Here’s the scenario. You bought several juvenile cichlids a few months ago, all of the same species. As they reached adulthood, some of them paired off. You’ve never had cichlids reproduce in your tank before, but now they have. What do you do with the fry?
Don’t panic. You have several options. What you choose to do with them, if anything, depends on several factors – your tank inhabitants, your time, your proximity to a fish store, your network of cichlid keeping friends.
Some folks who keep breeding pairs of cichlids simply let nature take its course with respect to the disposition of the fry – they get eaten by either other tank inhabitants or their own parents. This typically works best in tanks that aren’t densely decorated (e.g., few places to hide). Sometimes this strategy works well, while at other times some fry will survive.
If you have friends who keep cichlids, see if they’ll trade with you. Then again, they may just want some new species and will happily take your fry off your hands. .
Finally, if you have an LFS (local fish store), you can see if it will take them. Many LFSs will happily take your fry, sometimes on trade. That’s what I do. I just took about a dozen Telmatochromis sp. “temporalis shell” to my LFS for store credit. This is a great way to get necessary supplies (fish food, water conditioner) at little to no cost to you.