Urgent! Removing Honey Gourami Fry Before Eaten?!

Jupiter Jack

Active Member
I have a male honey gourami protecting fry which are hanging tail down, although some are swimming. I have an uncycled tank (10g) which I could move the fry to but when would I do that? I would be willing to do frequent enough water changes to prevent ammonia. when do you remove the fry though?

The fry are in a community 20 gallon long that is heavily planted but the male is struggling to protect the little guys. Because of that, I'm worried I won't act soon enough before they are all gone. The water in the 10 gallon should be very similar with regards to water chemistry as the main 20 gallon they are currently in but I'm concerned that moving them to new water would be too stressful/fatal.

Would setting up a breeding net be the safest way to protect them? when does the male start to eat the babies? Any advice would be great! I'm in a hurry to protect these guys so thank you in advance!
 

Sean cousins

New Member
As soon as they are swimming they should be moved away from the male. As long as the temp remains the same and the water has been treated along with frequent water changes (daily). use the same method as you would for buying fish take some from the tank and slowly fill the bag with other water from the uncycled tank. Take your time as it can be tricky to move them. Leave them for a good 30 mins to acclimatise ! Good luck with your fry
 

Demeter

Fishlore VIP
Do you have a spare, seasoned sponge filter on hand? Is the 10gal heated? If yes to both then I'd say move some plants into the tank and then wait till most of the fry are free swimming. If they are not free swimming and taken from the male most of the fry will likely die. If the pH, temp and other parameters are the same then you should be able to gently add the fry directly into the 10gal right away. Do it quickly but gently, taking too long will stress the fry out and likely kill them.

The best thing to do at the moment is try get a divider in there to keep the other fish away from the male and fry.

Ideally, gourami are bred in separate breeding tanks w/o other tank mates. You would want a ton of live plants, which contain infusoria that the fry will feed on. Of course you will have to feed them other things, but infusoria should be the first food they get as they are the perfect size for them to eat. I hope you have plenty of live foods on hand as getting gourami fry to take non-living/moving foods is not easy.
 

Jupiter Jack

Active Member
I wasn't intentionally trying to breed them but I began setting up a tank for some blue eye rainbows which ill use for this instead. I feel like all life deserves a chance so I'm scrambling here a little bit but I do have some things covered.

I'm aware a seasoned tank is best which is why I don't usually transfer fish to new tanks. I feel like the safest method is keeping them in the largest net I can find and raising them in the planted tank. Is that a bad way to do it? Moving the fish has me nervous, how do you actually catch them?

Most fry are actually swimming around the male who doest appear to be eating any. What about a tank divider?

I have black worms (or blood worms) which are way to big. I was planning on using powder food which I'm buying at my lfs right now. Something for fry with a lot of protein?

And what about the humidity situation? Do I need seran wrap and when?

I bought HikarI first bites which seems like a powder and a breeder net/box. I'd really rather raise them in the main tank for as long as I can. I don't see why that would be bad would it? The breeder net in a mature tank with plants seems to have less variables that would go wrong in my case. I guess my fear is due to the fact that I've never had sucess moving fry/eggs.

Also, what would be considered "swimming" ? Out of the egg or swimming around? Mine hang out right under the nest and on the leaf below it kind of resting in one spot then moving a little to another spot?
 

Demeter

Fishlore VIP
The breeder net isn't a terrible idea but the problem is when you have to do your water changes you will need to move the net to prevent the water level being too low (if the net hangs on the side of the tank).

It might not be a bad idea to just toss in several more floating plants to offer hiding places for the tiny fry. I would think a tank full of hornwort or something similarly bushy would result in a handful of young making it. Yes most of them will be eaten but you probably don't want to deal with the couple hundred fry that are there, the strong shall survive and all that.

Free swimming is when the fry have hatched and they are able to swim horizontally rather than nose up, hanging from the bubble nest.

I'm not too sure how the hikarI first bites will go. Micro worms would be a better choice but maybe they will take to the prepared food. My betta spawn wouldn't touch prepared foods till just recently (roughly 3/4 of an inch long).

As for humidity, you want the air above the water to be nice and humid once they begin to breath air. They do not do this right away (probably). Seems to take a while for their breathing labyrinths to develop, a simple lid on the tank along with an air stone seemed to create enough humidity for my bettas.
 

Jupiter Jack

Active Member
I only have 30 maybe 50 fry tops. I've read about 200-300 at a time. I have a lot of floating plants, but I have 8 endler fry roughly 2 months old that were acting like a group of coyotes preying on the gourami fry this morning when I woke up (even with the male gourami biting them). The endler fry/juveniles hang out in the same floating java moss. Hopefully tomorrow the endlers will be rehomed.

You guys have been amazing with all your fast responses. I believe my fry are no more then 24 hours old and I'm going to wait until tomorrow to try the breeder net. I made a tank divider which has bought me some time fortunately. If I wait even longer, would the male then start to eat the fry? Lastly, I don't want to take the fry early but what are actually the consequences of that?

My next obstacle is the live food situation. I thought the female honey gouramis I have were infertile so I didn't expect any fry/eggs in the bubble nest and I don't think I could buy or raise micro worms in time.
 

Demeter

Fishlore VIP
If you can't get some micro worm cultures going and if the majority of they fry end up being eaten, you will likely have another chance at it. I always have micro worms on hand for when fish decide to spawn. For 5$ I bought a starter culture online and it's been going for a good 5 years or so now. I've raised bettas, zebra danios, sword tails, and African cichlids on them. I cannot stress how convenient micro worms are plus they are cheap and less disgusting than some other live foods.

Side note: its a proven fact that baby brine shrimp are the best fry food, but I've yet to hatch my own and give it a go.
 

Jupiter Jack

Active Member
So unfortunately I failed with catching the fry. Last night I noticed the male was less concerned with tending the nest, and he built a new bubble nest. The gouramis are extremely eager to get thru the tank divider and most likely breed again.

I set up a Penn plax net breeder that turned out to be absolute garbage. The whole kit is very flimsy and the plastic is really cheap but the biggest problem I had was the gouramis sucking the fry thru the net, even though it is very fine/tight.

I managed to catch about 12 fry (they were much faster at 48-60 hours old vs 24-36hrs) last night but woke up to only the biggest fry left in the net. I plan on buying a marina breeder box that sits on the outside of the tank circulating water from inside the tank.

It seems that next time I'd be better removing the fry early while their still slow. I think I do have 10 fry remaining in the tank that slipped past the divider. What would those fry eat, and what are the chances some will survive? I really do have a lot of plants and java moss for them to hide, but would they get enough nutrients from eating whatever they find in the tank?

Ive done so much reading about breeding gouramis but If anyone has experience breeding honey gouramis or any other kind I'd love to pm you as I still have a lot of questions about the whole process.
 

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