This past summer I had the opportunity to try for a proven reverse trio from my second breeding group of L236. I had to set up a 29 gal because I needed a place for excess plants and I got the chance for the trio at just about the same time.
I create a proven trio using the following method. I begin monitoring the caves in the breeder tank 2 -3 times a day using a flashlight. I am looking for two things- a dad on eggs and a trapping in progress. The problem is that when I removed the cave with the trapping pair inside it, they never spawn. The disruption of moving them causes them to abort.
For those who do not work with plecos, the actual spawn is very quick and once the females provides the eggs, she is excess baggage for the dad who will raise and tend them until they are free swimming, This makes it almost impossible to nab the pair and have eggs in the cave. A trapping can last for days before eggs result. So, I am able to nab a male on eggs but I have to settle for a pair without them. Then the wait begins. I know the male on eggs is a proven dad, but I need the female to spawn with one of the males. Normally I would have the pair in their own space but this time i could not do so and all three fish wen into the 29 with its full load of plants. Normally, I have no live plants in my pleco tanks.
Several months have passed since the fish went in. The only thing I knew for sure was which male had been a dad and which had not by which cave each claimed. They stayed in the caves in which they arrived in the tank. I have pretty much given up checking the caves with the flashlight. I can see both caves clearly and the males in both as well.
About 15 minutes ago I decided I would do some cave checks. The 29 is right behind me and I hit that one first. One dad had his tail out of the cave and was moving as if something was up. This is often how dads on eggs act. To my surprise when I shown the light into the cave, there were no eggs. What I did see was one tail hanging out and then a head facing out from the rear of the cave. The gal was in there and the normal moment of spawning often means the two fish will be facing in opposite directions.
I have my fingers crossed. I like to be able to sell proven fish because I know the buyer wants to work with them. They are also the most expensive form/stage of the fish. The problem is the time and effort as well as luck it takes to get to this stage. Plus most breeders only sell the kids, never the parents. After all one never sells that goose that lays the golden eggs. One only sells the eggs.
I had almost managed to sell enough fish to sort out all the offspring I had accumulated. However, the person to whom I sent a bunch of my fish because I owed a lot to them asked me to hold off on sending her the zebra plecos for 2 weeks or so. I had already broken down the zebra tank and moved their zebras into the last open space I had. I expected to send them out a week ago. That space was for more of the offspring from my second 173 group. So now that is on hold.