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Old 05-06-2011, 07:34 AM   #21
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Thanks WendiDell, Im going to check out that post, I just find it all so interesting... Now I want a bigger tank with mouth brooder ciclids cant wait to see pics..

ok checked out that post, VERY interesting!!! how big are these mouth brooders?
Rainbow, the Mama is a Kenyi Cichlid, she's on the small side at about 4" the Father Charlie is a Mbuna Red Top Zebra. Charlie is almost 6", hes pretty awesome. Here are pics. of both of them, remember I'm a crummy photographer . The close up of Charlies face is almost his actual size, he's a little bigger than the picture.

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Old 05-06-2011, 04:30 PM   #22
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I love them, thanks for sharing!
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Old 05-07-2011, 06:52 AM   #23
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I love them, thanks for sharing!
Are you kidding? I thank you for listening to me blathering on about my fish. It's like being a new parent and showing your new baby pictures all the time and hoping no one gets tired of hearing about it.
Nothing new to report Mama Rainbow is getting bigger and still staying under the terrace most of the time. Every now an then she'll come out for a minute or two so I can see her progress., then right back under.
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Old 05-07-2011, 10:11 AM   #24
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...I'm afraid it's the or, fertilization occurs after she picks up the eggs...
Pete had it right in post #16 of this thread (I've witnessed mbuna spawning events multiple times) that the eggs are collected by the female after fertilization:

The pair will circle a spot in the tank (usually a flat surface or within a protected cave), the male will stop and shake which induces the female to release a few eggs. They circle again and the male stops to fertilizes them. They circle again and the female stops to collects them. The process repeats until all eggs (12-40) have been released, fertilized and collected.

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The fry swim out on their own, but they hang out very close to moms mouth in case of any danger and she lets them back in to protect them.
The mother spits them out when she senses they are ready. I've seen mbuna moms spit fry in as few as 14 days following the spawning event to as many as 36 days (though the average is about 18-21 days).

In a maternity tank, I've had mbuna's spit 30+ fry on day 20, collect them back when I approached the tank and re-release them 4 days later.

While it's more likely that a in a maternity tank with just mom and her fry, she will take them in again when sensing they need protection, it's a bit harder to do in the main display tank. The fry will typically scatter to find hiding spots (most eventually will fall to predation by the other fish).

To maximize fry survival, I either relocate the mother to her own tank about 12 days following the spawn.

What will you do with all those hybrid fry?
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Old 05-07-2011, 12:42 PM   #25
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Pete had it right in post #16 of this thread (I've witnessed Mbuna spawning events multiple times) that the eggs are collected by the female after fertilization:

The pair will circle a spot in the tank (usually a flat surface or within a protected cave), the male will stop and shake which induces the female to release a few eggs. They circle again and the male stops to fertilizes them. They circle again and the female stops to collects them. The process repeats until all eggs (12-40) have been released, fertilized and collected.



The mother spits them out when she senses they are ready. I've seen Mbuna moms spit fry in as few as 14 days following the spawning event to as many as 36 days (though the average is about 18-21 days).

In a maternity tank, I've had mbunas spit 30+ fry on day 20, collect them back when I approached the tank and re-release them 4 days later.

While it's more likely that a in a maternity tank with just mom and her fry, she will take them in again when sensing they need protection, it's a bit harder to do in the main display tank. The fry will typically scatter to find hiding spots (most eventually will fall to predation by the other fish).

To maximize fry survival, I either relocate the mother to her own tank about 12 days following the spawn.

What will you do with all those hybrid fry?
You are right about the the fertilization, I was going by what I read in several articles the easiest to fallow was on sexing and breeding on this site, www.aqua-fish.net but it turns out that the process I described is how Peacock Cichlids do it. I saw the cichlid and the Malawi lake in the article and I misread it. Very sorry to all. I will be in less of a rush next time.
I already have Rainbow (momma) in a tank by herself. I want the little guys to be as safe as possible.
As far as the fry go I don't have the room for them in my tanks and I don't want them breeding with each other when they mature. So I plan on selling them on craigslist for a couple dollars each, free is never a good idea with living creatures. If they get it for free it's no loss if they forget to take care of it, so I'll only charge a little less than half of what mbunas cost at a FS.
I will also tell anyone who want to buy any that they are Kenyi/Red Top Hybrids and let them see Momma Rainbow and Poppa Charlie. Unlike a lot of FS that call the assorted African cichlids.
I figure the fry will either come out looking amazing because of their differences or they will come out muddy brown, who knows.
Now I have a question. How long after momma spits them out, hold that thought.
I almost forgot I didn't mean the fry just swim out of her mouth all willy nilly although way I wrote it does sound that way. I know it's momma who makes that decision, I wasn't very clear on that in how I worded it.
Back to my question, how soon after momma spits the fry out can they be safely given away?
As I said this is my first time with any type of fry so I have no idea how old they need to be. I don't mean what is the earliest but more of what age is the best to ensure their survival when move to someone else's tank?
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Old 05-07-2011, 01:54 PM   #26
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About 7-12 months to selling size or when they attain 1"-1.25"/2.5cm-3cm, which ever occurs first.

A hobbyist that is experienced at rearing mbuna fry (or fry in general) can take them a lot sooner than that.
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Old 05-07-2011, 05:30 PM   #27
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Looks like you'll be enjoying those babies for quite some time
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Old 05-07-2011, 05:51 PM   #28
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Your fish are gorgeous! Congrats on the upcoming babies!!
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:23 PM   #29
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Looks like you'll be enjoying those babies for quite some time
Sure does, that seems like a long time to to me. The fish I bought from the FS store couldn't be anywhere near that old. Some weren't quite an inch long and within 2 months they were 3+ inches. Mbunas grow really fast. I got Rainbow when she was 1" long 7 months ago and now she's going to be a momma.
If they really take almost a year to reach an inch then space won't be a problem. But I got Charlie at an inch and a half in June 2010 and he's 6" and still filling out. If the fry are that size when I can sell then I'm in a lot of trouble where space is concerned.
This could turn into a big OOPs.
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:30 PM   #30
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Your fish are gorgeous! Congrats on the upcoming babies!!
Thank you, I work very hard to make sure they are all happy and healthy and that none of them end up in any kind of stress.
The babies may be a bit stressful, I'm beginning to worry about this. We've had fish for 7 years and this is a first for babies, I wasn't really planning on it. But It will definitely be a learning experience.
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Old 05-09-2011, 11:09 PM   #31
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I can tell your doing a great job!! I'm sure the baby thing will go alright. You'll just have to wait and see. If yours grow that fast then the babies will have to as well right!! And I'm sure you can sell the at the same size you bought yours!! Keep us posted, how much linger will she be holding?
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Old 05-10-2011, 12:55 AM   #32
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I can tell your doing a great job!! I'm sure the baby thing will go alright. You'll just have to wait and see. If yours grow that fast then the babies will have to as well right!! And I'm sure you can sell the at the same size you bought yours!! Keep us posted, how much linger will she be holding?
Thank you Tasha for all your supportive words they really do help.
As far as the due date goes, I'm not exactly sure. I noticed her throat bulging a bit just 8 days ago, it seems longer to me but that's when I posted it and separated rainbow from the others.
For a Kenyi like Rainbow, it takes 21 days. For a Red Top Zebra like Charlie can take a few more days. Either way we have about 10 days before any babies, I think. it depends on how far along Rainbow was when I noticed her throat swelling. Which I'm guessing was early on, because I check out each of my fish from nose to tail from right to left every morning and every night, for signs of injury or disease.
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:27 PM   #33
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...I got Charlie at an inch and a half in June 2010 and he's 6"....
That's an insane mbuna growth rate right there.
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Old 05-10-2011, 10:24 PM   #34
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Pete had it right in post #16 of this thread (I've witnessed mbuna spawning events multiple times) that the eggs are collected by the female after fertilization:

The pair will circle a spot in the tank (usually a flat surface or within a protected cave), the male will stop and shake which induces the female to release a few eggs. They circle again and the male stops to fertilizes them. They circle again and the female stops to collects them. The process repeats until all eggs (12-40) have been released, fertilized and collected.
The female will also follow the male trying to get the eggspot, the whole while he is continuing to fertilize
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Old 05-11-2011, 01:54 AM   #35
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That's an insane mbuna growth rate right there.
Is it? Charlie is the biggest fish in the tank. But I just started our Mbuna tank in June 2010, so I'm no expert on their growth. Charlie was in the very first group of Mbunas we purchased.
What would be normal growth rate? None are as big as Charlie yet but they aren't that far behind.
When we bought Charlie we also bought a Red Zebra, Sonny. He unfortunately killed the next three groups. Not all at once, but over a 7 month period before I could get rid of him.
Anyway that makes Charlie the oldest Mbuna I have, so I don't have any other fish the same age, with which to compare his size.
What's really nice about him is that he has never showed any aggression towards any of his tank mates.


Just as a side note. The only thing I've ever fed our sweet monster Charlie is NLS Grow, then NLS Cichlid. I guess the grow worked
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Old 05-19-2011, 12:54 AM   #36
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Nice Job separating out the mother from the main tank. One thing I would like to add though is that when she lets the babies go she will still take them back in for a few days like you talked about. However when a chiclid has babies for the first time they don't have any experince and if you don't separate the babies from the mom soon enough she may swallow some of them by mistake. What I would suggest is when you see her release them count them. Then the next time she releases all of them put in a divider. Start feeding the babies crushed flakes and start feeding the mom again. She doesn't eat at all while she has the babies so you want to feed her for a few days before trying to reintroduce her into the main tank so she is strong enough to fight off the initiall reintro aggresion. As far as the babies go make sure once they are separated that you feed them multiple times a day they need lots of food when they are little. I would say they are safe to sell when they are an inch how long that takes varies from fish to fish. Sorry for the long post I hope this helps!
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Old 05-19-2011, 02:06 AM   #37
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Nice Job separating out the mother from the main tank. One thing I would like to add though is that when she lets the babies go she will still take them back in for a few days like you talked about. However when a chiclid has babies for the first time they don't have any experince and if you don't separate the babies from the mom soon enough she may swallow some of them by mistake. What I would suggest is when you see her release them count them. Then the next time she releases all of them put in a divider. Start feeding the babies crushed flakes and start feeding the mom again. She doesn't eat at all while she has the babies so you want to feed her for a few days before trying to reintroduce her into the main tank so she is strong enough to fight off the initiall reintro aggresion. As far as the babies go make sure once they are separated that you feed them multiple times a day they need lots of food when they are little. I would say they are safe to sell when they are an inch how long that takes varies from fish to fish. Sorry for the long post I hope this helps!
I found the first fry last night. When I went to feed the main tank she also came up to the surface to eat for the first time since I removed her for the others. So I feed her and she ate like there was no tomorrow. I would love to count them but I wasn't really prepared for fry. I had a QT but it has gravel in it. The fry are so small that each fry can hide behind a single piece of gravel. I also have a low light in that tank to help lower stress. I'm lucky to have seen the 2 fry I did.
I've been feeding Rainbow (mom) NLS Grow since she's been without food for so long and I looked everywhere for NLS Fry food but no one in town carries it so I got stuck buying Hukari first bites fry food. So the fry are being feed also.
Rainbow doesn't seem to worried about the Fry, although she does go to her corner under the terrace where she had her fry. But she just goes and checks on them and then comes right back out and eats.
I have a very peaceful main tank. All my Mbunas get along very well, they even share territory. I worked very hard to get fish that got along, a lot of trading fish back to the FS and trying another one until I had a tank full of Mbunas that get along.
So should I just put Rainbow back in the main tank? Or should I let her eat for another day? While she's in the QT I've been feeding her 4 small meals a day. But I only feed once a day in the main tank, so Rainbow won't get as much attention as she does now.
I don't have any way to separate the fry that I can't see except to put Mom in the main tank and leave the Fry on their own.
AAAAAA!!!!! What do I do next? I'm so clueless.
Aside from all that above that I don't know. What do I do if the tank with the Fry needs a PWC? I can't see them, I could end up with Fry in the water going down the drain.
I never planned on babies, now I'm terrified I'll do something stupid and hurt or kill them, which would kill me.
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Old 05-19-2011, 02:27 AM   #38
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Well I would wait another day but it's up to you. As far as pwc I would wait till they get a little bigger I have had a few batches of babies (before I knew much about chemistry) and didn't do pwc's for a while till they got bigger and they all did well. Like I said it is up to you that's just what I have done.
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Old 05-19-2011, 07:55 AM   #39
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Well I would wait another day but it's up to you. As far as pwc I would wait till they get a little bigger I have had a few batches of babies (before I knew much about chemistry) and didn't do pwc's for a while till they got bigger and they all did well. Like I said it is up to you that's just what I have done.
That's more experience than I have and if it worked for you it's good enough for me.
Thank you so much for all your helpful advice.
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Old 05-19-2011, 01:19 PM   #40
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No problem glad I can be of some help. If your looking for some more people experienced with cichlids you can checkout a ciclid forum like midwest cichlids
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