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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A while back I posted a thread here about a 'whimpy' male peacock that was getting chased by the other 3 females in the tank. Perhaps he had a surprise waiting for me. Here's another long story:

I have a standard 55 gal tank that has been running for slightly over 2 months, and the current inhabitants are 4 Electric Yellows (1 definite male, the other 3 unsure), 4 Benga/ Sunshine peacocks (1M 3F) and 2 small Bristlenose catfish. Rockwork is typical limestone and coral sand is used as substrate.

pH previously tested at the LFS at over 7.6, possibly 7.8. This was some weeks ago now. Since then I've done three water changes (once every two weeks) and added 'cichlid salt' at half the recommended dose (at recommended dose the pH would rise from 7.0-8.0). So I'm fairly guilty right now for not knowing the exact pH that the water is at.

Temperature was initially 24 degrees celcius. I raised it to 25.5 the week before and just yesterday increased it to just over 26. This coincided with a usual 30% water change and the filter sponges were cleaned in tank water that was previously siphoned out.

Lighting used to be full blast but about two days ago I placed something between the light and the tank so the lighting is very much subdued now. I did this for the sake of the male peacock. In full tank lighting his color was terrible, plus he was getting chased around by the other 3 females in the tank.

Interestingly when the lights are off things turn around. He bares his fins and sometimes gives the females a hard time. I didn't want to leave the lights off all the time and decided to dim it instead.

This morning I am surprised to see a female with an enlarged buccal cavity. She is hiding more than usual although still occasionally swims into the open. The females are all approx 3 inches from tip of mouth to the end of the tail. The male is slightly smaller. I'd always thought these fish were still juvies and didn't expect them to be gravid. I thought the females looked 'full' only because I was feeding them more than I used to.

Anyway, end long story. I've provided some photos that are unfortunately noisy and blurry...didn't want to use a flash and freak the fish out but the tank lighting is now very subdued, courtesy of what I did just to make the male comfortable. They attempt to show what the female looks like, and also the male peacock. Plus one random one of the dominant electric yellow.









Does this look like a holding female? Is it possible that she is holding eggs in her mouth that are not yet fertilised? How long will she hold before the fry are released? I am reluctant to separate her into another tank because I don't have one.

However I've been told by the owner of the LFS that he does sell 'fry' tanks, perspex tanks that I can suspend in the main tank. I could put her there and include a little pot for hiding but don't know if it's worth the trouble, or if the stress would cause her to spit or swallow the eggs. Any advice would be helpful.

Finally, I went for the 1M 3F ratio to create a 'happy medium' in my tank. I wasn't intending to breed but considered it a bonus if it did happen. If the female well and truly produces fry then I would be very happy indeed. If a fish breeds then that hopefully hints that I'm doing the right thing...not like my tank 10 years ago where I lost a heap of fish and never really succeeded.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
noki said:
Sure looks like she is holding. They are large enough to breed.
Wow, I'm thrilled! It came as a bit of a surprise because I saw the breeding tank at the LFS and realized how big they could get. The ones I have are perhaps less than half the size of those.

If that's the case then she is holding. But could she be holding on to eggs that are not yet fertilized? Occasionally she makes movements with her mouth as though she is chewing on something. But perhaps she is simply tumbling the eggs to keep them oxygenated.
 

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The chewing is normal, chances are they are fertilized since you have a male in the tank. If she is still holding after a week, then you can start planning for fry. Congrats!
 

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very nice. :thumb: :thumb:

i ahve a group about the same size as yours. i just think my tank is a bit over crowed hence no spawns. but i am trying to get another tank or may have to think out some fish. but anyway congrats. :popcorn:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
DJRansome said:
The chewing is normal, chances are they are fertilized since you have a male in the tank. If she is still holding after a week, then you can start planning for fry. Congrats!
Thanks. The male is a funny one. Aggro when the lights are off. Lights on and he's a whimp. Interesting behavior. I have little idea about what to do with the female at the moment (or if I need to do anything at all).

Just yesterday night I was imagining having fry in my tank and was wondering how to look after them. Surely all the other fish will get to the food before they do, or the fry may get sucked in by the filter. Anyway, I have only one day off this week but might tank a trip down to the LFS to see what he can advice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
dreday said:
very nice. :thumb: :thumb:

i ahve a group about the same size as yours. i just think my tank is a bit over crowed hence no spawns. but i am trying to get another tank or may have to think out some fish. but anyway congrats. :popcorn:
Thank you. Back in the days when I first started out, the guy advised me to keep less fish if I wanted to get some fry. It's just taken me a very long time to add all this fish to the tank. It still looks a little empty with just 8 cichlids and 2 catfish. But when they are fully-grown I imagine it can potentially look overcrowded.

Next thing I wanted to add would be the Cuckoo catfish, maybe a group of 3. If it's possible to get fry out of this current bunch, then next thing to try would be getting catfish fry!
 
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