So there's Cisco and Megan...they've been together in a community 20 gallon tank for a while (maybe a couple of weeks?)...she in a breeder floating where he can see her but can't get to her and he having the run of the tank...along with some guppies (about 5), two frogs and a bottom-feeding catfish.
I have removed the pair from the community tank and have set up a ten gallon aquarium half-full, a leaf for bubble nest (if so desired), heater, bare bottom (no sand), the temp is set at 80 and Megan is HUGE... I noticed the white spot on her abdomen only today. Cisco hasn't built a new nest yet as they have just been put in the beeding tank within the last hour. Megan is again in the breeder box floating on the surface. So here's my question(s); how long can the female keep the eggs inside of her without problems before I let her in with the male? Cisco is a very good nest builder and has made them overnight so I know he can do it. But I don't want to turn her loose with him until he builds a nest for the eggs and he hasn't had enough time yet. At least I don't think he has. I'm guessing it usually takes a few hours? Will Megan be alright for another day or two without HAVING to laying her eggs? Do they reach a point where the eggs aren't good anymore if still inside of her? How long after I noticed the white spot can she retain the eggs safely? I know this probably sounds silly to all you folks whose have been doing this a long time but I haven't found anything that addresses this issue. Even tho I've read a fair amount about breeding these lovely fish, there's nothing like experience.
ANY advice would be greatly appreciated!