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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My son and I have six N. Pulchers in a 55-gallon Tanganyikan community tank. We have had three spawns so far. But we're having a lot of difficulty identifying the pair responsible for the spawns.

Here's how it typically goes.

After we notice babies swarming around the opening of the cave, there is always one pulcher (the male?) aggressively guarding the entrance. That part of the pair is easy to identify. The question is, who is the other?

We wait until we notice which of the other five pulchers is tolerated. Usually, of the other five, two or three are hiding, and one is allowed near and even in the cave. So we pull the obvious pulcher, and the second probable pulcher, and place them in their own tank, hopefully to get a breeding colony going.

All three times, though, once we put the two in their own tank, they act like divorcees not on speaking terms. The primary guy is guarding the fry (whoever we were able to pull out), and the "probable" one is invariably banished to a corner. All three times. It's becoming very tiresome, because these are beautiful fish and we would absolutely love to see a breeding colony.

Questions:

(1) Why does only one pulcher guard the cave full-time in the community tank? I had heard that these fish are great parents, but all three times we've seen only one guard, and the parent is off having fun.

(2) Does the fact that the pair don't like each other in their own tank mean that we don't have a pair? or is that typical behavior?

(3) If we're not identifying the pair correctly, any suggestions?

We would appreciate any advice that you neolamp experts can give us.
 

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"leaving them" may not solve the main problem, which is, fry survival. The fry probably become breakfast rather quickly in the community tank. I think cblack is trying to setup a smaller breeding tank where he can have fry that surive past day 1.
 

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well, pulchers live in large groups in the wild. they can form colonies.
why would you take that away when its happening now?

and btw, we need more info on the tankmates.

to answer your questions
1) the one thats guarding is most likely female. the male will hover around the territory and defend.

2) you probably broke the bond when you did that

3)i would leave them. sooner or later, some fry will survive
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
jaja is correct. The two times I tried leaving the babies in the community tank, they survived a short time, but eventually all were hunted down. Just too many mouths. I'm trying to start a colony so that the fry can survive.

A couple of months ago I asked a guy at the GCCA swap meet who breeds daffodils what to do in the community tank so that the fry survive, and he said the only real way to do it was to isolate them in a breeding tank.

What I didn't suspect is that identifying the pair would be so difficult. As I said, every time I've done it, the pair don't end up on opposite sides of the tank. I'm at a loss as to how to proceed.
 

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What if you take them all out?
 

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The typical way of pairing fish is to remove the non-paired fish... it causes much less disturbance to the breeders. Stick all the daffs into your species tank, and then watch to see what's happening. Remove the non-paired/beat up fish back into your community tank.

This is an odd angle for a conversation about breeding brichardi. :wink: My experience, and that of a few others, is of too high fry survival and eventual decimation of all other species in the tank by the rampantly reproducing brichs.
 

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I agree with triscut. Put them in the tank you want them in, then one by one you will pull out the ones not in the pair. If you don't do it fast enough, they will kill the others not in the pair. You could always wait for them to do that too if you want. They will chase and beat on the others mercilessly! It will be obvious then.
 
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