I like surprises!

Last weekend we had the pleasure of hosting Paul V. Loiselle in our home while he was in town to give presentations to our local aquarium clubs (Madison Area Aquatic Hobbyists and the Milwaukee Aquarium Society).  Paul and I share an interest in west African fish (that’s a bit of an understatement), so I made sure to clean up all the class and do some big water changes before he arrived.

Everyone with a lot of aquariums will admit that there are usually one or two ‘catch all’ aquariums where fish that may not be current projects are kept.  Tanks where young fish are placed to mature, single fish are kept until a mate can be found or any fish where there is simply not a place for at the moment.

The tank that serves that purpose in my house is the 110-gallon aquarium in the video below.  Several months ago I happened upon some fish that I had always wanted and could not pass up buying, even though I did not have a breeding tank ready for them:  Pelmatochromis buettikoferi and Bryconaethiops boulengeri.  They were too young to breed anyway, so into the catch-all tank they went.  I also keep my group of rather old Chromidotilapia melaniae in there, but they have not spawned in well over two years.  There are also some Hemichromis cf. lifilili ‘Moanda’ that are extra breeders in case my productive pair has a problem.  Rounding out the westie theme is an eel… Mastacembelus nigromarginatus, and a few miscellaneous Synodontis sp. catfish.  The net result is a pretty cool large-species westie tank.

I turned on the light to show them to Paul, and surprise!!!… the Pelmatochromis buettikoferi were defending fry.  I left them in with the parents with the intention of shooting this video, but when I got around to shooting the footage the fry were gone.  They will spawn again though!  Enjoy….

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