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Newbie with a few questions

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Newbie with a few questions

Post  bridgegirl99 on Mon 10 Sep 2012, 17:20

Hi all, I'm trying for my first fry!

Earlier in the year I got excited when a pair of angels decided to spawn in my community tank, I decided to set up a breeding tank and see if they had better luck there? They managed 5 or 6 spawnings, once I managed free swimmers but they ended up eating them, then went back to eating the eggs.

While they were away from the main tank, another 2 decided to pair up, so rightly or wrongly I swapped them over, this new pair have spawned twice but not gone more than a day or two with the eggs, now they're looking depressed (maybe my imagination??), they had been very skitty, so I'd covered 2 sides of their tank, and try and keep traffic to the minimum, but now they just seem to sit about?

My questions

Do angels have a spawning season or will they just keep going??

Should I move my "depressed" pair back to the main tank, will they be happier there??

My first Male who seemed to be the better parent, once back in the community tank has got a bit confused and seems to be attracted to the 2 remaining females who both seem to be spawning.. so can I try him with the 3rd female who is actually the largest but only got going once the others suggested what she should be doing??

If I'm confused, it's not surprising they are!!

I've done lots of reading, and I understand what goes on, and I'm all ready............ but the fish aren't!!! lol

Could someone suggest what route I should try next??

Lindsey Very Happy

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Re: Newbie with a few questions

Post  Pterophyllum on Mon 10 Sep 2012, 18:57

Hi Lindsey,
Welcome to the forum.
First off, check the water quality in your breeding tank, your fish might be looking miserable because they don't like the water. Assuming the water is fine, you could swap them over for the male and his current favourite female. However, in my experience, angels will only parent raise when they feel safe and secure, a good way to make them feel anxious is by constantly catching, moving and swapping their partners around!

Another thing to be aware of is that many fish can release "fright pheromones" into the water. This warns other fish in the vacinity that there is danger about. In the river, once the danger has passed, the chemicals drift off down stream and the fish relax again. In a confined aquarium, the chemicals linger, the fish remain anxious and are therefore more likely to release more pheromone and the whole cycle spirals to a point where the fish are so twitchy that they can spook at the slightest movement or disturbance.
To overcome this...
1. Try to position breeding tanks as high up as possible.
2. Make sure they have plenty of cover in terms of plants, breeding cones, etc. Personally I use a fine quartz gravel on the base of my breeding tanks, but if you're going the bare bottom route, at least make sure that the bottom is painted or covered so no light can shine up through it. If necessary plant plants in small flowerpots for easy removal, or if you'd prefer, use plastic ones, the key point is give the fish plenty of hiding places.
3. Make sure lights go on and off at regular times, so the fish get used to a regular routine.
4. Carry out some regular daily water changes to try to dilute any pheromones, and if possible use some carbon in their filter.
If you do decide to swap pairs then do a good water change with aged water before introducing the new pair, personally unless one fish is attacking the other, I usually leave pairs for at least 4 or 5 cycles before giving up and trying a different pair.
Domestic female angels will usually lay every 10 - 14 days, I term the period from one laying to the next, a cycle. Although they might do this continuously for several months, there normally comes a point where the female stops laying and needs to be rested for a bit. In the wild angels do have a breeding season and wild angels, or fish that are only a few generations removed from wild fish are often still wedded to the natural cycle.


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Re: Newbie with a few questions

Post  bridgegirl99 on Thu 13 Sep 2012, 15:11

Thank you that sounds very useful! I'll let you know if things progress

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Re: Newbie with a few questions

Post  bridgegirl99 on Thu 13 Sep 2012, 17:43

Drats!!! I did what I wasn't going to do!!!! The two in the breeding tank still looked depressed, so I changed yet more water, even tho it seemed to be OK, I then went to the community tank and noticed my biggest angel was cleaning the filter............... so...... yes you've guessed it I swapped them! (feeling guilty!! Embarassed ).

BUT the two I put back in the community tank have perked up and are swimming about, the pair in the breeding tank are happily cleaning the spawning cone............. so maybe I'll be lucky yet?????

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Re: Newbie with a few questions

Post  Pterophyllum on Thu 13 Sep 2012, 19:58

Well, fingers crossed for you. I have had a few pairs where they spawned successfully a day or so after being moved, but in general I usually expect the first spawn to prove infertile and/or get eaten, so don't be down hearted if that happens, just give them time and they'll soon try again; and don't forget to keep us informed of progress!

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Re: Newbie with a few questions

Post  bridgegirl99 on Sat 15 Sep 2012, 12:27

I know its pretty pathetic to all you experienced breeders, (According to my daughter I'm sad!!), but I'm quietly excited here!!

The angels spawned the evening I moved them!! Its now 42 hours later, and the eggs are still there!! I have a few infertile ones, but both M & F are taking it in turns to fan, its not a huge spawn, but its progress!! Very Happy

Lindsey

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Re: Newbie with a few questions

Post  Pterophyllum on Sat 15 Sep 2012, 13:35

Good news, and good luck, it sounds like my pessimism was unfounded.

As to being excited, there's nothing wrong in that, I still get excited with every new batch, if I didn't, I probably wouldn't bother breeding them!

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Re: Newbie with a few questions

Post  Grummie2 on Sat 15 Sep 2012, 14:16

Welcome to the forum, and congrats on the spawn!!!!
Hopefully you'll find on here all the info to help you raise these little beauties...if not, please ask Smile .

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Re: Newbie with a few questions

Post  bridgegirl99 on Sun 16 Sep 2012, 10:57

Oh dear Shocked It all seems to be going wrong! The eggs are hatching and the parents have moved a few, but the leaf they have chosen isn't very suitable and they don't appear to be sticking! I watched another couple free fall off the cone, so whether the parents will find those I'm not sure?

I have noticed overnight quite a few more eggs went white, is this normal? They're NOT next to the original white eggs I hasten to add, do people pick off the white ones? or leave them to the parents to deal with? (As the books seem to suggest they might?) I'm doing my best to leave well alone to try and have a little success this time.

There seems to be 50 or so eggs still on the cone and still looking OK, but it is early days!! lol Parents definitely busy doing something this morning!! bounce

Lindsey

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Re: Newbie with a few questions

Post  Pterophyllum on Sun 16 Sep 2012, 11:07

That the parents are moving the wrigglers is a very good sign, it's quite normal for it to take them a while to find a place where the babies stay put. With one recent batch of mine the parents chose a leaf close to the front glass. Every time I went near the father would swim against the glass trying to see me off, oblivious to the fact that his tail was sending his babies flying in all directions, meanwhile his partner was flying around like a demented cricket fielder trying to catch all the young.
Despite this, they now have a good sized shoal of free swimming youngsters.
As to the fungused eggs, any that weren't fertilised or failed to develop properly will fungus, I wouldn't try to interfere with a parent raising pair, some are better than others at removing fungused eggs, but I don't think it makes a great deal of difference to the overall hatch.

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Re: Newbie with a few questions

Post  bridgegirl99 on Sun 16 Sep 2012, 11:22

OK thanks, this is worse than having children yourself!!! I'll try and keep my posts down!!............ Embarassed then again there might be a newbie like me reading this and have the same concerns!!

Many thanks Very Happy

Lindsey

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Re: Newbie with a few questions

Post  bridgegirl99 on Thu 20 Sep 2012, 15:40

Crying or Very sad Ohhh well, thought it was too good to be true, and I'd be that lucky, I think the parents must have got fed up with the wrigglers falling off and eaten them! I've been keeping my distance but having a sneaky look to see where they had put them, but nothing! They don't seem to be guarding anything, just swimming around happily, so its back to the drawing board!

I think I have a couple of artificial plants that I might make into hammocks for their next attempt, seems I can't rely on real plants to grow the right direction lol

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Re: Newbie with a few questions

Post  TrevorGreenfield on Sun 30 Sep 2012, 16:20

Hi bridgegirl99,

Been watching your new parent nerves. We all have them, I still do after more years than I can remember. You say that the pair now don't seem to be guarding anything and are swimming around normally. That doesn't necessarily mean that all is lost. I've had this happen only to spot a little wriggling mass in a back corner or come down one morning to see a shoal of fry surrounding my pair.

As Rob says, it's not unusual for the first spawning after putting a pair together to do no good. I think that this is due to the fact that the eggs are old if you like. The female could have been carrying some of the eggs for quite some time before the spawning took place. That's just a personal view and may be totally wrong. I usually find that a second spawning works fine but sometimes it can be the next one that really provides a good healthy batch.

The key thing now (if in fact your fry have gone) is to leave the pair together. Feed them well on a variety of foods (I stick to frozen foods these days) and let them settle down to life together with as few disturbances as possible. One thing that is key I believe is the water chemistry. Is your water hard or soft, are you using local tap water?

For years I had no success with getting pairs to raise their own young and always removed the parents as soon as they spawned, dosed the breeding tank with methylene blue and provided strong aeration over the eggs. Lots of the eggs still fungused but I would get some fry. I then tried using soft water and things started to improve. Now I always keep my breeding pairs in RO water and usually have no problems.

As the fry grow, I move the parents out either into another breeding tank if I want more fry or back into my adult community tank. Then as the fry grow on I start to do water changes introducing my local tap water, which is quite hard, so that I can sell them on to shops and other people later.

When I've had pairs that just didn't seem to want to breed I have found that live food, like adult brine shrimp or daphnia will usually get them going. Daphnia from shops or collected yourself carries risks of introducing unwanted parasites like flukes so I don't recommend doing that. I keep my own stock of Daphnia in a large water tub that I feed up myself to keep them reproducing. It's rare though that I get pairs that just don't spawn eventually.

Good luck and welcome to the group.
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Re: Newbie with a few questions

Post  TrevorGreenfield on Sun 30 Sep 2012, 16:23

Just spotted your real name, sorry Lindsey

regards,

Trevor
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Re: Newbie with a few questions

Post  bridgegirl99 on Mon 01 Oct 2012, 14:49

Thanks Trevor, very helpful and encouraging!

I'm now on their second spawning, I thought I'd lost the wrigglers again, but I've just noticed they've moved leaves! so a bit more encouraging!! Day 3! There's no where near as many as they started off with, but even if I'm down to one that would be a success in my book lol

Yes I have very hard water here, so maybe softening it might help if I have to go back to square one again!

I'm all ready for the free swimming stage if they get that far!!! Very Happy

Lindsey

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Re: Newbie with a few questions

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