Population control for 7.6g endler/RCS tank?

MrsWolfie

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HI all,
I received my endlers livebearers yesterday and I have to say that I am already in love! Every time I approached the tank yesterday, they were right at the front and watching me. When I sat down to coffee this morning, they were at the side watching me (my 29L is next to the sofa). I moved them from the 7L to the 29L first thing this morning and they breezed it. They've been swimming around exploring all of the caves and ornaments that they now have to explore. I gave them a few more ml of API's StressCoat and they seem to be absolutely fine. They've taken to us as much as we've taken to them - they definitely aren't shy!

However, once the glaze from my adoration of these little guys (and girls) wore off yesterday, I noticed that the very kind seller and sent me two extras, two females, for free. That's great for the 2:1 female-to-male ratio required for Endlers, but it did give me an anxiety spike - 4 females will mean a whole tonne of fry!

My tank isn't huge and I don't have room for an upgrade, so it's left me wondering what I can do for population control? We're planning to introduce 6 RCS in 1-2 weeks time, once the endlers have had chance to really settle, but I know that they also breed prolifically. Therefore, is there anything that anyone can suggest for a 7.6g tank to help stop numbers getting out of whack, but will leave my adult endlers alone?

Just for clarification purposes, my tank has very hard water, pH generally reading around 7.0-7.5 (always impossible to tell for sure with test strips) and operates at 22C. Ideally I don't want to raise that as I'd like to keep my endlers alive for as long as possible!

Thanks all for reading,

Helen
 
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MrsWolfie

MrsWolfie

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JettsPapa said:
I'd be afraid that any fish you'd introduce to eat endler fry would decimate your shrimp population.
Hmm really? That's worth knowing about. I might have another chat with hubby then as it seems like an either/or situation. To be fair, the RCS were a compromise given I wanted a couple of cory cats (my other love) but the tank is too small to have them, and so I can't. In that case, it may be that that's decided for us.
 

Algonquin

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I wouldn't worry too much about the shrimp population... they have a very low bioload, and will generally only populate as much as the food source will allow. I would be more concerned about being overloaded with endlers! :)
 
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MrsWolfie

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Algonquin hence the panic when I realised the chap had sent me 4 females. It's not a huge tank for holding so many babies!
 

Algonquin

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Sorry, I must have misunderstood... the way I read it, I thought you were only concerned about the shrimp population exploding :hilarious:
Yes it is a lot for a small tank... I agree with Kansas that males only is the best option. I'd rehome the females, until a much larger tank is in the picture (or you found someone who wants the fry).
 
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MrsWolfie

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Algonquin the RCS would be a concern but not nearly so much. I may be able to give away the fry on somewhere like Freegle or to my father-in-law, who is setting up his own small tank, but there is no guarantee and if I can't.. I'll give it a week to avoid stressing them out anymore, then I'll rehome the females I think. Frustrating, but I guess even males alone will exhibit the same adorable "begging" behaviour :)
 

Algonquin

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I have a pair of male endlers in a 10 gallon. They are constantly showing off to each other, and are active all day long. They're really fun to watch. Mine don't seem to have noticed that there are no ladies around to watch them argue over who is more handsome :)
I would rehome the females, you can always get more later if you are ready.
In the meantime, go with the shrimp! My endlers eat alongside the shrimp (blue cherries), never chase or harass them. If they do ever eat a tiny baby shrimp, it certainly isn't enough to impact the population at all. Others may have a different experience with endlers/shrimp together, but there are no issues in my tank to speak of.
 
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MrsWolfie

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Algonquin I've just had a look for more male endlers an unfortunately I couldn't find any from a reputable seller (though one does insist on a welfare check prior to dispatching fish - never heard of that before!). Hubby really wants the experience of witnessing fry grow up, so I've said that we will allow them to have their first "drop", rehome the females and hope to all things holy that we can rehome the female (and most of the male) fry. We'll keep six more, plus the original two. Mildly overstocking I do realise, but I don't think it will be too bad overall.

In the mean time, how many shrimp do you advise? I realise my tank 7.6g is a fair bit smaller than yours. I don't want them to look lost, but I don't want a shrimp takeover, either!
 

Algonquin

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Maybe post on the Endler forum for some advice regarding fry... with them being very small to begin with, my worry would be the ability to sex the fry before they start reproducing... but I'm not really sure if that's an issue. There are a few Endler 'experts' on the forum that would be able to help you with that kind of thing :)

Re the shrimp, you could add 9 or 10 to start (a mix of males & females) and let nature take it's course! :)
 
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MrsWolfie

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Algonquin you're a star - thankyou! The chap did say the ones that I have are still young and they are definitely mostly distinguishable. The seller also said on the listing that they "have their whole breeding life ahead of them", so I would take that to mean that he hasn't had any drops yet. I will also pop over and ask later on though when I have some more time - right now I should be working, I just remembered that I hadn't got back to you ;)

I shall do! How do BCS compare to reds? Not that blue is my husband's favourite colour, or anything..
 

Algonquin

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I'm happy to help where I can! Sounds like you are feeling a bit more settled with your plans.

Blue cherries are exactly the same shrimp as reds, just a different colour variation. I would suggest making the decision on what colour to get based on your colour preference (or hubby's!) but also the colour of your substrate. If you have dark substrate, reds will pop and be nice and bright. Blues will tend to disappear on a dark substrate. If your sand is light in colour, blues will shine, whereas reds may pale a bit to blend in. Yellow and orange are lovely options too! Even though I have Blues, I do think the classic reds are my favourite, they look so great on the green plants :)
 

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I think I read that the offspring from different color shrimp breeding will be brown.
 

Algonquin

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Yes, if you combine the various colours in a tank, they will revert back to the clear/brown wild colouring in a generation or 2. Only keep one colour per tank if you want to avoid this :) the hard part is deciding which colour to get!
 
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MrsWolfie

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Just checking back but yes. I wanted reds, my husband wants blues. We have white sand, so it looks like the blues win. I've got to get better at winning debates ;)
 
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MrsWolfie

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Algonquin just to say thankyou for your recommendations. We lost two shrimp but everyone else is doing exceptionally well. The endlers have won my heart with their "begging" behaviour. No surprises yet, but I do keep watch!
 

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Wonderful! I'm glad it is all working out for you! When you get a chance, please post some pics! :)
 

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Very nice! Have the males started doing their "look at how awesome my fins are" dance, to impress the ladies? ;)
 

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