The wild pair of Amphilophus hogaboomorum breed on a regular basis. There are a total of three of that species in a 180 gallon tank. The breeding pair have claimed the right half of the tank the other male fish remains on the left side...along with a very beat up P. synspilus...his "room mate"
Whenever they start the breeding process the male will begin with a "dueling match" with the male's squaring off and displaying.
It almost appears as if the female is looking on to watch the confrontation.
Despite the active displaying, ALL of the fish manage to keep those beautiful trailers on their fins.
The male on the left (non-breeder) is about an inch bigger than the breeding male. I can only imagine that energy that would normally go toward growth is diverted to breeding. This seems to be the case for all of the breeding cichlids I have kept. Any time I have multiple fish of the same species, the breeders always remain smaller.
You can see from the picture WHO is actually gaining ground. Note the direction of the pelvic fins. He's swimming backward in retreat. I have a half dozen photos of this scene...each with the same. He would advance, then rapidly retreat.
Look at those beautiful trailing fins! The other male is just of camera to the left as the male displays.
Once the male is satisfied that the competition is quiet, he will turn his attention to the female...chasing her around the breeding area, often t-boning her pushing her sideways. The female doesn't seem to avoid this attention.
The pair always breed in the pot on the far left bottom. Almost always she will play this "peek-a-boo" game with the male...with her head coming out of a much smaller area that the male can't access. You can see that he is interested.
Eventually they will end up in the breeding pot. This will happens in a few days. Looks like they are taking a break to pose for my camera.
All photos were taken with the D300, and three flash units. One of the units was placed in front of the tank at a slight angle pointing up to fill in the bottom. Some of the photos the fish were just out of the flash area...giving a more dramatic lighting effect.