Sydney Cichlid Aquarium Pages



DIY Cichlid Egg Tumbler

The purpose of an egg tumbler is to allow fresh water to circulate over cichlid eggs that have been separated from the parents. A fresh supply of clean water allows the eggs to develop in an oxygen rich environment where mould and fungus development is suppressed without the need for chemicals.

All the parts you will need

An original article by Andy Miller ©2002.

These are the required parts. Most of it comes in an Under Gravel uplift tube pack.

First take the bottom widened section, cover it with fly screen or netting
and secure with a rubber band or three. I do this so fish cannot get close
enough to the eggs to suck them through the mesh. Cut off an inch or so
of tube and put it in the top of that part. Put a piece of netting on top of the
tube and one of the joiners over the netting to create the “bed” for the eggs
while keeping them in full view the whole time.

Cut a length of tube 3 to 4 inches long and place it in the top of the joiner,
making sure it seats firmly into the joiner.

Attach a suction cap (heater holders are the best).

You can make the rest of the tumbler before this next step, but I’ll show
you it anyway. Once the first section is made, you can attach it to the
inside of the tank with an inch or so protruding from the water. Strip the female (or if it was an accident, collect the eggs) and place the eggs / fry in a drinking glass, filled with tank water. Gently pour the eggs along with the water into the tumbler. Don’t panic and tip them in too quickly. Do it gently and if they don’t all come out, add a bit more water to the glass and try again.

Next make the top half of the tumbler. Cut another 3 or 4 inch length of tube
and place a piece of netting between it and another joiner.

Attach another suction cap to this top half.

Take a length of airline and pass it through the air exhaust piece, and
 place an airstone at the end that will be inside the tumbler.

Place the airline, airstone and exhaust piece onto the top piece of tube.

Place the top half onto the bottom half (with the eggs in it) gently, and slide
 the whole lot down the glass until the top of the tumbler is at least an inch
under the surface. Turn on the air and adjust the distance between the top
of the tumbler and the airstone. The exhaust piece airline hole should be a
snug fit around the airline. If not, wrap a rubber band around the airline
when the airstone is adjusted. The higher up in the tube the airstone is, the
less water will be dragged across the eggs. Adjust the airstone height
until the eggs are constantly moving, but not lifting up into the air (well not
up into the water!)

Here is a completed tumbler. Easy! Notice that the exhaust is facing away
from the suction caps. You want the air to escape into the open
tank, not up against the glass.

Once the fry hatch, you can leave them in the tumbler until
their egg sacs are gone. Ensure to remove any unfertilised
eggs from the tube or you will risk killing the hatched fry.
Unfertilised eggs will turn white and grow fungi if left alone.

Hatched cichlid fry in the finished DIY egg tumbler

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