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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had the bright idea that it would be cool to get some fairly easy-to-breed cichlids for my 4-year-old to watch. I've kept cichlids for years, and only twice have I had any breed. So, I purchased 3 jewel cichlids, just trying to get lucky, because I can't tell the sex. At the same time, I purchased a male and female black convict. As luck would have it, they laid eggs within a couple of days of each other, Jewels first. Now, I have, starting today, swimming jewel fry, and still immobile black convict fry. What's going to happen here? I do not have another tank to move any of them to, so that's not currently an option. If they had laid their eggs on opposite sides of the tank, I would put a divider, but the jewels are right smack dab in the middle of the tank, while the convicts are on the right side.
 

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World war three in Rhode island. Those are some mean fish when pairing. I have seen breeding jewels Chase off rds twice thier size and cons Chase off jds 3x thier size. It's tight but man someone is gonna get hurt. My guess it will be the 3rd jewel and then its a toss up from there. There is a trick that might help you here. Your gonna have to act quick before the con fry start free swimming. Make or buy a good divider. Get a bright light and turn off all the lights in your house and tank. Then shine the light to the opposite side of the tank and all the fry should swim to the light. The parents should follow and then put the divider in . Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Flippercon said:
World war three in Rhode island. Those are some mean fish when pairing. I have seen breeding jewels Chase off rds twice thier size and cons Chase off jds 3x thier size. It's tight but man someone is gonna get hurt. My guess it will be the 3rd jewel and then its a toss up from there. There is a trick that might help you here. Your gonna have to act quick before the con fry start free swimming. Make or buy a good divider. Get a bright light and turn off all the lights in your house and tank. Then shine the light to the opposite side of the tank and all the fry should swim to the light. The parents should follow and then put the divider in . Good luck.
That third jewel didn't last long after the other two paired up. They killed it off pretty quick, as I'm sure they would have the convicts, had they not already paired up as well.

This is sure to be a show.

I've considered getting a 20G that was left at my grandfather's house (an hour away), and trying to move one pair and the fry, but can't get out there to get it soon enough, and I'm afraid I'd kill the fry anyway.
 

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Removing fry is pretty easy. All you have to do is vacuum them in a bucket . If they're too fast you can always net them. The light trick might help. Just depends on your divider.
 

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Definitely if you can, put a divider in. I have a breeding pair of cons, and they have claimed practically all of the 20 gallon tank. When the fry become free swimming, they have a mind of their own, they don't adhere to boundaries, and the parents stay close like rubber on glue. In a week or less, there will be a massacre in your 29 if no divider is put in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So, I saw the mother jewel move her fry to the opposite corner of the tank from the Convicts. I took the opportunity to put a divider in. Now, I only have about 10 or so Jewel Fry left, and probably more than 50 Convict Fry. It's kind of funny to watch the parents try to attack one another through the divider. My question, though, is where are all my jewel fry going? Is it possible that they can swim through the divider? The holes in the divider are VERY small, but I wouldn't think the parents were eating them. Would my Pleco eat them? He's on the side with the jewels, and he's still alive!
 

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Hi CookieMan12,

Reguarding the jewel fry; all the options you noted are possible. Even if the fry can not fit through the holes in the divider, they will likely be able to find somwewhere to get through where the divider edge meets the glass/substrate.

However, I belive the most likely is the pleco; plecos love to eat eggs and small free swimming fry hanging out around the bottom. Your pleco most likely makes his moves at night.

Thanks,
Matt
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Since my last post, all of the jewel fry disappeared. Soon later, the jewels laid eggs and had more fry. After day 1 of them swimming, I noticed they were thinning out considerably, so I moved the pleco to my daughter's new goldfish tank. (she won a goldfish at a carnival, so I had to get her something to put it in) Still, all the fry were gone within 3 days. 1 day after that, one of the jewels killed the other in less than 24 hours. So, now, I have a divided tank with the 1 jewel and the pleco (moved him back) on one side and the two convicts with their fry on the other. The male convict is starting to get aggressive with the female, so she hides in a corner where he can't get to her(he's considerably larger). The convicts still try to protect their fry from the jewel through the divider (pretty funny, actually), so if I move the male convict to the other side with the jewel, is he gonna kill the jewel? Is it worth the risk to get him away from the female? If the male kills the female, will he then eat the fry?
 

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a 29 is too small for anything more than the con pair. if you want your daughter to see the spawning and parenting process, take the jewel back. that way, the cons will raise a spawn. :)
 

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If I were you, I'd return the Jewel to the LFS that you got him, pull the divider, and let your daughter watch the cons' parental behavior! But at the least, you should get a few dithers to keep them on their toes, so to speak.

If you add some dithers to keep your male con on constant guard duty, it will deflect his attention and he will channel his aggressiveness from the female con to the dithers. And since the male and female will have the same goal (protecting the fry from the dithers), they will form a stronger bond.
 

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convicts are the roach of the fish world. Constantly breed to the point you wont be able to find a home for them short of feeder fish. They also have a mean streak when they have a brood, which will be most of the time. My brothers even went after his hand when he'd open the lid.
 

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irondan said:
a few tiger barbs would do well
+1. I use tiger barbs as dithers for my firemouth. He was really shy at first, but the TBs brought him out of hiding almost instantly. TBs as dithers worked better then I expected.

I would suggest zebra danios as dithers, as they are really common, and incredibly cheap, but in all likelihood, your cons will pick them off 1 by 1.
 
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