I've housed a few for a number of years and wanted to breed them. I was wondering if I'm doing something wrong.
I've moved three males and one female to a ten gallon the other day and they don't seem to like it much. The profile page doesn't give a size for the breeding tank. I'm thinking about putting them back into their original 30 gallon and waiting for a pair to form.
I just decided to take the two smaller makes out and just keep the female and most colorful male
there is an oto and a cory in with them to keep the the tank clean.
June 29, 2011
I bred them in the 80's. I used a 63 litre tank (roughly equal to 17 gallons). I moved a couple of females there a week before I introduced a couple of males. While alone, the females were mostly fed black mosquito larvae. Before introducing the males, I cleaned the bottom of the tank (while changing about 50% of the water). I then poured in enough glass marbles to cover the bottom with a single layer of marbles. Some sort of netting suspended a few cms (1 inch) above the bottom would also work. Fine-leaved plants should also work, though the parents will inevitably eat a number of the eggs.
I would definitely remove the Cory, as I would suspect that it would consider any egg it found to be a welcome snack. I don't know about the Oto, but I'm not sure that I'd trust it either.
I don't think you'll have any luck waiting for a pair to form - that's not really how they go about their business. In the big tank they will probably breed regularly, but all the eggs/fry are most likely eaten - the exception being that a few will survive if there are enough hiding places for them.
It is possible to make a continuous setup - that is: a tank in which some fry will survive every time they breed and swim to safety away from the parents. To do this, you need to start with an empty tank - preferably one which is a lot longer than it is high or wide. You then glue two pieces of glass on the inside of the tank in such a way that they make a V-shape when seen from above. There should be a small opening (2 mm) between the two pieces of glass where they meet (at the bottom of the 'V'). Along the bottom, the back and the front of the tank, the pieces of glass should be glued in place so that not even the smallest fry can get through there. The V should point towards the smaller part (about 1/4th of the volume of the tank). You then fill up the tank, place a large handful or two of some fine-leaved plants in the 'V'. Finally you need to put light over the small part only. When the aquarium has been running for long enough, you put a group of males and females in the bigger section and wait. An air-driven foam filter which lifts water from the fry end to the parents end should be sufficient as far as a filter goes.
What will happen is that the parents will breed and scatter a lot of the eggs among the plants. When the eggs hatch, some of the fry will swim towards the light, swim through the gap in the 'V' and be safe from their parents. Now you just need to feed the fry with suitable foods and net them out when they reach a size at which they could be a danger to smaller fry. You may need a second tank for them to grow large enough to survive with the parents.
This setup works with pretty much any species which scatters eggs among fine-leaved plants. It is especially good for species, which don't produce that many eggs at a time but which breed often.
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