BN spawn - little help please - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-28-2013, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
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BN spawn - little help please

Looks like my latest pair of BNs have had a fun time together in the 20L - the male is currently fanning a big pile of eggs stuck to the cave-like roof of a piece of mopani wood.

Tank currently houses 2 BNs (1 male, 1 female), 1 opal gourami and 4 random corydoras catfish. Oh, and a giant mess of assassin snails.

I noted that the gourami is sticking to one area lately, and that I've only seen the female BN attached to the zucchini I provide. Normally the male would let her eat for a while and then shoo her off so he can enjoy.

Sure enough, there's a tail sticking out from underneath the log, and there's plenty of orange eggs inside. Caring for the fry isn't difficult, but here's where I need some direction:

I know the gourami would happily munch any free-swimming fry that get past daddy. It ignores the catfish, but would eat the fry. Of all my tanks, I don't really have one he could be moved to, safely. I have a feeling he'd tear up my black neon and otto tank, I obviously can't put him in the betta tank, and if I put him in with the convict, he'd turn into a fishy chew toy.

I have a spare 5 gallon tank that I could clean out and bare bottom for fry. I'd have to get a filter for it and a more reliable heater, but I could do it. The issue becomes this: do I try to remove the log and the male and put them in the smaller tank until the fry hatch, or do I wait until the fry hatch and then scoop them out and put them in the grow-out tank?
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-28-2013, 05:50 PM
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I have successfully moved a cave with the male and eggs inside to another tank. Unfortunately you would have to let the tank cycle before moving them unless you have a seeded filter and use water from the tank they are in now. I have also waited till they hatched and then washed the fry out into another tank.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-28-2013, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
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I pack the hang on backs with so much sponge that I could easily remove a large portion and install that into the filter for the 5 gallon, and I could probably move some substrate as well, but I'd prefer the grow out be bare bottom.

The 5 gallon is currently a dirt and sand tank with no filtration that's just slow growing some bacopa. It's in the basement, so bugs like to fall in and become plant food. The 20L was due for a water change today anyway, so I could easily move water from it into the 5.

I'd say the eggs are probably 3-5 days old, so I'm trying to get my ducks in a row quickly.

Moving the log and male seems risky, and the male clearly has the gourami under control (read, afraid).

Edit: Hookay...I've noticed that the eggs have tails. I suspect I'll have free swimming fry with yolk sacs this weekend.

Last edited by Virto; 09-28-2013 at 06:23 PM. Reason: Update
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-10-2013, 05:15 AM Thread Starter
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Short update - I've moved the gourami and the cory cats to the 46. Mom and dad pleco will join them in a week or so, after dad is all done protecting fry. I haven't been able to get a count, but there are dozens of fry, which are now free-swimming and feeding on veggies.

The cool thing is, since mom and dad are just LFS mutts, half of the brood is albino and half is brown, with a few scattered in that are bronze or almost entirely clear. I'll be keeping one or two from the brood and moving them to the bowfront with the parents after they're large enough - the rest will either be sold or traded to an LFS or two.

I've really enjoyed this experience so far. Thanks much for the help both in this thread and those I found while searching.

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-11-2013, 04:53 AM
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Love to see some pictures.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-11-2013, 06:22 PM Thread Starter
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I'll see if I can get any tonight. I've been keeping the lights off so they're more likely to come out and feed.

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-11-2013, 11:15 PM Thread Starter
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Here are a few of the little scamps. The brood is about 50/50 mottled/albino, are now all free-swimming and enjoying green vegetables.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-12-2013, 04:43 AM
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Congrats! I have just over a dozen BN fry that are a month old from my male albino and female brown BN. Not one came out albino! But they are so cute - about an inch long now. They are dark brown with white speckles and their fins are edged in white, something the female doesn't have.

Mine are all in just a 10 gal with several guppies and I suspect pop is now caring for a new batch. I caught ma in the man-cave about a week ago for a short time and pop hasn't been out since. Time to visit my LFS and see how old they need to be to make a deal. Catching them will be a challenge, especially if there is a new batch to contend with.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-21-2013, 10:40 PM Thread Starter
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I noticed over the weekend that I wasn't seeing as many fry stuck to the glass of the tank as I was before. Some investigation led me to realize that most of the hatch is simply...gone.

I floated some zucchini in the tank and netted out a couple of the albinos. There were still a few albinos and two darker fry that I could find left in the 20L. I moved the pair I netted to the tetra/otto tank, where they spent the night nomming away on veggies with the ottos. All seems well there.

Now, the very serious question is: what happened to the bulk of my fry? The only tank inhabitants are the fry themselves, dad fish and mom fish, as well as far too many assassin snails.

I baited and culled probably 20 assassins this weekend, just because they never seem to stop reproducing. Now I'm concerned that they were able to jab the healthy fry and then consume them. The fry are not more than 1.5cm long at this stage. I have found no corpses.

I also wasn't able to find any documentation stating that either assassins or adult plecos would hunt or consume fry.

This is really pretty depressing for the wife and I. Although I wasn't looking forward to re-homing a few dozen plecos, they were my little charges and I've obviously failed them. We weren't expecting or prepared for this kind of thing, but I didn't honestly expect to run into any issues with the inhabitants of the tank, once the gourami was removed.

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-22-2013, 12:17 AM
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...maybe dad and mom happened? Non-cichlids which show parental care (I.E bettas) are infamous for turning on their spawn after they are free swimming. I wouldn't be surprised if the parents are responsible.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-22-2013, 12:44 AM
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dont feel bad the same thing happened to me. it was probably lack of food. babies need lots of food and its best for them to be in bare bottom tanks cause as much as they need will foul tank water fast if not cleaned often. a friend of mine would feed hers all kinds of food up to 5 times a day. i had maybe 20 eggs (i scared the male and he kicked at least half the eggs out) and only ended up with 6 when they got older.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-22-2013, 02:52 AM Thread Starter
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I've been cleaning the tank regularly and feeding daily - I had monster zucs this year, so there's been tons of food in the tank for them and the parents. The fry seem to have no issue getting to or eating the zucchini.

If they did starve off, I could see the assassins playing cleanup, but I'm still not sure that's what we're dealing with. I'll keep an eye on the remainder.

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-22-2013, 09:53 PM
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I just snatch eggs from daddy, which can be really fun.... If you like going shoulder deep in water to fight a 4 inch angry father.

Canned green beans, blanched mulberry leaves that have been left in a bucket of water change water, spinach, many squashes and much more are all taken by the fry with vigor. I have random losses in my tanks too, I try to keep floaters and Guppy grass in the tank, along with this big chunk of a random philodendron looking plant growing out of the water to help control free nutrients in the fry tank.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-22-2013, 10:10 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I'm assuming that most of the clutch has been or will be lost at this point. By moving some out to another tank I hope to have saved at least a couple, but time will tell. I really wasn't prepared for such an event, so as much as I hate to think of the fish as little victims, it's been a learning experience.

Should mom and pop go at it again, I think I'll pull the log (or other cave) out of the tank once I've confirmed that he's protecting eggs. Last time I became aware, the eggs had already started to hatch. I'll just pull the cave and quickly transplant it in a bare bottom tank, and then net out pop and deposit him there, as well.

The only real upside to all this is that I can break down the tank more quickly. Mom and pop will go into the 46 and then I can empty out and bleach bomb the 20L. It's been a big source of problems over the ages.

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-24-2013, 02:00 AM Thread Starter
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Well, somewhat predictably, I came home to find mom and pop enjoying a bit of the ol' touchy-feely. There's zero doubt that they're spawning again as I type.

This time I'm better prepared, but this screws up my break down tank, move snails to 5gal plan. Instead, I'll be moving the log cave and Mr. Manfish over there, which will be easier to clean and easier to keep an eye on. I'm going to have to figure out a quick snail plan.

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