Apistogramma panduro… Mirror Therapy

Here is a video of a pair of wild A. panduro that are in the process of getting ready to spawn.  This species is one of the nijsseni-group apistos, and as such it can be pretty aggressive.  They prefer to spawn in pairs, and other fish in the tank can take a pretty good beating from a dominant pair.  This can be a problem when a pair is not fully bonded.  If the male is not receptive to the advances of the female, or if an amorous male does not get the response he wants from a female, then there is a chance that the male can attack and kill the female.  Mirror therapy can help…  by using a mirror to solicit a territorial response by the pair, their bond is made stronger.  You will see in the video that the male is very aggressive on the mirror… he hits it hard multiple times.  The female will also join in on the defense, which is a good sign that the pair is bonding well.

Apistogramma trifasciata

Here is a video of a new group of A. trifasciata.  When I set up apistos for breeding, I start with multiple males and females.  Once a dominant male becomes established I remove the extra males, otherwise the dominant male spends ore time worrying about the competition than he does spawning…. as you will see in this video.  I removed the extra male after shooting this footage.

This species comes in from the Czech Republic as A. trifasciata ‘Macilliensis’… but that is not really a valid name.  This is a basically a nice tank strain trifasciata.

Panda Barbs Spawning

My panda barbs are some of my favorite fish.  Very active, very pretty, very prolific and always willing to put on a show.  Here they are engaging in their daily spawning routine.  This happens about an hour after the lights come on, and continues until I feed them.  I am sure that if I removed the fish from this aquarium I would have thousands of fry appear in a few days.  When I want to collect eggs, all I have to do is move the male and one female to a 2.5-gallon tank with a yarn mop and they will happily fill it with hundreds of eggs.  Enjoy…

Nannacara aureocephalus ‘Sounourou’

Not all of the cichlids I keep are from West Africa.  Here is a group of cool dwarf cichlids from French Guiana, Nannacara aureocephalus ‘Sounourou’.  I got them as small juveniles in November, 2011, from Cris Moscarell.  I have found the species to be very slow growing, and they are just now starting to show some spawning behavior.  The females wear a very chromatic black and yellow pattern, so you will be able to pick out the spawning female from the group.

The tank is a 25 gallon (36″x13″x13″) filtered with a Poret foam matten filter (air driven).  The tetras you see in the video are Hyphessobrycon peruvianus.  I am using about 1/2 RO in this tank to soften the water, but I am not adjusting pH.  If the pair does nto spawn soon, I will switch to straight RO for a while.  If that does not work I will start to drop the pH a bit.  Hopefully I will be able to shoot another video of this species in a few weeks… when they are raising fry!

Repashy Spawn and Grow

Ever thought about the differences between fry and adult fish?  There are a lot of differences, especially with regards to what they need nutritionally in order to grow quickly and with good health.  Repashy Superfoods’ new Spawn & Grow formula is designed with fry in mind.  Here is a video I put together talking about raising fry in general, and how Spawn & Grow can help…

Corydoras caudimaculatus… Afternoon Delight!

I have been working on conditioning this group of catfish for a few months.  When I got them they were thin, but not a single fish died.  I have always liked this species, but never had any success breeding them.  But neither have I ever had this many at one time.  I noticed breeding behavior for the first time a couple weeks ago, but the catfish shared the tank with some rainbow fish grow outs and a LOT of horn wort.  I got all that cleaned out over the weekend, did a big water change and added the yarn mops you will see in the video.  I noticed that the fish were spawning when I went into the fish room at about 5:00 this afternoon.

Parananochromis gabonicus Defending Their Fry

Next month marks a year since the trip to Gabon to collect fish.  Here is a video of one of the cichlid species I brought back, Parananochromis gabonicus.  I had been keeping pairs in 20 gallon aquariums up until about two months ago.  The pairs were spawning, but in between spawns the males were very rough on the females.  Plus, the males were going to outgrow the tanks.  I moved all of the fish (two males and three females) into this 40-gallon breeder aquarium, added a big pile of wood for cover, a school of hardy tetras (Moenkhausia agnesae) and four or five well hidden breeding caves.  A few weeks ago the most dominant male and one of the females spawned, and chose the most observable cave to breed in.  Good fish!!!

When the pairs were spawning in the smaller tanks there were no target or dither fish in with them.  The female would turn her defensive attention on the only other fish in the tank… the male.  This led me to believe that the male of this species does not take an active role in caring for the fry… not true!  As this video documents….

Parananochromis gabonicus

This video shows a young female Parananochromis gabonicus caring for newly free swimming fry.  I brought the pair back from the Gabon trip in February, and they lived with a group of eight in this 20-gallon long aquarium.  By late March there were a few fish becoming mature enough to defend territories, so I removed all but two males and two females.  I did not see much indication of spawning until I was able to drop the pH to under 5.0.  I had already placed four caves in the tank, but the fish did not show much interest.

When we were in Gabon, Anton Lamboj and I were discussing the micro-habitat where these fish were found, and he suggested that Parananochromis species may be ‘leaf divers’, meaning that they like to bury themselves in leaf litter (which explains why they are not easy to net).  Other leaf diving fish I have kept (some Betta species, catfish and some South American cichlids) also chose spawning sites in dense plant matter, so I decided to fill all of the spawning caves in this tank with long fiber sphagnum moss.  That did the trick.  Within a day the females were exploring the caves and their abdomens turned bright red.

The spawning occurred in late May, and was evidenced by the female becoming very reclusive in the cave and also very aggressive to any other fish that came near the opening.  The fry did not appear until 12 days after the day I think they spawned, and this video was shot on their first foray (that I noticed) away from the spawning cave.  One of the interesting observations in the video is that the female takes many of the fry in her mouth, and keeps them there, when she feels they are threatened.  Other west African cichlids I have seen do this (other than the mouth brooding species) usually just relocate the fry and spit them out.

This is the first cichlid that I brought back from Gabon that has bred for me.  Hopefully the strategies successful with P. gabonicus will also prove effective with the others.

Melanotaenia praecox

Here is a short video of some rainbow fish spawning, which they do every morning within a few hours of the light coming on.  I am not trying to save any eggs, so I have not put a mop in the tank, and the bows are laying eggs in the roots of the Anubias nana growing under the driftwood.  The German blue rams sneak in and steal the eggs, but new eggs are very sticky and the rams do not like them.  After a few hours the eggs lose their sticky coating and the rams will eat them all.