We've tried cold water changes before a storm, feeding live foods (our own white worm cultures), increasing male-to-female ratio, PVC pipe in the tank, deworming, and more. Females look very pregnant, but no spawns. Any insight?
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If you are in the richmond area, Azalea, Skoolz of fish, and Click n fish all carry blackworms when they can get them
Personally, i think a 20 is kind of large.... but if thats what you work with then why rock the boat...
with that being said... i have had my best luck with moving my sterbai,,,so keep them, and feed them heavy in the 20 then move them to a ten or 5 (that is established)
and give them a water change right after you move them (maybe 5-8 degrees)
keep the 20 running so you can move them back after you get some eggs...
Corydoras Sterbai, usually breed in small groups.... and most often will deposit eggs on the glass, filter stems, or large leaves (like anubias type plants)
Yes the cold water change is most often utilized, but what conditions are you presently keeping them in? Tank size, community or devoted just to the cory's, what sex ratio?
planted tank or bare, ph, kh, gh, temps.... all that helps with a solution..
Not knowing how you are keeping them,,, this is how i would set them up.....
ratio of at least 2 males to 1 female. their own dedicated tank, (5 or 10 gallon is sufficiant for a half dozen fish) I would keep the tank bare, (no substrate) and put a couple potted anubias in it, but keep it minimal, so easier to harvest eggs off glass or plants.
sponge filter, and temps around 76-80 f. ph (sometimes higher ph can lead to problems, but anything in the 7.0 range is good... Too high can present problems with either not laying or the eggs not hatching because of too much calcium.
If you are relying on tap water, (not well) and the ph gh or kh is higher, then i would suggest either collecting rain water, or purchase water that is much closer to neutral to set them up in... and when you do your cold water change, use your rain water, and you can do as much as a 10-15 degree difference .....try to do it in the early evening, and keep your lights lower through the evening and on to about late morning.
Now.... after saying all that..... really try to push the high quality feed to them for about 7-10 days before you do your "change".... I would recommend picking up some live black worms and feeding them heavy with them... I think there is more protein in blk worms than white worms or micro worms... you can always supplement with other foods, but the black worms really work well.
When my sterbais have bred for me in the past, (especially when i wasn't really trying... it is usually after i move them to a new tank, and the conditions between the two are different enough that they were sort of 'shocked' into thinking there was a change...
Certainly barometric changes do help but i don't necessarily rely on just that.
If you get eggs, you have two options.. leave the parents in there and remove eggs, or take the parents out...
my suggestion would be to take the parents out,,, that way you aren't messing with different water parameters to hatch them.
and if you use a 5 gallon, it's easy enough to feed babies without some not getting food.
Hope this helps and you may get other feedback from some of our breeders....