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Festivum Breeding

Discussion in 'Fish for Planted Tanks' started by Gerryd, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hey all,

    So, I have 4 festivum cichlids in my 48 gal tank that are about 2" max in body length. I also have 25+ large tiger barbs and a few other misc fish in there, maybe 5-6 small various tetras. A magnum 350 and rena xp3 I think is the other canister on it for filtration and flow. Does a good job.

    Last week I dropped a big new manzy root in there for a rescape and it has been floating like a cork ever since :)

    I see today that two of the festivums (love that name) are brooding a large clutch of eggs on the branch about mid-water. So, I will keep that in mind for the final scape :)

    The great thing of course is to see all the tigers scrunched into one side when one of the parents decides to get busy clearing the area of other fish....Nobody is hurt and the barbs come back eventually, but these tigers are just as large as the cichlids and tiger barbs can be aggressive in a large pack lol

    So, I can't wait to see how they develop if so. The tank is non co2, very mature, no ei dosing or anything. Flake food, eggs, and chicken to bring into breeding condition :)

    The eggs are very hard to see as they blend in perfectly with the chosen spot on the manzy wood.

    Anyone with experience that wants to chime in is appreciated. I already did research and know what to expect, but personal experiences are always welcome.

    Thanks
     
  2. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Lifetime Members
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    Very cool Gerryd! I have to say I am a little jealous. I keep hoping my male and female E. blue rams will pair off. They seemed to get along and "hang out" for a long while, but now they don't get along so well. My tank is still a little bare and they could feel a little exposed, so maybe that is why. Seems like the wood gave them a great place to spawn. Keep us updated, maybe some video of the fry. Do you think they will be able to survive the tiger barbs? I forsee a slaughter upon hatching.
     
  3. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi,

    Patience and a good comfort level for the fish are important...Sometimes they just need a certain spot or time to get comfortable enough to breed. I simply used roasted chicken, scrambled eggs, and tetra flake food for 'conditioning' and they did their thing :)

    Trying different hardscapes also works. Some fish are more comfortable with a leaning than a flat rock for instance. Do you have dithers for the rams? Do you have any cories or other fish that will disturb the rams as they are substrate brooders?

    I have wrigglers now, unsure how many, but alot. The parents are even more vigilant now about other fish, so the tigers will most likely go back to the 180 very soon. Plus the 180 looks bare w/o them! I don't want to net them now as I would have to remove the big wood with the fry, and they are okay. They can hold their own. I try and keep them all stuffed with food so it is a bit easier for the parents.

    I am happy to know I have a certified pair going forward as I would like to raise at least one small clutch as it has been a long time since I raised fry....The behaviour alone is very interesting to me. I feel that this may be their first clutch so I expect them to get better as they mature, as many cichlids do. The parent's colors are more intense in general, the tails have a LOT of black in them now.

    It will be interesting to see if the fry become free swimming how long they can elude the tigers....the tank is very heavily planted but is only a 48 gal and there are >20 big tigers, plus the other two festivums...the next batch will stand a better chance w/o the tigers in the tank.

    Oh, btw I found one of my 2 remaining cardinals on the floor, so I have 1 left out of the hundreds I had 18 months ago. It will be wierd not to have any. I want to reduce my community tank tendencies and lower the # of species of both fish and plants.

    Last thing is that the manzy root is still floating and is still the home of the wrigglers. It has sunk a bit in the 7 days or so, but there is a very thick portion that needs to soak in. It is leaching a bit but no more than expected. A few large water changes and will be good to go. Now I am unsure if I shouldn't leave it 'hanging' as the fish like it :) Will THEY be as happy when it sinks and I rescape? LOL


    Later.
     
    #3 Gerryd, Jul 16, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 16, 2011
  4. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    The mater pair of kribs in the 180 also have about 50-75 fry that are free swimming. Amazing the care that such fish devote to their young. The fry are strong 'swimmer's/hoppers as there is very strong current in the tank. You can see them affected by it but noone gets blown out of the pack. The parents pick up any stragglers anyway.

    The female put them all to 'bed' before by transferring them under the wood instead of around it for the food search.

    Great behaviour. I love watching cichlids care for the fry.

    I have to get something special for the new tank...........
     
  5. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi all,

    Well the festivum fry got to the free swimming stage..........and as predicted soon fell prey to the tiger pack....

    The parents I think should be commended as they fought to the last, but the fry just go everywhere at once and the parents can't protect them all in every direction...so they get snapped up.

    The krib parents also had a nice brood which is now gone and I assume met the same fate at the hands of the alestes...

    I think I may place the festivums in the 180 with the alestes and the kribs. The kribs and festivums occupy different strata and I think they will be okay. I will watch and remove if an issue as I like kribs.

    It will be good for the festivums (love that name!) to be in a bigger tank and perhaps some of the fry will make it. The 180 is fairly heavily planted and I expect it to become more so in the coming weeks.

    Later!
     
  6. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Lifetime Members
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    I enjoy cichlids behavior as well. Always entertaining, especially a mated pair. Will it matter if mine are blue rams? Your experience sounds like something I would like to see.

    What are dithers? I feed brine shrimp and blood worms along with regular dry pellets. I would love to improve their feeding if it will help move their...courtship along. :) Problem will be getting them enough food and not over doing it with the rasboras and tetras.
     
  7. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi,

    Your rams should act with the female (IMO) doing more 'brood care' while the male does lots of defence of the nest area and fry. However, they will switch these roles so the female can feed or scare off possible predators LOL . Your rams are more substrate level breeders and that is why cories can be a pain to them. They will breed in pits many times in the gravel.

    I heartily recommend trying to get your fish to breed as the behaviour is very rewarding as is the successfull rearing of fry!

    Dithers are simply appropriate size schooling fish that are kept with many cichlids. The cichlids see the dithers swimming about with no cares and feel safer and will come out in the open more. You just need to match the size of the dithers with the cichlids :)

    I think if they are fat and well cared for that within a short time if they are a pair that you would see courtship behavour.

    If the other fish get fat at the same time, that may help with the survival of young..

    Have you bred any egg bearers previously?

    Later.
     
  8. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Second attempt

    So, the last brood of festivum fry lasted a few days into the free swimming stage before they fell to the tiger pack.

    I was going to move the pack but have been sick. Naturally they have spawned again, a large clutch, again on the still floating manzy root.

    So, I do not want to disturb them so the pack stays for the nonce....I will try and grab most in the next day or so as they will be pinned to one end of the tank by the parents for the most part...

    I think I will move this pair also to the 180 in the future.....

    ***********Krib update

    I had 3-5 good size fry that I can't find now, but they may be in the tank somewhere. They were at least 10+ days of free swimming.. Mom had long ago lost interest, but Dad stayed fairly close. I am sure these got picked off by the alestes..

    I lost one of the females and one of the males as well. Found them dead in the overflows. I am fairly certain that the biggest male had a lot to do with it as he is farily large now and certainly dominant in the tank.

    We'll see how that goes with the addition of the festivums .....Good time ahead!
     
  9. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    #9 Gerryd, Aug 3, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 3, 2011
  10. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Lifetime Members
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    Gerry,

    great pictures!

    I have not bred egg layers before. The only fish I can say I have successfully bred are those that require not help, guppies and swordtails.

    I have had a pair of rams spawn in one of my tanks before, but the eggs did not make it. I had what at the time I thought were SAE's in the tank and they continuously harrassed the GBR's and ate most of the eggs. I have since learned that these fish that were sold to me as SAE's (when I didn't know better and thought people who sell fish correctly identify their fish) are probably flying foxes, or false SAE's as they have the pale stripe above the black and have a brown and goldish tone.

    My two electric blue rams are in a tank now with many cardinal tetras and porkchop rasboras, 5 ottos and some amano shrimp. They get along very well when the lunar lights are on, but not so well during the day. The male bullies the female. I have increased the days I feed the brine shrimp hoping to induce some courtship behavior. We will see how it goes. Right now the tank needs to grow out more so they feel more comfortable, I think.
     
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