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Guest Brian

Cobalt Zebra

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Guest Brian

Im new to the cichlid fun but have found it very rewarding so far. I have a mixed community tank resently my cobalt zebra has started swelling around her mouth and has quit feeding. I first noticed it about 2 days ago my tank would be hard to partition but there is lots of good cover for small fish. Does anyone think I will have any luck with rasing some of the young or will I need to seperate from mother after hatch. Some of the fish I have are Bumblebees, Demasonies, cobalt zebras, blood parrots, blue goramies, tiger barbs, rosie barbs, rainbow fin shark, lepremoses, baloa sharks, pleco, and a spotted south american catfish. Not sure on all the spelling any suggestions on increasing surviveability on the new baby cobalt zebras. Thanks, Brian in Dallas 55 gallons

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Hi Brian,

 

You have some pretty aggressive fish in that tank. If your mom releases in there, I would imagine you would have an extremely low (think 0-10%) survival rate.

 

Also, when a female is holding, she (and sometimes her mate) usually tends to get more aggressive. I would worry about your Gouramis (which have totally different water requirements than cichlids anyways) getting attacked. The sharks can probably hold their own, and cichlids seem to leave catfish and plecos alone, but some of your other fish could be in for it.

 

If you are looking at trying to improve the survival rates of the fry, its best to seperate the mom into her own 10g tank with a sponge filter until she spits. After that she can go back into the main tank or you can keep her with her fry if you really want. Fry are extra sensitive about water quality so keep up on the changes. Feed them powered flake food and baby brine shrimp. They should grow pretty fast.

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Guest Brian

Wow thanks for the advice I have deffinatly thought of getting my gauramies out but so far they have been fine my tank is set up mainly for cichlids on the water quality and everything seems fine so far. She still hasent spit yet but Im thinking any day now. I really dont have the time to set up a 10 gallon tank and do all that but it is something I plan to do in the future. If I have 1 fry live I will be happy Im not really in it to breed just the enjoyment. Im considering it a success just because I got them to spawn it is fassinating to me. I will let you know how thing develop they will more then likely become fish food. Thank you so much for the response. Brian in Dallas

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Guest Brian

Just an update I was cleaning the tank today and found 1 cobalt zebra fry I hope there is more hiding in the caves. Anyone know how soon she will spawn again just curious this time I might set up a 10 gallon cichlid tank to seperate her in to have a higher surviveability rate. Thanks, Brian in Dallas

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I don't know how often Zebras can produce fry but in some mouthbrooding cichlids it can be every 4 weeks or so. Congrats on the little survivor though.

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If there are lots of small tight hiding places, then more than one probably survived. I had some fry that I thought I had killed all of them...nope one was still living in amongst the rocks. He hides in the shadows and only comes out at feeding time. We will see what will happen when he gets bigger.

 

Jeff

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Yeah, it took me like two months to finally figure out how many fry I had, and the only other fish in the tank was the mom and a pleco. They would hide out and only eat food that would float by their chosen hiding place. Once they got larger they starting comming out at feeding times and now they're out all the time.

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Hi Im new to the site and to Mbunas as well.. 6 months new that is.. Ive had oscars and such in the past.. but now im full fledged into mbunas..I have a female "labidochromis" super red top kimpuma she started holding on the 13th of may.. she has started eating alot iin the last week.. its funny she lets the flakes actually land on her face then sucks them thru her cracked lips.. does this mean she has fry now??? I have her seperated in a ten gallon by herself.. her bucol cavity is still swollen so I know shes still got something in there but she wont open her mouth wide enough for me to see anything and I dont want to stress her to much so im trying to let her do this on her own... US poor nosey humans... this is driving me nuts!!!!Katherine WHY didnt anyone notice i had the name wrong they arent laboetropheus they are labidochromis...?????

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Guest Brian

Thanks for all the input. I did find more survivors and have added more tight hiding places. So far have counted about 4 and my mom and dad have shown signs of spawning again. Thanks again

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MubuaMatt...

 

She has been holding for awhile now...if she doesn't cough them up in the next few days than you may have to force her to do it. It is perfectly normal in the hobby for this to happen. All you need to do is catch her in a net, hold her in your right hand, tip her upside down and slip a nail in her mouth and pry it open. Of course you need to do this over the fish tank. the fry will pour out...I've done this once and it worked out alright for me. I think the other option is to wait and wait...and maybe she will spit, and maybe she will eat...

 

good luck

 

jeff

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well she spit finally 5 fry but 2 are deformed body wise their body is a "S" shape. the other three are fine but all are swimming okand eating like little mbunas LOL

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Guest Brian

Well just a quick update all the babies are doing fine and the momma has more eggs in her mouth havent had to do much different just enjoying the new babies. Thanks for all the input Brian in Dallas

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richardsville is right except dont use a nail use an empty water demineralizer bottle with like a small coffee stir straw in the tip and fill it with tank water hold female lips down and gently flush fry & unhatched eggs out. make straw tip about 1inch but cut after u wedge it in (can be a pain) lol. p.s. if u cut the tip w/an angle this will make it easier

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Guest Brian

Just another update I have more babies she finally spit her second batch so I have lots of cobalt zebras now anyone know when they quit spawning or will they do this year round if conditions are right. Thanks, Brian in Dallas

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Hey

One time my convicts spawned in a 20 w/ an undergravel filter. One day i looked in and all the babies had disappeared. I figured the parents had eaten them. Three weeks later I was cleaning out the filter plates because the tank was cloudy and I found about 200 half grown convicts under the filter plates! Just an interesting tidbit. :D

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anserwing the question about how often they spawn. if you have the right requirements and the female only holds the fry for about 2 weeks i think she will have fry about once a month. i have had a pair of johanni spawn every month for 6 mnths strait. that was with keeping the water conditions perfect and keeping their diet perfect.

MAtt

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Guest Brian

Hey, Well just an update I have kept up with the water changes and good diet and I count how many times they have spawned now I had to thin them out once already gave about ten babies to a nieghbor and still have tons of chiclids in my 55 gallon and the fish dont seem to aggressive just having fun. Brian in Dallas

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Guest tom

Hello, I have a 50 gal tank with 12 different africans, 2 plecos, and 2 synodomis cats. The africans are 3 yellow labs, 2 bright orange, 2 blue, one white albino,one green camoflage colored one plus a couple others. I just noticed two of the yellows holding something in their mouths. I was looking for info on the internet and found this site. I am totally dumb on the reproduction habits of these fish. I have had them for about 10 months and they are about 2 to 3 inches long. The tank has lots of live plants that they like to hangout in. Could someone please enlighten me on africans reproduction. Thanks!

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i think africans are a little better parents then other cichlids, but just not that aggressive like doviis and devils. once they have fry they will more than likely to spawn over and over. it'll be like a disease, but if you're in the breeding part of the hobby then thats good. they tend to keep most of their babies out of sight until they get larger. i believe that they are mouthbreeders. the mommmy will scoop up her babies in her mouth and she'll have a big sack under her mouth. she'll only let them come out for a little bit then back in her mouth while daddy is out patrolling, but keep a close eye on all fishes that you have. they might even eat their own babies if they feel threaten by other fishes you have in the tank. They rather eat their own then letting others eat their own babies. its nature. :D

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I honestly forgot the average holding time for Yellow Labs. That might be something of interest to you although I see your post is pretty old and your fish would have spit or swallowed already (as in, spit the babies out or swallowed the eggs already).

 

Labs will produce like rabbits. With the right conditions, sexually mature females have only a week or two rest before they are holding again. Thats one of the reasons its better have more females than males-they typically get a longer break inbetween holding. Holding is very stressful on females, they eat very little and can become pretty weak.

 

Immediately after mbuna eggs are fertilized, the female carries them in her mouth. This is when she starts to buldge. Eventually they will hatch in her mouth and she will continue to carry them. As they grow, she will let them come out for short periods of time and then will scoop them up if she feels theres any danger. They are not primitive mouthbrooders which carry their young only after they hatch.

 

Even with this advanced level of parental care, few fry survive in community tanks.

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Guest kristi
:P I have a 120gal. with 2 blue cobalt, 1 yellow lab, 2 gouramis, 3 blood parrots, 1 algae eater thats over 12 inches long, 1 gelly bean parrot, and 8 barbs. My 2 cobalt blues had fry but I only see 2 of them hiding out underneith the castle. I dont have a lot of rocks in my tank and I prefer fake plants. Most of the plants are uprooted though. Who knows what fish did that! Anyway I was wondering if someone had any advice on wheather or not the babies will survive and if more might be hiding under the castle. Like I said, I dont have a lot of hiding spots in that tank. Just a lot of plastice plants. Also I kinda worry about the barbs. Mine nip at everything so I hope they dont try to nip at the babies.

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