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Okay, after doing alot more research on the breeding of reds, I am attempting to breed them once again.

I believe my biggest mistakes, in the past, were not having the patience for these fish to breed, changing my setup way too much, not being diligent enough, and perhaps even more importantly, since i switched from 4 large tanks, down to two, i find I have much more enthusiasm for the hobby.

Actually now that I reflect on it more, by far my biggest mistake was ASSUMING THE RED BELLIES HAD TO HAVE CALMED DOWN AND LOSE ANY SKITTISHNESS BEFORE THEY WOULD BREED. I don't know why I made this assumption, thankfully i finally learned from some of the people here that is not the case at all. I wasted countless months with that assumption.

I am attempting to get a breeding pair out of the 4 adult red bellies i currently have in a 75g. This setup, as far as the occupants of the tank are concerned, has only been this way since late yesterday. i've had a pair of reds that I purchased from DemDesBri, another member here, for quite a while, not though giving the pair the effort and patience needed for them to breed again. Just yesterday, i added two more adult reds to the tank that i purchased from my LFS...this was to increased the odds of me getting a pair of breeders. I am able to tell that at least one of the fish is a male, with almost 100% certainty...DemDesBri told me which one when i purchased him, he has a scar on his side. Also, he is the only one of the four reds, right now, that have staked out a territory, which is great after the setup only being this way for less than 24 hours.

Again, in the past I was switching around occupants/tankmates and the decor way too much, and as I also noted this time around I am giving it a much better go as I am more focused for this to work.

My setup this time around, as far as the decor and setup of the tank, which i will not touch for a while, can be seen in the photos. I choose the route for the setup of the tank, this time, after careful consideration and talking to a bunch of you guys here, as to what works well, and not so well.

I'm leaving the tank uncovered, no plastic bags or cardboard to cover the 75g tank. I've read accounts of both setups working fine...covered and uncovered, high traffic areas, and low traffic areas. Personally, the hobby is supposed to be enjoyable, so I'm choosing to have it uncovered and in a somewhat high traffic area so I can watch the fish and their little personalities...the territory fights, aggression, etc, and most importantly, hopefully, observable breeding behavior.

I'm including 3 shots of the tank. Again, it is a 75g. Basically, it's kinda sectioned in thirds right now. I tried to create square areas on both ends of the tanks, so as to create little areas for which they would be most likely to breed. May be hard to tell from the pics, but I put up some fake decor rocks and plants to section the tank off from the ends...roughly 18" x 18", well at least for the left side as they tend to like that area the most. I also sectioned off the ends about a foot high, just a little bit so that if they want to come and go from a territory they have to swim up and then over to another territory. Oh and must add, i put little sections/pieces of coconut fiber in each of the end territories. I've head from several members here, in a book i have, and elsewhere that they like to breed on it, we'll see.

In the middle territory, where I believe they would have the least chance of breeding in...i purposefully set it up this way, I left it a little less covered by plants and more wide open. however, I did move both filters to the middle area, as well as the air pump, so as to make the waters on the ends where i want them to breed, more steady and calm. I did include, as you can tell from the pics, some fake floating plants into the setup of the tank.

Now, as to what has been going on the past 24 hours or so. I moved things around very slightly this morning and the fish are acclimating to it, trying to figure out where to set themselves up. With that and the fact I am having trouble getting a high steady temperature, they are quite active. the fact i let it get to 90-92, by mistake, overnight, is probably contributing to them being a little more active than most pygo schoals i see.

I added the two new reds last night, and since they have been in the tank, the two that were already there, have become noticeably darker, as the two new ones were already considerably darker when i bought them. I"m assuming for the most part this is from aggression and territory disputes, finding a pecking order and such. i know it's that way in my other tank, a 75g tern/piraya tank...the ones with the darkest colors are the ones on top in the pecking order, and are the most aggressive.

the only, maybe positive observable thing is that the male, with the scar, i can tell, seems to have already claimed the left third of the tank. he's considerably dark right now, as all four are, and he is moving rocks, though very casually, around, off and on the coconut fiber. He does seem like he might be ready, but the female (from the original pair) wants nothing to do with him right now.

My goal at this point is to get the tank, stable at about 84-86 degrees or so, and execute a big water change next weekend, 40-50%, adding cold water to drop the temp of the tank and then have it go back up. I also plan to maybe skip a feeding and maybe let them go a little longer without a feeding. i'm not gonna move anything around in the tank, and let it be so they acclimate.

Comments and suggestions are welcome and i'm hoping that someone, now, or in the future, finds my logging of this helpful. If anything needs to be clarified, please let me know.

pt
 

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Well done. I'm guessing you'll have some eggs in the next 2 weeks. Also, rbps are scavengers by nature and they can go for quite a while without feeding. Just thought I'd throw that in there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
day 2, mon 10/22/07

the 4 reds are settling in. as i noted before, the male has already staked out his territory on the left end 1/3 of the tank. he is in a small area where i added some coconut fiber weighed down by gravel. he, quite slowly/casually, keeps moving some small gravel around, but i can't tell if he is nest building or looking for food in the gravel. i'm inclined to think it is the start of nest building only because the other 3 aren't doing it.

since i added the other two reds, the two i already have are noticeably darker, all the time. as far as the other 3 they seem to be staking out their own territories more slowly than the male, drifting back and forth between the right 2/3's of the tank. however, i can tell they are getting very close to having their own established territories. one of the new ones, and largest in the tank, seems to have taken the right 1/3, leaving the middle 1/3 to the older female, and another one of the newer ones, sex unknown, and also the smallest red in the tank.

finally have the temp stabilized at 86. as i noted earlier, i'm just gonna leave things the way they are and let the fish acclimated more.
i will do the huge water change thing this weekend, and also starve them for a little more than usual between feedings, prior to this weekend.

pt
 

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the male seems to be making a nest/place to breed right now, in his 1/3 of the tank, left 1/3. he keeps rearranging the gravel in his 1/3 of the tank. that's cool, the problem though is the female doesn't seem to care, right now, not too enthusiastic, as she seems to have taken the right 1/3 of the tank, while the two new ones occupy the middle 1/3.

still cool that he is arranging his area, with more zest than i have ever seen em do that.

question: for those that have experience with this process...**IF** they decide to mate, what should i look for next? Will the male chase the female around the tank and try to coax her into his 1/3, or do i wait for her to pretty much just go over there herself when she's ready. does he have to coax her at all? as he seems ready now lol (reminds me of people).
 

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Yes, you'll begin to see him trying to lure her or coax her into his territory right above or near his nest in what seems to be kind of like a biting motion, where they end up spinning around a little.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
day3

alright, based upon some research i did in this forum, i decided to change the setup, just a little. i provided a pic to show it. basically i removed one of the two sections so that the tank is divided in two, with about a 1/3 area on the left end setup as hopefully the breeding section. kinda like a box shaped area, roughly 18"x18". i have that end sectioned off with fake rock and also tossed in some fake plants. the plants mostly in the front of the tank to provide cover. i also added a little more gravel to the sectioned off, breeding area. there are a few fake floating plants as well in both sections, though a much larger one, as you can see, in the right side open area...just something there to make em feel a little more secure.

The idea of having splitting the tank up is to give them an area where they might feel more comfortable breeding away from the other fish. if it was just the two, original pair, i would probably not section anything off, but with 4 adult reds, i'm using this idea.

other than that, from the original pair, the male still has control over the little breeding area on the left, even after i adjusted things. he continues to move gravel around a little, but other than that not much happening.

tank temp is steady, but what the actual temp is depends on which thermometer you look at, lol, have multiple thermometers that read between 84-97.

gonna give em a small snack this evening, then not feed em until i do a large water change with cold water, this weekend, prolly sunday.
 

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Hope it all works out well for you.
Keep us posted!

So you have the left side portioned off almost completely by dividing it with the standing rocks?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
pretty much, yes, along with having plants there. i've been told having more than the pair in there, that setup would be best so as to establish territory, vs. say, just one pair and the fish having less boundaries or an established area to pair off
 

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I think I forgot to mention that on my 75gallon breeding tank, I've covered the sides of the tank with cardboard. If that's any help.
 

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I think I forgot to mention that on my 75gallon breeding tank, I've covered the sides of the tank with cardboard. If that's any help.
I tried that in the beginning months ago when I started out with my breeding pairs.
They would just all huddle together in the corner with the side painted black and do nothing at all.
So I decided to not block the side and I got results after that.
It may work for you though, but they hid there everytime I came into the basement. Not anymore now that it's gone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
day 4
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not much new to report, they are all settling into their territories in the tank, and are nice and dark, all 4 that is.

small feeding tonight, as opposed to yesterday, will do a large water change sunday, cold water.
 

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When I bought a breeding pair from another member they bred for me after 2 weeks and I did nothing special at all except put a half dosage of ph 6.5 to slightly lower ph.
 

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Sounds good. All of them turning black is a good sign. What have you got set up for the eggs/fry once they do breed?
 

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right now i only have a 30g long for the first batch of fry, set up. i do, however also have a 55g and another 30g that i will move the first batch into after a week or two. i'm good for the time being, as i have all the necessary equipment even for the 55g...including a nice canister filter i got from Draven1 that i havn't even touched or used, having owned it for 1/2 a year.
 

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good sh*t. I would get a sponge filter for the fry tank. I say this because in times before when my reds first started breeding, I used an hob as well as a canister filter and the intake/suction was way too much even with a sponge on the intake pipe, it would suck up eggs and fry and end up killing a bunch of them. A sponge filter would be your best bet unless you can somehow rig your canister filter to tone down the intake of it. Also, have you cycled the biological part of the filter you're going to use on the fry tank?
 

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yea i might add a sponge filter, right now i just have a weak penguin or tetra 30 on there, along with a powerhead that also acts as a filter, and yes the tank is cycled. i'll prolly keep the weak tetra 30 filter on there and maybe add a sponge filter. the ph with the filter is def way too strong so that would have to go. i prolly won't wip out the canister until they reach an inch, or if its too much for them swap with one of my other filters.

thx for the advice, keep it coming
 

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You NEED a sponge filter for the fry tanks. If you syphon the eggs out at the right time, there is no chance of them getting sucked into the filtration of your main tanks. You syphon them as soon as they begin to hatch when you can see a tiny tail pop out. Doesn't take too long after that untill they are free swimming (2-4 days if i remember correctly) so make sure you don't forget to take them out.
 
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