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Breeding Tropical Fish

Breeding Tropical Fish – Breeding African Cichlids – Part 5


This video has been somewhat delayed from the last video due to the pressures of life.  The fifth segment of breeding African cichlids is called the Waiting Game.  The first part of the video discusses the way to decorate the aquarium for the breeding pair. Basically the comment is that the fish will find a place to breed. The male will select the place where he has decided he wants to spawn. You can put the best possible decorations in and the male may decide to ignore them.

Decorations are not as necessary as many people feel are needed.  But the tank doesn’t need to be overloaded and it is much easier for the breeder to capture the females to strip them of fry.  The decor of the tank does not make all that much difference whether the fish will breed or not. If the tank also doubles as a display tank, then decorations are fine, but basically the decor is completely decided by the taste of the breeder.

Breeding African Cichlids can be facilitated by various factors

1) Keep the water characteristics proper.  Water characteristics are vital when breeding African cichlids. If they are poor, the fish simply won’t spawn no matter what you do.  The conditions required were discussed in the previous video – Breeding African Cichlids – Part 4

2) Raise the temperature.  If the fish aren’t particularly comfortable in their surroundings.  Often raising the temperature a degree or two will help. Don’t go overboard here, but a slight rise int he heat may help the process along a little.

3) Feed the females well.  Poorly fed fish may not have the energy to spawn properly.  Feeding the fish with a highly nutritious diet and keeping them healthy and well fed makes for more amenable females. A well fed fish will spawn more readily and usually have a better chance of keeping them as long as necessary in her mouth with little incenteive to discard them when a feeding occurs.

4) Rebuild the tank if he gets lazy.  If the male gets lazy and stops trying to spawn with the available females, it may be the case that he needs to be shaken up a bit to get him back in the mood. The best way to do this is change the landscape of the tank. Remove and re-arrange his present chosen breeding ground.  What you want to do is totally change the aquarium layout so that he has to start from scratch to claim his breeding area once again. This will often shake the male up enough that he becomes more sexually active towards the females.  Often successful spawning will follow soon after the habitat changes.

5) Do a water change with a slightly cooler temperature to “simulate” rain with cooler water.  This is absolutely the best method to spark the females into the breeding mode.  This trick is not exclusive to breeding African cichlids, it is also used to induce a number of other fish families such as Danios and Tetras to spawn as well.  Simulating a strong rainfall by doing a somewhat cooler water change stimulates the females to become receptive to the available male. This trick is felt to be the most effective way you can help to convince the females to accept the advances of the available male.

Otherwise, when breeding African cichlids, you can’t make them spawn.  The above methods will entice them, but if they don’t want to breed, they simply can’t be made to spawn on command.

About

Steve Pond, of Tropical Fish Aquarist, has kept fish both personally and professionally for over 50 years.  He writes regularly on the wide range of current topics that are important to people who keep tropical fish tanks as a passion and a hobby.

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About blueram

Steve Pond, of Tropical Fish Aquarist, has kept fish both personally and professionally for over 50 years.  He writes regularly on the wide range of current topics that are important to people who keep tropical fish tanks as a passion and a hobby.

View all posts by blueram →

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