• Hello guest! Are you an Apistogramma enthusiast? If so we invite you to join our community and see what it has to offer. Our site is specifically designed for you and it's a great place for Apisto enthusiasts to meet online. Once you join you'll be able to post messages, upload pictures of your fish and tanks and have a great time with other Apisto enthusiasts. Sign up today!

Congochromis sabinae breeding success

a.d.wood

Member
5 Year Member
First new fry in the fish house for 2008 :) :) :) :)

Collected during the week before christmas 2007 and housed as a pair in their own 70 litre tank (with a dozen young Aphyocypris sp. as dithers):

Male >


And with the youngsters >


I also have a reverse trio of Congochromis dimidiatus that were collected at the same time, female is remaining fairly secretive in the cave just now, hopefully fry will appear soon....

Andrew
 

firetank

New Member
5 Year Member
fantastic love those little guys, great news;

how did you manage to get them to spawn;water perams etc???
 

Lenny Llambi

Member
5 Year Member
Congratulations! Your success has inspired me to move my group of C. sabinae into a breeding tank, having been in quarintine now for about a month.

I second the request for details!
 

a.d.wood

Member
5 Year Member
fantastic love those little guys, great news;

how did you manage to get them to spawn;water perams etc???
Congratulations! Your success has inspired me to move my group of C. sabinae into a breeding tank, having been in quarintine now for about a month.

I second the request for details!
OK, the technical stuff then:

The tank dimensions are 18 x 18 x 15†(45 x 45 x 36 cm, lxbxh) and it holds approximately 18.5 gallons (70 litres) of water. The tank is part of the centralized filtration system in the fish house (approximately 3000 litres of water) and the water parameters are maintained at approximately pH 4.5 to 5.0, carbonate hardness (°dKH) undetectable, general hardness (°dGH) undetectable, Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) at 56ppm and the temperature held around 79°F (26°C). Water is prepared by passing tap water through a Heavy Metal Axe (HMA) filter (this contains a sediment pre filter, and two different activated carbon based cartridges that will remove chlorine, chloramines and dissolved metals but does not soften the water or alter the pH) and then circulating the collected water through moss peat for a minimum of 24 hours prior to use.

The breeding tanks are decorated with a silica sand substrate to an approximate depth of 1.5†(3.5cm), various earthenware caves, a coconut cave, bogwood and plants (Amazon sword (Echinodorus sp.) and floating Salvinia natans). This pair actually spawned in a cave they created underneath the bogwood.

The fish are fed twice daily using a combination of fresh baby brine shrimp and a selection of frozen foods that includes Daphnia, Artemia, bloodworm and Cyclops. Additional feeds with live Daphnia are also used when it is available.

And a typical breeding tank will look like this:

The fish just visible on the left bottom of this picture are a pair of Nanochromis parilus, now on their second brood of fry!!

Andrew
 

Lenny Llambi

Member
5 Year Member
How did you end up with your pair of fish? Did you buy the pair, or did you grow them out of a group of juveniles? Was the male very rough with the female?
 

westafrica

New Member
5 Year Member
Congrats on this spawn a.d. wood!

Could you post some pics of your C. squamiceps female? Here in France some fish sold as C. squamiceps are indeed said to be mixed with C. sabinae, and if you agree it would be very helpful to have a picture we could use as a reference (with your copyright mention on it and your agreement of course).

Let me tell you a little bit about my experience with C. sabinae, so that we can compare our experiences : I've been keeping C. sabinae for almost one year, and they spawned in last november, shortly after I added some dithers and progressively made the pH get down to 5,5. Here are some bad pics of them with their fry (there were approx 40 of them at that time, very little) :









The 60 liters tank is very planted, including surface plants. Indeed, being wild caught individuals, they were very shy for a while and even didn't dare to come out to eat before I lowered light intensity. Many potential spawning sites are available. They chosed a half coconut under which they digged, just like Pelvicachromis and Nanochromis spp. would do.

A very soft and acidic water seems to be a sine qua non condition for the eggs to clutch : before I lowered both water mineralisation and pH, they had spawned at least 3 times (surely more) without success.

I noticed some remarkable elements in their behaviour :

- The first female I put with the male dyied trying to spawn (very strange). I put another one with the male, but this one was far less “awesome†: less coloured and skinnier). The male first chased her for a few days, but not really violently, and finally accepted her to display in front of him less than 10 days later. Congochromis seem to be not very hard to pair when compared with Nanochromis. Anyway they are quite calm fish.

- C. sabinae fry and adults are not hunters at all, and even wouldn't eat 2mm long fry of Bedotia madagascariensis, nor young Neocaridinas. Both adults and juvies are fond of dryied Artemia, but quickly juvies would not accept Cyclops nor Daphnia anymore.

- The fry became independant quite quickly : 10 days after free swimming, a dozen of the fry started behaving like a “gangâ€, only joining their siblings at night, while the others remained sticked to the adults. Now, the biggest ones are about 15mm long, and some of them already become territorial, intimidating each other just like adults by inflating the throat and turning around each other. Anyway none of them pays attention to he adults anymore. The parents seem to be ready to spawn again soon, but for now they wouldn’t chase the fry.

I would be very interested to know whether or not you could notice likely behaviours with C. squamiceps.

Thanks in advance!

Best regards,

Jérôme
 

a.d.wood

Member
5 Year Member
How did you end up with your pair of fish? Did you buy the pair, or did you grow them out of a group of juveniles? Was the male very rough with the female?
Hi Lenny,

With this pair, the C. dimidiatus and my Nanochromis parilus, they were all selected as individual adult fish from stock tanks and the pair then introduced at the same time to their own breeding tanks. To date I haven't seen any behaviour that I would call aggressive between the individual pairs of fish.

Congrats on this spawn a.d. wood!

Could you post some pics of your C. squamiceps female? Here in France some fish sold as C. squamiceps are indeed said to be mixed with C. sabinae, and if you agree it would be very helpful to have a picture we could use as a reference (with your copyright mention on it and your agreement of course).
Hi Jérôme,

Thank you and in return well done with the C. sabinae, not a fish commonly seen in the UK. I may have to pop over to France and swap some of my C. squamiceps (and hopefully some C. dimidiatus) juveniles for some of your juveniles :) :) :)

I will certainly sort out some images of the female (and hopefully the male as well when he's displaying) for reference material.

With regards fry behavior, I've already seen a split (fry are only 4 days free swimming) with 3 or 4 separating from the main group for their own excursions round the tank, but they still come back together and this will happen several times each day.

Andrew
 

westafrica

New Member
5 Year Member
Thank you and in return well done with the C. sabinae, not a fish commonly seen in the UK. I may have to pop over to France and swap some of my C. squamiceps (and hopefully some C. dimidiatus) juveniles for some of your juveniles :) :) :)

I will certainly sort out some images of the female (and hopefully the male as well when he's displaying) for reference material.

With regards fry behavior, I've already seen a split (fry are only 4 days free swimming) with 3 or 4 separating from the main group for their own excursions round the tank, but they still come back together and this will happen several times each day.

Andrew
Andrew,

Thanks for your answer.

C. sabinae is not common in France neither ;) . And C. squamiceps even less :) . If you have the occasion to come to Paris I'd be glad to make a fish exchange with you (and talk about westies :) ). Hopefully by this time I'll have also some fry from my other westies.

For information, according to A. Lamboj, my sabinae are probably the "Tsuhapa" geographical form.

Thanks in advance for the pics :) . I'll try to take better photos of my sabinae too.

It would be really interesting to know if the "freelance" behaviour of some your squamiceps fry continues or intensifies. With my sabinae, it became more visible around the 15th day after the fry first came out. When I first noticed this, I was afraid that the dithers eat these fugitives, but when one tried to, the 6mm long sabinae agressed it :D . I'm really surprised by their "braveness" compared to Pelvicachromis fry.
 

a.d.wood

Member
5 Year Member
A few more images:

Female (poor background but shows the iridescence in the dorsal nicely):


Female with fry (and a much better background!!):


Male (I know it's a dark image, but shows the rich pink nicely):


Male with fry:


Andrew
 

westafrica

New Member
5 Year Member
Hi Andrew!

Thank you very much for your pics!

Unless these pics are underrepresentating the characteristic scale iridescence in the middle ventral area of the female and the especially apparent scales on the flank, I think your fish are C. sabinae, nor C. squamiceps.

If you have pics of your female showing glowing scales on the belly and typically distinct sacles, could you please post them?

Thanks in advance,

Best regards,

Jérôme
 

a.d.wood

Member
5 Year Member
Hi Andrew!

Thank you very much for your pics!

Unless these pics are underrepresentating the characteristic scale iridescence in the middle ventral area of the female and the especially apparent scales on the flank, I think your fish are C. sabinae, nor C. squamiceps.

If you have pics of your female showing glowing scales on the belly and typically distinct sacles, could you please post them?

Thanks in advance,

Best regards,

Jérôme
Hi Jérôme,

I don't have any additional images showing body iridescence on the female, but looking at the fish in the tank just now, this may very well be another colour variant of C. sabinae as the iridescence appears restricted to around the base of the genital papilla (not sure to be happy or sad now as it's not the fish I expected, but still a very nice fish to have!!!).

Will send the above pictures onto Anton (Lamboj) for his input as well, will let you know the outcome!!.

Andrew
 

a.d.wood

Member
5 Year Member
To all,

My humble apologies :frown: , the fish I originally thought to be Congochromis squamiceps are actually C. sabinae. Apparently this confusion on the names used by the importers is quite common and as the differences between the 2 species are quite subtle to the naked eye, not always corrected immediately.

Andrew
 

westafrica

New Member
5 Year Member
Hi Andrew!

IMO there's no need to apologize, these species are indeed very close, Anton told me that some sabinae females do have a few silver scales at the middle of their belly.

And based on the pics of genuine C.squamiceps I could see, C. sabinae is more beautiful to watch.

BTW I'm not sure that we even have 2 different geographical forms. Looking at your pics (which are far better than mine), I have the impression to see mine, even though my pics are too poor to allow that comparison based only on them.
 

Lenny Llambi

Member
5 Year Member
I'm confused. I thought that all female C. sabinae bore the "silver spot" along the belly.

Andrew:
Does your female bear the silver spot along her belly?

My fish are still fairly young, but based on their early coloration, my fish resemble Andrew's fish more than Jerome's fish.
 

a.d.wood

Member
5 Year Member
I'm confused. I thought that all female C. sabinae bore the "silver spot" along the belly.

Andrew:
Does your female bear the silver spot along her belly?

My fish are still fairly young, but based on their early coloration, my fish resemble Andrew's fish more than Jerome's fish.
Hi Lenny,

Yes, my female has a small patch of iridescence just above the genital papilla (just doesn't show on my photographs). My understanding is that if this patch of iridescence had then extended up the flanks towards the dorsal fin, then this would be a diagnostic feature for C. squamiceps.

So my fish are C.sabinae, if anything it has helped to highlight the porential variation in coloration between the different populations of C. sabinae in the wild.

Andrew
 

westafrica

New Member
5 Year Member
... the iridescence appears restricted to around the base of the genital papilla
Andrew
Hi Lenny.

From that quote I deduce that Andrew's female does indeed have the characteristic silver scales. Furthermore, on the first picture of Andrew's female, one can guess the presence of this scale. To conclude on this point, I've been able to see that the location and number of silver scales can vary on individuals within the same bunch.

Nonetheless, I'm not sure to understand well what you mean by "along the belly" : do you mean a few scales (1-3 on each flank) close to the genital papilla, or a stripe of silver scale starting close to the genital papilla and ending in the middle of the body? If I'm asking, it's because I've already seen Congochromis sold as C. sabinae, being indeed probably C. sp. "green speckle" (yes I know : what a mess around Congochromis ID reliability in the trade :) ) :

Here are these fish sold as C. sabinae :


And a link with pics of c. sp. "Green speckle" http://www.blackwaterfish.com/green_speckle.htm

C. sp. "bloody mary" also shows a similar silver bow shape stripe, as you surely already know it.

About the resemblance between my fish and Andrew's, I'm really frustrated not to be able to take any pictures without flash that would be showing it (thanks to dark tank + cheap camera + poor talent). The only "difference" I can notice (not even sure it's not due to the weak light) is the intensity of the red semi-circle around the eye.

On a morphological plan, they're really alike too (even though I suspect mine to be older, and even though Andrews female keeps a round belly even when guarding, I suppose the next spawn will be huge!)

Anyway, it's great to have another person who keeps Congochromis sabinae and can talk about it, I hope yours will spawn soon too (fingers crossed!). As you must have guessed now, I'm fond of them and I really think their behaviour has interesting specificities when compared to the Pelvicachromis and Nanochromis I kept until now.
 

a.d.wood

Member
5 Year Member
Just a thought while we are talking about the various Congochromis species. The list below is what I am aware of as described species, would members care to add anything I've missed (both in terms of described and undescribed species):

Congochromis:

Congochromis dimidiatus (Pellegrin, 1900)
Congochromis pugnatus Schliewen and Stiassny, 2007
Congochromis sabinae (Lamboj, 2005)
Congochromis squamiceps (Boulenger, 1902)

Congochromis sp. Makoua
Congochromis sp. Genema
Congochromis sp. Bamanja
these have now been described as Congochromis sabinae

Congochromis sp. Green Speckle
Congochromis sp. Bloody Mary

Nanochromis:

Nanochromis consortus Roberts and Stewart, 1976
Nanochromis minor Roberts and Stewart, 1976
Nanochromis nudiceps (Boulenger, 1899)
Nanochromis parilus Roberts and Stewart, 1976
Nanochromis splendens Roberts and Stewart, 1976
Nanochromis teugelsi Lamboj & Schelly, 2006
Nanochromis transvestitus Stewart & Roberts, 1984
Nanochromis wickleri Schliewen and Stiassny, 2006

Nanochromis sp. Kasai
this is now formally described as Nanochromis teugelsi
 

Lenny Llambi

Member
5 Year Member
Yes, my female has a small patch of iridescence just above the genital papilla (just doesn't show on my photographs).
OK, that's why I was asking. I attended a talk by Anton back in November, and I could've sworn that he emphasized the fact that the silvery "pearl", as he called it, was indicative of C. sabinae. I was starting to worry that I had suffered early onset alzheimer's.

The reason that I say "along the belly" is that Anton pointed out in his talk that the exact location and size of the silvery pearl varies. However, it tends to remain in the portion of the female that swells with eggs when in good breeding condition. My layman's term for that region is "the belly".
It is interesting that the shape of the silver scales changes between species within Congochromis, just like the orientation of the black bars along the operculum changes between different species within the genus Neolamprologus.
At any rate, I did move my four fish out of quarintine, into a breeder tank this weekend. The tank is 20"x10"x24" (LxWxH), a large piece of driftwood, plenty of caves, and very heavily planted. I have a small school of Rasbora espei as dithers. One interesting thing that I noticed immediately, upon introducing the fish, was the veracity with which they started sifting through the mulm. It was as if they hadn't seen mulm since they were back home in the old country.
 

westafrica

New Member
5 Year Member
My understanding is that if this patch of iridescence had then extended up the flanks towards the dorsal fin, then this would be a diagnostic feature for C. squamiceps.

Andrew
In fact, as I wrote it in my last message, at least 2 more species / subspecies (the future will tell hopefully...) show that feature.

So my fish are C.sabinae, if anything it has helped to highlight the porential variation in coloration between the different populations of C. sabinae in the wild.

Andrew
What I meant in my 2 last messages, is that the variability of their pattern is quite impressive (apart from the impact my disastrous photographer skills has on the comparison). I still think that it is not to be excluded that we have the same geographical form of C. sabinae. Anyway I think your's are not the Makoua form.

Edit : Once again our posts crossed! Lenny : I'm not surprised about their behaviour with the mulm.
 

Randall

Active Member
5 Year Member
Congochromis/Nanochromis spp.

Hello Andrew,

Looking at the list you have posted, the informal designations Nanochromis (now Congochromis) sp. "Gemena/Makoua/Bamanja" do indeed correspond to Congochromis sabinae (Lamboj, 2005), and Nanochromis sp. "Kasai" was described as Nanochromis teugelsi Lamboj & Schelly, 2006. Additional work is currently in prep.

All the best,

Randall Kohn
 
Top