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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So my wild caught red empress spawned in the community tank on a rock right in the middle ,he is 5 times her size normally a passive fish but during spawning he chased the hole tank into submission away from her , I was surprised how big the eggs were large and pinkish red , she sits them on the rock he does his dance with her to fertilize then she takes them into her mouth and will carry without eating for about two weeks until she spits out the fry.

My question is not familiar with cichlid spawning is there any thing I should do ? This is a community tank with 15 other fish so I'm expecting the worse when there released .

Sorry no pics could not get to close and there moving to fast , maybe I can get pics of them latter.

A very short video poor quality
http://youtu.be/k3R_IGO5uCU
 

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If I recall correctly, you wait until she is almost ready to drop the fry, and then move her to another tank to drop the fry. Try to keep her in aforementioned tank number 2 as little time as possible, as she can otherwise lose her place in the hiearchy.
 

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Are you wanting to save a large number of fry or willing to let nature do the thing?
For the largest number, get a second tank or use your QT. A ten is fine. Don't worry about the cycle, she won't be there long and the load is very small when you don't feed her. She won't eat anyway so keep the water clean and wait. When she is ready or you feel the time is right, move her to the smaller tank. Don't add any substrate, just paint the bottom outside black to avoid fish confusion when they try to swim down. Keep lots of rocks in the tank and let her have some that are big enough for her to hide. The sooner she feels safe, the sooner she will release them if you have timed it correctly. She will not eat the fry when you are catching and moving her. Peak in occasionally to see that she is still bulging at the jaws. When she is not or she comes out, look for fry and move her back. African cichlid mouthbrooders are among the easiest fish to get a tub of fry due to letting them do the work. The fry will begin to take fine crusted food immediately and that is about all you have to do. Good to have the fry tank filled with water from the main tank when you move her.
If you want to let nature do it, make stacks of flat rocks where fry can squeeze in between the layers to avoid being sucked out. Some may survive depending on how their genes tell them to hide ----or not.

I now see the pics. Don't be too quick to move her. Two weeks seems a bit quick to me. Her mouth will reach a point where it doesn't close and you can look in and see the fry. Then is about time but watch for her to get really nervous and possibly go u[p and down the corners as if looking for a safe spot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Are you wanting to save a large number of fry or willing to let nature do the thing?
For the largest number, get a second tank or use your QT. A ten is fine. Don't worry about the cycle, she won't be there long and the load is very small when you don't feed her. She won't eat anyway so keep the water clean and wait. When she is ready or you feel the time is right, move her to the smaller tank. Don't add any substrate, just paint the bottom outside black to avoid fish confusion when they try to swim down. Keep lots of rocks in the tank and let her have some that are big enough for her to hide. The sooner she feels safe, the sooner she will release them if you have timed it correctly. She will not eat the fry when you are catching and moving her. Peak in occasionally to see that she is still bulging at the jaws. When she is not or she comes out, look for fry and move her back. African cichlid mouthbrooders are among the easiest fish to get a tub of fry due to letting them do the work. The fry will begin to take fine crusted food immediately and that is about all you have to do. Good to have the fry tank filled with water from the main tank when you move her.
If you want to let nature do it, make stacks of flat rocks where fry can squeeze in between the layers to avoid being sucked out. Some may survive depending on how their genes tell them to hide ----or not.

I now see the pics. Don't be too quick to move her. Two weeks seems a bit quick to me. Her mouth will reach a point where it doesn't close and you can look in and see the fry. Then is about time but watch for her to get really nervous and possibly go u[p and down the corners as if looking for a safe spot.
A1 advise there thanks for taking the time to post that.
 

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No problem! I love my cichlids.

When I say wait a bit, this is kind of what she may begin to look like only much bigger. This is a yellow lab that is ready!!!


The Protmelas group, being bigger, have even more trouble holding the mouth shut. When you look in and see eyes, I consider them ready.

On another note, it is not toally sure that they will have gotten the eggs fertilized well the first time around so if she is not holding in a few days, it's not that anything major is wrong. It just takes a bit of learning sometimes.
:fish:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Just FYI, if these parents were wild-caught, then they're F0. Their fry are now the first generation, F1. ;)
Ok she is F0 the male F0 ( should of got 3 females) she rejected and he was harassing her so she got moved into the community 100g tank and then spawned with the other larger male not sure of his status most likely farm or breeder raised.

Its amazing on the wild caught only have 2 how much more brilliant there colors and personality are.

Thanks again for all the info she did not eat with the others today and normally she is a heavy eater , also staying closer to the rocks instead of cruising the tank. Guess well see how skinny she gets in this process
 

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Seems painful but they seem to know what they are doing. I have wondered if they do not eat at all or if they are able to some way slip in a bit or two. I often see them moving through a cloud of flake food as it drifts but I can't see them open their mouth. It would seem to look like they are sucking in sometimes but that would make swallowing a bit tricky!
 
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