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Gah... jumped the gun on isolating holding female

415 Views 3 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  DJRansome
Hi everyone, it's been a while since I've posted anything but I could use some tips or advice here. I have a 26 gallon tank that house only 4 Yellow Top Mbambas - it appears there are 3 females and one very happy male. :D

I specifically keep these in a separate tank from my other 55G cichlid community because I was hoping to breed these. These 4 are actually from various offspring of my other fertile Yellow Top Mbambas who have since fallen victim to overzealous males. :( I didn't think any breeding would be going on this soon as this one female is fairly young but I happened to notice she wasn't eating - just swimming around like she was going for a pellet but never opened her mouth. I noticed a slight bulge in the buccal cavity and hoped for the best. It's been awhile since we've had any holding cichlids and I was used to the older, larger females where it was very obvious they were holding, so much so that my 9 year old could tell me.

Since I wasn't expecting this to happen yet, I wasn't sure how long she's been holding but as she was looking very stressed with the male and another female (who, by the way, appears to look like she's about to lay eggs soon as well) constantly chasing her . I decided maybe it had been long enough to coax her into a breeding tank. It didn't take much effort to get her in but the confined space took getting used to. A bit later I noticed she had prematurely spit out a fry :( It's swimming around but it's egg sac is still very prominent... does this little bugger have any chance of surviving? She doesn't seem to want to "take it back" so I'm just wondering what I can do. I have a 10 gallon tank at the ready if need be.

Any suggestions?


Just an update: just went to check on "Little Squirt" and it appears Mama fish took him back. :thumb: (or he got sucked thru the side vents from one of the bigger fish :-? )
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Why wouldn't you put her in the 10G? Glad she took the fry back.

Research tumblers in the DIY forum for next time you have a fry that is too immature.
I hesitated putting her in the 10G b/c this being her first batch, I was worried she might spit ALL her fry out if I netted her. It happened one other time with another newbie-mom cichlid we had ... so I guess I was a little gunshy about doing that.
I bet now that she is in the breeding net you could just lift her over to the new tank. IME most of the time it takes a pretty serious chase to make a mom spit fertilized eggs into a net.
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