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Discussion Starter · #62 ·
Well, one of the females has been hiding in her little PVC cave for the past three days. I got a flashlight and can see maybe 30-40 surprisingly large eggs stuck to the ceiling of the pipe - 3 or 4 times larger than angelfish eggs. Man, does she ever look thin. :) The male doesn't stray too far away.

Do y'all think they have a chance to raise them in a community tank that's this busy?
 

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My P. "Moliwe" were in their own tank when they spawned. But judging by how expert they were at keeping the fry close together, as well as them operating as a team; if any fish were to succeed in a mixed tank, I'd think they'd be the ones! Another advantage is that they do not require tiny live foods like the Apistogrammas. Even if they just get a third or quarter of their batch past any predators, that would be enough. After their second or third spawn, you'll be glad there is some natural 'thinning of the herd' taking place!;)

In my large display tank, my Congo tetras have gotten very lazy about chasing down fry. I've got a burgeoning Endler population that has run amok! I guess they know they can count on their regular pellet rations and expend much less energy - the SMUCKS! When I had African Butterfly Cichlids, Anomalochromis thomasi, spawning in that tank, I think it was the Rummy nose school which always did the damage. Those parent could keep their fry for about 5 days. Then as the fry would wander higher above the substrate they'd be gone. The taeniatus fry grow quicker so they may get large enough while the parents keep them in a concentrated spot.

Of course, do let us know how they manage. Looking forward to pic too!
 

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Congrats Bryce!

Do y'all think they have a chance to raise them in a community tank that's this busy?
I'd venture to guess that even if you do nothing to intervene, you'll get at least some survivors. If you want to use a bit of a safety net, it helps greatly to stick some sort of a night light (not moonlight) on the tank until the fry are big enough to fend for themselves.
 

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Congratulations! IME they sometimes take a couple of attempts to raise a brood successfully, especially in a community tank, but they will do it after a try or two. Some get it right first time too. The nightlight is a great idea, on for at least an hour or so after lights out it will give them time to put the babies to bed!
 

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Discussion Starter · #66 ·
I came back from a short vacation today. The fry are now free swimming and the mom is moving them about regularly. I think there are 20 or so but it's pretty hard to tell. She keeps them in pretty dense cover.
 

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Discussion Starter · #69 ·
Well, today the mom let me get a decent look at the little ones. She usually keeps them wrapped up tightly in the heaviest cover available. Being a 180g tank, it's pretty hard to see everywhere. Literally, I've seen them 4 or 5 times total since they became free-swimming. Today she had them packed in around the lower roots of some Blyxa japonica. They're amazingly adept at pecking around for food. Like their parents, they seem to be perfectly happy scavenging off of the lower levels of the tank. They are growing, which is reassuring. Getting food directly to them would be next to impossible in any case.

Dad is starting to take turns once in a while, even letting mom get some food at feeding time today. When I was able to get a good look, I could see that there are still 20 or maybe 25 of them.

The fact that the parents have kept them alive for this long blows me away. Their aquarium has a dozen full-grown congo tetras, over 30 rummynose, 15 cardinals, and some other odds & ends, not to mention two other pair of dwarf chiclids and one lone surviving ram.
 

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Discussion Starter · #71 ·
Somehow, the two parents have managed to keep their little group of fry alive in this mixed community tank. The ability of the parents to do this is maybe the most surprising thing I've seen in the hobby.

There are still around a dozen little ones and they're becoming increasingly bold. Mom and dad leave them alone for a few seconds now and they're ranging over a much wider area. The little ones are maybe about 1/4" long now but their bellies are always nice and round. I'm not sure what they're finding to eat, but obviously it's something.

I'll try to get some photos when they get a little bigger. My camera is lousy when it comes to macro images.
 

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I'm glad to hear they're doing well Bryce.

Yes, I'm always amazed that any of my fry survive with the community I have in my 125, but I'm almost considering giving them birth control at this point... ;)

I'll look forward to photos of the "kids".
 

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Discussion Starter · #73 ·
Well, these images are pretty lousy, but they should give you some idea of the little one's size at this point. Mom is becoming a little less fussy about keeping them in a tight group. The other fish are more or less leaving the little ones alone at this point.


A photo of dad.


A photo of mom.


Mom and one of the fry.


Two of the fry. Compare them to the Downoi.
 

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Discussion Starter · #77 ·
Just regular fish food. Like their parents, they comb the substrate looking for things to eat. Judging by their growth they're finding enough, but compared to other fry I've raised, specific feeding would probably result in faster growth. This business of raising fry in a community tank is pretty strange to me. I tried directing some food toward the fry when they were smaller but it just attracted all of the other fish in the tank.

A second pair is now ready to spawn and have "taken over" the cave. The male from the first spawning has lost all interest in the fry. Mom is still guarding a few in a new part of the tank, but mostly the little guys are on their own now. I suspect I'll loose a few to predation from the larger males, especially if the second pair actually spawns. The congo tetras never seem to come close enough to the substrate to see them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #79 ·
Yeah maybe, but you either do a discus tank from the ground up or you do something else. Discus require higher temps and I'm not sure my current plants or 'scape would work well for that.
 
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