Cichlid Odd Couple Spawn II

 
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Ta-Da.  The Process Re-Begins:   It's now May, 2008.  We kept seeing pits but weren't sure who was digging them.  Eventually, one of the pits was excavated down to the bare under gravel filter.

LA
Surprise!  We were not expecting these.

Surprise Eggs:   On May 18 we saw this piece of granite covered with eggs.  The male hybrid had selected a new female (and vice versa).  Eggs looked to be in the neighborhood of a thou, but we made no actual count.
 

New Odd Couple Factoids

Male Flowerhorn x Jaguar hybrid
Female Salvinii cichlid
Dither Fish One polypterus, 1 climbing perch, 1 foot-long Florida gar, 1 four-inch abramite, 4 six-inch jack dempseys.

Basic Diet

Koi pellets and goldfish

Breeding Quarters

55 with UG filter, flat slate, cichlid-proof plastic plants
Temperature 78 F

Water 

Did not check pH.  Just aged water.
Water Changes Two-thirds once or twice a week
Behavior Chasing other tank inhabitants

Pre-Spawning Clues

Pit dug in the gravel

LA
Still the male (I think).  Not looking so perky after we swiped his eggs and filled in his pit.

LA
Same guy.  Just a better pic.

LA
New female .  This salvinii was about the same size -- only taller.

We Moved the Eggs:   Since the gar pretty much ignored their territorial defenses, we figured some of the others would soon follow suit.  We moved the eggs to a small tank with an airstone to circulate their water.  As of May 21 there were only three white (dead) eggs.

LA
Nice slow airstone to keep their water circulating over the eggs.  May 18.

LA
The pair continued to protect the area where their eggs were.

LA
Here's a better picture after the water re-cleared after our filling of their pit.

More Surprises:   On May 22 the eggs appeared to have grown into a fungal forest.  We had forgotten to add the typical methylene blue to retard fungus.  It looked as is they were all dead.  However ...

LA
Lots of little hatched and nearly hatched eggs had fallen to the bottom.

Another Surprise:   We saw a hundred or so fry that had fallen from the fungal forest.  Then, as we removed the piece of granite, hundreds more fell from the fungus.  We estimate some 500 eggs survived once we shook the granite several times -- way more than we originally expected.  But don't count your cichlids before they hatch.  Many of these were not hatched yet. 

LA
Further shaking of the granite yielded more eggs in various degrees of hatching.  May 22.

More Eggs:   The more we shook the granite, the more eggs kept falling -- including some of the little balls of fungus.  We extracted the dead, fungused eggs, of course.  Some of these eggs looked like they might not hatch, but most probably will survive.

LA
However, many of the eggs continued to fungus.  May 23.

LA
So we netted out most of the fungus, changed the water, and restarted our microworm cultures.

Time to Plan Ahead:   Quite a few survivors still kicking.  Time to make sure we'll have food for them once they start free-swimming.  We added new media (oatmeal and yeast) to our nearly extinct microworm cultures.  Because of their lineage, the fry would probably eat powdered flake food.  But we know they prefer microworms or other live foods.

LA
Developing eggs May 24.  Some fungus still apparent.

LA
May 25

LA
May 28, up and free-swimming.

LA
Once the fry get off the ground, these hungry Hoovers inhale extra food and fungused eggs.

Free-Swimming:   No point in feeding these guys until they can swim..  They have no mouth parts until then.  They're still living off their yolk sac.  Once they were up and swimming we added a couple large snails to eat up the fungused eggs.  Their waste products will feed bacteria which feed infusoria which will also feed the fry.  We introduced microworms at this time.

LA
Their entire universe is a three-gallon tank.

LA
0.25-inch fry with a bellyful of microworms

LA
Today's menu included powdered flake foods.

LA

LA
Even the live-bearing snail is having babies.

Fry Foods:   If we fed them newly hatched brine shrimp, they would have bright orange bellies.  They snap up microworms.  They also eat finely powdered flake foods.  They grow slightly faster on live foods.  LA  

© 2008  LA Productions
aqualandpetsplus.com

                                                  

3600 Sixth Avenue

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