Let's see, they are Ecuadorian Hoplias Malabaricus. My husband kept telling me "I think she is going to lay eggs", she was getting pretty fat and moving rocks around alot. She had holes dug all over in the tank. I kept saying no she's not!!! We read on line how rare it is to breed in captivity. We just bought the fish from a friend a few months ago and he has had them for years and they never spawned.We did not even know we had a male and female.
Ok so the female is always kind of pale looking compared to the male who has a DARK BLACK stripe going down his sides (which is how we can tell them apart) On Jan.9th around 5 p.m she laid her eggs (ALOT of them). The funny thing was we couldn't even tell the male and female apart because she now had that same dark stripe for about a day after laying the eggs. As soon as the eggs were laid the male moved in and continued to lay over the eggs and fan them constantly. We decided to move half the eggs (the larger clutch) to another tank that was empty and cycled. (I let my hubby do that, NO WAY I was messing with the dad that was being very protective) On Jan. 11th at 7a.m the eggs hatched and we had a TON of little ones!!
The father continued to stay over the babies and fan them. They all just stayed at the bottom of the tank in little clumps the first couple days. Now they seem to stay in little schools and venture all over the tank. We have been feeding them frozen baby brine shrimp, ground up freeze dried blood worms and ground up flake food. They do come up after the food now, it's hard to tell if they are eating or not as they are so tiny still (but growing). We did move some of the babies to a third tank the other day, and we have a forth tank we need to get up and running today so that we can try to start moving them according to size soon.
We have a local family owned pet store here we go to all the time, and he wants to buy a few hundred and he is talking to his distributor for us to see if they want to buy any. We've had alot of emails and pm's from people looking for them. The guy from the pet store said that she will probably spawn again in a few months so we'll see what happens. I'm just hoping that these little guys are all gone by the time that happens. I'll let ya's know if she does or not. But for right now my frontroom can be called a fishroom for sure!!!!!