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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The GT is about to lay eggs - this is a 4th time mom, the first 2 times the eggs were unfertilized so she at them the first time and the male ate them the second time as I let the male in thinking he could fertilize the eggs that were stuck to a rock, but obviously at that point it was too late, so he had a good buffet.

The 3rd time we let her spend a week with the male (they live separately due to aggression) and she lay eggs which all seemed white and unfertilized, however a week later we found about 20 fry swimming around the rock where the eggs were. Story short, she ate all the fry within 2 days, in a tank by herself :-(

So now 4th time - has been with male for a week, has eggs protruding so seems ready to lay them. So I TOOK OUT THE MALE as he may have another buffet, and once she lays eggs and the fry are free swimming we will take out most of the fry to a separate tank.

Heres the emergency issues:
1- the male seems very distressed not being with the female, should I put him back in even though he may eat the eggs?
2- the female also seems nervous, trying to kiss the male through the tank divider, they have been getting along well this one week as I think they are getting the hang of mating. So should I let the male back in?
3- Any basic advice on breeding? Is it just me being too nervous or do you think separating them right before laying is breaking their hearts?

Thanks for any advice from the experts here.
Im posting for my daughter who is also as distressed as me over what to do, fyi.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Follow up question;

Are the eggs fertilized before being layed or after??
I think we are panicking so please help. If it's after then we need to open up the divider so the eggs don't go to waste, she has not layed them yet. When exactly are they fertilized? Thanks.
 

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after, the male fertilizes the eggs after they have been laid, they are not live bearers so the eggs are laid then fertilized (or not) by the male. what you could do is move the male to a new tank after the eggs have been laid, you also could purchase an egg bubbler or isolate the eggs in a small container and remove any fungused eggs. these fish may not be the best parents so that is sometimes the best option.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
thanks a lot for your reply, OMG so I should put the male back in with the female then? she has not laid them yet.
can you please describe a little how the male fertilizes the eggs and any behaviour I should be aware of?
About how long after the eggs are on a rock will he fertilize them?

After that I'm more than happy to put him back on his side of the divider (we call it the gate)
Last time, about a month ago, some sperm or whatever the male does must have seeped to the female side as I said, they were together *before* she laid eggs and yet there were fry swimming around a week later (all eaten by the female).
We have several africans breeding at the same time as well on other tanks so I'm super stressed as we don't have any experience with the south americans.
We use satellite tanks to raise the africans...will likely throw the GT fry into a bucket with an areator once/if they hatch and do daily water changes?
What if the male starts eating the eggs as during try #2? I've seen videos of how GT's are good parents and both protect the nest, why is our GT male an egg eater? He gets fed a plenty...

Thanks again for your help and any further clarification to the above.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Proud mom and dad with about 80 brown looking eggs :)
Leaving dad in tank as seems to be guarding well.
Will post photos in the next few days!

Thanks for all your help.
 

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Congrats on your spawning Green Terrors. :)
So, the fourth time may be the charm, hmmm? Sometimes it takes a few tries before a pair will get it right.
- How big is this tank your GTs are in?
- How much difference in size is there between the male and the female? Are they close to being equal in size? If the male is a good bit larger than the female, you can put in a 'partial divider' for the aquarium, with small holes in it just big enough for the female to pass through. The holes are made too small for the male to attempt. This lets the female get away from excessive male aggression if she needs to.
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If the tank is too small, the female may wind up eating the eggs or newly hatched fry because of stress. But if you can, I would leave the newly hatched fry in with the parents. In large enough tanks the male will pretty much roam out and about, and the female stays close to the babies. When the fry start swimming around everywhere in the tank, you can pull them out. If you have an established sponge filter(s) with air stone, that will work best for aerating your grow-out tubs or even plastic buckets for keeping the baby fish (don't use buckets that have EVER had soap in them!). And yes, daily water changes should keep the babies healthy and growing pretty well. Be careful, they grow quicker than you think! With too many babies in a bucket or something, you'll start losing them in there. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Auballagh, thanks a lot for all the good info.
Update, the eggs hatched 3 days ago and most, about 150 were fertilized. So to not put all eggs in one basket, we siphoned about half of the fry into a satellite tank currently housing mbuna eggs (I know gulp!). So after a day we didn't see any fry in the moms tank so we figured she had eaten all the kids and were glad we took half into the satellite, all who are doing fine and active. Surprise, the mom didn't eat all the kids, today we found her hovering over 20 fry so she may be getting the hang of being a mom.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Auballagh, the idea of the hole in the divider to let only the mom through is really great, will try to size it correctly as it seems like a really good idea. What we did in case anyone is interested, was to move the divider to make a 2cm gap between the glass where the dad could go visit mom when "needed". When I though his mission was complete I simply waited for dad to go back to his side as he swam back and forth every few minutes anyways and shut the gate. Last time the dad beat up mom after the eggs were laid and eaten, so we made sure that didn't happen again. The dad is HUGE Maybe twice the size of mom and is a good fish but living in a small apartment probably had him stressed, on top of the human kids stomping in front of the tanks (we have 8 tanks, counting buckets and every container we have fish and snails in).
 

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That's great! Sounds like your Mom fish is starting to get the hang of it. :)
To explain the partial tank divider concept a bit better, here is a video done by a guy named 'Andy Woods' in the UK,


It's a bit informal, but this guy is definitely one of my New World Cichlid-keeping heroes. He seen and done some amazing things with these fish, and has some really good info. In the video he explains how to (somewhat) safely breed a pair of Green Guapote', 'Beani' Cichlids, Mayaheros beani . And whew.... if you think the South American Green Terror, Andinocara rivulatus is an aggressive Cichlid species? The Central American, Green Guapote' is definitely on an entirely different level from that! :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Auballagh Thanks for the link to the videos I saw them very fun and good to see the holes are rectangular not circles as I envisioned. Update, most of the fry were eaten by mom or so I though as yesterday I could only see maybe 3 hiding under the rocks and today I came back to see probably 100 free swimming in the middle of the tank, all surrounding mom, this is in addition to the 100 we separated to the satellite tank!!! OMG what do we do now!!! We also stripped a yellow zebra African of about 8 fry, and have a yellow lab that's holding probably 15 based on her past labor, this is turning into a zoo!!

Photo to follow
 

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Looks like your Green Terrors are planning to take over the world - starting with your aquariums! :eek:
That's a really great picture, and your Mom fish looks awesome. She's just a little thing!
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Whew.... and definitely, congrats on all of the fry. :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks Dee!
Not to brag but here's 2 more photos, one of the mom and kids and the other of the satellite tank where we segregated about 50 "just in case".
When should we start feeding them? We can do crushed flakes or micro pellets, any suggestions or advice on feeding the fry and the timing? Thanks!
 

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It's all good! Pictures of Mom Fish with a cloud of fry around her are always awesome. :D
For feeding, the Mom Fish herself is gonna help you out with this. Uneaten particles of food ejected out of her gill rakers will definitely be enjoyed by the babies around her. It's really messy! And inevitably , the larger the adult sized Cichlid - the more particles of food are sent flying everywhere into the aquarium water like this.
For direct feeding, you can try this product made by Hikari called 'First Bites'. Small in particle size, and made for baby fish. This will serve as an initial, very rich source of pellet foundation food that will work great. Also, live brine shrimp will be appreciated. Try chopping up some black worms... And if you can get a hold of some mosquito larva, those babies will chow down on those things as well.
The important thing is variety, and provide multiple feedings per day.
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PLUS - don't forget to stay op top of your tank maintenance/cleaning routine. Baby fish, with those rich food sources and multiple, daily feedings can degrade the water quality in an aquarium, FAST! Nitrate buildup is definitely not healthy for those little guys, and will cause you all sorts of problems if things get out of hand in what may be smaller-sized grow out tanks for the baby Cichlids. I clean my grow out tanks DAILY, with pre-filter cleanings and 50 percent water changes to ensure everyone stays healthy and is growing out at a sustained, fast rate.

So, if you're doing it right? You will definitely be ready for that additional work load to end, and all of those baby fish to get sent off to their new homes! :oops:
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for the advice Auballagh!
The first photo above your reply is the satellite tank, hanging off another tank so it looks really dirty from all the algae, but I let it grow as I think the fry like to eat it.
As far as upkeep, this is my second job :) I spend a crazy amount of time each day looking after 5 tanks, 2 buckets and one satellite tank. I do lots of water changes, but from your advise it seems I need to increase the feeding variety and frequency, as I only feed morning and night, use non-brand pellets in different sizes, with the occasional treat of blanched veggies, blended into jello.
Ill look into the Hikari first bites.
Mom has eaten probably half the fry by now, big improvement from last time when she ate all of them a week after hatching. She seems to be stressed from the other fish in the tank, despite the divider keeping her and babies isolated, she will ram the divider all day long, like saying don't dare come here!! Anyways, still about 30 fry with her and the other 50 or so in the satellite. Next time we will try her alone in a smaller tank and see if her stress is reduced and more fry make it. As it is I have no idea what we would do with 70 new fish, on top of other africans that we are raising at the same time!
We are in defensive mode now, avoiding putting mating pairs together to stop the population explosion!
Im sorry I have not looked at your posts to see what fish you are keeping, etc, I will soon, once things settle a bit here, about to strip another malawi after this post, who's jaw seems about to blow up!
 
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