I have some questions, I recently had 2 female holding egg for total of 3 times within 3 months. First one is a 7'' female successfully holding for almost 3 weeks in a seperate tank and got 27 of fry. Two weeks later one of 10'' female showing holding but seems all other 5 females start poking her by mouth and chasing her all day long. The 5th day seems she does not have any egg anymore. Are they stealing eggs out from mouth?
Question number 2, three days ago, I believe the same 7'' female is holding eggs again. I was first wondering how can she holding again, it's about only 2 month after her first holding, so I try to look at her and make sure she really have egg inside her mouth. Finally, yes, confirmed she got full mouth of eggs. So, for safty I took her out from main tank and this afternoon, which is 2 days after I took her out from main tank, I saw she is playing sand and tumble egg at same time. I start worry... One hour later I saw her mouth is open and all eggs are gone ... Does it possible a holding female forgot she is holding?
I agree with allen2, I normally wait at least one day, and then take the eggs. I also find with most of the africans it is hard to re-introduce a female back into the tank after she is removed. So, I just catch her.. strip the eggs and right back into the tank. Remember all fish are different.... I have one female that will hold the eggs and makes it hard to get them.. while another one that starts to spit them out as soon as I catch her. with the second one I have to be fast about it or she will crush most of the eggs while flopping around in the net..
Q#1: instinct plays a big part in how a female, and her body, react to circumstances evolving around her. both herself, and the instincts that drive her, can cause the abort of a spawn at any time. harassment could be a sufficient stressor for her to give up.
Q#2: i doubt females 'forget' they are holding, but like i suggested above, it is not always a conscious decision on her part. i am not a big fan of quaranteeing colonizing type fish when holding. either let them hold where they are, or strip them. IMHO.
Get a tumbler sometimes you need it. I don't strip my Kigoma or Bismarks tell the 10th day. I strip my Kapampas on day 4. I strip my Kitumbas on day one. There are meny reasons I strip on defferent days. My Kitumba the other females will attack the holding female after the 1st day and eat the eggs. My Kapampa start to lose eggs after day 5 and by day 10 they are all gone. The other 2 hold fine I just strip them after 10 days. I do have 1 kigoma fermale who I strip on day 5 she has never held past day 7. I let her try meny times, she loves to eat. Each female is different some are great moms some are not.