Should you remove cichlid fry?

33g long aquarium containing Julidochromis dickfeldi and ‘Lamprologus’ ocellatus. Photo by the author.
 
Yes and no. Answers to that question depend on several factors. However, for one example of why you should not allow a breeding pair of cichlids to have multiple broods in the same tank, look no further than Julidochromis dickfeldi. Many species of cichlids can get along just fine with multiple generations of their own offspring, especially shell dwelling species. However, some adult cichlid pairs consider an older brood a threat to the newest brood and will treat the older brood(s) accordingly.

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Friggin’ fry on the move!

33g long tank containing Julidochromis dickfeldi and ‘Lamprologus’ occelatus. Photo by the author.

In my last post, I talked about the J. dickfeldi fry that I accidentally vacuumed up during a water change. It didn’t register with me at the time, but one of the dickfeldi pair seemed to be spending an inordinate amount of time toward the center and even right end of the tank. I couldn’t understand that because the rocks are on the left end of the tank (see photo above). So it seemed natural that is where the fry should be. 

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Friggin’ fry!

Julidochromis dickfeldi fry. Photo by the author.

I’m posting this one about fry because there are a couple of interesting observations from my 33g long. This is the tank that has (or had) three Julidochromis dickfeldi and five ‘Lamprologus’ ocellatus. I lost a couple of occies from what I think was aggression – one male and one female. I now have two males and a female. The deceased female was a bit of a runt, and I had been concerned about her for a while. Out of the original five, she was by far the smallest. She just never grew much. She got ostracized, and I think one of the paired dickfeldi got her. 

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What’s your plan for cichlid babies (e.g., fry)?

Adult pair of Texas cichlids (Herichthys cyanoguttatus) with fry. Photo by Dick Au from https://www.sanfranciscoaquariumsociety.org/.”

Here’s the scenario: you’re new to cichlids but you’ve done a ton of research, you’ve talked to other cichlid keepers, you know what fish you want, and everything is all set. Fast forward several weeks or months after you’ve purchased your fish and one day you discover that some of them have spawned and you have babies (fry) in your tank. You’re very excited…and then it hits you. “What do I do with them?” you ask yourself.

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My tank vacuum and water change process

The complete set-up for my tank cleaning process. Photo by the author.

I have posted a few times about how I do water changes. All of my cichlid tanks, except my quarantine and hospital tanks, contain sand substrates. As a result, I use a system I created using Python water changers that easily minimizes loss of source water, cichlid fry, and sand. My process utilizes two Python brand water changing hoses and a few other components.

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