in a right mess, hope someone can help ... got a tankful of jewel cichlid fry which i was not expecting and all hell has been breaking loose in the tank for about 10 days, the tank originally had two pairs in but then one cichlid died after major hostility, i was ready to take them back to the lfs tomorrow as another fish has been bably damaged and fin nipped, just feed them an hour ago and at the back of the tank was 50 or so fry ... taking them back is now out of the question so what do i do .... the injured fish is now in q tank but not looking too clever, acording to the lfs these were too young to breed and that was a month ago .... this is my first attemp at cichlids and am out of my depth ... tank is only 2 ft and because i didn't know they were there i have not feed the fry at all yet
So you have one healthy pair and an injured juwel in quarantine? A couple of questions/ Do you want to raise the fry - bearing in mind its serious maintenance and a certain ammount of cost involved? What else is in the tank and how big is it?
the two left i think are a pair and thus the parrents ... they were the only 2 that could get near the fry the other was chased away .. the fry were shoaled up at the back of the tank but are suprisingly large ... (about the size of new born guppies) i'd deffinatly entertain the idea of growing them up ... if the alternative is culling them then there is no option as i'm a big softy and would spend as much as i need to to look after my fish !!!!!!!!!
tank size to follow in a minute when i have measured it
and yes the other cichlid is in quarantine and looking very sorry for it's self
As I mentioned previously, I dont keep cichlids but I'll try to offer some common sense advice.
First off, I researched jewels and find that they grow to 15cm and need about 30gallons of territory a pair. (about 18" square). This could be why they fought in your tank. Especially so if one of the pairs was preparing a nest.
I think you're going to need the quarantine tank back to bring up the fry, so return the poor victim to the store. If its only been 10 days and they gave you wrong information then it shouldn't be a problem.
on raising the fry: The fry will accept newly hatched brine shrimp once they have consumed their yolk sac and can be feed mashed pellets and flake food a few days to a week later. The species have a reputation to occasional be bad parents. I recommend that you at least give the parents a chance to prove that they are good parents under careful observation before you start raising the fry separated from their parents. Never remove all fry from the pair as this might cause aggression (even fatal aggression) within the pair.
When the fry reach a length of about 1 cm/ 0.4 inch it is time to remove the fry from the parents. It may be easier at this point to move the parents to the quarantine tank which you can prepare for them before hand rather than try to catch all the fry.
I'm not sure at what point the fry would be ready for sale, but I imagine once they are seperate from the parents it would be time to start looking.
I stand ready to be corrected by a cichlid/fry expert.
i had to prepare the q tank in a hurry as this all happened at 10 tonight. unfortunately the q tank is only 12" x 8" x 8" and given the size of the fry now and the amount of protien that will be in the water after feeding them i think this tank may be too small ...... are they in danger from the parents do you think???? would i have time to cycle a brand new tank before it needed, or as i have three small 1ft long tanks can i split the young shortterm
As you have a tank cycled with mature media you can skip the cycle by taking 30-50% of your mature media from your current tank and moving it with the fish. You'll still have to keep an eye on water tests and maybe do a few extra water changes in the first weeks but it should be painless.
If possible get a 40Gallon tank to replace your main tank and use the current one as the tank for the fry. Later the 2' tank can be your quarantine. If you dont have the room or money for such a set up then splitting the fry into the multiple smaller tanks will have to be done, but not until they are 1cm or so bigger and then take them a few a day using a bottle trap to avoid stress. (google: DIY Bottle Trap fish). Note - the smaller tanks will all have to be filtered. Fry are even more relient on perfect water quality.
Theres no huge hurry here though. They should stay with the parents for now. I dont know how fast they grow, but I guess you've got 2 weeks to sort yourself out.
thats great news on the cycling and also great news that i don't have to start pulling tanks about at this time of night, Don't get me wrong i'm really excited by it all but i do feel abit nieve believing the lfs advice and a bit guilty that at least one fish has died as a result .... my 48" comunity tank has 2 powerful filters in so i think the best option would be to swap one of these with a new filter and then the old filter with resident bacteria would be ok for the new tank... do i need to turn filter off or down till the fry become stronger as i do with my other fry, or is the fact that the fry are still there piont out that this is not needed???????????
thanks so much for your help. i'll be marching down to the lfs tomorrow
Hi the problems you are going to have is once a per is established you are going to get batch after batch of fry. As soon as you remove the first batch they will start to produce another you will quickly be inodated with fry and the average lfs can only sell so many. Your best option is to get a bigger tank for the perants then let them get on with it. You will get maybe a 1/4 of the fry survive till they reach a salable size but natural selection will mean they will be good strong fish and of better quality then raising the full batch separately.
So to be honest unless your selling them hole sale then their isent really eny point in doing anything other then letting the perants do their thing and get the enjoyment of watching their natural behavior. Then taking the good strong surviving juveniles to the lfs at a steady manageable rate for them to sell on.
Good look with whatever you choos and please ask eny more questions i will be glad to help.