eggs...what to do?

Q&A about cichlids from Africa other than from the rift lakes

Moderator: Pam Chin

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eggs...what to do?

Post by mars23 »

I had purchased a pair of jewels (i have no experiance with them) about four months ago b/c my son loved them. He has a 30 gallon tank occupied by mbuna as well. Well this morning there were eggs protected by the jewels (there are only 2 jewels...i guess my son was lucky in the pick of the two). NOw i want to know what to do with the eggs. Do i leave them in the tank and try and scoop the fry out when they hatch, and put them where? Can i put them in another tank (I have a 5 gallon tank). If i put them in a 5 gallon tank what about cycling the tank? This was totally unexpected. I have other tanks but these fish would be fish food. The other tanks have fish at least 5 inches in length and the bigest being 1.5 feet and they would turn the jewel parents into fish food along with the fry. Can i remove the eggs now and put them in a meshed container so other fish can't get to them in the same tank...this is what i'm leaning towards (only thing is when can i remove the eggs/babies from their parents...this is what i'm most concerned about. I do not want to cause any developmental negatives by removing too early. Should i wait till they are free swimming but then my concern is will the parents eat them.).

I can't find info on the net as to when i can remove the eggs/fry from the parents. This tank was to be an outgrow tank and never expected anyone to spawn so soon. NOne of these fish can be moved to any tank as of yet...too small.

Any info will be apprecaited...thanks so much!

Pam Chin
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Post by Pam Chin »

Hi Mars,

Congrats on the spawn! You need to leave the parents with the eggs until they are just ready to freeswim. Typically speaking, it takes about three days for the eggs to hatch, they then become wigglers and will then start freeswimming in about 3 more days. The temperature of the water will dictate the actual time span, ie; in warmer water they will hatch faster. The parents fan the eggs to keep them clean and free of fungus, and then doing the same when they are in the wiggler stage. Once they start to freeswim, it is harder for the parents to keep them contained, and they will be eaten by the other members in the tank.

If your small tank isn't cycled, you can probably get away by filling it with water out of the original tank and using a sponge filter. You could remove the rock and put an airstone near the eggs to move the water over them, simulating the parents fanning the eggs. But, this may be more of a chore.

The good news is that even if this spawn isn't sucessful you know you have a pair, and it will only be a matter of time before nature takes its course again. In the mean time you can become better prepared, and perhaps even give the jewels a tank of their own, and allow them to raise their own fry.
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