i have spawned the same male 3 times this month. the first two attempts have been epic fails. i will share my findings so that others wont make the same mistakes as i did.
spawn #1 Oct 27 (OrchidM x MgF)
~24 hrs after hatching, some were swimming freely but not all. concerned that the babies would starve, i removed the male at this point. the remaining fry never made it to swim horizontally. they kept darting upwards and hung around the nest. they stayed there til death. i had one survivor that was strong enough to eat bbs from day one. since then, i threw in the cheapest aquarium plant i could find and stopped hatching bbs. the lone survivor was able to live off of infusorians for over a week. i have since culled him because raising one fry was not worth the effort.
conclusions: leave the male in longer (i am hypothesizing that the fry benefits from being in the father's mouth, perphaps feeding off of something in there too. crazy, i know.) also, if youre going to breed, have a live plant in there because the fry may not eat bbs from day 1.
spawn #2 Nov 4 (OrchidM x MgF)
thats right, i have spawned the same pair a week later. where is the conditioning? will the female have more eggs after a week? can the male handle another rigourous workout after only a few days of rest?
the pair spawned happily producing about the same amount of eggs as last time. the eggs hatched and things looked good. this time, i left the male in extra long to see if i'll have more survivors. the next day, i woke up to zero babies. the father had eaten them all.
conclusions: CONDITION! males need conditioning too, just not as much as the female.
spawn #3 Nov 12 (OrchidM x OrchidF)
i woke up and saw them embracing. excited, i ran for my camera to only find the action had ended. what bad timing. so, no pretty pics this time.
i know i dont do as i preach. i am very impatient and didnt wait to fully recondition the male. perhaps i will feed him while he tends the nest.
here are a few pics from my failed attempts: