Saturday, 24 October 2015

Waiting for the pitter patter of little fins

With a colony of nine Synodontis grandiops (sold in shops as S. multipunctatus) refusing to breed without hosts, I decided to see if the Lake Malawi cichlid Metriaclima lombardoi could step into this role. There were some internet sites citing success with them, so I bought a few. They're a beautiful species in their own right so I'm happy to see them breeding with or without the catfish parasitising their brood. This is just as well as the first breeding occurred while they were still in quarantine.

While I've moved four, including the dominant male and one juvenile male, across to the Synodontis tank, I now have a very "pregnant" female sheltering with one other juvenile that proved difficult enough to catch that I gave up for the time being. I use the quotes around the word pregnant as they're a mouth-brooding species, as is obvious in the below shot.

The female is starting to show the signs of not eating for a couple of weeks. She pops out at feeding time and approaches food, but doesn't actually eat anything. She's still in pretty good condition, but is going to be ravenous when she finally releases her brood. I'll give her a couple of weeks to fatten up again before moving her across with the males, and hopefully she'll get knocked up again soon after.

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