Tropheus fry

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Tropheus fry

Post by Aura on Sat Aug 07, 2010 6:11 pm

Can they be kept with the adults without danger of being eaten or is it better to remove them and grow them up a little bit? I've read conflicting information about this.
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Re: Tropheus fry

Post by iceblue on Sat Aug 07, 2010 7:43 pm

Just from experience with other opportunistic feeders I wouldn't take the chance. They're so cute and bite size I have a feeling even related adults wouldn't pass up an opportunity for a snack. But then again I kind of equate Trophs with Mbuna and I may be totally off base.
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Re: Tropheus fry

Post by Rift_Lakes_Rule on Sat Aug 07, 2010 8:01 pm

From what I've read there are several people who enjoy watching the young grow up with the colony. They provide a couple "fry piles" in the tank to provide cover for them. I'd guess that not all the fry survive but apparently quite a few do. One guy allows his Ilangi to spit in the tank and every few months he tears it down to harvest the fry. Ilangi are probably the most expensive and sought after of all the tropheus variants. He feels that the fry not only grow quicker but because some degree of "natural selection" has occured in the tank, the remaining fry are all good specimens. He usually has loads of fry in the tank.

You gettin some trophs???

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Re: Tropheus fry

Post by buntbarsch on Sat Aug 07, 2010 10:42 pm

I personally prefer to separate the female and set her up in a 10g maternity tank. However, if you keep a large group in a big show tank I agree with Mike. It would create too much stress for the group if you would take down the tank every time a female is holding and the "natural selection" is not a bad thing either.

Please tell us that you are getting into my favorite cichlid..........please...

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Re: Tropheus fry

Post by Aura on Sun Aug 08, 2010 7:58 pm

I've been thinking about them for a long time now, but have been hesitant to order any that have to be shipped and they are unbelievably expensive at the lfs. When I see any at the fish store, there are usually only a few anyway.

But an opportunity came up toward the end of June -- a guy in the local aquarium society was selling most of his colony of cherry spots of various ages, so I took the plunge. He had a couple of holding moms that we waited on to spit, but that gave me time to read up more thoroughly on them and order the same food he was feeding, etc. Went to meet up with him in the Seattle area yesterday. He had them in several bags, some as singles and others 3 to 5 per bag. Unfortunately in one of the bags, one was DOA and the other four in the same bag were looking bad. A few of the others in some of the bags seemed to be a little stressed as well, although most of them perked up when I got them into the tank. He had also stripped a female for the first time that morning and she was in one bag along with two or three juvies and three tiny little fry that must have been missed when he stripped. (I had told him that I was willing to wait for her to spit on her own so he wouldn't have to strip, especially since he had never done it before.) That female was pretty lethargic as well. The fry kept trying to get back in her mouth, and she'd take them and immediately release them again. I ended up putting them in a breeder box.

I kept a close eye on them (19 of them), most of them were swimming and exploring and seemed fine, about five of them were questionable though -- the mom and the others that I think were in the bag with the dead one. With all of the reading that I've done about trophs and bloat, I was thinking that I might have to treat them if they weren't better by morning. I was hoping they just needed a little time to settle in. Unfortunately, this morning two more were dead and a third looking very bad. Sad So I'm treating the tank with Metro. Sad I've got the lights off and am trying not to stress them any more than they have already been. Some of them are still swimming around happily, a couple of the adults are chasing around establishing their territories. The young adults/juvies are mostly in the rocks and with the lights off, it's hard to tell exactly how they are doing.

The tank is cycled. Filters were on other healthy tanks before moving them over. Water was tested before and after the fish arrived with two different kits and I tested again twice today, just to be sure nothing is wrong in the water. I've never experienced anything like this before! It's scary to watch fish dying and have no idea what to do for them. Sad

So my tropheus experience thus far (one and a half days) has been close to my worst nightmare. I really hope that the deaths were just a result of some problem in that one bag and they they don't start dying one by one with the dreaded "bloat".

Some of the articles that I read suggested treating with Metro when the fish arrive as a preventative, so I figured I was safe in dosing them today. If it doesn't harm them, I would rather treat to be on the safe side. Or do you think I should wait and see if any more die?
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Re: Tropheus fry

Post by Rift_Lakes_Rule on Sun Aug 08, 2010 9:00 pm

Wow Betty, sorry it's going rough for ya. If it were me I would continue treatment. There are different trains of thought on when and how to treat, but if there have already been losses I would definitely treat them. That's just my personal opinion tho.

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Re: Tropheus fry

Post by iceblue on Sun Aug 08, 2010 9:05 pm

That's to bad Betty. I'm sure it's very frustrating. Hopefully the rest will get better under your ministrations.
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Re: Tropheus fry

Post by Aura on Sun Aug 08, 2010 9:42 pm

I'm really hoping the rest will be okay. I think I will continue with the treatment and keep my fingers crossed.
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Re: Tropheus fry

Post by theswede on Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:02 am

Sorry to hear this. I hope the rest of the group will pull through. Never heard of Metro so I did a google search and found this thread on a Tropheus forum.
http://trophs.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=5653&st=0
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Re: Tropheus fry

Post by Aura on Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:22 am

Thanks for that link Håkan. Top of page 3 was interesting - he had a bag with one DOA and another died the next morning. The water quality in that bag was questioned.

There sure seems to be a difference in opinion in whether or not to treat and what to treat with. I have Metro, Clout, and Jungle's Parasite Clear on hand. I've also read various types of salt (Marine, table, epsom) alone or combined with the meds.

I'm not even sure that this is bloat.
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Re: Tropheus fry

Post by theswede on Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:49 am

Aura wrote:I'm not even sure that this is bloat.

Unfortunately it´s almost always a guessing game. But if some of the fish don´t respond to metro I would place those in a hospital tank and hit them with something stronger. I´ve never heard of clout. Most of the guys here use either octozin,flagyl or aquafuran.


Last edited by theswede on Mon Aug 09, 2010 5:19 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Tropheus fry

Post by Aura on Mon Aug 09, 2010 2:28 pm

Lost two more overnight.
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Re: Tropheus fry

Post by Rift_Lakes_Rule on Mon Aug 09, 2010 5:18 pm

Bummer Sad

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Re: Tropheus fry

Post by theswede on Mon Aug 09, 2010 5:27 pm

That's to bad . How do the rest look?
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Re: Tropheus fry

Post by Aura on Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:28 pm

Most of the adults look okay. They are active, but showed no interest in food. (I put a few flakes in there to see if they wanted to eat.) The younger ones are staying in the rocks and I have the lights off, so it's hard to tell how they are doing. They are still alive for now though.

The three little fry are active and when offered a flake, started fighting for it. They are the bright spot in this nightmare. I love you
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Re: Tropheus fry

Post by buntbarsch on Tue Aug 10, 2010 9:36 am

Betty, I am terribly sorry to hear about your troubles. This is not the way it should be when starting with a new species. It is always a gamble to buy fish from someone you don't know and have never seen them before they arrive at your doorstep. I have been there too and lost a good number of fish that way. Now I NEVER buy fish that I have not seen before or they are from people I know very well and have seen the way they keep their fish. I makes it more difficult to find certain fish but you don't have to worry about their condition when you finally find them.

One sure sign of bloat is white feces and a swollen belly. If these signs are not there, it is not bloat. In these cases I used sea salt (approx 3 full teaspoons per 10g) and the temperature up to 83-84 degrees F for 3-4 days. Then I did a large water change, reduced the temp. to 82 and the salt to 2 teaspoons for another week. Then repeat this again until you are back to no salt and 78-80 F. I had more success with that method then any medication or other chemicals. I also would suggest to leave the lights on during the day and shut them of trough the night. Tropheus live in surf zone of the lake where the light is the brightest and algae is able to grow.

I was so hoping that one of these days you would start keeping these beauties and have the same positive experience as Mike or myself. To get a start like you did does not help very much. I just hope that you won't give up on them. Let me know if I can help.

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Re: Tropheus fry

Post by Aura on Tue Aug 10, 2010 11:03 am

I'm not giving up, Klaus, and thank you for the info. I have some sea salt and can try your suggestion. I don't see any bodies this morning, so that's good.

When you had treated yours with the salt, did you feed them at all?

I have always been afraid to buy fish online because I had no way of really knowing what I would get. Plus there is no way to know how they will be treated after they leave the fishkeeper and get into the mail system. I am so careful with any fish that I transport from a fish store -- you'd think I was carrying explosives. Very Happy They go into a padded cooler, are buckled into the seat, blanket over top, and I drive like an old lady.

The guy that I got the fish from is very active in the local fish club and although I don't know him personally, I figured that I could trust the fish coming from him. I asked him for pictures and he gave me some background info on the fish, told me what buffers he adds to the water, gave me some of the food he feeds them, etc. I don't blame him for this -- I'm sure the fish were fine in his care. But I think they were under stress of some sort after they got in the bags. He did tell me that he had not fasted them the day prior, but I don't know if that would be a problem for a few hours in the bags. Also a couple of the bags had small leaks in them. (Breather bags that were not filled completely when I got them home and water was in an exterior bag containing the breather bags.) There was still plenty of water left though.

This will not deter me from wanting to keep trophs. Hopefully I will have survivors that don't kill each other with aggression now with their lower numbers. I bought 20 of them figuring I'd lose a couple in the beginning, but would still have enough to spread that aggression around. I had no idea that I'd lose this many.

And to think that some people buy one or two tropheus at the lfs and stick them in with their mbuna and they do just fine! All of this preparation to make everything just right and they drop like flies.
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Re: Tropheus fry

Post by buntbarsch on Tue Aug 10, 2010 5:49 pm

Aura wrote:When you had treated yours with the salt, did you feed them at all?

Yes Betty, I did very sparingly twice a day.

I'm glad to hear that you are not giving up. Let me know if I help in any way.

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Re: Tropheus fry

Post by Aura on Wed Aug 11, 2010 10:40 am

Thank you, Klaus. Thank you all for your help and responses! There is better news today. Two days with no deaths.

I added the salt yesterday and offered a few veggie flakes. Not everyone is eating, but a lot of them are. And most of them are pretty active. And the aggression!! This is worse than a tank full of auratus!

I started out with two rock piles on either end of the tank (75 gallons), but I'm adding more to create more hiding spots. There appears to be a big male who is very intolerant of the other adults.


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Re: Tropheus fry

Post by preacherboy on Wed Aug 11, 2010 10:57 am

Glad to hear some good news about your new trophs!
I'm looking forward to seeing some pics of the tank when you
finally get them settled in and healthy!
How many of the 20 do you have left now?
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Re: Tropheus fry

Post by Rift_Lakes_Rule on Wed Aug 11, 2010 4:44 pm

Glad to hear they are doing better. Hopefully the agression will slow down a bit once they set the pecking order in their new home.


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Re: Tropheus fry

Post by Aura on Thu Aug 12, 2010 10:52 am

I hope so Mike.

Mark, I have 14 left as far as I can tell. I haven't found any more bodies, so there should be 14, plus those three fry. The fry are doing fine and eating everything offered.

Here are a couple of blurry no-flash pictures. The fry are in that breeder box.


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Re: Tropheus fry

Post by theswede on Thu Aug 12, 2010 11:03 am

They look awesome Betty!!!!! Very Happy My favorite Tropheus. Must say that i´m jealous.
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Re: Tropheus fry

Post by Aura on Thu Aug 12, 2010 11:20 am

theswede wrote:They look awesome Betty!!!!! Very Happy My favorite Tropheus. Must say that i´m jealous.

They are my favorite too -- I decided that if I ever tried trophs, it would be these after I saw a link to a picture that you had posted back on the Madness! I love that black and red color combination.

Now if I can just keep them alive...
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Re: Tropheus fry

Post by preacherboy on Thu Aug 12, 2010 2:52 pm

They are a beautiful fish and I really hope you are able to save the rest!
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