View Full Version : How big should a Bristlenose cave be?

05-02-2011, 11:38 PM
I have a male and female BN that have gone through 3 spawnings. Dad dutifully sits and fan the eggs. They start out amber colored but after a few days the eggs all turn clear and eventually disappear. Not a single youngster out of all the spawnings.

So I think that dad is either not doing his duty, or there's something wrong with the cave they're using. It's easier to fix the cave than it is to fix dad.

Currently I'm using one of those 3 inch orange terracotta flower pots turned upside down with a half circle hole cut in the side that's just big enough for the BN to fit through. I'm thinking it's too small though they both seem to fit inside together.

There are lots of other nooks and crannies in the tank but they always use the flower pot. If I take the flower pot out, they delay spawning until I add the pot back, then within hours they head to the pot and spawn.

So other than the size of the cave, can anyone think of any other reason why I havent had a successful spawn?

05-03-2011, 05:19 AM
I use pieces of bamboo (tiki torches from Wal-Mart cut into sections) for my BN, they also seem to like the insides of hollow resin ornamnets. I have a couple tree stumps and "rock" formations that I often find BN fry inside of when cleaning the tanks.
If the eggs aren't fertile for some reason they will be eaten. Odd that they turn clear, BN eggs are usually orange, so are the wigglers.

05-03-2011, 08:21 PM
The eggs start out orange/amber, then over the course of a week, they turn clear and disappear. Sounds like my flower pot should be adequate though.

05-03-2011, 08:44 PM
I would turn the pot on its side to allow more fresh water to enter. The purpose of the parent fanning the eggs is to keep them supplied with well oxygenated & fresh water.

05-03-2011, 08:52 PM
Could they be hatching and the fry being eaten? Or the parent fish could be eating them. Mine spawn under rocks...I make them little caves in my tanks and they just dig out some extra substrate if they want more room. Anything they can get under...they will spawn.

05-03-2011, 09:13 PM
To elaborate, I think the eggs are either infertile, or they are succumbing to fungus from the lack of aeration in the pot because you mentioned that they are turning white.

05-03-2011, 11:36 PM
They dont turn white, they turn clear, and there's no sign of fuzz on them. I think they're infertile and just thought that if the cave was too small, two big sized squirming fish in it may prevent dad from doing his job.

I'll see if I can post a picture.

05-03-2011, 11:50 PM
These are pretty bad pictures but they get the idea across. I guess you could say the eggs turn white, but they're more transparent than solid white.

Day 1, all eggs are yellow
Day 3, half are clear
Day 5, all are clear

The pictures were taken after lifting up the flower pot. Dad is sort of hoovering around.

05-04-2011, 04:35 AM
I've hatched some that were kicked out of the cave in a net breeder, but none were clear until they hatched. Looks to me like they hatched, but w/out a small "cave" to confine them they disappeared shortly afterward. Any other fish in the tank besides the BN pair?
Here's an old pic of a BN egg clutch, spawned inside a large barnacle shell. Sadly, the shell (and the rest of the cluster) have long since dissolved. There were hundreds or wee bristles that started out in that same shell.

05-04-2011, 06:04 PM
I really dont think they've hatched. How long does it take to hatch? After 2 days, the eggs are already turning clear/white. Its a 55g community tank with 3 angelfish, a couple zebras and a whole bunch of pygmy cories. I'm always seeing new pygmy cory fry so I'd think that at least 1 BN fry would live to grow up if they were hatching.

I'm keeping a close eye on things because they just spawned for the 4th time last night, about every 5 weeks. Dad is busy sitting in the flowerpot right now, fanning the eggs.

My flowerpot looks to be roughly the same size as your cave, judging from the size of the egg clutch.

05-04-2011, 09:43 PM
Your angel fish are getting healthy snacks. Maybe they'll breed soon.

To answer the cave size question, if you make tile caves the usual size makes an opening 1" x 1.5" and about 6" deep. If you use tile, put the rough side in.
Six inch square tiles make one cave.

05-05-2011, 06:47 AM
Never encountered that myself, but I was looking around for spawning info for L-340's on planetcatfish and found a post w/pics describing the same thing. Out of a clutch of eggs only 1 didn't turn clear with a day or two. I'm thinking they must not be fertile, but don't understand why they wouldn't turn white like infertile cichlid eggs.
If you'd like to try a different male I have plenty available.

05-06-2011, 02:14 PM
Its now day 2 of the latest spawn and the eggs are still yellow and I think you can even see developing fry in them. So maybe it took dad some time to figure out what to do?

Here's 2 pics. One is of the flowerpot with dad fanning the eggs, the other is when I lifted the pot to see the eggs.

05-10-2011, 01:36 PM
Day 7. I lifted the flowerpot and all the eggs are gone. I have to admit that they lasted the longest this time. There was fungus and a lot of clear eggs though prior to today.

The good news is I found one wriggler attached to the side of the tank. I've attached a really bad picture. I havent found any more so they're either hidden really well, or that's all there is. At least it means that dad is capable of doing his job.

I'm going to try a different cave next time.