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Surrogate parents pays off...


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Well, today I found my first set of surrogate fish for a plateful of flowerhorn eggs.  :startle:


I have a 9" beast of a female red dragon Flowerhorn paired up with a shortbody red Texas/Flowerhorn male. He is apparently sterile thanks to the red tx in him. So I separated them and she still lays like clockwork every 2 weeks. HOWEVER>>>>

We all know convicts are breeding machines, right? Well, they love to have babies so much, apparently, they will take someone else's and raise them. 


I separated my female and she still filled an 8" plate full of eggs even without a male. I took said  plate and placed it in a tank with a very fertile convict pair that gives me about 200 fry per spawn that I have upgraded all sorts of things in aquatic gear with. lol  Anyway, I watched them for a while and then left them to check out the plate. I went out to run some errands and when I came back all the eggs were gone.  :thumbsd:


However, in the neighboring tank, I saw my Cryptoheros Myrnae totally engrossed in watching the female convict working her heart out in the corner facing them. They could see her placing my missing eggs on a better hidden spot in her favorite pot turned backward in that corner. 4 days later, I hoped for wigglers, but couldn't find them anywhere. During the night, they had completely torn that tank apart and moved plants, pots, sand...everything. I think they realized they had eyes on them from the next tank. They shoved it all against that wall of the tank. And I couldn't find a trace of the eggs.  :( Only a few spots were left I couldn't see behind. 


WELL, don't ever let that fool you. Today I came home for lunch and found about 300 fry free swimming in that tank, and they are very light colored  and see-thru to be pure convicts. And they have one single line running horizontal like flowerhorns. And these are very unruly. lol Not like the convict babies at all. 


I think, they have taken the flowerhorn eggs, dad fertilized, and they hatched them. They have not even been in breeding color since I took their last batch about 2 days before I gave them the plate. These are not shaped like con's, nor do they seem like con's. ON the first day of free swimming, mine have always stayed in a pot and mom/dad spit food in there for them. These are all over the place and have run my poor convict pair to death trying to keep them together. They even run to the surface. They refuse BBS. But drop a green flake in there and they go nuts!  :stuff: Dad is a huge male and very dark and he is like a drill sgt in keeping his kids in line. Not these....lol He is very nicely striped and every batch I have had from this pair has been almost black at hatching and stripe up very early, never clear. 



So has anyone ever done this or known of anyone that did this? I have heard of males sneaking in and fertilizing eggs in a community tank, but to completely adopt a plate of eggs and hatch/raise them? I think it's awesome!  :goodjob:  I bought these convicts at 1/2" and they have been paired up since they hit one inch. They just wondered off from everyone else and that was that. Dad is about 5" with an awesome head and mom is about 4" and glows orange in breeding color. They have been super awesome parents and give me terrific looking offspring. My neice named them Emma/Hook (Once Upon a Time) because she says its true love.  :wub: My LFS wants all I can send them from this pair.

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Having fish that will parent is a real plus.  I wish you lots of luck with your upcoming babies.


I had a pair of Dark Pinoy Ghost Angels that were extremely good parents, raised their babies without any issue and bred every 10 days like clockwork...I had my hands full keeping up with what was in my tank.  Male was super aggressive towards anyone coming close to the tank, would charge me when I tried to feed them.


One day my Platinum Angels laid eggs and once they were fertilized and hatched they left them.....I scooped them all up and during the night dumped them in the area where the Pinoy Ghosts babies were.  Next morning here was the pair of Pinoys swimming with a herd of black and white babies.  They didn't know the difference, didn't care, they raised those babies to 4 weeks old, before I had to remove them to a bigger tank to growout. 


Nature is funny sometimes.

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Awesome! They seem to be doing good so far. Like I said, they are running themselves to death trying to keep them in line. They want them in that big pot, but the babies have other ideas. LOL  They are all over that tank and if it doesn't move....they will try to eat it. LOL 


I tried BBS again yesterday and they parents were so busy with them that they didn't bother the baster for once. But the babies just watched it fall to the floor. Only a few went after it, then swam away. So I used some Spectrum dust and ground up some green flakes in it....THAT made them go crazy. It was like watching a micro shark fest.  :stuff:


Hey monty, check out my other thread at http://www.shrimpspot.com/index.php?/topic/2410-calling-all-angelfish-breedersgot-a-or-1k/

I am trying to gender some marbles...again. Can you take a look and tell me what you think?  Thanks a million!

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Well, folks, lesson learned....When convicts decide its time to breed....IT IS TIME TO BREED! I got up today to find my surrogate parents all colored out and munching on the babies they had taken in. So, I yanked them out of the tank, removed all the pots/plants and netted all the babies I could find that were left. Thankfully, they found a good hiding spot and I still have about 200 left. I put them into a breeder box for the time being and put the convicts back in their tank. They immediately forgot the babies and went about cleaning a pot, so I guess 2 weeks is the limit. 


I have another box with 2 week old babies of theirs already, and the surragate babies are 8 days old. I will keep them in the box until I know they are eating good and they realize what that "massive hand" is for and then put them into a grow out tank. 


The babies seemed a bit confused when I fed them, but a few of the larger ones did eat. So hopefully, the sudden change won't be detrimental. 

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Well, apparently that is over. They ate like little pigs earlier and I just gave them some spiralina powder and they went wild again. Some of the bigger ones came to the top when they saw the shadow of my hand. I hope the others learn too. There looks to be about 175 now that I can really see them in the breeder box. The 2 week old pure con's got moved to a 10g today and they are loving the room. They are very dark like dad as always. Stripes are very black and the bigger fry have a blue-ish background like dad. 


Meanwhile mom/dad have cleaned a pot from top to bottom and she is parked inside. I figure I will get pure convict eggs soon. That's ok, though. The LFS called wanting to know if I had any, so I am taking my bigger group in tomorrow. They are about 1/2+ inches and a few months old. Maybe, I will get a new filter for a 40 breeder I have sitting empty. I would love to use it for a growout tank for these hybrid guys, especially if they get the size of flowerhorns. At one week, I am seeing odd spots on them even tho they are very clear looking. Only a few look like they will have vertical stripes like convicts. But they are very young still, so we will see. The size of both is almost the same however. So I am wondering if the hybrids will outgrow the con's. 

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