and keep the mom in the 10g for a few days to let her eat. Once I moved her back to the main tank I was debating keeping the fry in the breeder box and moving the 2nd mom to the 10g spare tank. Then while they're all tiny maybe keep one set in the breeder box and one in the 10g until they're close enough in size?
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Re: 1 spare tank, 2 holding eggs

Postby DJRansome » Thu Apr 01, 2021 8:01 am

I would only keep newly spit fry in a breeder box for 7 days. I actually don't use breeder boxes at all except as a momentary safe house for a victim fish. Even if you only keep one batch of fry that is 20 (or more) fish and you probably want something larger than a 10G to raise them to selling size.
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Re: 1 spare tank, 2 holding eggs

Postby Bamzam » Sun Apr 11, 2021 10:59 pm

I noticed the 2nd mom eating after a few days so I guess she ate her eggs and I didn't have to worry about it

The first mom finally spit, so I have about 20 fry swimming around my 10g. I had the fry in a breeder box and left the mom in the 10g for about 5 days so that she could eat and regain her strength. I was feeding her 3x a day and she seemed back to normal. I moved her back to the main tank today and the male immediately tried to breed with her again. Is that bad for her/did I move her back too soon? How soon do they actually breed again?
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Re: 1 spare tank, 2 holding eggs

Postby Rhinox » Mon Apr 12, 2021 9:56 am

I don't have the answers but I'll guess that it's probably going to depend how aggressive the species/individual male is towards it's females and how many fish are in your colony (F:M ratio).

I don't really think too soon is the issue though. For example many keepers allow females to carry to term in the main tank and it's not usually a problem for the female to not be strong enough so long as there are enough other females to distract the male(s).

The male might not have been trying to breed, it may have been a display of dominance which can resemble breeding. The female has been away for 11 days based on the posts here, so it's possible putting her back in is a bit like trying to introduce a single fish to a tank/colony.
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Re: 1 spare tank, 2 holding eggs

Postby DJRansome » Mon Apr 12, 2021 10:48 am

Rhinox wrote: as there are enough other females to distract the male(s).
This is the key and the reason for lots of females/male.
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Re: 1 spare tank, 2 holding eggs

Postby Bamzam » Mon Apr 12, 2021 5:37 pm

He chased everyone else away and followed her around then did "the dance" in front of her a few times. Think he gave up and accepted no means no after a while. Thanks, she seems fine now. For this species it's 1:3
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