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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've never bred cichlids, and always had mixed mbuna tanks. My male zebra obliquidens in my new tank has been looking great lately, and all over the females.

I noticed since this afternoon that one of the females is holding! I have a 10 empty, it has an airstone powered undergravel only for filtration and has been set up for awhile. When do I pitch her in? Should I do it right away? When do I take her back out of it? Should I attempt to strip her? She's staying towards the back of the tank, up high, not at the front looking for food like the rest of them. I really like these fish, wouldn't mind a tank of fry!
 

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Do you want the fry even if they are hybrids? Risk would be low if the spawn occurred in a tank with plenty of same-species females for each male (not just the obliquidens).

Is the 10G cycled (running with fish)? If not, start your spare filter for the 10G up on the main tank running side-by-side with the existing filters now.

I like to move the mom on day 18 and let her spit naturally, but nothing wrong with stripping if you want to or if she is getting too skinny.

Take her out of the fry tank within 24-48 hours of spitting the fry so she does not eat them.
 

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Stripping her and putting the eggs in a tumbler works great too, I have had problems with the females spitting or eating her eggs early and loosing all the eggs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The 10 is cycled, but there hasn't been fish in it for a month or so. I should probably keep something in it when it's not in use. The male has been very interested in both females, and I've seen them follow him. Most of the tankmates are mbuna, so not much worry of hybrids.

Should I put her in the 10 now so the male quits harassing her? If one of the other females is holding, can I put them together? I'm not feeling too confident yet about stripping/tumbling, maybe if another female is holding, I'll try. Thanks for the help!
 

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If there have not been fish in the 10G for a month, what is keeping the bacteria alive?

Mbuna and obliquidens can crossbreed...really any mouthbrooder, especially if you don't have enough females for each male. I like to have four for exactly the reason you are experiencing now...with one holding, there is only one for the male to focus all of his aggression on.

Holding moms do not like to share a tank, I'd choose one. It's fine to take her out now...many like to wait at least a week to be sure the eggs are fertilized first.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I took her out Sun Feb. 13, about a day after I saw her with eggs. Would I know if they weren't fertilized? Should I put her in a breeder in the 10 gal for a week after she spits them, or let her loose in the tank with the fry?
 

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If she is still holding now then the eggs are fertile. She would of spit the eggs by now if they weren't. After she spits the fry in the 10 gallon you want to move her back to the main tank within about 48 hours so she isn't tempted to start eating the fry.
Goodluck! :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
She spat about 20 fry in the 10 gal yesterday! I caught her and stripped the rest, about 20 more. A few took nibbles of crushed flake, and I started a bottle of brine shrimp for them. I couldn't find my breeding box thing (and loaned my spare out), so I put her in the main tank because she doesn't look skinny and is still pretty feisty.

I made the parts for a pair of egg tumblers. I have a m. exasperatus that has been holding for a few days, these may likely be hybrids. I only have 1 male, the female, and a juvenile female. I'm going to attempt to strip the eggs from her, and if they don't look like pure fish when they're bigger, I have a friend with an oscar!
 
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