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anthony_123

Male Bristlenose eating his own eggs and fry?

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Hi all, first post and hopefully many more to come.

Over the last couple of days/weeks my cave of bn eggs has gone from 40 or so to 15, then from 15 to 11. Then when hatching was taking place I was at work and when I got home there was like 5 eggs left and one hatched swimming fry. So I was watching the last 5 eggs hatch, then I placed them in an open clear plastic isolation tank (for betta's) at the bottom of the tank.

Next day I could only see three, and whilst looking for them one of the ones was eaten by the male! Swear to god, I couldn't believe my eyes considering what I have read online about breeding bn's.

Now to this day I have one left, in the isolationg tank now hanging on the side of the tank with the slotted lid closed.

Is this unusual? or common? Has this happened to anyone else? Will this continue?

Thanks

Anthony

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Hi Anthony,

Welcome to the Forum. You should find answers to all your questions from the members. They have an amazing wealth of knowledge/information gained from first-hand experience.

I personally don't know the answer for sure - there could be more than 1 reason for the BN male's cannibalism. It seems you've been pretty intensely observing him while he's been incubating his eggs. Maybe too intense? Is his cave transparent or do you have to physically move it and shine a light in to see what's going on? Just a question. Is it possible he got 'stage fright'?

Once I see eggs in any of my BN caves, I make a mental note and calculate when the fry should be free swimming. I leave them alone to get on with the process.

What do you other BN breeders think?

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I have had some common BN's spawn for me and produce about 40-50 fry they all hatched no problems and swam around tank for a few days, the only tank mates they had were the 2 females and the father, as well as a large number of rainbowfish fry these were very small rainbowfish fry and definatley not big enough to consume BN fry , I gradually lost about 95% of the BN fry over a few days, couldnt find any corpses and could only put it down to the fry being eaten by the BN parents... although I must say I never actually witnessed it happening... just thought I'd throw that out there.

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Ive heard of Males kicking eggs out when disturbed, ie shining a light in there, or being moved while sitting on eggs, luckily my big male doesnt give 2 shits if i shine a light on him, never kicked one egg. Although I stopped bothering him a while ago, put his cave at the back of the tank and facing it so he doesnt even know if someone/thing walks past the tank. He still constantly gets over 100 eggs to free swimming babies.

Ive never seen an adult eat young BN, Ive got babies of all sizes in with both males and females, the adults dont even seem to notice the young ones, untill they get to about 4-5cm then they will start harrasing them and chasing them off food. But ive still never seen an adult eat a young. and i have spent hours watching them eat and swim. But i have found that if any young do die, the corpes dont last the night. But that is the other youngsters canabalising their siblings. With 100+ fry in there it is understandable that little babies will dissapear, but you dont seem to have enough their to clean up the bodies.

From my (limited) experience I wouldnt blame the parents, but Im sure its a possibilty,

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Thanks for everyone's input. And to set things straight, the one I saw that was canibalized was indeed alive. It was one that looked like it was stuggeling to swim and actually thought it was dying. Then the male/father saw it and litterally body slammed it with its mouth and then swam away. No traces was left. I was like :esup: and i wished i had recorded it. Apart from this one time I haven't witnessed him doing it again. There is no other fishes in the tank, I got rid of (traded) the tiger barbs cos i saw one go in the cave and come out with 3 eggs in its mouth.

So far there is two I can see alive and well.

Yesterday, I saw one, just one corpse (i think) it was heavily attacked with fungi and looked like there was a tail in there too. So I cleaned that up.

SO, I have came to a couple of conclusions from everyone's help here.

1) Iritated male/father. Constant torch lighting in the cave. Even high intesity DSLR camera flash. I was so excited so I kept on checking up on them and it didn't help not knowing that the male needs some peace.

2) Dirty water. I was doing 5-10% water changes every 4-5 days during this process but may have over fed (thinking maybe the male is hungry - hence canibalizing). Cos I saw a mini centrepede looking thing the other day (1cm long with legs and all).

3) First time male/father who has no effin idea what his doing. First time Dad over 18 months with the female.

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Hi Anthony welcome and congrats re first post

Sorry to hear about your losses,be assured that nearly all of us have them for what ever reason.

Can you lose eggs or wriggles?I lost once approx 150 ospots until with the help of more experienced forum

members I figured that some of my other bns would suck them through the fry saver net.To provent loss next time you could take the eggs out and put them into an egg tumbler(see post J Garner dry goods) or take wrigglers out and put into your fry saver,but in a way and fashion that the other fish can't get them.Also be aware that if your fry dies the other fish will often take them for added protein.Than there is always the possibility that you might have an unknown predator in your tank.I once saw a creature running around in one of my tanks that looked to me like a small prawn running upright on legs lol.It wasn't funny at the time ,because it was a dragonfly nymph munching away on my fry.So check your centrepede and other causes.Also you might want to read this post:

FISH PROBLEMS? READ THIS!in General Aquariums Discussion re water quality

All the best with your fishy adventures Herb

Ps Males on eggs in the log rarely leave the cave re food

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