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Discussion Starter #1
My female cichlid laid eggs again. The male was hovering over them to begin with but now stays out of the nest area. When the male comes near the female comes out with gills flared and they both circle each other with gills flared and their black keyholes become super dark. The male is not doing anything to keep other fish away from the nest area, isn't he supposed to be defending the area?

Would anyone recommend removing some eggs at this point to keep them safe or should I wait until they hatch into fry?
 

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i have never had more than a few fry from a batch survive in a community tank. it should be ok to to take mom an the eggs to another tank, but one of the parents needs to care for the eggs by fanning them and moving them to new places. the only time i had a successful breeding ina community tank was with angel fish who had a very heavily planted secluded corner. didnt even know they had them till i turned the light on at night and they wre exposed. as soon as i saw them so did the other fish so i scooped as many as i could and dropped the babie sinto the tank with their grand parents who had about 100 of their own going and the accepted them and raised them.
 

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It's not uncommon for cichlids, especially young cichlids, or new pairs, to need a few spawns to figure out the parenting thing.
What you describe - the mom doing all the work - is something I've experienced with several species. Sometimes it's the opposite. Once the eggs hatch and the fry are free swimming, I have had the male kick the female out and take over sole parental care.

Inevitably, after a few spawns, they figure it out. Currently I have a pair of A. nanoluteus (yellow convicts) that have managed to raise a dozen fry to 1cm size in my community tank, which includes 6 or 7 clown barbs that are 3"+, a 6"+ Green Terror, and two turtles. THis pair started out just like your pair of keyholes, but now they are fantastic parents... I'm in the process of setting up their own tank to reward them for their awesome parenting and give them a break!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Today the female let the male come in the nursery and he has taken a turn guarding the eggs. I feel that the young will have a chance to hatch at least and I will try to take some fry out as soon as I see them. These fish are still not very aggressive though, my Denison barbs are barely aware that something is going on.
 

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I have been wanting to breed Keyholes for awhile. I have a thriving colony of Convicts here's a brood one of the pairs has been raising.I love watching how the female guards the fry and male acts as point guard.

 
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Updated video link for Convict Cichlid pair
 

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Firemoths were the first cichlids I ever had any success with!
 
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