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Red Dragon Spawning Factoids

Basic Diet

Cichlid pellets and an occasional nightcrawler

Breeding Quarters

55 with under gravel filter and flat slate
Dither Fish 2-inch male pink convict
Female 6 inches
Male 8 inches
Temperature 76 F

Water 

Did not check pH.  Just aged water.
Behavior Both mellow at all times

Pre-Spawning Clues

None
Fry Food

Prologue:  I enjoy watching cichlids spawn.  Some might say "you seen one, you've seen 'em all."  I can't argue with that statement  But it it's a little like "you seen one book, you seen 'em all."  Well, we'll turn the page on another cichlid spawning.  As I write this, it is close to Valentine's Day.

Pre-Prologue:  I really need to preface my remarks by saying there are some purists in the cichlid hobby that consider hybrids if not an abomination, then at least within spitting distance of same.  No one's ever accused me of being a "purist."  At least not lately.  We all have our prejudices.  We'll let them have theirs, and we'll all be happy.  A couple weeks ago I bred a pair of reputed convict X firemouth parents to see if their separate strains sorted out.  Their eggs died, but then this was their first spawn.  Recently somebody brought us some red parrot X dempsey youngsters.  Is there no end to this madness?

LA
Our selected parents matched up on aquaharmony.com.  They were not housed together originally.

LA
Our studly 8-inch male.  Nice color and head bump.

LA
Another view of said male.  Note the black "spots" along his sides.  Ignore the eye flash reflection.

LA
Our winsome and willing 6-inch female.  Not as much of a bump -- not an accurate sex determination.

LA
Apparently, the "scribble" patterns along her sides are a sought after trait.

LA
They meet.  Love at first sight.  That's a good sign.  Sorry about that reflection on the left.

A Bit of Kanoodling:  Our stars evinced little body slapping.  And after some initial lip locking, they got along fine.

LA
He's got the weight advantage on her, but they're not really fighting.  Just getting to know each other.

Conditioning Foods:  Prior to their aquaharmony.com hookup, both were fed regular cichlid pellets from our bulk supply.  No alternative foods or supplements were offered.  Nor were extra daily feedings made.  They decided to breed on their own.  Time to ramp up the process.

LA
Who could turn down a tasty worm?  Ladies first.

LA
He looked a bit hungry, so we gave him some extra protein.

Over Voice Interruption:  For some reason, I think nightcrawlers contain a secret "horny vitamin."  Worms seem to get their motors running.  When we dropped in the first worm, she grabbed it first.  He had to be coaxed.  He wouldn't chomp his worm until the second day.

LA
More pre-snogging activities ensue.

LA
Shortly after inserting a slate spawning site.

Pit Assistance:  They started digging out potential breeding pits.  If they dug down to their under gravel filter, their eggs could not be relocated (by me).  And, if they hatched, the larvae would be sucked under.  So, I helped them (in my opinion) by inserting an easily discovered piece of slate for them to dig out.  When I inserted it under their gravel, the male expressed his disapproval by trying very hard to bite me.  A net in my other hand fended him off until my mission was a fait accompli.

LA
"Where'd our pit go?"

LA
They started re-digging their potential spawning site in this corner.

LA
They swept their substrate aside with their bodies,

LA
And they grabbed mouthsful of rocks and spit them elsewhere.

LA
My camera-finger wasn't fast enough to catch many mouthsful.  It was only half-fast.

LA
Not as much of a spawning pit as they prefer.  Still work to do.

LA
We can barely detect our starlet's breeding tube.  She's not quite ready.  His is even less obvious.

LA

Intermission:  Just a short break (20 or so hours).  I separated them and left the female in charge of the 55.  The next day they go back together again. 

Next Day:  The report continues.  Kellie dropped the male back in the tank before I came to work.  Sort of a morning off to go with my usual afternoons off.  We notice a small problem.  Actually, ich is even smaller

LA
That's not dandruff atop his head.  Fortunately, ich's pretty easy to cure.

The Probable Cause:  Our male formerly resided in a 20H on our top row, some 13 feet high.  The female in the 55 was about five feet above the floor.  Warm air rises.  Dropping him in the lower tank evidently triggered stress which allowed the ich parasites to gain a foothold.

The Cure:  Normally I'd hit them with the standard Malachite Green and Formalin ich cure.  But, since we're expecting eggs, this remedy will zap the eggs.  So, we're adding a heater to bring the temp up to 80 F.  Unfortunately, the higher temp may make them more aggressive.  We'll see.

The Hiatus:  Seems they needed five days off to recover from the ich.  Now, they are back together again.

LA
At least they're getting along great.

LA
Working on more pits.

LA
He thinks this pit is fine.

LA
He's showing off to her.

LA
She's working on him also.

LA
So they dug a new pit.

LA
Where I promptly placed another piece of slate (which they accepted).

LA
They promptly dug the pit even larger.

LA
So I covered the slate again.

LA

LA
Three days later -- bad news.

Epilogue:  Here it is a mere three years later and I'm going hru the files looking for more pics.  Guess it'e over.  Finis.  LA

© 2011   © 2014  LA Productions
aqualandpetsplus.com

                                                           

3600 Sixth Avenue

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