Discussion about cichlids from Madagascar and India
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The newly formed pair of Pinstripe Dambas laid their eggs on a large piece of driftwood ... wouldn't you know it. What better way to prevent the fish keeper (i.e. me) from making an easy getaway with their spawn. Prior spawns from another pair were put onto rocks, the outside of a flowerpot, and onto a bunch of pebbles on the bottom of the tank. The rocks and flowerpot were easy, the pebbles, not so much. I had to reach in and lift out about 10 smallish stones to get most of the eggs out. And the parents were nipping at me every time I went in. Yes, they do draw blood with those two "buck teeth". This time, I wasn't prepared to save the spawn. My wife and I plan to be away for a good part of the summer (I use the term summer, loosely this year) and I didn't want to leave a bunch of young fish for my son to look after. They can be 'tricky' to manage at times. Well I changed my mind. Menarambo don't spawn very often, and when they do, it's a big deal (at least for me). So I decided to pull the eggs. The pair had been doing a great job parenting for the last four days. This is the longest that I've left a spawn with the parents and not had it "disappear".With the size of the driftwood being what it was, I decided to set up a 25G tank (24"x18"x12")to accommodate the driftwood on the floor right behind the parent's tank. This way, I could use a combination of water from the tank (an easy siphon) and tap water (60-40 split). When I tried to remove the driftwood / eggs from the 180G, it dawned on me that I may have put it in the tank (about 6 years ago), with the top tank not on the stand. After about 2 minutes of turning the piece of wood every which way, I finally got it by the upper edge of the 180G (I felt I had just solved a Rubics Cube) and into the 25G. The parents took it in stride, looking woefully at the spot where their eggs had been. I expected them to squabble over the missing eggs, but instead they searched the bottom for any sign of their "babies-to-be", continued to chase away potential threats, and still had time to do a wonderful courting dance around one another, like saying to one another "let’s forgive and forget" or “we’ll do better next time”. Now that is a classy fish! One more thing I got very lucky with. With the eggs secure in their hatching tank (at least that's the expectation), I took a couple of pictures and was ready to turn out the lights when I noticed a movement in the 25G. A large male Bristlenose Pleco had hitched a ride on the wood (actually he lived under it so I'm sure he thought he had every right to be there). If I hadn't noticed him, the eggs wouldn't have lasted the night ... yum-m-m. So I figure this spawn is destined to survive.
"The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them".
- Albert Einstein
- Albert Einstein