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Did my Rainbows just Spawned?

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#1 Cv89

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  • CA

Posted 14 February 2016 - 03:39 PM

Hi I have one female rainbow and the rest are four Males, two of which are extremely colorful with blue cheeks. Weird part is yesterday I saw what looks like one of the non-colorful Males spawned, the female wasn't anywhere close by. He literally wriggled like a hummingbird in the gravel in front of the water flow and the two colorful males got on top of him and wriggled to, causing a little earth quake in my aquarium. It happened fast but I saw what looked like two transparent eggs float behind them, one quickly got scooped up by a Danio and I couldn't find the other that had settled in the gravel.

Problem is my tank is also full of danios and native River suckers who are sure to have eaten the eggs by now. And Ive heard of male darters pretending to be female or vice versa? How could it be, Males are spawning with each other? All of them, males and female, have huge stomaches. And keep in mind I live in CA where Feb is probably the last cold month before things start warming up. Right now temps are fluctuating around 64-77 F if that helps. Anyone knows what's going on, suggestions? Did I get a spawn or just something else? Here's some pics showing the female, non colorful male and the colored males

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#2 Isaac Szabo

Isaac Szabo
  • NANFA Member
  • The Ozarks

Posted 14 February 2016 - 04:07 PM

Nice photos. Your rainbows look very healthy. Yes, that sounds like spawning behavior, but are you sure that the female was not involved? I have a few rainbows that have been spawning lately, and the female digs herself down into the substrate first, often to the point that she is nearly completely covered and quite difficult to see. In your case, I would guess that the female was in the substrate beneath the males and that you just didn't notice her. If eggs were produced, then obviously a female had to be involved...

#3 Cv89

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  • CA

Posted 14 February 2016 - 04:34 PM

Yea maybe I just didn't see her buried beneath all the males. Everything happened so quickly I was just passing by the tank on my way of the door when I saw and heard the commotion. I probably couldn't cycle another tank on time, any suggestions if I want to keep the babies?

#4 gzeiger

  • NANFA Guest

Posted 14 February 2016 - 05:50 PM

If there's no issue with obtaining another tank, these fry are small enough that you can get away with not cycling it immediately. What kind of filter is running on this tank?


The best thing is to feed survivable live foods like copepods and cyclops that can often be collected locally, or blackworms, that will not foul the water if uneaten. You can deal with ammonia by frequent (very!) water changes, cycling the water through the parent tank, or using a piece of the parent tank's filter media if appropriate. If you have a hang-on-back filter in the original tank, you can cut off a piece of the filter pad and stick it in the riser tube of a new sponge filter, where it would provide enough biological filtration for the fry as well as helping to seed the new sponge as they grow. Also just rubbing either a sponge filter or a filter pad on a new sponge is likely enough cycling. 


If you have to feed dead or non-survivable foods like brine shrimp then the filtration may be an insurmountable problem.


I'll let others discuss the specifics of rainbow darter fry, as the smallest darter I've ever had was a 1/2" fusiforme.

#5 centrarchid

  • NANFA Member

Posted 14 February 2016 - 05:53 PM

Either remove all fish or remove embryos and place them in another tank.  Then work to keep water flow up where embryos are located.  Try to keep temperature for incubation in the low to mid 60's.

Find ways for people not already interested in natives to value them.

#6 Cv89

  • NANFA Guest
  • CA

Posted 17 February 2016 - 02:34 AM

Ok thanks guys I dusted off the old 10 gallon, some old gravel and use my existing filter pad to help seed the new tank. Thanks

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