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basic breeding questions

477 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  cdavitt
So I have a 55 gallon with all juvenile yellow labs, rusties, and cobalt blue zebras. To make things as peaceful as possible I am working my way toward a 1:4 or 1:5 ratio of M:F for each type. I know breeding is months and months away but I had a couple basic questions.

One question I had was what is the way to determine the best male? Am I looking for the best coloring? Or do I just remove/rehome whatever males become sub-dominant after the first one stakes his claim? How do you choose to cull the herd?

Once they are mature and I get the ratio's correct will most cichlids breed in a larger tank like this?
Will the cichlids pair up? As in will the male choose one female? Or will he try to knock up as many as he can?

I've heard tanks referred to as breeders. Is this a special function tank, or just a term the owner uses? Is it better to remove the mother right after she starts holding or just before she starts spitting? I have a 10 and 20 gallon tank planned for quarantine/hospital and fry. Would it be better to move pairs together to one of these smaller tanks or use a tank divider to force the same types of males and females together?

Any other breeding basics or best practices you can think of? I read through the library on breeding and it was the basic steps and process. I am looking for advice on techniques and what worked best for people.

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1. As far as sexing them you pretty much have to wait to see them holding or vent them once they are of breeding age. I do just as you said, the dominant male will reject the other males he doesnt want in there and you will find them hiding up in the corner or behind heaters, intakes, etc....

2. Yes most cichlids will breed in a larger tank like that as long as you keep your water parameters in check. The Cichlids you have are harem breeders that spawn with multiple females thats why it is recommended to have multiple females per male so no one female gets all the harrassment.

3. Usually "Breeder Tanks" are sold as this cause they have larger footprint and arent usually as tall giving more "territories" in the tank.

4. When you do get some holding females, I usually let them be in the main tank for about 18-21 days as long as they arent getting beat up real bad and then move the to my 10g to be stripped and then place them right back into the main tank as to not lose their rank in the tank amongst the others.

Once you have stripped the fry I place them in a breeder net/box in the 10g tank for about 7 days so they get used to finding food when you introduce it to them. After that I find they do fine in the 10g as long as you put a prefilter on the intake of you filter so they dont get sucked up into it.

Another option is to remove holding female at around 18 days into the ten and wait for her to spit the fry on her own but you take the risk of her being picked on upon re-introducing her with her tank mates.

Hope this helps! :fish: :fish:
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cdavitt said:
One question I had was what is the way to determine the best male? Am I looking for the best coloring? Or do I just remove/rehome whatever males become sub-dominant after the first one stakes his claim?
That would be called artificial selection and it can be fine, or good... or it can be a disaster. Welcome the the roll of the genetic dice.

An alternative to artificial selection is allowing natural selection. Ideally, you'd want a larger tank and a larger number of each species and you leave the subdominant males in the tank at all times with enough line of sight breaks to allow the females to choose their mate. You will always have fewer culls this way.

cdavitt said:
How do you choose to cull the herd?
I am ruthless when it comes to culling... I usually do about 4 rounds through my grow out fry. I eliminate any fry that grows slow, looks strange, happens to be in the net, etc. :lol:

I find that too many local breeders try to sell too many fry and the local area quickly gets saturated!
I appreciate the replies. I always feel better when I know ahead of time what to expect and a preliminary plan of action. Instead of panicking and having to power read these forums when it happens.

Any additional breeding methods or advice is welcome.
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