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Following my last post about my keyholes behaviour she spawned but I don't think he did his job! After 24-30 hours a lot of the eggs were white, and after 48 hours there was fungus. I did a water change yesterday, and got bitten! Surprised how strong 3 inch keyholes are!!

After my last post I reorganised the tank and they split up for 5 days!! Their pair bond was only strong again for a short while before she spawned. So I'm scared to remove the eggs as they are still guarding them?! Can I remove them?? They are heavily covered in fungus, not eating them (which I don't particularly want them to now), and I'm concerned it's harmful/toxic for the tank. But also don't want a repeat of them splitting up as he really went for her.

Thanks
 

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Yes, it IS kind of surprising when they do that! :eek:

https://www.cichlid-forum.com/phpbb/vie ... 3&t=453847

And, helps to explain how a female in the spawning pair can be left looking like she's been run over by the lawn mower a couple times or something..... So yes, it will probably be best to siphon out those unviable eggs. At this point, they are certainly not doing the water quality in your aquarium any favors. What you could try in this rather fraught situation is tape a dowel rod or something onto the siphon hose. This will help a LOT to keep your fingers and skin outta the water - and hopefully safe from those egg-protective Cichlids!
As for the male in the pair attacking the female.... Unfortunately, the physical dimorphism (M/F size disparity) in Keyholes is not as pronounced as it is in some species. With Green Terrors or even Guapotes you can install a sheet of egg crate in the tank with holes cut in it that are just large enough for the smaller female to safely pass through.


As shown in Andy's (Sorry, rather informal...) video, that will help a lot to keep the female safe if/when the male gets too rough. If the partial tank divider thing won't work, (M/F too close in size to each other) you may have to try the egg crate divider in there without the holes in it. That will visually help to keep the pair bond going at least, without having to risk your female getting beat up badly by the male.
 
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