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Steelblue breeding

P.W.

Member
5 Year Member
Good news! I think it`s a good idea to start some BS hatching by now. In two or three days the frys starts to look for food.
I`m really excited to see if those frys will look like their parents when they grow up!

Best regards/ Per

P.S I found a dead C.Marooni Male this morning floating around in the surface of my 550 litre tank. When I looked closer at the dead fish I noticed some small creatures swarming around the dead fish, they were inside the belly and also sucking on the dead fish.
I then realised it were at least 10-15 Ancistrus frys, having a good meal on the dead Marooni. :p
I have been hoping for some Ancistrus babies for a long time now, and when you least expect it.........
 

amanda huggenkiss

New Member
5 Year Member
Thanks Per. (Wow, I don't know whether to congratulate you or offer condolences!)

I hope everyone else isn't completely bored by this thread. I just thought that since so little seems to be known about this species it would be helpful to post as much detail as I can. Especially regarding breeding.

I'm planning to post some more photos just as soon as I can get a decent shot. The wigglers are so deeply hidden now I can barely see them. And I just saw that the other female now has a clutch of eggs -- unfortunately it's also at a weird angle that I can't get a shot of. The male is doing double-duty guarding both territories. So at least now we know that these guys are harem breeders.
 

P.W.

Member
5 Year Member
I think that a lot of people in this forum should be interested of what is happening in your tank right now!
There have been so many threads about this subject, and so many guesses and thoughts of what this fish originates from. Is it a hybrid? Genetically produced in the far east? Crossbreed between two Apisto species?

Other ideas:

Females are not existing....breeders have to use females from other apisto species to be able to breed.

Females are very rare, and when eventually found, they always dies within a short period of time.

They are infertile.

At least some of these points you have proven to be wrong, Amanda!
The steelblue are fertile. Females really exists (they doesn`t look to be of some other species either). Still we need to see what the offspring will look like compared with the parents.

If you will continue with the reports about these fishes, at least I will be very interested! :)

Best regards/ Per
 

amanda huggenkiss

New Member
5 Year Member
An update. Last night I decided that the apistos were harrassing the other inhabitants of the tank too much, so I tried to return the other fish to the pet store. Unfortunately, I could only catch two of the cories, so there's still one small and one large cory in this tank. But it seems a lot more peaceful now. I also moved some plants over from my 20g while this layout fills in.

This morning I could see that the wigglers were starting to drift away from the nest. They're the blurry white things in the background. The bulk of them were up higher in a hollow in the driftwood. The female was doing her best to catch them all and put them back. I went out for a couple hours, and by the time I got back, they were all free-swimming towards the front of the tank, with the female on close guard. The male never touched the babies, but he got within a couple inches without the female getting upset, and he continues to guard the area.

The female (shown here with her breeding colours) is sticking very close to the babies, but every once in awhile she'll swim away as if checking the area. At one point she caught sight of the other female and decided she was too close for comfort, so she displayed (note the darker markings) and tried to chase her off. Unfortunately, the other female is also guarding her nest, so she was standing her ground. It looked like a stand-off until the male swam into the scene, displaying for both of them. He swam between the two of them and wagged his tail a bit, and the two females swam off. Interesting.

Sadly, this was the best shot I could get of a fry. I'll try again later when I have more time.

I wasn't able to find any BBS until today, so I've got them started now and should have some to feed the fry tomorrow. In the meantime, I have some fry food (I know, not first choice).
 

P.W.

Member
5 Year Member
Great photos! And the females looks very nice, and it is easy to see that they really are steelblue females. I have never seen this coloration on some other apisto species (females).

Hello Joost!
I was reading your previous thread, and I looked at the photos of your "blueheads". They are not "Steel-blue" from what I can see. I think they are Ap. Eunotus.

Best regards/ Per
 

BillyBlanks

New Member
5 Year Member
In my book "South American Dwarf Cichlids" by Bork and Mayland, under the description for Apistogramma Caetei it remarks "The formation of the pedigree Blue-head Apistogramma started in South East Asia, but there it created almost exclusively males. It was the German breeder Werner Krieg of Hildesheim who was able to build up a new breeding line with the help of a few Asian males and some wild females."

So maybe the females are a caetei x steelblue cross?
 

P.W.

Member
5 Year Member
The book by Mayland & Bork contains info. from the early nineties. I´m not convinced that all info is correct.
I´m still regarding this as one of the stories/ myths created around the steelblue.
It´s also a bit strange that Romer doesn´t mention these theories in his later book, under the section about the Steelblue?

Best regards/ Per
 

amanda huggenkiss

New Member
5 Year Member
Well I'm very curious to see what these fry look like when they grow up -- whether they'll all look like the parents or if there'll be some that exhibit characteristics of other species.

The fry are swimming a lot more confidently, straying further and further from the female. I count about 40 of them. They seem to be eating well, grazing constantly. I've been feeding bbs as well as fry food. The male is now devoting all his energy to protecting the fry and is pretty much ignoring the other female. The two females seem to be resigned to each other's presence. Interestingly, out of the whole tank the first female has parked her little brood of fry in front of the same piece of driftwood that the other female has laid her eggs on. So they're always eyeing each other, but aside from a little displaying it's like they've accepted that neither of them is going to leave.

The 2nd female now has wigglers, and she's just in the process of moving them to an indentation in the gravel. Unfortunately, she's chosen a spot right next to the filter intake. I swapped the netting I had wrapped around it earlier for a piece of sponge, so fingers crossed. It's also the corner that my large cory favours, so I think she'll have her work cut out for her.
 

amanda huggenkiss

New Member
5 Year Member
I think there were some casualties last night. The first female's brood seems to be down to about 10 fry now -- it could be more, because they're pretty well camouflaged against the gravel, but that's all I've been able to count. It could be that the cories snagged a few in the night, or perhaps they just wandered off (the female was having trouble keeping them all together yesterday).

The other female still has a lot of wigglers, but as I was checking it out, I noticed she also has some free-swimming fry. Looks like she's adopted a few of the run-aways. :)

I'm still trying to catch the cories, but that big one is impossible to get without ripping the tank apart. Right now I've baited a net with some crab pellets. He was in there once, but then the male apisto chased him out. D'oh!
 

Mike Wise

Moderator
Staff member
5 Year Member
Amanda, you need to make a fish trap out of a beverage bottle. You can find description of this devise on the web. They really work well in planted tanks.
 

amanda huggenkiss

New Member
5 Year Member
Thanks Mike. I've used the pop bottle trick before and it's great. So yeah, I tried it last night. Walked away for a minute, came back, and I'd caught both the male and the female apisto. :rolleyes: And the fry were on the outside of the bottle trying to keep close to momma, in danger of being squished by the bottle. I decided it probably wasn't a good idea in this case. I had placed the bottle as far from their brood as possible, with the opening pointing away from them. Very curious fish.

I've caught the larger cory, but the little one knows something is up and is hiding at the back of the tank. I tried turning all the lights off and waiting 'til he felt comfortable enough to swim around the tank, but as soon as he came out front, the male apisto chased him back into the plants. This is gonna be tricky. And to top it off, after I turned the light out, I saw another fish in there that I hadn't seen in so long I thought was long gone. I have a kuhli loach. I'm never gonna catch him without tearing the whole tank down... Actually, forget that -- I did re-do the tank recently -- took everything out to rearrange the layout -- and I didn't see that kuhli once.

I think I'm going to have to pull out one of the pieces of driftwood, and the plants from that corner area, and then maybe try the bottle again.
 

fishgeek

New Member
becareful with the bottle traps, large fish in a small volume of not well circulating warm water can quickly deplete the oxygen levels

i had a pair of adults in a 500ml bottle almost keel over when i left a tra unattended
 

P.W.

Member
5 Year Member
As the apistofry now are freeswimming, I don´t think that the corys are any treath to them anymore.
I have raised apistos together with corys without problem. But If the corys can access caves with apistoeggs or not yet freeswimming frys, then they will eat them for sure.

Best regards/ Per
 

amanda huggenkiss

New Member
5 Year Member
They were free-swimming, but they still liked to settle on the bottom. Can't dispute the fact that about 30 fry disappeared overnight.

Plus the other female's fry aren't yet free-swimming. They're still just wigglers. Except for the few fry that she adopted from the other female.

I'll feel a lot better when I get that other cory out of there. I think I'll just have to accept the fact that there'll be one predator still in there (the kuhli).
 

fishgeek

New Member
my cory's usually worry the parents enough that they eat their own fry rather than lose the nutrition to a competitor
 

amber2461

New Member
5 Year Member
I had my apisto fry in my 20 g tank with habrosus corys and there were no problems, the Mama took care of everything, you literally could see that 2/3 of the tank belonged to the apistogrammas and the remaning were the corys, ottos and 1 2.5" catfish.

Really interesting to watch. She is relentless in her pursuit of keeping her 2/3 of the tank.
 

amanda huggenkiss

New Member
5 Year Member
Well one of the cories is humongous (I've had him for over 10 years), and it takes two of the apistos to get rid of him. And if I remove him from the tank, I don't want to leave the other one alone, so I'll have to get him out too. So tomorrow night I'm gonna make a real effort to catch them. And yeah, I say "them". Remember how I caught the big one? I had him in a breeding trap while I tried to catch the other one. Well, at one point that night I heard a bit of a crash -- he'd spiked to the surface, crashed into the glass cover and bounced back out of the breeding trap and into the aquarium. Yeah. Wish me luck.
 

amber2461

New Member
5 Year Member
Hey

If you need help, just give me a toot, I wil drop by, not a problem there, will come with my net(s) as well ...

cheers
 
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