Nothing like doing a water change and looking into your corner overflow only to notice two small objects swimming freely. FRY!
At about 1/4", these guys were still pretty small. However, by that size they're not near as fragile. Thus I knew I could probably siphon them out without much problem. If you're wondering why they didn't end up in the filter (I use an external canister filter with this overflow), it's because I use a large round sponge as a prefilter on the intake.
Having a plan is one thing but successfully executing it is often another. The overflow has two stand pipes (intake and outtake), which were serving as shelter for the fry. They would swim in behind the pipes and up against the overflow wall. This presented two problems: 1) I couldn't see them and 2) they were harder to reach. Fortunately, I was able to use my PEX siphon. If you recall from previous posts, my PEX assembly works great for precision sand vacuuming and for getting into tight spaces. My only concern was that the tubing attached to the PEX is 1/2" OD and thick walled, which makes the ID pretty tight.
In any case, I got the first fry pretty quickly. The second one was a bit tougher because it chose to get vertical against the overflow wall, which made it more difficult to see. After several tense minutes and after draining the overflow nearly empty and refilling once, I was able to get the 2nd one. It was luck though, because I never saw it. I just moved the open PEX end around rather blindly near the stand pipes, occasionally glancing into the bucket to see if I had it.
Both were safely returned to the tank. Btw, these were a couple of the "temporalis shell" fry that I posted about earlier this month.
The Cichlid Room Companion
Tropical Fish Hobbyist
American Cichlid Assoc.
African Cichlid Hub