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fry eating mcmasteri

Any advice on how to deal with a mcmasteri pair in which the female (I'm
presuming) eats the new fry?

I've had this pair for about 18 months and both are large, healthy, happy
looking fish. They spawn very regularly - about every three weeks. The eggs
appear to develop all right and then start to hatch. The female seems to be
collecting the fry in a depression inside the brood chamber. Then next time
I look, nothing. I have never noticed the male swooping in - he seems a
gentle sort on the whole. But one or other must be taking them.

I've left them to it hoping eventually they would start to raise fry but am
now wondering whether to experiment with removing male or both. Question is
whether to   go for removing both? Or is it likely just to be the male that
is the problem? And if I take out both, should I leave it until just before
the eggs hatch or will it make no difference? Finally, if I put the female
back in after the fry are swimming about, would they inevitably get snapped
up or might she then adopt them?

Other details: The pair were spawning in a community tank. Thinking it might
be the presence of too many other fish that were causing the problem, I have
had them in their own 15 gallon tank for past two spawns. Tank is well
planted and furnished. They have eight baby cardinals for dithers, temp is
28 degrees C, pH is 6.5, water is RO and very soft.

from John McCrone - Science Writer
    mail to: j.mccrone@btinternet.com
    web site: http://www.btinternet.com/~neuronaut/

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