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Shellie (ornatopinnis) abandoning fry

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I posted a few days ago about my new pair of N. ornatopinnis having a shell of fry. Sadly as of today she's totally abandoned the shell and no fry are left. She's quite fat with eggs again though and is still hanging closely with her male so I'm sure they'll spawn again, but I'm looking for some suggestions on how to help this not happen again.

First of all, is this common with new pairs? This is their first spawn and I'm thinking maybe she's just still working herself out.

Next, the other three are still in the tank. I believe this is either M/M/F or F/F/M. They're still growing so it's hard to tell at times. None of these other ones are using shells or paired up yet, but they're still a little pushy and keep swooping the main pair. There's no hardcore aggression though, no ripped fins or any damage done.

I've taken this opportunity to rearrange the tank. It's a 2x18x18; I've moved the texas holey rock into the middle of the tank now to create two distinct areas, and split up the shells in the tank to opposite corners.

- Should I not bother with this and just remove the three spares? I'm pretty sure I can work another pair out of these three so I'd like to hold onto them for a while. I can easily set them up in another 2x1 tank this weekend.

Thanks in advance for the help guys. Still a big learning curve here!

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I think it's like a rainbow, perhaps. You can chase the end all you want, but you still keep learning more. Or in my case, you keep learning what you're doing wrong. D'oh.

Hoping that dividing the territory helps and may end up moving the spares into another tank anyways. I was so excited about the fry. SIIIIGH.

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Woah this is weird! I just lost the eggs the female X. Ochrogenys was holding and the day you had the fry is the day it was holding eggs...

As for the Ornatipinnis, if Mark is really that good at getting the right sex ratios (he probably is lol) the two you got from me must be 2 females then I think

Lost the male in a violent attack from Tropheus and Diagramma

So from my experience that suggests that females must be aggressive towards each other too

Maybe best to let the pair be alone?

Not much info in my book or on the net

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Damn these fish. Get your hopes up then CRASH, down they go. =(

I'm still thinking he may have gotten me 2 boys and a girl, one of my three (the unpaired one) is getting bigger and bigger. =) Here's hoping though, I'd prefer to have another pair rather than a trio of bitchy girls.

And yeah, judging by the massive attitude on the paired female, the females are WICKED mean. She's a nasty little thing and fast as hell. =)

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hi mate,

can you remove the shell and raise the fries on a saparate tank?

what i did with some of mine shellies was to mark the shell with number 1, 2 ,3 and so on and remove the shells to a holding tank after two week of eggs laid in that order!

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