I know these guys are considered easy for egg layers, and I want to actively try to get a few fry before my Gertrudaes get too old. I got some babies from them just in their tank before, but I haven't seen any since, and the babies didn't make it.
So I'm going to take a more hands-on approach.
I figure the first step is to condition them. I have some starter culters of Grindal worms, microworms, and vinegar eels coming to me, and I can get the bbs hatcher back out and ready to go. They've already been flaring and chasing each other, so I'm guessing they love my tap over here. I'll condition them for a week after I get the culture up and running.
After a week, I'm planning on dropping a spawning mop into the tank, and letting it sink to the bottom. I read from several sources that they prefer their mop on the bottom of the tank, and when I noticed them spawning before, it was always at the base of the rotalas. I guess if I'm super lucky, I can get some cory eggs too, but that's not really what I'm planning for.
After a week, I'll remove the mop and examine it for eggs. If I'm lucky, I'll atleast have a few eggs I can work with. I'll place them in a shallow dish of water from the parent tank, and do partial water changes with a syring every day. I'll have a 5.5g tank up with a sponge filter aging in the parent tank, ready to receive fry. Plants will be java moss, hornwort, and some sort of floater (probably duckweed). A couple leaves on a bare bottom, to buffer the water and culter infusoria.
After 14 to 21 days, I should start getting fry. I'll move them with an eye dropper to the fry tank. They will receive vinegar eels at first, then when they get big enough I'll give them bbs and microworms twice a day. Fresh water changes everyday with aged water from the parent tank. After a couple weeks, I'll introduce them to crushed flake food and frozen daphnia.
After they are about three months old, I should be able to pick out which fry I wish to keep, and which fry I can take to my LFS. The fry I keep will be acclimated to the parent tank, and moved over.
Sound like a plan? I thought I'd run it past some people who know what they're doing before committing some horrible blunder. If you have suggestions, please let me know!