Ok guys, it has to be the water. Every time I put fish in the spawn tanks they become lethargic and "not themselves" by the end of the 1st day. I just separated Anakin and Kuki because they both appeared lethargic and were just hanging out on opposite sides of the tank (no injuries, just not acting right). Senshi's spawn was lost for no apparent reason, Senshi also became extremely lethargic for no apparent reason and had to be removed early. Anakin is lethargic but ok, Kuki was all clamped up but was fine this morning with some clean, salted water.
All breeders have been conditioned for at least a month and are healthy and active in their normal homes. I use the same water and additives in all my tanks. The only obvious difference is that the spawn tanks are not filtered.
I tested my tap, spawn tanks and long term homes at Petco today. Apparently, my water is "soft" and in the ideal range for fish, which is a surprise. There was a low reading of ammonia in the spawn tank sample but it was otherwise clean.
The only thing that stood out was that the pH is 7.5-8. Would that be enough to prevent spawning? Would IAL or Betta Spa (atison's product) be enough to fix it?
There is also protein scum in the spawn tanks (no filter). Would that prevent them from spawning and/or kill fry? I typically have a sponge filter in my spawning tanks, this is the first time I have not used one. Would that be worth a try?
How the water/tank is prepared:
1) 5 gallons of aged tap water (we use well water)
2) Stress Coat added (no chlorines but possible heavy metals)
3) Heavily Planted, bare bottom, regular 10 gal tank
4) Heated, 82*F