Cichlids of Victoria

CichlidsofVictoria.com is dedicated to the discussion and husbandry of African Cichlids especially the Victorian species
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 Post subject: Stripping
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 9:39 am 
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I took my first stab at stripping a fish today. I had a hard time getting all the fry out of her mouth. I held the fish in the (gentle) flow of a power filter output, but the fry were swimming against the current back into her mouth. I got several out, but decided not to harass her any further.

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 Post subject: Re: Stripping
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:34 am 
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The way I do it is get a good sized deep backing bowl. I actually have one with a spout so it's perfect. Then fill it with a mix of tank water a slightly warmer water (helps relax her and a nice way for the babies to enter the outside), then after netting her, cup her in your fingers with your thumb on the back of her head and with your fingers just behind the gills. Submerse here as much as possible, and open her mouth with your index finger (I think Allen uses a dull toothpick). Usually most will swim out one or two at t time, or fall out depending on how far they are developed, but then I do a gentle dunking up and down, this forces water in reverse over her gills, and after half a dozen to a dozen dunks usually releases any remaining fry. The whole process tanks about 60 seconds, sometimes 30, and is relatively easy on the mother. Then since I have that lovely spout, I simply pour the fish into their new tank, or into their strainer for tumbling if they are not ready to be free swimming.

An important note is to do your best to keep her mouth open during the entire process. I did have a mbuna fry lose it's tail once when the mothers mouth closes on it. But even though that one fry didn't make it the success rate vs the mother holding full term is much higher.


Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:34 am
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 Post subject: Re: Stripping
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 2:36 pm 
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I use a long wood skewer that i break the end a little bit so its not to sharp. I hold the fish between my index and thumb. As i open her mouth with the stick i use my thumb to rub on the gill plate. there are always a few stuck in there so i squeeze a little more, like a little pop with my thumb. it helps shoot out the last ones.

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 Post subject: Re: Stripping
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 7:26 pm 
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I always use a little plastic zip tie.

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 Post subject: Re: Stripping
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:14 pm 
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I think one of the best suggestions I heard was on frontosa.com. Someone said they used to make a elongated funnel (I think think plastic sheets from a craft shop would work) and simply place the fish head long in the funnel, an then gently pour water into the funnel so that it runs over the gills and pops open her mouth when it is too full of water. Out come the fry. I have meant to try this, but never really had issues with stripping.


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 Post subject: Re: Stripping
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:45 pm 
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Thanks for the idea Me, I am going to try it in a few weeks. Hummm, I wonder if my wife will miss the funnel. HAR!!!


Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:45 pm
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 Post subject: Re: Stripping
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 9:50 pm 
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LOL, maybe she will ask why it smells like fish ;)

Be sure it is a narrow funnel that matches the shape of the fish, or it probably won't work too well. I would think even wax paper could work, but something like a cut down garage sale sign or similar plastic sheeting would be ideal I think.


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 Post subject: Re: Stripping
PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 6:24 am 
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I tried a standard kitchen funnel once with a P. demasoni, and wasn't too impressed. Perhaps the conforming shape is the trick there? The majority come out quite readily for me using the methods previously described (I use a plastic tool for opening the mouth), but the last 2 or 3 are often stubborn, even with dunking. Sometimes I find gentle, quick pushes on the bottom of the buccal pouch with the fingertip pushes them out.


Mon Dec 05, 2011 6:24 am
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 Post subject: Re: Stripping
PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:36 am 
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Yeah, it basically would have to be a homade funnel suited to specific sized and shaped fish. I pretty much have stripping down. I usually push on the cheeks for the stubborn ones, but also under the chin.


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