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Posted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 11:03 am
I couldn't find one of my zebs for a couple of days, and now realise he is right at the back of a cave waving his little tail around in there. Usually my zebras sit towards the entrance of the caves with their tails hanging out. Could he have eggs in there? ( I don't want to shine a light in ). I didn't notice any trapping - though I haven't had the time to watch them much lately so could have missed it.
Posted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 5:43 pm
Yes it is possible. Typically, tail hanging out of cave waving= advertising for a fm. Fish in back of cave doing the bump bounce boogie at fairly regular intervals usually = eggs/wigglers in there.
The flashlight controversy has persisted for years. From day one I have always used my flashlight to try and see what is up. 10 years later and I am still doing it and still getting spawns and fry. other folks have problems apparently, its just I am not one of them.
Posted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 10:41 pm
Thanks for the reply TwoTankAmin ...... There are eggs!!!!!
Didn't really expect them to be breeding so soon as I only got these fish a few months back and have just rearranged the tank a little. Slight problem though .... the cave is slanting down a little and one egg has rolled towards the front of the cave .. its a nice yellow colour but I guess it wont survive since its not being fanned ? Should I just leave it there ?
I guess its just a waiting game now to see how this turns out ...
Posted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 11:12 pm
..... Should I rearrange the cave so it slants up a little as opposed to down ? Or better not to touch it at this point? Thanks
Posted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 2:31 pm
If you have a turkey baster or feel you can do it with airline- suck egg up gently and then expel it back into the cave. otherwise you can put it into a breeder trap which will get flow through it.
Yes, you can place something under the front end of the cave to make it tilt slight towards the back. New pleco dads sometimes manage to accidentally expel an egg or eggs, tilting a cave towards the back helps prevent this. However, dads are pretty smart about bad eggs as well, so sometimes an expelled egg is not an accident. My philosophy is better safe than sorry, nobody wants to lose a potential zebra.
Posted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 12:38 pm
Many thanks TwoTankAmin! .... the lone egg ended up rolling into a section near the cave with good water flow over it ... its kind of sitting in a ditch where none of the Zebras go ... so I've decided to leave it there until a breeding trap & egg tumbler I've order arrives. I'll then try the turkey baster to pick it up as you suggested
Its still a good colour and I can see two little black eye dots.
I've another problem now ... seems my Zebras have gone a little bit crazy ... noticed this morning another male is on eggs!
A female was sitting nearby & looking like death ( really battered around ... her black stripes seemed faded /scratched / roughed up) I was thinking I might lose her because she looks so warn out and exhausted. Then I realised she is persistently trying to get into the males caves. She gave up on one cave, and moved onto the one with eggs in it !!
... She was really trying hard to get in and wedged herself in the entrance to the cave and the male was flapping his tail trying to get her out. She has given up now and moved onto harassing the others! Should I move her out to another tank ? I've a new set of 10 Zebra's I just got last week that I could put her in with. I'm worried she is going to disturb the guys with eggs, or kill herself by trying to get into the other caves ... she has clearly already taken such a beating!
This original set of Zebra I've got had not breed for the previous owner ( he had them two years ) so I'm shocked there is now two on eggs. I think this could have all been triggered by accidentally freezing them on the weekend! I was doing a water change with the python water changer and I ran out of hot water ... the tank was quickly filling up with freezing cold water and before I realised the temp dropped 3 degrees in a very short amount of time
. I was doing a thorough clean so totally disturbed their environment ... I'm very surprised they have laid eggs!
Posted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 6:39 pm
My bet is this is not the mom. In a group setting with multiples males and females, the females also have a pecking order. the top fm gets to spawn with the top m. The problem is subordinant fms want to spawn too. As we know dads are protective of a spawn until it leaves the cave. So once the female has laid the eggs, she is working to produce more while the male does his job.
So what a subordinant female does is try to force herself into this situation. Sometimes, though not often, a male will spawn with two fm in one cave in rapid succession. More likely he will not allow another fish into the cave under any circumstances. So when a lesser female looks haggard, it may be from failing to be allowed in or it could mean she fought with the female who was.
But she is not going yo give up that easily. Sooner or later most dads will try and slip out briefly to eat. If the subordinant females sees this she will dash in and eat eggs or wigglers, If she can do this, the dad no longer has a brood to raise and he is then willing to spawn again.
There are advantages and disadvantages when it comes to working with either groups, trios or pairs. The person working with the fish must determine what grouping works best for them. I am a believer in colony spawning, so I work with anywhere from as few as 7 fish and as many as about 15 in my breeder tanks which are different sizes.
Finally, one of my reasons fro preferring groups for breeding is that spawning begats spawning. Their are hormones involved and in the confines of a tank these may be strong enough in concentration to stimulate other fish of that species to spawn. In fact, I have read from cory breeders and even angel breeders that they will move water from a tank with spawning fish to a tank where they wish to induce spawning in order to transfer some of the hormones.
Since this is a spawning thread i would like to mention I have gotten a few spawns from my group lately. I only mention this because the fish in that tank are at least over 13 years old and as much as 16. You should have a good future ahead fro yours. When mine started they went nuts for three plus seasons before slowing down.
Posted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 5:28 pm
wow that is great yours are still spawning, you must take amazing care of them to have had them that long - I hope mine keep going!
Thanks for all your advice in the last post - I think you are right ... the aggressive female is not the mum of the original eggs. And I'm pretty sure the second cave which I'm adamant had eggs in it later had all eggs gone and the male no longer fanning after she visited the cave
Anyway ... there is a third cave with eggs in it now ... personally not a cave I would choose if I was a Zebra ( its too big in my opinion! ). One egg looked like it was going to slip out (need to put a stone under the front! ) but the father moved it back in
He doesn't seems as diligent as the alpha male .... he fans a lot but doesn't seem as good at guarding his cave. He often looks like he is going to come right out ....
You can see the egg that was coming out in the pic below ( not very clear pic ... egg in on the RHS in the cave )
Regarding the babies from the first batch ... I've got one in a fry saver - he worked his way in to another large Zebs cave and the older Zeb kept trying to get rid of him and was hitting him with his tail. Poor little thing was getting quite beaten around so I removed him.
The others are all in the tank - 3 have left the cave ( I see them swimming around the tank at night usually). I think there is another two in with the dad still.
Again, thanks for all your help / advice!
Posted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 8:58 pm
I would suggest you might want to add a bit more cover for your fry. Basically, when small, they find safety in hiding places which are too small for a bigger fish to fit into. I try to have a ton of hiding places from crannies in wood up to regular caves. I have rock and slate work in the tank as well.
About the only time I see fry is soon after they are born during tank maint. As I clean each filter or sponged powerhead, they are turned off. When the current starts to die very young fry get curious and will come out of hiding. I will see one zipping from here to there or other stick to the glass. As I do my refill as the filter intakes become submerged, I begin restarting them.
I never see anything bigger than an occasional somewhat larger one besides the fry and never do adults come out. =it is hard to provide too much cover for these fish. The one downside is that taking a tank apart to remove fry or bigger fish means taking it all out and then returning it.
I always pill everything to containers with water. Often I use a Rubbermaid with a heater and an airstone going in it. I do this because more often than not, small fish are inside the wood or in a cave and I didn't see them. I almost always find a fry or two in the container when I put the tank back together. I have lost a few plecos over the years by putting wood from a tank into a bucket w/o any water in it. A few hours later I had a dead fish or two on the bottom of the bucket.
Posted: Fri Mar 11, 2016 1:29 pm
thanks - I will definitely do that! They do have a few places to hide but clearly need more. Don't worry the photos I've taken of them isn't their normal behaviour ( out in the open ) .... I had just turned the light on at night. I generally don't see them at all which worries me that they have died ... until I see them again!
Unfortunately I have lost two ( there is at-least 4 left ) ... makes really sad after all the effort the dad has taken fanning and looking after the eggs
... I just found their tiny white bodies floating when I turned the circulation pump ( Eheim streamOn: https://www.eheim.com/en_GB/products/te ... onplus5000
) on after feeding. I'm not sure if they had actually got sucked into the pump or if turning the pump on just caused their bodies to float up from whenever they were. I'm not sure what to do as the Zebras seem really happy with the circulation pump on, plus it keeps their tank very clean ( gets rid of all the dead spots ) but maybe I need to turn it off for the sake of the fry, or move the fry to another tank somehow ( possibly impossible now as I can't find them in the day time ). The two that died did seem much smaller than the survivors so I'm not sure how long they had been dead and maybe they had just died from some other cause.
Any advice for me ? many thanks.
Posted: Fri Mar 11, 2016 4:21 pm
I realise what has happen now ..... should have been obvious immediately ... the two that died are actually new babies from a different cave ( also first spawn for this dad ) , hence they were so small. I found another dead today and another two with a huge egg sacks trying to swim around the tank!!!!
I'm guessing they are 3 days old ... I've put them in an egg tumbler ( is that the right thing to do ? ) but they don't look so well. Not sure what has happened ... if dad has lost control or is kicking them out early ...
As far as I can tell the fry from the other cave are doing well ... the one in the fry saver is quite large now and looks in good form ... much bigger than these little guys.
One thing I can think of is I've been putting in a bit extra food to ensure the fry that have left the cave get something. Also haven't being doing such large water changes as I didn't want to shock / disturb the new eggs / fry .... so my water quality might have dropped a little
Ill go and take some measurements now.
Any thoughts / advice ? Thanks!