I just wanted to start a post about breeding peppermint bristlenoses as i have a few questions.
First of all, i have 4 peppermints in a 3 foot tank (160L) and as this is my grow out tank for the cichlids i breed in a 4ft tank, i have 18 2-3cm cichlid fry in there also. Once they are big enough they will be moved/sold. There is also 2 large clown loaches in there as i had loads of snails go wild from some plants i recently bought. and there is one male albino bristlenose, and when he is big enough he will be moved also.
Tank info: pH = 7.4, kH = 5, temp = 27 - 28 degrees (is this too warm for breeding?) and 25% water changes weekly.
Basically, i'm in need for some advice on what to do. out of my 4 peppermints it looks like i have 2 definite males, one definite female, and one unknown (only 3 - 4cm). my tank is full of caves and driftwood and my big male (10cm) looks as though he has chosen a cave. I have seen the female close by but she is only around 7cm, is she big enough to breed? The 3 bigger peppermints are at least 16 months old and from different batches. From what i can see with a torch there's no eggs in the cave.
So, do i move all non-peppermint fish out? Because I don't have another tank for my cichlid fry i haven't done so already. Is a 3 foot a good size to have them breeding? In a few months i will be getting a 6 foot tank and i was going to make that my cichlid tank, turn my 4 foot into a peppermint breeding tank and then keep my 3 foot as a grow out tank. Does a 4 foot have more successful spawns? Will they still breed in the 3 foot when there's other fish around? If they do have a successful spawn in the 3 foot, will the dad peppermint be able to protect the babies from the loaches and cichlid fry? Also, i'm using a fluval internal filter which is great, should i add an air stone or pump for extra oxygen? I read that it helps.
Sorry about all the questions, but i just want to get off to a good start.
Any help would be much appreciated!