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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Do you ever get the feeling the fish have their own little plans? Like when you turn your back for a couple weeks and come back to a whole new plan?

I've been drifting slowly back toward breeding more again and have been clearing some space for my biggest fish to do his thing. I sorted out and got rid of 6 yellow tail acei, a couple Hongi and about 6 yellow labs. To do this I had to unstack lots of rocks so while about it, I moved the pile to one end to give my 9" Protomelas insignus more room to clear a nest site. I've been waiting a couple months and even though I had seen some dancing, nothing was going on for real.

I came back with plans to redo the floor in the fishroom to make it better for more general purpose use with laminate instead of carpeting. The carpeting has been flooded a few times and I assumed it was time so I torn it out and started the job.



Meanwhile the fish had a different plan and while feeding I noticed one female not eating. One of the female insignus was suddenly about to split a jaw, she had so many fry in her mouth. I could actually see the fry since her jaws would not fully close so I knew if I wanted to save many of the fry, I had to get her out of the main tank. Insignus are open water folks and the fry have no idea how to hide and get picked off right away. I've been waiting months for this, why now, when everything in the fish room is in turmoil?

I moved a junk stand into the hall, set my ten gallon and filled it from my reserve water barrel and added a heater. Good thing the water was ready and already warmed, as this girl was READY.



I was lucky enough to catch her in the open to isolate and net her without taking any rocks out but she was so full she spilled a group before the net even got there. I had to almost dig 7 little fry out of the sand before even trying for her. I normally don't like to hold the female and "strip" her as it seems too rough for both of us but in this case, she was so ready that she was spilling fry as I netted her.
I had fry in the bowl, fry floating around in the open water and fry in her mouth so I just held her in my hand and let her spit the last few out in the bowl. That made it easy to just drop her back in the other end of the main tank while I gathered up the stragglers.

When done I am now the proud owner of 25 new fry. I normally can't count them but since I had to almost chase them one at a time, I got a good count, at least.



Next week would have been handier but I guess she had other plans for later.
Maybe they just don't like to breed while I'm watching?
 

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Congrats on the fry.
Careful with laminate flooring though, it still can get "destroyed". Edges of board will warp/bubble up.

I've used a few different brands of laminate flooring, from thick stuff to thin stuff that even says it's "waterproof", some that have the underlayment attached to each board and others without where you laid out a roll of underlayment. Still all of them warped. I bought some top dollar laminate flooring that says it's water proof with a lifetime guarantee, haven't installed it yet, it better hold up though because that stuff was expensive. I'm hesitant to install the new stuff as I don't want to damage it (even though it has a warranty) and go through the work again. I have water logged board and put some small sections together to test and they do hold up, but I have tested some of the other brands as well, and those held up in the test, but after being installed, they somehow managed to bubble. Most of the time I do soak up any spills/flood right away, but the bubbling/warpage happens quick it seems. I should;ve just gotten hardwood... Maybe some sort of sealant can be used on the laminate to prevent water damage?

Can't remember the exact brand names, but I went through the ones that Costco typically has on sale, Sam's club's stock, some Auction warehouse, something from Lumber Liquidators. Don't remember the new stuff off the top of my head.

The one you got in the pic looks like the same Costco one I had, so.... be careful. Have towels within arms reach!
 

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Congrats

Just wondering how long would she have held the fry if you wouldn't have got involved? I have female peacock holding right now and from I read that it around 17 days. She on her the 2nd week right now.

You were very lucky to catch her in the open. For me I would wait until lights were out and then turn them on and catch her when she was blind.

Protomela are such great open water fish. How long did take to get 9"? What are you feeding them? What size tank do have them in?

Thanks for sharing your progress. Hope your flooring works for you I like concrete and a floor drain but I'm a slob.
 

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Don't ask, managed to break two tanks this morning, while preparing to go and replace the rusted through geyser drain pan.
Luckily I replaced them for less than $10, I buy second hand tanks from the LFS.
Then to top it off, the drain valve on the geyser refuses to open.
Sigh!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Floors are almost always a compromise for me. I liked the carpeting but it was worn and I though it would be moldy cue to being soaked several times. Turned out that it was not moldy more than the normal but it's gone now. Second choice might have been tile as the houses are mostly on slabs here. What really started the thought was a motel that had tile in a wood look that appealed to me. Tile is good for permanent but this is not likely to be a super permanent thing so cost became a bigger factor. I find new floors will make houses sell really well at times but only if it suits the next buyer. Tile is okay to lay but it is a bit tedious compared to the laminate so I went with laminate as one that I can do any part of the job and it can wait. With tile I did not want the extra labor that I'm not fond of doing for something that may not be used for that long. Laminate and I have been round and round and it is so much cheaper and easier for me. The room is going to total out at under $250 so I'm not too worried on the water. Where I spill I wipe anyway and I "PLAN" not to spill big time?

For the fry, they are pretty normal size for African cichlids. They mostly come out of the mouth ready to go and are ready to eat crushed flakes, etc. This time, I was just lucky to be here and note she was ready to spit. I would not think she could have held them much longer. I was really surprised that she lost the first few as they are usually pretty dedicated and hold them until they can find a good spot.
The insignus seem to be slower than many of the cichlids and I might think it took three years to grow out a full grown one? I would have to do some records checking to say for sure, though. I was setting on a group of adults at one time but I swapped traded and sold most of them . Now I'm wishing I had them back. But that will take some patience, I know.
Maybe 25 baby fry are a move in the right direction?
 
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