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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sad news... :(

I almost posted on New Year's Day because my lone female Kilesa was holding for the first time. The group was 6m/1f, and I grew them out over the last year and a half in a 55. I was excited, and was thinking to get advice on whether to move her or not once the 6' tank I've been setting up was cycled and ready for fish.

Sadly, the next day she had spit or swallowed her eggs. I chalked it up to inexperience, and didn't worry as she seemed her normal self, eating and swimming with the group. A day went by, nothing unusual. The next morning, I looked in the tank and she was dead.

In the past I've lost female cyp utinta shortly after they showed signs of holding as well, and I also have a large male cyp population in the 120 that houses them (now 7m/2f)--are my females getting stressed out by overzealous males at a time when their systems are weak or compromised?

Today, for the first time, a female cyp micro in the same 55 gallon tank is holding. I couldn't believe it--I'm excited and worried at the same time. I observed some really neat breeding behavior between her and the male (there are 2m/4f) in this tank, but I don't want her to get stressed to death, especially as I'm right on the cusp of having a larger home for them.

I haven't tested my water this week, but if anything I've improved conditions a bit lately, which may explain the breeding. (My nitrates were around 20ppm with weekly water changes about a week or two ago, so I did careful filter maintenance and added some purigen. Filtration is an Eheim 2026 and an Aquaclear 70.)

I guess this is part of the hobby, but I wish I could do something to help out these females. :( I could add some more rockwork, or if need be move the male to the other established tank. He is a little pushy.

It does make me think that the people who give what can seem like conservative advice on tank sizes are right if you take into account things like adult size, breeding behavior, etc. I dunno if that explains everything, but I can't help feeling it's a factor. I had hoped to have moved these guys to a larger tank a long time ago... sigh... sometimes life intervenes.

Well, here's hoping Furcifer158 raises some female kilesa to shipping size and maybe you guys can help me raise some cyp micros. 8)
 

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So sorry to hear of your losses. It seems when growing out groups of fry you always end upwith too many males and no enough females. Its hard to say exactly the problem without pictures of your tank.

I have a group of cyp unita that I grew out from fry. ended up with 6males and 3 females. 1 female always seemed smaller than the group and she disappeared one day. Then I had a female holding which I was able to strip but being my first time breeding anything she died within 24 hours. This left me with 6 males and 1 female. She started to get harassed and stopped eating as well but I was lucky enough to have a local breeder that had adults for sale. Bought 3 females and 4 males( came as a group) to raise my totals to 4 females and 10males. Still very male heavy but with so many males they display and chase constantly and the 4 females are left alone. Now most here will tell you if you go purchase a group of 14 cyps with 10 being male it wont work, and Ill admit for breeding purposing it isnt the best as I only get fry every couple months whereas if i had 10females to 4 males Im sure id churn out fry like no tomorrow,but *** had this colony for well over a year full grown with 0 deaths. Everyone eats they are all plump and healthy.

Now if I also told you this is all in a 29gallon tank and I only do a water change once every month or two people would really consider me crazy. I planned on upsizing and when I started I did multiple water changes weekly adding buffers and all kinds of stuff to the tank but dont have the time anymore. A little bit of Purigen, a ton of live plants, and a million hiding spots for everyone has kept my tank going. And honestly, they seem more vibrant now than they did when I changed water weekly and added chemicals!!

Lesson here, every keeper and every colony is different and what works for some may not for others. I cant talk about your sandshifters since I did feel my tank would be to small for anything but shellies in that area, but with cyps they need cover. Many will tell you cyps are open water fish but this is only partially true. They swim in the open water ABOVE rock structures and sleep on the sandbed. Micros are considered by many to be even more clingy to rocks and caves than the other variants. Treat them like paracyps, have tall rock structures that reach to the surface of the tank with a couple caves. The females need a place to retreat and adding vertical breaks will break the line of sight with males. *** witnessed when my females hold the holding female usually hangs near the bottom of the tank very close to the rocks or under leaves where the males cant see her, or schools with the other 3 females so the males chase the plump fertile girls and leave the holding one alone.
Best of luck
 

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I agree habitat quality is more important than tank size. That also means having appropriate water quality. In boro's case, it sounds like his live plants are keeping is WQ in check. I also agree that cyps need cover- they need quiet places to sleep and hide that aren't claimed by another species.

Having overwhelming m:f ratios aren't going to help females survive. While there is no magic number, having more females than males will cause less stress for the females. It's not that your males are overzealous- it's that the females can't get away from all the attention. That said, however, I do not recommend isolation for holding female cyps. They are a schooling species, and can become highly stressed when separated from their school. If you can't get more females, I'd remove a few males- look to see which ones are of the best breeding quality, keep those and sell/trade the others.
 

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triscuit said:
Having overwhelming m:f ratios aren't going to help females survive. While there is no magic number, having more females than males will cause less stress for the females.
Which is why coming across females is so darn difficult sometimes!! :lol: Im always on the lookout for more unita females but everytime I find some there are always more males than females in the group for sale!
 

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If you buy from a retailer, you should be able to choose. I know it's more expensive than buying from a hobbyist, but may be cheaper than losing the fish you have.
 

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Year, Im kind of concerned to buy from a retailer though, everything has been working out great in the tank for so long now, everyone is eating and happy no cyp wasting here which I know is a huge problem sometimes with these guys.

I have 14 fry growing out the oldest from the first female I lost due to my inexperience :( is about 2inches and ANOTHER MALE!!, he is the only one from that group since it was also my first time raising wigglers and I lost the rest. It didnt help it was during a massive snowstorm and we lost power and the tanks temp dropped to the high 60s overnight! Since then *** had a couple groups and they range in size from .75inches to about an inch and a half that I cant sex yet. I lost a large group of fry to a storm that knocked out my power sent the fry tank into a minicycle over a year ago! See a pattern, I think I need a generator! :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the responses.

I'm inexperienced with raising fry as well, and haven't had much luck (or enough time, really), to devote to the process.

The micros I've got holding now don't have a ratio problem--it's 2m/4f, as mentioned above--but one male really dominates the tank. Tank decor consists of open sand with thin, flat rocks leaning up against the back and the corners of the tank, plus some Java moss and a Java fern.

The holding female is now hanging out in the top corner above a vertical rock near the spraybar, and the male is paying attention to one of the other females. The other male and two females spend most of the day laying low behind one rock.

Right now it seems okay, but I'm wondering about putting the two males (or at least the dominant one) with my utintas until the new tank is cycled, and leaving the four females with the male kilesa.

How long until I should see fry? Assuming I can relocate the kilesa in a couple of weeks, I could leave the 55 to just the female micros and see what happens... :fish:
 
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