Jellybean Jellybean
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  • Posted on: 31/3/2012 17:31
Tank swap. #1
Hi Guys, long time no post.

I have a cichlid tank (Neolamprologus Caudopunctatus, and Neolamprologus Multifasciatus) which holds 110ltr with a happy harmonious community; however that said, I now have Multifasciatus babies in most if not all of the shells and all of the caves (possibly as many as 40-50 babies, but it could be more) which leaves me massively overstocked should they all reach adult hood. I have no problem getting a bigger tank which im just doing at the moment. My problem is how do I transfer all the occupants over to the new tank and try to keep the babies with their respective mothers?

I need to house the new tank in the area currently occupied by the 110ltr.
So, any ideas how I go about the swap over, bearing in mind I need to transfer the majority of coral sand, chunks of coral and all the shells over with as little fuss as possible. I need to keep stress levels to a minimum with the adults who are extremely territorial and babies who are very vulnerable, and hard to see.

Jenny
Miss pril Miss pril
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  • Posted on: 31/3/2012 18:11
Re: Tank swap. #2
Hello Jellybean

You're brave!

I don't really have much input apart from 'good luck!' haha!

Would the mums round up their young and dart into a shell if you put your hand or a net in or anything? If she does them would it be possible to net the whole shell and move it across? Then mum and babies stay together? Or am I being silly with my nil experience of cichlids!

Please tell me if i'm being stupid
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nathangoudie nathangoudie
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  • Posted on: 31/3/2012 18:23
Re: Tank swap. #3
WoW... that's really a problem. Maybe you should set up the other tank too so you can have both tanK!!

Then wait for the fries to grow a little bit bigger than transfer them :)
Jellybean Jellybean
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  • Posted on: 31/3/2012 19:02
Re: Tank swap. #4
Thanks for getting back to me.

Hi Miss P, no your not being silly, it sounds good in practice but my lot are so chilled that very little I do scares them so I can?t guarantee them fleeing into their respective shells, most will just shoot off under a shell and hide.

Hi nathangoudie

I would love to be able to have two tank running but im struggling to figure out how Im going to do it.

I have stacks of mature media so that?s not a problem when setting up a new tank/filter. My tap water is only around 7.5 so I will have to set up a heated storage container to hold treated water soaking masses of coral to raise the PH and temperature ready to fill the tank. I want to use as much tank water as possible to make the transition as painless as possible for the little guys.

It?s a nightmare waiting to happen but necessary.
cathie cathie
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  • Posted on: 31/3/2012 19:15
Re: Tank swap. #5
It is a complete nightmare, I often think about schemes for how best to do it. The trouble is that while adults and juveniles do generally dart into shells, the small fry hide between shells as JB says.

I have moved mine into different tanks a couple of times and each time have been left with fry in the original tank. Once I just gave up, and had the 2 tanks going together for a while - gave them some new shells, grew them on and gave them away (that had the advantage that at least I knew that tank was just juveniles of a similar age). They didn't seem to suffer from lack of parental care - plenty of food and no predators after all, though I can't attest to their psychological wellbeing!

The other time I moved all the adults in shells then spent hours catching the remaining fry and putting them in the new tank hoping for the best ... I don't know how they sorted themselves out but I did not end up with a mass of tiny corpses ... either they found the right parents, got adopted by others or were eaten

I suppose if you used a tank divider you might be able to ensure that any fry left behind in that area could be caught and allocated to the same area in the new tank - but the fry are so small that they would probably get round a divider??
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nathangoudie nathangoudie
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  • Posted on: 31/3/2012 19:18
Re: Tank swap. #6
In my opinion, i think it's almost impossible to move the fry without stressing them... especially there are too many of them, no way you can be sure that you've transferred them all.

Maybe getting a food safe box to hold treated water? As you have matured filter media then it's not that hard to set up a new tank. It just cost some more money to buy the decor, you still have to buy more gravel, rocks,.. as the new tank is bigger than the old one.
In the end, it's your call anyway, it just won't be easy to transfer the fish unless they've reached adult hood... transfer the hold tank is much harder!
cathie cathie
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  • Posted on: 31/3/2012 19:29
Re: Tank swap. #7
The difficulty is they are such prolific breeders once they are happy that there are always fry of different ages, and while you are waiting for one lot to grow the next lot have arrived

Will the new tank be in the same place as the old one? That is the worst nightmare! At least mine were in different places, did not need to be put into a really useful box and then taken back out of that ...

I think it is worth considering raising some left-behind fry in a really useful box and taking them to lfs?

Flappinganimal ended up getting an Altolamprologus calvus in his Tanganyikan tank which kept fry numbers down ...
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Jellybean Jellybean
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  • Posted on: 31/3/2012 19:30
Re: Tank swap. #8
Thanks guys

@nathan
Im stock piling coral sand and chunks of coral for when i get my new bigger tank then im just going to have to bite the bullet and go for it.

Im even thinking of getting rid of the TV in the living room (we don?t use the room or the TV often) and using the alcove to set up a new tank, I think this might be the best plan of action in the long run then I can catch and move fry any time I come across strays once the main move has been accomplished.
Jellybean Jellybean
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  • Posted on: 31/3/2012 19:34
Re: Tank swap. #9
Hi Cathie, my concern with taking fry to LFS is their water is the same PH as mine (within reason) so they wont be happy and neither will I not knowing they will go to good happy homes.