Rams eating fry or moving them?

Huckleberry77

I have free swimming baby Rams! When I tried watching what’s going on in there it looks like the parents might be eating the babies. However, sometimes it looks like the mom picks them up in her mouth and then swims back over to the nest and spits them back out again. Is it possible that she’s not eating them but she’s moving them?
 

Flyfisha

That is how dwarf cichlids move the fry back into the main cloud of fry / nest.
 

SparkyJones

the parents still think they can wrangle them up and put them back in the nest pile, they will get over it shortly and give up, Angels do the same thing, different nesting, same procedure.

as wrigglers they can pick them up and move them and spit them out over and over again, as some start bouncing around and wandering, learning how to swim, the parents will collect them and spit them back in the pile. When everyone is free swimming, not just popping up here or there and going back down, the parents will give up on it, and usually the fry will hang out with a parent in a cloud around it for protection.

The thing is though, there's a fine line between "taking care of my babies", and "annoying me non stop, they got to go!"
if that line gets crossed, they can get eaten. Once the majority are up and free swimming constantly, leaving them with the parents is kind of more risk to the fry than value keeping them with them.
 

Huckleberry77

Awesome responses SparkyJones and Flyfisha ! Thank you! I’m glad to hear that they might not be eating them! Now I just need some assistance with how to feed these fry. I have vinegar eels and maybe some micro worms ready. I also have baby nano fry food and golden pearls fry food. Do I just drop the food into the tank and the fry will find it? Or do I have to try to use the dropper and get it over by where they are? I will start trying to hatch some brine shrimp. These fish are swimming quite a bit earlier than I expected them to. I think they just laid the eggs last Friday night.
 

SparkyJones

Awesome responses SparkyJones and Flyfisha ! Thank you! I’m glad to hear that they might not be eating them! Now I just need some assistance with how to feed these fry. I have vinegar eels and maybe some micro worms ready. I also have baby nano fry food and golden pearls fry food. Do I just drop the food into the tank and the fry will find it? Or do I have to try to use the dropper and get it over by where they are? I will start trying to hatch some brine shrimp. These fish are swimming quite a bit earlier than I expected them to. I think they just laid the eggs last Friday night.

if last friday, it's about right for at least some to be freeswimming by now. 6 days and give or take 24 hours for the eggs before you noticed it was happening. I think the story is 3-5 to hatch, the 3-5 to freeswim, so can be 6 days out to 10 depending on temperature and all that jazz.

How I did it with angel fry first feedings.
I used a dropper and I used hikari first bites exclusively. i took about 10ml of water in a little cough syrup cup, put in a little of the first bites and let them get saturated with the water, stirred it a little bit.
When it all sank, I tilted the little cup to pile it up and sucked it up in the dropper and sprayed it into the fry cloud.
it suspends and swirls around like that in the tank, and it seems to trigger the feeding behavior. after a while you can just pour it in from the cup once they get used to knowing it's food.

The wouldn't eat it when I just sprinkled it on top of the water and it floated.
By the way, removing the parents helps with the feedings, making it easier, as well as the cleanings becoming easier. the parents will hammer you in defense of the fry and the fry will follow them, and it make it so much harder to keep the tank clean and the fry fed when every time you get near them a fish is plugging your hand and getting stressed.

the movement and chase response triggers that first feeding and them understanding what food is. they might not take to dead food immediately, in which case, all of those options are pretty much out unless you work it in over time and they adjust to it.
vinegar eels would work, recommended for the first week before moving on to baby brine shrimp, some of them are just too small for the bbs for that first week,

I will say this, it's hard to tell if the fry are eating when feeding them anything other than baby brine shrimp, then you can see they've eaten and who hasn't when their stomachs turn orange /pink. It was kind of a guessing game with the first bites until they were bigger, I just fed less food, a lot more often hoping they'd be getting a little something every couple hours and figure out what the food was,,, which worked, but wasn't the easiest feeding schedule to work with at all for my sleep schedule.
 

LizStreithorst

Moving fry is a way of protecting them. It's a sign of good parenting. A pair can move a batch several times so be careful doing WC until you can spot them.
 

coralbandit

Get a meat tenderizer/ syringe to target feed the fry for first week or two.
They do not even know what food is .
Do not use the golden pearls till they are eating the BBS well first.
There is no harm in offering beside water quality, but the fry have no clue.
They need to learn to hunt first.
Tenderizer I use found at grocery store for under $10 before the people spoke.
meat injector - Bing - Shopping
I snip the tip off since it has two holes and then squish it a little with pliers so it won't drip after I draw the BBS into it.
There is no guarantee that either of the parents will turn at any moment.
IME the female is loose and eats the fry, hence the male chasing her off.
Many and myself have successfully removed the female, let the male raise the fry for 2-3 weeks and then placed the male back with the female[ in a tank she is already comfortable in ] to start all over again.
I appreciate you have purchased a proven pair, but nature laughs at some of us who push..
If I counted all the rams I raised and sold 10-25% at the most were raised by the parents.
Breeders have broken the ram and artificial hatching is how to keep the lines going .
If your rams do raise fry thank your breeder. It is the exception as opposed to the rule
 

LizStreithorst

That's not the way with my line of Pitch Blacks I bought from you. Most all of them have raised their own kids.
 

coralbandit

That's not the way with my line of Pitch Blacks I bought from you. Most all of them have raised their own kids.
Thank the breeder like I said.
75-90% of the fish I sold would not have happened without me.
I love you Liz! :p
 

LizStreithorst

Oh I know that! I always give you credit whenever I sell them. I didn't know what else to call them but my line because mine, which I've been breeding for many generations, have some different characters. Mine, at least under my care generally raise their own kids. The first pairs I bought from you raised their own. I guess I was lucky. Also Ive had 3 different pairs that have had spawns of all blacks. That's way strange.
 

coralbandit

The PBR were the best parents ever [ Thanks to Shahar Danziger ] or homicidal maniacs that killed each other like that.
Goes to figure not much came from the homicidal ones ??
Out of the game now but miss it .
You all sell them too cheap, makes me not interested in putting my efforts towards them again.
It took me years, hundreds if not a thousand miles driven and God only knows how much to run 65 aquariums.
I have mentioned this before...No other fish interest me so I will idle for now . People sell cheaper so I have no game. OUT.
Not in it for the money, but besides you and Amy who offers these fish?
I wouldn't / won't sell for $60 a pair . That barely covers Priority Express .
 

Flyfisha

Pipette

Coralbandit has offered good information.
All I can add is the word pipette.
I picked up some tiny turkey basters in my local “ home brew” supply store. Home brew beer.
The meat injector may be hard to find? A small turkey baster or pipette can be used to do the same thing.

Pipettes (Set of 10)
 

LizStreithorst

I haven't yet, after all this time had to ask less for my Pitch Black pairs that what you sold them to me for. Other breeders sell what they call Pitch Blacks on AB for less but never mention the the source of their stock. Reputation means a lot.
 

Huckleberry77

The PBR were the best parents ever [ Thanks to Shahar Danziger ] or homicidal maniacs that killed each other like that.
Goes to figure not much came from the homicidal ones ??
Out of the game now but miss it .
You all sell them too cheap, makes me not interested in putting my efforts towards them again.
It took me years, hundreds if not a thousand miles driven and God only knows how much to run 65 aquariums.
I have mentioned this before...No other fish interest me so I will idle for now . People sell cheaper so I have no game. OUT.
Not in it for the money, but besides you and Amy who offers these fish?
I wouldn't / won't sell for $60 a pair . That barely covers Priority Express .
I know a guy named Attila in Albany who bred rams and is now out of it for similar reasons to you.

I have some tiny hypodermic syringes that I used to measure out things like test water, ferts, and Prime etc. I imagine those could be used for the brine shrimp as well? I do have some of those plastic pipettes also. I will check out the meat tenderizer.
The female here seems to be very good at picking up the fry and moving them back to the nest. I think the dad is drunk. He will pick up the fry chew them a little bit and spit them out in random places. His behavior is much less organized than the female.
 

coralbandit

The picking them up and 'hearding ' them is only part of the picture.
The mouthing as it was called washes the fry as they are slow and inept to the point that stuff like bacteria and even detritus lands and stays on them.
Remember when I said they move the fry to clean site instead of just removing what was bad?
The parents know the fry need assistance as their immune system may not have even began to develop yet. Change water like you always do but stay away from the swarm for now.
With people I agree women are better parents.
With rams ,not one chance in 100 for me .
Some breeders use very small tanks since the parents seem to lose their minds when the fry wander.
I favored 5 gallon tanks but read on people using 2g or less and used liters for raising fry.
I ran 15@ 5 g like clockwork, with fry that were artificially hatched growing in dip and pours[1 liter] for up to 3 weeks and then moved 2-3 gallon tanks. My first PBR of my efforts were raised in a 3 g tank...
 

Huckleberry77

How frequently should I try to feed them vinegar eels? I squirted a couple drops from the pipette into the cloud around 7 o’clock.
 

coralbandit

If you can change water to keep it clean, feed 4-6 times a day. I managed 3 times on weekdays and all day on weekends!!!
I fed my fry every time I could as long as could keep up on the water. Once they learn to eat, much like us they never stop[ got no jobs]...
When you have to or want to change less water feed less.
They will eat all day and eventually you should notice them nibbling on sponge filter or wherever food is to be found.
 

Huckleberry77

Update- the fry have disappeared and they spawned again on the rock!
 

Flyfisha

My sympathies Huckleberry77 . It can get discouraging ? Only you can decide if you steal a few fry from the cloud with the turkey baster next time.

Just as the adults are practicing their part you might enjoy practicing raising some fry away from the parents?
 

Huckleberry77

My sympathies Huckleberry77 . It can get discouraging ? Only you can decide if you steal a few fry from the cloud with the turkey baster next time.

Just as the adults are practicing their part you might enjoy practicing raising some fry away from the parents?
Thank you! Because I’m gonna be traveling at different times this summer I don’t think I will try to raise any of the fry until I get back from my vacation August 2. At that point I will probably try to raise some of the fry myself because I will be home to do so. I was worried about how I would take care of the fry while I was gone and thought I might have to put them in a tub outside.
 

LizStreithorst

Sorry. The first time is so exciting. It's a shame for it to end badly. But since you will be "vacating" perhaps it's for the best.
 

Huckleberry77

Interestingly the fish show no interest at all in Fanning or caring for these eggs. They are just looking at me begging for food even though I’ve already fed them. I think they just want to be young and free and have fun and don’t wanna be saddled with responsibility . Can’t say I blame them!
 

LizStreithorst

Are you totally sure that they didn't move the fry to another place. Some times they will spawn again while at the same time their pile of kids will be hidden in some corner. They're just like Discus that way. they can even hide them where you think there's nowhere to hide. Eventually they either eat the eggs and care for the fry or eat the fry in favor of the eggs.
By the way, everyone would love to be young and free again. But in their case, just like in ours, they're not in control. Their hormones are.
 

coralbandit

Some studies show filial cannibalism is how a male encourages the female to spawn again quickly or on his terms.
When I took the eggs some pairs would bred every 7-11 days for over a month.
Filial Cannibalism by Male Fish as an Infanticide to Restart Courtship by Self-Regulating Androgen Levels - PubMed
Other studies I read indicated that the female eating the spawn would have increased nutritional benefits and the next spawn would be larger and possibly healthier.
On the fish looking hungry breeding will kill the fish possibly. It takes a lot out of both parents sometimes.
They need more food for sure.
I used Boyds vita chem even.
 

Huckleberry77

Are you totally sure that they didn't move the fry to another place. Some times they will spawn again while at the same time their pile of kids will be hidden in some corner. They're just like Discus that way. they can even hide them where you think there's nowhere to hide. Eventually they either eat the eggs and care for the fry or eat the fry in favor of the eggs.
By the way, everyone would love to be young and free again. But in their case, just like in ours, they're not in control. Their hormones are.
Liz- yes the fry are definitely gone. I just have them in a 15 gallon tank so there’s not that many places to hide. And those fry were all over the place yesterday and now they’re long gone. They weren’t taking care of the new eggs at all. I wondered if water quality was an issue and if perhaps they didn’t eat the fry but maybe the fry died. I did a 50 or 60% water change. TDS is back down to 118. Added some more Java fern and driftwood so the female can hopefully hide from the male when she needs to. Took out the big piece of slate that was kind of unsightly but effective. He’s chasing her again. I might have to put the big piece of slate back in if this isn’t enough coverage for her. I modified the Fluval flex 15 gallon to have fry safe intakes on the sump and a lower flow fountain style waterfall to replace the filter jets that had too intense of a flow for them. It’s amazing the custom aquarium stuff that people make and sell on Etsy that they make with their 3-D printers.
96EBF882-7096-4188-89BC-68AAB349A8CB.jpeg
 

Similar Aquarium Threads

Replies
5
Views
222
coralbandit
  • Question
29 Gallon Tank GBR Fry Survival Issue
Replies
6
Views
481
Racing1113
  • Question
Replies
0
Views
307
AlphaBeta76
Replies
25
Views
408
Aqualover
Replies
8
Views
580
Babsalot

New Ram Cichlid Threads

Latest Aquarium Threads

Top Bottom