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Female abandoned fry?

Strong Style

New Member
Hi everyone! Firstly, I need to thank everyone here. After applying all the advice I have been given, my Macmasteris finally raised a spawn to the swimmer stage. Last night I noticed the female was in her yellow breeding dress, fiercely guarding the fry. However, today she has left the fry and has returned to her normal colors. The father instead is staying with the fry. Has the mother abandoned them? Should I be concerned and can I interfere positively in any way? Thank you!


Active Member
It sounds like the female is stressed, I have the same situation with a pair of Mac's, the male runs the female off after about a week, raizes them for about a week then eats them. I started removing the male and the let the female tend the fry and have much better survival rate.

Strong Style

New Member
I couldn't get another setup in time and the male raised the fry. However, looks like the fry disappeared overnight yesterday (about 3 weeks old). I looked all around the tank and can't find them. When should I remove the male in the future? Would dividing the tank also work?

Tank is 20 L. Feeding BBS but I noticed the fry were very shy to approach the BBS. Using RO/DI for weekly water changes but not vacuuming the gravel as I was worried about sucking up fry.

Should I also consider adding dithers?
Last edited:

Mike Wise

Staff member
5 Year Member
My experience with males taking over brood care is that it almost always leads to what you experienced. The male gets bored protecting the fry from no one and ignores them. Soon after he considers them food. A target fish (not dither fish) might heighten his territorial/protective instincts. I would remove either the male or fry from the tank once the male tries to take over their management.