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Learned the hard way?

So my A. cacatuoides finally produced fry, as indicated in a previous post. I had the pair, all fry (15-20?), and 9 black neon tetras in a 40 breeder, heavily planted (trust me, it’s HEAVILY planted) tank. All was fine. Female was doing a GREAT job at raising fry, everyone left them alone (the tetras aren’t that bright, anyway…), and fry were growing great.

Yesterday (15 days after hatching), I walk in and only one fry spotted, mother nowhere to be seen. I watched for a while, and found her in a cave with male, and they are displaying to each other again. I guess she/he ate all the fry they could find and are getting ready to spawn again?

I hate that this happened, as this was the first spawn I’ve had from an Apistogramma…but I suppose it’s best to remove the fry or the male after spawning from now on?
If any remove the male. With the female alone chances are much higher. And remove the tetras longterm.
Thanks for the reply!

I feel like the tetras helped them spawn. They’d been in a tank together for months and had only spawned one time, but ate eggs (my fault, 100%). Someone suggested I move them and put some other fish with them, I did, and then bam! The tetras never came close in all the hours I watched them, not to say they couldn’t. Most tetras are super fast and could easily eat a few. But these guys just don’t seem quite bright enough. Haha.

And yeah, I’ve heard some say removing the fry will lead to some loss in survival and I should remove the male only, then some have said removing the leads to more survival. At this point, I’m just hopeful they spawn again in next few days. It was very fun watching the behavior!


Based on my experience, I find that the chances of the pair eating the fry are greater after 14-days of them becoming free swimming.
I typically keep my fry with both parents for 2-weeks and remove the fry to their own tank.

In my opinion and others might have varying thoughts, but the amount and frequency you feed the fry with the pair during this time will decrease the amount of time the fry should be kept with their parents.
I find that if I feed twice a day with BBS, the 2-week rule after they become free swimming doesn't result in the loss of fry.
However, when I feed three times a day, it seems it conditions the pair alot faster and I actually see the male eat the fry around day 10.

As an aside, there are typical signs you can look out for during this time to see if they are preparing for the next spawn.
For example, if the male suddenly has the courage to get closer to the females territory with fry and starts to flare or stand his ground.
That's when I typically remove the fry.
You might even notice the females ovipositor enlarge and/or begin to show that she is full of eggs.

Nevertheless, every pair is different and your mileage may vary.
I think it all comes down to learning your pairs behaviors over time and learn their patterns to ensure you intervene where necessary.

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Please send me info regarding cuipeua. Thx, Joe.
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Where are you located?
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Longtime fish enthusiast for over 70years......keen on Apistos now. How do I post videos?
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