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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Right checked my fish this morning and one of my two orange fish (cant remember name at moment) seems to have dug a big hole in th corner of the tank. I just fed them and she did not seem to eat anything, she is spending half her time sat in this hole but does not seem bloated as if she has babies in her stomach and it seems a bit quick to have them in her mouth.

What i think is the father is very aggressive, so much so that i am going to put all my fish apart from the mother in my new big tank this afternoon, a bit sooner than i planned but i hope she is pregnant and dont want to loose and fry or any other fish due to parents being protective. Have put some pics below of the fish and hole

Do you also think she may be pregnant? as this would be my first time i am unsure



 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
she doesn't to be honest, is now sat under a rock on hee own, have seen her swallow and spit out a small stone just now though. She seems to have dug another smaller hole under a rock and is sat in thee now and seems very aware of me looking at her :lol:
 

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When I ahve had fish holding for their first time, they usually barely show. I think it takes some time to stretch out their throats and so they don't really show.

Does she open her mouth or keep it rather closed at all times?

My fish always seem to keep their mouths pretty tight when they are holding. But I do notice them rolling the eggs around some. Also the first time I feed them once they are holding they do show interest in food and then kinda realize they can't open their mouth to eat it.
 
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Cardiff said:
she doesn't to be honest, is now sat under a rock on hee own, have seen her swallow and spit out a small stone just now though. She seems to have dug another smaller hole under a rock and is sat in thee now and seems very aware of me looking at her :lol:
Could you get a picture of her mouth?

If you want to be sure, net her out and take a peak in her mouth by pushing her lips open using your finger nail.

Also, has her egg tube been protuding at all?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
She did that when i fed her! Also her mouth is pretty closed
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
i dont want to dig her out of the tank really, looking again the front of her does look a bit bigger than normal, around her neck etc
 
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CichlidWhisperer said:
When I ahve had fish holding for their first time, they usually barely show. I think it takes some time to stretch out their throats and so they don't really show.

Does she open her mouth or keep it rather closed at all times?

My fish always seem to keep their mouths pretty tight when they are holding. But I do notice them rolling the eggs around some. Also the first time I feed them once they are holding they do show interest in food and then kinda realize they can't open their mouth to eat it.
Well with my adult peacocks they have such huge broods (last female at about 3" long had about 25 fry) that for me it's obvious when they breed.

That's a good suggestion though about asking if she ever opens her mouth at all...

She could just be getting ready to breed if she turns out to not be holding after all...

~Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
my concern is i was going to move them all today to their 400 litre tank and leave her on her own but if she is only getting ready to breed i will disturb this process
 

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The malawi cichlids dont get "pregnant" in the way that they carry babies in their stomach.
So if her belly is swollen may be something else. That she is digging holes in the sand may be totally normal as some malawi species do this.

When she becomes "pregnant", she will play with the male, they will rotate around eachother, she will release eggs and he fertilises them and she will immediately pick them up with her mouth. This can last for an hour or so. She will then keep the eggs in her mouth till they are ready to be relised. This normally takes approx 3 weeks. The longer she carries the fry in her moth, the larger her "bag" under the jaw becomes. In Norway we call it chewing, because it looks as she is chewing, what she does though is rotate the eggs and then the fry in her moth to circulate them so that they get oxygen.

When she is due to release the fry it might be a good idea to catch her and help her release the fry and put them in a fry tank, as very very often the fry will not survive in the tank with other fish.

With your fish it might just be that she is building a safe cave to hide from the male if he is agressive towards her.

Pardon my bad English, i am Norwegian. But i hope you understood some of what i wrote :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
well she just picked up sand and spat it out so guessing she isnt :(

But she is definately acting strange and sitton in these holes alot
 

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Cardiff said:
my concern is i was going to move them all today to their 400 litre tank and leave her on her own but if she is only getting ready to breed i will disturb this process
In my oppinion, you should move her in your 400L with the others. She will anyway have no chance to breed by herself however much ready she is. It might be stressful for her to keep her all alone. If you have made caves with rocks in your 400 liters, she should have plenty of space to hide from an agressive male. My suggestion to you is to gently remove her from the 400 liter when you know for sure that she is "chewing" (eggs-fry) in her mouth.

I have a 540 Liter main tank for my malawi. I strippe the female when i see that she is about ready to relise the fry. Than i put the newborn fry in a 45 liter tank and let them grow there till they are big enough to be put in my 240 liter tank where i keep the fry that are older.

This works very well for me and i have a lot of fry now :)
 

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Cardiff said:
well she just picked up sand and spat it out so guessing she isnt :(

But she is definately acting strange and sitton in these holes alot
Well, she is definetly NOT having fry in her mouth then. A lot of malawi dig and spit sand to make caves they will feel safe in, so this is perfectly normal. She may be a bit stressed if the male is aggressive towards her, and she is trying to make a home for herself where she will feel safe.
 
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