Author Topic: When to thin the herd?  (Read 2417 times)

Offline gclaypoole

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When to thin the herd?
« on: July 27, 2013, 11:23:43 PM »
After reading thousands of ShellDweller posts, I decided 15 months ago (yes, I've been a lurker for quite awhile) to try my hand at breeding Neolamprologous Multifasciatus. It has been a very rewarding and interesting experience thanks to the knowledge shared by members of this site.

I purchased a 40 gallon breeder aquarium, hundreds of shells, sand substrate and five Multi's. The first five months I sat and waited for some sign of breeding activity. Nothing happened. I had five males. Nothing on the breeding front was going to happen. I returned to my favorite LFS in search of some females. I acquired four more Multi's hoping to acquire some  females. I was very fortunate. All four of my new residents were females. A week after introducing the four girls, one of the original males died. Now I had four males and four females. As luck would have it, they paired up and established their own territories.

Three months later I noticed some fry. The fry survived for about a week and then disappeared. About a week later I noticed another group of fry from a different pair. Again, the fry survived for about a week. I wasn't sure what was causing the demise of the fry. The fact that they were breeding was a step in the right direction.

A couple of more weeks passed and a third pair had a brood. I was able to count 6 fry and after a week four of the six were still alive. These were the first of many survivors. I now have more than a 100 Multi's from the four original pairs. The colony is thriving. Many of you can take credit for that.

My question is... When should I thin the herd?

Offline snakeskinner

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Re: When to thin the herd?
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2013, 11:41:40 PM »
1) when you can't afford to feed them anymore
2) when you believe there are enough that it is degrading the water faster than you can change it
3) when you need a quick buck
4) when you find someone else you want to infect  ;D

Kyle
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Offline fish head

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Re: When to thin the herd?
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2013, 06:53:38 AM »
Kyle, I like all of your answers!  The last one is perfect for me!

Here's one more:  you don't thin it, a predator from lake Tang does.  Pick a winner that will be a nice show fish but not cause the adults too much grief.  Calvus?  Comp?  Too ruthless?

How about heading to a fish auction w/ bags of fun?!?
fish keeper of 37 yrs
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Offline gclaypoole

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Re: When to thin the herd?
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2013, 07:22:40 AM »
Kyle and fish head... thanks for the good advice.

My primary concern is addressed by Kyle in his second suggestion... the degradation of water quality due to the increased biomass of Multi's. I am religious about doing PWC and thus far no adverse affects, but if they continue to multiply at the current rate within 6 months it will be over the top.

fish head has offered up a  good suggestion... Introduction of a predator is a very interesting concept. Here's where I need a lot of guidance. I also strive to have peaceful aquariums and have been successful thus far. The concept of predation doesn't bother me as long as it doesn't totally stress out the colony.

I am also thinking about getting a larger aquarium... possibly a 72 gallon bowfront? A larger aquarium would only be a temporary solution if the breeding success rate continued.

Also, I am not interested in making money off of these fish. If I have to part with them all I seek is a good home.




Offline fish head

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Re: When to thin the herd?
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2013, 07:55:23 AM »
Calvus are very shy fish.  Give it a few slim stacked rocks in the back for cover and it will probably only come out from time to time to show some fins and grab a quick snack.

72 gallons would be a great big tank for Tangs!  But in my opinion, the bow front makes fish viewing more like a bad acid trip, not that I would know, but I get that impression.  I can never seem to focus on the fish thru the bowed glass.  Maybe my eyes are screwy.
fish keeper of 37 yrs
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Offline gclaypoole

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Re: When to thin the herd?
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2013, 08:40:41 AM »
Calvus are very shy fish.  Give it a few slim stacked rocks in the back for cover and it will probably only come out from time to time to show some fins and grab a quick snack.

72 gallons would be a great big tank for Tangs!  But in my opinion, the bow front makes fish viewing more like a bad acid trip, not that I would know, but I get that impression.  I can never seem to focus on the fish thru the bowed glass.  Maybe my eyes are screwy.

Again, excellent feedback. I never considered the viewing experience with a bowfront. Never had one or can I say have viewed one for any period of time. I spend a great deal of time observing my Multi's so I'm going to reconsider the bowfront.

The Calvus seems like a logical choice as the profile I read states it will not bother Adult Shell Dwellers. How many would you recommend for population control?
Thanks

Offline fish head

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Re: When to thin the herd?
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2013, 09:01:23 AM »
how many?  that depends on a few things.  One might be more focused w/out other calvus to distract?  More than one calvus will add the potential for another breeding fish in your tank.  Good?  Bad?  Again, not sure what you're up for.  Think about it and maybe someone else will chime in.

40 gallons is a lot of water.
fish keeper of 37 yrs
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Offline gclaypoole

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Re: When to thin the herd?
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2013, 09:48:28 AM »
how many?  that depends on a few things.  One might be more focused w/out other calvus to distract?  More than one calvus will add the potential for another breeding fish in your tank.  Good?  Bad?  Again, not sure what you're up for.  Think about it and maybe someone else will chime in.

40 gallons is a lot of water.
Do NOT want another breeding fish. Between my Multi's, Guppies and Plecos (In a different aquarium from the Multi's), I have enough babies being made.

I too thought "40 gallons is a lot of water"... my Multi's I believe are going to utilize every last ounce and then some.