If female African cichlids lay eggs, they are mouth brooders, which means the female nurtures her eggs in her mouth. After the female releases the eggs and the male fertilizes them, she gathers them back into her mouth.
The eggs will remain inside the female’s mouth until they hatch into fry. She will allow her babies to enter and exit her mouth from time to time. She will not eat until the fry grows into a size that makes it possible for them to survive on their own.
The male will continue to pursue and harass the female, adding to her stress. She is very weak by this time, which is why she should be transferred to a separate tank until fully recovered; otherwise, it can be fatal for her. After around four weeks of rearing the babies in her mouth, she will let her babies swim on their own.