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Breeding Projects for 29 Gallons

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Circus

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So, some background. I am going to stop my efforts to breed Orange Chromides in a couple of months (unless I show success soon), as I have been at that for almost a year with 0 fish to show for it. It has been exhausting. I will be moving my current pair and their buddy to the 80 gallon tank with the other Chromides.

That will leave me with a 29 gallon tank open for a breeding project. I am looking for a pair of fish that are comfortable in a 29 gallon tank alone, and that will help raise their fry. Which means probably mouthbrooders or cichlids. I really want a nice blue, green, or purple fish. What do you guys suggest?
My ph is about 7.4 and hardness around 110 ppm, but I can easily make the water harder. I currently have the water as hard and brackish, but will be changing it to fresh water and taking my argonite and crushed coral out and switching to a plain play sand or smooth gravel, while adding easy grow plants like hornwort and water sprite.

*Edit for correcting autocorrect.
 
I am thinking maybe a pair of blue panda cichlids, anybody with experience on these guys?
 
Do you have a scientific name of blue panda cichlids?

You could keep Melanotaenia praecox rainbowfish and breed them in that tank, but they don't look after their young so you remove the adults and grow the babies up in the breeding tank.

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If you had 3 orange chromides in the tank, the third fish might have prevented the pr from spawning.

Did you just grab 2 fish from the group and put them in the breeding tank or did you let them pair off naturally?
If cichlids are not allowed to form their own pairs, they won't breed as readily.

How often are/ were you feeding the Chromides?
What were you feeding the Chromides?
How often did you do water changes on their tank and how much did you change?
Did you have plants and breeding sites for them?
What was the temperature of the water?
Was the water chemistry (GH, KH, pH) correct for the species?
Are they wild caught Chromides?
 
Did you just grab 2 fish from the group and put them in the breeding tank or did you let them pair off naturally?
They refuse to spawn if no other orange chromides are present. The pair formed when all 8 were in the tank. I took all but the pair out after the 3rd batch of eggs, and got nothing for a few months until I added the 3rd one back to the tank.
 
I would recommend Dark Knight Ram Cichlids. They are very new to the market and can sell anywhere between 30-50 dollars per fish.

I'm starting my own breeding project and if you are interested, could probably sell ya a few and mail 'em to Washington. I have 12 at the moment.
 
I would skip dark rams. I would however recommend apistotgramma borelli as they are quite handsome harem breeders. Also (if you are experience and can create an acidic (ph 6.2 or so) environment I would recommend apistogramma nijenssi (these are bond forming pairs and quite handsome but a bit aggressive to intruders). Conversely there are mouth brooders apistogramma if you wish.
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The thing about rams is they can be a bit delicate and the blacks are a bit weaker than some of the other colour morphs; also typically they are not the best parents in the world and need a bit of help (though occasionally you luck out with rams that turn into good parents). In my limited experience it is a bit of a crap shoot with rams esp if you expect the parents to do a lot of the raising.
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Another fish that i'm quite attached to are Laetacara araguaiae; these seem to be a bit newer in the market. They are slightly larger than the apisto and i do not believe they are harem breeders. Mine are still pretty young and haven't bred yet but they have quite a bit of spunk.
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Another option are nannacara anomala; the female will do most of the raising of fry so the fellow will need a spot to hide out if she turns out to be super aggressive. These are not as colourful as the apisto but they have a lot of character and their ritual is a bit more involved.
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I just reared the thread and the apistogramma panduro is very similar to the nijjensi (some confuse the two). They are pair forming and require acidic water to have successful hatching of the eggs but otherwise are fairly sturdy fishes though they do prefer clean water without too much impurity. Soft is better but not strictly required.
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One thing to be aware of is that the sex of the off spring for the panduro/nijjensi is influenced by temp of the water.
 
They were wild caught, they got fed mostly frozen shrimp, bloodworms, and live shrimp, with dried foods twice a week and shredded veggies for them to nibble on. I did 40% water changes a week, and I don't remember the ph/gh I keep them off hand. For awhile I had them in brackish water, before switching to a high ph freshwater.
 
I would skip dark rams. I would however recommend apistotgramma borelli as they are quite handsome harem breeders. Also (if you are experience and can create an acidic (ph 6.2 or so) environment I would recommend apistogramma nijenssi (these are bond forming pairs and quite handsome but a bit aggressive to intruders). Conversely there are mouth brooders apistogramma if you wish.
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The thing about rams is they can be a bit delicate and the blacks are a bit weaker than some of the other colour morphs; also typically they are not the best parents in the world and need a bit of help (though occasionally you luck out with rams that turn into good parents). In my limited experience it is a bit of a crap shoot with rams esp if you expect the parents to do a lot of the raising.
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All Ram Cichlids are sensitive to poor water quality - but yes, Dark Knights seem to be more so. Mine are doing extremely well - extremely vigorous and healthy. When it comes to Dark Knights, in my experience, it really matters where they are sourced from.

I would also like to protest that Rams are "not the best parents". If you google breeding them, you'll hear that they are "notorious egg eaters". If you speak with actual breeders, you'll hear that the eat their eggs the first few batches and afterwards become very good parents.

I'll leave it at this - if @Circus is looking into a breeding project, it sounds like they want to sell what they are raising. If you pick an obscure and/or not in high demand fish, you will have a hard time selling all of them and a hard time commanding a reasonable price so that there is profit. For me, Dark Knights are most certainly in the high dollar, high demand market and in most tropical freshwater species unless you choose to raise discus or high quality angels (which go for 300-500 for a breeding pair), you'll have a hard time finding many species that breed as easily as DK Rams and command the price that they do. While a little less lucrative, the Electric Blue Rams are also gorgeous and command a somewhat high price point and are a little more robust that DK Rams.

My advice is to pick something that is doable (as in, breeding is not too complicated) but also in high demand for a reasonable price. It does not have to be DK Rams, I just think the market makes them especially lucrative.
 
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All Ram Cichlids are sensitive to poor water quality - but yes, Dark Knights seem to be more so. Mine are doing extremely well - extremely vigorous and healthy. When it comes to Dark Knights, in my experience, it really matters where they are sourced from.

I would also like to protest that Rams are "not the best parents". If you google breeding them, you'll hear that they are "notorious egg eaters". If you speak with actual breeders, you'll hear that the eat their eggs the first few batches and afterwards become very good parents.

I'll leave it at this - if @Circus is looking into a breeding project, it sounds like they want to sell what they are raising. If you pick an obscure and/or not in high demand fish, you will have a hard time selling all of them and a hard time commanding a reasonable price so that there is profit. For me, Dark Knights are most certainly in the high dollar, high demand market and in most tropical freshwater species unless you choose to raise discus or high quality angels (which go for 300-500 for a breeding pair), you'll have a hard time finding many species that breed as easily as DK Rams and command the price that they do. While a little less lucrative, the Electric Blue Rams are also gorgeous and command a somewhat high price point and are a little more robust that DK Rams.

My advice is to pick something that is doable (as in, breeding is not too complicated) but also in high demand for a reasonable price. It does not have to be DK Rams, I just think the market makes them especially lucrative.
Actually I wasn't thinking about eating the eggs at all. I was talking bout general care of the frys the first couple of weeks. Anyway my experience is clearly different than yours. I will point out in case you are not aware there are quite a few cichlid that will herd the frys around the tank and ensure they get fed even if they have to grind up food for them. If you left town for a week would your rams baby sit 2 week old frys while you were away ?
 
Actually I wasn't thinking about eating the eggs at all. I was talking bout general care of the frys the first couple of weeks. Anyway my experience is clearly different than yours. I will point out in case you are not aware there are quite a few cichlid that will herd the frys around the tank and ensure they get fed even if they have to grind up food for them. If you left town for a week would your rams baby sit 2 week old frys while you were away ?

I am aware and I've seen this behavior with cockatoo apistogrammas, kribensis, firemouths etc and I think that to some extend, most cichlids do this behavior. Discus literally feed their fry their slime coat.

I think the question we need an answer to is this: Is the OPs breeding project to sell them or just for fun?

If it's just for fun - a fish notorious for exceptional brood care would be something to consider.

If it's for money - there is no way the OP would have the parent's be the food source for the fry; they would feed BBS, Egg Yolk and other fry foods which would make your point moot.

I'm happy to discuss any breeding related things you'd like, at your convenience via PM. I'll stop this discussion here out of respect for the OP -- I gave them my advice and they can take it or leave it just as they may choose to take and/or leave your advice.
 
I am not necessarily selling for profit, but just to help pay for upkeep on my tanks. I mostly plant to trad my lfs for credit, and a somewhat obscure fish would be nice. I am not sure if I would be able to handle mailing fish, so it would be local sales most likely. I was looking at pairs a larger fish store a couple hours away were selling, like the blue panda cichlids.
 
As noted above the difficulty with the panda is that for the eggs to hatch you need an acidic environment. Also temp. will influence the sex of the fry; beyond that they are a nice fish. However I think you noted the ones for sale were wild and not tank raised and as such they will be more sensitive to their environment... and a bit less tame. Of course if you successfully breed them f1 frys are worth a bit more and will be tank raised.... with the advantages of tank raised fishes.
 
As noted above the difficulty with the panda is that for the eggs to hatch you need an acidic environment. Also temp. will influence the sex of the fry; beyond that they are a nice fish. However I think you noted the ones for sale were wild and not tank raised and as such they will be more sensitive to their environment... and a bit less tame. Of course if you successfully breed them f1 frys are worth a bit more and will be tank raised.... with the advantages of tank raised fishes.
Yeah, it sounds challenging, but I can do ro/di to soften the water on the tank, and I have quite a few botanicals on hand for tannins. Worst comes to worst, I can make it into the soft water tank I always wanted.
 

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