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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey this is my 1st cichlid tank, and have had this particular Dem in there for a while. Have added 7 more since this one. This one is about 3.5 inches maybe a little less and the next closest one is only maybe 2 inches. Today I noticed it is just kinda laying low in the rock pile I have going on and not really eating with the rest. After watching for a bit it looks almost like its chewing gum everyonce i a while. So.... (fingers crossed) ..... is my dem holding? and if so how well are the odds of any fry surviving if I just let nature take its course since I do not have another tank setup to put it in?

 

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Yep, holding. If you've got lots of tiny spaces for fry to hide, you'll likely get ~1-2 per spawn making it to adulthood. And once they start, they don't stop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you, I spend alot of time each day/week thinking of how to improve their tank and conditions. My old lady would probably say too much time on them. :D I have 2 piles of the cichlid stones and some plant on either end of the tank with a cpl peices of driftwood in the middle of the stones, so hopefully enough spaces to get at least a few to survive. Is there anything that I should do or be looking for while waiting for her to spit? Any special treatments or food to try and feed her?
 

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Give her a brooding tank. The others may eat the young and she knows this and may hold for too long starving the young to death. Alternatively strip her at about 21 days but not what I hold to. To keep her in condition try flake foods most Mbuna can take this without mistaking it for eggs or swalowing the eggs and young by mistake. Happy times and a good looking holding female almost ashamed of giving you the bad news of cichlid breeding. It is quite hard to get em to breed and release young and get good survival in even a species tank it kind of has to be way to big for breeding em. In captivity for max fry survival you kind of have to help em out a bit. And by the look of this guy its well worth the effort.
All the best James
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well the only other tank I have is a 5 gallon out in the garage. Would this be too small to put her in just to spit the fry? Also as soon as she spits them can I put her back into my main tank and will the fry be alright then by themselves? What do I feed the fry? Sorry for all the questions but am excited and want to get this right the 1st time around.
 

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5g is too small for the female to be at home in and release the fry IME. You kind of need a 29g for this to have a good success rating. Not saying it is imposible in a 5g or even a breeding net thing just to max the chances you need a tank she will feel comfortable in. For a 5g I would for sure strip. I hate saying this as I think stripped Mbuna are second class Mbuna your guys deserve better I think just by looking at her she is a top class Mbuna.

All the best James
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well I certainly dont have the space or money for a 29g so that is pretty much out of the question. So do you think that a breeder net would be better for this than that 5g I have? Also all the other tank mates are like half her size or smaller except the peacock are a little bigger and one Blue Johanni is almost as big as her.
 

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Maybe let her spit in the tank this time. Sounds like you are not set up to raise fry yet anyway?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yeah I think I'm gonna do that. How big do fry usually have to be before they can survive on their own? and how long does it usually take to get them to that size? I just sold the 10g I had laying around here 2 days ago and now i notice this! :x So can I expect to see her spit in about 3 to 4 weeks then? Thought I read it was usually about 21 days or something like that, unless that was when to strip them.
 

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You are going to need some more dems in your tank, more likely 12-15 instead of 8. So if i were you, i would set up the 5 gallon, get it cycled and strip the mother after about 3 weeks, then grow up the babies and put some in your tank. You could give the rest away or sell them. In 3 weeks the fry should be good enough to swim and survive on their own without eggsacs, you could wait a little longer if you wanted.
 

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You can bring her over to my house and I will keep the fry for you if you're going to let her spit in the tank... or I can come by you, we can strip her, and I can take the fry home with me.... :lol: :lol: :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
mattawan_cichlid said:
You are going to need some more dems in your tank, more likely 12-15 instead of 8. So if i were you, i would set up the 5 gallon, get it cycled and strip the mother after about 3 weeks, then grow up the babies and put some in your tank. You could give the rest away or sell them. In 3 weeks the fry should be good enough to swim and survive on their own without eggsacs, you could wait a little longer if you wanted.
That is kinda why I was thinking of trying to keep these in that 5g. I was planning on buying some more next week once I return from my vacation, but if I could get like 5 or more to live out of this batch that would be the cats pajamas!!! Save me like $60 :dancing:

My other thought was to make a DIY breeder net out that plastic canvas used for stitching yarn on to make coasters and such and try and raise some in that. My thought is that net would be more durable that the flimsy mesh style nets maybe allowing a better chance for survival and eliminating me from having to go out and buy another heater and such. I only have a little 5g HOB filter for that tank or an aqua tech 30-60 HOB. Have many people successfully used a breeder net to grow out their fry?
 

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The problems I've had with breeder nets is that the adults will suck the fry right through the net to eat them. The plastic canvas you're talking about may help a little, but you'll likely still lose some to the adults. If you go this route, make sure you put the breeder close to the output of your filter so that water is circulating through it. If the water in the breeder doesn't circulate, they fry won't grow as fast.

Edited for typo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
So put it close to the return or don't? Wasnt sure if you meant "If the water in the breeder does or doesn't circulate, they fry won't grow as fast." Also how big are the fry when she spits them? Would the holes in that plastic canvas be small enough on its own? or should I line it with some cheese cloth or a store bought breeder net?

I feel like a little kid at Christmas time now, just waiting for these little guys to come out.
 

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Woops... fixed my post. I meant for it to say "if the water DOESN'T circulate, the fry won't grow as fast." So yes, put to close to the output of your filter.

When she spits them, they will be less than 1/4" long. If you have the chance, buy the plastic canvas with the smallest grid size you can... that works for me for even the smallest of eggs.

What you could do is build a box out of the canvas and put the net inside of it... but make sure the net is far enough away from the canvas that it provides a nice buffer space so the adults can't eat them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Exactly what I was thinking of doing. Only thing is up here we are very limited as to what type of stuff is readily available at out LFS's and without a debit card that makes it very hard to order anything online. So do you think that Cheese Cloth would be an alternative to use and the "inner net"?
 

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I've never used cheesecloth, but I don't see why it wouldn't work. If your LFS has a large fish net, you could also cut the cloth portion off of that. Of course, that wouldn't be as cheap as just using cheesecloth.
 
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