Need advice from rare pleco breeders, please.

All posts regarding the care and breeding of these catfishes from South America.
Post Reply
User avatar
TwoTankAmin
Posts: 1253
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 11:26 pm
I've donated: $2918.00!
My cats species list: 6 (i:0, k:0)
My BLogs: 2 (i:0, p:48)
Location 1: USA
Location 2: Mt. Kisco, NY
Interests: Fish and Poker

Need advice from rare pleco breeders, please.

Post by TwoTankAmin »

Years ago I lost 2/3 ongoing spawns of zebras when I had to break down the tank to pull offspring. I carefully pulled the caves to traps, did what I had two and put the tank back together in as close to the original configuration as I could. The next day the eggs and wigglers were gone. Only the almost free swimming fry were still intact. As a result, I decided never to try to pull fish when it would interrupt ongoing spawning runs.

I now find myself on the horns of a dilemma. My breeding group of wild L173 is fairly uncommon as are the fish themselves. Two males have been spawning regularly for several months now. Because new pleco fry are stupid, when they notice the current has stopped or slowed greatly, they get curious and some will come out. They do not do this for very long before they stop.

Because of this over about 10 days in early April I was able to nab 10 new fry during weekly maint. and get them into a trap and then a grow tank. The problem I have is that there are many more fry in the tank. I am guessing at least 20 and maybe 30+. Both males are on recent spawns.

I really want to move a bunch more fry from the breeder to the grow tank so that I spread out the risk of loss. But I also am fearful that trying to pull apart the tank will cause the spawning run to end prematurely.

Finally, the tank is set up such that I can pretty easily remove the Poret cube in the center and replace it with a Poret foam divider. (There is an AquaClear hang-on at each end as well.) Since the alpha male spawns in the same cave in the left half of the tank and most of the other spawns, including the current 2nd spawn have also occurred in another cave on the left side, I could divide the tank and only pull apart just the right hand side. The problem is that I see many more fry in the left half, so how many I might pull out of the right side is probably 20% to 25% of the total at best.

I am not sure what to do-
1. If I do nothing the tank can get over stocked pretty fast. Plus a tank disaster could wipe out a lot of fish.
2. If I try to pull half the tank or repeat what I did with the zebras, I may lose spawns and/or stop the active spawning.
3. I have no clue how long they will continue to spawn nor how many fry are in the tank now.

I have multiple concerns which make it hard for me to decide what to do. If the offspring were not worth so much money and it was not so important to get them spread around the hobby, it would be an easy decision. But I paid a ton for the breeders and have not recouped my cost and will not do so until I can sell 40-50 more offspring. To date 12 have been sold. I have about 15 in the grow tank and the 5 biggest are for me to watch for years to see how they develop from egg to adult size. I should also mention that these fish appear to have really small spawns and that they grow very very slowly.

I feel like whatever I do, it will be the wrong thing. Any advice from folks breeding the pricier rare stuff would be greatly appreciated.
No one has ever become poor by giving.” Anonymous
Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.”" Daniel Patrick Moynihan
"The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it." Neil DeGrasse Tyson

User avatar
bekateen
Posts: 5634
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2014 5:50 pm
I've donated: $40.00!
My articles: 3
My images: 53
My cats species list: 103 (i:41, k:46)
My aquaria list: 30 (i:14)
My BLogs: 31 (i:106, p:1592)
My Wishlist: 33
Spotted: 124
Location 1: USA, California, Stockton
Location 2: USA, California, Stockton
Contact:

Re: Need advice from rare pleco breeders, please.

Post by bekateen »

Hi TTA,

What a wonderful dilemma to have - too many fry! :-)

Here's one possible action to collect the fry without tearing apart the tank: If the fry are old enough to be feeding, place a small clear plastic soda bottle or water bottle with narrow neck in the tank and add food to it. You can drill additional small holes in it, but not on one side (which will face down). Lay the bottle in the tank and let the fry go inside to feed. When they are inside, lift out the bottle and transfer the fry. Reload the bottle with fresh food and replace in the parents' tank.

I do this with L397 and it works pretty well. I can get as many as 5-6 fry at a time if I place the bottle in and walk away for a little while.

Good luck,
Eric
"So many catfishes, so little time... and space... and money." - I said this after visiting Pier Aquatics.
Image
http://youtube.com/user/Bekateen1
Would you like to buy my fish? Click HERE for prices.

User avatar
TwoTankAmin
Posts: 1253
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 11:26 pm
I've donated: $2918.00!
My cats species list: 6 (i:0, k:0)
My BLogs: 2 (i:0, p:48)
Location 1: USA
Location 2: Mt. Kisco, NY
Interests: Fish and Poker

Re: Need advice from rare pleco breeders, please.

Post by TwoTankAmin »

I actually have a bottle trap. But I did the full monty on it. I cut off the top, inverted it and then punched holes in both the bottle body and the inverted top piece. I then use small nylon wire ties to join the two pieces. Before doing this I add a couple of stones to insure the bottle stays in place when submerged. When there are fish inside I snip the ties to flip open the cap and pour the contents into whatever.

The advantage to the cut and reverse is that the way out cannot be found easily by the trapped fish. This lets me leave the container in the tank longer, even over night. On the other hand this method can leave gaps which teeny fry can use to escape. But if I just use a bottle as is, the fry can easily swim along the bottle interior until they exit with out having to go "free water swimming" to find it.

But it cannot hurt to try it either or both ways. The idea never occurred to me.

Thanks, Eric.
No one has ever become poor by giving.” Anonymous
Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.”" Daniel Patrick Moynihan
"The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it." Neil DeGrasse Tyson

cavefish
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2019 2:08 am
Location 1: Malta
Location 2: Europe

Re: Need advice from rare pleco breeders, please.

Post by cavefish »

I found these caves helpful, the fry will congregate together in there while adults prefer the normal caves. I cup the (left) rear hole with my hand while I pull the cave out and transfer the fry into a bucket.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iYVNAs ... e=youtu.be

User avatar
TwoTankAmin
Posts: 1253
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 11:26 pm
I've donated: $2918.00!
My cats species list: 6 (i:0, k:0)
My BLogs: 2 (i:0, p:48)
Location 1: USA
Location 2: Mt. Kisco, NY
Interests: Fish and Poker

Re: Need advice from rare pleco breeders, please.

Post by TwoTankAmin »

I have used those squash fry caves for a number of years. I rarely see any fry in mine, What I did learn is that my original 236 group prefers the large fry caves as spawning caves. They are the only Hypans I have kept which exhibit that preference. My second larger 236 group uses any and all shapes.

Part of the lack of fry using those caves may have to do with my tank basic breeding tank setup. I always include a number of ideal fry hiding places in piles of small wood and custom slate corner caves I make. These are much thinner than the squash fry caves. However, normally I have these in grow tanks rather than breeding tanks.
L236tankJun2015.jpg
Click this pic to see two tails in the squash caves. The one on the left in the pot was home to the alpha male.
righthalfneb4removal.jpg
No one has ever become poor by giving.” Anonymous
Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.”" Daniel Patrick Moynihan
"The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it." Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Linus_Cello
Posts: 410
Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2009 9:43 pm
My cats species list: 1 (i:0, k:0)
Spotted: 1
Location 2: Washington DC

Re: Need advice from rare pleco breeders, please.

Post by Linus_Cello »

Not a breeder, but thinking creatively- could you add on a sump tank to this tank? With more water volume you may have better water quality, and if any fry end up in the sump it’s easier to catch them and transfer to a grow out tank.

User avatar
TwoTankAmin
Posts: 1253
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 11:26 pm
I've donated: $2918.00!
My cats species list: 6 (i:0, k:0)
My BLogs: 2 (i:0, p:48)
Location 1: USA
Location 2: Mt. Kisco, NY
Interests: Fish and Poker

Re: Need advice from rare pleco breeders, please.

Post by TwoTankAmin »

A sump is not possible. This is the under tank an a two tank stand.

But I discovered I had thrown out my bottle trap so I have put a couple of small bottles of water on my shopping list.

Also, the alpha male's current spawn is almost free swimming and the #2 male is on new eggs that should be wigglers.
No one has ever become poor by giving.” Anonymous
Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.”" Daniel Patrick Moynihan
"The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it." Neil DeGrasse Tyson

User avatar
bekateen
Posts: 5634
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2014 5:50 pm
I've donated: $40.00!
My articles: 3
My images: 53
My cats species list: 103 (i:41, k:46)
My aquaria list: 30 (i:14)
My BLogs: 31 (i:106, p:1592)
My Wishlist: 33
Spotted: 124
Location 1: USA, California, Stockton
Location 2: USA, California, Stockton
Contact:

Re: Need advice from rare pleco breeders, please.

Post by bekateen »

TwoTankAmin wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 6:07 pm
the alpha male's current spawn is almost free swimming and the #2 male is on new eggs that should be wigglers.
Wonderful! Good luck with them.

Cheers, Eric
"So many catfishes, so little time... and space... and money." - I said this after visiting Pier Aquatics.
Image
http://youtube.com/user/Bekateen1
Would you like to buy my fish? Click HERE for prices.

User avatar
TwoTankAmin
Posts: 1253
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 11:26 pm
I've donated: $2918.00!
My cats species list: 6 (i:0, k:0)
My BLogs: 2 (i:0, p:48)
Location 1: USA
Location 2: Mt. Kisco, NY
Interests: Fish and Poker

Re: Need advice from rare pleco breeders, please.

Post by TwoTankAmin »

I still have not gotten the bottle, I keep forgetting when I go grocery shopping. I did grab 8 mostly tiny fry yesterday doing tank maint. Unfortunately, I dinged one and it did not survive. I still spot plenty more in the breeder tank.

The alpha male has not spawned again, yet. The #2 male is on close to free swimmers. Maybe I will get a window where I can break down the tank and find as many fry as I can.
No one has ever become poor by giving.” Anonymous
Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.”" Daniel Patrick Moynihan
"The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it." Neil DeGrasse Tyson

philippe31
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:55 am
My cats species list: 1 (i:0, k:0)
My BLogs: 1 (i:1, p:46)
Spotted: 1
Location 1: FRANCE
Location 2: TOULOUSE

Re: Need advice from rare pleco breeders, please.

Post by philippe31 »

In my aquarium the bottle trap works for shrimps but not Hypancistrus.
I catch my babies L174 with a flashlight at night, after the lights go out. It also works very well with the L201.
They stand against the walls and I grab them one by one with a landing net....
It takes several days to recover an egg laying, but does not disturb the reproductive group.
Often a big change of water with osmosis water also brings out the little ones from their hiding places, and the same, glued against the wall of the bin we can catch them.
Good luck with that.

User avatar
TwoTankAmin
Posts: 1253
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 11:26 pm
I've donated: $2918.00!
My cats species list: 6 (i:0, k:0)
My BLogs: 2 (i:0, p:48)
Location 1: USA
Location 2: Mt. Kisco, NY
Interests: Fish and Poker

Re: Need advice from rare pleco breeders, please.

Post by TwoTankAmin »

My babies always come out during water changes. the problem is the way I layout my pleco breeding tanks is there is a ton of cover. Often the only way to nab a fry becomes a siphon. I also sometimes nab them using a brine shrimp net. The problem with wither method tends to be that I kill some. The last cleaning I removed 4 and killed 3. Usually things are not this bad.

Pretty much the fry that come out are usually the smallest. This means they are very vulnerable to being damaged. I think I now have about 25 in growout along with the five much larger offspring I am keeping for myself. I am planning to move them into a 40 breeder for the summer shortly. I do not have an accurate count, but I believe i currently have at least 75 assorted size L173. This assumes there are still 20-25 uncaught offspring in the wild caught breeder tank.

I finally got a small squared water bottle I am getting ready to turn into a trap. I am not real hopeful, but it cannot hurt to try. The adults cannot fit through you opening, so no worries there.
No one has ever become poor by giving.” Anonymous
Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.”" Daniel Patrick Moynihan
"The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it." Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Mexnotex
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 12:16 am
My cats species list: 81 (i:1, k:32)
My aquaria list: 1 (i:0)
My BLogs: 8 (i:0, p:194)
My Wishlist: 2
Spotted: 29
Location 1: Buffalo
Location 2: United States
Interests: Being a father, gourmet cooking, photography

Re: Need advice from rare pleco breeders, please.

Post by Mexnotex »

Hello 2T,
I came to the same problem with L260. I did not feed the tank for 2 days then added some repashy on the front corners to see if I could atract any juvies. So, I did so and waited about 30 minutes after lights out, but they are too fast and was able to grab a few, then thought about doing the same but this time using a divider instead, so I trapped about 12 on one side. The other side did not have a chance as they swam for cover.
Two days later I cleared up one side of the tank and added cut up shrimp and mussels, waited 30 minutes after lights out, had left the tank uncovered and put a foam divider. Cut 18 this time. Repeated procedure a few days later with good results, this time a left the divider in the tank and only had to moved it forward.
Hopefully this helps.
M. Ortiz :-$ :-$

User avatar
TwoTankAmin
Posts: 1253
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 11:26 pm
I've donated: $2918.00!
My cats species list: 6 (i:0, k:0)
My BLogs: 2 (i:0, p:48)
Location 1: USA
Location 2: Mt. Kisco, NY
Interests: Fish and Poker

Re: Need advice from rare pleco breeders, please.

Post by TwoTankAmin »

Thanks @Mexnotex

I have actually used that divider trick before. I used a sheet of Poret foam to divide the tank. I posted pics in this thread viewtopic.php?f=5&t=42173&hilit=l236 You will see later in that thread a heater failure wiped out that tank. That same tank is now the home to these 173s. It has a backup heater controller on it.

But my problem isn't so much being able to nab the fry as it is not to cause the ongoing spawning to stop. Some time back when I was working with zebra plecos I had two males who spawned two weeks apart for months on end. About 2.6 years into this I had an unusual happening, a third male spawned, so I had one cave with new eggs, another with wigglers and a third with almost free swimmers. Having to pull fry for a buyer, I ended up losing two out of three of the spawns and interrupted the spawning process as well.

Considering that 173s are more expensive than zebras and also a fish that hobbyists need to propagate for the same reasons they needed to work with zebras, I am very leery of doing anything that stops the spawning. Also, these are one of the slowest growing plecos I have kept, so they stay tiny longer which makes catching them more risky.

I did nab one fry yesterday during water changes and maint.
No one has ever become poor by giving.” Anonymous
Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.”" Daniel Patrick Moynihan
"The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it." Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Addicted
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2017 3:13 am
Location 1: Bergen County
Location 2: New Jersey

Re: Need advice from rare pleco breeders, please.

Post by Addicted »

Congratulations TTA... What a wonderful problem to have.. 🍻
"First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me."

User avatar
TwoTankAmin
Posts: 1253
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 11:26 pm
I've donated: $2918.00!
My cats species list: 6 (i:0, k:0)
My BLogs: 2 (i:0, p:48)
Location 1: USA
Location 2: Mt. Kisco, NY
Interests: Fish and Poker

Re: Need advice from rare pleco breeders, please.

Post by TwoTankAmin »

I am just recovering from a nasty chest infection that took me out of action for almost 10 days. During that time the spawning gad stopped in the tank. I have been trying to get things back to normal fishwise as water changes etc, had stopped. I was hoping I was finally going to ne able to do a fry hunt in the tank. Well the best laid plans....

I just did a cave check and I have two caves with ongoing trappings. They are both at it simultaneously. I don't know whether to :)) or :((

I can also report that when I do cave checks I am also doing fry checks and there are a lot of them in the tank.
No one has ever become poor by giving.” Anonymous
Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.”" Daniel Patrick Moynihan
"The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it." Neil DeGrasse Tyson

User avatar
bekateen
Posts: 5634
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2014 5:50 pm
I've donated: $40.00!
My articles: 3
My images: 53
My cats species list: 103 (i:41, k:46)
My aquaria list: 30 (i:14)
My BLogs: 31 (i:106, p:1592)
My Wishlist: 33
Spotted: 124
Location 1: USA, California, Stockton
Location 2: USA, California, Stockton
Contact:

Re: Need advice from rare pleco breeders, please.

Post by bekateen »

Wonderful success. Laugh, don't cry.

Cheers, Eric
"So many catfishes, so little time... and space... and money." - I said this after visiting Pier Aquatics.
Image
http://youtube.com/user/Bekateen1
Would you like to buy my fish? Click HERE for prices.

Post Reply