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So much effort then....... eaten!

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So much effort then....... eaten!

Post  uber on Mon 06 Oct 2014, 21:34

Hello all,

I've been unsuccessfully trying to raise a batch of fry from a pair of my Angels for months now, but alas every time I get a little further both parents still end up eating all the eggs!

They are approx 12 months old, and the first few failed spawns I put down to them being new parents and figured they would soon learn not to eat them. They first started spawning every 14 days, so once I knew the cycle I kept them in a 2 foot tank of their own and used a terracotta pot as a spawning site. I did this a couple of times but the eggs would always gets eaten, overnight, on the second day.

I then tried removing the eggs and kept them in a separate tank with methylene blue and an air stone, but almost all the eggs went white by the second day and by the third they were all white. I'm not really too enthusiastic about removing the eggs anyway, and would much prefer the parents to raise the fry themselves!

The last but one spawn ended in disaster with the male becoming very aggressive and the female ended up with a load of split fins! Again the eggs were eaten, and I wondered whether it was the female eating them as the male was trying to stand guard.

So I set-up a larger breeding tank for them, an 18" cube in fact, and separated the pair for a few weeks to give them a break and get their conditioning back up. They were introduced to the tank two weeks ago, and last Friday spawned yet again (this would be the sixth time they've spawned). I used a breeding cone this time, and had a decent amount of fertile eggs, them most I'd ever had in fact. I left them alone over the next few days, just checking now and again on how they were doing and feeding small amounts of Tetra Prima, in the vein attempt to keep their bellies full and off the eggs!

Then yesterday, ~48hours after they had spawned for the first time I could see wrigglers! Again another breakthrough. Trouble was all that wriggling meant they kept falling off the cone, so the male and female spent all afternoon frantically picking them up and spitting them back. As they spat them out more eggs would fall off, and the whole thing was a disaster as eggs were just going everywhere! This went on for hours and hours, until the pair decided to move the eggs to a flatter surface (clever fish!) so moved them all onto the large leaf of a plastic Amazon Sword. A few hours after that I checked the tank again and the eggs had been moved yet again to another Amazon sword at the back of the tank.

I honestly thought I had a breakthrough, as it was obvious they were tending to the eggs better than they ever had before, and I thought this is it! However woke up this morning, checked he tank and.... yep you guessed it, no sign of the eggs or wrigglers, and both parents swimming around the tank without a care in the world!

So  now I'm stumped! Not sure what else I can try now, though I do have a couple of thoughts :

I run a light on a timer, so it's pitch black in the tank at night. Considering they always eat up the eggs at night I'm wondering whether it's worth trying a light on the tank 24/7? I've just read about this here on the forum, so am thinking it might be worth a shot, or would a 24/7 photo period stress them out?

Also does everyone keep feeding their Angels when they're guarding eggs? On the one hand I think of it as curbing their desire to eat the eggs, but on the other hand it then becomes a necessity to change some water and I'm worried any water changes when there are eggs will freak them out and cause them to eat the eggs anyway!

And finally, perhaps it's just one of the fish that's the problem? My money would be on the female (I'm not being sexist!), I'm just drawing that conclusion because she was beaten up on that previous spawn, and I'm guessing it was because she was eating the eggs the male was trying to guard. So has anyone had any success removing just one of the parents after a spawn, or would the whole fanning the eggs ritual become too much for just one fish?

Apologies for so many questions on my first post! But hoping some of the experts out there can help?  Smile

uber

Posts : 2
Join date : 2014-10-06
Location : Wales

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Re: So much effort then....... eaten!

Post  Pterophyllum on Mon 06 Oct 2014, 22:23

Hi Uber & welcome to the forum.
First off, don't be disheartened, it takes time & they're getting better, admittedly frustratingly slowly.
Second, leave them where they are, sometimes, even a proven pair of parent raisers will eat a couple of batches after being moved.
In general I don't use night lights, but it can sometimes be useful & it sounds like your fish might well benefit from one; but don't suddenly present them with one as soon as they present you with eggs. Have a light in place that you leave on some nights so they get used to the idea, then turn it on a day or so before you think they're due to lay. Diet may be an issue too, feed them up well before they lay with a nice varied diet.
I'm assuming there are no other fish in the tank, but are there any other potential predators? snails can be an issue.
Finally watch their behaviour, are you sure they've eaten them & are not simply trying to pretend that they're not guarding anything? Stand at the other side of the room and pretend to look at the wall rather than their tank, and watch closely what they do.
As to food, I feed my fish twice a day, some seem to go off their food when brooding, others eat with gusto, but if they're keen to feed, feed as normal.

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Pterophyllum

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Re: So much effort then....... eaten!

Post  uber on Tue 07 Oct 2014, 19:48

Hi,

Thanks for your reply!

I think I'll introduce a longer photo period, or perhaps a night light closer to their next spawn - it's worth a shot, and it does seem suspicious that the eggs always do so well during the day but disappear at night!

The pair are in the tank on their own and there's definitely no snails or anything like that - it's a pretty basic set up with just a few plastic plants etc. so no chance of any snails being transferred on any decor or live plants.

I think the plan of action is to try and condition them even more over the next week in the run up to their next spawn. They love frozen bloodworm, but seem to ignore any other frozen food - tubifex, daphnia, brineshrimp - all get's ignored! Will persevere on that though.

I'll also add the light, and I think I'll try giving them a piece of slate to spawn on this time - because it looked exhausting watching them chase eggs that rolled off that spawning cone, which might have stressed them out to the point of cannibalism!

Thanks again for your advice. Will report back in a week - fingers crossed!

uber

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Re: So much effort then....... eaten!

Post  Pterophyllum on Tue 07 Oct 2014, 22:39

good luck

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