Lake Malawi Species • Shipping A Holding Female

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Re: Shipping A Holding Female

Postby noki » Sun May 09, 2021 10:08 pm

Mother lets them go when the babies are getting too big and they are free swimming. Can you see the fry when see opens her mouth? Yellow labs are harder to see inside, since they have small pointed mouth lips.
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Re: Shipping A Holding Female

Postby Smeagol » Sun May 09, 2021 11:24 pm

No, I can't see any fry yet. But mama herself looks very healthy.... much better than I would look if I didn't eat for 2 weeks!
75g = Yellow-tail Acei, Yellow Labs, Maingano
20g Planted = Serpae Tetras, Lemon Tetra, Amano Shrimp
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Re: Shipping A Holding Female

Postby SenorStrum » Mon May 10, 2021 1:34 pm

Here's how I think of this. I think it's actually super common to get a holding female.
I'm going to guess that you ordered a "guaranteed female" and I'm also going to guess that Dave was involved somewhere along the line.

If I were in the business of selling "guaranteed female" mbuna, I would simply wait until one had a mouth full, and then send her. What is a more sure way to know? This has some unintended consequences, though. In your case, you got a holing fish and babies you didn't know what to do with. I got a horrifically emaciated fish who nearly died. I think that she had been holding for some time and was therefore predictibly skinny. I'm guessing that they sent her right after spitting. Lucy barely made it, and I won't be doing that again.

For the question of "When do females spit?" The answer is yes. We see new fry in the tank ALL THE TIME. Since we put 10 petricolas in there, we do NOT see fry surviving to join the population. They get spit, they get found. They last maybe 1-2 days, then they're gone.

Sometimes though, they do it all dramatic like. Sometimes, the new moms just get so hungry during feeding time, and well - Spit. During Feeding. The results are "exciting" and predictable. I personally hate seeing it, as, well, I... just don't want to. Last time it happened, Calypso, our try-hard Astatotilapia Latifasciatus released 4(?) fry about dead center in the tank high in the water column just after feeding. Just kinda Opened her mouth and was like "mama's hungry, get the heck out!" and there they were. One, whom La Sra. Strum has now named Icharus (sic. I think it's funny. Whatever.) flew high and down the overflow. He has earned the place in a grow-out tank.
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Re: Shipping A Holding Female

Postby Smeagol » Mon May 10, 2021 6:00 pm

SenorStrum wrote:Here's how I think of this. I think it's actually super common to get a holding female.
I'm going to guess that you ordered a "guaranteed female" and I'm also going to guess that Dave was involved somewhere along the line.

If I were in the business of selling "guaranteed female" mbuna, I would simply wait until one had a mouth full, and then send her. What is a more sure way to know? This has some unintended consequences, though. In your case, you got a holing fish and babies you didn't know what to do with. I got a horrifically emaciated fish who nearly died. I think that she had been holding for some time and was therefore predictibly skinny. I'm guessing that they sent her right after spitting. Lucy barely made it, and I won't be doing that again.

For the question of "When do females spit?" The answer is yes. We see new fry in the tank ALL THE TIME. Since we put 10 petricolas in there, we do NOT see fry surviving to join the population. They get spit, they get found. They last maybe 1-2 days, then they're gone.

Sometimes though, they do it all dramatic like. Sometimes, the new moms just get so hungry during feeding time, and well - Spit. During Feeding. The results are "exciting" and predictable. I personally hate seeing it, as, well, I... just don't want to. Last time it happened, Calypso, our try-hard Astatotilapia Latifasciatus released 4(?) fry about dead center in the tank high in the water column just after feeding. Just kinda Opened her mouth and was like "mama's hungry, get the heck out!" and there they were. One, whom La Sra. Strum has now named Icharus (sic. I think it's funny. Whatever.) flew high and down the overflow. He has earned the place in a grow-out tank.

This fish did not come from "Dave," but your theory still makes sense regardless of who the breeder is. I was mostly just surprised that she continued holding throughout the shipping ordeal. I figured the stress would trigger her to give up on this brood. Unfortunately, I don't have the ability right now to set up a grow-out tank, so I guess it will be law of the jungle for this batch... "nature red in tooth and claw" and all that.

SenorStrum wrote:....One, whom La Sra. Strum has now named Icharus (sic. I think it's funny. Whatever.) flew high and down the overflow.....

Nicely done! A classical reference and a play on a dreaded fish disease. Worst name for a fish store: Ich-R-Us Aquatics.
75g = Yellow-tail Acei, Yellow Labs, Maingano
20g Planted = Serpae Tetras, Lemon Tetra, Amano Shrimp
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Re: Shipping A Holding Female

Postby Smeagol » Fri May 14, 2021 10:23 pm

Would I be able to use my planted 20g tank as a grow-out tank? What would I have to do to make it suitable for mbuna fry?
75g = Yellow-tail Acei, Yellow Labs, Maingano
20g Planted = Serpae Tetras, Lemon Tetra, Amano Shrimp
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Re: Shipping A Holding Female

Postby DJRansome » Sat May 15, 2021 10:38 am

Sure. Make the parameters match your main tank. Are you OK with the fish digging up or eating the plants as they mature? What will you do with the fry?

I assume you will remove the tetras, rasboras and shrimp?
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: Shipping A Holding Female

Postby Smeagol » Sat May 15, 2021 11:32 am

DJRansome wrote:Sure. Make the parameters match your main tank. Are you OK with the fish digging up or eating the plants as they mature? What will you do with the fry?

I assume you will remove the tetras, rasboras and shrimp?

I don't care if they destroy the plants. One of my reasons for getting into the mbuna hobby in the first place was because I wanted to get out of the live plant hobby. The tetras and rasboras are the remnant survivors of a planted 55g that I had running for a long time. They are 8+ years old, and I don't expect them to be around much longer in any case. What will I do with the fry? Don't know... maybe sell them or give them away... maybe try to introduce a few back into the main tank if there's room... ??? I haven't decided for sure yet if I'm going to do it. Just considering ideas of what to do with my 20g once the current inhabitants "move on."
75g = Yellow-tail Acei, Yellow Labs, Maingano
20g Planted = Serpae Tetras, Lemon Tetra, Amano Shrimp
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Re: Shipping A Holding Female

Postby Auballagh » Sat May 15, 2021 12:57 pm

Oh, those choices, hmmmm....? :-?
- Most of us just let the holding female go full term. She eventually spits out the babies and the other Cichlids in there, catfish, loaches, etc.... just take care of the bizness. It's usually over in seconds. And well, that way there's just no baby fish to worry about.
- or -
- You do like some of us have (or will), and get some more valuable Cichlids. Kind of surprising to learn just how valuable, grown-out F1 babies can actually be from WC parents. I myself made literally 'tens' of dollars ( :roll: ) in selling F1 baby fish from WC Cichlid parents originating from CA and SA. Some of those parent fish I kept then, I even collected originally myself.
-
And no... you aren't gonna get rich or anything selling baby fish like that. But, it is kind of fun raising the babies out. And, selling them helps to off-set (at least partially) some of the costs of being in this hobby. I remember doing a guest speaker presentation (Collecting in Honduras) for The Potomac Valley Aquarium Society in Fairfax Virginia. I brought in some F1 Amatatlania spilurus and Parachromis motaguensis babies that I gave away to the club to make money in an auction for the members. The amounts bid on those baby fish that day, were pretty eye raising! :o
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Re: Shipping A Holding Female

Postby Smeagol » Sat May 15, 2021 10:32 pm

The holding female that I got by accident has a couple favorite hiding places where she usually hangs out. But tonight she's swimming all over the tank and looking a bit stressed. She even started glass surfing. Could this be a sign that she's getting ready to spit? Maybe she's trying to get away from all the other fish....???
75g = Yellow-tail Acei, Yellow Labs, Maingano
20g Planted = Serpae Tetras, Lemon Tetra, Amano Shrimp
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Re: Shipping A Holding Female

Postby DJRansome » Sun May 16, 2021 9:38 am

Yes, getting ready. More probably she is frantic because the babies want out and she is trying to keep them in. They do the same thing in a tank by themselves.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: Shipping A Holding Female

Postby SenorStrum » Mon May 17, 2021 10:33 am

Auballagh wrote:. I myself made literally 'tens' of dollars ( :roll: )



HA! I love it. "Literally tens of dollars" is one of my favorite things to say at work. Also, when somebody asks me for a financial estimate, my answer is "At least $12" and I have yet to be wrong!
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Re: Shipping A Holding Female

Postby Smeagol » Wed May 19, 2021 9:15 pm

Do females ever refuse to spit, and consequently starve to death? My Yellow Lab was already holding when I got her, exactly 3 weeks ago. So she's been holding for at least 3 weeks, probably longer. She seems stressed, constantly glass surfing. Why won't she spit?!
75g = Yellow-tail Acei, Yellow Labs, Maingano
20g Planted = Serpae Tetras, Lemon Tetra, Amano Shrimp
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Re: Shipping A Holding Female

Postby DJRansome » Thu May 20, 2021 1:18 pm

28 days is average so you are good. If she starts to look skinny (concave belly), you can strip her. It always seems to take forever for them to spit, but I would not worry until it has been more than a week since she started acting frantic.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: Shipping A Holding Female

Postby SenorStrum » Fri May 21, 2021 11:14 am

Smeagol wrote:Do females ever refuse to spit, and consequently starve to death? My Yellow Lab was already holding when I got her, exactly 3 weeks ago. So she's been holding for at least 3 weeks, probably longer. She seems stressed, constantly glass surfing. Why won't she spit?!


They don't refuse to spit. What I've noticed on a number of occasions is that they try really hard, but the flesh is weak. And so, unfortunately, the temptation of feeding time is just too much, and this peculiarly bad time is precisely when they choose to evacuate their progeny.
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Re: Shipping A Holding Female

Postby Smeagol » Sun May 23, 2021 11:08 pm

What should I expect after she spits? Will she immediately go back to normal behavior, or will it take her a few days to recuperate?
75g = Yellow-tail Acei, Yellow Labs, Maingano
20g Planted = Serpae Tetras, Lemon Tetra, Amano Shrimp
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