Apistogramma cacatuoides fry!!!

Fishy_Dan

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I got a pair of apistos about 2 weeks ago, now I have a ton of free swimming fry!! It's amazing but I have no idea what to do with them. They're in a peaceful community shared with rasboras (T. Hengeli).

What will happen to them? Will they get eaten? Will they die without special food? My stocking is full so I can't keep a load more fish. If they make it to adulthood what do I do??

Will post some pics and video.
 

Stan510

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Congrats!,those are not easy to keep. They feed so slow and are secretive to the point getting the food to them is not easy in a mixed tank. Better a smaller aquarium and slow tankmates.
I imagine the cichlid fry would do well on frozen baby brine shrimp and crushed Tetramin. Good luck.
 

Colin_T

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Get some brineshrimp eggs and hatch the eggs, then feed the baby fish some newly hatched brineshrimp, and get a microworm culture too.

If you only have the rasboras and cichlids, most of the babies should survive.

Most pet shops will buy Apistogrammas when they are bigger so look after them and maybe trade the young in for another tank or some plants and food later.
 

GaryE

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What happens is that the parents take good care of them for about 5 weeks, on average. Then the urge to spawn again hits, and they chase the juveniles away as a danger to the next brood. The bond is broken and the juvies must leave. Only in a tank, they can't - glass walls. The parents will unfortunately interpret this as an act of aggression, as if the young were staying back to raid the nest. They'll kill them.

In nature, the juveniles are ready to go out and survive, but the glass walls of the aquarium doom them.

I say this as someone who bred a few dozen Apisto species, and who bred cacatuoides at least 20 times.
 

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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What happens is that the parents take good care of them for about 5 weeks, on average. Then the urge to spawn again hits, and they chase the juveniles away as a danger to the next brood. The bond is broken and the juvies must leave. Only in a tank, they can't - glass walls. The parents will unfortunately interpret this as an act of aggression, as if the young were staying back to raid the nest. They'll kill them.

In nature, the juveniles are ready to go out and survive, but the glass walls of the aquarium doom them.

I say this as someone who bred a few dozen Apisto species, and who bred cacatuoides at least 20 times.

So @FishyDan should be setting up a spare tank right now so it's ready for the fry? At what stage do you take the fry? Do you wait until the parents turn on them, and lose a few, or take them at like, four weeks?
 

GaryE

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Broodcare is instinct, but instinct sometimes needs triggers. I always allowed parents to raise fry when I kept Apistos, but would remove them at 3-4 weeks to a large growout. A 5 isn't going to do it - these are moderately sensitive fish and you want them to grow at a normal pace.

If you take the fry right away, they don't always make the best parents. They need a model - like us I guess. It's a combination of learning and instinct.

The problem for fish breeders is growout space. People use breeder nets, etc, and the water volume isn't enough. I bred Apistos in 20s or sometimes 15s (the same footprint) but raised them in tanks larger than that, with lots of water changes. You want to be able to share out good healthy stock.
 
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Fishy_Dan

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Proud mother
 

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Fishy_Dan

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The problem I have is that I never intended to raise any fry. So I am totally unprepared and have very little space for a new tank.
It sounds like I have a few weeks before it gets ugly, but really what can I do? Can I give them away when I take them out of the tank at 4 weeks? How big will they be then? Assuming they survive that long.
 

GaryE

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It is such a beautiful sight.

Expensive, because it costs you another tank if you choose to raise them (26c seems best for a moderately even sex ratio). But beautiful. Watch how the mother signals to the fry using the black edges on her ventral fins.

She will lead them to food and away from areas of low oxygen. They are superb parents, til it's time for the kids to get out of the house.

At 4 weeks, they'll be small, but formed as fish rather than as fry. 3-5 months are needed to get them to a size where people want them, sadly.
 

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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It is such a beautiful sight.

Expensive, because it costs you another tank if you choose to raise them (26c seems best for a moderately even sex ratio). But beautiful. Watch how the mother signals to the fry using the black edges on her ventral fins.

She will lead them to food and away from areas of low oxygen. They are superb parents, til it's time for the kids to get out of the house.

At 4 weeks, they'll be small, but formed as fish rather than as fry. 3-5 months are needed to get them to a size where people want them, sadly.

Would a food grade plastic tote work as a temporary grow out space? Cheaper than buying another tank and can be stored away afterward and used as an emergency hospital tank in future.
plasticTote.png

Can easily get one that holds 40-50 gallons, heater in a heater guard and resting on some stones and a sponge filter. Have seen a very talented breeder friend of mine raise all sorts of fish using these.

Trouble is that even if you decide to go ahead and do something like this (or buy another tank) to raise the fry, the parents are likely to immediately spawn again. But you'd have the option then to leave the fry from the second spawn in the tank and let "nature" take its course.
 

GaryE

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There are a million different reasons to keep fish. And many to breed them.

None involve getting rich fast.

If you had a cycled filter, and most importantly, space, you could use one of those. The sides have to be rigid enough not to bow with water in there though.

You would also need to get pairs, a question of luck sometimes, and have a store that wouldn't rip you off...
 
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Fishy_Dan

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oh dear, I'm just realising I may have bitten off more than I can chew with these guys. I never imagined they would spawn so easily and frequently!
 

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