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Too many fry

3147 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  gmaschke

I have a 90 gallon African Cichlids tank with a problem I don't know how to approach.

I started the tank with 15 assorted Malawi Cichlids and I thought that they will have enough room to roam.

I didn't think about fry and I didn't think I will have many fry because I decided not to separate the females when they have fry in their mouth.

I find myself today with about 20 fry, most of them are Metriaclima Estherae (Red Zebra) and as I write this question one of my Metriaclima Estherae females is carrying again fish.

I thought of catching the small fish and give them to my lfs but I have 250lbs of holey rocks and it is impossible to catch them since they are hiding in the rocks the second they see the net.

what should I do to control this about to be over crowded tank?

Thank you in advance,
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Uhoh the problem is most lfs wont take them unless they are saleable size. My suggestion to you is get a breeder tank, the clear plastic ones that hang over the side or similar and try to catch as many as you can. Leave them in the tank until they grow out a little and then try bringing them to your lfs. They may take them at the size they are now but they might not give you any credit for them. Good luck!
I have heard that synodontis catfish are real good at eating unwanted fry. Dont have any myself but read a lot posts where people use these as "fry control". Would also keep it down in the future too.
Well the first problem is...are the fry pure. If not you would be doing the hobby a favor if you keep them in your home for their lifetimes. If you don't have tank space, there is the dreaded cull option which is why I like to avoid mixes that can hybridize up front.

They are likely to be pure if you have 1m:4f Metriaclima estherae in your tank and no other Metriaclima species or Labidochromis caeruleus. Especially if all other males have at least four females of their species in the tank as well.

A group of 5-6 Synodontis multipunctatus will help you with the problem ongoing, but they only eat newborn fry so if your juveniles are 1/4" or more you still have those 20 to consider.

You can also streamline your rocks so babies will not be able to hide...holey rock might be out.

You can remove females so that the fish cannot create fry.

You may have to remove decor one time to get the fry or remove females or small rocks or whatever you decide to do for fry control, but then you should be in better shape. :thumb:
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Thank you all for the helpful replies.

I do think that the fry I have are all pure but I can't really tell.

I have a few rounds of fry, when the first round of fry is about 1.5" now and the latest round are about 1/4".

I do think I will have to take the rocks out of the tank for moving the fry, which will be a nightmare since I have also a lot of live plants (mostly Amazon Sward) that are beautifully planted between the rocks.

I have in my tank 5 Frontosas, which are about 2" now. Will they start eating some fry once they get bigger?

I know it is arguable to mix the fronts with the cichlids but so far they are all getting along.

Thank you once again for all the replies.

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The Fronts will eat fry but Synodontis Multipunctatus cats will catch more believe it or not. I keep them in my tanks and in 3 years found one cat fry and one demasoni fry that made it. And I have several fish holding at a time in that tank.
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