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Ellioti Cichlid Fry Care

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Hi all! I was just wondering if anyone knew some information about caring for ellioti cichlid fry? I woke up this morning noticing one of my ellioti cichlid's were defending a small pot in my tank, to my surprise there were tiny fry in the pot! I didn't even know that fish was a female. Both mother and father are protecting the fry but I'm not sure if I should put the fry in a breeding cage with or without the mother or just leave them in the tank with my other fish?

Any help would be appreciated!
 

DrRob

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Generally they're very good parents. Just watch for aggression. Once they decide to fall out you need to get one parent out quickly or you'll lose one or both, while they're caring together for the fry then you're fine to leave them in there until the fry are sensibly catchable. The parents will do a fair job of gathering food for them to eat and will occasionally move them around the tank into new holes that they've dug. I hope you didn't like your plants if you have any.
 
The issue otherwise will be aggression to the other fish in the tank, or if the parents decide to breed again. If they spawn again then get the fry out immediately, as fish eggs make great fry food and the parents will suddenly view the fry as predators, or, as I've experienced, one will protect the fry, the other the eggs.......
 
Overall, they're easy fry to care for, but parental aggression is the issue. 
 
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ShannonKoletti
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Thank you very much for your reply. I'll leave them in the pot until they're a bit larger as the female is protecting them very well. The male still hangs around but she sometimes chases him off which he doesn't seem bothered about.
 

DrRob

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Just watch those aggression levels. They're capable of doing a lot of damage in a relatively short time, which is annoying. They're resilient fish, but not so resilient as to survive a concerted attack.
 
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ShannonKoletti
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When I put the fry in the cage should I also put the mother in there with them? Or just put them in by themselves?
 

DrRob

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Personally, I'm not a fan of fry cages. Anything with holes small enough to stop the fry getting out will restrict the water flow quite badly.
 
These things also grow fast and I'm guessing you have several of them.
 
I have a video of a swarm in the journal in my link, have a look, they spread well and you'll probably be wanting a grow out tank, not a fry cage. I have 30-40 odd 1 inchers at the moment in a 20 gallon long, they'll be going to a local store if nobody wants any of them in the next few weeks.
 
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ShannonKoletti
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Ah, alright. I'll just leave them be and get another small tank when they're bigger. Hopefully my male will leave my female alone!
 
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