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Texas Cichlid Spawn


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#1 lilyea

lilyea
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  • Peace River Watershed, Central Florida, USA

Posted 04 April 2016 - 08:25 PM

Not suggesting this is reason enough to add a cichlid sub forum, but wasn't sure where to add this post...last summer I acquired 6 small (i.e., about 1") Texas Cichlids (Herichthys cyanoguttatus) and have been growing them out in a 75g species-specific tank.  Recently I noticed spawning behavior (e.g., digging, territory development, etc.) and last night I noticed a cloud of about 200 fry.  The breeding pair is comprised of a ~4.5" male and a ~2.5" female and they are both currently protecting the fry.  Over the past year I have fed the fish in the tank a mix of pellet and quality flake and have added black worms to their diet over the past two months.  The spawning behavior and triggers appear to be very similar to many of the other dozen cichlid species that have spawned in my tanks.  The color of these fish is a bit unique - the front half of the fish is a solid light gray and the back half is covered with vertical black bars and the entire fish is covered with white/pearl spots.  I plan to leave the fry in the tank for a few more days to observe parental care and then attempt to siphon some/many of them out into a separate tank for grow-out.  



#2 centrarchid

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Posted 04 April 2016 - 09:36 PM

Consider rearing only a small percentage in grow-out tank.  What will you be feeding them?


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#3 lilyea

lilyea
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  • Peace River Watershed, Central Florida, USA

Posted 04 April 2016 - 11:01 PM

Consider rearing only a small percentage in grow-out tank.  What will you be feeding them?

 

Definitely, I agree!  I have made the mistake before of growing out too many fry from a large cichlid species and don't plan to repeat it!  The number of fry will be limited by siphoning out some of the fry instead of removing the adults and trying to protect all of the fry.  If I still have too many fry then I can cull after a month or two.  In comparison to many other species at this age, these are already large fry so they will be ready for crushed flake and a medium powdered food very soon.  I will supplement with BBS, frozen rotifers, etc. 



#4 centrarchid

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Posted 05 April 2016 - 04:14 AM

Are you culturing any zooplankton?  Even the best formulated feed fed to cichlids can be bettered with supplementation with live eats.  I am on a waterflea kick now.


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#5 lilyea

lilyea
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  • Peace River Watershed, Central Florida, USA

Posted 05 April 2016 - 09:25 PM

I have cultured daphnia (water fleas), vinegar eels, and more, but lately I have been using greenwater (phytoplankton) from outdoor tanks and whatever zooplankton that are attached to the floating live plants that I move from outside into the fry tank (in addition to the food sources mentioned above).  I realize that there is risk involved with this approach, but due to time constraints it is a viable option and it seems to be working for the various species of fry that I have been spawning lately (including cichlids, killifish, tetras, and other nano fish).  Hopefully I will be able to reinitiate my live food hobby soon (beyond the BBS and purchased black worms).  I have Masters', Hellweg's, and Hoff's books on raising live foods so time is currently a bigger constraint than information.



#6 centrarchid

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Posted 06 April 2016 - 05:38 AM

To get rapid growth for a few individuals I will sacrifice a large culture and stock a small number of fry directly into the culture.  Culture is fed light and fry ignored until culture crashes.  Those fry will rapidly get to pellet eating size with minimal time investment with respect to feeding.


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#7 lilyea

lilyea
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  • Peace River Watershed, Central Florida, USA

Posted 06 April 2016 - 08:12 PM

To get rapid growth for a few individuals I will sacrifice a large culture and stock a small number of fry directly into the culture.  Culture is fed light and fry ignored until culture crashes.  Those fry will rapidly get to pellet eating size with minimal time investment with respect to feeding.

 

Great feedback!  Thanks!  What size do you consider to be pellet eating size?  Another way to ask the question is what pellet and/or size of pellet do you introduce them to?  Do you use this approach with both cichlids and sunfish?



#8 centrarchid

centrarchid
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Posted 06 April 2016 - 09:04 PM

Cichlids generally easier than most sunfishes I work with most (bluegill, redear and crappie).  Some black basses like spotted will give most cichlids a run for their money when it comes to ease of feed training.

 

Most fish I like to feed train only after GIT gets a few turns in it.  That means most are well into metamorphosis.  

 

Optimal pellet size no more than 1/3 gape size / width of mouth.  A little less better.  Otherwise I get into brand size designation like #0, #1, and #2 which is specific to species being trained.


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