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Old 10-15-2010, 10:31 AM   #1 
PeggyJ
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Fathers Eating the Fry

I have a question. What can I do about males eating their fry. I had one I bred three times over several months but he kept eating the eggs. I retired him and got another male. They spawned 3 days ago...He did fabulous up until last night. The babies hatched he was gathering them up and putting them back in the nest as he should. They were not free swimming so I didnt want to take out the father, but this morning I didnt see any fry at all. I think he ate them. What can I do to stop this?
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Old 10-15-2010, 11:03 AM   #2 
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Often the father eats the eggs/fry for a reason-either the eggs are not fertile or diseased, fry may be deformed/disease...sometimes it is because the male felt that the eggs/fry are in danger/threatened and they eat them so they can have the protein and energy to spawn again when it is safe...and some are just not good fathers........hard to say why for sure.....

What you can do with know egg/fry eater is to remove the male at any stage after the eggs are in the nest and artificial hatch the eggs or once they hatch remove the male-healthy wigglers will be fine without him-you often will have lower numbers that survive-healthy eggs and fry should not fall from the nest and if fry fall- healthy ones will be able to get back to the nest on their own-make sure you have lots of live plants for them and this will help increase survival rates.
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Old 10-15-2010, 11:50 AM   #3 
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I have read that lowering the water is necessary, however, that means I will have to buy another heater. I have 3 of them but the submersible ones i have only allow the temp to get up to like 76F and I believe that is too cold for the hatchlings. The one I am using in the 10gal is not completely submersible, but it allows me to adjust the temp. I cant use it though, if i have to lower the water level to a couple of inches. Will the babies be okay if I dont lower the water that much?
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Old 10-15-2010, 12:13 PM   #4 
indjo
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I agree with OFL and healthy fry should survive even if you don't lower the water level. Just give them plenty of live plants. OR
you can move the eggs into a plastic bowl and float it in a heated tank with covers. 1 - 2" of water is enough. Make sure the eggs are not in one group, but scattered to avoid bad eggs spoiling good ones. Don't worry about the eggs that sink. After they hatch, try to remove as many bad eggs as possible (fungus). You can add another inch of water if you want (to reduce ammonia level due to bad eggs). Release them after they are free swimming.
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Old 10-15-2010, 12:49 PM   #5 
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Thanks for all of the good ideas. I will try them out ... my husband kept telling me to take the male out, but I thought he was doing such a great job when they hatched it was great.. but then I felt bad when they disappeared again. (I hate it when he's right) I kept telling him the male had to do his job until they were free-swimming...
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Old 10-15-2010, 01:00 PM   #6 
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I only spawn in full tank of water about 10-12 inches-you don't have to lower the water level for the eggs/fry-it is lowered for the male-sometimes when not properly conditioned or with really large/heavy fins- the male can tire and stress in over 12 inches of water going back and forth during the spawning act.
More water volume also means less chance of water quality problems and more space for the female to get away if needed too.

In one of my experiment I gave the male a choice of water level in a tub outside sitting at an angle-the water varied from 4inch-6inches-8inches and he picked the deep end (8inches) for every spawn-not a scientific study and no controls but he seemed to prefer deeper water and in my 5g bucket spawn the water level was 12-13 inches.
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Old 10-15-2010, 01:59 PM   #7 
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Okay... my hubby thinks Im nuts trying to do all this.. but i find it lots of fun and very interesting. Im thinking I should wait a bit to try to spawn again. I do have two males and three females.. so I may try a different "couple"... I understand you should wait like two weeks? Then i have also read that some males are ready right after the fry hatch...
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Old 10-15-2010, 03:02 PM   #8 
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As long as the male is conditioned-he is ready to spawn at any time-I have found that waiting at least 3 days between spawns with a well conditioned female give me better eggs or works best.

It is important that both be conditioned with live or frozen foods to yield quality/healthy eggs/milt for a good clutch of healthy wigglers/fry.

Getting healthy eggs/wigglers/fry is just half of it and the easiest part of the process....rearing strong healthy well developed fry to adults can be the hard/tricky part with the first 4 weeks being critical....quality live foods and clean water can increase your odds of success with limited problems.....
Good luck....
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