Cichlid Egg Surprise!

The bad news… Big Boi’s bubble nest, although mighty impressive to me, did not encourage Betty to produce eggs. It was beautifully tended but the broken pieces of plant matter that he had used for construction were starting to perish. When I had done a couple of water changes, I hadn’t wanted to disturb the tank too much, so the whole environment was looking a little overgrown and mucky. I decided to remove the nest, have a good prune of the plants, scrub the front and sides of the tank, vacuum the gravel surface with the siphon gadget and clean the tubing of the external filter. After this and a 15/20% water change, the tank is looking great. It is clearer, lighter and the fish are happy. Dwarf Gourami Big Boi hasn’t exhibited any negative behaviour and I hope he will attempt a new nest in the future.

Tonight I noticed Mrs C the female Cichlid lurking deep in the java fern growing on rock. It was a surprise to see her hovering over a fat leaf covered in eggs! Having read what I can online, I believe the eggs are adhesive and they are usually deposited in caves or plant pots. The female guards the eggs while the male guards the surrounding territory. After 2-3 days incubation, they should hatch and feed from the egg sacs. After 4-5 days of development, they will be free swimming. The females lay up to 100 eggs and she looks after them by cleaning them and carrying the newly hatched in her mouth. I will keep an eye on her and see if this is all correct information!

It was sad to have to remove the nest but a lovely surprise that new attempts are being made to increase the tank population. Yey, happy fish!

If anyone has advice on how I can care for the young and prevent them all being eaten, please do let me know. Thanks!

Pictures: the little white dots are some of the eggs and the speckled brown area is Mrs C.

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Two new shrimp and a mighty nest

I really want to post pictures of the new Dwarf Gourami eggs or tiddlers but…nothing has happened yet! Big Boi has primped and plumped his bubblenest, chased all the fish in turn if they get too close and has chased Betty around a lot. I haven’t seen any dancing under the nest or egg-squirting (that should be a technical aquarist term!) I probably won’t get a successful breeding situation as this has all happened by chance. It would be nice though.

Hot shrimp update: I bought two algae-eating shrimp from the same shop I picked up Speckled Jim. There’s plenty of algae to munch on so they should thrive. I’ll do another water change tomorrow but I want to be careful not to disturb the mighty nest.

The first pic shows the lovely Betty, the second Big Boi and his nest (the mound coming out of the water has a halo!) and in third place, the Big Boi squirting water into the air! Woohoo!

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