Feeding Time!

I love to feed fish.  I think that we all do.  I especially like it when the fish I am feeding are aggressive on the food, and the best food for that is live black worms.  Here is a video of several of my dwarf cichlids I have set up in spawning tanks getting a treat.  I feed black worms a couple times each week to the fish that can handle them.  You will see some Congochromis sabinae and some Nanochromis splendens getting some worms, but those fish only get them every other week or so: and even then they do not get many.  The apistos can handle the worms though, and in the immortal words of the incomparable Charley Grimes, ‘Nothing like worms to eggs in a belly.’

The tanks are all 10-gallon set up for breeding.  All the structure is in the back, away from the light.  The spawning site that I hope the fish use is visible from the front.  I use yarn mops in dwarf cichlid tanks for a couple reasons.  A fish being picked on can hide very well buried in a mop, and when that mop is mature it will be loaded with infusoria for the fry to eat.  I also use wood, magnolia leaves and live plants (potted crypts and free-floating java moss) for structure.  The filter is in the back corner, which makes it another place a fish can find refuge under.  There is only a little sand on the bottom.  Lighting is very dim (which is why some of the video resolution sucks).  The magnolia leaves add tannin, but sometimes they make the water cloudy, which you will see in a couple tanks.  After a week and a few water changes, however, the tank will clear.  I also use alder cones, which add some antiseptic chemicals to the water.

The tanks all start with two pairs or two trios.  After a few weeks I will remove any fish that are obviously not handling aggression.  By the time fry start to appear, most tanks have a pair or a trio.  There is a tank in the video with some A. kelleri, which cannot stay in a 10-gallon tank forever.  This is one of the mouthbrooding species, and it gets BIG.

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