I always marvel at the incredible parenting behaviors that many cichlids in general tend to exhibit. Some species (and even individuals) are certainly better at it than others. Madagascar cichlids (mainly the Paretroplus) have had the reputation of being terrible, the one main fault in their parenting being....they are easily distracted. So if you approach the tank with some food, the parents will leave the eggs or young in favor of "dinner time". They are also a "nervous" fish, getting into a frenzy in no time flat. It's almost as if they forget what they were doing. Well my pair of P. oligacanthus are definitely the opposite of that , especially the female. They know how to parent, and they're consistently good at it. This pair has spawned at least a dozen times and every time they have taken their spawns to at least two to three weeks beyond the free-swimming stage. In fact, in the latest spawn, of the thousand fry that they had, there are still a couple of hundred still being closely guarded .... despite the four P. grandidieri, six P. maculatus, and six P. polleni trying to pick them off. Here are two videos, one guarding their eggs and the other tending the cloud of free-swimming fry... a magnificent pair in action.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFav4u4U ... er&list=UL