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FAQs on Cichlid Reproduction

Related Articles: Cichlid Fishes,

Related FAQs: African Cichlid Reproduction, Neotropical Cichlid Reproduction, Angelfish Reproduction, Discus Reproduction, Ram Reproduction, Flowerhorn Reproduction, Oscar Reproduction, Severum Reproduction, Cichlids in General: Cichlids, Cichlid Systems, Cichlid Identification, Cichlid Behavior, Cichlid Compatibility, Cichlid Selection, Cichlid Feeding, Cichlid Disease, Dwarf South American Cichlids, African Cichlids, Angelfishes, Discus, Chromides, Neotropical Cichlids, Oscars, Oscar Reproduction, Flowerhorns,

Actually might have found some online sources... Full moon?    7/12/13
Looking at some forums for breeders in California. Also sorry if I wasn't supposed to contact this email for questions...
<Uhh... breeders of what? Commercial, hobbyist? Bob Fenner>
No luck finding anything online *sigh*    7/12/13

<.... Heeeeee!>
Sorry!   7/13/13

Sorry I sent an email earlier on the subject in which I said that I couldn't find breeders since my solitary cichlid laid eggs, but I found a cache of websites, only to find none helped.
<... what is going on here? Many cichlids have spawned solitarily; not an issue... Several incidences are recounted on WWM. What species is this? Try our search tool (on every page)... BobF>

All cichlid eggs are unfertile    8/7/12
Hi WWM, I had a quick question about my Jack Dempsey cichlid eggs.  The female is currently separated from the male and she laid eggs.  Every egg went white due to them being infertile and the female didn't eat any of them up.
<Quite common, especially with the artificial "Electric Blue" JD that (as far as I know) doesn't produce fertile offspring if bred with another of its kind. If you're keeping regular JDs, then issues to investigate are as follows: (1) Do you have a male and female? (2) How well are they fed/conditioned beforehand? (3) Is water chemistry correct for this species?>
They are starting to fungus over and I'm wondering if the fungus eggs are bad for my adult cichlids.  Can the egg fungi harm my cichlids?
<Not directly, but they're still rotting "fish", so not helping water quality.>
Should I remove the eggs or is it OK to leave them?
<Remove. Cheers, Neale.>

Immaculate conception
Single Cichlid has Babies    4/20/12

Hello,
Our cichlid has babies. We only have one fish and it is in it's own tank.
How is this possible?
< I have heard about this a few times and had a chance to ask the late Dr. George Barlow about this a few years ago. It usually happens with single Central American cichlids  He said fish are born with both sex chromosomes.
If the fish becomes aggressive then the male hormones kick in and suppresses the other fish's male hormones and the other fish becomes a females. In a single tank set up both sex chromosomes develop and the fish has both sexes that enables the fish to fertilize its own eggs. It is very rare but does happen.-Chuck><<! RMF>>

Breeding cichlids for profit 11/8/11
Hello. I would like to start off by congratulating you guys for such a great and informative site! It has helped my countless times.
<Ah, good>
Ok, so now to my dilemma. I have a spare 29 gallon aquarium and I would like to breed some kind of cichlid as profit.
<Okay!>
I am not expecting massive fortunes, just a little extra cash to help out with my other tanks. Are there any species in particular that are fairly easy to breed (I am a pretty experienced keeper) that go for a decent price?
<Yes; there are quite a few possibilities... IF your water is very hard and alkaline (like ours here in S. Cal.), I'd look into one of the smaller African Great Lakes species... Perhaps a Lamprologus or Neolamprologus species. IF instead your source water tends toward neutral to soft and acidic, I'd try a small/dwarf South American. Please see here re the latter: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/dwfsamcichlids.htm
and peruse the linked files above. Another route to go in selecting a breedable/saleable species would be to ask the management at your local fish store/s what they'd be willing to buy... That can fit in your 29. For instance, the possibility of Angelfishes (Pterophyllum)... A breeding pair could reside in this size/shape system, but growing them up to pairing, raising the young would take another larger system. Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: Breeding cichlids for profit -- 11/08/11

Thanks for such a quick reply! Are there any specific species?
<See/read where you were referred>
The reason I am asking is because there seem to be A LOT of species that fit your description. I have a female Krib cichlid at the moment, would pairing her up and selling her fry do the trick?
<Not the fry and again, you'll have to check your local market for about how many individuals of colour-size they'll pay for>
Or would I have better luck with a
different south American or shell dweller? Thanks in advance!
<Again, the onus of research is upon you. BobF>

Two Headed Cichlid Fry 12/6/10
Is it common to have cichlid fry born with two heads? Out of 30+ fry, only one has two heads. (Picture attached) -Lisa
< This actually happens very frequently. The two headed fry usually die after a few days but sometimes they last a very long time.-Chuck>

Cichlid Sick or Non-compatible 12/28/09
Hello, My husband and I just got two cichlids from a pet store that got them from a guy, so we are not sure what kind they are. I went to the pet store owner on 12-6 of this year with my camera, cause our females belly is
a little bigger then normal, and she said that one is a male and one is female. And the one that is female has the bigger belly. She has been hiding in the corner, and when the light is off the male doesn't seem to attack her as much. We are worried as it has been close to a month and her belly has not gone down. Please help us. Thank You Tiffany
<If they are a pair then the female is not ready to breed and the male will chase her until she becomes ready to breed. You did not mention the species so it is difficult to make recommendations on how to get her ready. If she
has an intestinal infection then the belly will become larger as the parasites in the gut multiply and expand the gut. This can be treated with a combination of Metronidazole and Nitrofuranace.-Chuck>

Re: Cichlids?
Cichlid Spawning? 12/31/09

Chuck, Thank you for responding. I do not know the species of these cichlids. He is making nests and she just hangs out in the corner most of the time. I tried to send you a video of this, did you receive it? He also does not like people to close to the tank, kind of like he is protecting her. I am unsure what to do, cause it has been close to a month of her acting like this and having a swollen belly. But when she does swim, she seems to be swimming good. Am I missing something though? Thanks Tiffany
< Videos take up a lot of space so a simple photo would work just fine.
Cichlids usually have two spawning strategies. One is called substrate spawning. The pair usually look similar except the male may be larger and have more pointed fins. The pair usually have some spawning ritual with flared fins and some jaw locking. Once a pair bond has been established they settle down and prepare a spawning site, usually on something solid like a rock, log or even the side of the aquarium. The female lays the eggs in a row and then the male follows close behind to fertilize them.
After a few days the eggs hatch and then a few days later the fry absorb their egg sack and become free swimming. Both parents defend the eggs and fry. The second method is mouthbrooding. Mouthbrooding cichlids usually are very sexually dimorphic. Males are larger and very colorful while females are drab and smaller. The male builds a spawning site by usually digging a pit. He then dances around trying to attract a fertile female to the site willing to spawn. She will lay an egg in the pit and then pick it up in her mouth. She will then pick on the males anal fin. When he does this he fertilizes the eggs in her mouth. When they are finished the male chases the female away and then looks to attract a new female. Either way it doesn't sound like you have a spawning pair.-Chuck>

Cichlid eggs. 9/28/08 Hello, I found out this morning that my t-bar cichlids have bred so i separated the eggs, male and female away from the other fish. I was wondering is it normal for the male and female to fight every now and then if the male gets to close to the pipe were there eggs are <Yes, sometimes pairs of cichlids will fight, even where that species is known to be a biparental spawner. To some degree depends on the environment; do see Paul Loiselle re: the importance of target fish in maintaining strong pair bonds.> and how long will it take before i can sell them to a fish shop? <Assuming the fry are moved to a big, clean tank where they can grow quickly (i.e., nitrate levels are low) then you can expect virtually all cichlids to reach sellable size in 3-4 months. It is of course virtually impossible to rear them adequately in the tank with the parents. Normally people remove the parents to the community tank.> Thanks <Cheers, Neale.>

Re: cichlid eggs. -- 09/28/08
Thanks for your great email.
<No problem.>
Where could i find the re: the importance of target fish in maintaining strong pair bonds?
<Almost any Paul Loiselle book will discuss the topic in depth, and make suggestions on species suitable for this function. I recommend "The Cichlid Aquarium" published by Tetra. The idea is to choose a fish that elicits "fear" in the parents that their eggs might be eaten if they don't protect them, but the species you choose as a target fish aren't actually a threat at all. Large herbivorous characins such as Silver Dollars work well, assuming you have sufficient space for them. Red-tail sharks and Chinese Algae Eaters (Gyrinocheilus spp.) can also work. Obviously anything that actually will eat eggs, particularly at night, like catfish and loaches, won't work. Target fish will be killed if the tank isn't big enough for them to manoeuvre safely, so stock wisely.>
When should i remove the male and female?
<It's normal to remove the parents around two weeks of the fry becoming free swimming, though this depends on the species. Some degree of experimentation is recommended.>
What is the minimum tank size for me to move the fry to when there are free
swimming?
<Depends on the fish being reared. Dwarf cichlids can be reared for several months in 10-20 gallon aquaria without complaint. Larger species will require 30-50 gallon systems, depending on the species. There are variations in aggression, in particular with young males monopolising food, slowing down the growth of the females. So use your common sense, and buy the biggest tank in your budget, and keep on top of water changes as well to minimise nitrate concentration.>
Thanks again
<Do try and track down "Enjoying Cichlids" by Fohrman et al.; I believe you'll find this a very useful reference. The cichlid literature is vast, and with this group of fish the problems that arise from inexperience are legion. You'll also enjoy these intelligent fish so much more if you understand why they're doing all these seemingly "bad" things. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: cichlid eggs. 9/29/08
Thanks for your great email.
is it ok if there is no male in with the eggs? Because after the male had fertilized them she was bullying him really badly and had him in the corner so i had to put him in my main tank and every time he tries to swim through the glass to the eggs she is at the glass trying to kill him! So will she be ok keeping care of the eggs and fry by her self?
Thanks
<It's absolutely fine to leave one parent in control of the eggs, and indeed many aquarists do that or remove the eggs after spawning and rear the eggs artificially. Having said that, many (perhaps most) cichlids take a few "tries" before they get all their behaviours right. So do consider leaving them together to try and rear the broods, if you're comfortable that neither parent is in danger. Once a pair has properly formed, they'll be breeding every couple of months and you will have more fry than you know what to do with! So sit back, grab a cichlid book, and enjoy watching their behaviour develop. That's the whole point of keeping cichlids! In theory at least, target fish will help the pair bond, if they are not doing so already. Cheers, Neale.>

Cross Breeding Jack Dempsey Breeds With Severum 7/3/08 Hi, I have a question about cross breeding. First off we started out with a small catfish and a Gourami, Then we added a full grown Severum and a Jack Dempsey that were bought from the same tank. Since the day we brought them home they have been paired up, anyway my Severum has laid her first batch of eggs (that I know of) and my Jack Dempsey is, I think , fertilizing them. So my question is will the eggs survive being cross bred? They seem to be protecting them very well, should I take out the eggs? If so how would I go about doing that? Thank you very much for your time. Kim < In the wild these two fish never see each other. The Severum is from South America and the Jack Dempsey is from Central America. There are many weird cichlid crosses out there but I have never heard of this one before. The eggs should hatch in three days if the are viable. In three more days the fry should be free swimming. The eggs can be removed at any time. Fill an aquarium with the same water from the main tank that the pair have spawned in. Place the eggs with object the eggs were laid on in the tank and maintain the same water temp and provide strong aeration too. Dead eggs will turn whits and begin to develop a fungus.-Chuck>

Re: Cross Breeding Jack Dempsey Breeds With Severum II 07/07/08 Thanks for getting back to me, I can use any tips I can get. Forgive me if this is a stupid question but what do you mean by "turn whits"? Do you mean turn white? < Sorry. Typo on my part. My wireless keyboard has batteries that needed changing. Dead cichlid eggs that are unfertilized start to turn white after 24 hours or so.> Some of them are white but I was told that was the fertilized ones. Is that true? < Fertilized eggs are usually a brownish color. This is probably an evolutionary adaptation so predators will not see the eggs and eat them. Sorry for the typos.-Chuck> Thanks again Kim

Hybrid Cichlids 5/6/08 Dear Wet Web Media Crew, <Ron> I have been using your website for years now and I find it an incredible source of wonderful reliable information. I have never previously needed to ask a question but I finally find a situation that I can't explain and that I need some expert help with. I live in South Florida and I have two ponds ( I don't know how many gallons but they are large there are 0 Nitrates, 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and a ph of 7.6-7.7) outside that used to be regularly infested with invasive Cuban tree frog tadpoles. As a solution to the infestation I wanted fish that I had some experience with and that would hold their own against the tree frogs which can get up to five inches and that probably would consume goldfish. I decided to purchase cichlids ( 1 Oscar, 1 jack Dempsey, 1 convict and a Firemouth). All of them where left in one pond which had the tadpoles and was the largest. The fish grew up together and enjoyed throughout the summer a feast of thousands of tadpoles. This upcoming spring I moved the jack Dempsey to the other pond and the convict, Firemouth and Oscar were left in the original pond. After some time it became apparent that the Oscar had gone unfortunately missing (he was the largest and was finally turning into a bully to the smaller more feisty cichlids) and the two remaining species were the convict and Firemouth. Both of them had an interesting relationship because the convict which was an incredibly bold and a feisty fish which easily beat up the Oscar that was approaching three time its size, was oddly dominated by the Firemouth which used to be the most aggressive fish but was outpaced in growth by the other fish and thus left at the bottom of the hierarchy. I first noticed something was odd in the pond when I temporarily added two red eared sliders to get some exercise in the water. The convict viciously attacked them and brutally beat one of them stopping it from getting air at the surface. I quickly intervened to help the turtles which where having their feet and head bit by the fanatical convict which all the time was backed up by the Firemouth who would stand flaring his gills in the background. I saved the two turtles but not before having my hand savagely attacked in an absolutely ruthless manner. I concluded that the fish where experiencing some aggressive behavior probably triggered by a mating ritual but I purchased all different species to stop the fish from mating and turning into fanatical parents. <Mmm, there are crosses> A few day ago I finally saw the different species taking turns protecting and fanning eggs in a clay flower pot while the other parent would go and peck at the inside of an old conch shell. Today they transferred the eggs outside the conch shell and then placed the eggs inside the conch shell. So what should I do with these new hybrid fish? <Enjoy or destroy them> Is it ethical to let them live on as a hybrid species? <Mmm, yes... IMO... But not to sell/distribute them as anything but> What will I do with over one hundred Firemouth-convicts because I don't have the facilities for that many fish? Will the parents remain together forever continuing to make new hybrid babies? Thanks! <Maybe. Bob Fenner>

This started out about stocking fish... Jewelfish repro. 4/5/08 OK, I am sorry to bother you nice people again, however something new and exciting happened today... I asked about putting the Jewels in the 10 gallon tank and you said it was too small. <Indeed it is.> SO, I put them over in it to get them outta the 55 since they prefer the soft/acid water. I planned to go get a 30 gallon tank to set up since this fish thing has become so cool to us. I didn't plan to have them in the 10 for more than a month. HOWEVER! Today I go into my daughters room to check out the fish... it appears that they have left some kind of "seed" like material all over the little pink glass bubbles that she wanted to use as gravel in her tank. I am guessing that my fish have managed to lay eggs. <Eggs are about 1 mm across, dark grey to off-white in colour. The fish will be guarding them carefully, likely fanning them with their fins.> I thought that these fish were mouthbrooders and I never expected to see eggs really. <No, not mouthbrooders.> Not to mention I had no idea what either of the sexes were of these fish. Its kinda cool though, they seem to kinda take turns swimming gently around the eggs as if taking turns guarding them even though they are the only 2 fish in the tank. <Instinct is an amazing thing.> I am hoping that I have a male and female, but still really not sure. I can say this, the one that I considered petite looks like she lost quite a bit of weight in her belly area now. She looks like she called "Jenny" lol. Well the other fish is shaped a bit different than what I am calling the female, and the fin just under his tail fin is longer than the one that I am calling a female... also he seems to change color before my eyes like A LOT. Its crazy looking... <Sexing Hemichromis spp. is difficult, so don't worry about it. The main difference is the shape of the genital papillae, so if you look at those, you should see that one is short and rounded (the female's) and the other is long and pointed (the male's).> But the only question I have at this point is... NOW WHAT! I would like to give raising the babies a go but still learning about these fish... wasn't really expecting this. I saw on the site that it is a good idea to separate the fish once I have "wigglers" i think it said or else my babies may become food for the adults. I plan to get a new tank set up for the Jewel parents but getting a new tank established takes a bit of time. Is there anything I REALLY need to know about this now, is there any advice that anyone can offer me of what I should do next? <Start reading here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWsubwebindex/fwbrdgmonks.htm > I gather that if the eggs are going to hatch it would be within the next 3-6 days? Is the water chemistry the same as for the adults? Can you drop the name of a good fish book to purchase? I search the web lots about these fish but I would prefer a really nice book if you know of one out there. Sometimes I find internet information about the fish changes from site to site. Thanks so much and as always you guys are great! <Rearing the fry is not especially difficult. Buy some liquid fry food (e.g., Liquifry) or powdered baby fish food (e.g., Hikari First Bites). Once the eggs hatch, the fry take a few days to use up their yolk sac. You'll see the yolk as a yellow blob. Eventually that goes, and the "wrigglers" start moving about, looking for food. This is when you add the food. When feeding baby fish, feed small amounts but often. Do multiple water changes, as the biggest killer of eggs/fish is dirty water. Changing 10% every day wouldn't be a bad idea. If you're after a book, I happen to like 'Fish Breeding' by Chris Andrews, but there are many titles out there on the topic, as well as regular articles on breeding in the fish magazines. Breeding cichlids is pretty consistent from one species to the next, so anything you read about, say, breeding Angelfish holds true for your Jewels. http://www.amazon.com/Guide-Fish-Breeding-Interpet/dp/1842860704/ref=pd_sim_b_title_3 Good luck, Neale.>

Re: Jewel eggs almost all gone. 4/5/08 Well, after writing in about unexpected egg laying... today I noticed that either the 2 fish in the tank ate the eggs, or the snail did. I forgot about the snail. I removed him just incase it was him, I only have a few eggs left. Oh well better luck next time ... if there is a next time.... I am still going ahead with the bigger tank idea for the Jewel cichlids only. Any suggestions on why the fish would have ate the eggs? They seemed like loving parents lol! Still guarding what babies are next... maybe I will end up with one baby and I can name it "Nemo" lol! Thanks for all the help! <Completely normal for cichlid pairs to eat the first few broods. They're "practising" perhaps. It is also the case that if something is "wrong" in their eyes, e.g., the tank is too small or there's some nearby disturbance, they'll eat the eggs as well. Since cichlids will produce eggs at least once every few weeks for their entire lives, there's no reason to be concerned. Sooner or later you'll get more than you can do anything with! Cheers, Neale.>

African Cichlid Question(s)... fdg., & Cichlid repro./sex chg. beh., -- 3/18/08 I have a good old friend who has a few interesting ideas on African rift lake cichlids, so i was hoping you could clarify for me... OK, so first off, on feeding brine shrimp, not as a staple mind you, but just feeding brine shrimp in general, should be fine in my mind just due to the variety of invertebrates that they must encounter in the wild.... However my friend says NO NO NO!!! That will block up their intestines causing bloat and they will die.... Just wondering... <Brine shrimp are useful only as nauplii. Adult brine shrimp contain almost no nutrition. They're the equivalent of empty calories. Useful as a source of fibre, but that's about it. Actually more likely to clear indigestion that cause it. In any event, it's important to distinguish the fact fish eat a wide variety of foods from the idea they can adapt equally well to all of them. Lab work on Oscars (Astronotus spp.) has demonstrated they are very prone to Vitamin C deficiency in captivity. Vitamin C is largely lacking from animal foods as you probably known. In the wild, the Oscars eat some plant matter (algae and aquatic plants, for example) and the guts of their prey are loaded with plant material. In other words, fish compensate for a lack in one food item by taking another one at another time. Just because an Oscar mostly eats small fish and crayfish in the wild doesn't mean that it can *survive* on the just those food items. Likewise with your Mbuna: rather than worrying about the "perfect" food item, work to vary the diet as much as possible.> Second, he has this crazy idea that ALL cichlids have the ability to change/morph sex.... in the case of Symphysodon discus as far as my knowledge goes, i know this not to be true. <Correct; so far as I know, the only species proven to be a sex-changer is Crenicara punctulata, and indeed it is the only known strictly freshwater fish I know of that does this.> They are gonochirists (please do correct me if im wrong). At the same time, (btw im a Reefkeeper at home but a fishkeeper at heart ... not to mention i manage a LFS) in the marine world you do see these types of survival mechanisms especially in Anemonefishes (protandric hermaphrodites). <Indeed; much more common among marine perciforms.> I do know that Metriaclima livingstonii from lake Malawi are protogynous hermaphrodites and do change from female to male if males are in short supply, but it would really seem far fetched that all African rift lake cichlids have sex changing ability, however im not throwing that out the window completely.... ALL cichlids? no friggin way, right? <Not aware of Maylandia/Metriaclima/Pseudotropheus spp. doing this. Where was this published?> thanks, Mitch <Cheers, Neale.>

Breeding cichlids - 10/07/2007 Hello- This is a silly question but one I am hoping you can give your opinion on:) <Will try> I am getting a 40 gallon bow front tank. I would like to put a breeding pair or harem in it. My goal is to raise fry in this tank naturally. I would like to watch the cichlids raise the babies, etc... <Is an enlivening experience for sure> I have the ability to get 1 male and 3 female trewavasae all full size or close to it. I am wondering if this would work for this group to have fry successfully in this size tank. <Ahh, Ethylwynn's African Cichlid... Well, it may work... if the specimens are familiar with and get along with each other currently... Otherwise, there could be over-aggressive behavior... resulting in even losses> Also is this the best cichlid to choose to breed if my interest is the "process" of them having and caring for their young? <A simple/r neotropical... Like the Convict or xanthic variety of same, the Congo, would be an almost sure bet here> If not what would you suggest for this tank? ( I am not interested in doing convicts ). <Heee! Oh... I should have read ahead of time... There are MANY choices... time to send you for a read through WWM...> Thank you for your help!! Christie <Maybe start here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwlivestkindex.htm the top tray. Bob Fenner>

Re: Breeding cichlids - 10/07/2007 Ok here are the fish that I am considering... I would love your opinion!! Salvini, Flier, a Vieja species, Cuban (not sure of the true name), tetracanthus, or Texas. I would only do the one pair in the tank. Do you suggest dither fish and what about a bottom feeder? Thank you so much for your help!! Christie <Hello Christie. Of these cichlids, while several are fascinating animals, one stands out as being colorful, a nice size, an excellent parent, and relatively easy to keep: Cichlasoma salvini. Good quality adult fish have amazing colours, especially in breeding condition. (Juveniles are rather silvery-blue and nondescript.) They can be sexed reasonably easily: males have pointed fins, while females have a dark spot on the centre of the dorsal fin and another dark spot on the gill covers. Both sexes are brilliantly coloured. They are essentially carnivores in the wild, feeding on large insects, aquatic crustaceans, worms, and small fish. In the aquarium they will eat all the standard cichlid foods. Bloodworms and krill are good staples. Naturally, they don't need to be given live fish, and for all the usual reasons I'd recommend against it. But you can certainly give them defrosted lancefish if you wanted. Try to vary the diet though; most fish develop their best colours the more different things they get to eat. Wild fish apparently eat some plant matter too, so things like tinned peas and Sushi Nori should be added to the diet to mix things up a little. Crustaceans seem to bring out the reds in most fish, and I'd expect this to be true here, hence unshelled crustaceans such as krill, brine shrimp, even daphnia for small fish would be very useful. Maximum size is said to be 20 cm (Fishbase) but I've never seen one bigger than 15 cm. As with other Central Americans, water on the hard side with a pH around 7.5 is what they like best. They also like slightly warmer than normal conditions: around 26 for standard care, and up to 28 C or so for breeding. Assuming you pick two fish that form a pair bond, breeding will happen by itself. They are superb parents, and it is perhaps best to leave them with the fry. For one thing, the parents are said to produce mucous the fry eat. But more practically, when removed, the male will try to spawn again, and often the female won't be up for this. In a relatively small aquarium, she can end up being battered. Leaving the parents with the fry "keeps their mind on the job" and the female in particular can be fattened up over the weeks. Dither fish will likely be killed or eaten, so aren't really an issue here. In a really big tank you could try some sort of Central American characin I suppose, like Astyanax mexicanus. Australian rainbows of appropriate size might work too. Cichlasoma salvini are very aggressive but also rather shy, so dither fish could serve a purpose. But a lot depends on the size (especially depth) of your tank, not to mention how big the Cichlasoma salvini are when introduced. Juveniles would perhaps accept dither fish and so ignore them once mature, but some adults might just lay right into them. Bottom feeders are basically redundant here. The Cichlasoma salvini will harass anything too delicate (like a loach) while an Plecostomus-type armored catfish or medium-sized Synodontis would simply eat any fry or eggs produced. I hope this helps, Neale>

Re: Breeding cichlids - 10/07/2007 You guys are awesome!! Thank you for taking the time to answer my question so thoroughly! Salvini was what I was leaning towards and you confirmed it:) Christie <Glad we could help. Hope you have success with your breeding project! Neale>

Cichlid Eggs, crossbred African... and neotropical? 5/7/07 I have an aquarium with about 5 African cichlids and one pink convict. The pink convict laid eggs, and I think that my yellow African cichlid if the 'father'. I was just wondering a few things. How long does it usually take the eggs to hatch? <About four days> Will the other cichlids in the tank eat the fry? <Will try, yes> What is the crossbreed between the African cichlid and the pink convict cichlid called? <Mmm, make a name up...> If you could send me a quick email back, that would be great. Thank you! Kelsey <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/cichlidreprofaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Breeding... cichlids 4/21/07 Hi, First I must say wonderful website. <Thank you, is a brilliant resource> Question #1 I have a 45 gallon cichlid tank, my fish rarely breed (4 times in 3 years) a few weeks ago I switched from Hikari cichlid excel to frozen blood worms and within a week I have 7 new little ones!!! Also the babies were born after not feeding the fish for four days (went away on an emergency). So what caused the babies the new food or the not feeding for four days? <Most likely a combination of both. Depending on the species..?'¦different environmental and routine changes can act as triggers for spawning e.g. raise in temperature, slight change in pH, change of food! This is dependent on the species and the water system they are from in the wild> Question #2 I just noticed two of the fish doing the breeding process (eggs in mouth) should I feed the tank while this is going on??? Or will she spit the eggs out for the food??? <She will have to remove them to feed. There would be a much-improved chance of the fry surviving if they were in their own tank, or a breeding vessel inside your display tank where they will be safe and have better access to specific food. It will take something for them to be successfully raised in the main tank whether or not they are spat out in this manner, other opportunities to become food> As you can tell I want babies!! < http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/afcichreprofaqs.htm - much written on the raising of Cichlid fry, take more time to read> Thank you very much <Pleasure and good luck with your endeavours, Olly>

Breeding Cichlids-Rule Number 1-You need A Pair! 9/9/06 Hi. I'll tell you about my cichlids first. I forget how many I had last time I e-mailed you (that's a bit sad). But now I have 2. 1 orange one and the one that described to you as a figure eight puffer. The orange one is a male and the other is a female. He was making a nest again but I cleaned the gravel today and kind of destroyed it. Would they breed? < An orange cichlid will not breed with a figure 8 puffer.> Right now I feed my fish mixed up food. They eat cichlid pellets from the animal planet brand (I never knew they had a brand), cichlid sticks, their old food, cut up Tubifex worms, cut up cichlid salad, variety wafers (for my Pleco), and cichlid flakes. I wonder if I could trade in my female for an orange female, what do you think? < Matching up species increases the likely hood of getting a breeding pair.-Chuck> I put a pot in the tank the male likes it. Oh! And I gave them a plant a while ago, and it's bare right now, some are growing back, and it's still alive so there's nothing to worry about. My catfish. I love my catfish, no matter how many times they stink up my room, no matter how many times they try to kill themselves (on accident of course) I will love those pink little fish with whiskers. So as you can see they smell and they are suicidal. They are in a 2.5 gallon tank. Right now they are almost longer than my cichlids (3 3/4" maybe). They have a filter but I had to put nylon over the bottom because they would hide in it and get sucked up. Then whenever I would catch them with the net they would crawl up, the last time I cleaned their tank 2 of them jumped out! Last month they started getting stripes, so that's going to help me identify them including that they are air breathing cats. In their tank there is 4 artificial plants (bottom lily pad-like, something tall, something bushy, and something short, so they have many levels) and 2 ornaments. They spend most of their time under the rock in the tank. They hate it when I turn on the light so I rarely turn it on. Food. They have their food mixed with other food together also, but I don't really feel like typing it all but it does have fry food and bottom feeder food. veronica

Ways to avoid breeding? 8/25/06 Hello, and thanks for a very helpful site! < Howdy! Bob and the crew do a wonderful job! > I have set up a 20 gallon tank, which is cycling now (no fish yet). < Good idea. > I'm considering stocking it with some small varieties of cichlids. This is not a hard and fast choice, but I am considering them because my tap water is hard (about 120ppm total) and with a high pH (about 8.4). < It is wonderful to see you have researched your water source before purchasing the wrong types of fish. > My concern is primarily this - I keep reading about their breeding habits, and while it sounds fascinating, I simply do not have the real estate at my disposal to accommodate the resulting fry. < Quite understandable. > Is there a configuration I can keep that will be less likely to breed (like all females)? < The idea is sound, but unfortunately, they are not easy to determine sex at a young age. > If I did find myself with lots of offspring, what could I feasibly do with them? < Most fish stores will gladly accept locally grown fish as trade for food and supplies. > And are there any other varieties of fish I could keep in my present water conditions where this would be less of an issue? < Possibly some brackish water fish? > I want whatever fish I end up with to be happy and comfortable in their home, but I don't feel like I can support an endless baby factory either! Any advice would be greatly appreciated - thanks! < Consider some cichlids from Lake Tanganyika. Most of them stay fairly small, and if you chose members from different genera, they would not be as likely to breed. Good luck, and best wishes, RichardB > -Tara Breeding Size for Convict Cichlids 5/27/06 Hello. Your site is most amazing! I have a question though. My question is about the size of a convict. What is the minimum size of a convict to start breeding? < Around one inch.> Right now I have a 20 gallon that is bare with only a few big rocks. I will be adding rocks soon. I bought my Convicts today and the male is already trying to breed with the female, but the female flares back and follows a short distance to the males cave, but trails off for some algae to graze on. I'm thinking that the male is about one inch, and the female is also one inch. Is this size suitable for both male and female to breed at this size? < Get ready for a spawning.-Chuck> Thanks for your big help. Sean

Cichlids Really Breeding Or Just Sick - 04/05/2006 Hi! I have a 40 gal tank with a Convict pair, Jack Dempsey pair, and a Green Terror pair. They are all about 1.5 to 2 inches each. The Green Terror female and my Convict female both seem to be expecting. I have never seen behavior like this. They lay on the rocks and on top of the caves almost hovering. They are also very plump. Although I have seen not one egg from either, their respective males are right with them. How long does it take to lay the eggs? The convict has been this way for about a week, but the Dempsey I just notices today. Thanks Chelle < A 2 inch green terror is probably too small to breed. If conditions are right, clean water, good food and good nutrition, then they should breed in a couple of weeks. Even with eggs the females should be up and about eating and defending a territory from the other fish. If they are not eating or acting normal then I would start to think that they are sick with an internal bacterial infection and need treating with Metronidazole.-Chuck>

Green Terrors Won't get Along - 03/29/2006 Hi crew. Thank you for all the timely help. It has been of great use for me. I have now got stuck up with a problem. I have a pair of green terrors and the problem is that the female is being bullied by the male. I cannot remove them from my tank as the tank is full of decorations. How can I get them adjusted to each other. Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thank you <Green terrors like other large cichlids get very territorial when they get older. Other fish compete for resources like food and shelter. Males will allow females into their territory if they are ready to breed. If not, then they are chased away until they are ready to breed. You could try lowering the temp to the mid 70's and rearrange the decorations. If that does not work then get a tank divider before he kills her.-Chuck>

Turtle Age And Spawning Green Terrors 3/20/06 Hi crew. Thanks for the earlier help. I have recently purchased a red year slider turtle.1)! wanted to know how can I calculate its age. Its about 2 inches. < It is probably a hatchling that was hatched about a year ago last spring.> 2)My green terrors are not spawning. What can I do to stimulate them to spawn. any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanking you < Feed them heavily with good food like live washed earthworms. The n do big 50% water changes while vacuuming the gravel. Raise the water temp to 82 F.-Chuck>

About Euthanasia, Culling Frontosa - 03/13/2006 I have 7-Stripe Frontosas and when there are fry, they are not all perfect, I try only to sell the perfect 7-stripes, so I am stuck with the bad striped ones, I have a tank with just bad stripe that are sizes from 1 inch to 4 or more inches I figured that I can't keep doing this (keeping all the bad stripes) and the only way I will cull them is with MS-222. I just received a bottle from a company on the Internet, ( which I never thought I would be able to) but this is what I want to know, I am not a chemist (that's why I am writing you ha!) I wanted to know in terms, like how many tablespoons to how many gallons, and how do I know it they are just sleeping or dead? Do you know or do you know someone that would know more about this? I really appreciate your time, Thank you < First of all not all frontosa in the lake have perfect stripes. While diving in Lake Tanganyika a few years ago we noticed that many frontosa have variable striping patterns. Ad Konings is a world famous photographer of rift lake cichlids. In his business he sells books, and pictures sell books. He gets the best photos of the best fish he can find. Aquarists often expect all the wild fish to match the photos in the books and are disappointed when they are not. You have made a personal choice to only sell fish that have perfect markings. Many aquarists would try and sell them off to make a profit but it is nice to see someone that has integrity and concerned about the fish they wish to promote in the hobby. MS222 (tricaine methanosulfanate, 3-aminobenzoic acid ethyl ester) is a carcinogen (causes cancer). I would recommend a much safer alternative. Place the fish you wish to kill in 17 to 34 ounces of aquarium water and add two Alka-Seltzer tablets. The fish will go to sleep and eventually die. Since you are not a chemist and may not be aware of how to safely administer the MS222 please try the WWM recommended method first. We withheld your name by request but felt that your question was very important to other aquarists and they would benefit by the reply.-Chuck> Thank you, I will check more, but let me know if you find any thing out, Thanks again!

Breeding Green Terrors - 03/13/2006 I have a young pair of green terror cichlids. About a week ago they spawned together and the eggs hatched. At this point they dug a hole through the gravel to the under-gravel filter and moved the "wigglers" onto the surface of the under-gravel filter. Obviously, the wigglers were sucked through the filter where the immediately ceased wiggling. I have since removed the under-gravel filter to prevent this in future spawns. I was just wondering how soon I can expect the fish to spawn again. Also, is this problem common with and under-gravel filter? < They will spawn again in a couple of weeks if the conditions are right, maybe sooner. Cichlid aquarists don't use undergravel filters for those exact reasons.-Chuck> Thanks, Dan Breeding Flowerhorns - 1/30/2006 Hi, I've been reading your forum and it has informed me a lot, but still there are some questions that I have to ask. I am trying to breed my flower horn fish. I have a 35 gallon tank that has colored pebbles on the bottom with a 4x2 inch pot in the female side. I know that I have a pair with me right now and I did put them together in the same tank for almost a year now (with no divider), yes they would fight sometimes, some times I see my female getting worked but lately I noticed that the female has a big tummy with the straw sticking out her tummy, she was very red, and I saw the male got worked pretty bad, he lost his tail fins and scales. As a matter of fact he really got weak, so I divided them with a glass divider, now they mind each others business. The female had a big tummy for almost a month now and she lost the straw under her belly I don't see no eggs, but I see a pebble like cocoon that I know it came from her. My question is, how long before she would lay eggs and what is that cocoon like thing that I see on the bottom of the tank? By the way it is color white and is about half an inch looks like a pebble but am sure its not. When can i take out the divider and would the eggs mature even they are separated by a divider? Please I've me more info on hoe to successfully breed my flower horn.. I really need a lot of help, this is my first time to own a fish, any kind of fish. Eriq < To get the fish ready do a 50% water change, and clean the filter. Get the water temp up to 82 F. When you are going to be home for awhile to watch them, pull the tank divider and watch them. If they start to act like a couple then you can leave them alone for awhile. If they are going at it then you will need to separate them and try again later. Don't know what the pebble thing is. Get it out of the tank.-Chuck> Baby Cichlid Fry Won't Stay Alive. 1/30/06 Hi I have a 50 gallon aquarium and I have a 3 male and 4 female cichlids. They are silver with a black stripe. The problem is that when the eggs starts to hatch and then after 2 days they will die. I have had this problem going on for about 10th time now and I tried to separate them in a small aquarium they died then too. I don't know what to do. thanks , < After the eggs are laid they will usually hatch in three days at 80 F. They are born with an egg sack and this feeds the fry for another three days. When the eggs sack is absorbed they need to be fed fine food many times a day or they will quickly starve. Many aquarists hatch out some baby brine shrimp for their fry. Go to fishbase.org and see if you can identify your fish. Some species of cichlids have fry that are too small for baby brine shrimp and require smaller foods.-Chuck>

Breeding Jack Dempseys 1/27/06 I had three Jack Dempseys given to me. Two were 2 inches 1 was 3 inches. The 3" killed one of the 2". so, the small one that was left had babies.....like 100 or so. They are now 4weeks old. Most of them survived. The 2" inch is now latching on to the lips of the 3" jack Dempsey and won't let go unless I separate them. I wanted to know if I could put the 3" in my larger tank 60 gallons, with 2 orange cichlids (4in)and 1 terror (5 in.) and a catfish (8in) and some algae eaters (3and 4 in)? and any tips on the 85 baby jack Dempseys, they always seem to be hungry I have to feed them 3 times a day!! They are still in a tank with the mother, the tank is 10 gallons. (the babies are about 1/4 in to 1 inches they are all different sizes in between) Monica Sandoval < When you move a new fish in with fish that are already established , it is a good idea to rearrange the aquascaping so all the fish are looking for a new territory and not just defending the old ones. Time to move the babies to a tank of their own. This tank is way too crowded with all the babies.-Chuck>

Feeding Jack Dempsey Fry 1/30/06 What should I be feeding the babies and how much? <Jack Dempsey babies are pretty easy to raise. They do well on baby brine shrimp, microworms and finely crushed flake food.> I am setting up a 30 gal tank today to move the babies into a new home, what is really important to have in the new tank to start? <Use Bio-Spira to get the bacteria going on the filter. You have already experienced high nitrogenous waste problems because the fish are already many different sizes. Watch for ammonia and nitrite problems.> I have never had so many survive before. < If you put the adults together you will have another chance in a couple of weeks.-Chuck>

Breeding Convicts 1/26/06 Hi crew. I have two questions? 1) I have a pair of a convicts. A pink male and black female. They are about 3.5inches long. They have spawned about 5-6 times. The LFS keeper says that they won't spawn again as the number of fry has decreased in the last spawn. Is it true? < They will spawn again. It is just a matter of time and conditioning.> I love my convicts and want them to reach the max. size of 6inches. Should I separate the pair and grow them separately as they are 1.5 yr old and have not reached their maximum size? < Your convicts will either put their resources towards reproduction or growing. Separate them and they will grow faster than if you kept them together and they continued to spawn every few weeks.> 2)Will feeding large amount of live brine shrimps to the fry cause gill flukes or any other disease? <No.-Chuck> Any help will be greatly appreciated. thanking you.

Breeding Flowerhorn Cichlids 1/20/06 Greetings! I am Leo Ilagan of the Philippines. I'm a new flower horn hobbyist and I would really appreciate it if you could help me out with some of my questions. First, Is it true that I can breed two flower horns even with a divider between them and a small space beneath it? < Yes, it is possible to breed substrate spawning cichlids using the divider method. This is often done with plastic egg crate type material purchased from a hardware store in 4'x2' sheets.> Second, is it still necessary to put gravel, plants, rocks or any other form of decoration in my tank? < Some aquarists have had better luck using a flower pot or a rock as a focal point for the spawn. It not used they will lay the eggs on the glass and then they cannot be removed and hatched artificially.> Third, I have a flower horn who remains small even after a month and I would like to ask if after separating him from the larger ones, could he still grow to his potential size and form? < Females stay usually smaller than the males. You could also have a "runt" that genetically will not grow to the size of the others.> And last, does chipped skin or scales grow back after being bitten by fellow flower horns? < Usually the scales will grow back but maybe not as nicely patterned as the original scales .-Chuck> Hope you can help me and I'm glad I found your website. Many thanks in advance. Firemouth Female Worn Out After Breeding 12/28/05 Hi, I have a 420 litre freshwater tank with a pair of firemouths and a pair of convicts. Recently the firemouths have bred and the female has been guarding the fry, but she has not been eating. Today I found her lying prostrate on the bottom of the tank, having abandoned the fry, and only taking the occasional swim around the tank. I have moved her into a 170 litre quarantine tank because the convicts were beginning to attack her. The water quality is all fine, but she does appear to have symptoms similar to an intestinal obstruction. I was wondering if it is possible that she may have had an obstruction with the ovipositor when she was laying eggs, possibly leading to an infection? All the other fish are fine and healthy and showing no signs of illness or distress and as I said the water conditions are perfect. I am running a Sacem marathon 1500 canister filter @ 1600l/h and a UV sterilizer and a 2000l/h internal filter. This is also the first time she has bred, could this be a factor in that she was too attentive to her eggs/fry and neglected her own health by not coming out to eat ? Thanks for your help. < Breeding takes it toll on fish , especially the females. You are probably seeing a female that have lost a lot of body weight by laying eggs as well as guarding them to the very end. In her weakened state she may have come down with an internal bacterial infection. Separate her and treat her with Metronidazole. You might try and scatter some blackworms in the tank and get her back some body weight.-Chuck> Red Devil Cichlid Without A Mate 12/26/05 Hello, Great Site! < Thanks, We like it too.> I have a solitary female Red Devil in a 80 gallon tank. She laid a LOT of eggs on her black pipe (her cave). I am curious if laying eggs without a mate present is normal behavior? Will the eggs just sit there forever? Will they eventually come off and get filtered out? She's incredibly aggressive right now, and I'm concerned about how she will be when her eggs don't hatch. < In 24 hrs or less the eggs will fungus or die. They will decompose and be picked up in the filter. Females in good shape will do this even without a male present. After the eggs are gone she will calm down until she does it again. maybe in two weeks.-Chuck>

Cichlids Breeding With Nothing To Show For It 12/22/05 Hello! I hope very much that you may be able to advise me. I have a pair of Central American Cichlids - Fenestratum. I acquired the large, aggressive male fish after he was introduced to a friends established cichlid aquarium and was beaten up by the other fish when he bullied them and they ganged up on him. He spent a few days recovering in an "intensive care" cooler/cool box/esky and then continued his convalescence in the new and huge tank that I bought to accommodate him. I rather enthusiastically bought him a wife, slightly smaller than him at 6 inches ( he is about 8 or 9 inches) When I bought her she was full of eggs and very keen, and almost immediately they laid a small batch of eggs and successfully nurtured them for several weeks, displaying for my delight all the intricacies of cichlid courtship, breeding and parental care behaviour. Eventually the babies started to be threatened by the bored? father and I removed them to a small tank to grow. My problem is this. My adult fish continue to repeatedly lay batches of eggs, but none have been successful hatched since the first "beginners luck" batch. After they have lost/eaten a batch of eggs. He cools off towards her and can injure her or force her into hiding so I keep them separated with a transparent tank divider until they are ready again. It takes them 2-3 weeks before they are "friends" again and 2-3 days to court and lay. Usually about 90% of the eggs in a batch go white and fungus, and a very small proportion will hatch, but I think the fish feel it is wasteful to invest in only 10 or 20 wrigglers and eat them at this point. These fish are and have been the only fish in the tank. They are otherwise completely healthy, with healthy appetites. They seem to do everything right in terms of general and breeding behaviour according to my Central American cichlid books (Konings and Conkel) They have both grown visibly since I have had them. I keep the tank clean and tidy, but not over clean it. I have a good quality established external canister filter running. I feed them a varied diet of 3 different types of cichlid food plus meal worms, and try not to overfeed ( they are always hungry) I keep them at the recommended temperature. In the 4 months that I have had them I have treated them once with an ich remedy and water changed twice since, and given a handful of doses of melafix tea tree remedy for injuries, but otherwise no meds in there. My question is this. Has one of them become infertile, and if so which one and why, and is there anything I can do to improve this? I was utterly delighted when they seemed such perfect fish parents so soon after I got them, and I have been very disappointed that everything has gone downhill since. The original babies are now about 2 inches, and there are very few of them left. I am reluctant to part with them if I will never have any more to enjoy. I am so grateful for your wisdom. < Do a 50% water change, vacuum the gravel and clean the filter. Add carbon to remove any left over medication. I suspect your problem is high nitrates from only doing two water changes in 4 months. Do weekly 25% water changes to control nitrates. The melafix may be affecting the sperm of the male and somehow prevent them from getting to the eggs. Cichlids usually spawn every couple of weeks when the female is ready. Watch them closely when you put them together so he doesn't kill her.-Chuck>

Getting the babies... Convict Cichlids 12/16/05 Hey Bob, nice website you got. I was just wondering, how do you get the babies out of the tank? <Usually just netting them, sometimes they can be siphoned... sometimes removing the parent/s, other livestock instead...> Right now they're in a 40 gallon tank with the parents and another convict. They don't really bother each other, only till they get near each other, that when they start to bug each other. But I did look at the article about convict cichlids, and I read that you have to use an airline tubing to get the babies out of there and into their own tank. Can I use the same tubing I use to clean the tank with? <Yes... but with Convicts, best to remove the parents, leave the young in place till they're larger... dime-sized or bigger> Or do I use airline tubing? And how big does the tank for the fry have to be? Can I use a one and a half gallon? Or do I buy a 5 gallon? <"Bigger"... the better> Well I hope I did not ask to much for just getting the babies out. And your site still rocks!!!!! Sean <Because of folks like ourselves writing back and forth. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Too Much Of A Good Thing, Or Be Careful What You Wish For! 12/5/05 Hello, I wrote in July and announced the hatching of babies for my Severum couple. I have now had 2 batches and still have the nursery of fish in with the parents. I have relocated 75 babies and I am moving the others as possible. I have watched the babies for the last couple of months continuously swim behind the daddy fish. He positions himself nose down a lot of the time in the tank. He can and does swim correctly and eats very well but is noticeably vertical at times. What can this be? < The male is using his ventral fins to signal the fry.> Do you know a good way of getting homes for the approximately 150 other babies? Thanks for the help. Debbie < When the fry are about 1 1/2 inches long you can start to call pet shops and tropical fish stores in your area and see if you can sell or trade some of the fry. They may take some and you can make a couple of bucks out of the deal. Go Aquabid.com and see if you want to sell them over the internet. Their may be a local aquarium society in which you can place some of the fry up for auction at a meeting. Their is a national club called the American Cichlid Association that can be found at cichlid.org. They have a publication they put out called the Trading Post in which members can buy and sell fish. Lots of possibilities. Sometimes these big New World cichlids will produce thousands of fry and take care of a market for the entire country.-Chuck>

Egg Eating Rams Moving to New tank 12/1/05 Hi there and thanks in advance for any help you can provide. I have a 25 gallon freshwater with 1 pleco, 3 gold rams, 1 curviceps cichlid <<Chuck, or anyone else, if you get a chance, would you provide me with the genus and species of this animal? Marina>> <<<Flag cichlid. Used to be Aequidens curviceps, is now Laetacara curviceps .>>> and 2 African butterfly cichlids, 2 plants, a large rock/cave, piece of wood on slate and a small bridge. 2 of the rams have had eggs 4 times thus far and each time the eggs are eaten/disappeared usually when I wake up in the morning and after usually 2 days. The butterfly cichlids I purchased about 4 weeks ago have just laid their second batch of eggs. The first batch had the same fate as the ram eggs. Any idea's of what I can do to try to help them keep the eggs? Should I try an egg light (read that on your site)? < After spawning the fish are exhausted and have expended a lot of energy to spawn and have worked up an appetite. Try to keep them well fed with lots of baby brine shrimp or micro worms. Egg eating is a problem for these species and they can get into a habit of eating eggs that is hard to break. the eggs could be removed and hatched artificially.> I am also purchasing a 55 gallon that I would like to move most of the occupants too, but still keep one of the mated pairs in the old 25 gallon. What is the best way to get the new tank safely cycled and not damage the old tank or kill any of my fish when they get moved? < Take some of the old gravel and place it in the new tank. The bacteria in the old tank are needed to get the bacteria in the new tank going. Add new fish slowly over a week or so. Quarantine any new fish from the store for at least a couple of weeks before adding them to an established tank.> Is it possible to run the new filter for the 55 gallon on the 25 gallon without doing any harm to the fish and using the old 25 gallon filter with the new tank to help the process? Should I move some of the substrate and/or plants, ornaments? < Swapping filters for awhile will not harm anything.> Thank you for any help you can provide, I really appreciate it. Your site is a great resource, thanks for all the time and work you all put into it. Troy < Thanks for your kind words.-Chuck>

Breeding Apistogramma cacatoides 12/1/05 I have a 20G tank with 3 females and 1 male. It is planted, ph is around 6.2. Water hardness is around 4 kh. There are also 6 Flame tetras in the tank. I have tried but cannot get the Apisto's to breed. Also the temp is around 76f and they are fed a variety of frozen foods (Bloodworms, Brine Shrimp, White Mosquito Larvae). I also use a Hagen CO2 system and nitrates run around 10 to 15 ppm. Is there anything else that might encourage them ? Thanks Dean Smith < Raise the water temp to 80 F. Provide numerous small caves at scattered locations throughout the bottom of the tank. These little cave spawners spawn in rolled up dead leaves in the wild. When they spawn the female will turn bright yellow and be guarding the area.-Chuck>

White Worms With Baby Fish 12/1/05 Hi, I am currently breeding Ps. demasoni. Tonight, when I stripped the female of her fry (still with egg pouch attached), into a small, plastic breeding container, what I noticed with the babies was tons of these little white worms. They obviously came out of the mothers mouth with the babies. My question is, is this a parasite, and if so, will it hurt the babies or other fish, and should I expect this parasite to be in my tanks, i.e., in my other fish as well? What do I do? < This is not normal. I am guessing that these may be gill flukes. Treat with Fluke-Tabs. This will get rid of any invertebrates in the tank.-Chuck>

Fluke-Tabs With Fry 12/2/05 Really cool. Thanks. I'll try that. But will fluke tabs hurt my babies? They still have the egg pouch. <I have not heard of any problems with fry, but to be safe you could put the fry in another container while you treat the main tank.-Chuck>

Convicts and Genetics - 10/30/2005 I have 3 breeding pairs of black convict cichlids, two of which have babies at the moment. My smallest pair have their babies right in the front of the tank (babies are 3-4 weeks old) and I've noticed that maybe 10 of the babies seem to be pink. The other couple has all black babies and most of the pair in fronts babies have the beginnings of black lines too. This is their first brood so I don't have any past experience to draw on. I'm wondering; is it possible to get naturally occurring pinks? <Mm, by "naturally occurring" if you mean an original natural mutation, not highly likely.> I was told in order to get pinks I'd need one parent to be pink and that the brood would hatch equal parts each color. <Mm, actually, I believe this "pink" trait is recessive.... Basically, your pair that has some pink offspring are both heterozygous for this trait - they carry the gene for the color, but do not exhibit it. Thus, roughly 25% of their offspring will exhibit that trait. 25% of them will be homozygous for the black trait and not carry the pink trait. 50% of them will carry the trait but not show it. A pair consisting of one pink fish and one heterozygous black fish would have 50% heterozygous fry that carry the trait but do not exhibit it, and 50% pink fry. A pair consisting of one pink fish and one fish homozygous for the black gene would have all fry heterozygous for the trait - they'd all carry the pink gene, but none would show it.> I have found TONS of info on convict breeding, but nothing on natural albinos or how the gene begins. I'd love to hear your thoughts and I'd be happy to send pictures once they get a little bigger. -Anna <Sounds like you're having great success with them. Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

Moving Jack Dempsey Fry 10/13/05 I have a question. I currently have 2 Jack Dempseys who have recently bred. The spawn is about a week old now and are growing pretty well . They are in a 29 gallon right now they get flake food 2 times a day and blood worms once a day. Is there anything else I should be feeding them ? < The fry should get some baby brine and micro worms.> Not only that but they are still in a tank with their parents who are first time breeders will they be ok or should they be moved. < Move them soon or they will be eaten.> I'm a little concerned with moving them so if it is a wise idea I was thinking of moving the parents but I don't want to disturb their breeding grounds either what is the best suggestions for this? < Siphon the fry out into a bucket with airline tubing with water from the original tank.-Chuck>

Convict Basics 10/6/05 I have tried to find book on how to breed convict cichlids, I am not a beginner on aquariums, however I want to expand and start breeding tropical freshwater fish! I want to find a book containing atmosphere, tank size, temperatures, "decorations", and basically all I need to know on breeding these "Tank Criminals", if you could help in any way please email me back with some response, thank you very much for you time. < To breed convicts you need a pair. Males are larger than females with longer fins. Females often have a orange patch on the belly area. When they are about 2 inches you can feed them very well on some live or frozen food. Do big 50% water changes. Keep the water around 80 to 82 F. This will get them to spawn. The eggs hatch in three days and the fry become free swimming in another three. At this stage they need to be fed baby brine shrimp, micro worms, and crushed flake food. They should separated from the parents at this stage. Good luck.-Chuck.> Reed

Strange Convict Breeding Behaviour 9/20/05 Hi, thanks for reading my post. I have a female convict that has been with 3 males over the past 2 months but nothing has ever happened after they each pair up, dig a site, and presumingly after they lay and fertilize eggs. Since I doubt there is anything wrong with the 3 males. IS IT POSSIBLE THAT THE FEMALE IS DROPPING FLAWED EGGS? Currently, the poor male spends his entire waking hours with eyes glued on the eggs, as if the eggs are going to hatch any second. But it's been 8-10 days now. Also, the female has now started to engage in some "two-timing" by getting very friendly with her "Original" male mate. CAN SOMEONE COMMENT ON THIS SITUATION? Sabrina? Thank You so much. Tony < Males are usually larger than the females and have longer fins. Most females have an orange patch on the belly areas. At 82 F the eggs should hatch in three days. Do a 50% water change, vacuum the gravel and clean the filter. Pick one male and leave her with the female. Feed them heavily with black worms or small washed earthworms. After they spawn the eggs should hatch in three days. Unfertilized eggs turn white and soon fungus. The newly hatched fish resemble a small wiggling mass for an additional three days. After that they absorb their egg sac and become free swimming and require small food like newly hatched brine shrimp. If you don't get any fry with this male then swap him out for another after a couple of attempts. I suspect that the males are so busy fighting over the female that none of them has the time to fertilize the eggs.-Chuck> Convict Breeding Question - II - 09/16/2005 Since I'm retired, about all I do all day is take part in this interesting hobby. <Sabrina here, in Bob's stead, and envious of your use of time! Wish I could do that.> 14-16 inches of (cichlid) fish in a 39 gallon tank doesn't seem like a lot. <A mating pair can terrorize and even kill the other fish. Even if none pair up to spawn, these guys will really peat each other up.> I have a carrying Yellow lab in my only extra tank so I would have to buy another convict breeding tank. But like I said, it's a pretty peaceful environment with the other convicts rarely venturing 3/4 the way across the tank. But since convicts don't have "egg spots" like their African cousins, if you could just tell me how the fertilization process is accomplished, I'd surely appreciate it. <These are not mouthbrooders, hence no egg spots. The female will lay part of the clutch, and the male will fertilize.... they usually will spawn in a cave, under an overhang, or in a pit if no other suitable structure is available. If a pair successfully spawns in this tank, the remaining fish are likely to be quite damaged. I'm not confidant that a pair can/will spawn, however, with the increased stress of having so many conspecifics about. Keep in mind, a single pair's territory in the wild can consist of several square feet of surface area.... Pack them in like this, and they're not going to behave naturally.> Thanks Again !! <Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

Cichlid Fry Flying Away 7/26/05 Hello, Unbeknownst to me, my black convict and tiger cichlids have reproduced in my 55 gallon tank. I have never experienced this joy, and have some questions/concerns. I observed the wrigglers swim to the top, but they proceeded to morph into insects (white in color, six legs, obviously, and a pair of wings) at the surface. I have been feeding frozen bloodworms, and wonder if that may be an explanation, i.e. could it be larvae from the worms?? < Cichlid fry don't change species and turn into insects. It is probably the worms or mosquitoes.> I noticed the eggs yesterday and they happened to hatch today, so the tankmates have all been moved, save for my 4-inch Pleco. I do know, however, that this is the first spawning attempt, and am curious as to what the process is as a whole. In other words, after the eggs hatch, how will the fry look ( not concerned about coloring/patterns, but more so the shape and size, primarily)? Should I move the "fry" to a tank of their own if I find one that doesn't morph? Is it normal for the fry to change in such a way (I assume the answer is, "NO," but again, I have never seen such a process in action)? < New World cichlids like your are substrate spawners and lay their eggs on hard surface. If the eggs are fertile they usually hatch in three days at around 80 F. After 3 days the wriggles become free swimming and need to be fed baby brine shrimp or crushed flake food. The fry should be removed from the parents within the next week so the parents don't eat them.> Please understand that I am new to this, and my philosophy is the only stupid question is the one not asked. I have read your forum thoroughly, and really appreciate the knowledge contained within; I did not find the answers I was seeking and opted to e-mail to see what the heck is going on in that tank of mine. Thanks in advance for any info you can provide. Helen Graf-Blough < I am surprised that the cichlids don't eat the insect larva. Use fluke-tabs to get rid of them in the aquarium.-Chuck> Green Terror Fry 7.24.05 We had a great group of little green terrors about 2 weeks old. The dad guarded them from the beginning. We removed Mom and let dad take over. Once the fry were able to swim around, the Dad ate them, all of them. Is this normal? It was the first set the mom and dad had. Any idea how long it will be before they mate again? Any help would greatly be appreciated. Thanks! Dana <It happens. I have a pair of angels that like to take care of their eggs for about a week then eat them. I'm convinced they are just raising them until the are ripe enough to eat. Your terrors will most likely breed again in the next few months, just provide warm clean water and they should take care of the rest. I would try leaving both parents to raise the young this time and see if you have more success. -Gage>

Re: green terror fry - dad ate them :( 7/29/05 Thanks a great deal. I spent the day frustrated yesterday, felt like going fishing but decided against it and just traveled north up 95. I had to leave or the daddy green terror was fixing to become filleted Oscar treats. We bought a tank back in January to break the monotony of the house and office. Now we have 4 tanks running and just bought another one yesterday. We have an Arowana that outgrew his first tank fairly quickly. <I see> Hopefully the Terrors will breed again. <Almost undoubtedly> They were my favorite from the beginning and we have 3 alone in one tank. The two bigger ones, male and female are of a lighter colored breed, and the smaller one, the actual dad is blue and more colorful. It would of been interesting to see the babies and what color they would of been. <Likely a mix of all types> It's a flip of the coin on leaving mom and dad next time. I think once they can swim, they're going about life on their own. Is this an ok move? <Yes, one approach> I'd hate to let an Oscar go in that tank if they eat the babies again. If I did want to get mean, I do have a 4 inch black convict that could teach them all a lesson. Thanks for the input! Dana fishchairs.com <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Jaguar Cichlid and Jack Dempsey? 7/11/05 Hello, <Hi there> I have a 55 gallon tank that currently holds one 5" Raphael Catfish, one 2" Red Devil, one 5" Plecostomus, one 4" Jack Dempsey, one 3 3/4" Jaguar, and one 6" Oscar. In this tank I have a fake log which has many hidey-holes. <You are going to need a much larger system... soon> My Jack Dempsey has been trapping the Jaguar in one of these holes. The Jaguar puts no resistance to the Jack at all, and when (if) the Jack goes out of the hole the Jaguar stays. Though I have seen the Jack 'peck' the Jaguar for no apparent reason when in the hole. Is this normal? <Yes> Or could the Jack have a fancy for the Jaguar? <Likely not> Why would the Jaguar put up with it if it is not normal? <To avoid damage> And is it at all possible for them to mate? (I am pretty sure that the Jaguar is a female and the Jack Dempsey a male) <Possible to cross, but at their sizes... this is simple aggression. Bob Fenner> Christine

Breeding Dempseys in a Mixed Tank We have three Jack Dempsey's in a 55 gallon tank, two are breeding together and the female has laid eggs three times now. My question is how to keep the eggs alive? The night before the eggs should hatch, I look in the tank the next morning and all the eggs are gone. Also in the tank are two Angelfish and a sucker fish and they stay away from the eggs because they are well guarded by the parents. So I do not think that they are being eaten by the other fish. Thank you, Chris <If that Sucker Fish is a Pleco, he's eating the eggs at night while the parents are asleep. It's also possible that they are hatching and being eaten by the adults. They will take there own young if they feel some other fish will get them. Better for them to recycle the protein than loose it to others. The way of nature. I strongly recommend that you get this pair their own tank. They will (not may) kill the others in the tank at some point. Your Angelfish are very lucky to be alive right now. Don> Texas/Convict Cross Interracial dating??? Hi, I have a 30 gal aquarium with one Texas (about 4"), two convicts (about 2"), and one Koi (about 5"). I recently noticed one of them has spawned inside a tipped over pot I put in there as 'territory'. I watched for a while, and to my amazement realized it was the Texas cichlid who laid the eggs and the convict (who is about half the Texas' size) who was in there with her, fertilizing. They both take turns guarding the nest and do so aggressively. Has anyone run into this before??? < Yes, it happens all the time.> Now I know they prooooobably are NOT going to successfully breed (LOL), but what's the deal??? < Fish have a need to reproduce. When the proper mate is not available they choose the next best thing.> Do they often form weird, cross-species pair bonds like that... or do I just have some seriously crazy fish? < This normally does not happen when both sexes of the same species are present.> And with Texas Cichlids forming pair bonds, will I be able to intro a male Texas (later, in a larger tank, of course) and will they realize and form their own pair bond? < If a male Texas is introduced it will probably pair up with the correct female. The sooner the better.> Will she dump her little felon man for a hearty Texan???? < Hopefully and probably.> Will her ex con try to murder her by slipping rat poison in her drink???? lol, OK, just going a little Soap Opera here... ; ) But seriously.... Can someone help me out with my weird fish? Kim < Get the proper sexes to pair your fish up and hopefully nature will take care of itself.-Chuck>

Will my Jack Dempsey always eat her fry? My Jack Dempsey's just had their first spawning. She fanned, she hidden them and then when you could see them wiggling around she ate them. Will she always eat her fry? Debbie Borolov <Mmm, no, unlikely. Often the first batch or two of New World cichlids go this route... eaten that is... with the parents "learning" as successive broods come along. Bob Fenner>

Crossing Cichlids I just wanted to know if its possible for a red devil and a convict to breed? < There are many cases of different Central American cichlids hybridizing with one another.-Chuck>

Sexing Cichlids I know this is an odd question and many expect you to know how, but how do you vent a fish? I hear that you have to hold the fish, but wouldn't that take off the protective slime on their body? How do you know if the fish is a female or male if you do not have the opposite to compare 'results' with? < Venting cichlids is an easy and reliable way of sexing many cichlids. I catch the fish in a net take them out of the water under strong like and simply look at the area on the belly between the pelvic fins and the anal fin. There you should see two openings. One opening is where the fish waste comes out. The other is a sex organ where the eggs or sperm is released during spawning. In females that opening is larger for eggs . In males it is usually the same size as the waste opening. Fish with large eggs such as Tropheus are very easy to sex this way. Fish with small eggs like Uaru are still difficult to tell.-Chuck>

Sexing Cichlids I'm sorry, but I forgot to add my other question, I guess I forgot when typing the first question, but I was wondering how or if you can sex cichlids early, like around 4 months old, because I cannot figure if my Jack Dempsey is Male or Female same with my Oscar. < In general males are larger with longer unpaired fins. Female jacks tend to have a very blue lower jaw and not many blue spangles on the body. Oscars are very difficult until they get larger. Look underneath at their ventral area. The female will have two openings of the same size. Males should have one opening larger than the other.-Chuck>

Flowerhorns Mating Greetings, Well, I've got a cichlid which I called Canon. After that, I've got a flower horn who is Dranzer. I put them in the same tank, a ten gallon tank with a divider in it. A couple of days later, I found some eggs on Canon's part. I didn't mind it because it might not hatch. But three days later, it was filled with white fungus and was swept away. Another days later she laid eggs but the eggs were also filled with fungus. How can I keep fungus away? < The fungus is usually the result of infertile eggs.> Can a Flowerhorn and a cichlid mate? < A Flowerhorn is a man made cichlid that is a hybrid between three different species. It is possible it could breed with another Central American cichlid.> How can my Flowerhorn get good colors and a protruding head? < With good nutrition an good water quality you can get some pretty good results as long as the fish has the genes for those traits you desire.> How can I breed fishes? < Breeding cichlids is actually pretty easy. Make sure you have a pair and set them up with warm clean water. They will usually do the rest and even raise the fry.-Chuck> Hope for your reply, Nikki

Egg Laying Parrot cichlids How long from laying of the eggs until hatching? < At 80 degrees F the eggs will hatch into wrigglers. In another three days the wrigglers will become free swimming and need to be feed baby brine shrimp and finely crushed flake food.-Chuck>

Re: Snails and Planted Tanks Hi Mr. Fenner, Sorry to bother you, but here is a short and last one on that topic. Forgot to ask in the last mail. Are a Pomacea bridgesi and a Malayan trumpet snail going to be a danger for the eggs of my dwarf cichlids (ramirezi and Apistogramma cacatuoides)? And for discus eggs (not there yet, but might happen eventually)? Many thanks! Dominique <Likely not... these small and large cichlids are quite protective and aware of such possible predators and should keep them at bay should they approach their spawn. I have seen and kept them altogether. Bob Fenner> MAKING A NEW APISTOGRAMMA I would like to breed a few different color varieties of Apistogramma species together. Do you think I could cross-breed with them an Apistogramma trifasciata, they look almost identical! The reason I ask this is because I know some people do not approve of cross-breeding different species. <With close to 100+ species of Apistogramma already I am not sure what kind of fish you want to end up with. You could line breed certain species and develop new colors. There are already double and triple red cacatuoides and agassizii. These are being mass produced in Asia. I have never heard of a hybrid between two different Apistogramma species but I suppose it is possible. Check with Neil at Apistogramma.com.-Chuck>

PARROT CICHLID EGGS In one of my tanks, I have a pair of Parrot Cichlids who have laid eggs and I cannot find anywhere as to how long before the fry hatch. < At 80 degrees F the eggs should hatch in three days. In another three days the fry should become free swimming and will need to be fed baby brine shrimp or crushed flake food.-Chuck>

CICHLID CROSS I have a jaguar and a Jack Dempsey. They appear to be a breeding pair. < It could happen.> Has this happened before? < I am sure it has.> They are both about 4" and appeared to have laid eggs before which all disappeared before morning (gotten eaten?). A few weeks later, there were hundreds of eggs again on the back of a rock. A few white but mostly clear. The female Jag appears to be very aggressive towards the Jack, chasing him away. I have only seen them together peacefully on a few occasions but always away from the eggs. Today is day 2. How do I know if the eggs have been fertilized and is there anything I need to do to facilitate that if they have not been? < You can remove the eggs and hatch them artificially to see if they are any good. The white eggs are dead and the clear ones are still good. In a 5 gallon aquarium you can fill it with water from the main tank. Remove the stone or rock the eggs are laid on and place it in the 5 gallon tank. Keep the water at 80 degrees with an airstone close to the eggs to provide circulation. Add some Methylene blue to the water too. The eggs should hatch in three days. the fry turn into a mass of jelly as they absorb their egg sac. Three days later the fry are free swimming and they need to be fed baby brine shrimp and crushed flake food.> I can't even come near the glass without the jag getting aggressive. They are in a 125 gallon tank with 2 algae eaters and a pike which is also still small and almost never comes out. Any suggestions? <The pair will continue to guard the fry and eggs like all cichlids do to some extent. It may be better to remove the pike to save him.-Chuck>

BABY CONVICTS Hi, I have a pair of Convicts they spawned and now I have about 100 little guys swimming around. right now there in a 10 gallon, and yes I know that the tank is to small for them I just wanted them to grow more before I put them in my 30 gallon. My question was when do I take the babies out? As far as I can tell they haven't started to pick them off yet, so are they fine for now or do I need them out ASAP? Thanks - Halisha <They can actually be taken out at any time. If they are free swimming then siphon them out with some airline tubing and feed them baby brine shrimp. After about two weeks the parents get ready to spawn again and will eat the fry.-Chuck>

FIREMOUTH EGGS Our Firemouth cichlid eggs have turned white and have been placed in a breeder net. How long before they hatch? <Unfortunately white eggs are bad or unfertilized and will not hatch. Normally cichlid eggs hatch in about 3 days at 80 degrees. They then turn into wigglers for another three days. When they become free swimming they need to be fed baby brine shrimp and crushed flake food.-Chuck>

MOVING MATED CONVICTS Hi guys. First off, I just wanted to say again that you guys are awesome. I have a pair of convicts that just began breeding - about 2 week old fry right now, and it looks like they're guarding some more eggs. The tank they are in was intended for an Oscar (he is in there with them now)... it was supposed to be a temporary home for the convicts and then they would be moved to their own tank - but they were too quick for me. I have 2 questions... 1 - Can I move them safely to the other tank, without disrupting the fact that they have started breeding? (I'm pretty sure that since they are already breeding, they will continue to, but just want to be sure) < Move the pair to one tank and then move the fry or eggs to another tank of their own if you want to save them.> 2 - The "nest" they have set up is inside the hollow leg of a somewhat large tank decoration. Should I be moving this decoration with them? Or will the decorations/hiding places in their new tank be ok? (I would like to keep the one they are using in the current tank, but will move it if necessary) < Convicts are pretty adaptable and will soon find another suitable ornament or rock to spawn on.-Chuck>

How to breed Flowerhorns Hello! I have a pair of flower horns. When I put them in the same tank, it seems that they are mating coz each of them are flaring to each other. After a day or two, I saw the eggs on the hatchery. However, after laying eggs, I noticed that my pets are now fighting? Which should I leave in the hatchery, the male or the female? For how long should I place one of them on the tank where the eggs were laid? Please help on this matter. I've been experimenting 4x already and up to now, I can't them to hatch their eggs. Hoping for your immediate response. Thanks! Dale Dwayne < Flower horns are a man made fish that have been developed to show certain traits that are favorable to the Asian culture. If you want to save the eggs then they can be taken away from the parents and hatched artificially. Fill a 5 gallon tank with the same tank water that the parents are in. Remove the rock or stone with the eggs and place them in the 5 gallon tank with an airstone to provide aeration and current. Put a few drops of Methylene blue in the water to inhibit any fungus growth. Keep the water at 80 degrees. In three days the eggs will hatch and they will turn into a little wiggly mass of fry. At the end of three days the fry will have absorbed their egg sack and they will become free swimming. At this time they can be fed newly hatched brine shrimp and finely crushed flake food. If after a few attempts all the eggs die (Turn white) you either have two females or an infertility problem.-Chuck>

Cichlid lovefest Dear crew. I'm not new at fish (cichlids) but I need help with my fish. I'm keeping many cichlids in my 250 gallon. 3.red devils, 6.adult convicts, 4.firemouths, 7.flowerhorns, 3.parrot cichlids 5.pacus 2.oscars most of them are not very small but can handle the convicts and Flowerhorns but soon my adult pink convict started to think she's going to breed with one of the red devil who is the rulers of my tank! My pink convict started to flare at the red devil and simply don't pay attention to her! Then she started digging at a corner and the red devil seems to help! But they are not even guarding the spot they are digging! Is this just for fun or are they really going to have babies?? -Sean < Your female white convict looks like she is getting ready to breed with your red devil. They both come from central America and have similar breeding techniques. They have been crossed before with viable fry. Typically they are not very attractive.-Chuck>

Mixing cichlid species repro. so your saying that my two fishies are not going to breed!!! < It is possible and probable that your convict would indeed cross breed with your male red devil. Unfortunately this has been done before but the fry have not been very attractive or commercially desirable.> That stinks!! Should I get 2 or 3 male adult black because all my other convicts are all females and I want to get black to see what a black and pink breed together! < If you get a black male convict and breed it with a pink or white female convict you will get a percentage being like the mother and the rest will be black like the father.> so I can stop the flaring madness!! the female pink convict almost got hurt of the flaring!! so I just took it out and I put it in a separate tank. no one else bred in my tank!! -Sean < If you get a male then I think you will enjoy the courtship that central American cichlids go through prior to spawning as well as the spawning itself.-Chuck>

Single Cichlid with Eggs! Dear Crew, <Nicole> Thanks for the advice. We covered the front of her tank over the weekend and by Monday morning she had (I assume) eaten the eggs. <Happens> She was still a little more aggressive than normal, but she's slowly calming down. Managed to get a good scrubbing and vacuum in without getting bit, though it took some wrangling. She's big enough to do some damage. I'm glad to hear that she did this because she's healthy and not because there's something wrong. Thanks again for the help. -Nicole <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Gold Severums have laid eggs!!! After removing the 7 inch Bala shark and spotted African Cichlid and turning up the heat to 82-84 degrees on the 29 ga tank, the female finally deposited hundreds of eggs on the wall of the clay pot. Yesterday, the eggs were clear/opaque and today they are all white. My assumption is that the male has fertilized almost all of the eggs. I am observing that the male is maintaining guard over the entrance of the clay pot and keeps the female away every time she come near the eggs. Is this normal behavior or should I separate the fish or removed all together? Do I have to do frequent water changes? Are the eggs safe from the parents? How long until the eggs hatch into fry? Are the fry safe? Please make any recommendations, I appreciate your advice. < The eggs should hatch in three days. The whitish color is an indication that the eggs may have all died. If they hatch the fry should be free swimming in about three days. At that time they should be fed baby brine shrimp and finely crushed flake food. They should be removed from the parents into their own tank in about a week. The parents will spawn again within a couple of weeks.-Chuck> JohnB

Gold Severums have laid eggs!!! Bob's go After removing the 7 inch Bala shark and spotted African Cichlid and turning up the heat to 82-84 degrees on the 29 ga tank, the female finally deposited hundreds of eggs on the wall of the clay pot. <Neat!> Yesterday, the eggs were clear/opaque and today they are all white. <Ohhh... fungused> My assumption is that the male has fertilized almost all of the eggs. <Mmm, maybe... not... could be you have two females... or even that the male is sterile or did not participate> I am observing that the male is maintaining guard over the entrance of the clay pot and keeps the female away every time she come near the eggs. Is this normal behavior or should I separate the fish or removed all together? <Not too abnormal... but... trouble for you and them being in this small a container... need at least a forty, better a sixty gallon tank or larger... too stressful, problems if one beats the other...> Do I have to do frequent water changes? Are the eggs safe from the parents? How long until the eggs hatch into fry? <They won't... they're not viable...> Are the fry safe? Please make any recommendations, I appreciate your advice. JohnB <John... you need more information than can be gleaned from simply asking here... do read through what little we have on all cichlids posted here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwlivestkindex.htm and consider getting a good book or two on cichlid husbandry... you can search these on Amazon, Barnes and Noble... Bob Fenner>

Convicts breeding & whatch you gonna do? I have a 55 gallon tank. There is a pleco, two clown knives, <What? This fish gets about the length of this tank... four feet... in the wild http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?ID=2078&genusname=Chitala&speciesname=chitala> 2 tiger barbs, 4 giant danios, and 3 zebra danios along with two female convicts, and a pair of convicts. <What a mix!> The pair's eggs hatched out on Christmas day. They have been doing really great, there were 130 eggs or so, and there ended up being about 30 fry born. So after they have guarded these babies well, and they have not been too rough on the other fish because they stay on one side of the tank and my knives on the other. <Eventually the Knives will eat all these other fishes> They don't even pay attention to the other fish at all because they are not really too much of a threat to them I guess. Anyway, to make a long story short here, there have been quite a few fry that have disappeared. I know it is bound to happen and am not to worried about that. However, the daddy fish has decided to kick out the mommy fish. He won't let the mommy near the babies anymore at all. <Happens> And instead of them being black and white. Especially the male, he is dark black and dark grey striped. <Good description> He doesn't like the other two females either. Why in the world is he doing this? <Uhh, because he can? Likely a behavior that has survival value eh? Maybe he would mate with another female next time/s... a mix of genes, mates would benefit the species through space and time> Is it because the babies are not all there? <Maybe... it is possible he "blames" the female> And should I remove him from the tank for a few days so that mommy can take over watching over the fry again or just leave them the way they are? thank you for your input I really do appreciate it. <Depends on what you want to do... become a breeder/supplier of convict cichlids? In this size system (w/o the Knives... you should trade them in, otherwise move them to other quarters), your convicts should continue to spawn, the young be mostly consumed... You can separate the eggs, raise elsewhere, take the fishes out... Bob Fenner> Firemouths, Convicts and Cichlasoma nicaraguense I have a pair of nicaraguense that seemed to have paired off... male and female, just in the last 2 weeks or so. In addition, in a "territory" of the tank real close to them, I have a Convict and a Firemouth that seem real close to each other... fight battles together, always hang together etc. and have been like that for a month or two. Well, today I noticed TONS of babies. The Firemouth and Convict are caring for them. Did they cross breed, or are they taking care of the nicaraguense babies? < The probably crossed.> Is that even possible that the Nicaraguense would lay eggs and allow others to care for them? < No, other fish would eat the baby nicaraguense.> Is it ok to have Firemouth and Convict crossbreeding if that is what is going on? < Not really. They turn into mutts and usually are not very attractive aquarium fish.> I have decided to let nature take it's course in the tank, and either the babies will survive, or they wont. There are plenty of other fish in the tank that would more than love to have a fry snack, but so far the Firemouth and Convict will not let anyone close. Any idea what's going on in there? <Cichlids in general will guard their eggs and fry for a couple of weeks until they get ready to spawn again. This is what makes cichlids great aquarium fish.-Chuck> Not breeding Convict cichlids Hello, I have 3 convicts, 1 baby jack Dempsey, and 1 blood parrot in my tank I have 6 caves a clay flowerpot and a piece of drift wood. my question is why wont my convicts lay eggs, I know that 2 out of the 3 convicts are females I'm not sure about the other one , (I'm pretty sure she's a female too). My other question is, does there have to be a male convict in the tank for the female to lay eggs. please help, I want to breed my fish very badly and I am trying very hard, thank you. < Convicts are usually very easy to sex. The males are larger and have longer fins. The females usually have yellow or orange on the belly region. Try feeding some live food for a week and raise the water temp to 80 degrees F. Do a large water change and service the filter too. You see some results in a week or so.-Chuck> from your fellow fish enthusiast, Jeeves S.

Breeding convict cichlids continued thank you, for your help, I determined that I indeed have 3 females, I have one additional question, does there need to be a male in the tank for the females to lay eggs . and when I got to the pet store the convicts they have are too small and under developed for me to sex. how can I find a male when the fish are so under developed < Females indeed can lay unfertilized eggs without a male being present. You can only go by external sexual dimorphism. Generally the largest fish in the group will be a male.-Chuck> Jeeves S.

Convict fry disappearing Dear WWM crew, I have a 65 gallon freshwater tank with a pair of Texas cichlids, Firemouths and a breeding pair of convicts. The convicts laid eggs that hatched about two weeks ago. At first, there seemed to be nearly 50-75 fry free-swimming. and now, two weeks later there seems to be less than twenty. I don't think that the other fish are eating them because the parents protect them like nobody's business. Could the parents be eating them and what should I do about the remainder of fry? < After 2 weeks the parents are probably getting ready to spawn again. The female is probably picking off a few a day as she regains her strength to prepare to spawn again. I would siphon out the remaining fry soon as they will be eaten by the parents shortly.-Chuck> Sincerely, Fish Fry Guy.

Baby Flowerhorn/red rose fish Hello, My Flowerhorn and red rose bred for the 2nd time and the eggs hatched 1 Dec. I removed the parents cause the 1st time they ate the babies the same day a few hours later. What should I feed them? < They will become free swimming in a few days depending on the water temp. At that time they can be fed baby brine shrimp and finely crushed flake food.> And the best way in a 55 gal tank. < When the fry become free swimming they will gather into a little school. The fry food can be dropped over them. they will feed as the food slowly drops down around them.-Chuck> Today I gave them a little red Tubifex worms. Thanks, Leo

Convict Breeding Hey, First off, I want to say that you guys are the best! Thanks for taking the time to share your expertise with the rest of us! I have a pair of Black Convicts who seem to want to mate, but I haven't seen any results. The male is about 2-2.5" and the female is about 1.5". I have read about their behaviors when they are pairing off and preparing to mate - and they have done everything I have read, but nothing seems to be happening. During the pairing off, they sort of took turns chasing each other around - testing each other's strength, I guess. After that, they seemed to claim their territory in the tank (but they are alone in the tank). They then dug out several spots in the gravel, assumably to use for the fry's hiding spots. Then the female tended to stay in her hiding spot - which unfortunately I can't see into - the majority of the time while the male patrolled just outside (and got extremely territorial when I came near the tank). A few days later, they both began swimming around as normal again with no offspring. After about a week, it seems as though they are doing this same thing again. Do you think they are trying, but are just being unsuccessful their first few times (which I know is common). Or does their behavior indicate something else? < They probably spawned but ate the eggs.> Is there anything I can do to help them? < Clean the filter and do a 30% water change. Get the water temp up to 80 degrees F. Feed some live food like live brine shrimp, black worms , small earth worms and high quality pellets. The following week do a 50% water change and raise the water temp to 82 degrees F.> I have read that things such as slowly increasing the temp (up to 80 or so), feeding bloodworms, etc. can influence them and I have tried these things. Any other suggestions? < Convicts are fairly easy to spawn. You have a new young pair that will better with practice. They will try again very soon.-Chuck> Thanks, Brian I need to know how to breed red x red cichlids? If you don't know please give me a link. < Depends on what red cichlids you want to breed. Red devils are substrate spawning cichlids from Central America. They get about 10" + with the male being larger and having longer fins that the female. It is best to pick out six young fish and letting them pair up on their own as they grow. The pair will form a pair bond and then clean off an area and lay adhesive eggs on the surface. At 80 F the eggs will hatch and then three days later the fry will become free swimming and need to be fed baby brine shrimp and crushed flake food. If you are trying to breed Red Zebras from Lake Malawi then that will be entirely different. Red Zebras are herbivores that require lots of algae in their diet. The male will establish a territory and then try to attract a gravid female to the site to breed. The female will lay non-adhesive eggs in the pit and then pick them up in her mouth. The male will then fertilize them and the female will be chased away and he will try to attract a new female to the site. This mouthbrooding technique is very common in cichlids from this area. After a couple of weeks the female will release the fry in a safe area of the tank. She could be removed to another tank to release the fry too.-Chuck>

Cichlid fry behavior Thanks in advance for giving me your opinion. My name is Diane Scott. I am writing about my 20 gallon freshwater tank in which I have 5 cichlids (all about 1-1/2 inches in length and babies of my very healthy guys in a 55 gallon tank elsewhere). I'm thinking something is very strange in this tank because for the 6 months or so that I've had it set up, these fish (1) hide behind rocks all the time and look freaked out; (2) rather than swim, they lunge here and there to grab food but otherwise stay hidden; and (3) the area between their eyes and to the tops of their heads is turning brown! I have had fish for a few years and have never seen anything so unusual. These guys seem absolutely miserable and I have no idea why. I have an undergravel filter and two powerheads I bought on EBay and a heater than I used previously without a problem. Maybe there's a voltage leak in the tank? Heck I don't know. Please tell me what you think and how to remedy the problem. You're the best...thanks! < All cichlids are not alike. Fry usually hide to survive from predators. They can develop stress coloration and markings to blend in to the rocks. I would recommend some dither fish to give the tank some activity and make the timid fry more comfortable to their surroundings. Try adding a few barbs or rainbow fish to the tank and see if your cichlids notice the new fish. In a few days I am confidant that the cichlids will be out and about.-Chuck>

Flowerhorn Hello, I have a male Flowerhorn and female Rose flower that mated and laid eggs. The Rose is swimming across the eggs in a rubbing motion while the Flowerhorn approaches periodically. Which eggs are fertile the white or clear and how long will it take for the eggs to hatch? < The clear eggs are fertile and the white ons are dead and need to be removed by the female before they fungus up and destroy the rest of the eggs. They should hatch in three days at 80 degrees. Three days later the fry will become free swimming after absorbing their egg sac. At this time they need to be fed baby brine shrimp and crushed flake food.-Chuck.> Thanks, Leo

Cichlid question Hello, I have a tank with six cichlids, a Dempsey, African blue and two black convicts (male & female- 3 years old) adults and 2 black convicts (2 months old). The older female convict had babies two weeks ago and was a very dark black. In the last two days he color returned back to a lighter gray like she was before the babies and everything seemed fine. I came home tonight to find her gasping with both sides of her body white, missing scales and eyes glazed over. I have been checking various websites and the only thing I have found is may be ich or some type of fungus but I'm really not sure its ich since she didn't have any spots last night and even today there were no spots on her tails or fins. I'm concerned for the other fish in the tank, any idea of what this is and what I need to so to not lose any of the other fish? Any assistance is appreciated. < Sounds like the male convict decided to spawn again but she was not ready and he beat her up. I recommend separating her from the others until she recovers. Watch for fungus infections and keep the water clean. Try treating the water with a water conditioner that adds a protective slime on the body.-Chuck> Thanks Anita

Flowerhorn pair behavior Respected sir/ madam, I recently brought a pair of flower horns from a local dealer (a male and female), male slightly bigger than the female (the male is about 8-10 cm long, the female 5-6cm long). Now I see the male attacking the female and the female has some scars on her body. should I now remove the female or is this a temporary action by the male. Hope to get a reply soon. < Remove her to another tank or he will kill her. Many times pair bonds are broken when fish are moved and need to be reestablished. Try dividing the tank and keep each one on its own side. When the female is ready to spawn she will begin to start to flare back at the male. You can try and put them together for a short time and see how it goes. Be aware that he can decide to kill her in just a few hours so only put them together when you are home watching them. Eventually when they start to breed again you can start leaving the female with the male, but there is no guarantee when large cichlids begin to breed.-Chuck> Thanking you , Rohan

Breeding Puffer with convicts? 8/18/04 Hi <Hi, Pufferpunk here> I was wondering if you could breed a Convict Cichlid with a Puffer fish? <About as easily as breeding a cat & a dog. Just won't work.> Also I was wondering if you could breed green Severums with Convict cichlids. <There has been success interbreeding different species of cichlids together, but I highly doubt you'd have much success with it.> Please email me back with the answer Thank you. <Instead of concerning yourself with breeding, why not try & study up as much as you can about the fish you have & do the best you can to keep them alive, healthy & long-lived? ~PP>

Cross-breeding or line-breeding? Hello All, Sandy here. I have a question and not sure how to research for the answers. You guys have helped me before and once again, I am stuck seeking for answers. I currently have a 75 gallon cichlid tank with fake plants....everything is fake. Inhabitants are: 1 electric yellow, 1 snow white socolofi, 1 kenyi (male) he's such a bully, 1 lab textilis (he's worse than kenyi) 4 blood parrots, 2 Synodontis eupterus, 1 common pleco, 1 Neolamprologus pulcher and 1 Neolamprologus brichardi. Well I didn't know that the neo's are from a different lake when I originally purchased them. I was so drawn in by their fins and couldn't' resist buying them....So when I got home, I did some research and discovered that they were not the same species....but are from the same family. Well here's my problem.....they had babies!!!! Obviously I was doing something right for them to have babies, but then again I really didn't want to breed any fish. As I discovered them, I also noticed that my parrots also laid eggs but there's no need to worry about the parrots as they'll never be able to have fry. =o) I know cross-breeding is when you have 2 completely different species (i.e.: blood parrots) and line-breeding is within the same family (kind of what they do with bettas.) Since this case is with the same family, different race, would it still be considered cross-breeding? < The pucher-brichardi mixture is definitely a cross. Check and make sure that you do indeed have two different species. The pulchers have a couple of dark half moon markings behind the eye while the brichardi have one diagonal line coming out towards the tail from behind the eye.> I'm still confused. With all the research that I've done, the websites don't really provide good examples for me to better understand. I'm hoping you guys would know since you already know so much. The male would be the pulcher and the female is the brichardi, they look very identical with the exception of the gills. I originally thought the brichardi was a male cuz it had longer fins than any other fish, but then he started laying eggs, so he is really a she. After the 3rd batch of eggs, I decided to remove the female to a 10 gallon tank which I ended up buying to care for the fry which are now about 3-4 months old. The 3 batches of eggs hatched within 2-3 weeks. I have about 100 babies or so, give or take a few dozen...and then I discovered that when they are adult size, they can lay up to 200 eggs!!! What did I get myself into? They've started to develop the ice blue and white on their fins which is really beautiful to look at. Some of them have blue fins like the pulcher and some of them have the white fins like the brichardi. I don't want to keep them anymore and I am planning to take the parents back to the LFS. As for the babies, I'm not sure what to do with them. I found some places that will take them in but haven't really decided to until I find out whether or not this would be considered cross-breeding. Is it cross-breeding or line-breeding or neither? < Your crosses would make an interesting photo since you are the first person I have heard from that has crossed these two fish.> I don't' think it would be line-breeding would it? <NO> Please help! I'm debating whether or not I want a Malawi tank or a Tanganyika tank.....If I decide to keep a Malawi tank, I'm taking all the others back except for the catfish and parrots and if I keep a Tanganyika tank, I'm taking all the Malawians back. *sigh* I apologize if this is a bit long but I wanted to make sure I give you guys enough information. =o) < As long as the fish you take to the store are correctly marked as crosses then you could either sell them there or feed them as culls to a larger fish. It is strange that the two species never really overlap their territories.-Chuck> Thanks, A confused Sandy... Cross-breeding Fishes... it happens 8/2/04 Could you tell me if Texas Cichlid will spawn with a another kind of Cichlid. like a black Convict? I have a male Texas Cichlid and a Black Female Convict in a 29 gal Tank. < A hybrid between these two fish has been done before and is not that uncommon when a suitable mate of the same species is not available.-Chuck> Oscar and BP cross Hi guys - just a quickie - I've looked everywhere and can't find this info - so it's over to you. 55 gal tank - one 8 inch tiger Oscar and one 8inch peach coloured Blood Parrot. And one nest with lots of eggs (the BP is the female) Is this going to work - and has it been done before ? (All of the above was quite accidental, and I have no intention of passing any fry on). < Hybridizing cichlids is actually quite easy and happens all the time. Since you parrot cichlid is already a hybrid between three different cichlids it doesn't surprise me that she would spawn with an Oscar. I am sure it has been done before. I am not sure what you mean when you ask is this going to work? Do you mean are the fry going to be viable? So far no one has published any such spawn so It is hard to say?-Chuck> Thanks Colin Ahern

Blood Parrot (cichlid) Hello, I have two parrot fish yellow and red. they are about 2.5 in. they are with electric blue cichlid and a lemon yellow cichlid, and 3 clown loaches. my question is my yellow parrot fish was a pretty yellow but is getting black on his fins and under his head. is this something I should be concerned about? thank you, Darci < Parrot fish are a hybrid between a few different species of cichlids. Color changes are not unheard of. If the fish look and act OK then I think the color change is most likely from the fishes genetics rather than environmental conditions or diseases.-Chuck>

Oscar + Dempsey My father recently bought me an Oscar which I already had 1 Dempsey, 1 pacu and 1 gourami in my tank for the past 6 months. As soon as I put the Oscar in, the Dempsey laid eggs. Is crossbreeding possible or will they live if I follow the directions that I have already read about separating the fry and adding the blue stuff? I am very new at this.... I love fish but never had to deal with this. please help. They were laid yesterday and today is Monday. How long do I have? < Your Jack Dempsey is from Mexico and the Oscar is from South America. They never see each other in the wild so natural crosses are not possible. In the aquarium all bets are off. If the eggs are viable then they will hatch in three days or so at 80 degrees. The fry will need to be fed baby brine shrimp and crushed flake food three days after hatching. If they are not any good then they will turn white and fungus or the female will eat them.-Chuck> thanks, Natalie Parrot Cichlid Repro. Hi I have been keeping fishes all my life. Initially I used to keep livebearers such as Mollies and guppies. It was no problem at all to have them to breed. In fact I had so many fry that I used to gift them to my friends. Now I have changed the scene. I have given away all my live bearers and have 4 parrot cichlids. I want to know which is a male and which is a female. Three of them are bright pink coloured and one of them is yellow. Two of them have white spots on their bodies near the tail. The third one too has them but in a very less quantity compared to the other two. The yellow one does not have any such spots. One of the pink one shows some kind of stripes at times. I don't know if it is my illusion. The same fish even has some black spots near the tail. That's all I know about them. I am very eager to breed them. Could you please advise how? Thank you very much. < Parrot cichlids are an artificial fish that are man made and do not occur in nature. They are a hybrid of at least three different species. Typically when you want to sex new world cichlids, the males are larger and have longer fins. The colors of parrot cichlids probably aren't very good indicators of sexual determination. In normal cichlids you can take them in your hand and turn them upside down and look at the ventral areas to determine the sex of many, but not all cichlids.-Chuck>

Lots of Questions - Fresh and Salt water right now i have a lot of problems with my fish. one is My valentine puffer is sick but their is no dots or marks on him and it looks like he is in critical condition. can you help < Need more info like the water conditions and how long he has been sick.> Another Question I have 2 aquariums 1 is fresh 1 is salt water. I feed my cichlids cichlid floating pellets. I also found out that my trigger fish like them to. is it ok to feed them the pellets. < Even though your puffer likes the cichlids pellets it is best to get him back on track with regular food made for saltwater fish for long term health.> This one is a lot simpler how do you determine the gender of a jewel cichlid and a Texas cichlid. < Male cichlid generally have longer more pointed fins and are larger than the females too.-Chuck>

Ménage' a Trois "Dempsey Style" We have a 125 gallon tank with 4 Oscars, 3 Jacks, and 1 African (and three pleco). We believe that 2 of the Jacks are female; one just had fry, we didn't see the eggs, but we did see the parents preparing in a corner. We only were able to save about 50 or so. We have sectioned off the tank for now, so as to not loose anymore of the fry. We left the parents with the fry, but the problem is that the "OTHER WOMAN" also seems to have a rather large belly, and we think that she is also pregnant. For now, we have her sectioned off with the others...Should we move her over with the other two Jacks so she can safely lay her eggs, or will she feed on the fry that have already been hatched? <Jack Dempsey's will harem spawn. I suspect if your fry are free swimming then I would remove them . If the odd female does not eat them then the parents will in a few days. It is possible that the male will breed with the other female too.> Is it common for males to mate with more than one female at a time? < Sure.> I appreciate any information you can pass along! < If you really want to save the fry I would recommend that you remove the eggs to a separate tank with an airstone and they will hatch in three days at 80 degrees, In another three days the fry will have absorbed their egg sac and become free swimming. At his point they need to be fed. Baby brine will work nicely and then crushed flake food. The fry grow quickly and one spawn can be in thousands. Then you have to figure out what to do with a thousand jack Dempseys._ Chuck> Lisa

Parrot Cichlid Reproduction Hi, I am a novice with a 14 gallon freshwater tank. I have 3 small parrots, about 6 or 7 moths old which grew from about 3/8 inches to about 1, 21/2 and 3 inches. They are a translucent pinkish color, but the two smaller ones have orange bands that appear and disappear depending on the day. The largest one never changes. It seems that the two larger paired off. Recently I thought they were fighting a lot, but today I came home from work and went to feed them and found I have hundreds of small swimming fish that look like tadpoles. They seem to gravitate around a coral reef and the gravel bottom and the two larger fish are hovering around them constantly. Will the older fish eat them? < Your pair of parrot fish have indeed spawned. Although they are a genetic hybrids they are fertile. They will take care of the fry for a couple of weeks and if they are not removed then they will be eaten by the parents.> or protect them? < They do a good job protecting the eggs and the fry from other fish just like most substrate spawning cichlids for a while. It depends on how hungry the parents get.> What do I feed them? <The fry can be feed baby brine shrimp , Microworms crushed, flake food when they become free swimming.> Apparently, I have a male and a female and they bred. Will they live and if so, what do I do with all of them. < Well you can try and sell them to your local fish store. If nothing else maybe trade them in for fish food.> My third, smaller parrot is staying away. In fact it does not look well and is keeping to a corner at the top of my tank. Where do I go for help? < The other odd ball parrot fish will constantly be harassed by the parents. They look at him as a threat to eat their fry. Maybe you can trade him in or put him in another tank.-Chuck> Thanks, Lynne

Get the fry to eat dry? Hello, wondering if someone could tell me how I can get my angel fish fry to start eating dry food. They are about 3.5 weeks old and all they've ever eaten is newly hatched brine shrimp. I've put in crushed flake and pellet but they will not take. Even tried them on frozen daphnia- no go. Should I quit the shrimp and they would have to eat the dry because of hunger? <Try smaller feedings of brine shrimp once a day. Offer them crushed flake food first thing in the morning. Make sure it is a high quality flake food. And then try the baby brine late in the day. See if the adults eat the flake food. Try OSI brine shrimp flake to start and then a general flake with brine shrimp flakes in it later on. -Chuck>

Convicted to the Gravel I have two sets of 2-3 week old baby convicts in my tank along with a few other fish. I noticed that some of the babies were mixed in with the gravel on the bottom of the tank... I have not tried to move anything in fear of causing more damage than helping the little one's. Will they be able to get out of the gravel? Is there something that I could do to help? They have never done this before.. < At this time the fry should be mobile enough to get around just fine. At feeding time they should be up and about out of the gravel. The parents will be able to help them if needed. If your gravel is so coarse that the fry have all fallen to the bottom, then I would recommend removing the gravel or at least changing to a finer sand so this does not happen in the future. They should spawn again in a couple of weeks. -Chuck>

Jewel Cichlids spawning! hello again :) I had 5 jewels in a 10 gallon tank and recently moved them to a 40 hex tank. I'm having issues trying to determine what to do when they lay eggs, its bewildering. when they were in the 10 gallon, 2 of them paired off and moved their "house" over a flat rock and made camp in there for about a week. I was sitting watching them when I noticed the green rock under their house was now a light beige. when I looked closer I noticed lots and lots and lots of tiny round balls, eggs! and the mom fish was still laying them so I put off doing a water change that week, not knowing if it would hurt them or not. I separated the parents and the eggs from the other 3 fish with a screen and just kept watch. when I got home from work the next day though, like 75% of the eggs were missing! I thought the parents were eating them so I put the parents on the other side of the screen, too. dang, you should have seen them try to fight their way through the screen to get to the eggs. anyway, the day after that the eggs that were left on the rock turned white and fuzzy. well I figured they were dead eggs and it was time for a water change so I took the screen out. all the fish did the most disgusting thing and feasted on the fuzzy eggs. so that was trial number one, on to trial number two... now like everyone I've talked to said that the fish will take a month to try again.. mine did the very next week. I relocated them all to a brand new 40 hex with all the little luxuries and the same parents as last time did their thing and dug a pit at the back of the tank near a flat rock and moved their house on top of the pit and the same mom fish laid the eggs. I didn't separate them this time and again the next day almost all the eggs were gone and the mom fish was putting them in her mouth. I've been reading up and some say the mom fish will incubate the eggs in her mouth and some say they relocate them to the pit. I cant see anything in the pit and the parents are no longer guarding the site. I've tried peering into her mouth but its just impossible to tell, but this is day 4. do mom fish stop eating when they have eggs in their mouths? cause mine sure didn't, she's a pig. so I guess what I'm asking is what do I need to do better to reduce the loss of eggs and possibly fry if they do their thing again? thanks bunches! ~Erin < Young jewelfish usually eat their eggs the first few times. Feed the pair very well with worms or shrimp so they won't get hungry. When they spawn try and leave the eggs with the parents and try not to disturb them too much. They will fan the eggs and provide oxygen for them. As you found out when you removed the parents that the eggs soon died. If you really want to save the eggs then when they lay the eggs on a rock you can move the rock to another tank that has been filled with water from the original tank. Add an airstone so the water is circulating and a current is always over the eggs. Some antifungal medication may help too. After 3 days at 80 degrees the eggs will hatch into a small wriggling mass. Three days later the fish will start popping up like popcorn. Eventually they will become free swimming and will require food at this time.-Chuck>

Blue Acara babies Hi. i have just found a nest of Acara babies in my tank. <Congratulations> have removed all other fish and am wondering how to care for the little guys. what to feed? <Baby brine shrimp will work well for free swimming fry. As they get older and a little bigger I would try some finely crushed flake food too.> how to get it to them as they are on the bottom? < Blue Acaras are substrate spawners. They lay their eggs out in the open on a piece of glass or on a stone . After three days at 80 degrees the eggs hatch and fall into a depression excavated by the parents. After an additional three days the fry absorb their egg sac and become free swimming. It at this time that they need to be fed. I put the brine shrimp into an eye dropper and shoot it into the school of fry a few times each day.> when to separate from parents? < Keep the parents well fed and they should leave the fry alone for a couple of weeks if there is not too much activity in and around the tank> they appear to be a couple days old. came home from a six day vacation and there they were, already swimming in a little group herded by the parents, who move them from place to place. not sure what to do next. < If you want to save them then in the morning before you turn on the lights they will be asleep in a little mass on the bottom of the tank. Take a long piece or airline tubing an siphon some of the babies out into another tank. If you want to see the parents guard their fry for awhile then leave some in their.> just feed baby brine shrimp and leave them alone? < You can try other foods too like Microworms if you have access to cultures> and for how long? < After a couple of weeks the female may begin to ripen with eggs. She will get hungry and eat the spawn. Don't worry they have very large spawns and you will have more fry than you will know what to do with> thanks for your advice. < Welcome to the wonderful world of cichlids.-Chuck> Kim

Cichlids Breeding Like Rabbits! Yes I am having some trouble with my cichlids right now; they keep breeding like rabbits. The other day I had a demsani have babies and I don't know how because I only have one of these and the rest are all zebras. Please write back. <Your fish are cross breeding. In the wild Ps. demsani comes from a small reef in Lake Malawi and probably does not come in contact with any Metraclima zebra types. If a female is ready to breed she will probably accept any suitable fish that closely resembles her or her breeding habits. The fry then should not be distributed to any of your friends or traded to any fish stores. If your tank is large enough you could get a Dimidichromis compressiceps or a Nimbochromis venustus or N. livigstoni. These large Haplochromines feed on small fry in the wild and would soon make a meal out of any fry your fish could be producing. You bring up a very good point when keeping Lake Malawian cichlids , that breeding stock should be kept in a single species tank so crossing does not happen and strains remain pure. -Chuck>

Re: my cichlids keep breeding like rabbits how do I stop them I don't think I will be feeding these babies to any other fish as a matter of fact I already have found like 6 fish stores that are willing to actually pay for the fish and that is unusual < Stores are a business and they will try and sell whatever they can to make money. Parrot cichlids and Flowerhorns are a couple examples of these "Designer Cichlids". Usually when two species interbreed their fry are rather unattractive and refer erred to as "mutts". Occasionally there is a combination that generates an attractive offspring. You may have stumbled on to such a combination. There are other crosses out there such as a mottled peacock, that is a cross between a Aulonocara and a mottles zebra that has become commercially available.> I swear they are the most beautiful I have seen yet they actually came out with cobalt blue stripes and some totally white with black spots but yet they kept the body form of the demsani rather than the zebras < I would hope that the store actually labels these fish as a cross so unsuspecting buyers can decide if they want this fish or not. What are they going to be called?

Something to do with cichlids: wow thanks for getting back to me so fast! i tried the blood worm thing again after work today about five minutes ago. they usually keep the dorsal fins flat but now they're like full sail and they turned a mottled dark gray beige, give em a few minutes and im sure it'll go to pink. they generally turn pink if i put a new fish in there or when they're chasing any of the other fish around, so once in a great while, not too often though. i don't understand the tail thing though that's a new one on me. i didn't think fish could put their tails at 45 and 90 degree angles like that and just sit there and keep them that way without going anywhere. thanks for the advice and if they do anything else weird like sing show tunes or something you'll be the ones i come to! ~Erin :) < Keep the temperature at 80 degrees and do a 50% water change. If they are thinking about spawning then this should do the trick.-Chuck> Blood Parrot + Red Devil I hope to hear from you! I have a 120 gallon tank in which I have had a green ? parrot in. <Very unfortunately, the parrot cichlids are dyed different colors to make them "more attractive" to prospective buyers. This practice can cause the fish stress and harm, and is only temporary, in any case - the fish will fade and have only its natural color over time. A very useless, pointless practice, in my mind. Don't be afraid when the green starts to fade - it's a good thing.> My husband bought a red devil (juvenile) about a month ago. I knew recently they acted like the parrot was building a nest in a pot, but I wasn't sure if it was a territory thing or what. <Could it be.... love??> I noticed two days ago, they are suddenly inseparable in the pot and have laid eggs. <Love, indeed!> They act like devoted parents but I am surprised about the devil being so young and of course their choices of mates! <To be honest, I'm not surprised at all that they are trying to breed. The parrot is a crossbreed of Amphilophus citrinellum, Cichlasoma synspilum, and others, very likely including Amphilophus labiatum, the red devil. Now, whether the eggs are viable or not is another question entirely - one which time will answer for you.> I have always had African cichlids in the past, but this is new to me. I have read so much conflicting info on both these fish, I don't know what to believe, especially about this match up. <Do please take a look here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/neotropcichlids.htm > Do you think the eggs will hatch? or be in fertile because of them being different? <I do not know. It is possible that the crossbred parrots are infertile. Again, time will tell.> I also am having trouble identifying the parrot, she has the exact body shape as a blood parrot but is greenish-blue and now she is breeding she is almost a yellow color with black stripes! <Ah, good, probably she has faded back to her normal color. The green should not return.> and has blue eyes. Not the typical red color that everyone talks about. <The red ones are usually a real color, not dyed, just bred to be more vibrant than the others, or perhaps having genetic lineage of more red-colored species. They can be anything from brownish/yellowish on up through orange and red. I would wager that you do, in fact, have a parrot, no worries.> I have yet to really find a picture of her online. What other name could she have, because she is the parrot body but totally different in color. Any suggestions? <Look under parrot cichlid, blood parrot, red blood parrot - a google search will probably yield something.> Thanks so much, Lori Conrad <Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

Blood Parrot + Red Devil, II Thank you for answering my question about my parrot and red devil spawning. <Sure thing.> Now at least 90% of the eggs are white. I don't know if this is because of infertility of one of the parents or could it be because of it being two different parents? <More likely the parrot is infertile.> They are already preparing another nest elsewhere. <Jeez, worse than newlyweds!> The red devil is only about4-5 inches long and without a hump. I wish I could help produce a viable spawning. What are your suggestions? <Ah, to tell you the truth, I am very much against crossbreeding/hybridizing fish. Beyond that, though, if your parrot is infertile, there's really nothing that you can do about it. At least you can sit back and enjoy their spawning behaviour, and not have to figure out what to do with fifty small fish later on! If you are quite interested in breeding, you might want to consider finding a female for your red devil and setting up a separate tank for the parrot. Could be a lot of fun!> Thanks so much, again, Lori Conrad <I'm sorry I don't have better news for you, but it certainly sounds like your fish are very happy. Congratulations! -Sabrina>

Breeding Convicts <Hi Magnus here> Hello, I have a question that may seem a little odd. I have a 25gal Eclipse show tank with two convicts (1male, 1 female) a red tip shark and an algae eater. My problem is that my convicts have become prolific breeders. <ahhh.. the problem with the ever prolific convicts> While this was fun and interesting the first three times, it has now become a nuisance! <understandable! hard to keep a tank in balance that way.> The convicts dig up the tank destroying all of the décor and are very aggressive towards the other fish. This does not worry since the other fish are too fast for my convicts. They are even more aggressive once the eggs have hatched. My question is, is there something I can put in the water to kill the eggs? <no, and I really would hate to see you add a chemical that can kill eggs, because I'm sure prolonged exposure to what ever can kill eggs would not be good for the fish. Most people I know that have similar issues with over breeding have gone the natural approach and add something that will eat the eggs. In larger tanks they will pic a larger more aggressive fish that will rush in to eat the eggs. In my opinion that can be a dangerous mix. Typically Crayfish and crabs are added... though many times they end up as food as well. But a hardy little (cheap disposable) crab can really make a meal of eggs. I have tried Copper Safe with little results. I have even had to advertise and give my babies away. <why not contact your LFS and sell them to them? you can make a nice side income selling young convicts. Though I suggest setting up a second tank just for the fry.> The tank cannot support any more fish including babies, any suggestions? <My best suggestion is that when you see them lay eggs you will have to remove them yourself. either with a net or a brush, just remove them yourself. It will most likely be the easiest way, though not the most enjoyable way. -Magnus> Gold Severum reproduction <Hi, Pufferpunk here> My two Gold Severums have laid eggs twice in the last 2 weeks and continue to eat the eggs. Is this normal? <A lot of fish will eat their own eggs> I have tried separating them and the eggs don't hatch. Should I be doing something else?? <I have either hung a breeder net across from the filter stream & raised the babies in there, or put the eggs in another tank. If you move them, you will need to cover the intake of the filter w/a sponge or use a sponge filter. You may need to dose the tank with 1/2 dose Methylene blue, to prevent fungusing of the eggs.> <Good luck--Pufferpunk>

Egg Eaters My breeding pair of Severums keeps eating the eggs. What can I do to prevent this? They reside in a 75 gallon tank with a 5 inch pleco. <Any other tankmates, or is that it?> They are not very aggressive after they lay the eggs like most other Severums I've seen. Anyway, what can I do to get these eggs to hatch? <I read an account where someone had a breeding pair of angels that ate batch after batch of eggs, and instead of raising the fry himself, he put an African butterflyfish (Pantodon buchholzi) in the tank with them to see if that would elicit defensive behavior from the angels (I believe his reasoning behind using this species was that they really pose no threat to eggs, as they only eat live fish or insects that find their way to the surface of the water). If you try something like this, be sure to use a fish that poses no threat to the eggs, will keep its distance from the angels, and can be easily removed once the eggs hatch - and even still, there's no guarantee whatsoever that it will work, but it might be worth a try. You can always remove the eggs once the parents are through laying and hatching/raising them yourself. Hope all goes well, -Sabrina>

Cichlid Eggs I have a 55 gal tank with large cichlids for about a year now. I was out of town this weekend and when I came back there were eggs laid on the undergravel filter which was cleared of all the gravel by my Texas cichlid. <cool, also a good example of why under gravel filters are not ideal for cichlids.> Should I assume all the eggs will hatch and remove all my large cichlids? <If possible you might try to section them off in the same tank. There is definitely a better chance of them hatching without the other cichlids in there.> I had a convict once that laid eggs on a rock one day and ate them all the next day. <Mine did that too the first time the spawned.> I would like to try to keep the eggs this time and hopefully get some fry this time. Any suggestions? <If it does not work out this time you could try putting the pair of Texas Cichlids in a tank of their own, maybe with some pieces of slate for them to spawn on, if you need to hatch out the fry in a separate tank it is a lot easier to remove the slate than the under gravel filter. Whoa, I just noticed the date on this email, not sure what happened, but sorry for the delayed response, your eggs have probably either hatched or been eaten by now. If your fish spawned once, I am sure they will spawn again. Best Regards, Gage> Thanks, Jeff

Fertilizing Oscar Eggs - 8/15/03 Can Methylene blue be used to fertilize Oscar eggs. <Hmmm... I'm wondering if you mean to ask if it will prevent fungus from developing on the eggs? If so, yes. I'm assuming you already have a female that laid the eggs, and a male that fertilized them... and now wish to improve the chances for a successful hatch. Anthony>

Angelfish Genetic Problems and Breeding About a year ago I swapped some large fish for smaller ones including a half dozen tiny angel fish that had been spawned at the fish store. The angels have grown up into gorgeous glittering fish and I am now thinking of breeding a pair before I trade some back to the fish store for other small fish. Of my 6 angels, 2 are genetically deficient (one has no lower fins, one has too many lower fins), one has been single eyed (so swims like a flounder) probably through early accident but has good body conformation otherwise. <Okay> I am assuming that the larger fish in each of the naturally occurring 'pairs' forming in the tank is a different gender than the noticeably smaller other part of the pair. <Actually, it's almost impossible to tell until they do breed. Size does not necessarily mean much in sexing these beautiful fish.> My most perfect large angel has paired with a fish with bulgy eyes and puckered lips who otherwise has good form. (I think of this smaller fish as 'she' so forgive me if I am using the wrong pronoun here.) She has had the puckered lips and bulgy eyes for three or four months and seems to be the equal of any other angel in the tank in terms of eating and other behaviors. <Okay, so this sounds to be much more likely genetic deficiencies rather than illnesses, especially with the other deformities mentioned.> When I stopped by the fish store the other day I noted that in the pair who are parents of my brood, the smaller fish also has the puckered lips and bulgy eyes. When I asked about it, the fish store owner said he didn't know why but that the fish has been that way for as long as he can remember. My question is whether this sounds like a disease and/or parasite to be treated or whether I should assume the genetics are just wrong for breeding. <I'd put my money on genetic deformities.> If disease/parasite, I can turn the tank I am ageing for a breeding tank into an infirmary tank if I know what/how I am treating the fish. Since a pairing seems to have occurred, would I be wise to keep 'her' with her mate in the infirmary tank? <Well, I don't think there's anything to treat for, especially if she's been like this all her life. Please, though, do reconsider breeding the fish with obvious genetic problems. Continuing to breed deformed fish will contribute to weakening the species. Also, since these fish are from the same spawn, there's even more chance at deformities. And we can only see the deformities that manifest as malformed fins, poor body shape, etc; we can't see the other weaknesses that may be lurking underneath all that, like a greater susceptibility to illnesses, or malformed organs in the fish. If you do breed them, though, please do cull any fish with obvious deformities. I know it sounds horrible, but it really is necessary with such inbred strains of fish to try to keep the strain healthy.> Thanks for any suggestions you may have. Cathy <I'm sorry if I've been the bearer of bad news - but it may still be possible to breed your most well-formed angel with another well-formed angel from a completely different source. This would help get some new genes into the mix, rather than strengthening bad genes with breeding fish from the same spawn. -Sabrina>

Angelfish Genetic Problems and Breeding, Follow-up I do have several in the batch who appear perfect enough to be worthy of breeding--hopefully they are opposite sex :) I do recognize the need to not breed malformed fish. When I got mine they were smaller than a dime and you really couldn't tell that much about them yet. And since even though not perfect they add charm and beauty to my tank they sort of become 'family'. Certainly no deformed fish will be leaving here to exchange back into the pet store. <Thank you very kindly for understanding. I do very much agree that even the deformed fish are a hundred percent of the personality of well formed fish. Thank you also for seeing to it that no malformed fish get back into the trade, where unsuspecting buyers may breed them and worsen the strain/species some more.> While I would love to get a different genetic line in here I have seen no goldens in fish stores around here that practiced enough sanitation I would be willing to take a fish home. <Do take a look at some of the reputable online angelfish breeders.> So we will give this a try and if there is too high a percentage of deformed offspring, not let it happen again. <Sounds like an excellent plan.> Certainly appreciate the advice. Cathy <You got it. -Sabrina>

Fuzzy Eggs My red tiger Oscar has laid eggs, 2days later the eggs turned into a white cotton-like substance this is the first time they have laid eggs and I don't know what to expect .I am a first time Oscar owner I have had them for a year now. please help Mr. Curious <The white cotton-like substance, or fuzzy stuff, is most likely a fungus from the infertile eggs, or dirty water, they are rather messy fish. I would use a small siphon tube to suck out the bad eggs and the fungus. If you were to remove the good eggs to a separate tank some Methylene blue could be added to the water to help prevent the fungus. Best of Luck, Gage>

Oscar Eggs Thanks gage, but it has spread over all the eggs. (unable to save any) <bummer> I don't know ! maybe I have 2 females <it's possible> and then again maybe not. as I'm typing I looked over at the tank and they have begun to lip lock all over again and change in color a bit with their mouths open. <sounds like flirting to me.> HOPEFULLY NEXT TIME MR. CURIOUS <I might consider a second tank to move the eggs to. -Gage>

Breeding, supplying cichlids for profit Hello, For the past month or so I have been researching everything I can find on breeding and importing Cichlids. That's when I came across your website which is great, very informative. I want to start a business supplying the local fish stores and general public with high quality Cichlids as the selection around me is pretty pitiful. <Where are you located?> Eventually I may put up a website but I'm kind of far from an airport so I'm guessing shipping would be difficult. <Yes, possible trouble. How will you get your live product to your customers? Have you looked into FedEx, UPS?> This is my second attempt at breeding Cichlids for profit. The first time I tried I did everything wrong and ended up getting out of it. This time I want to start out right and I'm hoping you can help. In your experience is it possible for me to make money supplying local fish stores? <Has been done, yes> I don't need to make a fortune (it would be nice though) I'm just looking to bring home some extra cash. Also Could you supply me with maybe a punch list of things to do to get started. Also maybe some tips on how to set-up my tanks and centralized filter system to make it as maintenance free as possible without costing me a fortune. <These items are archived on the WWM site. Do read through the Business Index/subweb> I will continue to read the articles on your site as I'm sure most of the information I'm looking for is in there. But I am eager to start and was hoping you could direct me to the right articles or provide any help you can. Thanks in advance for your help. Thanks, Steve Bruni <Do study and keep good notes for now... while drawing up plans, looking for used gear (in good shape). Bob Fenner>

Induced Breeding I have a question that I am hoping you can help me out with. I am interested in feed breeding from a pet hobbyist point of view. Often I can raise many more fish than I can get from one spawning - will hormone injections allow me to increase the number of offspring or frequency of spawnings? Do both males and females need to be injected? <Can be either or both. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/hormmanfsh.htm> On another note, I breed cichlids. Do you think that the use of hormone injections would induce fish to interbreed which wouldn't normally breed at all - that is, fish that are separated by special differences based on behavior or coloration could be induced to mate and produce young (probably sterile young - but oh well). <I strongly discourage this (interbreeding) practice. Better for all to keep species separated> This is very important to me- thanks for getting back as soon as possible. Dominic Ebacher <Bob Fenner>

Re: Induced Breeding Bob, <Dominic> Thank you for your quick reply. The reason I wanted to know about the cichlid interbreeding wasn't for the purposes of hobby keeping, I'm sorry I didn't make that clear. I'm a card carrying environmentalist - and I care deeply about preserving genetic diversity, and creating monster hybrids was not my goal. <Our values are confluent> The reason I need to know about the interbreeding is for my scientific endeavors. I am interested in the differences of traits and behaviors between different (but closely related) cichlid species. The best way to study this is through Quantitative Trait Loci analysis, but in order to perform this experiment one must create hybrids (an F1) generation and study them to determine the genetic location of the genes involved in patterning the traits one is interested in. <There is a bit about this in the scientific literature. Am sure you are aware> So, knowing that I'm not out to make monsters, but to benefit our fishy friends - do you think that use of hormones could overcome the species barriers to create F1's in related cichlid species. How far do you think it could be pushed? <Yes, could be done with not much trouble. My MSc. work was involved in such issues (Hormonal manipulation as an aquacultural technique) with Mullets (Mugil cephalus)> I bet that all of the species in Lake Malawi and Victoria could interbreed, based on strict chromosome number comparisons and arrangements - but it is their differences which matter and finding these out requires the experiments that I propose. <Don't think all, but many have been crossed unintentionally by aquarists> If you don't know for sure - could you point me in the right direction to someone who might? <What specifically are you seeking? Broodstock? Technique input? I would do a thorough search of what is known currently first here. Bob Fenner> Thanks again, you're a great help! Dominic Ebacher

Re: Jack Dempsey How can you tell the girl from the boy <The male will have longer, more pointed dorsal and anal fins and will have a longer body. Ronni><Actually, unlike most cichlids, females are larger in this species. Bob>

Re: VERY IRRESPONSIBLE: looking for cichlid stock Do a google search to find IBAMA. It has information on the agency, licensing, and the importance of the aquarium industry to the Brazilian economy. For further questions on how IBAMA regulates all aspects of environmental (ambiento) issues in Brazil, contact them directly, or query Labbish Chao who runs the Piabas program on sustainable fisheries. His email address is piabas@aol.com. Let me reiterate and emphasize that I was asked for information by someone who has graciously assisted me in my own efforts. I was not asked to advise on the project nor given any information on the design or licensing. And I don't think it is appropriate for me to ask unless I am a stakeholder. There are already African cichlids in pet stores in Brazil. I assume there are fish farms there too. I also assume that IBAMA regulates everything at least as well as our own EPA and probably better. <Thank you for this input Dr. G. Bob Fenner> Robert J. Goldstein, Ph.D.

VERY IRRESPONSIBLE: looking for cichlid stock Dear Bob, I think that what your friend Marcos is planning is very irresponsible and will be disastrous to the indigenous species. <Am very hopeful this would/will not be the case... as you and I strongly agree... releasing any non-indigenous life to an area where it can "survive" is a travesty and a disaster> I am surprised that you are getting involved with the project!! <Mmm, not involved... only posted a call on our sites for others to assist in providing stocks to Robert.G> I know that Tanganyikan species are from hard water and the water in Brazil is soft, but species adapt to all water conditions and then destroy the natural species. Tilapia are a case in point. <A very sore one... Oreochromis spp. are spread all over the planet> How will Marcos be breeding the African Cichlids? Perhaps in indoor tanks to start of with, but soon it will be outdoor ponds where escapes are inevitable every rainy season. <I would hope that there are safeguards in place to absolutely preclude escape... sterile triploids produced... all discharge water sterilized...> Please, please persuade Marcos to stick with Brazilian cichlids and fish. <A better idea for food culture for sure. I don't know what the end purpose of their culture was/is... thought perhaps it was scientific, or to produce ornamentals...> Please keep me informed. I look forward to your reply. <Be chatting my friend, fellow content provider. Bob Fenner, WetWebMedia.com> Regards, Iggy Tavares

looking for cichlid stock All - Marcos, a friend in Brazil, is seeking SMALL stock of several kinds of cichlids for a farming operation. Please contact me if you can provide them, or pass this on to any cichlid chat groups or suppliers who might be able to assist. Thanks. We can arrange shipment from your location to Brazil. - Bob Goldstein <All right Bob. Okay to post your email re? Bob Fenner> Exochochromis anagenys ....copper parrotfish Tropheus moori ... pineapple monark Xenotilapia lepeli ..... blue spot sand dweller Tropheus moorii .....yellow banded monarch Cyphotilapia frontosa .......seven stripe frontosa small size...We show you the name from some cichlids that we are trying to find...if you get some will be excellent...but small size.. Best regards Marcos PS. inform us the price....in Curitiba we have who get it to sent to us. Robert J. Goldstein, Ph.D. Robert J. Goldstein & Associates, Inc. 8480 Garvey Drive Raleigh, NC 27616 tel (919) 872-1174 tel (800) 407-0889 fax (919) 872-9214 rgoldstein@rjgaCarolina.com URL www.rjgaCarolina.com

Cichlids sexing, sex Bob Thanks. How do you identify a male or female cichlid? Never kept them before. Are they easy to breed? <A very large, diverse family... in most of the more than one thousand species, males are larger, as adults more colorful, with longer, pointed unpaired fins... Some species are regularly spawned, others more trying. Put the name "cichlid" in your search engines... and take a while to learn. Bob Fenner> Perry

Fish parents I recently had 2 jewel cichlids lay their first clutch of eggs. I was so proud. But sadly enough the next day the eggs were gone. I know it is somewhat "normal" for new parents to devour their first spawning(s) but how soon can I again expect to see eggs if I keep up with the same feeding and cleaning regimen? <days to weeks...usually within 2-3 weeks if they are on cycle> I was going to ask earlier because I was due to make a water change but then saw the eggs, so I waited. But unfortunately did not have to wait long. Is it bad to make a water change right after eggs are laid? <many theories...but I do think so> For future reference, and all. Thanks for always being quick to write back! <best of luck "grandpa". Anthony Calfo>

Oscars (spawning, rearing) I e mailed u before about my tanks. my question for u though is that my Oscars just had there first spawning in the trigon 350 and I am a little unsure if to leave them in there as there is a plec and a catfish in the tank. <If this is the first or second, third spawning, do leave them all be as they are now... too traumatic to be moving any, all fishes, young around. And this tank is big enough to allow the "plec and catfish" to get out of the Oscars way... and run away. In a few spawns, I would utilize an easy to remove spawning medium (like a large clay flower pot, piece of slanted slate... and remove this to a rearing tank... Do start studying up about these affairs, planning on space to raise whatever number of young you think you might want... raising foods for them... Bob Fenner> do u think I should set up another tank or leave them with their proud folks any help would be much appreciated Alex

Longed Finned Albino Oscars Sir, PLEASE HELP ME!!! I have two Longed Finned Albino Oscars in a four foot tank. The larger of the two is about 14 inches long, the smaller is about 12 inches. I believe that they are about 2.5 years old and we hope that are a breedable pair. <Do keep your eyes on them... this is a very small tank for such mature specimens and things can go sideways quick should they start fighting> I have seen lip locking and some very industrious rock cleaning. The rock is a flat piece of slate. The larger fish does occasionally move small amounts of gravel. The smaller of the two Oscars laid eggs approx 12 months ago so I know that I have at least one female. The other fish showed no signs of interest. I feed them mainly with barramundi pellets and live fish and occasionally crayfish. I am disappointed that they have not bred. Could you offer any suggestions to push along the process? e.g. water temperature, PH level, hardness, water quality, water changes. Thank you for you time, Brad. <It's possible you have two females... and there is a hard fact I must convey. In order to keep the price and availability of these hybrids controlled, the folks who produce them in the Far East try to sterilize them (with high temperature, chemicals)... so breeding pairs outside the area are exceedingly rare. Care is per the "regular" Oscar, Astronotus ocellatus: pH range: 6.0 - 8.0; dH range: 5.0 - 19.0 temp. 22-25 C. Best to condition pairs, keep together, with large, regular water changes. Bob Fenner>

Rare Spawning Oscars please could you answer a couple of questions for me. firstly is it ok to have my 2 Oscars in a 350 L tank? <Yes, certainly to both> how many could I have? <Two would be a good number for once they're about full size> secondly in my 4 foot tank is that big enough for a Volitans and a Odonus niger? <Should be... just assure the Lion isn't large enough to swallow the Trigger when the latter is small, and that the Trigger doesn't harass, deprive the Lion of food when it is larger> the tank holds about 210 L both English litres the marine tank is run by a Fluval 303 and an AMiracle trickle filter and also another Fluval with a uv sterilizer attached to it. thanks for your help Alex <Be chatting my friend. Bob Fenner>

Fish breeding (cichlids in a ten gallon!) Howdy, I have a 10 gal. tank with a Texas cichlid and a black convict (had a small Oscar in there too, but the other two got too territorial). They laid eggs about a week ago and now there are a bunch of fry. I was just curious on how to take care of them and what exactly I need to do to keep them alive. Thanks, Jay <Yikes... this is a very small size system for trying to keep these fishes... let alone breeding, rearing young. Cichlids of this sort are raised in one of two general ways, with or w/o their parents... in such a small system, I would move the parents out to another tank (they'll likely spawn again in a couple of weeks...). Feed the young a few times a day... dried foods, frozen/defrosted... most anything fed to fishes... in small pieces/bits (run in a blender or between your fingers... I would get/use a couple of sponge filters for inside the tank and be careful about changing the water as well... small amounts very often would be best (a piece of airline tubing to remove a gallon per day, replaced with pre-conditioned, stored water is best...). And do start searching for at least another tank to remove the larger of the juveniles to as they get bigger than their kin... as they can/will harm each other if greatly different in size. Take a look on the Net and bookshops... for the general Cichlid books by Paul Loiselle... for much more... and congratulations! Bob Fenner>

Kribs, Spawning... Dear Mr. Fenner, First and foremost, THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH for getting back to me so incredibly quickly. Needless to say, I've been spending my days (and nights) reading through just about the entire WetWebMedia website. What an unbelievably informative site - and eye-opener! <Yes... a bunch to "do" with our interest... many lifetimes worth> Boy, I have still lots to learn before making that plunge and setting up my future saltwater tank, but in due time, with hopefully enough learned, I'll give it a my best shot. This time, however, I have a question about a freshwater fish, my absolute favorite fish of all freshwater fish - the Kribensis. I just recently (about 4 weeks ago) added a young male and female Krib to my already established tank (picture enclosed). Before placing them in the tank, I had manipulated to build them a cave. Within a few days they apparently bonded (???) and began to explore the cave. Within 2 weeks, they began defending their "honeymoon suite". After 3 weeks, the female laid LOTS of eggs, and both the male and the female guarded their nest site. (Sounds as if I'm talking about my parrot...lol) Sadly enough, 2 days later all eggs were gone. Now I wonder which of my fish (list will follow) could have been the culprit (Raphael Catfish is my 1st guess, even though he was fed especially well that night). In the meantime I have "camouflaged" their cave much more sufficient (hopefully), and have added more plants to the tank. Could it have been the Kribs' inexperience in guarding their nest/eggs? <Yes... Very likely this is THE explanation... new parents... happens very frequently.> Any help or input from would certainly be greatly appreciated. Inhabitants of this 29 gallon tank: 3 Platies, 6 HUGE Neons, 2 baby angelfish (they'll be moved once they get big enough to even think about tasting the Neons), 2 Kribs, 1 Pleco, and 1 spotted Raphael. Again, Mr. Fenner, I am looking forward to hearing from you, your help is greatly appreciated. Thank you. Kindly, Wendy <A pleasure my friend. Do consider moving the Raphael... and your Kribs will likely be spawning again in a couple of weeks... and often regularly in the future. Bob Fenner>

Cichlids Dear Bob, Hi, my name is Melissa Jenzen. In my Science class, we have a fresh water tank with African cichlids, and I have to do a report about them and there habitat. Could you tell me about their breeding. How and when can you tell is the right time to milk the female? I'm not sure what kind they are but the males are a dark black and blue, and the females are a off white pinkish color. They all have two dots on their bottom fins and they also have white strips along their bodies. thank you Melissa Jenzen >> <Hmm, wish I could... in an expedient manner... Do have a very long list of great topics to roll out in text and images... and the Africans deserve tomes of their own... Really interesting behaviorally, and many are outright gorgeous. But it would take too long to relate well what you're looking for here. Please do look for the name Paul Loiselle and his many fine short works on African Cichlids (particularly the ones through Tetra Press)... these should be available in larger libraries, or Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble online... Bob Fenner>

Convicts Hi Bob, I have 5 cichlids in my tank. 3 pink convicts, 1 black convict, and a small fire mouth. The dominant pink and the black convict have had several clutches of eggs together. They are very attentive parents and protect the fry very well. After a week or so, all the baby disappear. I'm not sure what happens to them since both parents watch over them so well and they are the biggest fish in the tank. I have even tried one of those baby cages that hang off to the side of the tank. I have just had another big hatch and they seem to be doing good. Do you have any suggestions on how to keep these fish from vanishing? Will the fry grow up to be marbled cichlids? >> <Thanks for writing, and yes to the mixed appearance of the young, if you ever get any to grow up! This/these fish are the same species (hence not fish"es"), and do readily "inter"breed... Your system is probably too small, allowing for too-rapid a parental care breakdown, and consumption of fry by parents and/or their tankmates... I would move the "other" fishes for now... and if you're very interested in rearing many young, get/use another tank to move either the young to, or better the parents a couple of weeks after the young are free-swimming. Nah to using a breeder trap or net.... they're way too small to be of use here. Bob Fenner>

Excitement about baby angelfish Bob to my amazement my angelfish laid eggs on the decorations in my aquarium. The Government (meaning my wife and kids) want me to get these eggs into babies and then grow them to maturity. What pointers can you give me to achieve this successfully? I need to bring even one to maturity. I had another aquarium with some baby swords, I took them out and carefully placed the eggs in it now it has become the center of attraction in the home. HELP, HELP. Patrick. >> <Congratulations... and a bunch to state here. Wish I could either do the "Vulcan mind meld" with you over the Net, or make my ever-growing files available through the keyboard... Let's see, most importantly, don't do too much with this or the next spawning... sometimes manipulating the eggs, environment will traumatize the spawning pair when they're new. Do plan on reading up, getting another tank if you have other types of fishes that might eat the young in the present one... But do let the parents try to raise these young... should hatch out to wigglers and then free-swimming in four or five days (depending on temperature)... and going forward, if you only want a few young, just move some to a/the other tank at about a month... Otherwise we can talk about moving the spawning substrate/decor and rearing the young separately. They should be fed once swimming as frequently, very fine food, as often as practical (several times daily ideally). Bob Fenner>

Please help: Sex and the Single Cichlid Hi I have a problem I have a pink convict in a tank with a Oscar, a upside down catfish, some Plecostomus, a jack Dempsey, and a fish that looks like a bass. My cousin gave me the fish. well I have had them for about 6 months I just bought the jack about 3 weeks ago anyway my pink convict has laid a bunch of eggs on a rock but I only have one convict how did this happen?? Please help if you can >> <Thank you for writing, and strange/unusual as it may seem this "single" parent spawning isn't all that unusual with the family of Cichlids (the Convict, Oscar and Dempsey are). Likely all the eggs will be sterile, but do keep an eye on your livestock at this time, as fighting can break out that is fierce. Bob Fenner>

Copper and Cichlid Breeding/Rearing I used to be an avid marine fish enthusiast so I have some habits concerning hospital tanks that I brought over to the freshwater side of the hobby. I have a Hospital tank which I treat with .15 ppm CopperSafe. And I would like to know if this would also make a good tank to raise Aulonocara cichlid fry in? Will the copper in the water kill the fry at all? Or would it be better to set up a new tank as a nursery? Thanks> I would raise the cichlids in another system that lacks the copper-based product... there is some evidence of increased defects when fishes are reared in exposure to copper... I have some German friends that raise Aulonocara species commercially... they're leery of even the amount of copper in tapwater and fish foods (a common added ingredient to retard spoilage) Bob Fenner

Cichlids what is the best way to prepare to mate cichlids? I have 5 cichlids in my tank they are fairly small so I don't know if they are mature enough to mate yet, so any info you can give would be great. what are the ways you can tell between males and females? >> Hmm, well, I hope they're all or some of the same species... And your tank is large enough to accommodate their growth and "spawning" space if they pair up... Many, most cichlids do show some sort of sexual dichromatism (difference between males and females based on color), and dimorphism (structural, size differences) with males generally being brighter, more colorful, larger, with longer, more pointed unpaired fins (the dorsal on the back and anal underneath in particular)... though there are exceptions (like the African riverine species of the genus Pelvivachromis... like the popular "Kribensis"... whose females are larger by far, and much prettier than males...). There are other differences, dependent on species, condition... so, if you want to write back with more identification information, I may be able to tell you more. Bob Fenner

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