Help! My Dwarf Gourami is nesting!

Big Boi the male Dwarf Gourami has started building a bubble nest! Just when I thought fish couldn’t get any more exciting! He has been carrying small pieces of plant matter to the nest, going to the surface frequently then swimming underneath the nest to release bubbles. He has been chasing any other fish who get too close for his liking.

The next stage, usually starting in an afternoon or evening, is the male showing off to the female by swimming around her flapping his fins, generally saying, “hey babe, come and look at my cosy nest!”

I’m sure Betty will go for it as Big Boi is very handsome and lets face it he is the ONLY male of her species in the tank. If she accepts him after his display, they should swim in circles underneath the nest. When she is ready for spawning, she would touch him with her mouth on his back, then he helps her to get those tens of eggs into the nest which he fertilises immediately. It will then be up to the male to blow more bubbles over the eggs to help keep them part of the nest. After 12-24 hours, the eggs will hatch. After about three days the young ones should be able to swim on their own so will escape the nest.

This is the part where I need HELP. Assuming all of this will happen successfully, advice I have read about using a breeding tank is that the female is removed straight away and the male removed after a few days of caretaking the nest. If the parents are not removed, the young are eaten. Bearing in mind that this is happening by chance in my 200Litre community tank, not a shallow water breeding tank, is it enough for me to see if any tiddlers survive on their own or could I remove the eggs and nest and keep them in a small tank? I would have to get another heater of course…

Any advice would be very much appreciated!

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Double Trouble

Nancy and Rene the Bristlenose buddies seem very happy together.  They flutter about the tank after each other and have even found a nook each in the bogwood.  Nancy has become a lot more outgoing since Rene’s arrival so we see a lot more of her.

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I managed to catch the two female Bettas together which shows off some colour.  I haven’t made any moves towards finding them a gentleman friend yet.

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I also got a good snap of Mr and Mrs C together and will polish off this post with pics of super fish and a splay of bristles – ta-daaa!

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How Nancy Got Her Groove Back

After introducing Rene the male Bristlenose Catfish to the tank yesterday, he and Nancy flounced around near each other and wiggled over the sides of the tank together. All looked well until Rene nudged Nancy out of her usual spot under the planted bogwood. She tried to find a replacement den, trying out the different plants, but it just didn’t look as comfy as her bogwood groove. This morning, the smaller piece of bogwood had moved a little and the gravel had been disturbed. I could just make out some manly bristles underneath it. Nancy had put him in his place.

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Rene the Bristlenose Has Landed

I had a call today from a lovely lady at Maidenhead Aquatics with the fine news that they had a Bristlenose Catfish in stock. Nancy has been waiting for her boyfriend for a while and he is a similar size to her. The shop seems to get them in so young sometimes that it is not immediately possible to tell the sex. Rene is a beauty. His bristles are fantastic. The photo is of him in the transporting bag but he is now in the tank…in Nancy’s favourite spot hanging on the underside of the planted bogwood. I hope she gets the courage to join him. The woman who sold him to me said he had once belonged to her but she did not have any breeding success, so brought him to the shop to sell. A customer did buy him, but them returned him as he wasn’t wanted for some reason. I want you Rene!!!

I took a couple of (tank!) water samples the the LFS* today for them to test the phosphate level as I believe this is a major cause of hairy algae and I have rather a lot of it at the moment. The level was ‘high’ and all else was fine. While Rene acclimatised to the temperature of the tank, I gave it a spruce. I rinsed the filter media in a bucket of tank water, removed the carbon bag and added JBL PhosEX Ultra. It should remove phosphates from the water and last 6 months to a year (absorbs 18000mg of phosphate). I removed the carbon to facilitate the Interpet Anti Hair Algae I added to the water. The instructions recommend dosing once a week for four weeks. I’m not sure when I can safely put the carbon back in the filter basket though so I’ll have to try and find online forum advice. Does anyone out there have advice about this?

*LFS = Local fish shop. I think I picked this up from wise fish-friend Slimnexus.
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New Plant, New Fish and Old Timers

I’ve been trying to capture photos of all the new fish but the Pygmy Sparkling Gouramis are extremely shy! I’ll keep trying. All fish are settling in very well together. Mrs Cichlid spent the first couple of days after the latest fish addition, hiding out in the rock plant and chasing any who swam too close. She is now more sociable. Everyone seems to be finding their place.

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