Questions about Breeding Rainbows - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-01-2020, 05:54 PM Thread Starter
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Questions about Breeding Rainbows

I have 6 rainbows, male and female Australian, 2 pure male Praecox, 1 pure female Praecox, and 1 female possibly hybrid Praecox. I think it's a hybrid because the trailing end of both the top and bottom fins are elongated and pointed, rather than tapering close to the body, as typical for Praecox. I'm not an expert, so maybe I don't know that Praecox do come with this type of fin.

A week ago I watched the Australian pair breed in the community tank, which came as a surprise to me. I don't intend to breed this species, so there was no mop and no suitable plants in the community tank. The female scattered her eggs, which were quickly gobbled up by both the parents and the other fish.

I also don't intend to breed the possibly hybrid Praecox, at this time. She and the smaller male Praecox also bred in the community tank and the eggs were scattered.

I did want to breed the larger male Praecox with the pure female Praecox, so I moved all the other fish into a new community tank last Saturday. Monday I put a mop in the tank and removed filter material for an HOB that I was going to use for a separate fry tank. To my surprise, a day later I was handling the filter material and found a couple of eggs sticking to my fingers. Unfortunately, I don't know how old they are, so I don't know which of the females they came from and won't try to save these.

The male is obviously trying to get the female to mate. He flashes and pursues her around the tank. She keeps swimming away. I don't see any eggs in the mop.

Here are my questions:

Should I take him out, too, for a few days, to see if she'll be more receptive when he's reintroduced? Should I replace the larger male with the smaller male, which I know has been successful spawning with the other female? If the female has eggs, will the absence of males to fertilize the eggs harm her in any way?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-02-2020, 04:59 AM
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Best to start with heavy feedings to get them both in the mood. Lots of food = lots of calories = excess calories to spend on gametes.

A lot of older literature talks about separating males and females, but I can't help but feel like that's just a way to control when the fish breed so you can know when to start hatching out BBS and other foods. This method is proven to work though. The question is do you feel like catching the male twice (once to remov, once to add back in)?

The absence of males will not negatively affect a female fish with eggs. Typically, if there are no suitable partners when a fish has eggs, the eggs are simply reabsorbed by the female fish.
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So many fish/plants/inverts to keep, not enough aquaria.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-02-2020, 06:20 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the reply. It's comforting to know the female will be okay without the male presence. This was my biggest concern.

I'm going to give it a few more days to see if they'll spawn. If not, will try separating them. On the other hand, I might move out the larger male and introduce the smaller one to see if he's more appealing to the female.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-15-2020, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
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Update on my breeding attempts...

Last week I separated the two. I put the female in the 10 gal breeder I set up and left the male in the original tank. The mop had about 10 tiny eggs, I’d say less than a mm in diameter. The eggs were carefully picked off and placed in a breeder net box in the same 10 gal breeder tank.

I didn’t know how long ago they were spawned and had no experience to tell whether they were viable. To my surprised delight, three fry hatched yesterday. By the looks of it, there may be another 4 eggs that may still hatch.

Unfortunately, neither of my attempts to start an infusoria culture have worked and I’m reduced to feeding Hikari First Bites. Just have to see if it’s adequate. Now comes the anxious 2 weeks to see if I can keep them alive.

Tried to get a picture, but they’re literally thinner than a human hair. If it wasn’t for their relatively huge eyes, they’d be virtually impossible to spot. Please chime in with suggestions or feedback.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-15-2020, 03:11 PM
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If I were you I would join the FB group Rainbowfish Live. Many of the top most well-known Rainbow breeders hang out there.

Good luck I hope they make it.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-15-2020, 03:44 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you.

Iím not active on FB but will certainly check it out.

Iíve seen that you really like rainbows, so itís great to hear from you. Rainbows are my favorite and I had an Irian and Boesemani pair for about 6 years in my 55 gal as a teen. They were an inseparable pair who swam side-by-side almost constantly. I miss them, especially knowing Iíll probably never have them again (just donít have it in me to keep a tank that big).

Thatís okay, though. Since I found Praecox, Iíve been content with them.

Iíll continue to update this thread with the progress.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-17-2020, 12:11 AM Thread Starter
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Today's update:

After posting yesterday, I found two more fry had hatched for a total of five. Don't know if others had hatched and some had perished, but today's count is still five.

That makes a probable 48+ hours for up to three of these fry, which for me is frankly surprising, given all I have to feed them is Hikari First Bites right now.

For those interested, I use a Q-Tip to sprinkle a little food on the surface. After 4-6 hours, I use a child dosing syringe you get with prescription liquid medicine to vacuum up as much of the uneaten food as I can, then sprinkle a fresh batch on the surface. It's kind of a pain, but so far these little guys are surviving. The routine reminds of bottling feeding newborns.
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