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Old 08-28-2006, 11:32 AM   #1
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Orange Flash Apistogramma *Breeding again*

Last night I did some much needed pruning and other tank maintenance. I generally only do 30% water changes since the bucket I use is 4 gallons and I have a 10g tank, but last night I decided to do a 50% because the KH has been creeping up (my substrate is calcite, whoops).

Well I wake up this morning and go to feed my fish and notice that they’re hanging out in a place they’ve never spent time in before. They were in a little spot between some driftwood and java fern. So while they were eating I took a look back there and noticed about 20-30 eggs. Bonnie (my female) went back in there after eating and started laying more. She has completely changed colors from a brown to almost a yellowish brown color. I’ll try to get some pictures tonight, but the location of the eggs (in combination with my junky camera) is going to result in some pretty bad pictures.

I’m pretty excited because my male has been doing the dance since the moment I put the female in. I’m surprised that they’ve started up this quick. I’ve only had her in there for about a month. Unfortunately with this batch of eggs I’m going to have to let nature take its course. There’s a chance that some will make it, but I’m not real optimistic. I’m getting married in two weeks and will be out of town for two weeks (total) for the wedding and the honeymoon. I don’t really expect the guy that is going to feed them to try to take care of fry, but since the Apistos are the only fish in the tank there may be a chance to see a couple of wrigglers before I head out of town (in about 10 days).

I’ll keep updates posted.
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Old 08-28-2006, 11:41 AM   #2
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congrats on your wedding! and the apisto eggs! maybe they're trying to teach you a few things before the big night... lol!
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Old 08-28-2006, 11:54 PM   #3
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I told my fiance about that comment justrelax, she got a kick out of it.

Well here is a picture of the eggs, but they are in a really bad place. Very hard to see and get a shot of.

You can see the female looking at me (she's kind of yellow now), and the eggs are just to the right of her on the underside of the driftwood. You can only see a few of them from this angle (sadly the best angle), but there are more under there.
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File Type: jpg eggs_204.jpg (112.3 KB, 54 views)
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Old 08-28-2006, 11:57 PM   #4
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Congrats!! Good luck.
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Old 08-30-2006, 11:08 AM   #5
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EDITED

I was wrong, they aren't caviar. I've got wrigglers (or so I think). Little pink things on the substrate under where the eggs were layed. I don't see them moving, but the female keeps going over and fanning them with her tail.

I have a question I got some crypt parva in the mail today, and I want to plant it. If I stick my hand in the tank to plant (about 10 inches from the wrigglers) am I risking the mother eating or otherwise harming the wrigglers? I konw nervous fish eat eggs, but will they eat these little fellas?
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Old 08-30-2006, 11:22 PM   #6
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Well, there are probably 3-4 dozen of the pink things on the ground.

I planted the parva, they didn't seem to get too stressed by it. They're pretty used to me putting my hand in the tank. I just let the female get near the eggs before I started, and I moved slowly to avoid scaring them.

I've even seen the female picking up smaller snails with her mouth and carrying them away from the eggs.

Here's another picture of the wrigglers. Pretty neat to see, and the picture came out much much better than the previous ones.
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Old 08-31-2006, 02:02 AM   #7
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Congrats on the wrigglers. Good luck with them. Keep us updated with how they are making out.
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Old 08-31-2006, 09:50 AM   #8
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Thanks, they're going to be fending for themselves in the main tank unfortunately . Luckily mom and pop are the only inhabitants other than snails, so there is a small chance they may survive.

They are definitely wriggling this morning though. I see at least 5 eggs "vibrating wildly", lol. I'm going to have to try to find a sponge to put over my filter intake. Luckily the filter intake is on the other side of the aquarium and it doesn't provide tons of current where these guys are.

EDIT

Does anyone know how good of parents these guys are? I'm guessing the female won't eat the fry since she's doing a heck of a lot of parenting right now, but I'm wondering if the male will. In the future I plan on moving them, but that's not an option this time.
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Old 09-04-2006, 01:56 PM   #9
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Well yesterday afternoon I went to get a sponge to put over my filter intake since moving them is not an option right now (going to be out of town, and I just don't have another tank) and when I got back all of the pink things were gone. I assumed the worst and thought that the female had eaten them, but upon waking up this morning I found something completely different.

Tons of fry swimming around my female! I haven't tried to count yet, but since it's a heavily planted tank, I don't think counting will be too successful.

The female is doing her best to keep the male at bay. He keeps coming around looking for osome fry to eat, but she smacks him everytime she sees him. I've never seen her so aggressive before. I tried to get a pic, but I only had to shots left on my memory card and didn't get to try again. I'll get a better one later today. For now, here is what I've got.

It's hard to tell the fry from the baby snails, but I tried to circle what I knew was fry.
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Old 09-04-2006, 06:55 PM   #10
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Raising apistogramma fry can be a lot of fun and satisfying. Once the parents get the hang of it you should see spawnings every few weeks. You do want to remove the first batch of fry to another tank before your fish spawn again to be on the safe side though. What are you going to feed the fry? I've used Liquifry which is no longer available (Wardley has something similar) and then First Bites as they got bigger.
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Old 09-04-2006, 08:39 PM   #11
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Unfortunately I don't have a lot of option with what to do with them. I don't expect to see any of this batch survive. I'm going to be out of town for two weeks starting Wednesday, so the tank is going to be fed by an automatic feeder. The parent's aren't used to shrimp pellets, so I'm trying to ween them now, which isn't going wonderfully. The male seems to be foraging quite a bit, which includes foraging for fry. If the parents have figured out how to get free swimmers in my main tank, what should I do in the future? Let them hatch them, or remove the eggs? And then when it comes to the fry, if I leave them in there for hatching, how do I move them without ending up with a bunch of dead little guys.
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Old 09-04-2006, 11:13 PM   #12
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Congrats on your upcoming wedding!

I can't offer any advice with the apistos, but you had a question about the crypt parva - If you don't want to plant it until the wigglers are a little older, it will be fine for two weeks in a bowl of water. I have two crypt parva in a critter keeper on my kitchen counter. I'm in the middle of redoing three tanks and adding a new fourth tank, and the crypts will be planted last after the other aquascapes (or lack of!!) are all set. They are doing fine floating in the critter keeper.
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Old 09-20-2006, 03:13 PM   #13
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Well I returned from my honeymoon (2 weeks after leaving) and I was honestly a bit scared if even my apisto pair would still be alive, but they were. The automatic feeder did its job (though it likely overfed a bit). There must have been enough additional food and debris around for the fry as well. I had a hard time seeing much of anything in my overgrown jungle of a tank, but there are definitely some fry left.

The remaining ones (I only saw 4 at one time, but I’m sure there are more hiding in there) are a good deal larger than they were before, and some of them have very distinguishable body shapes and fins already. They were between 1/8 and 3/16” long. After a heavy pruning scheduled for tonight, I’m going to try to get a better count on how many are left.

And now for my inevitable question: What should I be feeding these guys? I know most of what I’ve read on other sites refers to keeping them in a growout tank and feeding egg yolk and then switching over to fry food after a certain period of time, but these are growing in the main tank. Is it safe to assume that if I alternate between pellets and freeze dried foods that they should be able to get some of the left over pellets? I know the freeze dried generally never hits the bottom so I can probably rule that out, but will they be able to eat off of the pellets (they usually sit on the bottom for a while and are finished off by the snails)? Any ideas?

@An t-iasg
I planted the parva before I left and everything went well.
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Old 09-22-2006, 12:27 PM   #14
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Well I've been able to count 8 so far, which I know isn't too many, but considering how neglected they've been isn't too shabby. I really wish I could have hatched them in a separate tank, which I will probably do next time. I'll attempt to get some pictures tonight, but without a manual focus I end up with some pretty bad ones most times. I have to take 20 to get 1 good shot.

Back to the question I asked last time. Should I be supplementing their food or not? Is it safe to assume that there is enough around, or should I be going with the egg yolk thing? I know that most people here don't breed apistos, but dwarf cichlids should pretty much be the same.

Thanks in advance
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Old 09-22-2006, 12:39 PM   #15
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Here is an article I found on apisto breeding. Looks like if the food offered is too big the parents will get it to the appropriate size. I would imagine you could keep feeding whatever the adults eat and let nature take it's course. Sounds like you have some keepers though! Let us know when they are ready to ship...
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Old 09-22-2006, 02:54 PM   #16
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Excellent article. Thanks for the link. I guess I should keep feeding some pellets or maybe try some frozen brine shrimp in addition to the freeze dried stuff.

I have seen some different behaviour during feeding like mentioned in that article. Instead of staying at the top and gobbling everything up very quickly, the female grabs some and goes down towards the bottom of the tank for a moment. I've seen her spitting stuff up as well (stuff she normally eats immediately). I'm increasingly amazed at how good of parents these guys are.
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Old 09-22-2006, 07:37 PM   #17
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Based on my own experience with breeding apistos I would suggest some foods made specifically for your fry. I've used Fry Bites by HBH (which may no longer be available) as well as frozen baby brine shrimp and daphnia. Once your fry get big enough you could start them on New Life Spectrum's Small Fish Formula.
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Old 09-22-2006, 11:54 PM   #18
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I've been putting some daphnia in along with the bloodworms as well. The parents don't seem to get to it all and a reasonable amount makes it down to where the fry are. I guess I'll keep that up. I'll see if I can find some fry food when I hit up the pet store tomorrow. I haven't seen any HBH stuff around here (used to be one of the only brands I could find in SC), but I'll keep my eyes open.

Right now I think the largest one is just under 1/4" and the smallest is about 2/3 that size.

Gheitman, could I expect to see another spawn anytime soon with the fry still in the tank? The parents seem to be making gestures like they're getting ready for round 2. The female is doing her curved body dance, and the male is starting to flare and shake at her again. It's been about 3 weeks since these eggs turned into free swimmers.

Thanks for the advice.
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Old 09-23-2006, 12:12 PM   #19
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It is likely that you will see another spawn soon. I think about four weeks between spawns is normal.
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Old 09-28-2006, 09:51 AM   #20
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Ok, the majority of the fry are about 1/4" long now. No pictures as my camera really stinks. The parents are ready to spawn again, but I'd like to do what I did las time to induce it. A3 0-50% water change should get them going. I'm just a little worried that the water change may adversely affect the fry. Is this a legit worry, or should I just change it?

Thanks in advance
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