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first spawn and first free swimmers!

ErtyJr

Active Member
Hello everyone! Last sunday my cacatuoides laid her eggs, I was very doubtful anything would come of it because they are both very young and the male had a female before that laid and he never fertilized the eggs. She died after eating her eggs and then she stopped eating completely and starved. It was a sad day for me.

But anyways last sunday Nia (my female) laid her eggs, she continued doing what seemed to me to be courting behavior but also seemed somewhat aggresive, so I held onto hope. As the days passed she continued to guard her nest and I thought oh wow either Ammo (my male) finally figured out the birds and the bees or Nia (2) is just a very adamant mother.

This morning I woke up to see little apistogramma cacatuoides in a whole new location where I could actually see them! Now I believe the mother moved them during the night because they don't seem to be much on the swimming but they all look healthy and I'm currently harvesting some vinegar eels to squirt onto them in a few hours. Any tips? I'm so excited, Ammo and Nia are looking to be such good parents thus far!
 

ErtyJr

Active Member
Just an update, they are all swimming around with mommy and I managed to capture a video of the male showing just a little too much interest in the babies and being attacked by mommy!

 

ErtyJr

Active Member
Thank you so much for the kind words! I will pass it on to Ammo + Nia, I'm certain they will appreciate it.
 

bludfire

Member
A really nice pair you've got.

Have you thought about putting sand down instead of the gravel?

Apistogramma's are 'earth-eaters' - in the wild they take mouthfuls of sand and sift it through their mouth and gills to take out any morsels of food. It's amazing behaviour to watch and something i'd really recommend.
 

ErtyJr

Active Member
Oh yes I definitely have thought about it. Problem was I moved in with my gf a while back and I had shut down all my tanks a few years ago. When I moved in I had to compromise with everything so this was our tank not just mine. It took everything I had just to convince her to let me make the majority of the gravel black. If it had been up to me it would have been sand.

Now that our tank is very heavily planted, and it's basically impossible to change without throwing our tank into huge disarry, she agrees we need something more natural.
 

ErtyJr

Active Member
Haha, yea I'm not allowed a tank 2 untill we get a house >.< I am only allowed a spec v for the moment for the babies to grow out in. Which was the biggest tank I could talk her into.
 

davidjp1982

Donating Member
Very cool - love the constant cat and mouse of the parents when there is young fry. I don't know where they get the energy from!
 

ErtyJr

Active Member
Oh I know they are hilarious to watch. The father actually turned out to be a pretty good dad. He started guarding them from other fish and he occasionally takes the babies around in his mouth moving them and spits em out. I thought he wanted to eat them but he never has.
 

Dano1311

Member
congratulation on the fry cacatuoides they are my favorite Apistogramma, just keep and eye out for aggression as i had a pair of Orange flash cacatuoides and the female was fine with the male for a month or so, then out of the blue i found him hiding at the surface behind the filter, on closer inspection he had been attacked and had chunks taken out of his fins etc, she was the only fish big enough to do the damage and i ended up losing him.
They can get aggressive and even kill one and other when they have fry, if one takes to trying to eat the fry and the other doesnt like it.

please keep us update with Pictures of them as they grow :)
 

ErtyJr

Active Member
Yes I know what you mean. For the first 3-4 days when she had just eggs, my poor male never left the back corner of the tank. He found the only spot she couldn't see from the nest and never left. Then one day he just said he'll with it, as you see in the video she attacks him but he kinda just slowly swims away it doesn't bother him much. Now she hits him right on his cheek. As of about two days ago I have started to see her begin to fatten up and she no longer protects the young. Luckily the male doesn't show interest in them unless they are hiding and try to run, but if he does suck one up I have watched him spit them out after.

I believe this weekend I am going to pull the fry out and transfer them to their new tank I set up. Only thing I'm concerned about is the tank isn't fully cycled. I still have small amounts of nitrites, but ammonia is 0 and nitrates are being produced. I think I will have to do frequent water changes for a bit. But I am fairly certain she will be laying a new batch soon. I'm going to need to sell my babies soon and make room for the new batch asap.

I will get some pictures of the fry this weekend so I can update you guys and you can see em. They are pretty big now and all over the whole tank!

Also I'm not trying to advertise here or anything but if there is interest in purchasing the unsexed babies pm me, I can ship them ect, most I plan on selling to my lfs but I would prefer to sell directly to enthusiasts, also will likely sell a few on aquabid.
 

ErtyJr

Active Member
Sorry for the delay I have been meaning to update my post with some pics of my fry, so instead I got a video!

Here is a video of my first feeding to the fry of live blackworms, it was funny to watch them struggle!

 

ErtyJr

Active Member
Thank you once again for the kind words. I'm very excited about these fry and I am loving my big beautiful male more and more each day. Apistogramma have such wonderful personality I can't believe as long as I have been keeping fish I'm only just finding out about these wonderful fish!
 

davidjp1982

Donating Member
Reading all these spawning threads has enticed me into setting up a 10 gallon breeding tank again - the obsession continues...
 

ErtyJr

Active Member
Awesome david! Growing out little fish can be so rewarding and fun! It's terrific to watch them grow and interact.

What apistogramma type will you be breeding?
 

davidjp1982

Donating Member
Awesome david! Growing out little fish can be so rewarding and fun! It's terrific to watch them grow and interact.

What apistogramma type will you be breeding?
Cacatuoides as they seem to thrive in the moderately hard water we have locally - already set the tank up just finished - was prepping myself for the waiting game of trying to net the male and female out of the community tank but they were both hiding by the heater together and actually swam into the net together - one scoop and it was done!
 

davidjp1982

Donating Member
Will also be interesting to see how my "sneaker male" decides to present himself now he is the only apisto left in the community tank
 

ErtyJr

Active Member
Oh that will be very interesting to watch as it progresses! Get some pics, and keep me updated, I'm quite curious in seeing how he developes!
 
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