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I have a pair that spent the morning preparing a spot for laying eggs. They were actively keeping the other fish at bay. Then when I looked later they weren't doing anything. They had just gone back to swimming around with the rest. What would cause this to happen?
 

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yep, I found out why my angels spawned this week. accidentally pulled plug slightly loose from wall socket... it is freezing cold (relatively) here.
 

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I have a pair that spent the morning preparing a spot for laying eggs. They were actively keeping the other fish at bay. Then when I looked later they weren't doing anything. They had just gone back to swimming around with the rest. What would cause this to happen?
First time spawn. The eggs didn't stick so they ate them. Only takes an hour or so and it's all over.
 

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First time spawn. The eggs didn't stick so they ate them. Only takes an hour or so and it's all over.
Yup.

They need some practice.

They'll get it right and they'll drive you nuts when they revert back. It's not a perfect science for them.

I have a pair that I was just about to give up on. They'd parent-raised several spawns and then suddenly just lost interest. The eggs would just go white and they'd eat them. After about 7 or 8 spawns like that they just flipped the switch and decided to do some work. They can be the most hormonally-imbalanced fish to deal with.

Keep in mind that even if they do get it right, the chances of any surviving in a community tank are really slim.
 

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Yeap, busy taking out dividers in my only 20g high tank now, it was set up as an unused sump.
Decided to give my pair their own home. I don't see kois too often in trade here so I recon I'd like to see if they can do the early rearing for me. Watching some of the new born fry, I can see that they are particularly helpless little sods.
 

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Sometimes it's circumstantial too. I have one pair that will parent raise in my honeymoon suite as I refer to it, but won't spawn at all in a tank with others present (no chances to steal the eggs, IOW), and seem to give up when in a tank with a lot of outside disturbance.

Had another pair that worked well together in a divided tank, but turned on each other when in the honeymoon suite.

I have noticed that the first spawn after you've removed the fry from parent raisers seems to have a low survival rate.
 
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