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Convict Cichlid Tank Mates

Prepared foods containing some vegetables, such as Spirulina, are also appropriate to feed. Within a group, there is always a special interaction between a male and a female that form a stable couple and spawn together. In general, established groups of N.

However, this behavior of communal parental care is much more noticeable in spacious aquariums.

Under these described conditions, young N. In my case, the first spawning was observed just six weeks after they were added to a dedicated tank. Pre-spawning behavior can be very apparent because the parents will force themselves into a crevice, or else dig into the substrate, for a secure place to deposit their eggs. Sometimes they will spawn directly onto the hidden side of a rock situated in their territory.

If you are attentive, you can observe the prolapse of the genital duct through the genital opening 12 to 24 hours prior to spawning; it will be noticeable to the naked eye. Spawn volume varies greatly with the size and age of the specimens. Averaging the spawns made by my two groups, I estimate that young couples will produce between 50 and 60 viable eggs, while adult couples a year or older will produce between and eggs.

Spawning frequency can also vary between every 14 to 40 days. In general, the female is especially active in caring for the eggs, and later the larvae, while the male focuses on defense of their territory. During this period, they do not spawn. The eggs of N.

Between 1. Forty-eight hours after fertilization, the generation of embryonic tissue and organs is clearly visible through the eggs. They have a large yolk sac, which remains attached to the surface of the rock by special glands in the head that secrete a sticky substance. At the time of birth, N. They are still nourished endogenously by their yolk sac and if disturbed will make short, rapid movements of distress. By the second day, their eyes are completely developed and their jaws are open and in continuous movement.

At three days, the gill operculum appears open, and they have already developed tiny pectoral fins. Meanwhile, the yolk sac will have reduced by 85 percent. The fourth day post hatch is when the larvae begin to swim freely; by now, they have already developed the caudal fin and are more darkly pigmented throughout the body. Between the third and fifth day post hatch although this varies, depending on the pair , the parents will move the larvae to a new shelter. Normally, it is different from the one used for spawning. At the slightest sign of danger, the larvae will rush to take refuge in the recesses of the new shelter.

Within one week of hatching, the larvae still remain near their parents but school together in open waters close to the center of their territory. The fry are not bothered by other adults belonging to the group, which in turn seem to exert some protective behavior toward them. If the larvae are dispersed in excess, the parents especially the female catch them and redeposit them in the center of the territory again. Sometimes two generations of fry have coexisted together in my tanks alongside an adult group.

Again, available space is directly proportional to the behavior of your fairy cichlids. If there is room, adults and several generations of different ages can live harmoniously. By contrast, with limited space and crowding, cases of cannibalism are common. As soon as the larvae begin to swim freely, supply them two to three times daily with newly hatched brine shrimp nauplii, which are quickly devoured.

The nauplii of freshwater copepods of the genus Cyclops are also a good addition to their diet. The number of fry has always been significantly lower than the number of eggs. But this loss can be mitigated by using fine sand instead of coarse gravel for the substrate; the fry can injure themselves on gravel, with fatal results.


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