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Old 06-29-2006, 01:38 PM   #1
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I'm a mother!

I was cleaning the gravel in my 120 gal tank of cichlid and noticed that I have a baby cichlid hiding under one of the large texas holey rocks. So I started looking under some of the other rocks and noticed another one. I never saw any eggs previously, but I may have missed them since my substrate is speckled black and white gravel. Anyway, most of my fish are large and I don't want the live babies to get eaten. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Should I invest in a quartantine screen (separates portions of the tank), should I start a small tank using some of the substrate and water from the existing tank to speed the cycle? Someone please help the new mama.
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Old 06-29-2006, 02:06 PM   #2
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What kind of Cichlids do you have?

I would get a 10 gal tank (tank, filter, heater) and set it up with some decor. Fry feel most comfortable with plants that they can hide in and hideyholes. Put something over the filter intake so they do not get sucked up. I use a mesh bag but unused pantyhose works too. To speed up the cycle use some substrate from the main tank in the fry tank. Then maybe use some of the plants and a rock. It should bring over plenty of bacteria. Just watch the ammonia and nitrite readings to make sure the tank does not have a mini cycle. Also, fill the tank with water from the main tank. That way they do not have to be acclimated.
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29 Gallon Lake Malawi Fry
55 Gallon Community
150 Gallon Lake Malawi Cichlid
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Old 06-29-2006, 03:36 PM   #3
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IMO I'd set up a 10g tank like FF said. It's better for the fry and they will grow faster. On the covering of the pick up tube, I use a spong off a trimming paint brush. You know the round roller ones you can get them at Wal-mart in the crafts area or paint area 3 for $1.50 and just pull the spong off and rinse it off and it will fit right over the in take tube of a HOB filter perfectly.
It'll save alot of fry from getting sucked up and is also a etra filter for the filter it's self.
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Old 07-02-2006, 01:48 PM   #4
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What kind of cichlids are they?
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Old 07-04-2006, 08:57 PM   #5
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Got the 10 gal

Thank you for the responses. I've just picked up a 10 gal and am setting it up right now. I'll post an update once I've transferred them.

I'm not sure what the babies are. I have a varied mix of cichlids in my tank. I have several malawian cichlids, several South American cichlids, a very large oscar, several cats and a couple of very large tin foils. I don't have 2 of any one cichlid so I'm kind of anxious to see how they turn out.

Again, I'll report back a little later. Thanks again.
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Old 07-04-2006, 10:29 PM   #6
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Wow you need to transfer media and get that tank ready ASAP, because that oscar will slurp down every last one of them NP.

Tip- When catching the baby fish use 2 nets- one as a guide.
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Old 07-05-2006, 11:16 PM   #7
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Transfer complete!

I quickly cycled a 10 gal tank by using some of the substrate from the main tank. I also transferred a plant and a couple of the holey rocks. I then filled it with water from the main tank and let it cure overnight. Also added a cycle quick start chemical.

Today, I transferred the 2 fry that I knew about using the 2 net method (thanks for the tip, goalorientation). Then I thought, 'I wonder if there are more under some of the other rocks'. My Easter fry hunt discovered 2 additional fry. So I have 4 little guys hiding out in their new home in one of the holey rocks. I'll report back again in a few days to let you know of their progress.

Thanks again everyone for the help.
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Old 07-06-2006, 06:14 AM   #8
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Wow congratulations. I'm interested in identifying the fish so post some pics of the fry when they're big enough for the camera. In the meantime feed them often so they grow nice and healthy. Adding these fry back to your 120 may not be an option due to the size of the fish in there currently (don't ask how I know I am psychic!). The 10 gallon should be more than plenty for at least a few months now, unless they're oscars, or crocodile's as my mom calls them. What are the fish species and number of each in your 120, to give us an idea of who could have bred them.
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Old 07-06-2006, 03:25 PM   #9
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Okay, so I transferred the 4 fish to the 'baby condo' and they love it! I fed them this morning and they are all swimming around openly, no longer hiding in the rocks. I'm pretty sure they aren't oscars since I only have one and he is a monster (almost considering starting a Jurassic Park tank for the oscar, the 2 large tin foils and the soon to be mammoth shovel head cat). Anyway, when the babes are a little larger, I'll post pics since I'll need some help identifying them.

Thanks again for the help. Check back in a week or so.
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Old 07-19-2006, 10:54 PM   #10
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I'm a mother! (again)

Wow, as posted earlier, I managed to save 4 fry that I discovered hiding under rocks in my well stocked cichlid tank. 5 days ago, I was privileged to actually witness the spawning of 2 of my african cichlids (I'm guessing that they are the parents of the 4 fry that now occupy my fry tank. She would lay an egg while her mate fertalized it, then she'd suck it up into her mouth. I watched while this mating ritual continued. She layed approximately 8 eggs that I witnessed.

So I read that the eggs may hatch in 3-4 days so I've been watching closely to see if she lets any of them out of her mouth. Haven't seen any yet but she sure is attracting a lot of attention from all the other cichlids.

I know what to do with cichlid fry that have grown up enough to transfer (see above). Now I need some advice on what to do with the ones that will come out of her mouth any day now. I know that the rest of my cichlids are looking at her like the next buffet so I want to try to get the fry once she can no longer hold them in her mouth. Should I invest in a little hang-on-tank fry compartment? If I do, should I put the mom in it while the fry are in her mouth? Should I wait until she expells them and try to net them (might not be there when she does this)? Any help would be most appreciated.
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