Spawning Red Bay
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Male on top. Female below. Not the breeders. Just better posers.
Red Bay Snook Dimorphism. Although not our actual breeders, the above pair shows their sexual dimorphism. They are the same age. Males grow faster and larger. Males also sport more color. Neither sex is particularly rowdy. Even in too small tanks, they get along together.
Our Female Star. Here's our female breeder. She's about six inches in length. Not quite as colorful as the male and usually a little slower in the chow line. However, lately she's been just as greedy at feeding time. (And she's put on a little more weight.)
Our Male Star. In addition to his larger size, his redder color is apparent. The pair was recently moved to a 55 with eight adult Synodontis eupterus housed at 78 degrees. They adjusted immediately to the slightly higher temperature. They ate more and "took over" the left end of the tank. We put "took over" in quotes because the catfish totally ignored their territorial claims to the left end. The catfish also totally ignored the snooks and vice versa.
Pre-Spawning Behavior. In addition to staking out the left end, the snooks began excavating a pit under the large cave supposedly for the catfish. The catfish and the snooks both ignored the actual cave. The snooks continued to get along -- no lip-locking, no tail slapping, no ripped fins. But there were other signs that predicted new snook papooses in the near future.
Female Breeding Tube. In addition to growing more rotund abdominally, she dropper her breeding tube -- just about as good a clue to her mood and condition as you'll find. The male gave no sign other than growing a bit redder from time to time. All these changes occurred within one week of adding the pair to the 55 at 78 degrees. Obviously they liked the new ambience.
Male Breeding Tube. A couple days later, the male dropped his breeding tube. It became rather obvious that this pair wanted to spawn. But it was also obvious that the eight Synodontis eupterus might not prevent the egg-laying, but would certainly devour the final product -- especially once the lights went out.
Breeding Aquarium. Up in the top row we have an empty tank or two. It's in our African cichlid section, but snooks are schnooks re continent of origin. Mainly the top row features minimum traffic. Basic water temp at this level averages 75 F.
Spawning Site. If you look close, you can see a small area of exposed red slate. They'll sooner or later clear the slate. At least that's the plan.
General Behavior. When added to the 20H, the pair evinced no particular behavior. They just acted like two fish in the same tank.. They hung together but acted like strangers.
Good Eaters. Some cichlids can be picky eaters -- not red bay snooks. They eat whatever we give them, basically whatever we're feeding the other fishes in the area. They eagerly eat flakes, pellets, freeze-dried and frozen foods, and live foods -- especially any kind of worms. At this point we added one-inch pieces of nightcrawlers .
Temperature. Since nothing much transpired, we decided to bump the temp. We used one of those submersible "dial-a-temp" supposedly much more accurate than the little cheapie "hang-on-the-back" heaters. We set it at 80 F. The temp then went to 82, then 84. Not exactly the plan. She grew more colorful, more active, and hungrier.
More about Our Female. As soon as the tank warmed up, she developed an interesting barred pattern. She chased the dither fish a great deal. At feeding time, she ate two-for-one when compared to the male. As you can see, she's not on the Jenny Craig Plan. The male pretty much kept to himself.
Just raise them like typical cichlid fry. Feed them
microworms and newly hatched brine shrimp the first couple weeks. LA
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3600 Sixth Avenue
Corner of Sixth & Euclid Avenues
Des Moines, IA 50313
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