Harlie (changed spelling) has laid eggs! Harlie had disappeared for 4 days and We feared the worst.
We started looking under the rocks, rock one, rock 2,rock 3, rock4 WOW, there was Harlie and about 400m eggs. I started a conversation to find out what to do. We decided to wait a week and then look again.
Well after another week we looked again. Every time we looked Harlie swam away as fast as she could (we not know Harlie is a female). As you can see in the picture, black eye spots are starting to appear, Hurray, the eggs are fertilized.
During this time we had been advised not to change the water, but the chemistry was getting very bad. The Nitrates were high 80 and the pH was continually going down to at least 7.9. We added a buffer on regular intervals and decided to change a very small amount of water.
With this small water change the chemistry was still very bad, so we decided to do a water change. We also decided that lifting the rock to see what was happening was not the best way to follow developments. I started asking around for what could we feed the babies. We were told congratulations but they would all die of starvation. No one had kept these small eggs alive for more than 21 dayws.
We did a 30% water change and moved the rock, eggs and Harlie into a breeder box. Almost all the eggs had eye spots now and we were preparing for them to hatch and were trying to decide how to feed them. We asked around for any live meat smaller than 1/8 inch and ordered Brine shrimp.
These eggs look like they are in great shape. Ideally if you really want to keep them around as long as possible, you will separate the individuals into their own separate areas inside the tank. I've done this before with a bead organizer or plastic jewelry case, but it can be fussy to get it set up with a mesh screen on the bottom and proper flow etc. This will prevent your babies from killing each other.
For food, they probably don't need live food at the beginning of their lives. I've fed bimac hatchlings small cut up pieces of grass shrimp and they love them. Depending on the size of your hatchlings the brine shrimp may not be large enough but ymmv. You could probably also do pieces of crab meat or pieces of fish meat, but the fish meat turns bad fairly quickly and can't be left in the tank for very long.
I have the entire set of eggs in a breeder net box. I'll take a picture with a ruler, but I think the eggs are about 1/16 inch long. Now you can really see the babies, they are getting color and the eggs are almost full. They should be hatching any day now.
The picture is on day 24.