Anyone have experience with Spaerichthys vaillanti?



I have a group of 11-12 Spaerichthys vaillanti wherein 2 pairs have been breeding for 2-3 months. They are in a 58g, the water is 10gh/4-5Kh and about Ph 7.0 rested - lowered to 6.1 with CO2. I love these fish, but don't have the time to lower the mineral content of my tap water and take the care to breed them carefully. I've kept them as a beautiful fish appropriate in my planted tanks. I've read they need very soft water to hatch eggs. My water is too alkaline, plus, their tank has Seachem Onyx in it, which buffers the water to a higher mineral content.

I'm concerned about a female that looks as though her belly is full of eggs and is about to explode. Strangely, she doesn't look distressed, other than her swollen appearance. Her chosen male has his mouth full of eggs and they have been spawning for some time. I've never detected fry, probably due to my water conditions.

Any advice from people that know these fish?



web reference: Sphaerichthys vaillanti


Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Nov 21, 2007
Los Angeles, CA

"About to explode" could turn out to be dropsy. If her scales start sticking out like spikes, it might be best to put her out of her misery -- for her sake and to protect your other fish. I've had no experience with dropsy, so hopefully someone with experience can contribute here.


Hi Ted,

I'm sure this isn't dropsy. It isn't her entire gut, but rather looks like a marble in her belly. I think she's egg-bound.

Thanks for the reply,