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Breeding splash tetras....

tjudy

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We were about to hijack Mike's Christmas surprise thread, so I brought the topic over here.

Tom C ..... Would you mind outlining how you set up Copella sp. for spawning? I am working with C. vilmae right now, and will be setting up some more species in a few weeks.

I am using a 33-gallon long (48"x13"x13") for the C. vilmae. I have a tight glass top on the tank and the water is dropped to about 3" under the glass. I am hoping to get the fish to use the glass canopy as an egg laying site. I will try to get a picture of the set up. The species is pretty aggressive, and I was trying to keep two males in with about 6 females... but I have pulled the 'beater male' and reduced the female count to 4.
 

rr16

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I have no idea about breeding C. vilmae, but do they lay in the water or out? I thought it was in the water, but I could be wrong. As far as I'm aware (and am only a beginner with this genus) only C. arnoldi leaves the water to breed.
So, I currently have C. arnoldi which are displaying to each other and will hopefully breed. There is quite a wide glass ledge on my tank and also Hydrocotyle leucocephala growing above the water level (also a Pothos plant) which am hoping they'll lay on.
I spoke to Steve Chester recently who breeds C. arnoldi and he says that he now lowers the water level considerably and suspends a plastic/silk plant above the water by several inches and they leap out and lay on this. He can then transfer the plant to a separate tank and hatch the eggs submerged.

Now, if they breed like other Copella then the male will most likely choose a suitable leaf somewhere in the tank and the femal will lay on it. He will probably then guard the leaf until the young hatch.
I have recently bred a species of Copella I got that were by-catch with some wild neons. I think they are either C. eigenmanni or C. compta (actually, that's what TomC thinks, but looking at them, I'd probably agree - or some as yet undescribed species).
My experience with them is as follows -
They were about 1cm when I got them and in the space of about 3 or 4 months the males are now about 7 or 8 cm total length (including tail).
I have 3 males and one female.
A few weeks ago one of the males went all pale in colour (breeding dress) and was chasing everything off, including have a sparring match with my male A. panduro.
The next day I found around 20-30 eggs on a Hydrocotyle leucocephala leaf less than 1 or 2 cm below the water surface. The male was defending a territory around this. I removed the eggs on the leaf to a breeding net in the same tank and they hatched within 24 hours approximately. They have been fed on infusoria and fry powder, but I made sure there were plants, oak leaves and floating plants in the net as a source or infusoria too! I have around 10-20 young fry which are still arouns 5-6mm long at the moment.
About a week ago I added a couple of catappa leaves to the tank, and they floated. In honesty, part of my reason was to experiment if the Copella would lay on them as they float just below the surface for a couple of days before sinking. The next day, the female was decidely slimmer and one of the males was in breeding dress and chasing all and sundry. I checked all the Hydrocotyle leucocephala leaves but nothing. Then I looked for the Catappa leaf which had by now sunk and found 25-30 eggs on it, so I transferred these to the breeding net and at least a few have hatched. It's hard to tell as I keep the floating plants in there, so I guess time will tell how many I have, but again, just feeding infusoria and fry powder and OK so far. Was going to try BBS but my hatchery has been banned from the house and when I put it in the cupboard under my tank it was too cold to hatch them.

So, I hope my ramblings have been of some use either way and good luck.
DSC_0307.JPG
DSC_0109.JPG

 

tjudy

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Thanks... I will put some floating dry leaves in the tank too. I have catappa, but I will probably try magnolia, because they will take more than a week to sink.
 

rr16

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OK, good luck. It'll be good to find out how you go on. Are they a good size now and are the males displaying to each other? I have noticed my C. arnoldi males sparring a lot and displaying so hopefully they'll spawn soon! On another note - my Nannostomus eques in the same tank as the C. eigenmanni/compta were spawning earlier and managed to rescue 2 eggs and found my female A. cacatuoides with a cloud of fry an hour ago so not a bad day for it so far!
 

rr16

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Have just lifted the lid now to find my C. arnoldi have spawned - about 10-15 eggs on a Hydrocotyle leucocephala leaf about 1-2 inches above the water level! Will add the pic tomorrow of the eggs and the tank to give you an idea if you want.
 

rr16

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Here's video of the male jumping above the water to splash the leaves! I think it's just displaying to the females that he has a breeding site as I couldn;t see any eggs on the leaf when I looked.
 

Tom C

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...Tom C ..... Would you mind outlining how you set up Copella sp. for spawning?...
Now I just keep them in tanks with lots of floating plants. Here the plants are Ceratopteris cornuta, and there are also some Hydrocotyle leucocephala in there (big leaves they like to put the eggs on). Usually I add newly hatched BBS to the tank twice a day.

resizeimage.aspx



Earlier I also used other things in addition to the plants: for example modified copies of the plastic things we use to put houseplants on. I remember when I pulled this one forward in the tank to take a picture, there were a pair of Copella callolepis inside. Obviously I had disturbed them when they had just started to spawn...

resizeimage.aspx



Some of these things need help from small pieces of cork to float at the proper depth:

resizeimage.aspx



I have also used other plastic basket-like things. Some specimens of Copella compta love this one (when it is in the water):

resizeimage.aspx


When I want more fry to grow up now, I remove the Apistogramma from the tank (I suspect they hunt down quite a few of the small fry), and also every day add some infusoria to the layer of floating plants.

I kept Copella vilmae some years ago, but never managed to persuade them to spawn, then. Hopefully I am more experienced now...
 

tjudy

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With the modified plastic plant dish.... are the fish going into it through that gap and laying their eggs on the side that faces the surface of the water? Interesting...
 

rr16

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My C. arnoldi spawned again last night on the glass bracer as I let the water level drop a little the last few days! Not the best though as will be difficult to remove the eggs so will probably just leave them!
 

Tom C

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With the modified plastic plant dish.... are the fish going into it through that gap and laying their eggs on the side that faces the surface of the water? Interesting...
Yes, the fish go into it by one of the gaps on the side. On the first photo of the plant dish you can see 4 eggs. It's just like on the photo in my tanks, except that I pulled it towards the front of the tank to take the photo. It's in the back of the tank because the fishes don't seem to like it too bright. I often put a piece of paper or something else on top of the cover glass, to reduce the amount of light falling on the dish...
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
I think they spawn at first light in the morning. Mine were fine until they became mature, and then I lost several through really small gaps in the aquarium lid.

Because the aquarium is in a window, judging by where I found the dead fish and eggsI think they leapt towards (or to the sides of the light? because that was a solid object?) the small patches of daylight which showed before the aquarium lights came on.

Eventually I went all around the aquarium lid and stopped up all the small holes (cut-outs for pipes etc) with non-absorbent cotton wool, and they successfully remained in the tank spawned and I have fry.

Interestingly they have always spawned on the glass, even in a tank with emergent vegetation.
lid_up_zpsf2edd702.jpg

copella_arnoldi1_zps297ebb6f.jpg


cheers Darrel
 

rr16

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I've had them spawn in the evening and earlier in the day. I had to partially rebuild my lid which meant gaps everywhere, but Steve warned me of them jumping out before I bought them so I had to put mesh around the sides which I'm hoping will do the trick. So far I don't think I've had any escapees! Fingers crossed, but there's also a lot of plants around the edges so hoping they'll see it as a river bank and not jump out! They've just spawned again on some dried oak leaves that I left on a twig, resting on the glass shelf, overhanging the water so that I could remove the leaves easily to hatch in the breeding net. Had one lay on the underside of the glass ledge/glass cross piece junction the other day so just had to leave those be. I'm rather liking the genus Copella these days!
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
I've had them spawn in the evening and earlier in the day!
Interestingly they have always spawned on the glass, even in a tank with emergent vegetation.
Shows what I know.

I was doing some maintenance on the Splash Tetra tank this lunchtime (its in the lab. at work), and I was called away after I'd syphoned some water out. When I came back (this afternoon) I cut the emergent Anubias back, and when I looked it had Copella arnoldi eggs on a leaf. I can't be 100% certain, but I'm pretty sure they weren't there this morning.

Copella_arnoldi_Anubias_leaf_zps5d99b674.jpg


cheers Darrel
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
This is one of my grown-out male fry, I ended up with about 2:1 males to females, but they were in the tank with the adults and some sub-adult Apistogramma agassizii.

I think I actually saw the precursor to spawning yesterday. Two of the larger males were sparring with one another (with their fins extended), in amongst the Anubias leaves. I watched for a while, because normally they have very brief shows of dominance, but I didn't see the gravid female, and I did think any more of it. Where I saw them sparring was below the leaf with the eggs on it, so she may well have been present, but hidden by a leaf.

Copella_arnoldi_male_crop_zpsabbdc351.jpg


cheers Darrel
 
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rr16

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They've spawned again today on the underside of a Pothos(?) leaf so have removed it and added it to my breeding net. Got at least one fry from the initial batch in there but don't think the eggs on the oak leaves have hatched yet. Hopefully will get some of these 40 or so eggs from the leaf today hatching too!
Two of my males are sparring right now. It's getting quite vicious and a third one is waiting on the edge to join in!
I quite often see them sparring and had quite a few spawnings which I'm really pleased with as I've wanted to breed these for over 20 years, ever since I read about their breeding behaviour in a book!
 

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rr16

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Cheers. For some reason I can never remember the latin name. Where does the name "Pothos" come from?
 

rr16

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Mine layed on the glass shelf a couple of days ago. Here's a picture, not great, but I thought it was rather cool of a hatched fry hanging inside the droplet of water still!
 

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rr16

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Turns out the Copella eigenmanni are infact Copella compta!
 

rr16

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OK, here goes. Finally caught them breeding today! Not on plants, only on the glass ledge, but it was great to watch the behaviour. Hope you enjoy my poor filming and my daughter asking for Minnie Mouse in the background!

http://youtu.be/gjUNnyGbleY
 

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