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Wanabe BKK Herder
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
A week ago Sunday I got a pair of German Blue Rams. Two days later they spawned. Given everything I’ve read on the internet about them, I figured they’d eat the eggs or otherwise fail to parent (almost every site I read, including posts here on TPT, state that you have to remove the eggs and artificially hatch and raise them if you want any hope of survival).

Well, the eggs disappeared right about Thursday or Friday, and I figured, yep, the parents ate them. Well, NO, cause suddenly as of last night the male is surrounded by a cloud of fry! Not a huge cloud (maybe 30 or so), but still a lot for me to manage growing out. The dad is doing his job like trooper. He patrols the tank and rounds up stragglers. He guards the cluster in the hole he puts them in at night. So we’ll see how things go from here. I fed them some baby shrimp powder last night and put some brine shrimp eggs in to hatch (should be fast given that we’re having a heat wave).

Anyone have any advice or experience? Should I set up a separate grow out tank for them? If they spawn every month like people say they can, I'm going to be overrun, LOL!
 

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I have 7 in a 40 gallon, I've had eggs but I've had them get to fry, I'm jealous! I did do a lot of reading and it seems like if you want to raise the fry you'll eventually have to move them anyway. If it were me I would setup a grow out tank and use a turkey baser to remove half of the fry and leave the other half with the parents and see what happens. I'm no expert and I'm not sure if removing some of the fry would cause the parents to stress and eat the rest or not.

for food I would get a starter of microworms, they're really easy to maintain and should be small enough for the fry.
 

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If the tank with the fry only contain the parents, I'd say to leave them all for now. If not I would suggest moving them all, parents included for atleast 6 weeks or so.

Feed live food, I've been using freshly hatched brine shrimp. I would also suggest regular 20% water changes.

I had a set going for a little over a week and they were doing well but I had to plan and execute a baby shower for my lovely wife and i didn't get to feed them for 2 days. They died from starvation. I was really disappointed but given the track record of my pair, I expect another spawn shortly.

This time i'll also be using the Repashy "Spawn and Grow" to allow them to feed basically all day at their will.

Best of luck you.
 

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Wanabe BKK Herder
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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Thanks! I've been feeding powdered baby shrimp food and BBS (boy, hatching those out on a regular basis gets to be WORK). The babies are growing and appear to be doing well. The dad is doing a great job. He's SUPER diligent. I'm going to set up one of my empty 10G as a grow out tank. I can move them up to a 20G-L or a 40G as they get bigger.

This is them last night:
 

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Wanabe BKK Herder
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
They're 3 weeks old today and have begun to look more like little fish than fry. Still eating like pigs. Dad is still trying to keep them rounded up, but they seem to be losing intrest in staying tightly schooled. I'll try to get a pic tonight.
 

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I'm still jealous, Mine had eggs and were protecting them since last time I posted. I even had wigglers one morning but that night they were gone :( Awesome that you got a pair that will raise there young!!
 

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Wanabe BKK Herder
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Bummer, Mostlydave! I'm kind of shocked at my results given the stories I hear from so many other people. Luck of the draw, I guess. Maybe it's because you have multiple pairs in the tank or something? Have you tried isolating one pair to see if you get different results?
 

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female always ate the fries after couple of days later, male doesn't seem to eat them.

congrats on the fries, keep us update on their growth.
 

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Wanabe BKK Herder
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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Maybe my luck is entirely based on the death of my female then! The first day I saw the cloud of fry, the dad kept chasing her away. The next morning I found her dead for no reason I could discern. Lots of people around the net said death in the days after spawning wasn't all that uncommon though, so aside from keeping an eye on the dad for signs of illness, I didn't worry too much about it. Dad still seems healthy weeks later and the fry are doing well.
 

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Ram Breeder
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Your truly are a lucky breeder! There is nothing more rewarding than to see a pair of fish raising and herding their own fry around the tank. There is also nothing more frustrating than to see spawn after spawn eaten by their parents! We have been breeding rams for years and have NEVER had a pair successfully raise their young. Out of the hundreds of spawns we've had, only one pair actually raised their eggs to the "wiggler" stage, then promptly ate them overnight. Usually, they will last 24 hours or so, then one of the parents will eat them! We have tried everything from group spawnings (multiple pairs in a single tank) to individual pairs in large planted tanks, and small planted tanks, but still no luck

You must have a pretty heavily planted tank for the fry to have been able to feed themselves for the first few days after free-swimming. The critical point is getting them past day 3 of free-swimming. After that, they are usually large enough to be able to eat newly hatched brine shrimp.

It's not uncommon at all to have the male chase/kill the female after spawning. That's why it's real important to have the in a planted tank, or have enough hiding places for the female to go after spawning. The male becomes extremely territorial, even with the female that he has just spawned with. If she doesn't have somewhere to hide, he will chase her incessantly, eventually cornering her and killing her.
 

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Wanabe BKK Herder
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for the info, matt13. I feel bad for not knowing that. I would have taken her out if I'd known I needed to. *sigh* I will remember it for the future though!!! I hope to keep some of the fry in a larger tank.

The tank was originally designed for shrimp (my BKK disaster, they all died over a five month period for no reason I could ever discern). So the tank has ADA Aquasoil, lots of mosses, floating plants and a big chunk of needle leaf java fern. As soon as I realized I had free swimmers I began dosing the tank with the baby shrimp food I had on hand. I used that for the first three days until the BBS hatched. And I kept using it along with the BBS until last week when I switched to powdered earthworm. I think they're big enough that I'm going to start trying frozen daphnia.

The fry are 4 weeks old today and really starting to look like fish. They have completely stopped schooling and the dad has given up herding them (though he still aggressively challenges anything that intrudes into the tank, like my hand to trim plants or the BBS net when I feed them).

 

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Hi Betta Maniac, are your blue ram in a species only tank? I have two pairs in a community tank with 3 cories, a few guppies and tetras. Though one pair has spawned three times in the past three weeks, the eggs have disappeared each time on day three. I think I may have to remove the "community" if I hope to get any fry out of this pair. Also, my female lay the eggs and just leaves, the male stays to watch the eggs.
 

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I am very jealous, mine made it a week with the parents before gobble gobble said the father..
 

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Wanabe BKK Herder
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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Hi Betta Maniac, are your blue ram in a species only tank?
Yes. I bought a pair and put them into a 17G by themselves.

Though one pair has spawned three times in the past three weeks, the eggs have disappeared each time on day three.
Day 3 is about when the eggs hatch into "wigglers". I wish had actual advice to give you, but my brood was pure, dumb luck.
 

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Wanabe BKK Herder
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Today the larger fry began tearing into the live black worms I feed the adult. They just went to town on them. Guess I'll need to increase the number of those I drop in the tank at feeding time.
 
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