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Please help, what do I do (if anything) with my first batch of BN eggs.

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Last night just before I went to bed, I did my usual check on all my tanks.

I noticed my female BN (who is in my cherry shrimp tank) had got really fat since the day before. I said to hubby she is either about to lay or sick, I'll check in the morning.

I have just checked to find just on the edge of the underside of the dirftwood a pile of eggs that the male is of course guarding.

Now I know nothing about breeding BN, so I know I have to sit and do some learning quick smart obviously but in between time, I was wondering if there is anything critical I need to know or I should do or not do.

There is only the 2 BN in the tank (one female and one male) and although I had never planned on breeding them, now that they have (finally, I never thought they would) I would like to try and keep the fry.

OMG!! I'm so stoked, this is so cool:cool: I love it when anything breeds, even my Molly's, I just think it's cool to see the life cycle like this:)

Apart from here of course, is there any really good sites I can check out that will help me learn what I need to know as easily and quickly as possible?

Thanks heaps for any help, I'm venturing into a new world by doing this and I'm scared :):)

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keep an eye on the eggs make sure the male dont kick them try to leave them alone and let nature take its course and if you have cherry shrimp in there they will also help look after the eggs by stopping them from going mouldy. i usually feed my fry zucchini a bit of flake and crush up some sinking pellets and sprinkle a bit of that in, depending how your genes are in the bristlenose you may get three or you may get 20-30. assuming its the first batch there would be 20-30 eggs there. congrats it is a great thing to watch.

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Thanks heaps for your help:)

There is more than 30 eggs, probably 50 odd, so that's pretty good for the first batch I suppose hey:)

Dad seems to be doing everything right from what I had read so far, so fingers crossed all goes well for their first lot.

There are some loose eggs that look like they have been knocked out of the batch but in general they are all clumped together on the side of the driftwood and some then going onto the substrate.

Does the mum or dad eat their young once hatched?

I read they hatch out in 5 days then stay in that same area with dad keeping watch for another 14 days, so after that (if any survive) am I right to just let them be in the same tank with mum, dad and the thousand cherry shrimp?

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50 is good for first batch. dont need to be concerned about mum or dad eating them. they are good parents. not really meat eaters anyway lol. but have been known to chew on many a dead carcus. dad does keep looking after them once hatched too. so all good everything should turn out well for you.

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Ok I have looked and looked everywhere and I can't seem to find the answer to my question.....

So how do they actually breed? (please keep the sick thoughts to ones self:)

And from the moment they breed, how long till she lays?

The reason I ask is, I have not seen any really different behaviour out of either of them, apart from, he took over her little cave area that she had dug out under the edge of the driftwood and she has just been free swimming around with no where to live:)

then they played the chasey game but they always do that, then on Saturday arvo I noticed she was trying to get her cave back and he kept chasing her away.

Then all of a sudden last night I check on them and find her looking like a balloon:)

How the hell did she go from looking a bit rounder than normal (I did suspect she was carrying but cause I don't know how this process works, I wasn't sure but I knew she was female) on Saturday to being so bloated last night I thought she was sick with bloat.

Does it all happen this quick or did I just not see the signs of her getting ready to lay these eggs?

I think I'm a bit more chuffed than normal cause this is my male that I rescued out of my turtle tank a few months back that had his tail and start of his body bitten off and I wasn't sure if his reproductive bits were in tact or not, but everything has started to grow back slowly and it's all just a bit funny looking (his tail has grown straight up in the air sort of look).

I have joined up that bristlenoseworld site and will spend a lot of time reading and gaining some knowledge.

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50 is good for first batch. dont need to be concerned about mum or dad eating them. they are good parents. not really meat eaters anyway lol. but have been known to chew on many a dead carcus. dad does keep looking after them once hatched too. so all good everything should turn out well for you.

That all sounds good then:)

I am due to do a water change today, so I gather I can just go ahead as normal cause from what I have just read, water changes are a good thing for them.

I hope nature takes it's course well and I get a good batch.

I have also just worked out that they are what I am sure is the Common BN. I never knew what they were as I didn't buy them all (I have another 6 in my other tanks but some look different).

Sorry another question if you don't mind.....the few eggs that look like he's knocked out of the batch that are sitting a couple of cms away from the main clutch, will they survive ok or do they all need to be stuck together in their clutch for him to care for them properly?

BTW, I love the idea of the dad doing all the hard child raring work ***runs out of thread before head bitten off, come back when I think it's safe:)***

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congrats on the spawn, its pretty exciting thing thats for sure... the eggs he kicked out may hatch, may get swept back in from the current i wouldnt be overly concerned .. sometimes they dispose of bad eggs and such.

the way the breed isnt like mating as such .. female gets full of eggs and ready to pop. chases the male off the chosen nest site he is on and lays them, male does his thing over the top of the eggs and puts his stuff in to the nest and goes about fanning and guarding them untill hatching, then looks after them as long as he can before they escape out into the tank...

as for water changes, since the eggs arent in a ceramic cave, they COULD get blown out from changing the water, id just be a bit more mindfull about which part of the tank you put the water back into and try to reduce the force at which the water comes out of the bucket into the tank .. like put ur hand under where you tip the water in so it hits ur hand just under the surface

feeding zuccuni is the best way to feed a batch of bistlenose fry in my opinion, just remember to take it out 24hrs later and swap it over for a fresh bit ..

i keep zuccuni in my tanks all the time when i have fry. thier tummys are so small they get hungry quickly

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usual rule of thumb is about a month per batch of eggs, once they start they dont stop .. lol

you should start to see a fry babys ( wrigglers they usually get called ) around the tank in about 2-3 weeks

one of my males use to spend about 3-7 days NOT on the nest a month .. its incredible

Edited by mtwalkert28
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Ummmmmm once they start, they don't stop?!?!?!

Ohhh crap!!! Every month!?!?

Geez, that's about the same as Molly's/Guppies, I never knew they breed like rabbits, I thought it was a fuss pot, when conditions are right thing cause out of all my BN is all my tanks (a mix of both male and female) this is the first time they have ever breed.

So will they be ok in with the Cherry Shrimp??

I have noticed the shrimp getting over the eggs and keeping them clean and the dad doesn't seem to mind, he just fans and fans like a good daddy should:)

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yep monthly .. almost like clockwork !! .. well mine do anyways they have a ceramic cave they really are the cutest things tho but yea like rabbits .. they are called "common" for a reason ..hhaha

it is possible to bring on spawning by doing certain things and changing conditions, cant say ive ever tried to prevent them from breeding ..

only thing i can think of is to remove any potential breeding/nesting spots or have some kinda fish to help keep the numbers down :/

cherrys will be sweet as with them, like others said they just pick and clean the eggs. if you were to artificially hatch them in a tumbler you could put shrimps in to help keep fungi off the eggs

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I have no other fish with them, just the female and male BN and I reckon at least 1000 shrimp ranging from newly born to adult.

I have just been reading about caves and what type etc and from what I can gather, it looks like once they have spawned the one spot, they will always use that spot and not change from it.

Is that correct?

Cause I have not got any caves as in there as such (never thought they would breed cause it's taken so long) I thought about adding some and seeing if he will pick one of them instead of the side of the driftwood as a cave seems a better option.

Is there a chance he would change over to a cave if I put a few in to chose from?

The only thing really protecting these eggs are a half planted elodea plant that is coming out of the substrate. I really thought they would have laid under the driftwood in his little cave he made but they didn't, she laid just outside of it.

If I can get a clear pic I post one up.

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laying one spot all the time is not necessarily true. change their environment and throw a couple of caves in/logs and more then likely they will choose the cave/log. i have had them breed in 5 different caves in my tank. if you know the difference between a male and a female which the male gets bristles and females dont throw more females in with him the saying is that once one female goes in the cave and lays it is meant to bring the other females on and they will lay as well. i have had 200-300 egg clusters in the log at once with your loose ones your prolly better off just leaving them dont do a water change maybe when they are about three to four weeks old do a small one. not too much cause you can kill them with change of water quality etc. if concerned about the loose eggs if u have a tumbler you could put them in there if they are gonna hatch they will hatch from the cherry shrimp cleaning them if not its just natures way they will breed all the time not necessarily for a young pair to breed on a monthly basis maybe when they get more mature they will breed like clockwork but as of first spawn and age maybe depending how old they are might be every couple of months might be every month

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I have no clue how old they are, but they are both about 9 - 10cm long. I've had them for about a year and they were approx max a few cms long when I first got them.

My other tanks have a variety of female and males of about the same size.

I haven't got a tumbler and I don't think I will go that far, I never planned on breeding them and goodness knows, if they all survive or most of them, where I'm going to keep them.

This particular male only got his bristles about a month or so ago, he had none (well some teeny ones but only a couple) and I was questioning if he was female cause I was told that the females can get some teeny bristles as well and then all of s sudden his face was full of them, what seemed in a matter of a couple of days, it's was incredible to watch how quick they came up. Now they are long and there is heaps of them everywhere and it's very obvious he is a he:)

Maybe other members on here who want some common BN can have them:)

I have counted the eggs the best I can, there are 11 that have been kicked out and the shrimp are doing exactly what you said and tending to them nicely and from a fairly good count, I counted at least 60 eggs but there is more I just can't count exact eggs due to positions, so that looks like a good first spawn from what I hear.

Thank you so much for all your help, I really appreciate it. I am doing heaps of reading on both here and the bristlenoseworld site and just in one morning, I have learned a lot.

It's amazing what you can learn quickly when you are forced to.

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sounds like they may be a young pair, or the male is certainly young.

i found as they breed more they get bigger amounts of bristles which could just be to do with age,

but i noticed a LOT more once he had his first batch ..maybe a hormone thing .. quite kewl :)

id say if u added a cave( log) or two .. they like to choose their nest ... they will most certainly go for it ..

as it is much more secure for them to nest in and feel safer from "predators" even tho there aren't any in

the tank, its a parental thing ya know.

ive added different caves (logs actually) to my tank before and the male has promptly changed

logs( after his batch left the nest of course..) was just a different shape and size log.

there are a few people on here that make pretty nice breeding logs, some ship .. or you could pick up a couple from the local fish shop ..

don't be too put off by size logs, they look pretty small and crammed but its OK. a 4cm to 5cm diameter is pretty normal size opening for a bristlenose log.

Edited by mtwalkert28
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Yer that is cool, he defo has a lot of bristle now that's for sure, so if he gets more that will look funny.

Here's hoping he will be a good dad and do what he needs to do. So far so good, I have kept an eye on him a fair bit today so far and he has only left them once that I have seen and he only ventured an inch away before racing back to fan again.

Mum is looking a tad lost, she's swimming around as if she's looking for somewhere to sleep, which is not like her, she's usually quite settled in her fave spots. She is so skinny now compared to what she was, so I can now see how she was brewing her eggs so to speak, cause she is a lot skinnier than she was even just a week ago.

I will get some more caves and see what they do and I might even chuck another female in there. Not that I want heaps of fry but I love this breeding thing so much, I find it fascinating.

I have seen other people use PVC pipe, I have a bit the perfect size that is dark grey colour, if I rough up the inside a bit and place it somewhere where one end is sort of closed in, would this be an ok starter cave until I can get some more?

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Yes, I have a big bit that I have Java growing on for the baby shrimp and for the BN to eat.

I didn't know they ate the wood until about a year ago, so as soon as I discovered this, I made sure every tank has some now.

Well dad I think is doing ok still, he does keep leaving the eggs though.

He keep darting off to the other side of the driftwood for a minute or 2 then comes back to fan for a while, then darts off again in same direction, so goodness now what he's doing. I can't see exactly where he goes cause of the shape of the wood.

I will just let nature take it's course and if they all survive, they do and if they don't, from what I keep reading it looks like they will keep doing this often anyway:)

I got a pic earlier, so I will put it up shortly.

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Well dad has been leaving his eggs a fair bit yesterday and doing his MIA thing a lot more than when I previously mentioned it.

Then last night I went to check on things and found he had kicked about a dozen eggs out and the shrimp were happily cleaning:)

I'm yet to go in this morning and check.

Oh well, if they don't hatch, they don't, as I said, I never planned on this in the first place, so I will just let nature take it's course.

Should I be doing daily small water changes??? I'm a bit confused about it cause some things I have read say yes and some say no.

Edited by shazvana
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Thought I would update how things are going:)

All the eggs hatched out and dad didn't give a toss and they all swam away. I saved 7 eggs into the fry net that all hatched out ok and then I found the mum always on bottom of net sucking away and I was scared she would suck them out or hurt them, so I let them go into the main tank.

Dad filled his cave in and left it after they all hatched out, i did a water change and changed things around a bit so I could add more caves (I only did this yesterday and was very careful).

Since they all hatched, I had only seem one lonely baby and no sign of any others at all, so yesterday when I moved the driftwood, I VERY carefully lifted it up and looked it all over but there were no babies anywhere to be seen.

Since then dad has gone back to same spot as before and has dug out his cave again in the exact same spot and he has started to chase the female around again and they are spending a lot more time close together again, just like they did for a couple of weeks before I noticed she was about to pop the night before she did:)

But even better, this morning went out to check on things and found one more baby 1inch away from his sibling!!! So now I have 2..yippee:)

They still both have a tiny bit of orange on either side of what looks like the middle line of their bellies but they are fully developed and looking just like a mini dad/mum.

I have been feeding the shrimp and adults like normal but the baby has not eaten any yet that I know of anyway, maybe in a few more days when that last egg sac is gone.

I read somewhere in my days of research when all this first happened, that it's a good idea to make algae rocks for the babies, so I have had some small rounded rocks in some water in the sun to get algae growth on them (but of course it had to rain here in Brissy for the last 3 days, so not much growth happening yet), so once these are good to go I will put them in there and see if they like them or not.

I'm sad to think that out of the 30+ broken egg shells I counted that had hatched, I only have 2 but I still hold hope that maybe there is more hiding somewhere and will come out soon. Let alone the 7 I saved in the net.

What I don't get is, whenever anything dies in the tank (usually a shrimp) the shrimp are on it like hotcakes and I would have thought that if that many babies died the shrimp would be all over them but I never saw any signs of this, so I dunno?

Anyway, just thought I would update and let you all know how things are going:)

My camera won't take a shot of them cause they are so small and my camera is so crap, so once they are a bit bigger I will try and get a pic asap.

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wel done .. good save . they usually all hatch. good move letting them out into the tank from the fry saver. YES bristlenose will suck the babies through the holes in the net .. aweful i know. i lost over half a batch this way. they will do eggs as well this way.

its very possiable there are other fry hiding some where. they are pretty good at it, especially if you have dark gravel in the tank or plants.

all you have to do now is keep up good water quality, and make sure you have lots of food for them .. dont gravel vac the poo out as the fry eat this to get the necessory gut bacteria when they are young.

also they dont eat at all untill the egg sack is completely gone

good luck , sounds like the next lot arent far off if the male is back fanning .. ;)


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Thanks Tony:) I really am hoping that there are more hiding but still no signs of any.

I have light coloured substrate, this was in the tank before I turned it into a shrimp tank, so I didn't bother changing it, they might (and I think it's a big might:) be hiding under the driftwood somewhere but I have gently lifted it and looked all over and saw nothing but shrimp.

I saved 7 in the fry net, so I was at least hoping they were ok but obviously not:(

In regards to water changes, this is one thing I can't seem to get any firm answers on......how often should I be changing it with the fry in the tank/breeding going on?

It's a 3ft tank, so not overly big.

My 2 fry that I can see who are alive and swimming around are doing really well, they are just the most cutest little things, I never realised how cute they could be.

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Just keep doing with water changes what you usually do. It was good enough for them to breed in in the first place.

My commons just breed in the 8ft display tank again and the missus wanted me to save this batch. So I just got a 2 ft tank sat it above the display tank and have plumbed it with a pump feeding water up to it and draining back into the display tank so they are in the same water.

I just put the log in the 2 ftr before they finished there egg sacks, easily 30+ fry eventually made there way out.

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