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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone know the answer to this question? If left to their own devices in a tank with only other N. Pulcher, what is the survival rate for fry? I've not really been doing much, just keeping the water clean and shooting in some pulverized spirulina from time to time. I have about 6 or 8 (hard to count) from a spawn that's about 2 or 3 weeks old (again - hard to tell when it happened). Last night I noticed a cloud of brand new free-swimmers just inside the mouth of another one of the caves.

Thanks,
Steve
 

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I don't know the exact rate, but it's never been 100% or even close for me, for some reason or other. But, that's probably a good thing as they can still populate a large tank in short order. I start with a cloud of approx 30-40 and I'd guess about half or slightly less end up growing out. But, that's only a guess as it's hard to tell with all the rock work. I don't think it's a feeding issue or anything being done 'wrong' necessarily. And I'm really not going for max fry survival with pulcher's, as there's not a high demand.

I just read a fascinating article in the latest issue of Cichlid News, btw, on pulchers. A study was done where groups were marked and observed daily. They marked the dominant male/female and what they called 'helper' adults. They experimented with removing dominant individuals to observe what fish stepped in to replace them. It supports what I've experienced in my own tank with one male, one dominant female, and two other adults as the core group. So, if starting out with pulcher's, don't be in a hurry to remove all extra's once you get a pair because you may be removing important members of the core group. Anyway, I'd highly recommend the article. Some very interesting behaviors were observed and reported. One in particular that we'll never see in our tanks.
 

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Assuming they are in a tank of their own, with no predation...

There isn't going to be a "standard" survival rate. The cleaner the water, and the better the food supply, the higher the survival rate is going to be. Special fry foods, Live Baby Brine Shrimp... all will help the survival rate go up... if that is what you want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
prov356 said:
I just read a fascinating article in the latest issue of Cichlid News, btw, on pulchers. A study was done where groups were marked and observed daily. They marked the dominant male/female and what they called 'helper' adults. They experimented with removing dominant individuals to observe what fish stepped in to replace them. It supports what I've experienced in my own tank with one male, one dominant female, and two other adults as the core group. So, if starting out with pulcher's, don't be in a hurry to remove all extra's once you get a pair because you may be removing important members of the core group. Anyway, I'd highly recommend the article. Some very interesting behaviors were observed and reported. One in particular that we'll never see in our tanks.
This is very interesting, Tim. What I have noticed is that of the 5 adults in the tank, there seems to be a dominant male who is breeding with two females. One of the females seems to be a little more dominant than the other, though. I have no idea what the sex of the two remaining fish are. When I first noticed the young, those two were cowering in the upper part of the tank, but after a few days, they returned to their usual caves, and now seem to be "patrolling" int the area above the cave of the more dominant female. I suspect that these two may be the "helper" adults. I should note that I think all of these adults were products of a single spawn when I purchased them at the store.

You've provided me great information. I never even new that there was a magazine devoted to Cichlids, but you can bet I'll be subscribing. I'm not going for a 100% survival rate. I like to let things progress as naturally as I can, although I do provide food and a proper environment for my fish. This is truly becoming one of the most interesting experiences of my many fish-keeping years.

Best,
Steve
 
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