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Advice sought. Lots of apparent breeding happening in my tank


Frenzy
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Good afternoon

Some of you may of read my post about the unexpected red jewel spawn. Well there was a learning curve for me. Didn't manage to save any of those eggs - I am pretty sure they were "loached" as a few of the good people here said may happen.

Well, it gets more complicated this week. This supposed display tank I have, with the supposed juvenile fish is looking like the obstetrics wing of a major city hospital - I think.

I've got fish with mouthfuls, fish with tubes hanging out of them, WWIII happening in all corners of the tank, big fat fish, dancing fish, courting fish, lunatic fish and whatever else that can be happening to an unititiated and unprepared newbie. I'm sure I've even seen teddy patterns in the gravel and mobiles hanging from the rocks

Background

The tank, 120x60x60, Ph 8, Kh 10, 5mm gravel base, Ammon 0.0, Nitrite 0.0, Nitrate 10, Temp 27C, now consists of

3 x EYs - doing nothing, only small at around 4cm each

3 x Lab Fuels - 1M & 2F - The male has become feral. Mainly towards his own girls, one of whom has this thingee hanging out ?egg tube? It's white and sort of puckered looking. Both girls Lab Fuels have become skittish. Biggest fish is 10cms

4 x Met Cals - 2M & 2F from different sources. One of these girls has what I think you experts call "a mouthful". Her gills are sort of expanding out from the covers and she appears to have like a double chin. She's also skittish and hiding in the rocks a lot. Not eating but doesn't look sick. Doesn't like anything coming near her hidey hole. The male of this quartet is a b**stard. He's nigh on 10cms as well

1 x Black Calvus - doing nothing 6cm

1 x Red Fin Kadango - doing nothing 10cm Female I think.

10 x Rustys - OK. There are 2 different pair bonds happening here. These fish are crazed. Forever dancing around each other at a million miles an hour. Playing chasings in and around the structures. 2 have turned purple. Males? 2 have these same white thingees protruding from their vents. Rustys from 2cms up to about 5-6cms.

Seems like a lot of hanky panky at the one time but then again I might be all wrong and they mightn't be in spawning mode.

Anyway, the loaches have been relocated. The other riff raff (3 gouramis and a rainbow) that were in the tank temporarily due to a filter breakdown have also been relocated.

I have available to use.

1 x 78 litre tank now set up with water taken from the main tank. It currently has the riff raff in it.

1 x 160 litre (120x40x30cm) tank which has been set up with 25% water from the main tank the rest fresh. It's all salted down, conditioned etc and is cycling as I write using the filter that broke but is already full of bio filtration as it came from another tank.

I was going to use the riff raff to help cycle this starting next Saturday.

1 x 90 litre tank which I have been growing my Calvus and Comp fry in. It houses 17, yes SEVENTEEN Alts of between 2.5 and 5cms. They are ready to be moved I'd guess. It's really only 1 White that is at 5cms. The others are like 3-3.5cm. One might be 4cm. Whatever. The biggest Gold Comp is 4cm.

OK people, your challenge is to provide me with expert advice on how to best manage this potential baby boom.

Which fish are best suited be with which others? Which, of the tanks I have available, would be best for each?

ARRRGGGHHHHHH this was supposed to be easy and relaxing. I wasn't expecting any of this fish sex stuff for ages. I thought the fish were too young and too small to spawn. Mind you, I'm not real good at fish sizing. What I think is 6-7 cms with the naked eye is more like 10cms if I put a ruler on the tank so maybe I've underestimated these fish.

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Hey Matt, I'm grinning from ear to ear reading your post about your new relaxing hobby. There are a number of choices that I can think of, and I'm sure others will have plenty others.

The first this is to decide what you really want a tank for. For breeding, for display, something inbetween or something else. Often these decisions are triggered by events that you discribe or excessive aggression by a particular species or individual.

If you want it just for display, you might be better going for just males. There will be aggression but no girls around to confuse things all the more.

You may want to keep fish from a particular lake or location only in the one tank. The once that is decided then maybe think more about compatibility.

If you want them to breed, then some species are best suited to species only tanks while others can be mixed. When having a tank of mixed species you need to be careful about potential crossing between species. As you know I try and stock several of each species, to increase the options for the boys, while for some species I stock at least 3 males which actually seems to provide balance. I've found that this works really well, although all these fish have been raised from a young age. Introducing new males to a tank with a single mature male of a certain species could be disastrous.

Have you seen the cookie cutters on the cichlid forum? They can help you sort out the compatibility issues and while creating an interesting collection of fish.

For the fish you have now, I'd probably move the aggressive males to a seperate tank, particularly if they are beating up females or other fish. The holding fish can usually remain in the tank for 2-3 weeks before attempting to strip them, or yo couldplace them in a fry net and wait for the females to naturally release the fry. Then once released you could place the female back in the tank.

It took me a while to sort out what I wanted to keep and how best to set it up. There is often a temptation to get lots quickly and then find out that there is trouble in paradise. I know you want to get those comps and calvus breeding one day so maybe think about set ups surrounding those guys.

All the best mate

Bruce

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Hey Matt, I'm grinning from ear to ear reading your post about your new relaxing hobby. There are a number of choices that I can think of, and I'm sure others will have plenty others.

haha. Well bruce I found a way to make it relaxing last night after I posted. I just sat and watched. Observing the behaviours was interesting and I guess another part of the learning curve.

The first this is to decide what you really want a tank for. For breeding, for display, something inbetween or something else. Often these decisions are triggered by events that you discribe or excessive aggression by a particular species or individual.

If you want it just for display, you might be better going for just males. There will be aggression but no girls around to confuse things all the more.

You may want to keep fish from a particular lake or location only in the one tank. The once that is decided then maybe think more about compatibility.

OK makes sense. The tank with all the activity was meant as a display only tank but as you say the current circumstances seem to have set off the breeding bug in me. I think I told you bruce that I was a long time breeder of dogs. Boxers. The same instincts I had then are coming out now and the main one is to get the young to survive. I used to go to extreme lengths to save a sick or distressed puppy. I have the same urge now to ensure any baby fish survive. Don't know why that is, must be just me

So I'll digest all the advice and act in the best way I can

One thing for sure. Some re design is imminent.

If you want them to breed, then some species are best suited to species only tanks while others can be mixed. When having a tank of mixed species you need to be careful about potential crossing between species. As you know I try and stock several of each species, to increase the options for the boys, while for some species I stock at least 3 males which actually seems to provide balance. I've found that this works really well, although all these fish have been raised from a young age. Introducing new males to a tank with a single mature male of a certain species could be disastrous.

Yeah I like your setups especially your display tank which actually showed me that a few carefully chosen species that go well together looks just as good as a tank full of colours for colours sake. It was at your joint that I took notice of shapes, size and other factors to be honest.

All my fish were young when I got them. All come from as different a source as I could e.g I have 3 EYs from 3 different LFS. Same with the cobalts. I actually have still considered them all to be juvenile up till this week and maybe that's why I wasn't expecting all this breeding activity.

At least my water must be good :) That's something ha ha

Have you seen the cookie cutters on the cichlid forum? They can help you sort out the compatibility issues and while creating an interesting collection of fish.

I have now bruce. I searched it up and went through a few of them. They are good by the look of it and several fit well into my "grand plan" in so far as there are some combinations there that include all the fish I like in one way or another. Thanks for that tip.

For the fish you have now, I'd probably move the aggressive males to a seperate tank, particularly if they are beating up females or other fish. The holding fish can usually remain in the tank for 2-3 weeks before attempting to strip them, or yo couldplace them in a fry net and wait for the females to naturally release the fry. Then once released you could place the female back in the tank.

ahhhhhh Great. I've been worried about stressing the mothers by trying to catch them to move them. If I read you correctly I can just as easily move the males out which will be definitely easier. Any fish is hard to catch in my tank with my short arms and too short nets :lol2: The males are not hiding though and very gregarious and outgoing so it looks like it will be them to move house for now.

It took me a while to sort out what I wanted to keep and how best to set it up. There is often a temptation to get lots quickly and then find out that there is trouble in paradise. I know you want to get those comps and calvus breeding one day so maybe think about set ups surrounding those guys.

I've "sort of" got it all sorted in my head. Another mistake I think I've made was concentrating on my future plan, which involves the Comps and Calvs and while looking after the fish in the display tank well not really considering consequences like the breed-a-thon happening now. The Calvs and Comps are my faves no doubt and I spend inordinate amounts of time just watching them. TV only goes on for the Sharks games now!! :lol2:

Well anyway, they are all too young and small to breed for now so I'll get this other tank right before I do any more planning for the Tang tank I want based around the Calv OR comps (won't be having breeding age fish in the same tank) :)

Cheers bruce

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OK brucem and other dudes who might read

Been busy today.

Step 1

Was a trip to the LFS to get some long handled nets because my short arms and deep tank was proving to be unworkable.

Whilst there spoke to the LFS guy and told him what was going on. I put it to him that it would be real good if he could take some of the fish I bought from him back. Didn't want to part with any of them but you gotta do what you gotta do. So a deal was done and the 3 Lab Fuels and the 3 Red Jewels are off back to the LFS tomorrow. He was actually good about it and got keen when I told him they were all spawning.

He'll give me some sort of credit as well but it's not about dollars at this stage.

bruce, you know the guy and he's a real top bloke.

Step 2

I managed to get hold of the 2 holding rustys and 1 holding Met Cal and they are now in the same tank as they were before but are living in their own little maternity wards.

Step 3

Removed Calvin the Black out to the now cycled 4 footer in the shed. With him went the Met Cal males, the other female Met Cal and the lone Tropheus Bulu Point that I'd forgotten to mention.

Step 4

Extraction of the Lab Fuels and Hem Lifs to their temporary accomodation. The 78 litre tank. It's only for one night and tomorrow they return to where they came from. I'm running an extra airline into that one for the night.

So that leaves in the main/display/whatever it is tank, 3 Labido. Caers., the Kadango, and the colony of 12 Iodo. Sprengs. (less mothers)

Let me tell you, the tank is now sssssssooooooooo boring and devoid of activity I can't call it a display tank any longer

However might give the EYs a chance to grow as they are terribly slow growing. Is this normal for E. Yellows?

Plan for Sunday

Step 5

I'm going to move either the 5 White Calvs or the 12 Gold comps into the "main" tank. I'm open to advice on which will be the better option.

After that, I'm just waiting to see what happens with the mother fish. I'll try and tee someone up to come around and have a look at them and advise re stripping.

So that's where I'm at peeps

Seem to be going OK

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