Super red bristlenose spawn log

Gudgie

A few weeks back, I introduced my new male super red BN pleco, Quasar, into my 20 gallon long, which had what I thought were two female super reds. Side note - turns out one of the original two is a male that was slower to develop; no problems yet, but I anticipate selling him in the not-too-distant future.

Anyway, a mere 2.5 weeks later Quasar got down to business and started guarding a nest of eggs as of Nov 17th.
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Today, I started to see wigglers for the first time! Decided to start a post to hopefully track their development. Fingers crossed that some fry will make it!

One wiggler bounced out of the nest (the rest were still tucked under the male), though it stopped moving after that. I quickly transferred the entire cave with the male to a half-filled 5 gallon tank, to hopefully increase my odds of fry survival. Once all the fry leave the nest and/or Quasar stops guarding it, I'll transfer him back to his usual home.

Pic of the first clear wiggler earlier this evening, before it had exited the cave in the 20 gal:
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Couple pics of the starter fry tank, with a handful more kicked out of the nest:
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Question - I saw a few initial twitches/wiggles from the ones that left the nest, but then they've been mostly still. I also carefully moved the one that had fallen out of the nest in the 20 gallon into the fry tank, and haven't observed any more movement from it. Is that normal for these guys, this early into the wiggler stage? Or should I be expecting near constant motion?
 

Flyfisha

It’s a bit late for me to say , but I hope it might explain what could be going on.

I would have used 100% of the main tank to fill the smaller 5 gallon.

It is my opinion the fry are in shock from a slightly different temperature and water parameters. They are tough fish and hopefully will bounce back?

Without knowing if they still have an egg sack I can’t say about moving around. They should start looking for food very soon . It is my opinion that as soon as they leave the cave on their own they are looking for food and would be moving around.
 

mattgirl

Congratulations on your first successful spawn. I am kinda wondering why the little ones that are still attached to their egg sack have been pushed out of the nest this early. I am wondering if the Dad is so new to this he is getting too rambunctious and is accidentally fanning them out before they are ready.

I know mine didn't come out of the cave until the egg sack had been absorbed/eaten.
 

Gudgie

It’s a bit late for me to say , but I hope it might explain what could be going on.

I would have used 100% of the main tank to fill the smaller 5 gallon.

It is my opinion the fry are in shock from a slightly different temperature and water parameters. They are tough fish and hopefully will bounce back?

Without knowing if they still have an egg sack I can’t say about moving around. They should start looking for food very soon . It is my opinion that as soon as they leave the cave on their own they are looking for food and would be moving around.
Ah, apologies for the confusion. I did fill the 5 gallon from the original tank, so it should have avoided that shock. And they still are mostly yolk sac - if you notice the yellow balls in the last pic, hopefully you can see what I mean. I’ve since noticed a bit more movement, so hopefully I’m just worrying unnecessarily.


Congratulations on your first successful spawn. I am kinda wondering why the little ones that are still attached to their egg sack have been pushed out of the nest this early. I am wondering if the Dad is so new to this he is getting too rambunctious and is accidentally fanning them out before they are ready.

I know mine didn't come out of the cave until the egg sack had been absorbed/eaten.
mattgirl, that’s good to know. Fingers crossed they’ll be fine, even though they got pushed out early. At least there’s nothing else in the tank to eat them!
 

mattgirl

I have my fingers crossed for you. Hopefully all of them will make it but if they don't just wait for a month and you will get another chance.

I am sure you remember my over abundance of super red pleco fry. I didn't separate male amd female soon enough and ended up with well over 200 fry. Oh my, that was a lot of babies to have to deal with. Right now i still have 8 of them. Little Red, the dad plus 3 other males and 3 females plus one female I kept from the spawn Elbert and Evelyn blessed me with. Needless to say they are not together in the same tank. I don't think I can deal with babies again right now but should I decide to do so I am sure these little guys would be happy to bless me with some. :D.
 

Gudgie

I have my fingers crossed for you. Hopefully all of them will make it but if they don't just wait for a month and you will get another chance.

I am sure you remember my over abundance of super red pleco fry. I didn't separate male amd female soon enough and ended up with well over 200 fry. Oh my, that was a lot of babies to have to deal with. Right now i still have 8 of them. Little Red, the dad plus 3 other males and 3 females plus one female I kept from the spawn Elbert and Evelyn blessed me with. Needless to say they are not together in the same tank. I don't think I can deal with babies again right now but should I decide to do so I am sure these little guys would be happy to bless me with some. :D.
Oh, I remember! Hopefully I won’t have that many to deal with all at once. I’ll need to keep them separate like you most of the time, otherwise I suspect I’ll be overrun too!

BigManAquatics, how’s your batch coming along?
 

BigManAquatics

Oh, I remember! Hopefully I won’t have that many to deal with all at once. I’ll need to keep them separate like you most of the time, otherwise I suspect I’ll be overrun too!

BigManAquatics, how’s your batch coming along?
He still in there fanning, i can see the eggpile still back there.
 

BigManAquatics

He still in there fanning, i can see the eggpile still back there.
Honestly feel like i should pay maybe a bit more attention, just been too busy.
 

mattgirl

Honestly feel like i should pay maybe a bit more attention, just been too busy.
They are kinda like a watched pot never boiling :D I was in that boat last night waiting for a pan of cornbread to brown. When I stopped watching it finally did :D It really didn't take that long but time drags when we are waiting and paying attention.

I was on pins and needles waiting for Elbert and Evelyn's eggs to hatch. Since I didn't allow Elbert to tend to them I watched and fiddled with them almost constantly. It seemed to take forever. Since I allowed Little Red to care for the eggs I didn't worry over them like I did with Elbert's. I didn't see Little Red and Evelyn's second spawn of eggs so didn't have a chance to fret over them. One day I saw more tiny babies out and about. After that surprise Little Red came out of the tank.
 

Gudgie

I was able to spot around 10 babies or so today! Most are out and about, but there’s still a few hanging in the cave. I haven’t moved the male back to his tank yet since he’s still spending most of his time in the cave with the stragglers, but that may change in the next couple days. Honestly I’m kinda happy that this is a small spawn, since that seems better for learning - plus easier to stay on top of water changes! :D

Here are a few photos from tonight:
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I haven’t observed them eating yet, but I’ve been dropping in a small piece of algae wafer or veggie stick to be safe. Of course there’s some driftwood, plants, etc. for them to browse off of too - just haven’t tried any fresh veggies yet.
 

BigManAquatics

As of last night, mine were all still in the cave. Papa won't even hardly let me get a look! I just know there are a lot of little bitty eyes!
 

Gudgie

Eeek! Apparently the sponge filter I added did not have enough beneficial bacteria, and/or the small water changes I’d been doing weren’t sufficient. I just checked and there was 1 ppm ammonia and 0.25 ppm nitrite! :eek:

Quickly did a 30% water change and added extra prime. Going to do at least a couple more small water changes over the next few hours then retest - I’m hesitant to do one massive water change since I don’t want to shock the fry. :(

Edit: given the small number of fry, I’m guessing a lot of the waste general thus far has been the papa. Once I get him moved the bioload should drop a good amount.
 

mattgirl

dit: given the small number eof fry, I’m guessing a lot of the waste general thus far has been the papa. Once I get him moved the bioload should drop a good amount.
I suspect this is the case. You should be able to remove him any time now. Can you tell if all the eggs have hatched? If they have you can remove him now. If they haven't you can still remove him as long as you have gentle bubbles from an airstone moving over them. The bubbles will mimic his actions. If the fry have hatched and are still hanging out in the cave the airstone will help them.
 

Gudgie

I suspect this is the case. You should be able to remove him any time now. Can you tell if all the eggs have hatched? If they have you can remove him now. If they haven't you can still remove him as long as you have gentle bubbles from an airstone moving over them. The bubbles will mimic his actions. If the fry have hatched and are still hanging out in the cave the airstone will help them.
The eggs have all hatched and fairly sure there are only a couple babies left in the cave, but I haven’t been able to get the male out of it. Anytime I go near when he’s sitting by its edge, he immediately darts back inside. I’ve tried shining a light in it, but that just seems to make him go even further inside. Also tried lightly jostling the cave, but don’t want to risk injuring the remaining babies. Just dropped some food outside the cave, hoping to lure him out. If that fails, any other tips/tricks for getting him out?
 

mattgirl

Since some babies are still hanging on to the cave you may just have to wait it out. Or if you think you have all the babies you can possibly handle just put the cave with him and possible a fry or two back in the main tank. Much easier to move him while he is still in the cave. You never know, the one or two that might be in the cave may very well survive and even thrive in the main tank.
 

Gudgie

Hmm, good point. I've been worried about the peacock gudgeons eating the baby plecos since they're so tiny right now, but they are super quick and there's lot of cover for them to hide in. And I feel like the gudgeons have ignored the young rainbows I added to the tank (similar size), so perhaps it'll be alright. I'll try moving the cave later today as you suggest - it'll be a good experiment, if nothing else.
 

Flyfisha

Even the young BN have spines around their heads /necks and gills which stick out like needles into the mouth of any fish that try’s just once to put a juvenile in it mouth. They will not make that mistake again.
 

Gudgie

I'm happy to report the tank has also stabilized - no more ammonia! Whew!

I've been consistently seeing 5 baby plecos in the fry tank. They seem a bit skinny to my untrained eye, but as it's my first batch I'm not sure. They seem to largely ignore the repashy, algae wafers, and veggie sticks I've put in, so hopefully they're browsing from the tank enough.
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No more eggs laid yet, but I've noticed the female is looking rather plump again. Fingers crossed there will be a new batch laid soon!
 

Gudgie

Overdue report to say that I still have at least 4, and possibly 5, of the original baby plecos. Given we were out of town for over a week due to the holidays, I’m glad they’re still hanging in there. Hopefully I’ll get some pics in the next day or two.

I’m also happy to report that Quasar is finally guarding a new batch of eggs! They weren’t there yesterday afternoon, so definitely laid in the last 24 hours. Hopefully this time he won’t start kicking them out of the nest early. Regardless, I’ll have either a 5 or 10 gallon tank ready for the nest when needed. :)

Ones of these days I’ll need to net out my spare male so I can list him for sale, too…
 

Jonahtheplecolvr

Congrats, I am actually about to breed plecos myself the problem is finding a female that is ready to breed as right now as there is a shortage of them in my area. It is really cool that you got some fry. I hope you have good luck with them.
 

Gudgie

Congrats, I am actually about to breed plecos myself the problem is finding a female that is ready to breed as right now as there is a shortage of them in my area. It is really cool that you got some fry. I hope you have good luck with them.
Good luck finding the female! Are you also planning on super reds, or another color or species? I'd offer to sell a female if I had one to spare, but all I currently have are the super young unsexed offspring plus the extra male.
---
Here are a couple photos - sorry neither is great quality. Hopefully I can get some better ones soon. The first is a breeder net that has the male and his cave from which he hasn't emerged yet, hanging in his usual aquarium. Still trying to decide if I'm waiting until he emerges to move it, or if I just want to get it moved sooner.
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And here's a suuuupuer blurry shot of one of the juveniles, in its [very] dirty tank before I did an overdue cleanup. There's another one in the background on top of the sponge filter, but it's just an orange blur. They're probably about an inch in length, though there's one runt who's significantly smaller. I haven't decided to cull that one yet, but keeping an eye on development to see if it appears sickly vs just slower growing.
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Jonahtheplecolvr

I am planning on getting a regular bristlenose female, I am special ordering it from my lfs ( if the owner can find one) I am supposed to call the store tomorrow to see if he was able to get it. Nice pictures, I like your setup.
 

Gudgie

Finally decided to move Quasar and his brood into a 5 gallon fry tank today. He's still guarding the nest and hasn't kicked any out that's I've seen - so he's doing MUCH better than the first time around! I think it's a small batch, but hard to tell since he's always in the way. Guessing they'll emerge over the next couple days?

You can see one of the new babies right behind him here:
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And here's two from the older group. No changes to report on them, just slowly growing.
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Gudgie

A few of the new BN babies have now left the nest! It does look to be a super small batch again, though hard to tell since the male is still blocking the cave and some are still in there. Still, I’m not bothered by small batches since I have such a small breeding setup here. Just happy if I get to raise some healthy babies! :)
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Jonahtheplecolvr

the babies are so cute!
 

mattgirl

A few of the new BN babies have now left the nest! It does look to be a super small batch again, though hard to tell since the male is still blocking the cave and some are still in there. Still, I’m not bothered by small batches since I have such a small breeding setup here. Just happy if I get to raise some healthy babies! :)
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I am so glad you were able to get some super reds and are now getting babies. I will say, count yourself lucky that yours don't appear to be producing as many eggs as mine did. :D I ended up with well over 200 babies from only 2 spawns. Those daily water changes to keep them all growing well was exhausting.
 

Gudgie

I am so glad you were able to get some super reds and are now getting babies. I will say, count yourself lucky that yours don't appear to be producing as many eggs as mine did. :D I ended up with well over 200 babies from only 2 spawns. Those daily water changes to keep them all growing well was exhausting.
I’m so glad mine haven’t had such large spawns! Definitely lets me be a bit lazier in my water changes. :D
 

Flyfisha

Hey Gudgie ,
I have been following along since my comment back on the 30 November.

I am the kind of fish keeper that does things without researching fully. I fly by the seat of my pants. This is just my thoughts and I suggest you think about the situation.

In nature the male BN would not have a perfect tight cave like we provide. In the wild the young would be able to escape his prison?

I have tipped the male and fry out of caves . And removed dad from their tank.
I am wondering how long until the fry starve?
If there is not other fish to put the fry in danger ( eat them) what good is Dad doing now?

I am just saying you think the male is doing a good job. I think he may be overdoing it? The fry will eat as soon as their egg sack is gone.
 

Gudgie

Hey Gudgie ,
I have been following along since my comment back on the 30 November.

I am the kind of fish keeper that does things without researching fully. I fly by the seat of my pants. This is just my thoughts and I suggest you think about the situation.

In nature the male BN would not have a perfect tight cave like we provide. In the wild the young would be able to escape his prison?

I have tipped the male and fry out of caves . And removed dad from their tank.
I am wondering how long until the fry starve?
If there is not other fish to put the fry in danger ( eat them) what good is Dad doing now?

I am just saying you think the male is doing a good job. I think he may be overdoing it? The fry will eat as soon as their egg sack is gone.
Well, it’s certainly possible he’s overdoing it this time. Last time he just kicked them out way, way too soon, which is why I consider it an improvement. But good point on them needing to eat - which is why I plan to do exactly what you suggest and shake him out either tonight or tomorrow at the latest. Definitely don’t want everyone to starve!
 

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