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[Documentary] My Ivanacara adoketa baby


5 Year Member
Originally written in Chinese and translated by my friend, Andrew YU, thanks, Andrew!!


I have finally done it after two whole years!!! Thinking back to the beginning…….

My first pair of Ivanacara adoketa is aquarium breed F1 purchased on December 2006 from “An Aquarium”. Their first breeding was on March 2007, however, none of the eggs hatched. After that they continued to breed eight to ten times but all were unfertilized white eggs. Based on my observation, these eggs were already white in color when they were coming out of the female’s body. I guessed the female was sterile so I started to think of getting another pair.

On July 2007, another pair of wild Ivanacara adoketa was purchased from “Such & Such Aquarium”. The female was very small when purchased. In fact, several months later, I had found out that the female was actually a male.

Later on a friend of mine was ordering fishes from Japan so I seized this opportunity and ordered three wild Ivanacara adoketa along. The fishes were really small at the time and could not determine their genders. Actually even now when they are matured, I am still not sure about one of them. It behaves like a female but its appearance looks like a male.

In the middle of 2008, since I was unwilling to give up, I decided to recoup myself. The fishes with undetermined gender were sold and two pairs of wild Ivanacara adoketa were purchased. At that time, I was able to confirm that there were two males. The two females were only about 4cm so I was not certain about their genders and could only trust the supplier from Japan! In fact, now I am only sure that there are one male and one female. The other two fishes both show features of male as well as female.

Since I could not stand all these years failures, on October 2008, I purchased a pair of Adoketa from “Such & Such & Such Aquarium”. They were a wild male and a F1 female. That was good so that I could mix and match with the others. Finally, that works. With a male and a female, they successfully breed!! Since I have total of seven Ivanacara adoketa, it may be a bit confusing. My Adoketa are:

1. First time ordered from Japan, one of the three small wild Adoketa with unknown gender, I called it R1. It is kept in a tank by itself.

2. Second time ordered from Japan, four wild Adoketa
- The largest one, confirmed male, called R2
- The second largest one, uncertain on its gender, called R3
- The third largest one, uncertain on its gender, called R4
- The smallest one, confirmed female, called R5

3. From “Such & Such & Such Aquarium”. The wild male is called V1. The F1 female is called V2

This time the successful breeding pair is the “Such & Such & Such Aquarium” wild male (V1) with Japan wild female (R5). Another pair, the Japan wild male (R2) and “Such & Such & Such Aquarium” F1 female (V2), is getting into breeding mood as well. I wish I could have another good news soon~! The Japan’s R3 and R4 are kept inside a 36” tank for pairing. I hope I could find out their genders from that. Furthermore, I have learned a lesson that is even professional may make mistakes. From now on, I dare not order fish blindly and really have to examine it carefully before buying. However, I do love fish to such an extent and is really… helpless~!

I would like to leave a record here and thank you all the friends who help me to my success. Thank you all.

Basic Information

Parents’ Photos

The setup of my Ivanacara adoketa tank:
Tank: 25"L X 18"W X 14"H
Gravel: ADA Amazon I Fine Type + ADA Amazon II
Filter: Tetra EX90 + Eheim Aqua Ball
Filter Media: Power House M Size X 2 tray, Power House S Size X 1 Tray, ADA Bio Rio X 1 tray, White Cotton X1
Light: 20W T8
Addition: ADA Vitamin, ADA Black Water, Amtra Oak Brak Extract, Almond Leaves, Peat Moss
Water change: 40% per week

Water quality: Temp: 27C, ph: 5.8, kh:0, NO3: <5mg/l, TDS 126
Note: The tank’s setup. Photo was taken on the seventh day. All the fish babies were moved to the front of the tank by the mother and temporarily guarded by the father.


December 1st, 2008, the eggs were laid on the cichlid vase at the back of the far right corner behind the driftwood. The next day, the parents were still staying above the vase to guard the eggs.

December 4th-6th, 2008 being the 3rd to 5th day, the female moved the eggs to the circular brick (An ADA product). Both parents took turn to guard them but most of the times, the eggs were guarded by the female. During this period, 5L of water was added.

December 7th 2008, today is the sixth day. This morning the wrigglers are moved to the front of the tank where the substrates are made into a concave surface by the parents. The female stays behind to take care of the wrigglers and the male swam around slowly and gently. The male will occasionally take over the female’s job but swam away once the female returns. At night, the wrigglers are moved back to the circular brick.

December 8th 2008, today is the seventh day. This morning the wrigglers again are moved to the front of the tank’s substrates. Fig 1, the female is removing the substrates inside the coconut shell. The entrance is almost blocked. The male is guarding the wrigglers on the concave substrate. Fig 2, the female is observing the wrigglers’ condition. Fig 3, the female is guarding the wrigglers. The wrigglers do not change much between the 6th and 7th day.

December 9th 2008, today is the 8th day. No wriggler can be seen because the female moves them to the most inner part of the tank. I can’t wait to find out what happen to them.


December 10th 2008, today is the 9th day. Finally, I can see the baby fish. Both male and female alternately take care of them. This is so touching~!! Although the amount of babies is less than expected, it is not a problem at all. I will be ready for the 2nd time!! Mother and sons are resting inside the coconut shell!!

Video Clip on Youtube:
1st day: Patrol

3rd day: First Meal (Guest Performer: My left hand)

........ will update soon


5 Year Member
That is one of the best posts I have ever seen. fantastic photos.
Thanks heaps and congratulations


Bev N

Forum Donor
5 Year Member
Thank you for that great documentary and incredible photographs. I can only hope that I'm as fortunate with my group of six.

Wonderful job all around.



5 Year Member
thank you all.....

Day 3 video clip updated. The fry's first meal, with guest performer, my left hand! :biggrin:


5 Year Member

14 Dec 2008, the 13th day
1st day after tank changed
Tank size: 12"L X 7.5"W X 9"H
Temp: 27C, ph 6.0-6.2, kh 0, gh 0, NO3 0-5mg/l, TDS 106
Twin Head Air Filter X1, Heater 25Watt. Water change 1/3 per day.