Lake Victoria Basin, West African, Madagascar & Asian Species • Green Chromide / Etroplus suratensis in Full Breeding Dress

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Green Chromide / Etroplus suratensis in Full Breeding Dress

Postby notho2000 » Wed Oct 08, 2014 12:28 pm

Of the ten Green Chromide fry I obtained about 11 months ago, one pair has formed so far and they have spawned for the second time. Here they are just finishing up, their pink eggs hanging from tiny threads. This time, the parents chose exactly the same place on an artificial tree stump to deposit them, apparently sensing it to be the safest, most easily defended site in this rather crowded 55G tank.
http://youtu.be/hw1e5MHQCe4
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Re: Green Chromide / Etroplus suratensis in Full Breeding Dr

Postby Deeda » Wed Oct 08, 2014 4:27 pm

Congrats, again!! Beautiful fish, look like great parents and it's very interesting to seen how the eggs wave in the water from the movements by the parents.
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Re: Green Chromide / Etroplus suratensis in Full Breeding Dr

Postby notho2000 » Thu Oct 09, 2014 3:32 pm

Thanks Deeda.
I decided to remove the eggs which were laid on the resin fake tree trunk. So last evening I set up a 10G with brackish water (SG ~ 1.005). I was lifting the piece from the parents' tank by one of its 'branches' to move it to 10G on the shelf below, when the unthinkable happened ... the branch broke. The trunk with eggs attached fell from about 7', first hitting the ladder, and then the floor, where upon it (the trunk, not the floor) shattered into bits. Although the resin tree trunk is a nice looking decoration (if it doesn't break first) it is extremely brittle ( as I found out) :cry: . As I frantically searched for the piece that had the eggs on it, I imagined that the impact would most likely have dislodged the eggs, and that I'd be picking up eggs, one at a time ... and this at
2 am :zz: . Much to my surprise, I found the piece with the eggs (at least most of them) and quickly put it in the awaiting 10G. Initially I wondered if the tree trunk would fit into the receiving tank. Now I didn't have to worry about that. Question is, am I going to get a hatch? They should be hatching later tonight or tomorrow some time. Keeping my fingers crossed. I'll let you know.
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Re: Green Chromide / Etroplus suratensis in Full Breeding Dr

Postby Deeda » Thu Oct 09, 2014 4:56 pm

Well that really stinks that the resin tree trunk broke during the transfer but at least the part with the eggs will now fit in the smaller tank.

Do you need to maintain a flow of water over the eggs until they hatch?
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Re: Green Chromide / Etroplus suratensis in Full Breeding Dr

Postby notho2000 » Thu Oct 09, 2014 9:02 pm

Deeda wrote:Well that really stinks that the resin tree trunk broke during the transfer but at least the part with the eggs will now fit in the smaller tank.

Do you need to maintain a flow of water over the eggs until they hatch?


I have fairly heavy aeration near the eggs but no antifungicide in the water. I'm counting on the salt to inhibit the fungus.
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Re: Green Chromide / Etroplus suratensis in Full Breeding Dr

Postby notho2000 » Sun Oct 12, 2014 6:35 pm

The eggs are finally hatching. Many references indicate they have the standard 48 to 72 hour hatching time, much like CAs and SAs. In my case, these started hatching this morning, five full days after they were laid. Also, I have read that they don't hatch out all at once but over an extended period of a couple of days. That seems to be true, as the number of fry that appear has been slowly increasing as the day progresses. The temperature is at ~78F. Not surprisingly, they are much more like Madagascan Paretroplus in that regard. My maculatus, menarambo and kieneri all take ~ 7 days to hatch, and that's at a temperature of ~84F. With the extended hatching time, fungus and its prevention can be a real problem.
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Re: Green Chromide / Etroplus suratensis in Full Breeding Dr

Postby notho2000 » Fri Oct 17, 2014 8:49 pm

It has taken the fry about 5 days to absorb their yolk sacs and to start swimming in a stable manner (i.e. up off the bottom, right side up). I will be giving them their first meal of newly hatched baby brine shrimp tomorrow morning, once they are fully free swimming (without bobbing up and down). There must have been at least 500 eggs laid, but only about 25 or 30 hatched. I think it has to do with the age of the fish. They are very young (about 15 months) and I believe it will take a while longer for the male to become fully fertile. Either that or the 7 foot drop to the concrete floor might have 'done a number' on them. We shall see.
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Re: Green Chromide / Etroplus suratensis in Full Breeding Dr

Postby notho2000 » Tue Oct 21, 2014 9:11 pm

These are really differently behaving fry from CA and SA cichlids. These are literally glued to the surface of the water. They skitter about looking like they're trying to feed at the surface even though I haven't put any floating food in there. There is absolutely no schooling tendency although the small numbers (~25) may have something to do with that. I've been feeding BBS and microworms and they have been taking them, and are showing some growth as a consequence. The unconventional behavior might be something characteristic of the Etroplus genus although I'll see if this behavior shows up in subsequent spawns. I'm wondering if it could be something to do with the environment in the tank. And they are in brackish water, so there is an increased buoyancy. Maybe their air bladders take time to develop and adjust to the saline conditions. Even though 'maculatus' was the most ordinary of the three species, behaviorally speaking, even they showed an unusual schooling behavior, in that the whole school would react to a stimulus (like a startle) in the same way. I know that open water fish in the ocean exhibit this behavior, as an evasive strategy for escaping a threat. Also the tight schooling behavior of 'canarensis' was totally bizarre. Here's a video I took quite a while ago of the maculatus 'startle' behavior and, more recently, the weird schooling behavior of the canarensis.
http://youtu.be/xTPay78O6uE
http://youtu.be/Fzuvt6qFPTc
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Re: Green Chromide / Etroplus suratensis in Full Breeding Dr

Postby notho2000 » Thu Oct 23, 2014 4:52 pm

It looks as if the young are feeding well enough and putting on some growth, despite the continuation of the unusual surface dwelling tendency. I've noticed that a few free spirited ones are venturing off the surface and going most every place. The majority are still up but now tending to cluster in a bit of a school. Anyways, things are improving daily.
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Re: Green Chromide / Etroplus suratensis in Full Breeding Dr

Postby notho2000 » Wed Oct 29, 2014 2:06 pm

Up until a few days ago, I've been trying to feed live BBS but with so few young to feed (~35) I decided to freeze small amounts in mini ice cube trays and go with that instead. I wasn't sure initially if the fry would take them, since baby fish love to hit moving targets (the thrill of the chase). But in the past, when raising young Paretroplus using live or frozen BBS, I was able to get them "excited" about their food by creating a stronger current in the tank, by turning the air flow up some. The young, of course get blown around somewhat, but it's amazing how they can focus on snapping up their prey. It actually looks as if they enjoy (there I go again ...anthropomorphizing fish behaviors) drifting with the current, and don't seem to differentiate between a 'jerking' live shrimp, or a drifting ,dead one. Movement is movement. Well it worked mightily with these little Green Chromides. It doesn't take long before their bellies are full. They have gotten past that fragile, 'will they take it or will they not' stage, and with partial water changes (still brackish) every couple of days, things seem to be coming along. They still aren't schooling much (understandable with the current being what it is) and do tend to stay in the upper third of the water column, but are getting bigger and stronger daily. I noticed, even just after they hatched that there were a few deformed ones. Even these have been able to feed, although, understandably, they are falling behind their bretheren in terms of growth and vigor. They will be culled soon. I'm going to try within the next week or so to introduce them to finely powdered vegetable based dry food, since this species is highly vegetarian. And they still get microworms every once in a while.
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The little Green Chromides are on their way!

Postby notho2000 » Tue Nov 18, 2014 12:58 pm

After some initial setbacks, the fry are coming along well, now looking like miniatures of their parents. They are 1/2 to 3/4" TL and just coming up to 5 weeks since the spawning. They have formed a loose school and are feeding heartily on frozen BBS. I'm trying to transition them over to a vegetable based diet, but they won't have anything to do with it right now. I suspect over the next few weeks they'll overcome their reticence. Even at this stage, they recognize they're about to be fed and rush to the front glass. Here's a pic (not a very good one) showing a few of the twenty or so.
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Re: Green Chromide / Etroplus suratensis in Full Breeding Dr

Postby notho2000 » Thu Nov 27, 2014 3:19 pm

They've started to take finely powdered food with a vengeance. They look like little discus at this stage of development and are about 3/4" TL.
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