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Are these eggs?! No bubbles anymore, but unknown orbs remain?

Discussion in 'Gouramis and Anabantoids' started by Vengified, Aug 27, 2018.

  1. Vengified

    Vengified Fish Fanatic

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    Like title states, my male gourami seems to be guarding these eggs, if that is what they are?

    Background: Yesterday, my wife saw the male, and BOTH the wild honey and yellow honey, doing circular dances. I had to leave for a while, asked when I came back if they did it more, or if they got "stunned" (as I explained what I know of breeding process to her) but she didnt know, because she had gone back to reading her book. After watching them for a bit, the boy was chasing both girls, if they ever got close, and to add to it, the yellow would chase the wild honey, even further, and she was nearly hyperventilating, hiding under driftwood. At that point I intervened, and using two nets, corralled the wild honey into one, and put her in the other tank. But while doing this, I inadvertently broke the male bubble nest, with the rising and falling of water level.

    Now since then, the yellow has not gone in the males "corner" and there has been peace in the tank. The wild honey is much more active again in the other tank, foraging for food, eating snail eggs, etc. I put a cube of frozen food in the defroster tube, noticed the male wasnt moving from that ~5 inch area. Upon closer inspection, I see these orbs. Some with color, some without. Are these eggs?

    I had planned to do a water change this evening, but if they are, I dont plan on messing with it. The nitrates aren't excessive, there isnt a bunch of detritus, but I still try and stick to weekly water changes regardless. If nature takes its course, and babies dont survive, that's one thing (I dont have space for them to grow anyways) but if I knowingly slaughter them, that's another.

    Anyways, here are pics. Let me know, if any of you can? If @Colin_T @essjay @NickAu @Lunar Jetman @seangee I know you guys know gouramis.

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  2. NickAu

    NickAu Member
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    They look like eggs to me
     
  3. Vengified

    Vengified Fish Fanatic

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    Yea. I am 110% positive they are now. Even with seeing them for the first time. His actions make it clear.

    I had a stem plant fall over, stuck my arm in to fix it, even from the other side of the tank, caused his eggs and new bubbles to dissipate. Shortly after, I watched him for a while- he keeps grabbing the eggs, 4 or 5 in his mouth at a time. Then he tries to blow bubbles on the surface and spit the eggs out. It doesnt work (though I'm not sure why, as I put a piece of 1/2" tubing across that corner at surface, and there is zero surface movement when left alone) so he instead sucks them back up, and sticks them under a frogbit leaf.

    It is REALLY NEAT to watch! He is such a good dad! He just does nothing, but check, recheck, check again, and grab any stragglers. I even gently put a couple frozen (thawed) brine shrimp in his corner, he completely ignored them, and continued to stand guard on his eggs! Fortunately, (for the other fish) they have not gone over there at all, neither the gourami, or any of the guppies. They all hung out there before the eggs, now they avoid it like the plague!:D
     
  4. NickAu

    NickAu Member
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    Is he a first time dad? sometimes it takes them a few tries before they get it right, Sometimes they even eat the eggs the first few times.

    Adding a Indian almond leaf like I did also helps with the nest
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Vengified

    Vengified Fish Fanatic

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    Yea, I think it's his first time, but I'm not sure. Its definitely his first time with me, and I was told they havent had them breed in the store tank, as they run powerheads in most of them, including the gourami tank. The gouramis REALLY had to swim to keep themselves steady in the store tank.

    I had a picture of his bubbles somewhere, cant seem to find it now. He did have a few going yesterday, and they were sticking and everything, but after I disrupted it on accident, he has had trouble getting any to stick. I havent seen him eat any eggs, but that doesnt mean he hasn't I guess. There is a lot of them though, ranging from a dark gray, almost black color, to a nearly transparent color. He has been spitting them all under the frogbit now though.
     
  6. Vengified

    Vengified Fish Fanatic

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    Here, I found the picture. It's small in this one, before I left yesterday. It was bigger after I got home, before I wrecked it.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. NickAu

    NickAu Member
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    Wait till he gets the hang of building bigger bubble nests.

    Image not mine.
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  8. Vengified

    Vengified Fish Fanatic

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    THEY HATCHED ALREADY! I noticed the male was rather "zippy" this morning. Then saw him rocket out of his corner towards a juvie guppy faster than a scared oto, and had to investigate. Sure enough, a bunch of super teeny tiny tadpoles hanging on frogbit leaves!

    I don't have any cultures of live foods, not sure if they will make it. I did see a video of a guy simply stirring his substrate daily, to release microorganisms, and also putting a bit of hikari first bites in, with some success. I dont have room for 50 gourami fry, but seeing one or a few grow would be interesting, and I do have a place to unload them if any make it.

    Anyways, would the heaps of hornwort, cholla, driftwood, frogbit, etc, along with some first bites, get any to survive? I know for a fact, I can not find a culture starter for micro worms or anything around here. But here is some pics anyways!

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  9. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    I told you they would breed :)

    If you have a powdered fry food for egg layers you can sprinkle a small amount of that over the area with the fry.
    You can use the yolk of a boiled egg and push it thru a handkerchief into a small container of water. Then put a lid on the container and shake it up before adding a few drops to the tank.

    The fry will not feed for a few days after hatching so don't feed them until they start swimming about under the surface.

    They are too small for microworms or newly hatched brineshrimp and need infusoria (found in planted tanks) or green water. There's some info on culturing fry foods at the following link.
    http://www.fishforums.net/threads/back-to-basics-when-breeding-fish.448304/

    Do not stir up the gravel, it doesn't do anything to feed fry.

    You need to keep a cover glass on the tank for the first few weeks otherwise the fry can take in cold air and they don't do well when that happens.
     
  10. Vengified

    Vengified Fish Fanatic

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    Yea @Colin_T as usual, you were right... lol!

    I thought MAYBE they would be too busy with a love triangle, and guppies, to find time. But as soon as I put in frogbit, and built a corral for it, they went like stoned test bunnies!

    I wouldnt mind keeping fry alive, and seeing them grow, and I wont knowingly, purposely, cause them harm or death. However, after witnessing today's events, I'm more concerned for everything in the tank, OTHER THAN the fry, or male gourami. I watched him slaughter a young juvie guppy, ripped an eyeball out, and had to fish that guy out. I've seen him chase female gourami, all the other guppies, even when they aren't even in that 1/3 of the tank. I understand this, hes guarding, hes being a good father, and I do not disapprove, but I do have concern for my other inhabitants. Heck, he even had a go at the shrimp, and the oto! Isnt the oto one of very few "safe" fish for babies of any kind?

    Anyways, I snapped some zip ties on the frogbit corral, with a big chunk of acrylic canvas hooked to it, and stuck some suction cups to it, to hold it against the glass (see below pic) to try and keep everyone out. Now there is just one small space, behind the powerhead for anything besides the gourami fry to get through. The father DOES know how to get in and out, and did venture out a few times after I did it, to make sure no babies were straggling about.

    I was only feeding once a day, but i believe it was the day after I started feeding twice a day again, that they made babies...:confused:

    I guess my real question now is: When will he calm down? When can I move the babies, as in put a breeder net/box in the tank for them? I know a box would need netting/screen of some kind as well. Or when can I move him?

    I even put some extra hornwort in there to help catch fry for him, and to keep them from drifting, but I still fear for my other fish.

    In the future, if they do breed again, which I'm guessing they will, how do I prevent this behavior? Can I move the unhatched eggs to a shallow container with a sponge filter? Should I move dad and eggs to small container? Should I turn powerhead to just blast them all over the tank? I wanna keep the gouramis, but I dont really wanna get rid of all my other fish and shrimp.

    Every type of fish seems to come with their own set of quirks and moral dilemmas, and conflicts... I have not given up though. I can make this work. With advice of course! :D

    EDIT: Add that I have seen a few of the fry darting around under the surface, and a few swim down a few inches and back up, but the majority, 95% or so, are still just sticking to the under sides of frogbit, and his bubbles which are sticking now, but I assume you mean when the majority are swimming, to start feeding right?

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  11. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Stoned test bunnies...roflmao :)

    When the babies are actually swimming like a baby guppy does, is when you start feeding them. The baby gouramis will be smaller than baby guppies but when you see the fry actively swimming about just under the surface, that's when you start feeding them. If they are still hanging from the glass or plant leaves then they are still using their yolk sac and will not take food.

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    Otocinclus are pretty safe with other fish because they are small algae eating fish. But the male could still have a go at them even if they don't show any interest in the fry.

    The best thing to do in this situation, where the male starts attacking other fish, is to remove the other fish or put a divider in the tank so the male can have 1/3 and the others can stay safe in the remainder of the tank.

    You can use a sheet of glass or Perspex that fits loosely into the tank. Then cut some airline so it is long enough to go from the top to the bottom of the piece of Perspex/ glass. Use a pr of scissors to cut along the airline so it opens up and is no longer a piece of tubing. Open the airline up and put it on the side edges of the glass/ Perspex and let it wrap around the edge. The airline will help hold the glass divider in the tank without the glass divider scratching the tank.

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    If you want them to successfully rear the fry you need to leave the male with the eggs and young until the fry are swimming about and the male ignores them (usually a couple of weeks after they hatch). But he does care for them during the first week and without him to keep them up by the surface they usually die.

    If you destroy the bubblenest and eggs they will breed again about 2 weeks later. So the best thing is to keep them in their own tank and let them breed, then move the females out and leave the male to play dad. Or keep the male and females separate and only put them together when you want to breed them. Having said all this, if your water is good, the fish are fed and conditions are favourable, any fish will breed. The fact the gouramis bred means you are providing your fish with ideal conditions.
     
  12. Vengified

    Vengified Fish Fanatic

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    Thanks @Colin_T ! I will take that as a compliment! :thanks:

    I had originally thought they wouldn't breed because of the other fish, or if they did breed, I would just leave them to do what they do. I didnt plan on the male being THAT aggressive towards the others. I knew he would defend the nest/babies, but I didn't think he would claim the ENTIRE tank as his own.

    I put up the mesh, but it leaves a spot open for him to get out. It sort of calmed him a bit, but he still goes out to make sure no babies made it outside the area, and then chases some of the fish while hes out there. And the yellow female, likes to hide in spongebobs house, which is in that area as well. She has gotten away with it for the most part. I believe he mates with the other female, as she got skinnier, and the yellow is still fat. But I'm not an expert. I do know that the yellow, has been hiding in or under wood, plants, decor, for 2 days, WAY more skittish than normal. Might have to remove her as well, but dont wanna overstock the 10 either.

    The male is literally circling the ENTIRE tank surface now, looking for babies I think. Probably why the other female is nearly glued to the gravel... I was hoping I could put the babies, and even maybe dad, in a homemade breeder box/net I made out of a larger Tupperware and doubled up filter media fabric, but I dont wanna freak him out either.
     
  13. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Don't move him because it will stress him out.

    He is a little more agro than the average honey dwarf male but it depends on the young guppy that got bashed. If the guppy had been pestering him for a while he might have just gotten pissed off with it and decided enough was enough. But you could also have an angry male so you will need to watch him whenever he breeds.

    The females sound stressed and might need to be moved out, or Sponge Bob has a tv in his house and they are watching cartoons on ABC tv.

    An option for next time is to use a 100-200 litre plastic storage container to breed them in, then move the females out and leave him to look after the babies in the big container. You can rear the fry up in it too. When you have finished breeding them, you wash the container, dry t and put it away somewhere until next time. They come with a lid too so it helps keep the air warm for the babies when they are developing their labyrinth organ. :)
     
  14. Vengified

    Vengified Fish Fanatic

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    Just an update:

    I grabbed another piece of mesh I had, and put them lengthwise in the tank, top to bottom, other than a small small crack on the bottom of one side, too small for any of my fish to fit. Barely enough for the shrimp, only because one of the huge pieces of driftwood holds it up just slightly. I would GREATLY disturb his nest and probably knock every single one down if I moved it.

    But now he is totally trapped on his 1/3 of the tank, and the others on their side. They are still scared poo-less cuz of how aggressive he got today, and still glued to the opposite wall. He seriously went on a rampage just before I put more mesh in to divide. He was out on the opposite side of the tank, changing targets, chasing EVERYONE! He is still a little panicked it seems, probably because I disrupted the water abit, and locked him in and he wants to go check for babies on the other side, or attack other fish.

    But, at least the adult and juvie fish and oto are safe. Shrimp and gourami fry might not be, but I have heaps of shrimp now, and they are quick, and can get under the divider. Gourami fry I feel bad if I unknowingly caused them death, but they were not my goal, just an unplanned hiccup. After a few more days, I'll open the tank back up, and if I see any fry, I'll grab them and try to raise them, if not, I'm sure it will happen again, but if it does, I'm moving the male and the nest, very gently, to a different tank, all by themselves, with a low water level.
     
  15. Vengified

    Vengified Fish Fanatic

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    Yea, the guppy he bashed, was a younger one, and one of the best behaved ones. If any were pestering him, it would have been the snakeskin full grown adult, or the larger juvie my son has named thor, cuz of his lightning bolt shape glitter spots near his pectoral fins. The one he killed always just forages for food, and foraged in the wrong spot. He didnt even have a gonopodium formed yet. And I know the oto wasnt pestering the honey male.

    He was just territorial at first, but today he went all Leroy Jenkins aggro on the entire tank! I keep seeing "honey gourami are the most peaceful gourami, and good community fish" and thinking "my arse, meet my male, hes a sociopath!"

    But I do know its cuz he is caring for fry. I dont hold it against him. Now I know how he acts with a brood, I wont let it happen again! Trial and error, right? I've read that sometimes fishkeeping ends up being that way, because despite the norm for personalities of breeds of fish, there are always the exceptions! :)

    Oh, and there is only one female in the tank now with him, the silver one which I think he mated with, was already moved, as she was getting very chased by both him and the other female.
     

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