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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a little worried about the yellow lab mom releasing or eating her fry if I try and catch her.

There are lots of caves and I will have to remove them all; but worst thing is that I have a big brood of yellow labs and it will be hard to catch the female without causing a ruckus.
I doubt a fish trap (bottle method) will help because I cant bait her with food and I assume that the other fish will be the ones falling for the trap.

The labs are still young, so there is a high possibility of eating/spitting due to inexperience.
Normally these fish go and hide whenever I walk by and even when I come to put in food.

Anyone here have any tips on what to do?

I think she has been holding for about 2 weeks now.
 

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If she is only 2 weeks in no worries, my cherry red held for almost a month.

What i would do, is get a net that will not rust, and lay it in the tank 24/7. With in the next week i am sure when you are walking by she will swim infront of it!

If not, Catch her When she is sleeping. When you turn on the lights they can be very dopey!

Alex
 

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You have a better chance when they are asleep.. also in another week or so she will be a little weaker. Good moms very seldom spit or swallow just because you are chasing her.. if she had held to term once then she will hold on to her fry through almost anything
 

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I have two breeding lab mothers. you need to wait 21 days till the eggs are ready to be removed from her mouth. remove all big obsticles from the tank and catch her in a net. get a bucket with the tank water in it. hold the mother in your closed hand so she can not wiggle loose. with a pencil open her lower jaw and watch the fry fall out in to hte bucket. you may need to put you hand back in the bucket (the one with the mother) to get more water in her mouth and then repeat with the pencil.have someone help with a light so you can see inside her mouth to make sure you got all the fry out. then seperate her from the male so she can eat and regain her strength. or her will force her into an other cycle of babies, and then go another 21 days with no food.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
sounds a little scary...i will see if I can be brave enough to do that. Thanks :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I tried yesterday night...no luck. I was holding the fish (taking extra care that I dont squeeze her with my strength) and when I dip the mouth in the water, she slips away. Tried it around 4-5 times and then gave up. She is in a 10g tank with another mom now.

Its really scary to do that...I was really worried of hurting her. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I tried again today and was successful. The weird part was that there were only 7 fry, and they are BIG.

I've never bred labs before, but from my experience of other mbunas, the fry range from 30-60. Is it normal for a yellow lab female to only have 7?

This female was in the main tank for a long time, so would it be possible that some fry escaped her mouth and ended up as food for other fish?

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The fry are not eating anything though, so I am a little worried. I tried small NLS pellets, crushed flakes and even live microworms. Any ideas or suggestions?
 

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2 tips
first, for stripping fry from the mom i have found the BEST way to do this is to go out and purchase a funnel from the dollar store and then put that on top of a jar half full of aquarium water, place the female face down in the funnel. when you see her gasping for water pour some aquarium water through her gills from the top of the funnel and it will flow through to her mouth bringing the eggs/fry with it. works great without risk of injury to the female or fry, you dont have to pry her mouth open etc.

next, feeding: they usually wont eat for several days after being spit out as they are still using up the remaining yolk from the egg which is absorbed into their stomach I think, after that, hikari first bites do work good, and so does crushing up some new life spectrim cichlid or grow pellets, but feed VERY SPARINGLY for the first week or two, I noticed with my first 2 batches that they start out with extremely sensitive stomachs and feeding them too much will result in 1-2 dead ones a few hours later or in the morning, sometimes id wake up to find that the others had then gone and eaten the undigested food out of their stomach (they basically eat the stomach off of the fry) seeing that you only have 7 to start with, that would be bad :(

they are see-through so you should be able to see if their stomachs are full of food or not, dont feed them if their stomach appears round/full of food.

also: it is quite common for yellow labs to only have 3-10 fry for their first batch or two (sometimes they even swallow their first batch,) eventually they should have batches of 25-30.

My Acei had a batch of 70-80 a few weeks ago i was shocked, be nice if my yellows would grow up to do that lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks a lot for the advice. The funnel idea seems very nice.

I will try and feed the fry crushed NLS flakes and see if they take it. The mom was holding them for a very long time and the fry are already big and without any egg sacs. hopefully they eat and dont die of hunger :(
 

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in my experience they are more likely to die from over eating lol
i have to be very careful to feed them very little or it seems a couple will be dead the next morning
so be very careful not to overfeed while they still look more like see-thru tadpoles than fish :p
 

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i use baby bites for the food. but labs usually have from 10 to 30 fry. She may have stressed out and ate some of the fry. Don't forget to seperate the mom fron the fry. she will eat them. once they come out they dont need her. they will start eating when their yoke sacks are comsumed. good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for your help guys! They seem to be eating now. I have them in a 2.5G planted (floating plants) tank and I feed them little amount of microworms every day. Their belly is not too bloated for now.
 
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