I've had a quartet of small polleni in a 3ft tank for a few months to grow out. They've put on enough size for me to tell which are the boys and which are the girls. The ratio is 1 male to 3 females. Looking for a larger tank now to move a pair into (thinking a standard 6 or a custom 6). The male is now about 10cm long and has gone jet black... his spangles are really shining. The two larger females of the three are darker but not as black as the boy. One, the female in question here, is as large as the male and very nicely conditioned but in true polleni style the boy thinks his women look better with tattered fins
She has started to hang out in the front right corner of the tank and has hollowed out a pit in the fine deep sand... my reading (like this: http://www.cichlidae.com/article.php?id=76
), indicates this is normal as they will lay eggs in a depression in the substrate; especially if it's fine (as it is in this tank). Everything I've read about them says they are quite secretive spawners, or at least appreciative of some privacy from outside traffic, so just in case they did spawn early, because I've read there is some evidence to suggest they may be capable of spawning at quite a young age (I've had mine for about a year now bought as 3cm fish), I put a big expanse of sand up behind some rocks... for privacy [edit: since posting this on another forum she has moved and dug a much bigger, deeper pit up behind a rock as well. No real sign of the ovipositor yet... it's clearly there and looks maybe alittle distended but not what I would expect if oviposition was about to take place based on experience with other centrals and SA cichlids]. The tank is only partly lit with swords growing in the lit end. She's hollowed out two pits in the dark end, however,the first spot she has chosen is in full view under the flow of the H.O.B filter (inlet not near the hollow). To give her some privacy I've stuck a sheet of opaque contact on the glass to screen off the corner of the tank (not pretty but it works). Every time the male swims over she lays on her side and does a little shimmy for him. His reaction clearly shows he thinks she is fine
None of the head-down displaying as mentioned in the article above but more of a layingdown, circling dance with the female that lasts maybe 2-3 revolutions and then he's off again to check on the other females (who aren't showing any tendency to dig or associate with one territory). These guys would be 10cm long... 13cm tops... do you think this is fore-play, getting ready for the real-deal,or what? Also in the tank is a non-breeding pair of jewels and some cory... I'm thinking all hell is going to break lose way before I'm ready...