i did that too mike along with the bucket, the shells that came outa the bucket went on a "shelf" about mid level in the tank i didnt want the fish on the bottem going back in them and i didnt know if all the fish i had came outa shells
ray i noticed in the bucket that if i covered it with a towel they came out faster im guessing the darkness and not seeing me walking by the bucket helped alot........
Handle every stressful situation like a dog. If you can't eat it or hump it. Pee on it and walk away.
The way I always did this was to do it in the tank by taking a small piece of eggcrate and placing on a glass in the tank. 8" off the sand is all you need. Put the shells mouth side down and in time they will empty. I always gave them an alternate cover in the tank - pvc elbows, some rocks etc. They emptied in hours.
Patience is the key Ray..make sure you take out all the shells at once..look at the bottom of tank carefully some from fry blend in with the substrate, I always find at least 10 or so that way! The rest will be in the bottom of the bucket not all, but at least 90%..They are pointing down aren't they?
You would need to get the curlers with the holes on the sides. That way the fry can swim out the holes while the mother is trapped in the curler with the shell.
The guy must have placed the shell in water and them the curler over it with the nylon on the top to prevent the adults from escaping that way as well. You could also place the shell on top of the curler balanced so the opening of the shell is facing downward.
These people must have all the patience in the world. I tried the eggcrate thing for about an hour and only 1/3 of the adults came out, and only 3 fry. I always see 8-10 fry swimming in my tank at feeding time.
<a href="www.aca2010.com" target=_blank>www.aca2010.com/wp-content/images/simple_aca2010_banner.jpg" alt="ACA 2010 Web Site" height="60" width="468" />
Another trick to separate the fry from the mother. Get a cheap hair curler (dollar store?). Put a piece of nylon over one end with a rubber band. Place the shell containing mother and fry in the curler. Stand the curler, open end down in a container of water. The fry will swim out of the curler but the mother can't. I have not done this but I saw a picture of this once but I can't find it. The guy had great success using this method.