I have a 10 gallon tank just for breeding purposes. My earlier attemps at breeding were somewhat a success though I lost lots of fry in the learning process. You can do a lot of research but when it comes down to it you just have to learn as you go.
I have gained confidence that I will have a higher survival rate with upcoming fry but here is the problem I'm having of late: I can get the fish to breed and lay eggs no problem but when egg laying is complete the male will eat all the eggs within 24 hours. Note this is not always the same male as it has happened with several of them and some have been good fathers in the past.
I'm wondering if it is a water issue? I had this idea of letting one of my males live in the breeding tank full of water with a filter running and when it was time to breed I would lower the water level, turn off the filter, start a sponge filter, increase temperature, introduce the female, etc. my thought process here was that the water would be cycled and safe for the eggs and fry and it would have allowed spacious living for one of the males while the fish were getting conditioned for spawning. Is this where I'm going wrong? Is it better to have 100% fresh water each time you start a new spawn? I thought this could be problematic as I worry the water would cycle at just the wrong time and kill the fry. I think the last time (successful) I set the tank up new and used about a gallon of water from my sorority tank to jump start the new water.
I would love to have this breeding tank up and running all the time because: it could provide a home for one of my males between spawns, the water would be cycled, less set up time when I introduce the fish, and already have microrganisms already established for the fry to eat (I can see tiny little critters in the water). Is this something that just cannot work and I need to have the water pristine at the onset of breeding? Are my "little critters" in the tank making the eggs infertile and causing the male to eat them? If i notice the male eating eggs should I just remove him, drop the water level to about 2-3 inches and try to hatch without daddy?
Love to here from experts here as to what's going on. Thanks in advance.