While she probably won't have 50 little ones her first time holding, that's how many my last one gave me. I've also discovered they run smaller than mbuna fry, and are more easily damaged from the outside by other picking fish. I'd recommend a separate tank.
she seems to have been holding for about a week now. She hasn't eaten at all, yet she continues to bump the food when she sees it. I still havent been able to see into her mouth, slightly cincerned that she may be sick and not holding. I realized this morning that she has some damage on her tail fin, and t he other fish (just the male) are chasing her around the tank.
Should I seperate her now?
She looks like she is hlding, but i can't see anything in her mouth... can i seperate her and look into her mouth with out stripping her?
Any other thoughts or idea would be very helpful.
I would move he to a hospital/nursery tank to be safe but if you open her mouth she will probably spit. I would monitor the situation and see what happens. Even if you cant see in her mouth you should be able to see swelling of the lower jaw.
yup, I would move her in both case if she is sick you dont want to contaminate the other fish, but if she is holding she seems to get harrassed by the male so it might be better to put her in a tank by herself.
Try to observe her, she will probably tumble her eggs, she will look like she is eating something from now and then, even tough she goes up to the food but stoping very close(realizing her mouth is already full)... usually a sick cichlid will just try to eat but will spit out the food... The other thing you can watch to see if she is holding, is the swelling under her mouth and she will be looking like she is "breathing harder" opening her gills more than usual to oxygenate the eggs.
okay, so i will be moving her asap.
I really believe she is holding. How long until it will be more than obvious for me (someone who has never seen this before) to see the eggs and or fry?
Would it be safe for me to put her in a breeder net until she releases the fry? Then put the fry into a container that hangs on the side of the tank. (dont yet know what that is called.)
I am kind of short on space do to the fact that my other tanks are occupied with cichlids also.
You can really obviously see her chin sticking out when she is holding. My a. latifasciata's chin almost goes vertically down from her mouth! Her chin will start to look black with eyes after they hatch and get bigger.
Let her spit them on her own, and when you see fry, check that she isn't still holding any so she will eat again. Mine are more likely to get nipped fins when they are holding, and sometimes hide behind the filters.
It should be obvious immediately due to the bulge under her chin as stated. This does not necessarily become larger as the fry grow. Also the chewing motions she makes as she constantly shifts the eggs/fry.
She may hold longer than necessary if you keep her in a breeder net until she spits. Also it is not much room for an adult fish. Finally, if the breeder net will house the fry inside the main tank, the adults will suck the fry bodies through the net (yes the net is too fine for them to fit through intact) and kill them. This has been known to happen overnight.
If you don't have room to raise the fry right now, maybe let her spit in the main tank and raise the next batch? The fry tank will need to have an established filter and a heater.
I consider a 10g or so an absolute necessity! You can use it for fry, a hospital, jail, or quarantine for new fish. It's cheap to medicate, easy to catch fish, easy to change water. Mine has an UG filter, and egg tumbler, and always has fish in it, plus a resin stump thing with java fern covering it.
The tank doesn't need to be cycled, the filter does. If you put her in another tank, a filter from an established tank must go with her or SHE AND THE FRY WILL DIE. Is there a filter that can go with her? Even from one of the other tanks?