What to do with a spawn

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churun meru
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What to do with a spawn

Post by churun meru » Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:08 am

Wonder if anyone can help. About 6 months ago I suddenly found a baby zebra in my tank. The tank has 3 zebras - one of which is pretty elderly and 4 leapard frog plecos. Sadly after about 4 days of spotting the youngster it died. It must have been a fair age because it looked like a real mini zebra. What struck me was that it wasnt ideal to have this blend of fish so I put a tank divider in to split the zebs from the leapards. Well in recent days the elderly male is doing alot of fanning at the back of a cave and I have a feeling he may have eggs. But what do I do if they are eggs ? I feel the youngster lacked the ability to get enough food because of the flow in the tank along with having to risk life and limb with the leapards etc. It could have died for other reasons but what would be my best approach ? If they hatch and I leave them in I risk a rerun of what potentially happened last time, the other option is I try and move the fry to a safe area - a hatcher or similar to attempt to get food to them better.
Just wondered what everyones thoughts were on this. I am mindful that due to age my male may be reaching the end of his breeding life.
Cheers

Rod47
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Re: What to do with a spawn

Post by Rod47 » Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:51 am

As with any topic you are probably going to get a number of different opinions, but the best we can do is tell you what has worked for us. I always leave all spawns to the care of the male, primarily I guess because I have never had a problem with a male not taking excellent care of them. While I have heard that others have had experiences otherwise, it can also be a significant risk to remove the fry and put them in an environment that will ensure they get enough water movement over them. The male also mouths the eggs constantly to not only keep the water moving past them but to also get rid of unfertilized eggs or eggs that get attacked by fungus. That is difficult to replicate, although it can be done and some breeders have done it.

Since you are not sure what the reason is for the death (one could be the fry, being very small, may have tried to eat a piece of food too big for it, which can happen if the plecos are fed bloodworms, etc), my suggestion would be to leave the likely spawn with the male and monitor what happens this time. If the male spends all of his time (day after day for a week or more) at the back of the cave fanning and not coming out to eat or to sit and look out the opening of the cave, it is highly likely there is a recent batch of eggs and he is taking great care of them. Now that you suspect there may be a spawn, you can watch and see what happens. If the opening is facing so you can shine the beam of a flashlight into the back of the cave, you can often see the eggs or fry, even if he is there. If he does come out, shine a light in and take a look.

Did the fry appear to have part of an egg sac present? That looks like a creamy white ball where its stomach would be. The male normally keeps the fry in the cave until a week or more after the egg sac is gone. The black striping becomes apparent before the egg sack is totally gone, so it would look like a baby zebra pleco with a fat belly. I ask because what can happen is that a fry can sometimes get past the male and wiggle too close to the mouth of the cave and then fall out. Most males in my experience watch the fry well enough that they keep pushing them to the back of the cave until they are ready to leave. Most of the several week old fry actually stay near the rear of the cave on their own until he is ready for them to leave or until he spawns again and the next batch of eggs hatch.

churun meru
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Re: What to do with a spawn

Post by churun meru » Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:54 pm

Thanks for your reply Rod47.
The young fry I lost last time must have been a fair age as it looked just like a mini zebra - way past the fry with an egg sack stage. I lost it about 3 days after I first saw it. The tank is quite a hostile environment as the zebras share with a ground of leopard frogs aswell so life wasnt easy for the little guy. I felt in this little guys case I wasnt able to provide it with suitable food in something of a hostile environment.
Looking at my latest case I have successfully spawned the zebras once again however sadly there is just ONE fry ! maybe I just had one fry the 1st time ! Anyway I have moved the cave this time to a small tank using aquarium water from the main tank. The male has been left in the main tank so I now have a fry in a cave in its own small aquarium. Looking at images on the breeding section of this site I put the fry at 8-10 days old but dont know at what point I should be looking to get food to the little guy.

1zebra
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Re: What to do with a spawn

Post by 1zebra » Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:31 pm

I had a partition in a 40g breeder tank. My L46 on left side & my L260 on the right. When I saw fry in. The L260 cave I set up a5 g tank w ith water from the tank & pulled the cave with the male & fry. I turned alight on at night & found 14 fry. I left the fry in the 5 g. & returned the male still in his cave back to the breeding tank. The L260 male has since had second spawn. My L46 spawned at about the same time. I now have my L260 & my L46 in their own 40 g tank. I strongly recommend you putting your L134 in their own tank. I also keep L134 & they are more aggressive feeders than your L46 & my L260. If you keep them together I believe eventually your L46 will not be able to compete for food & starve. I might have left the fry in the tank if they had their own tank. I have 14 fry that are about 11/2 " size in a 20 tank now. Good luck with breeding them.

churun meru
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Re: What to do with a spawn

Post by churun meru » Sat Feb 23, 2013 10:59 pm

I still have my single fry in a tank on its own. All currently appears to be ok. The parents have not spawned again as of yet. Seems they only laid a few eggs last time considering I only got one baby !

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