I like to leave cichlid fry with their parents for as long as possible, primarily because the parents will do a better job of raising the fry than I will. I also like to spawn cichlids in community aquariums, if possible, so that I can watch the interactions between the parents, their fry and the other fish in the tank. Care mus be taken to ensure that none of the fish in the tank are harmed too much, and the best way to prevent permanent damage is to use large tanks.
This video shows a pair of wild-caught Pelvicachromis pulcher raising a brood of fry in a 75-gallon aquarium. Other fish in the aquarium include an extra male krib, a small group of Melanotaenia vanhuerni rainbow fish and a breeding pair of Hemichromis cf. lifilili ‘Moanda’. I spend a lot of time watching this pair, and what strikes me is how the parents provide the basic requirements that fry need to survive: food, shelter and protection from threats. Enjoy…
A few months ago I was attending a large garden consumer trade show and met an artisan selling a very cool vase that was flat and round like a river pebble. He was demonstrating how they were used to hold up a flower stem… but all I saw were dozens and dozens of really cool spawning caves!
The artist and I stayed in touch, and I offered him a chance to get rid of all the imperfect caves he might have lying around. I also asked him to make some unglazed pots to see if having him produce them for me was something worth his time and effort. A few weeks ago he dropped off a large shipment of pots… over 200 in all! Most of them are the beautiful glazed pots that are imperfect for use as a vase or piece of fine art. The fish do not care! And even these imperfect pots are truly beautiful.
The glazes are all aquarium safe and fired at a temperature to make the pot food safe. No leaching of metal ions from improperly-fired glazes will occur. The colors range from white to black, with various shades of green, brown, blue and grey. Some pots are smooth. Others have a texture to them. There are too many to show each individually, so they are priced in the store by size. You can send me a note if you have a basic color preference.
The holes on these caves are on the tops of the pots. This makes them perfect for sinking into the substrate. I really like the caves because they have a nice small opening with a roomy interior. Dwarf cichlids love them, especially the Pelvicachromis, but also Julidochromis, Parananochromis and Apistogramma. I have Ancistrus sp. plecos that use them too.
These pots will only be available for a limited time. The artist sent me literally 20 years worth of imperfect pots. He told me that he usually crushes the bad ones, but even if he saves them all for me there will not be more than a few dozen available per year. When this batch is gone it will be several months before I get any more. So get them while the last! There is a link to the page in the online store at the top of the right-hand side column.